The Galaxy S II Skyrocket, AT&T's first LTE phone, was released a little over three years ago. During its lifetime, it had pretty good support from Samsung regarding Android version updates. It launched with Gingerbread, and got subsequent bumps to Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean 4.1. That OTA to Jelly Bean was the last time the phone saw any kind of software update, and that was 19 months ago. With that in mind, AT&T apparently can't let its first LTE love go because, out of nowhere, Samsung has announced a new software update for the aging device.
Now that the Nexus 6 has launched on three of the five announced carriers, it's time to do a little comparison. Nexus hardcores like their device pure, unlocked, and free of all carrier intervention and bloatware. The problem is, Google Play and Motorola both only sell the device at full price, which starts at $649 USD for a 32 GB model. A lot of people will no-doubt find it difficult to come up with that kind of cash all at once.
It's getting to be the time of year that retailers pull out all the stops and try to make some cash. Amazon in particular needs to make up some ground after that Fire Phone fiasco. Well, you can reap the rewards now with some solid deals on phones from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. These are on-contract sales, but you can't get too upset about a $1 phone.
If you're the owner of an AT&T-branded Nexus 6, and don't want to be, you're in luck. With root, a plastic fork, and a little bit of time, you can remove all of the assorted goodies that the carrier has added and make your Nexus 6 exactly like everyone else's.
Rear Logo Removal
YouTube user Craig Phillips has put up a video showing that the logo on the back of the phone can be easily removed using some kind of sharp object.
Update: Motorola has responded, claiming the blame lies with them for the situation - they mailed a number of Nexus 6s with incorrect firmware that would cause the phone to fail to start up properly. Pre-order customers are those most likely to be affected, and those persons will have an opportunity to replace their devices. Here's the full statement:
After last night's news that the AT&T-sold Nexus 6 has the carrier's logo on the back of the device as well as the boot screen, you just knew there was more to come, right? Well, that time is upon us. It appears that the carrier's Nexus 6 variant is SIM-locked, won't let you tether without verifying your subscription status, and has AT&T's suite of ringtones as well.
It should be noted that none of these things mean that AT&T has a different ROM than any other Nexus 6 - quite the contrary, in fact.
If you're the owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for AT&T, you should be getting your Android 4.4.4 OTA update starting today. This will bring you up from Android 4.4.2, and Samsung has packed in a few extras with this 459MB OTA, as well. Namely: Kid mode, SideSync 3.0, Knox 2.0, virtual tour mode in the camera app, and some updated AT&T bloatware.
The Uber app has been added to the list of things-AT&T-won't-let-you-uninstall, and I imagine there are a boatload of bug-fixes and the standard exploit patches you would expect in an OTA of this magnitude.
I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. Thanks to posts from XDA forum members ald9351 and HCdroid, we now know that the picture AT&T posted with a globe on the back of the device was not just the work of an overzealous graphic artist. Here she is in all her glory misery.
To "boot" (pun intended), Big Blue has put its logo and jingle on the boot screen (displaying for a few seconds before the stock Android boot animation).
For a limited time, AT&T is willing to offer Mobile Share Value customers 15GB of data for the current price of 10GB. The rate is what many of us in the business would refer to as still not cheap. To get this discount, folks have to pay $100 a month plus their device access charges, which ranges from an extra $15 - $40 per phone depending on whether you're going the BYOD, Next, or on-contract route.