This story was originally published and last updated .
Google has announced a couple of significant changes to Play Movies & TV that will have a considerable impact on owners of 4K televisions. Starting today, some previously-purchased movies will automatically be upgraded to 4K quality once it's available. The price of newly-purchased 4K content on the platform is also going down.
Timely software updates are all the rage these days. From security and stability to new features, there's always a marketable reason to prefer a rapid upgrade cycle. Plenty of OEMs like Samsung and LG have committed to frequent updates, and now the latter company is stepping things up, reiterating its commitment to consumers with a new "Software Upgrade Center" office in South Korea.
In the smartphone world, things can change a lot within a short span of time. As a result, those of you who have to have the latest and greatest thing in your pocket might be inclined to keep buying phones and, consequently, take losses on them when you sell them. T-Mobile's JUMP! On Demand plan previously allowed phone junkies to switch devices three times a year, but the policy has now been changed to once every 30 days.
Google has made small tweaks to Glass throughout the Explorer program, but today the company has announced a real spec bump. All Glass units shipping from now on will have 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB. There will also be a new viewfinder mode when taking pictures and some more cards. It's not all sunshine and lollipops, though. Current Glass Explorers should take a deep breath – Google won't be swapping out the old version for the new one.
Two-year contracts are a drag for all sorts of reasons, but AT&T just found a way to make them even more annoying. The carrier has quietly altered its upgrade terms to stipulate that customers have to wait for the full 24 month term to be up before getting subsidized pricing on an upgrade. You can see the before and after versions of Ma Bell's upgrade page below.
It would be one thing if the change only affected new contracts from the effective date of June 9th, but it also pushes back the upgrade date for anyone whose contract ends after March 1, 2014.
Just over two weeks before LG's likely Optimus G2 announcement, Sprint's variant of the Optimus G's received another price drop. Amazon Wireless is now offering the Nexus 4's manufacturer-skinned cousin for just a penny with a new account, and just $30 on upgrade or when adding a new line.
For those who don't remember, the 4.7" device (that's got a 768x1280 display at 318ppi) also houses a 13MP camera, a Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB RAM, and a 2100mAh battery pack.
If you've been eyeing the Optimus G since its release last year, now's your chance to pick it up at a great bargain.
After a short delay, Sprint is now ushering Samsung's highly anticipated successor to the popular Galaxy S III to store shelves, but how much does it cost? New customers can pick up the Galaxy S4 with a two-year contract for $149, but existing customers looking to upgrade must plop down $249 to bring home the same phone. This isn't the best of news for current Sprint customers, but there is now another option available.
As of today, Amazon is allowing existing Sprint customers to upgrade for $50 less. This brings the price of upgrading an existing contract down to levels resembling the price of starting a contract anew.
Most of the time when we post a good deal – especially on a free phone – it's typically for new customers. In a rare event, though, Wirefly has turned that deal on its head by making the RAZR HD free for upgrades only. New customers will still have to shell out $50 for the same devices. It's a pretty good deal either way, but it's particularly killer for existing Verizon customers.
If you need a quick spec-refresher for the RAZR HD, here you go:
If you follow AOSP code drops long enough, you're eventually going to hear about JBQ (as well as a ton more acronyms). Jean-Baptiste Queru, Technical Lead of the Android Open-Source Project took to Google+ today to talk about Android update rollouts, as well as to praise one of the manufacturers that he sees as leading the pack in aiding the AOSP: Sony.
It took Sony only about 5 months to ship this [Android 4.0 for the Sony Tablet S] after I released the code in the Android Open Source Project at the very end of last year. This is actually a very reasonable time, since under the hood Ice Cream Sandwich is quite different from Honeycomb (and upgrades from Gingerbread are likely to take longer as those differences are huge).
The newest version of Sprint's weekly "playbook" has been sent around to employees, and as usual, we have a copy. Sadly, this week's edition doesn't exactly inspire confidence for the future of the nation's third-largest carrier - in fact, one of Sprint's primary benefits, the Premier program, will be disappearing down the drain shortly. It's not all bad news, though, so let's dig in and see what's up and coming in the world of Sprint.
The Death of Sprint Premier
In retrospect, we should have seen this one coming - Sprint has, after all, been gradually decreasing the benefits of its Premier program over the last year or so.