The rumors surfaced last week, and AT&T made it official yesterday evening. The telecom company has agreed to pay nearly $50 billion in cash and stock for satellite TV provider DirecTV. If approved by regulators, the new AT&T would have control of about 26 million TV subscribers.
If you've got an HTC One on T-Mobile, whether it's the original from 2013 or the new One M8, you have a software update headed your way. Nether is packing a new version on Android, because they're both running KitKat, but new features are inside nonetheless. One M7 owners get a refreshed version of HTC's Sense interface, and One M8 owners now have access to the Extreme Power Saving mode.
Nearly every phone sold in the last few years has a 4G LTE radio, but when you place a call it's still falling back to traditional 3G technologies. The all-IP voice technology known as VoLTE (voice over LTE) is still in the early days, but AT&T is beginning its rollout this very month on May 23rd.
That shiny new HTC One M8 is supposed to come with 50GB of free Google Drive space, but what gives? AT&T is holding out on us. It was actually just a bug that popped up last month, but AT&T promised it would be fixed by mid-May. Here we are right about the middle of May, and the fix is rolling out.
You can't have everything, which is why the ZTE Concord II exists. This entry-level smartphone has just been announced for T-Mobile and Metro PCS. It will be on sale later today on the magenta carrier and next week on Metro PCS.
This phone isn't going to set the world on fire with its specs, but it's going to be available in carrier stores for cheap. Here's the full spec sheet.
If you happen to own an Atrix HD from AT&T, get ready for something you haven't seen in a very long time: a firmware update. Unfortunately, this is only a "security enhancement" and not an upgrade to the Android operating system. Motorola hasn't specified exactly what this update is supposed to fix, but it's almost certainly a patch for the Heartbleed bug that was widely reported last month.
The last update to the Atrix HD shipped out at the end of 2012, which brought it from 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean).
Play Store carrier billing support has rolled out to another mobile provider, 3 (Drei) in Austria. If you head over to Google's carrier billing support page, the site doesn't list it just yet, but thanks to a tip, we've laid our eyes on screenshots suggesting otherwise. Here, feast your eyes as well.
Why is this a big deal? Some people don't want to provide Google with their credit card numbers.
Carriers are pretty overt about making consumers pay for their devices using long-term contracts or high amounts of cold, hard cash. They're not so open about the subsequent payment in tears - thick, heavy tears dropped waiting for Android updates that feel destined never to come. Well, Verizon Galaxy Note 3 owners, you've officially paid enough. It's time to wipe away those tears, for the Galaxy Note 3 KitKat OTA update is finally rolling out to devices.
If you've bought a DROID phone from Verizon and Motorola at some point in the last two generations, you've got an update coming soon. The carrier posted update materials for all 2012 and 2013 Motorola DROIDs: RAZR M, RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD, Mini, Ultra, and Maxx. The older phones are getting upgraded to Android 4.4.2, while the newer DROIDs just get a stability update.
Satellite television has been experiencing a rough transition as consumers in the US increasingly turn to internet-based video services like Netflix and Hulu, and it looks like the current industry heavyweight DirecTV is ripe for the picking: AT&T is rumored to be making a $50 billion bid for the company.
Artist's depiction of merger
AT&T operates its own television brand, UVerse, though that system is powered by Ma Bell's DSL broadband infrastructure.