After silently activating in most of its launch markets this weekend, Sprint's 4G LTE network has finally been officially announced. A promotional launch video released today explains Sprint's 4G LTE rollout and Network Vision, and encourages viewers to comment on the burgeoning LTE network's performance.
To that end, things aren't looking great for Sprint's new 4G network – at launch, it is promising just 6-8 Megabits per second download speed (burstable to 25Mbps) and 2-3 Megabits per second upload.
Sure, Sprint may be considerably behind the big dogs in the whole LTE rollout thing, but hey, they've already started selling devices with LTE support. Might as well light it up, right? Well, if you live in the Dallas Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, or Kansas City markets, and you own a Sprint LTE phone, you might be surprised to find that you have LTE access now.
According to Sprint 4G Rollout Updates, which has a pretty good track record, users have been reporting that their devices are discovering LTE networks in their areas.
If you're a Sprint subscriber in the Kansas City area, you should probably be getting excited, as Sprint's 4G LTE network went live in portions of that market early yesterday. Sprint has confirmed this with S4GRU, and has stated more markets around the greater Kansas City area will continue to light up until that region's rollout is complete. Additional markets, as we know, are scheduled to go online on the 15th, though based on what we're seeing here, that could be an "at the latest" sort of date.
Well, E4GT owners, today is the day you've been waiting for (unless you've rooted and flashed a custom ICS ROM, in which case, you're no longer waiting for anything): the official ICS update is now rolling out to your device. As expected, the update brings a host of new features:
A refined, evolved user interface that is simple, beautiful and useful
Face Unlock: use state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to unlock your phone with a smile
Redesigned camera which introduces panorama mode, effects like silly faces and background replacement, and a powerful photo editor
Android Beam™: quickly share web pages, apps, contacts and YouTube™ videos with your friends by simply tapping two Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled phones together
Web browser now lets you sync Google Chrome™ bookmarks, request full desktop versions of sites, see your open tabs in a new layout and even store web pages for offline reading
People: browse friends, family and coworkers, see their photos in high-resolution and check their latest status updates from Google+
Improved keyboard with incredibly accurate typing, an inline spell checker and improved copy and paste support
New Calendar app that lets you add events quickly, sync with Google Calendar™ or Microsoft Exchange and even pinch to adjust your calendar display
Redesigned Gmail™ app that now lets you swipe between conversations to catch up quickly, and search for emails even without a data connection
Google+ integration that lets you hangout and video chat with up to 10 friends using your front-facing camera
Sprint hasn't been the most secretive about the white version of its EVO 4G LTE, as we've already seen. More than once. Now, though, The Now Network has officially taken the wraps off this white handset, and guess what? It's still two-toned. And To add insult to injury, the kickstand isn't red anymore.
I was really hoping for a sexy all-white device with that brilliant red kickstand, but it's clear that HTC and Sprint had a different vision: boring.
It's been close to a year since Sprint last showed the Motorola Photon 4G some update love, but after seemingly forgetting about this once flagship device, The Now Network is now pushing an OTA update to the device that brings a handful of useful updates and features to the device:
More easily import contacts from SD card.
Improved music playback, both streaming from Amazon Cloud or Internet Radio services and music saved to the phone - minimizes occasional skips or -repeats
Enhancements for WiFi hotspot in GSM/UMTS mode and adding new WiFi connections.
Ding-ding-ding! EVO 4G LTE owners, the update you've been waiting for is ready. v1.22.651.3 of the software is rolling out starting today, July 11th, and according to Sprint fixes a whole array of bugs. The most important aspect of the update has to do with Google Wallet which has been broken since pretty much day one of the release. Other changes include improvements to Wi-Fi connectivity, playback of sideloaded videos, the crashing gallery app, calendar reminders, random power cycling, and more.
The Android development community couldn't be more on fire today now that Android 4.1 has been fully open sourced. While the Jelly Bean flavored CyanogenMod 10 is not just here just yet (though work has already begun), the CyanogenMod team released a fantastic treat for new Galaxy S III owners on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile - official nightlies, available for downloading and flashing right now:
OK, OK, that's actually Linus Torvalds expressing his feelings about NVIDIA, but there's no better way to articulate the continued frustration with the complete lack of Sprint Galaxy Nexus support in AOSP. Verizon is [almost] there. Sprint, however, is not. Try finding it (hint: its codename is toroplus) - specifically, the CDMA/LTE binaries.
If you still have doubts about the above notion so eloquently conveyed by Linus' gesture, Jean-Baptiste Queru's comment confirms:
As far as toroplus, the situation is unchanged: there are no plans to support it as a target device for custom AOSP builds.
The Galaxy S III on Sprint has been seeing a considerable amount of update action in the short time since it's been released. Back on June 29th, the device saw a security update and now, according to Sprint's community website, a second "Google security updates" OTA software patch is headed to the device.
The carrier hasn't offered any details on what the update fixes, beyond that today's update is Google-related, while the previous update is just a generic security update.