US carriers offering free service to disaster-stricken areas of the world has become something of a grim but inspiring tradition at this point. After a devastating earthquake struck the area off the coast of Esmeraldas, Ecuador last night, all of Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have announced that they are offering free calls and texts to the country for the time being. This allows US residents to contact family members and friends in the affected areas. The offer extends to any calls or texts made from yesterday through Sunday, April 24th on Sprint, Saturday the 23rd on T-Mobile, and Friday the 22nd on AT&T. Read More
The times they are a-changing. A few years ago Verizon infamously stabbed a dagger in the back of Google Wallet in favor of its own carrier-partnered mobile payment system, Isis. Now Wallet is more or less gone, Isis has been rebranded (thanks to, well, ISIS) as Softcard, Google has bought up its technology, and Verizon would really like you to consider using Wallet’s spiritual successor, Android Pay. In other news, my spec script for a soap opera based on the machinations of the US mobile industry still hasn’t been optioned. Read More
Over the past week, CyanogenMod 13 nightlies have been released for several Android phones and tablets, breathing new life into what can be now considered old hardware. Most of the devices had CM12.1 prior, meaning that the jump they're witnessing is just from Lollipop 5.1 to Marshmallow 6.0, but the Verizon Galaxy S5 never had CM12, it was on CM 11 (KitKat) prior to this update. That must feel like a quantum leap.
Alright, now to the meat of the matter. The devices with new CM13 nightlies are:
- Motorola Moto Maxx "quark"
- Samsung Galaxy S4 (T-Mobile) "jfltetmo"
- Samsung Galaxy S5 (Verizon) "kltevzw"
- Galaxy Note 8 (GSM) "n5100"
- Galaxy Note 8 (Wi-Fi) "n5110."
These being nightlies, expect bugs and instability so you may be better off flashing them on devices that aren't your daily drivers. Read More
Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to the fickle world of yearly hardware upgrades. If you're willing to wait a bit for that fancy new phone, you can save an insane amount of money. For example, a brand new version of 2014's flagship Samsung phone, still only a year and a half old, can now be had for less than half of its original price. And from two different vendors, no less! Read More
HTC has just announced its latest flagship, the HTC 10. This phone is seen by many as the company's last chance to get back on track. It's not off to an amazing start, though. AT&T, a long time partner of HTC, won't be carrying the HTC 10. That has to sting. It's only going to be sold directly by Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Read More
It's update season at Verizon at the moment, with lots of phones on the network getting updates to Marshmallow. The latest is Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+, receiving a build which takes it from the Lollipop-based LMY47X to the all-new MMB29K. The update includes WiFi Calling, a feature which has been in Marshmallow updates for other Samsung devices on Verizon, improvements to the Edge panel, and Live Broadcast, and standard Marshmallow features such as on-demand permissions, Doze, and Now on Tap.
Edge Panel sees news features, including Apps Edge and Task Edge, meaning users can now dock apps or certain tasks to the edge of the screen. Read More
Some people would consider the V10 to be LG's most exciting phone of last year. If you agree with the tone of David's review of the G5, it still may be LG's best device.
Those of you who use one on T-Mobile's network are in for a treat. The carrier apparently plans to start sending out over-the-air updates next week. Read More
Sprint is now pushing out Marshmallow to the Galaxy S5, Samsung's flagship phone from 2014. This marks the third major version of Android to run on the phone, following Lollipop (though not 5.1) and KitKat before that. Read More
T-Mobile has run a few recent promotions for family plans with four or more lines, but what if you don't need that many? T-Mobile is starting a new promo tomorrow that might be just what you're looking for. The new (and unfortunately named) Data Gone Wild promo includes two lines with 6GB of data each for $80 per month. Read More
In my tiny little corner of the world, we get very few perks with any of our mobile plans. No unlimited calls, no unlimited texts, and lots of limited data. That hasn't stopped an enterprising local music service from convincing carriers to offer an unlimited streaming plan only on their app for a small fee. That goes to show that people may not care about calls or texts anymore, but there's always room for offers when it comes to entertainment.
T-Mobile has been trying to pioneer that area in the US and (politics and legalese and execution aside) has managed to get really good deals for customers who might be interested in them. I am such a music and TV show addict that I wish I lived in the US and could benefit from "free" data usage on some streaming services, even if it meant a loss in the quality of the stream. Read More