People buy cases mainly to protect their precious phones, but very few offer functional versatility, and you're often forced to give them up when you upgrade. Well, that may no longer be a problem thanks to a new minimalistic solution dubbed Snap. This attachment system starts off with a circular, low-profile female connector that's only 3mm thick and 25mm wide, and it can stick onto any device or case thanks to its strong, commercial-grade 3M adhesive. You can then secure different types of Snap accessories with a simple twist; and when detached, the slim socket barely gets in the way. %Gallery-slideshow189608%
AT&T is adding more data to its GoPhone prepaid smartphone plans without raising monthly fees in the process. If you're currently paying $60 a month for 2GB, your allotment will jump to 2.5 gigs, while those on the $40, 250MB plan will now get 500MB per month. More data is only part of the value proposition for GoPhone customers, though; the new 2.5GB plan will now offer the ability to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot.
18/04/2014 - FCC sets up the 'incentive auction' that will lead to better wireless internet for everyone
Last week at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show, FCC head Tom Wheeler pushed broadcasters to loosen their grip on spectrum that the agency plans to auction off to give wireless internet room to grow. Now, he's laid out a draft of the rules for the auction before it takes place next year. The upcoming incentive auction will be a three stage process that, once completed, should open up more wireless spectrum for high-speed services like WiFi. WiFi operates on "unlicensed spectrum" that's open for anyone to use, and similar networks or devices could take advantage of any new frequencies the FCC opens up, while reducing interference with existing networks. That's good and bad however, since they'd fill the space in between networks, it could be harder to build up something like WiFi.
So far not everyone has been happy with the possible rules for this redistribution. That includes the broadcasters themselves, whose participation will have to happen voluntarily, and the companies expected to bid for access, namely AT&T who has warned that it might skip the process based on the FCC's restrictions on how much spectrum it can buy. Now that the rules are here, everyone from your local TV broadcaster to wireless carriers to cash heavy dreamers like Google and Dish Network can look them over and voice their opinions before the commission votes on them May 15th.
Source: Tom Wheeler
It's a crapshoot: if you're descending into one of New York City's underground subway stations, you're probably going to drop a call. It's frustrating, but it'll be a little less likely soon. AT&T has expanded its contract with Transit Wireless to bring voice and data services to "as many as 242" additional NYC subway stations, though only about 40 are going to be ready this summer. Don't get too excited about the proposed total, either -- Transit Wireless is only in phase two of a seven phase rollout, and won't reach it's promised potential for several years. Still, the current deal will put AT&T in several key locations, including 11 stations in mid-town Manhattan and 29 in Queens. This will equip about 70 stations total with AT&T connectivity by the end of the summer. There's still a long way to go before the entire city is covered, but it's a good start.
There are actually two "Ones" that launched this week. The star attraction is undoubtedly the HTC One, but let's not forget the brand-new Snapdragon 801 running under its hood: a cutting-edge processor that will also power the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, but which happens to have reached the market first in HTC's flagship phone. This chip represents a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 600 in the old One, promising a hat trick of better all-round performance, more fluid gaming and longer battery life, and these are precisely the claims we're about to explore using a combo of benchmarking apps and real-world tests. At the same time, HTC has suddenly decided to come clean on the issue of benchmark cheating, which makes it a bit easier for us to trust what the numbers are telling us.
A new portable battery promises to carry enough juice to charge eight iPhones and keep your MacBook Air going for 12 hours, five years after you buy it. Unlike others that lose their capacity over time, BatteryBox uses a new energy management system called BatteryOS that monitors what's going on inside your Lithium-Ion battery and optimizes power in such a way that prevents degradation. It's an operation that ensures the battery can handle 96% of its original capacity after 3,000 charges and discharges, almost twice as long as without the system says BatteryBox. And it does it all for $139, about what you'd pay for a competitor. BatteryBox's 12,000mAh battery is the first implementation of the technology, but the company hopes to work with third-parties to get its system into things like electric vehicles. For now, we're just excited to see a portable charger that can keep us churning out posts from the outlet-free wasteland of CES through 2020.
A whole lot of Samsung is about to come to AT&T. Today, the carrier announced that pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S5 will begin tomorrow both online and in stores, with shipping to start in early April. Pricing is set at $200 with a two-year contract, though it's also available for a monthly fee with AT&T's Next plans. (U.S. Cellular customers, incidentally, will also be able to pre-order the GS 5 tomorrow for $200 on-contract.)
That's not all; tomorrow, AT&T will also put Samsung's trio of wearables up for pre-order. This includes the $299 Samsung Gear 2, the $199 Gear 2 Neo and the $199 Gear Fit. Shipping for those devices will also begin in early April.
Following up on the news that its UnCarrier rival will soon raise the cost of its unlimited data plan, AT&T is making some pricing changes of its own -- in the completely opposite direction. The base rate for the company's 2GB Mobile Share Value plan is currently $55 (that's the base price, excluding per-smartphone costs), but it just announced that beginning tomorrow customers will be able to grab the same plan for $40 per month instead.
25/02/2014 - AT&T announces free, unlimited international text, picture and video messaging for Mobile Share customers
Starting February 28th, all AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value users will be able to send text picture and video messages internationally for free. However, there's a not-so ulterior motive behind the announcement (one that's referenced in AT&T's own release), as in comparison "other messaging services or applications will incur cellular data charges," pointing a vague finger at the likes of Hangouts, WhatsApp, Viber, LINE and, well, all the other ones we've forgotten. The full service will be compatible with around 120 countries, while text messages can be sent to over 190 different locales.
Alongside it, AT&T's got another offer for anyone with a global circle of friends, announcing a new international calling plan, World Connect ValueSM. It might not roll off the tongue, but will offer a-cent-per-minute calls to over 35 countries, including neighboring Canada and Mexico. The plan will be on offer to any post-paid AT&T customer, but you'll have to stump up $5 for it when it launches this Friday.
24/02/2014 - AT&T expands LTE roaming to 13 more countries
Mobile World Congress is in Spain, which is lucky, because today's the day that AT&T allows its users to use LTE while they're there. Following the deal with Rogers in Canada, 'Ma Bell has pushed out a list of 13 countries, including Japan, Russia and South Korea, where road warriors can now suck down super-fast data in peace. In order to make sure you're not going over on your plan, the the company has also launched a new travel app for iOS and Android devices that'll alert you if you get close to your cap. Someone should have brought MWC forward by a fortnight -- that way everyone could have used LTE while during the Winter Olympics.
We get it. It's been a year since you got a new phone, and it doesn't have a Super Ultra HD screen, 80MP camera or fancy pants 50-core processor. You pine for the latest and greatest mobile toy, but it's probably going to cost you a lot, right? Well, yes. But in the past year, every major US network has eased the pain by introducing device installment plans, many of which allow you to trade in your current phone for a newer, hipper model. Most of these plans, which are designed to let you pay off your device over several months, are still more expensive than the average two-year contract, regardless of who you sign it with. But whether you like it or not, they're here to stay.
T-Mobile gets credit for starting the movement: Shortly after it announced its installment and early upgrade plans, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint all followed with options of their own. Ever since, the new plans have led to a massive pricing war, and the resulting price drops (most recently from AT&T and Verizon) have made them more tempting. But what does it all mean for you?
AT&T's current Mobile Share plans can be quite expensive for families and small offices that don't want to be tied to a contract. However, service is potentially more affordable through a new plan launching Sunday. The tier starts at $130 per month with two off-contract lines for new customers (existing contract customers can also sign up) and 10GB of shared data, but it costs a more modest $15 per extra line instead of the regular $25; the carrier reckons that a family of four could save anywhere from $40 to $100 per month over the regular rates. You can go for more than 10GB of data if your clan craves extra bandwidth, too. It's not clear if AT&T's deal will be enough to lure families away from low-cost carriers like T-Mobile, but it's certainly a better offer than before.
It was just three weeks ago that Nokia pushed out its Lumia Black software update to the Lumia 925 and 1020, with the promise that other Lumia phones would get updated asap. Well, sure enough, the Lumia 820 and 920 on AT&T have received the software patch, according to WPCentral. As on other Lumia devices, the update brings app folders, Bluetooth 4.0 LE support, an updated Glance screen and the unified Nokia Camera app. No RAW shooting, unfortunately -- that's a luxury reserved for 1020 and 1520 owners -- but you'll otherwise enjoy the same updates as anyone else with a newish Windows Phone 8 device. At any rate, feel free to get your download on, and do let us know in the comments how it all goes.
The wireless industry in the United States is in the midst of some rather significant changes. Ever since T-Mobile implemented its Jump program early last year, the carrier has turned subscriber loss into massive gains. The company's success is rubbing off, too. AT&T's Next program is very similar to Jump, which lets customers pay off their phones in monthly installments and become eligible for upgrades earlier, and is just one example of a major transformation taking place throughout the industry.
According to AT&T's earnings report, the company saw over one million Next sales, which accounted for 15 percent of all smartphones sold in the quarter. AT&T CFO John Stephens elaborated in today's investor call, saying that Next accounted for 20 percent of total sales in December alone. This doesn't sound like much right now, but the big picture shows a different story. Next is actually growing at an incredibly fast pace, and it's unlikely that AT&T will change course anytime soon.
AT&T had a pretty good fourth quarter by pretty much every metric you can imagine. Revenues are up, subscriptions are up and the company sold 1.2 million smartphones -- a record for any US carrier. Those massive smartphone sales show that the market is continuing to accelerate, even as it nears saturation. At this point smartphone owners account for 89 percent of AT&T's 47.1 million postpaid subscribers. While the company added 780,000 postpaid subscribers during the quarter, it did see prepaid customers decline to the tune of 166,000.
If you've been waiting to make NFC payments with little more than your iPhone and an Isis account, we have news for you. A tipster sent us pictures of what looks to be retail packaging for the Incipio Cashwrap, along with supposed pricing information. The Cashwrap enables secure mobile payments via a micro-NFC chip and a mobile app and it'll be available from AT&T for $70 according to our reader, with variants for most of Apple's recent smartphones. What's more, this info aligns nicely with what 9to5Mac learned about the product at CES 2013. Our source says that the case is already in AT&T's inventory too, meaning technically you could buy one right now, but you probably shouldn't press your luck until there's an official announcement. Unlike Incipio's other iPhone protector, it looks like this one will see the light of day. We've reached out to AT&T, Incipio and Isis and will update this post if we hear back.
AT&T is looking to make its Next smartphone payment plan a little more prominent. You'll be eligible to hop on-board the Next bandwagon in a mere six months and start swapping handsets sooner right now if you were under a two-year service agreement before January 18th. If you walked out of an AT&T store this morning with the carrier's typical contract, well, you're stuck with your handset for the next 20 months. We imagine that somewhere, surrounded by magenta, John Legere is smiling.
Sprint was the first out of the gate to announce LG G Flex pricing and availability for the US, but AT&T isn't too far behind. The network just made it be known that the curved smartphone will be available for pre-order online and at retail stores starting January 24th. We haven't been given specifics on when the device will get shipped out to early adopters, nor do we have a date on when it'll be stocked on shelves for everyone else -- but we do know, however, that it'll be all yours for $300 with a two-year contract. If you'd rather get it on a Next plan, you can do so by paying $27 per month (on an 18-month plan) or $35 per month (on a 12-month plan). We're still awaiting word on when T-Mobile's option will come out, but we'd guess that we'll be hearing pretty soon.
16/01/2014 - Moto G Google Play edition hands-on (video)
If Google's strategy of releasing Play edition devices isn't working, the company is sure doing a good job of hiding that fact: In the space of a month the number of smartphones and tablets bestowed with that title has grown from two to five. None of these devices are brand new; they're all existing devices created by popular Android manufacturers. The difference is that each one has been unlocked, stripped of custom firmware features/modifications and blessed with a stock version of the latest Android build. As a result, you get a Nexus-like experience on a wider variety of devices, and you typically receive updates much faster than any other Android gadget out there. Motorola's Moto G is the most recent device to be given this treatment, and at $180 (8GB) or $200 (16GB), it's the least expensive Google Play edition you can buy.
We're the first to applaud the opportunity (and ability to choose) to use flagship devices without pre-installed bloatware, unnecessary features and user experience that's been dictated by the manufacturer. That said, we have to wonder if the Moto G really needs to be turned into a Google Play edition -- after all, the GSM version of the smartphone already comes unlocked, uses a mostly stock Android UI, is void of needless bloatware and has only a few additional software features like Moto Assist, Migrate and a different camera interface. It even got an update to Android 4.4 KitKat shortly after the device's launch. How exactly does the Google Play edition differ from the original, and which one is the better choice? We just got our hands on the new version of the Moto G, so keep reading to find out.
When T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere isn't busy getting himself kicked out of an AT&T party, he's likely putting the finishing touches to his own CES announcement. Rumors have suggested that T-Mobile will soon make it easier for consumers to switch to the UnCarrier from rival operators, and a banner ad spotted by Droid Life suggests its willing to put its hand in its pocket to do so. The advertisement, which briefly appeared on T-Mobile's website before it was unceremoniously pulled, says the operator will "pay you family's termination fees when you trade in your devices," effectively countering AT&T's promotion that gives T-Mobile customers up to $450 if they switch to its NEXT plan.
T-Mobile's small-print says it'll accept ports from AT&T, Verizon or Sprint customers and transfer up to five lines. While the initiative appears costly, it'll look to recoup its outgoings by requiring new customers to trade in their existing smartphone and choose a new phone offered on its UnCarrier plans. Droid Life indicates that the T-Mobile will likely limit the amount it is willing to pay -- we expect Legere and co. to confirm payment caps and all the other details at its UnCarrier 4.0 event when it kicks off at 12:30PM PT.
Via: The Verge
Source: Droid Life
We'll be joined by AT&T Mobility's President of Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships, Glenn Lurie, the executive who helped score the carrier's exclusives on the iPhone and iPad.
Mophie's line of Juice Packs and Powerstations has proven invaluable to anyone who needs their handsets to keep on ticking from dawn 'til dusk, especially at a show like CES. Now the company behind those popular external batteries has introduced the Space Pack, a battery case for the iPhone that also incorporates built-in storage. Designed for the iPhone 5 and the 5s, the Space Pack not only packs a 1,700mAh backup battery, it also comes in either 16GB or 32GB iterations that could potentially double or triple your iPhone's storage capacity. Any file type can be stored and managed on it, from photos and videos to your iTunes library. Mophie also introduced a free iOS app called Space that organizes the files into easy-to-view Collections so you can see what's stored in your Space Pack. The 16GB version retails for $149.95 while the 32GB version will cost you $179.95. So if you've ever been stymied by your iPhone's poor battery life and fixed storage, you can go ahead and pre-order Mophie's Space Pack today as it starts shipping on March 14, 2014.%Gallery-slideshow159828%
06/01/2014 - AT&T planning to launch HD Voice sometime this year
LTE-Advanced? Voice over LTE? HD Voice? This may turn out to be a solid year for AT&T's network. Alongside the announcement of the ASUS PadFone X at the company's Developer Summit, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega specified that HD Voice is in the works, and we should start seeing it on devices later this year.
At AT&T's Developer Summit today, the wireless operator introduced what it calls Sponsored Data, something it likens to a 1-800 number for wireless data. Sounds strange, but the new wireless data model is pretty straightforward. The service, which is mostly geared towards businesses, allows users to test out or view applications, games, upcoming movie trailers and even websites without impacting their monthly data plans.
Sponsored Data is, of course, all about consumer engagement. With unlimited data fast becoming a rarity, consumers need to monitor their data consumption to avoid blowing past caps and that cautious behavior doesn't translate well for businesses looking to hock their virtual wares. Sponsored Data removes that concern, offering users a way to browse the web or test drive new apps freely on their phones with the same 4G speeds they'd normally enjoy. Though consumers won't be charged for taking advantage of Sponsored Data, they will see it appear within their monthly billing statement. The fees, however, are entirely the province of business partners backing that usage.
There's no doubt that the LG G Flex is one of the more unique Android devices we've played with recently, thanks to its curved display, self-healing back and uncanny ability to change its shape. Until now, you've only been able to get it in a couple Asian countries or through an online importer, but it's obviously wowed execs in the US wireless industry -- AT&T has formally announced its intent to carry the G Flex as part of its lineup. In addition, LG just revealed at its live CES 2014 event that the handset will come to Sprint and T-Mobile in the same time frame. The specs will largely be the same as the Korean version, although LTE compatibility in the US is something that we weren't able to enjoy in our initial review. None of the carriers are ready to talk specifics about price or availability yet, but AT&T and LG told us that we could expect it sometime in the first quarter of this year; T-Mobile will have more details to share in the coming weeks. As for how much it'll cost you, we wouldn't count on it being cheap at first: After all, the Korean version goes for more than $900 (unsubsidized) right now.