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.
If you were one of the four, maybe five people who picked up Verizon's self-branded Ellipsis tablet, then a journey to the settings menu is probably in order. Why? Because Big Red is sending an OTA to the device that brings a handful of useful changes. Here's a look at the changelog:
- Verizon 4G LTE data connectivity
- Mobile Hotspot User Experience and Connectivity
- Wireless connectivity
- Image quality when using the camera
- Battery life
- SIM Card Activation experience improvements
- Added support for Prepaid Plans
- Added feature to allow editing of the APN name for Private IP
- Option to configure camera to store photos and videos on an external SD card that can be purchased separately.
- Added option for end users to move all applications to tablet space manually except for the preloaded apps.
- Improved the UI notification for low memory condition
Sprint Spark support is gradually rolling out to some of the carrier's devices, but there is something to be said for learning how to walk before learning how to run. Large swaths of the US still do not have access to Sprint's LTE network at any speed. Consider the state of Ohio, which until now has only had one city (Salem) on the complete list of supported areas, and that location only joined just last month.
If you've been holding your breath for LG's curved, flexible G Flex and... well, the somewhat less remarkable Optimus F3Q to come to Magenta, then you won't have to wait much longer. T-Mobile announced this morning that both smartphones will be available starting on February 5th online and at retailers. The G Flex will cost $672 ($28 a month on T-Mobile's two-year payment plan), while the budget QWERTY slider will cost $312 ($13 for 24 months).
Samsung has been gradually rolling out the KitKat software update for international models of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 over the last couple of weeks. But surprisingly, it looks like at least one American carrier is eager to get Android 4.4 on the latest Samsung flagships as well. Noted XDA Developers forum member Designgears has posted official leaked builds of KitKat for AT&T's variants of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 - you can download and flash them right now.
Sprint's mobile data is typically not the first, or the second, or even the third to come to mind when looking for a zippy connection in the US, but the company is looking to change this impression with its new tri-band LTE network, more memorably known as Sprint Spark. Unfortunately, only a limited number of the carrier's phones are able to take advantage of this new capability, with some of them requiring an OTA before they're ready.
Do you want a phone that looks like a banana and sounds like a piece of home exercise equipment? Then you want to head on over to AT&T's website, where the LG G Flex just went up for pre-order. Three hundred greenbacks will get you the new phone on contract, while you'll need a whopping $694.99 to buy it outright or spread the cost over an interest-free Next plan. The phone will ship out for pre-orders on Tuesday, February 4th.
Earlier this month, AT&T passed the 500 mark in the race to expand the number of areas across the country with access to the carrier's 4G LTE network. The effort is ongoing, though, and the company has now officially added several more locales to the list. Customers in areas ranging from the West Coast to the Atlantic Ocean should all now notice faster data speeds when browsing on the go.
New LTE markets:
- El Centro, CA
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
- Cedar Rapids, IA
- Jasper, IN
- Danville, KY
- Richmond, KY
- Somerset, KY
- Cadillac and Niles-Benton Harbor, MI
- Tunica, MS
- East Liverpool, OH
- Erie, PA
- New Castle, PA
- Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastian, PR
- Fajardo, PR
- Ponce, PR
- Barre and Burlington, VT
- La Crosse, WI
- Wheeling, WV
That's all for now.