We have known for some time about a high-end 3D smartphone from LG that was among the manufacturer's upcoming high-end releases. Up to this point, the glasses-free phone had been referred to as the LG Optimus 3D and (along with the G2x and the G-Slate on T-Mobile) we knew it would be hitting shelves within the next several months. While the release date is still a mystery, we now know that it will be known as the LG Thrill 4G and will be exclusive (at least at launch) to AT&T in the US.
In a move that comes way out of left field, AT&T and T-Mobile officially announced today that the former will be buying the latter for $39 billion. This is contrary to what we've been hearing around the 'net that Sprint was the one likely to be making the purchase, but in some ways, a merger with AT&T does make more sense.
For starters, AT&T and T-Mobile both use GSM, while Sprint relies on CDMA.
AT&T users who have been tethering their phones' data plans under the radar (either using MyWi on a jailbroken iPhone, or one of many apps like Wireless Tether for Root Users on a rooted Android phone) have been receiving a little nudge from AT&T asking them to sign up for a tethering plan - or face possibly getting signed up for it without consent.
In a lengthy email, AT&T writes "Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T’s mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information.
They say "talk is cheap" - and these days it seems like every major US wireless carrier is claiming to have the fastest 4G (of course 4G is a highly debatable marketing term that describes three vastly different networks, but that's fodder for another post altogether). It's relatively easy to tune all of the marketing hype out but, when presented with some solid numbers, it gets easier to pay attention. PC World has tried to give us some raw data to work with in their profiling of the data speeds on the four major providers.
AT&T points out that the speeds were not "capped," but are simply not HSUPA-capable. While this does accurately reflect that the carrier was not intentionally throttling data speeds, it seems to only distract from the fact that, on the customer's end, the result is the same.
4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays.
At the leading edge of this new wave of dual-core superphones is the Motorola Atrix. One of the major innovations of this device, besides the next-level processing power and fingerprint scanner, is Webtop - the desktop-style interface available when the Atrix is docked. By plugging into the HD multimedia or laptop dock (sold separately of course), you can interact with the phone on a larger display while using an internet browser, file explorer and Facebook in a pseudo-desktop environment.
Just as promised, AT&T unleashed the Froyo update for the HTC Aria today. They provided a link to HTC's official download site, complete with instructions for applying the update and a warning that application will result in a hard reset of your phone. The mandatory reset does seem like a great idea, as the issues that plagued the Epic Froyo update were reportedly solved via a hard reset.
There hasn't been any word of major issues with the update - in fact, some users are praising it on AT&T's Facebook page, though this may be due to the small number of people who have actually gotten their hands on it.
We've already seen some surprisingly hot deals on the powerhouse of a phone that is the Atrix 4G, but LetsTalk/Walmart Wireless' latest offer tops everything. Thanks to them, you can now snag both the Atrix 4G and its laptop dock for just $250 - half of AT&T's price.
It looks like the Captivate is the next domino to fall, much as expected: AT&T just confirmed via twitter that the Froyo update is now available for Captivate owners through Kies Mini. Similarly, that support page we stumbled upon last week before being pulled has gone back up, and it looks just like it did then.
Obviously as the update is done through Kies Mini, you'll need that to start.