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Carriers

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Samsung announces its own RCS service, will be intercompatible with other RCS clouds

RCS is designed as the (eventual) successor to SMS and MMS, but it's a bit of a mess right now. Several carriers have their own implementations of the standard, often incompatible with each other. Google's Jibe RCS Cloud is quickly gaining ground, but there's still only one US carrier supporting it - Sprint. Now Samsung has announced its own RCS cloud.

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17 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (2/14/17 - 2/27/17)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Apps

BatON

Android Police coverage: BatON is an app that tries to show the battery level of connected Bluetooth devices, despite Android's limitation in this area

Bluetooth, as a wireless standard, is working on its fifth major revision.

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T-Mobile will offer a free extra line to customers with two or more lines starting March 1st

T-Mobile is no stranger to making big moves in order to attract new sign-ups. That's been its MO for the last few years as it slowly leaches subscribers away from the other carriers. Tmo's service hasn't been as good of a deal lately, but there's a very intriguing promotion starting March 1st. T-Mobile will give most subscribers a free line.

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Cricket Wireless introduces Stream More forced standard def video, will start throttling Unlimited plans after 22GB

Cricket giveth and Cricket taketh away. It was only a month away that it increased data allotments on its plans, and now the wireless MVNO is following in the footsteps of the bigger networks with a few announcements, which in this case, might be a little to the detriment of its customers.

First, Cricket is introducing its own version of T-Mo's Binge On, called Stream More. It will stream all HD video at standard definition and will start rolling automatically to users over the next months. Users will be notified with an SMS when it's activated for them and they can disable and enable it through their Cricket account.

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AT&T tweaks its unlimited data to be more competitive, including tethering and a $60 low-speed option

After years of prodding from T-Mobile and Sprint, Verizon finally started offering unlimited data plans again, which in turn caused AT&T to give up its petty Monopoly game and offer its own unlimited plan to everyone, not just DirecTV customers. But when the dust settled, AT&T was still offering the most expensive unlimited data in the country, and consumer advocates (including this very site) were quick to point out that it was a bad deal. Today the carrier is adjusting its primary data plan with a lower price and included tethered data, and adding a cheaper option for good measure.

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[Update: Carrier availability] LG announces the G6: 5.7" 18:9 screen, Snapdragon 821, Android 7.1, and dual-13MP cameras

LG announced the G6 in Barcelona at MWC 2017 today, confirming the heavily leaked handset's existence. Specifications are largely as expected, but LG has not announced specific pricing or availability information today. (For the US, you can probably expect that news to come via individual carriers, not LG.) The phone will come in three colors - white, silver, and black.

The G6's 5.7" QHD (2880x1440, 564PPI) LCD display - with HDR10 and Dolby Vision support - is configured in an 18:9 aspect ratio, making the phone actually slightly slimmer than the outgoing G5, while the display itself grows taller.

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AT&T customers buying a Galaxy S7 or LG G5 can get another one on a new line for free

Do you like free stuff? Of course you do, and AT&T knows it. The company has announced its first 'BOGO' (Buy One, Get One) program of the year, allowing customers to buy one of three smartphones and get another one on a new line for free.

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Verizon's Motorola DROID Turbo 2 is now receiving its Nougat update

Verizon phones, especially exclusives like those sold under the DROID brand, don't have a very good reputation for quick updates. The most notable offender of this, the DROID Turbo, took until December of 2016 just to get an official Android 6.0 Marshmallow update. However, the Turbo 2's Nougat update is here, and thankfully, it didn't take nearly as long.

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Google announces RCS support for Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe subscribers

Late last year, Google announced that Sprint would be the first carrier to use its Jibe RCS Cloud platform. Several more carriers have joined since then, including Rogers in Canada and Telanor in Europe and Asia. In a blog post from Google, the company announced that Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe will be rolling out Jibe RCS to their customers.

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U.S. Cellular introduces new Total Plans with No Hidden Fees, includes an unlimited option

Hoping to jump on the recently resurrected unlimited bandwagon, U.S. Cellular has announced its new Total Plans with No Hidden Fees. This means that each plan has no activation fees, no monthly device connection charges, and no upgrade or overage costs. Better yet, there is now an unlimited data option which means we have one more to add to our list.

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