As mobile bloggers, watching national carriers with revenue in the billions snip at each other like gossiping high school students is the closest thing we have to a spectator sport. Between Sprint hiring Verizon's old spokesman, T-Mobile continuing its cloying David-versus-Goliath narrative, and Verizon using textbook straw man attacks against both of them in all those Jaime Foxx spots, we can hardly make the popcorn fast enough.
Every couple of months or so, T-Mobile CEO John Legere emerges from his fortress of solitude to directly address mobile consumers with a rant against his competitors. This time he's addressing specific points from Verizon's latest ad campaign. Read More
T-Mobile is planning to release an over-the-air update to T-Mobile-branded Galaxy Note7 devices tomorrow that will limit their maximum battery capacity to 60%. The OTA will be released beginning at 12:01AM (time zone unclear) tomorrow, November 5th. It is unclear if T-Mobile or Samsung are utilizing any features to "force" the OTA to install without explicit user authorization, but the rollout at midnight when most owners would be asleep and their phones charging would be about the best time to try something like that. An internal memo, below, details just how the update will work. Read 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. Read More
The ultimate goal of RCS is to completely replace SMS, but moving the millions of daily SMS users away is no small feat. Yesterday, we posted that RCS support was being rolled out to some Messenger users on Sprint and Project Fi. Now Google has made the feature official, and should be available to all Sprint customers starting today. Read More
John Legere is well-known for being a rather unconventional CEO, and the Pixel promo that T-Mobile took the wraps off of last week had Legere stamped all over it (it was essentially the equivalent of spitting in Verizon's face). The $325 bill credit for having a Pixel on T-Mobile seemed like a sweet deal at first glance, but it required customers to be on the carrier's controversial, "unlimited" ONE plan.
We first heard about T-Mobile extending the offer to non-ONE customers when a reader tipped us with a thread from the Pixel subreddit (thanks, Alex!), but nothing was official. However, T-Mobile has just updated its promo's press release to indicate that Simple Choice unlimited customers are now eligible for this offer as well. Read More
Project Fi subscribers are getting a new tool to track data usage today. A post in the Fi sub-Reddit by the verified Google community manager account says data tracking will now update live, and that usage will be broken out by app. It's all live right now—just open the app and check it out. Read More
The new Moto Z line is divisive. It's probably the best example in a limited field of new "modular" phones, consisting of only the Z variants and LG's G5... and LG already dropped the modular design for its more recent V20. But if you've been eying either the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid (or the Moto Z Force Droid with a bigger battery) or the unlocked Moto Z, the sticker shock of the phones and the Moto Mod add-ons may have been a disincentive. Now Motorola is giving a generous $150 off all of them on its web store. Read More
For years, Google's Nexus line could be counted on for one thing, an unlockable bootloader. While carriers have occasionally had limited freedom to defile customize certain models sold through their service, owners were at least free to either modify the stock software or completely replace it with custom builds.
It goes without saying people were more than a little disheartened to learn Google's second attempt to team up with US carrier Verizon lead to yet another disappointing result: the Google Pixels sold through VZW have non-unlockable bootloaders. In fact, there are at least two carriers selling non-unlockable Pixels. The other is EE Limited (formerly Everything Everywhere) in the UK. Read More
Verizon exclusive? Ha! After CEO John Legere teased some sort of Pixel offer yesterday, T-Mobile has taken the wraps off an offer for the new Google Pixel; if you bring a Pixel to T-Mo, you can get $325 in bill credits back. If you've been on the fence about either T-Mobile or the Pixel, this may sway your decision. Read More