AT&T started rolling out WiFi calling to some of its devices a few months ago, starting mysteriously with the LG G4. The GS6 Active and LG K10 followed that, but now a pair of newer flagship phones finally have it too. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are getting WiFi calling in the latest OTA.
There are certain things you have to expect when buying a phone on AT&T. For example, updates are going to take longer than other carriers (even Verizon as of late), and that's even more true when the device is a bespoke piece of hardware for the carrier. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is such a device, made exclusively for AT&T. It has just now received the Android Marshmallow (6.0.1) update, which includes WiFi calling.
Many carriers now offer some form of WiFi calling, but Republic Wireless bases its entire business model on making WiFi calls a seamless part of the experience. A new feature of Republic Wireless' hybrid MVNO network called Bonded Calling aims to improve call quality by using both WiFi and cellular data at the same time to fill in the gaps when you're stuck on a spotty WiFi network.
Update: Today's the day. Sprint has added the update support pages for both the G3 and the G Flex. Some of you should be seeing the update over the next few days, with everyone updated in a little over a week.
If you're using LG's flagship G3 or the oddball G Flex on Sprint, expect some new software next week. According to an internal Sprint document, both phones will be updated with some minor software patches, version ZV26 for the G3 and ZV9 for the G Flex. Just to make it clear, you're not getting Lollipop, at least not yet: the document shows that it's mostly security and bug fixes, plus international Wi-Fi calling.
Republic Wireless offers a variety of super-cheap calling and data plans thanks to its WiFi-cellular hybrid calling setup. In just a few days you'll be able to pair the reasonably priced Moto E with those plans. Republic will start selling the Moto E for $99 on October 15th.
There are no contracts on Republic Wireless, so that $99 price isn't subsidized at all. It's not much cheaper than the Moto E usually is, but you can't just bring any device to Republic. Phones need to have the right tweaks to work with its deeply integrated WiFi calling system. Most customers will need to wait until the 15th to order, but a limited number of people who signed up for information will get access tomorrow.
Republic Wireless saw success with its offer of the Moto X last year, and now the carrier has made good on its promise to start selling the low-cost Moto G. For a mere $149 you can get the 8GB Moto G on Republic with no contract and cheap WiFi calling.
Republic Wireless piggybacks on the Sprint network, but augments that with WiFi calling when you're connected to a network. Unlike other VoIP solutions, Republic Wireless can hand-off a call from WiFi to cellular if you lose connection.
The Moto G comes without any sort of contract, but it will only work on Republic Wireless.
Sprint started rolling out Wi-Fi calling earlier this year, but so far the carrier has only introduced the feature to a couple of eclectic devices. Now another device is making the list. Starting today, Sprint Galaxy Note 3 owners should receive an update enabling the feature. According to the change log, it doesn't look like this OTA will bring about anything else. The version number is N900PVPUCNC5.
Once the update lands, users will be able to make voice calls and send SMS messages over Wi-Fi without using up their plan (for those who don't have unlimited minutes/text). The setup process will require visiting Sprint account settings and registering your Wi-Fi networks.
The Galaxy S4 Mini and Mega may typically take a backseat to the Galaxy S4, but today is their turn to bask in the limelight. Sprint is now rolling out OTA updates to both devices enabling Galaxy Gear support along with WiFi calling. The former is already available for the Galaxy S4, but the latter functionality is brand spanking new. This update is rolling out right on schedule.
The Galaxy S4 Mini's update is version JDQ39.L520VPUANA7. Galaxy Gear support and WiFi calling are joined by Samsung KNOX and a few bug fixes.
The Galaxy Mega's update, version L600VPUANA7, only comes with the two headlining features.
T-Mobile has had WiFi calling for a number of years, but now Sprint is about to get into the game. Rumors began circulating early this year, and now we have the details on the launch, which is happening tomorrow. An OTA update (scheduled for 2/21 as well) for the Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy Mega will enable WiFi calling on those devices, but other phones will come later.
The Moto X is undeniably one of the most important Android devices of 2013, and it's probably also one of the best. This phone can be had for a pittance on-contract, but many prospective buyers were disappointed the off-contract cost was so high. If $500 for this phone seems like too much, Republic Wireless is offering an alternative. The Moto X on this Sprint MVNO is just $299 and you can walk away at any time. The plans are also cheap because Republic relies on WiFi to share the load.
This is only the second phone Republic Wireless has offered to the general public, and some users experienced issues with the hybrid WiFi/cellular calling model before.