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Carriers

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Verizon announces exclusive Wear24 Android Wear watch, $299 with new two-year activation

Google's premiere devices for Android Wear 2.0, the LG Watch Style and Sport, had details leaked well before the official announcement today. By contrast, Verizon's announcement comes as something of a surprise. In a blog post discussing how Verizon will offer the LG Watch Sport, the company also announced its own exclusive 'Wear24' smartwatch.

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Verizon is sending a free Daydream View headset to some Pixel customers whose orders were late

Because Google vastly underestimated the number of people who would want a Pixel smartphone, many had, or have had, delayed shipments - some up to 2 months - and other issues with actually getting their hands on the device they had purchased. Telus even sent out an email saying Google had stopped production, although this was later proved false. To make up for this, Verizon, the exclusive carrier for the Pixel, has started sending out Daydream View headsets to "a subset" of its customers.

For people who experienced late shipping on their Pixel (although it's not clear what exactly 'late' means in this context), they will receive a phone call from a number, (844) 340-4325, which is a third-party service being used by Verizon for this very purpose.

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[Bullshit Alert] No, Google has not stopped production of the Pixel

An alarming report was circulating the internet earlier today claiming that Google had stopped production of the Pixel and Pixel XL. Yeah, it didn't make a lot of sense, and indeed it appears to be incorrect. Google has confirmed the Pixel is still in production. You can put your pitchforks down now.

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Google Messenger RCS support is likely not in public testing for T-Mobile after all

Yesterday, we reported that T-Mobile was in the process of testing Google's/Jibe's RCS implementation. T-Mobile has had its own version of RCS (called Advanced Messaging) since 2015, but like most implementations of the RCS technology, it is not compatible across carriers like SMS.

T-Mobile implementing the Jibe Universal RCS Profile, which Sprint and (soon) Rogers support, would certainly be better for users than the current Advanced Messaging system. Unfortunately, there is no substantial evidence that it is happening at this point.

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The cheapest smartphone plans in the United States

Every day we seem to be inundated with ads about who has the absolute cheapest data plan. Online, television, billboards, junk mail, even old-fashioned radio - it seems I can't go five minutes without each carrier telling me how much cheaper they are than everyone else, going so far as to hire old Verizon spokesmen and make dubious claims about reliability.

You know what? To hell with all of that. I've looked at every smartphone plan from every nationwide carrier in the country, big and small, to find the absolute cheapest plans. Let's pinch some freakin' pennies.

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RCS support in Messenger going live for some T-Mobile users

RCS, short for Rich Communication Services, has been aiming to replace SMS for years. But unlike the universal SMS standard, there are multiple RCS implementations that don't work with each other. Google has been trying to solve this, by adding RCS support to Google Messenger and working with carriers to implement Jibe's 'Universal RCS Profile.'

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T-Mobile will now return sales tax to customers who purchase a new smartphone

T-Mobile is pretty hot on saving its customers money, especially if the company can create positive PR about it (which it's pretty good at, all things being said). The latest scheme takes that dreaded word, 'taxes' and tries to at least make it tolerable by returning sales tax to you when new and existing customers buy a new smartphone.

Obviously this is a pretty big win for T-Mobile. It goes hand-in-hand with the ONE program the carrier offers, which includes taxes and other monthly fees in the price of the plan, unlike other networks who tag those fees on after the fact.

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New customers can get unlimited data, calls, and texts for $50 on Sprint

In the words of Sprint, it's "doubling down" on unlimited. However much everyone now hates that phrase, this is probably good news. Unlimited data, calls, and texts are scarce nowadays, whereas Sprint is charging just $50 a month (for comparison, the 5GB data deal on Verizon is also $50 per month). Pretty good.

The sad news is this deal is only for new customers. Sorry, people already on Sprint - your time will come.

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Cricket Wireless is increasing available data on several plans, offering deals on new phones

Cricket Wireless is one of many MVNOs in the United States, offering a variety of pre-paid wireless plans using AT&T's network. Back in October, the carrier began offering a temporary $50/month deal that covered 8GB of high-speed data. Not only is that promotion becoming permanent, but Cricket is changing some of its other plans to offer more data.

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Verizon announces $15/month Unlimited Together plan for unlimited international minutes

With services like Skype, Hangouts, and even Duo, people can easily communicate with each other all across the world without the expensive fees that internationally calling can easily incur. Still, if you have the need to contact people with plain old phones, Verizon is making it slightly easier to do so.

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