Verizon Wireless and AOL are about to become siblings. Verizon Communications (of which Verizon Wireless is a subsidiary) announced today that it is buying the latter for $4.4 billion. And no, it's not for the dial-up subscribers.
Love or hate it, Verizon offers the strongest mobile network in the US, and it's one of the top broadband providers. In a future where people will stream more and more of their media over the web to an increasingly diverse range of gadgets, Verizon clearly has a role to play.
It's a regular rite of passage for new Android phones: most flagships get the root treatment within a day or two of being released, allowing power users access to tools and apps that most people aren't all that interested in. But there are some exceptions, namely those draconian carriers who insist upon locking the bootloader of their Android devices. Their reasons for doing so could charitably be described as "bull hockey," but they're pretty effective: it's sometimes months or years before these phones get rooted, if they do get rooted at all.
If nothing else, T-Mobile is America's top carrier for keeping things interesting. Responding to Verizon's recent ad campaign, which has the slogan "Never Settle," they say Verizon is right. According to T-Mobile, customers should not settle, which is why they should try out the "Uncarrier." To back up the claim, they are starting a promotional 14-day free trial period for any Verizon customer.
The "Never Settle Trial" will only be available from May 13 to May 31 and lasts for 14 days after sign-up.
Repeating a promotion offered last year, T-Mobile is giving a big gift to their baseball fan subscribers. MLB's excellent At Bat app has pretty desirable premium features, but they come at a steep price of $20. For T-Mobile subscribers, those premium features are going to be free.
The way it works is that you will have to download the app from T-Mobile's mobile network and complete the sign-up process. Once the app has recognized that you're a subscriber, the premium features should show up for free and you will have no restrictions through the end of the season.
It looks like after years and years of lethargic updates, Android manufacturers are finally starting to recognize the value of speedy upgrades (at least for flagship models). Case in point: the Galaxy S6 Edge launched just a few weeks ago with Android 5.0, and at least one version is already getting a 5.1 update. The T-Mobile version, specifically - SamMobile reports that some owners are seeing the update as of today, including one who posted the updated software to YouTube.