Back in August, Verizon turned heads when it said it would begin to use "Network Optimization" for those few customers still on the old unlimited data plans. In layman's terms, it meant that Verizon intended to throttle the speed of the top 5% of unlimited data users on LTE networks, something that's already in place on the carrier's aging 3G system. But today, the very first day that the policy was set to go into practice, the company seems to have backed down.
Sometimes watching American cell phone carriers is like observing a line of monkeys - see the whole JUMP/EDGE/NEXT/whatever Sprint calls their interest-free phone financing saga. Now it's come again, this time after AT&T announced a limited promotion that doubled the data on some of its shared family plans. Verizon has matched their prices with a MORE Everything promotion that starts tomorrow, October 2nd. For the same $130 price that AT&T is offering, pre-fees, Verizon is giving family plan users 30GB of data.
Verizon tends to actively discourage users from rooting and otherwise modifying their phones - that is to say, the users' phones, not Verizon's. Despite a draconian bootloader policy, the HTC One M7 (2013) has had at least some form of S-Off available since October of last year, and Justin Case's Sunshine tool has taken care of the more recent software builds. It's a little late to the party, but the official build of the Team Win Recovery Project is now available for the HTC One on Big Red.
Are you and your family so-called "data hounds," who need much, much more mobile data per month than the average user? Then for God's sake, avoid the limited plans on AT&T and Verizon, and go for T-Mobile or Sprint instead. But if those carriers aren't an option (say, because you occasionally like to stray beyond the limits of major metropolitan areas), then you'll definitely want to check out AT&T's latest data promotion.
According to a source inside of Sprint, the wireless carrier has officially placed the LG Nexus 5 on the end-of-life list. That means that Sprint won't be promoting the N5 in its stores, though any stock that's still in retailers or sales partners will probably remain on sale in at least some capacity. It also means that Sprint won't be sending out any more standard software updates to the phone.
Of course, that's not as big a deal for the Nexus 5 as for other devices, thanks to the developer status of the phone.
For people living in the large swathes of the US where Verizon Wireless is the only real option, your chance to get the second generation Moto X has arrived. The handset is now available on the carrier's site for $99.99 with a two-year contract, though the price differs with other payment options depending on color. The site is showing the black one available for $24.99 a month with Verizon Edge or $499.99 outright.
Galaxy S4 Active users on AT&T, don't get too excited when you see a new software update message appear in your notification bar. This is a minor update with minor changes, and once you apply it the phone will still be running the same Android 4.4.2 build that you've had since June. According to an AT&T support page, the update includes just three things:
- Connectivity improvements related to receiving calls and text messaging
- Security patch
- Updated Google apps
We've got no idea what kind of updated Google apps Ma Bell put in there, since Google prefers to do its own updating via the Play Store these days.
Verizon has announced an over-the-air software update for the DROID DNA that's going to make a few users upset. There's no reason to wonder if this latest firmware version will make it more difficult to achieve root access, for the carrier has put this little tidbit of information towards the top of the change log. The second, and perhaps most interesting, item on the list reads: Device root vulnerability issue has been resolved.
Just like the original Moto X, AT&T customers were the first ones to get a taste of the new model on the customization site Moto Maker. But it looks like that carrier exclusivity isn't going to last anywhere near as long this time around: the official Verizon Wireless Twitter account said that Big Red versions would be available starting tomorrow. Just like the AT&T version, the on-contract model will cost $99.99 with a two-year commitment.
Samsung releases so many phones in so many variants that even professional gadget bloggers get turned around on occasion. But the folks on the CyanogenMod team are doing their best, bless 'em, and today's fruit of their labor is ROM support for an extra variant of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4. The most pertinent one for American readers is probably the G900-T, the Galaxy S5 model sold by T-Mobile as their branded version.