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Verizon Wireless

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[Update: Now on the Google Store] Verizon shows two new Live Cases for the Pixels that don't seem to be announced yet

Verizon has decided, whether on purpose or accident, to show two as-yet-unannounced Live Cases for the Pixels. These are not ones you would find on the Google Store. The blue option for the Earth case looks a lot like one of the wallpapers from last year's Nexus phones, which makes me feel a bit nostalgic.

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Verizon announces new Ellipsis 8 HD tablet with a $250 price and improved specs

Verizon has been pushing its budget-oriented Ellipsis tablets on the market for a couple years, and they've mostly been throwaway hardware. The latest Ellipsis HD is probably the nicest one, but that doesn't mean it's an amazing tablet. It just appears to be less bad.

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Verizon adds two new plans to its prepaid lineup

In other Verizon news today, the cell operator announced two new options for its prepaid customers. Both offer quite a bit of data for prices that are not too bad considering that this is Verizon we're talking about. The first of these new plans is a 5GB for $50 per month tier, followed by 10GB for $70 per month. Both are available starting November 13.

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[Update: Official] Samsung's Galaxy Beta Program will allow the S7 and S7 edge to beta test Nougat, starting November 9th

Late last week, an eagle-eyed XDA user and Galaxy S7 edge owner noticed an app in the Galaxy Apps store entitled "Galaxy beta program." Not unexpectedly, many owners of Galaxy S7-series phones, myself included, got excited. Now, thanks to a major oversight on Samsung's part, we've got a ton of information about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Beta Program.

Starting November 9th, select Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge models in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, and China will be permitted to enroll in the Galaxy Beta Program. This program will allow participants to try out Android 7.0 Nougat, in hopes that they'll provide feedback helpful to engineers.

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Editorial: Fact-checking the latest video rant from T-Mobile CEO John Legere

As mobile bloggers, watching national carriers with revenue in the billions snip at each other like gossiping high school students is the closest thing we have to a spectator sport. Between Sprint hiring Verizon's old spokesman, T-Mobile continuing its cloying David-versus-Goliath narrative, and Verizon using textbook straw man attacks against both of them in all those Jaime Foxx spots, we can hardly make the popcorn fast enough.

Every couple of months or so, T-Mobile CEO John Legere emerges from his fortress of solitude to directly address mobile consumers with a rant against his competitors. This time he's addressing specific points from Verizon's latest ad campaign.

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The RCS Mirage: "Advanced Messaging" is a mess in the US, and Google's "standard" is just one more

There has been much noise made about Google's launch of its RCS messaging platform via the Messenger app on Sprint today. Sprint announced it would support Google's RCS platform, formerly known as Jibe, back in February, though, and remains the only US provider to do so.

But T-Mobile and AT&T have launched RCS messaging, right? Yes. But their versions don't work with Google's (Sprint's) RCS. And AT&T's RCS messaging doesn't work with T-Mobile's, and vice versa. And there's no indication that this will change any time soon. While both T-Mobile and AT&T have signed on to the GSMA's soon-to-be-published intercompatible RCS messaging standard, carriers seem much more interested in making "advanced messaging" a carrier feature rather than the universal SMS replacement it was developed to be.

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[Deal Alert] Motorola offers $150 off the Moto Z, Moto Z Droid, and Moto Z Force Droid with promo code

The new Moto Z line is divisive. It's probably the best example in a limited field of new "modular" phones, consisting of only the Z variants and LG's G5... and LG already dropped the modular design for its more recent V20. But if you've been eying either the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid (or the Moto Z Force Droid with a bigger battery) or the unlocked Moto Z, the sticker shock of the phones and the Moto Mod add-ons may have been a disincentive. Now Motorola is giving a generous $150 off all of them on its web store.

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Unlock the bootloader on Pixel phones from Verizon and EE with dePixel8 by beaups and jcase [Hurry]

For years, Google's Nexus line could be counted on for one thing, an unlockable bootloader. While carriers have occasionally had limited freedom to defile customize certain models sold through their service, owners were at least free to either modify the stock software or completely replace it with custom builds.

It goes without saying people were more than a little disheartened to learn Google's second attempt to team up with US carrier Verizon lead to yet another disappointing result: the Google Pixels sold through VZW have non-unlockable bootloaders. In fact, there are at least two carriers selling non-unlockable Pixels. The other is EE Limited (formerly Everything Everywhere) in the UK.

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Premium indie web video service Vessel gets gobbled up by Verizon, closing down this month

Verizon has a serious appetite for video content as of late. In addition to promoting the heck out of GO90 and its various American sports partnerships, the company bought AOL and Yahoo, which has media aspirations of its own. The latest horse to arrive at the stable is Vessel, a sort of alternative YouTube for creators who try to make "premium" videos that are good enough to warrant subscription payments from users. The service started up last year with channels from notable YouTube creators.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Verizon visual voicemail works in the stock phone app

It's the year 2016, so you really shouldn't have to dial in to listen to your voicemail like some kind of caveman. What's next? A telescoping antenna on top of your phone? As of Android 7.1, Verizon customers with Nexus (and Pixel) devices have access to visual voicemail in the stock phone app.

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