Updates are not only for the latest and greatest phones, but they usually are. It's actually quite unusual to see a phone from a few years ago on a US carrier getting an update, but that's what's happening with the Samsung Galaxy Note II on Sprint. Rather, it will happen on January 6th.
Here's something you don't see every day. American carriers AT&T and Verizon both offer the fourth-generation models of the Galaxy Tab 8.0 and 10.1, and this weekend, they're each updating both versions. That indicates some kind of coordinated effort on the part of Samsung's software engineers... or a remarkable coincidence. In any case, owners should start seeing the over-the-air updates come in today, though some will have to wait a few more days.
It isn't often that we issue a Deal Alert for a phone that still costs more than $500 after a discount, but thanks to AT&T's somewhat inflated pricing, this one qualifies. The carrier-branded version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 flagship is being sold on eBay for $659.99 today. That's a bit more than $160 off of AT&T's off-contract price for the phone, and still $50 cheaper than the international version of the Note 4 on Amazon.
LG's G Pad 8.3 is, at least for the moment, the company's most high-end tablet available on Verizon's proprietary CDMA/LTE network. Today this carrier-specific model (VK810) gets a small software update to address one big user issue, one small carrier issue, and an outdated app. The latter is the Redbox streaming video app, formerly supported by Verizon, and now out of service. The latest update removes the RedBox app completely.
Bombastic T-Mobile CEO John Legere responded forcefully when the Federal Trade Commission filed suit against the Un-carrier over the summer for profiting from so-called "cramming." That's when a carrier allows third-parties to add premium SMS charges to customer bills without proper warning. Today the FTC has announced T-Mobile is settling the case for $90 million, most of which will go to customers who were charged for unauthorized services.
LG G2 owners on the Un-carrier's network with a tendency to fly often are in for a treat. T-Mobile is now rolling out an over-the-air update that will add Gogo inflight texting support to the device. Users will not only be able to stay in touch with folks on the ground, they won't have to pay anything extra for the privilege.
Users can also receive visual voicemail. But all of this is only available on Gogo-enabled flights.
T-Mobile's latest ploy to steal customers away from the other national carriers is a big one. Starting in January, the carrier will no longer "confiscate" your unused data at the end of each billing cycle. Instead, that data will rollover and be kept in your "Data Stash" for one year. Sure, they'll confiscate it at that point, but that's a lot of extra data. Plus, you get 10GB of bonus data to start.
STC, the largest telecommunications company in Saudi Arabia (with well over 100 million subscribers across various Arab states), has launched support for Play Store carrier billing. Now people in the region can pay for goods by adding the fee to their next bill, rather than keeping a credit card on file. Customers can find the feature highlighted directly on the carrier's site.
You can access carrier billing by going to purchase an app and, when the payment window pops up, changing the method.