If you like LG's style but aren't ready to pay for a top-of-the-line smartphone, AT&T and Sprint would like a word. Both of them have announced carrier-customized models of the LG G3 Vigor, which was launched this summer in international markets as the G3 Beat. The 5-inch phone is decidedly mid-range (stretching to low end for some specs), but it's got the same look and layout as the full-sized G3, complete with rear-mounted buttons.
Update: As confirmed by Verizon, to check your eligibility simply log in to your MyVerizon account and see if your upgrade date has changed - this is supposedly all automatic. If you're not seeing it, give it a couple of days and maybe phone up Verizon to see what the deal is.
You probably suspected as much, but as many carriers do during iPhone season, Verizon has rolled up its handset upgrade schedule to "now" for customers who would have otherwise become eligible for new phones in the next 2 months.
Verizon pre-announced its VoLTE service a few weeks ago, but now it's rolling out. Customers can finally start taking advantage of VoLTE calling starting today—that assumes people still make phone calls, which is debatable. You need to have a supported device of course, and there are still a few caveats.
You can only survive under the oppressive yoke of TouchWiz for so long, but today is the day owners of the Samsung Galaxy S5 on Sprint can break free and try a more open experience. CyanogenMod has added support for the Galaxy S5 on Sprint in the form of nightly builds, the first of which is available now.
Alright T-Mobile users, it's time to get flashing, at least if you own an LG G3 or the 7-inch version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Team Win has released their custom recovery build for both of the T-Mobile variants of those devices, enabling power users to easily flash modifications and ROMs or backup the existing system. You can grab the T-Mo G3 recovery here, and the Galaxy Tab 4 recovery here.
Apparently the various unlocked and carrier models of both devices are just different enough to cause difficulty when flashing a modified recovery or ROM, and in both cases these TWRP builds are the first official ones for their respective devices.
Boost Mobile has announced that it is now pushing out the Android 4.4.4 over-the-air update to the Moto G. This release will bump users of the affordable handset up to the latest version of Android, bragging rights that plenty of more powerful handsets can't provide.
Android 4.4.4 is a bug fix update, so don't look for anything particularly exciting. Some stability issues and security vulnerabilities have been addressed, but that's not something that's really going to stand up after rebooting from the update.
Update: Verizon has started sending out the HTC One M8's over-the-air update bringing Android 4.4.3 and the Extreme Power Saving mode. Check out the image below for the provided change log.
T-Mobile doesn't have the most expansive network, so while it's doing its part to rapidly roll out LTE to many of the country's largest markets, it's also coming up with other ways to fill in the gaps where its connection is weak. Today the company made a series of Un-Carrier 7.0 announcements that all concern using Wi-Fi to make calls or send texts, even from 30,000 feet (texting and voicemail only).
Cricket Wireless might not be top of mind among US carriers, but it's starting to get aggressive as it goes after T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers. After introducing a $100 bill credit promotion last month, Cricket is now boosting data caps by up to 100% later this week. And what's better, existing customers get the increased caps too.
Update: This article stated that Republic previously offered unlimited domestic roaming - this is not correct. Republic previously offered 100MB of domestic roaming, and is dropping that to 25MB. Republic hasn't made this policy super clear in the past, so this information wasn't exactly easy to come by.
One of the more innovative low-cost MVNOs in the smartphone era has undoubtedly been Republic Wireless, a Sprint-powered carrier that offers extremely competitive pricing on the philosophy that, if people are given a good deal on wireless service, they will try to do whatever they can to keep that service afloat.