Listen, I don't really have a problem with Binge On itself - it's a pretty nifty value-add for T-Mobile customers that allows them to throttle all their video streamed over mobile data to 480p, in exchange for some of that video (Binge On partner services, like Netflix, but notably not YouTube) not counting against their plan's data cap. I consider this a "pretty fair deal." In exchange for reducing the burden of video bandwidth on T-Mobile's network, you get to stream all the [partnered] OK-quality video you want. It's nice!
But T-Mobile has come under fire - and I think rightly so - for the fact that Binge On is an opt-out service that does not explicitly disclose to subscribers just what they've automatically signed up for. Read More
AT&T has sent out an internal communique to employees today that signals a change in the way the carrier sells devices. It's getting with the times and ditching the two-year contracts that used to be standard for the US wireless industry. The change happens on January 8th, so you'll want to hurry if you were planning to get a phone on contract for some reason. Read More
T-Mobile has made some big changes in the last few years, but the way it manages data caps has worried some net neutrality advocates. Its last big announcement was Binge On, which exempts services like Netflix, Hulu, and others from data caps, but YouTube has now started complaining that T-Mobile throttles all video regardless of its participation in the program. Read More
It seemed a little odd that Google's first-party extended warranty program, Nexus Protect, didn't work with Google's own MVNO effort, Project Fi, when it was announced. New buyers of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P could apply the Nexus Protect warranty to their phones if they bought them from the Google Store, but not through the Project Fi site. Now it looks like that lack of synergy has been rectified: Nexus Protect, or at least something very much like it, is available with new phone purchases from Fi. Read More
A Project Fi support page for tablets and "other compatible devices" has just gone live, and it spills all the juicy details of the very-soon-to-launch (we assume) feature on Google's MVNO. The best part? The money: it costs nothing to add a tablet to your Project Fi plan. There is no monthly device fee, and it doesn't even appear that Google is charging for SIMs, though we've yet to verify that. Read More
AT&T announced NumberSync a few weeks ago, and now the first wearable device with support for the feature is ready. The Gear S2, which already launched, can now work on the same line as your smartphone thanks to NumberSync. AT&T is offering the Gear S2 for $99 on a two-year contract as well. Read More
T-Mobile customers may or may not be using the company's official Android app, which allows users to view remaining minutes and data, pay bills, and manage their accounts - since the company has been attracting so many "bring your own device" customers lately, they might not even be aware of it. But the My Account app is due for a substantial update very soon, at least if a newly-leaked APK file is anything to go by. After an employee tipped the new app for a December 10th launch (which obviously didn't happen), posters at the T-Mobile Reddit page have been dissecting a leaked version; that's where the screenshots below came from. Read More
In the tech press, it's easy for us to regurgitate the advertising material that all of the major carriers and companies want potential customers to hear. It's more challenging to hear the voices of the people who find themselves taken advantage of by corporate practices. This work generally falls to unions and advocacy groups that do the research and speak out on their behalf.
Change to Win, a federation of unions that claims to represent over 5.5 million workers, has recently issued a 27-page report called Unmasking the Un-Carrier along with a general summary that takes aim at T-Mobile. Read More
Verizon is already licensing the DROID name from Disney/Lucasfilm, so might as well go all out with the new film coming in exactly a week, right? Starting today, you can get a special edition Star Wars DROID Turbo 2 at no extra cost. Verizon offers customization options for the DROID Turbo 2 this year via the Moto Maker shop, and that's how the "special edition" phones are handled. Read More
The SmartWatch 3 was never the most distinguished wristwatch. James Bond may carry around an Xperia phone, but not even Sony can get him to travel the world with so much plastic wrapped around his wrist. Read More