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.
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.
Canada got LTE relatively quickly, but that fast data currently has a big catch: since it doesn't run on low frequencies like in the US, you sometimes drop to 3G when you head indoors. Thankfully, those slowdowns won't be an issue for much longer. Rogers has officially switched on its 700MHz network in parts of Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, bringing LTE to your basement and other places where it was previously off-limits. It may help American travelers, too, since AT&T customers (who already have 700MHz support) can roam on Rogers' airwaves.
AT&T has started rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat update for its Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. Aside from a number of software tweaks and bug fixes, the latest firmware also updates some of the preloaded apps, all while making the Galaxy S4 Active feel that much better.
You’ll get a slightly restyled status and navigation bars, the new full screen immersive mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning, stronger security, smarter power use, full screen album art, media controls and quick access to camera on the lock screen. In addition, there’s the all-new location menu, support for wireless printing and new sound controls.
If you still hasn’t received these goodies, don’t worry. These sort of updates are usually rolled out in stages and it can take a week until all users are served. In any case, you are free to check for the update manually by going to Settings -> About phone and update from there. Make sure you have at least 50% full battery before tapping that “Update” button, though.
Cheesy moniker aside, Sprint's newly minted Framily plan is not one to be ignored. It allows you to save money by sharing an account with, well, friends and family, all while being billed separately on up to 10 lines. Following in similar footsteps, AT&T's prepaid subsidiary Aio Wireless has now announced Group Save, which allows users to get a maximum monthly discount of $90 per account. It's simple, really: the more lines you add, the more cash you save every month on your bill total, not per line. With Aio's Group Save, you can have up to five lines; the first two get you a $10 discount, while lines number three, four and five knock off $30, $60 and $90 per month, respectively.
It pays to be an executive in one of the hottest industries on the planet. Very well, in fact. Fierce Wireless has compiled a list of the top 10 highest paid CEOs in the wireless industry in 2013, featuring many familiar faces, but leaving out some of the biggest names in the wireless world. As for notable omissions, Tim Cook didn't rank among the top 10 for the first time in several years, and Stephen Elop disappeared as well. T-Mobile CEO John Legere is also absent from the list, but T-Mobile has yet to announce executive compensation for last year.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is surely a device to behold, packing tons of features and a fingerprint scanner to facilitate security. While fingerprint scanners have been used in smartphones before, such as the iPhone 5S, the scanners may not be as secure as we think. Security Research Labs has used a pretty simple method of fingerprint spoofing to bypass the GS5′s fingerprint scanner, allowing him to not only sign in and control the device with a fake fingerprint but to utilize PayPal’s new app as well. The company was able to access all of PayPal’s features, including the ability to access the account to send money or even make purchases.
As Research Labs points out, it’s not necessarily the fingerprint scanner that is the problem, but more of how Samsung has implemented it. Apparently the GS5 allows users unlimited login attempts, allowing the fake fingerprint to be scanned as many times as need to unlock the device. Also, once a user has unlocked the GS5 with a fingerprint, the device gives unfettered access to security sensitive apps like PayPal. Yikes.
Apple’s implementation of the iPhone 5S’s fingerprint scanner is a bit different. Users that sign in using TouchID must also enter a password to activate TouchID, and asks for the password upon reboot. Using this method, a hacker would need to use the traditional fingerprint spoofing method as well as have access to said user’s numerical or text passcode.
Surely these vulnerabilities can be fixed, but it is alarming that Samsung would heavily market software on a device which clearly isn’t up to par when it comes to security standards. Sure, sometimes hackers need to get their hands on the device and software before vulnerabilities are found, but this security flaw is one that Samsung should have found right off the bat.
We’ll keep you updated once Samsung responds to he news. In the meantime, check out the hack in action below!
Officially, Cortana won’t be making its way to Windows Phone handsets for a few months, but there is a way to install the new Windows Phone 8.1 update on your Windows Phone device at this very moment! The process isn’t too involved, and will take you just a few minutes to get the sassy Cortana on your device.
Before we get started, there are a few things worth noting. Your Windows Phone device must be running Windows Phone 8 Update 2, and once you turn on the update, there’s no reverting your device back to its original state. Installing the developer preview will also void your warranty up until the time that the update is officially rolled out to your device.S till into it? Read on!
First off, you’ll need to gain developer status if you haven’t already. If the thought of staring at code terrifies you, don’t worry. Anyone can join Microsoft’s developer club, even if they don’t create an app. To begin your journey twords obtaining developer status, head over to Microsoft’s website and create a new project using the Windows Phone App Studio tool. After a new project has been created, download the free Preview for Developers app for your Windows Phone device and agree to receive updates.
Oppo has a reputation for clever smartphones, but there's a good reason why you rarely see its devices in the US: it hasn't had local LTE data until the (currently unreleased) Find 7, and that's not exactly cheap. Imagine our surprise when we found a version of the R1 with US-capable LTE, fresh from FCC approval. The high-style, low-cost phone can now handle 4G data on T-Mobile and, to a limited extent, AT&T. It should also run quickly on Canadian providers.
The HTC One M8 is now available to purchase from AT&T and Sprint retail stores, and will be landing in T-Mobile stores tomorrow. The M8, which was released on March 25th has been available from AT&T and Sprint, but had to be purchased online. Verizon has had the HTC One M8 in stores from the get go, landing in Big Red’s retail locations just hours after the March 25th launch. T-Mobile has been the only major U.S. carrier not to offer the HTC One M8 yet, online or in stores. That will all change tomorrow when the M8 lands in T-Mobile stores and online marketplaces.
The HTC One M8 is being offered at a price point of $199.99 with a new two-year contract through both AT&T and Sprint, with no word on T-Mobile’s pricing yet. Verizon is offering a buy one get one free deal on the M8, with customers being able to net two of the handsets for the price of one when signing up for two new lines of service.