It's almost like the big US carriers are competing for your business all of a sudden. How quaint. AT&T is hoping to lure some new customers by bringing back the $100 bill credit, but only if you sign up for AT&T next.
Not all updates are created equal. Some are the kind that keep us up at night, leaving us banging on the virtual update button in hopes that it will appear. Others, well, if they had slipped in under the radar, we wouldn't have noticed a difference. AT&T's latest Galaxy S5 update is one of those. This over-the-air software (version G900AUCU2ANG3) bump provides a number of minor enhancements and security patches that, while dandy, aren't the equivalent of putting new rims on that ride.
I used the Motorola DROID RAZR M as my primary phone for over six months. I was in between jobs, my not-so-trusty Galaxy Nexus had been smashed, and I knew from previous experience that Motorola's resurrected RAZR line had tough builds and good radios. While it was ostensibly a "budget phone," that ugly little DROID RAZR M was the most reliable Android device I had ever owned. When I got back on my feet, I skipped flagships from Samsung, LG, and HTC, and went straight for Motorola's next DROID phone.
A number of HTC One M8 owners running on AT&T's network have started to receive an over-the-air software update delivering Android 4.4.3 to their devices. It doesn't bring about a big visual change for a flagship phone that already launched with KitKat, but the number of optimizations and security fixes contained within this release make it something worth downloading. Well, there's that, and there's the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from running a newer version of Android.
Remember when T-Mobile announced plans that included Music Freedom, which let users stream music from certain services without impacting their wireless data limits? Remember when it didn't include [insert your music streaming service of choice here], so you ignored it? Actually that isn't quite fair: Music Freedom support currently includes Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio, which are the heavy hitters in the industry. But it's hard to deny that a lack of support for Google Play Music was kind of disheartening.
Even if you don't talk on the phone a lot, VoLTE is going to be a thing that you want. Replacing the old 3G standards for voice will mean one less radio always sucking down power in your device when you're in an LTE area. Verizon (as well as other carriers) is already testing VoLTE on some of its devices, and it apparently also intends to build video calling into VoLTE-capable phones as part of its so-called "Advanced Calling 1.0" initiative in the coming weeks.
Not content to fire back at the competition with just one volley, the company has continued its barrage with two new announcements. For starters, it's opening up family plans from a limit of five to up to ten lines. For most of us, that inherently means we're going to have to look outside of our immediate families to hit the max. It's time to get grandma a smartphone, call up that cheap uncle, and bring in a couple of college-bound cousins.
Thanks to an awesome, understated design and (eventually) a competitive price, the Moto X has quietly become a favorite among discerning Android users. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Motorola has wasted no time in bringing the latest Android updates to its compact little flagship. Today Sprint's version of the Moto X gets upgraded to Android 4.4.4, up from the 4.4.3 build released in June.
Sprint isn't the last of the "big four" carriers to release its Moto X 4.4.4 update: technically AT&T is still soak testing their release.
Remember that Sprint and T-Mobile price war we mentioned? Yeah, things are continuing to get better. Today T-Mobile has announced an add-on to its Simple Starter plan that will significantly increase how much LTE data customers can use. For an extra $5 a month, they can bump their allotment up from 500 MB to 2GB. This amounts to four times the data, and it manages to beat out the 1GB of LTE allowed under T-Mobile's $50 Simple Choice plan.
Those of you with a tough-as-nails Galaxy S5 Active for AT&T are probably wondering when your phones will be updated to Android 4.4.4. And you can keep on wondering, because the latest over-the-air update from Samsung keeps the phone on the same 4.4.2 build it had when it was released three months ago. But it does add... uh, some user interface changes in the default email app? Roll out the barrels!