It's hard to be Sprint these days. Its LTE rollout is lagging way behind the competition, it's losing subscribers and cash fast, and everyone is making fun of its "Framily" plans. That's too bad, but Sprint isn't going to get back in our good graces by charging money for things we already have or don't need in the first place. That's just what it's doing with the new Total Equipment Protection (TEP) Plus plan.
As other carriers have ended unlimited data in recent years, Sprint has held firm. This was perhaps the saving grace of its network as Sprint struggled to catch up to other carriers in the race for LTE coverage. According to a report from Fierce Wireless, Sprint is going to be pulling back a bit on unlimited 3G/4G data for the biggest users on its network. Beginning as soon as next month in some markets, anyone who falls in the top 5% of data consumers could potentially be throttled down to ensure others can get connectivity.
Update: Apparently the update should also bump HTC One Max owners up to Sense 6. This may turn out to be quite the OTA.
Wi-Fi calling is great for people who still have plans that don't supply an unlimited number of minutes or during those times when cell reception in a particular location is less than stellar, as it lets customers place phone or send text messages over a Wi-Fi connection instead.
Both Sprint and T-Mobile announced OTA updates for two long-forgotten handsets today stuck on Android 4.1.1 - the Samsung Nexus S and the HTC One S, respectively (that is, the Sprint Nexus S and the T-Mobile One S).
Both updates are described merely as containing security enhancements, but given that Android 4.1.1 is the only known OS version potentially vulnerable to the now-infamous heartbleed exploit, it's fairly easy to determine what this is all about (HTC's site actually confirms as much).
Remember the HTC EVO LTE? Sprint does, at least to some degree. The carrier is sending out a small software patch for the phone, reportedly removing a vulnerability from the infamous Heartbleed SSL security bug. Unpatched versions of Android 4.1.1 (and only 4.1.1) are vulnerable to Heartbleed, so EVO LTE owners probably want to get on that right away.
Heartbleed's relationship to Android is a little strange: it affects Android 4.1.1, but not earlier versions of Jelly Bean 4.1, and not later versions of any release, either, so the number of active phones and tablets at risk is comparatively small.
Do you like the idea of water and ingress protection on the Galaxy S5, but don't feel like ponying up for a flagship phone? Then Kyocera hopes you'll consider its Hydro Vibe smartphone, at least if you're a potential Sprint or Virgin Mobile customer. The "ruggedized" Android phone will be launching on Sprint on May 9th and Virgin on May 27th. Sprint is talking up its "Easy Pay" payment plan, where the phone costs ten bucks a month for two years, but Virgin will sell it outright for $149.99.
Sprint got on the Google Voice train early – about when Google got bored and started ignoring the product. At any rate, things have been fine for users on Sprint, who get tight integration with Google Voice on their Sprint number. Well, except this last weekend. There's a pretty big thread going over at the Google Product Forums of Sprint users reporting strange behavior with GV.
The Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 out of the box, and most of the US and international versions of the Galaxy S4 have been given the KitKat update as well, but millions of owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III from 2012 are still sitting on an outdated version of Android. Sprint seems to be the first US carrier to alleviate that: this support page says the update for the S III is going out starting today.
Today Sprint unveiled a pair of partnerships it hopes will draw in music aficionados in need of a new phone. For starters, the carrier has teamed up with Harman to produce the exclusive HTC One M8 Harman Edition. This phone will come with a black and gold finish, along with enhanced sound (not that the M8 needs much help in that department). Sprint's also tossing in a pair of Harman Kardon AE-S headphones.
Sprint is continuing to bump up consumers across the country to relatively faster speeds. Today it has announced the arrival of 41 new 4G LTE markets, including Long Island, Minneapolis, and Phoenix. This brings the total number of cities up to 443. To see if your town is one of them, give this list a skim.
Sprint Spark has also expanded to six new areas: Oakland, CA; Orlando, FL; West Palm Beach, FL; Waukegan, Ill; Newark, NJ; and Tacoma, WA.