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DIRECTV NOW gets a dedicated Android app, right on schedule

Eager to get a slice of the growing cord-cutter pie, AT&T and DirecTV announced their own web-based premium TV service earlier this week. DIRECTV NOW officially launches today, so it's good to see that the service gets Android support immediately. The app is free and works with phones and tablets running Android 4.4 or higher. Sadly it's not compatible with Android TV, though Chromecast streaming is available on all videos.

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[Deal Alert] Save up to $250 on unlocked, carrier, and dual SIM models of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

If you closely follow smartphone deals, you know that the US unlocked models of Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge don't often go on sale. However, for Black Friday, several retailers are handing some pretty nice discounts and freebies out for them. We're also seeing some discounts on American carrier and international dual SIM models.

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[Deal Alert] Save up to $500 on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, LG G5, Moto Z Droid, and more at Best Buy

In the market for a new phone? If you're on AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, Best Buy may have some deals worth looking at. Some of these offers can get a little confusing between all the different carriers and options, so try to hang on.

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The Blue Coral Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is now available at the big 4 US carriers

Samsung launched the Note7 a few months ago with a lovely blue color option. Sadly, that phone was cancelled due to the defective battery issues. That left everyone with no way to get that nice blue phone, until now. The previously announced Blue Coral GS7 Edge is now live on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. It didn't take as long as we expected.

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AT&T announces Stream Saver, caps streaming video at 480p but still counts usage against your plan

T-Mobile's Binge On program has become extremely popular, despite its disadvantages. If you're not familiar, Binge On doesn't charge you for data used by certain video and audio streaming sites, but with video quality capped to about 480p. AT&T today announced Stream Saver, which sounds like the company's response to Binge On.

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AT&T GoPhone plans will have more high-speed data, starting Friday

 

AT&T announced today that customers on their GoPhone $45 and $60 monthly plans will have a greater LTE data cap, starting this Friday (November 11). The plan prices already go down to $40/month and $55/month after enabling AutoPay.

The $40/month plan will now get 4GB of LTE data, up from the current 3GB. The $55/month plan is jumping up to 8GB of LTE data, previously only 6GB. After you run through that, you will be limited to 128kb/s speeds. Both plans have unlimited talk and text in the United States and rollover data.

AT&T is also offering deals on GoPhone-compatible devices. You can get a ZTE Maven 2 for free (from Nov 11 until Dec 31) when activating a new line and paying $30 for the service.

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The RCS Mirage: "Advanced Messaging" is a mess in the US, and Google's "standard" is just one more

There has been much noise made about Google's launch of its RCS messaging platform via the Messenger app on Sprint today. Sprint announced it would support Google's RCS platform, formerly known as Jibe, back in February, though, and remains the only US provider to do so.

But T-Mobile and AT&T have launched RCS messaging, right? Yes. But their versions don't work with Google's (Sprint's) RCS. And AT&T's RCS messaging doesn't work with T-Mobile's, and vice versa. And there's no indication that this will change any time soon. While both T-Mobile and AT&T have signed on to the GSMA's soon-to-be-published intercompatible RCS messaging standard, carriers seem much more interested in making "advanced messaging" a carrier feature rather than the universal SMS replacement it was developed to be.

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AT&T will offer screen repairs for select devices, starting on November 15

Breaking your phone or tablet is never fun, especially when it means hunting down a questionable repair store to get it fixed. If you are an AT&T customer with one of the carrier's device insurance plans, you're in luck. Starting November 15, you will be able to get your device's screen repaired through AT&T.

The new repair service is available to everyone on AT&T with the Mobile Insurance, Mobile Protection Pack, Mobile Protection Pack for Business, or Multi-Device Protection Pack programs. Once you fork over the $89 deductible, a certified technician from Asurion will come to you and fix your device on the spot. AT&T also offers a 12-month warranty on all repairs.

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AT&T updates the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, adds NumberSync support

The first-generation Galaxy Tab S hails from a time when Samsung was still using swipe-based fingerprint scanners - yeah, it's that old. Just look at that stock wallpaper; Galaxy S5 flashbacks, anyone? Around three weeks ago, Verizon updated its 10.5" Tab S to Marshmallow, and now AT&T is doing the same. The Death Star is also throwing in support for NumberSync.

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AT&T is the first US operator to halt all sales of the "safe" Galaxy Note7

AT&T, speaking to The Verge, has confirmed the US's second-largest mobile operator will no longer sell the Galaxy Note7 smartphone because of recent incidents with units catching fire (i.e., on planes). AT&T did not provide any window as to when or if sales might resume, but you can probably assume the halt is indefinite, contingent upon the result of Samsung and various agencies' investigations. Bloomberg reported AT&T was considering the move on Friday.

AT&T will no longer provide "safe" replacements to owners of the original defective Note7, either. Customers coming in with a Note7 eligible for the first recall will have to choose another device.

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