Well, seems like Google wasn't lying when they said they would continue to work on providing carrier billing as a payment option in the Android Market, announcing the addition of the feature to Sprint handsets, alongside T-Mobile and AT&T. With three out of four major US carriers down, will carrier billing be coming to Verizon any time soon?
The feature has long been the request of many customers across all carriers, particularly internationally. This is largely due to the fact that Google Checkout remains unavailable as a payment option in a number of major international markets in South America and Asia, where Android's popularity is rapidly growing.
2 of T-Mobile's most exciting devices that are arriving this month, the dual-core LG G2x and the Samsung Sidekick 4G, have just gone live on Wirefly's pre-order site. Wirefly, one of the largest online mobile retailers, is sweetening the deal on the G2x by $50 compared to MSRP and on the Sidekick 4G (pick black or pink) by $20.
Both devices come with free activation for the pre-order period and, of course, ship for free as well. Mark April 20th in your calendar if you make an order, as that's the date both of these bad boys are set to ship on.
If you head over to T-Mobile's site right now, you'll find the carrier has slashed its entire 4G Android lineup to the low, low price of free on any new two year agreement. Move quick if you want to take advantage of it, though - this sale ends at 3AM PST (April 13).
The XOOM's currently nonfunctional microSD card slot has likely turned off many a potential buyer, but – if you're willing to take your chances with unofficial software from the Android dev community – the problem has finally been solved.
The solution comes by way of an update to Tiamat, a custom kernel from XDA member bigrushdog. Installation is more or less identical to any other kernel, but if you need instructions, knock yourself out:
1. Reboot into the bootloader by running: adb reboot bootloader 2. Flash the boot image to your boot partition, then boot back into Android by running: fastboot flash boot boot.img fastboot reboot 3.
It seems like everyone is interested in getting into the cloud music game lately, doesn't it? Clearly Sprint wanted to jump on that bandwagon as well, because this morning it announced a new music service, powered by RealNetworks, called Sprint Music Plus.
SMP will reportedly be a one stop shop for all of your music, ringtone, and ringback needs, with playlist support and a full media library, both of which can be managed from the mobile device or the web interface (which I could find no trace of, so I'm assuming that this can only be accessed from within a Sprint account).
AT&T has kind of introduced two new LG Android powered smartphones into its lineup, set to appear on April 17th - the LG Thrive and LG Phoenix. I say "kind of" because, well, they're the same phone. The Thrive is a prepaid variant, while the Phoenix is a contract-only device.
Left: Thrive; Right: Phoenix
They're not really anything to brag about, but here are the specs:
3.2 Inch screen
160MB of user memory, 2GB SD card
I guess it's not too bad when you consider the off contract price of $180 for the Thrive (okay, yes it is.
HTC just announced via Twitter that the Sensation is a go - posting pictures on its Facebook page of the device at various seductive angles, as well as this video:
Did we mention it's coming to T-Mobile? And it'll be sporting an HSPA+ radio to take advantage of T-Mobile's 4G network. Unfortunately, it won't be available until this summer.
Earlier, Mobile Bulgaria (which, as of this writing, is down) stumbled upon a Vodafone product page for HTC's upcoming dual-core Android handset, the Sensation (aka the Pyramid). Availability for Europe and Asia will be throughout Q2 - no exact dates have been announced.
Boy Genius Report dropped a piece of information this afternoon confirming a long-standing suspicion that the Motorola XOOM will soon be available on America's most budget-friendly carrier, Sprint - and it'll be packing a WiMAX 4G radio.
The tip came via Sprint store employees, who found XOOM case SKUs in the Sprint inventory system, along with an actual case in an accessory shipment, as shown below.
Pricing has not yet been made public, but expect some kind of subsidy to be available with a 2-year agreement.
Is the WiMAX-ified XOOM just what you've been waiting for? Or do you like your XOOMs cheaper, contract-free, with only the wi-fize and fewer gee-beez?
Last we heard, Samsung's DROID Charge was scheduled to be released on April 7th - yesterday. Well needless to say, that date has come and gone without so much as a mention of Samsung's LTE handset; however, thanks to Sears, we now have a new timeline: April 14.
The leak also brings news that's bound to make HTC fans smile - the Incredible 2's release date has been rescheduled from April 28th to the 21st, a decidedly welcome change.
Finally, Sony Ericsson's Xperia PLAY is, apparently, still pegged for a 4/28 release, despite reported supply shortages.
Of course, all this info comes with a disclaimer - in the words of the leaked pamphlet itself, "[these] launch dates [are] subject to change." Still, it's refreshing to at least have a general idea of when these three smartphone behemoths will be available for purchase - that way, you can start preparing yourself and your camping materials for a long night outside your local Verizon store.
When we talk about the Federal Communications Commission, we usually do so in regards to a new and highly anticipated device they have just finished testing. Today, there is a little something different in the news regarding the FCC. On Thursday, the FCC made a couple of moves that have received mixed responses from the major wireless carriers.
The first order they passed was to establish a rule forcing carriers to allow competitors to send and receive data on their networks for an established price. This move means that no matter where you are outside of your carrier's network, you will have roaming data coverage.