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!
Pricing changes don't usually happen this fast in the wireless industry. It seems like T-Mobile and Sprint both have multiple contingencies in place to attack one another based on what goes down each day. Following T-Mobile's announcement of the free LTE upgrade for one year, Sprint has revealed a new unlimited data plan that's only $60 per month. There are a few caveats, though.
T-Mobile has really been stepping up the rhetoric against Sprint since the backroom acquisition deal allegedly fell through a few weeks ago. T-Mobile's latest promotion takes direct aim at the Now Network, but it targets the other big carriers too. Starting next week, if you bring a friend over to T-Mobile on a Simple Choice plan, you and they both get a free upgrade to unlimited LTE for one year. Also, there will be awkward dancing, if T-Mobile's promo image is to be believed.
Update 2: Amir Efrati, author of The Information's report, says Verizon is a lying piece of crap:
1/ Verizon playing a semantics game. $VZ is attempting to build a coalition of partners + a product that's more than traditional app store
— Amir Efrati (@amir) August 20, 2014
Efrati goes on to write that they know for a fact Verizon has been probing carriers, OEMs, and developers about its own Google Play alternative.
If you hopped on the I want a really big HTC phone train, then you probably have a One Max. If that One Max also happens to be on Verizon, it's time to start checking for updates, because Sense 6 is rolling out now. Woo for you.
Image via XDA
This update doesn't appear to have much else going for it, as the device is already running Android 4.4.2, but I guess a major revision to the custom skin is nothing to scoff at.