Full disclosure - Ting is my mobile provider of choice. I may write about the constant tug-of-war between the big four American carriers, but at the end of the day, I refuse to sign a two-year contract with anyone, and T-Mobile has precisely zero coverage in the drastically non-urban corner of the US that I'm from. Thankfully, I have options. Ting is celebrating its two-year anniversary this week, and it's doing so by slashing its data prices.
Sprint has been marketing push-to-talk functionality (a walkie-talkie style function that's popular with business users) since long before Android came into being. Though the feature isn't nearly as common as it once was, Sprint seems ready to keep it going with an update to the official Android app. The Direct Connect service is now compatible with a handful of new phones, most notably headliners like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, and LG G2.
AT&T will be offering a new type of family plan starting tomorrow (February 2nd) that could save you a bit of cash. The Mobile Share Value Plan includes 10GB of shared data with unlimited talk/text and starts at $130 for 2 lines, and each line you add only bumps the price up $15. Just about anyone can switch to this plan, but AT&T does have an ulterior motive – these new plans are probably designed to get customers off the phone subsidy gravy train.
Here's a refreshing change of pace for Android users eager to get their over-the-air updates. According to this Sprint support page, the Android 4.4 update for the HTC One is available for customers right now. But strangely, it's not going out in the usual method - users will need to initiate a manual update request in order to pull it down. If you're an Android regular, you know how this goes: check the About Phone section of the Settings menu to see if there's an update available.
If you're in the market for a no-contract cell phone and you want unlimited data, your options aren't exactly legion. Today US Cellular announced one more, albeit with some big drawbacks in the small print. For a limited time, you can pick up a new no-contract phone and enjoy unlimited talk minutes, texting and data for $50 a month. That's the same price as the carrier's current 1GB plan.
As with US Cellular's previous plans, "unlimited" only means "unlimited" in the very selective way that some carriers use the term.
It's been a tumultuous ride with the red Nexus 5. At first it sounded unlikely with little more than rumors and suspect renders to go on, then multiple images appeared. The red Nexus 5 seems like a real thing now, but the date has been a mystery thus far. A tipster just provided us with a pic from Sprint's internal documentation informing employees that a red Nexus 5 will be hitting Google Play on February 4th.
That hotly anticipated Android 4.2.2 update for the AT&T HTC One was approved for distribution yesterday, but now it's reportedly hitting devices. Users on XDA report that a small 16MB update is showing up first, then sometime later, the big 537MB update to Android 4.2.2 appears.
AT&T and T-Mobile have been at each other's throats for a while now, and while it should come as no surprise that there would be tension between two competitors trying to dominate the same field, things lately have become increasingly petty. Early this month, AT&T made an overt attempt to entice T-Mobile customers by offering up to $450 for them to switch carriers. T-Mobile CEO John Legere declared that AT&T was bribing customers and announced that his carrier would pay customers' early termination fees if they make the switch (from any competitor).
Finding competent Android smartphones at an affordable price just isn't as difficult as it used to be. There's the Nexus 5 for people who want a phone for $349.99 that remains competitive with largely anything out there. There's the HTC Desire 601 for $279.99 for anyone who wants Sense but doesn't want to fork over the money for one of the manufacturer's flagship devices. And for people who really don't want to spend over $200, there's the Moto G.
There were some delays, but HTC's last-generation flagship device is getting the bump up to Android 4.2.2. Yes, AT&T has approved the OTA for its version of the HTC One X. Sadly, this will be the last new version of Android it sees. It's better than nothing, though.
HTC AT&T One X customers - We have received Technical Approval for the MR with Sense 5 + OS 4.2.2. The OTA is targeted for 1/29.