Think of Sprint as the Little Engine That Could. It's tinkered with 4G perhaps longer than any of America's other major carriers, but it has little to show for it. There are large swaths of the country that don't have LTE coverage and the speeds aren't necessarily that fast in the areas that do. Still, those of us on Sprint's network must hold on to hope. The company is hard at work, and today they've announced the availability of 4G LTE in 41 new markets.
A few of our European readers might have discovered this already, but Google's Carrier Billing page for the Play Store was updated yesterday. According to the additions, Android users on the Bouygues carrier in France and Play (the carrier, not the store) in Poland should now be able to buy apps and media via their phone bill. We've reached out to Google for confirmation and haven't heard back, but a post to this list is usually conclusive.
If you updated your Verizon Galaxy S4 to the latest over-the-air build, or bought one after it was already installed, you might already be aware that it's been especially resistant to root attempts. Savvy power users have stayed well away from the updated VRUAME7 firmware, which makes rolling back to an earlier build impossible. But as is so often the case, two enterprising XDA-Developers posters have solved at least some of the problems, and released a new rooting method for the latest OTA.
For many power users, 16GB just doesn't cut it any more, especially when the world's leading smartphone manufacturer insists upon using a third of that for its customized Android build. Combine that with a still-outrageous premium for those few models that of phones that include extra storage, and you've got a recipe for frustration. But the Galaxy S4 situation just got a little less rage-inducing, at least if you're a prospective Verizon customer: both Amazon Wireless and WireFly have dropped the 32GB version of the Galaxy S4 to $199.99 on-contract.
If you're on The Now Network and looking for a new phone, you'd be hard-pressed to find one better than the Galaxy S4 (with one exception, depending on your personal preference). And in keeping with their tradition of rock-bottom prices at surprisingly fast intervals, Amazon Wireless is now offering the 16GB model for just $99.99 on-contract, to both new customers and existing subscribers adding a line.
Activation is free for new Sprint customers, as is two-day shipping (even without an Amazon Prime account).
We've already seen plenty of HTC's One Mini for AT&T in the flesh, but a blurrycam can only go so far. Tonight, we've got one more treat – a crisp, clear press shot of the device.
While the shot doesn't hold much more information than what we already saw in our exclusive photos recently, it's interesting that the Beats Audio logo isn't sporting its typical red brand color (though the same is true for the press shots that have been released).
As previously leaked, Verizon has a new mahogany hue for its Samsung Galaxy S4, and it's also showing up on Best Buy's site. The 16GB brown version is now available online only, at the same $199 on-contract and $649 off-contract prices as the black and white versions. But wait, those preview shots on the Verizon home page look a little... off.
Compare the brown in the screenshot above to the much more subtle brown in the Evleaks press shot, to say nothing of the fact that only the front of the device is actually brown.
This is definitely one of the highlights of today's Nexus 7 presentation for me: multi-network LTE support in one device. No mucking about with carrier-specific models. This is really great, assuming your carrier is supported.
The new Nexus 7, if you opt for the LTE model, will support LTE data connectivity on AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. That's just kind of awesome. There are some potential caveats, though. Google did not elaborate on which frequencies were specifically supported, or if 3G support would be available on all three networks.
AT&T is rapidly expanding its 4G LTE availability, pumping billions into the effort as it seeks to upgrade most of its network. Now the cellular provider has introduced zippier speeds to the the eight new markets listed below, along with five additional expansions. The new markets are concentrated predominantly in Alabama, California, and a couple states in the Northeast.
- Greenville, AL
- Troy, AL
- Madera-Chowchilla, CA
- Merced, CA
- Vallejo-Vacaville, CA
- New London County, CT
- Sussex County, DE
- Columbia, MO
The five new expansions are spread all across the country, including locations on the both coasts and one state in between.
As with some previous Verizon flagship devices, employees are being given a customized version of the new Motorola DROID Ultra. Well, "given" may be too strong a word - they get a reduced $99 price ($100 off) with a two-year contract. Verizon will also throw in some DROID-branded accessories, namely a free case and some SOL Republic JAX earbuds. Droid-Life spotted the Employee Edition, presumably on an internal store, set to ship on August 20th with the other DROIDs.