Quick note, LG Viper owners: If you're getting an update request this afternoon, don't get too excited. The newest software addition isn't any flavor of Jelly Bean. It's just a small update that addresses "LTE network acquisition improvements", which probably means it'll help you when transitioning from Sprint's old and busted 3G network to the new LTE hotness.
- LTE network acquisition improvements
Check your Settings menu, then System Update to get the latest download.
If you're going to be getting a phone upgrade in 2013, Best Buy has your number. Or rather, it wants your number. Last year's Phone Freedom promotion is back, and that means you can get a $50 gift card with a new phone purchase just for registering with your email address and phone number before February 9th at 11:59PM.
So here's the deal: hit the Best Buy promo page and sign up with your email and phone number.
While it's not a major Android version update, Sprint is rolling out a pretty good upgrade to Evo LTE customers. The over-the-air software will add the ability to stream audio/video to a television set or other display via an MHL cable. Neat!
The update will also bring a variety of improvements, including to WiFi, Bluetooth compatibility, and the proximity sensor while listening to voicemail. So hopefully you won't have to worry about your face pressing buttons now.
A couple weeks ago, we got wind of a download that seemed to be the final version of Android 4.2.1 (GA02) for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus. Today, not only is that confirmed, but the OTA has begun for Nexus warriors on the Now Network. The update brings the newest flavor of Jelly Bean and all that entails, including Photospheres, Daydream, lockscreen widgets and more.
The release comes about two and a half months after the initial launch of Jelly Bean 4.2 (counting by the launch of the new Nexuses.
According to Bloomberg, the US Department of Justice has just announced that it will submit a deferment request for the Sprint / Softbank merger to the FCC. Telecom acquisitions in the United States require approval from both the DoJ and the FCC, with the former agency focusing largely on potential anti-trust issues. Softbank officially announced the buyout in October.
It's not exactly a big surprise that the DoJ is looking at this deal cautiously.
Better late than never, I suppose. Today Sprint announced that it's bringing new LTE service to Boston and Framingham, Mass., Austin and Bryan-College Station, TX, Fort Wayne, IN, and Western Puerto Rico. The latter is actually not the first round of 4G coverage for the territory, as PR has had coverage in a few southern cities for a while. Additionally, the carrier improved its 3G services throughout the entire island.
It's a good start for 2013 as Sprint continues its Network Vision plan, which should only ramp up this year as a variety of deals—including the Softbank acquisition, the Clearwire buyout, and spectrum purchases—finalize.
Sprint this morning announced plans to offer a new ultra-rugged Kyocera smartphone with Direct Connect "this spring." The device – dubbed Torque – offers the standard features expected from a ruggedized phone, including water resistance, dust prevention, and drop protection. That means you'll be able to drop it in the toilet, use it during a sandstorm, or throw it out of frustration without fear of shattering it into pieces.
If you want specifics, the Torque can be submerged in meter-deep water for up to 30 minutes, handle temperatures from –22 to 140 degrees for three hours, stay safe from "heavy dust" for up to six hours, and be dropped more than 20 times from a height of four feet.
There might be more appealing national networks to run your phone through, but Sprint is hoping to lure in more customers with some free money. A leaked internal Sprint doc indicates that a previously popular promotion is coming roaring back on January 18th. If you meet the qualifications to take advantage of this deal, it can mean big savings on a couple new smartphones.
Before you get too excited, you have to be opening a new account with Sprint, along with the following eligibility requirements:
IL [Independently Liable] customers activating 3-5 new handsets [read: phones only] on new lines of service
At least one line must be a port-in from another carrier
Customers must activate all phones on an Everything Share or Simply Everything Share plan
The independently liable stipulation is just referring to a line that you own, not one handled through an employer.
The official OTA update to Android 4.2 for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus has just hit Google's servers, and you can grab the build (GA02) right now. Here's a direct download link, originally found on XDA. Sextape at SXTP Developers posted yesterday indicating that a leaked version of this build would end up as the final OTA release. Here's the detailed build info:
LTE is probably like getting a glass of ice water in hell for Sprint customers after the flop that was WiMAX, so announcements of expanded 4G coverage are doubly welcome on the Now Network. Sprint let fly today that 28 new markets will be getting the four-gees in 'the coming months,' and here's the list.
Bay City, MI
Florence/Muscle Shoals, AL
Homosassa Springs, FL
Hot Springs, AR
Lake City, FL
Lake Havasu City/Kingman, AZ
The Villages, FL
This particular portion of the LTE buildout seems focused on the southland, though there are a few outliers sprinkled in there as well.