There was no question that AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon gave up on their Softcard mobile payment service when they agreed to pre-install Google Wallet, but it's now apparent that they're beating an especially hasty retreat. Softcard is telling users that its service will stop working after March 31st -- when April rolls around, both the app and your account go bye-bye. It's doubtful that you'll shed a tear for an offering that was mostly meant to stifle competition, but you will have to choose another tap-to-pay service fairly quickly if you happen to be one of the remaining customers. Thankfully, there won't be a shortage of alternatives any time soon.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile
Smartwatch fans have precious few choices when it comes to devices that don't look like a terrible cross between a Swatch watch and a Casio wrist calculator. Beginning soon, however, that is going to change. Apple is expected to announce Apple Watch launch details during its event on March 9th, and the device will begin shipping in April, according to earlier comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook.
And soon, U.S. consumers will have another beautiful choice for a smartwatch thanks to a new announcement from LG and AT&T on Sunday.
While you may have been doing a victory lap around your cubicle in the last few hours, not everyone is so enthused about the FCC's decision today. The commission voted to officially classify broadband internet as a Title II public utility, and it's already prepared for lawsuits from service providers. While court proceedings will take time to hash out, a war of words wages on in the immediate aftermath, so we've compiled comments from both sides on the matter.
Filed under: HD, Mobile
In an ironic turn, Google is now partnering with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to bring its Google Wallet mobile payment app to their Android phones later this year. Yes, those are the same carriers who made life pretty difficult for Google with their own payment solution, Softcard (formerly called Isis). The real point of this deal: Wallet will be pre-installed on Android phones running Kit-Kat or higher, which makes it far more likely that people will actually use it. Sure, it feels as if we're in the mobile payments Twilight Zone -- Softcard was the main reason Google couldn't bring Wallet to every single Android phone. But now that Apple Pay is taking off (even the U.S. government wants in on the action), and Samsung is gearing up for its own wallet by buying LoopPay, Google has to do something to rev up its own mobile payment action. And that starts with making Google Wallet a default feature, rather than being an app people have to discover and install on their own.
Filed under: Mobile, Google, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile
Source: Google, Softcard
Don't call it a comeback. Okay, maybe you should: Google wants to revive Wallet after seeing how popular Apple Pay has been, according to The Wall Street Journal. To do so, Mountain View is apparently in the early stages of a deal to take ownership of the carrier-owned Softcard as part of this Lazarus act for its mobile payment system. Previously, carriers in the United States were reticent to preload Wallet onto their devices because, at the time, they were trying to launch ISIS, going so far as to block the chip that stores credit card info. Times are different now, as WSJ tells it, because neither AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon gets a cut from Cupertino with surprise hit Apple Pay -- something that'd change by working with Google. How's that? The internet behemoth will reportedly pay them to feature Wallet on their Android phones and give them a bigger cut of the money it makes off of ads that live inside mobile searches.
Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile, Apple, Google
Source: The Wall Street Journal
AT&T is clearly bent on turning its ho-hum GoPhone prepaid service into more of a well-oiled machine. Just a couple of months after the carrier tweaked GoPhone pricing, it's upping the amount of full-speed data you get with two of its plans. The $45 tier is jumping from 1GB per month to a decidedly healthier 2.5GB; if you were paying $60 for 2.5GB before, you now get 4GB. The higher-end plan now has unlimited calling and texting to Mexico, too. The move was arguably necessary between higher data ceilings at Cricket (AT&T's other contract-free offering) and stiffer competition from T-Mobile, but it's hard to object to getting a lot more for the money.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan]
Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile, AT&T
Source: AT&T Consumer Blog
BlackBerry fans on AT&T, your long wait for a new phone is almost over -- the carrier has announced that both the Passport and Classic will reach its stores on February 20th. As promised, AT&T's ever-so-slightly customized (but still oddly shaped) Passport will cost you $200 on contract, $22 per month on Next 24 or $650 up front. If you'd like something a tad less squarish, the Classic will cost you $50 on contract, $14 per month on Next 24 or $420 outright. These BlackBerrys certainly aren't the cheapest devices in AT&T's roster, but they're also the network's only modern phones with hardware keyboards. If you still aren't a fan of typing on glass, they're your best bets.
Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, AT&T, Blackberry
AT&T was late to the game with its own rollover data plan but the carrier isn't done trying to come up with new ways to make it a more compelling offer. AT&T on Friday announced that for a limited time it will offer a new 7GB Mobile Share Value plan that has rollover data thrown in as well.
If you've struggled with getting your carrier to unlock your phone so that you can easily travel abroad -- or, gasp, switch providers -- today is an important day. As promised, seven US networks (AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon) are now honoring a voluntary code of conduct that, among other things, lets you get your phone unlocked without a big fight. As a rule, carriers will agree to derestrict your phone after you've paid off your device or service contract. You'll have to ask most of them to do it, which could take up to two days. It's easier on a couple of carriers, however. Sprint will automatically unlock SIM-based cellular service on phones bought from today onward, while T-Mobile bundles an app with newer phones that lets you start the process yourself.
Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile
The process of unlocking your iPhone became a little bit easier today in the United States. Today marks the deadline for wireless carriers to adopt the unlocking standards of the late-2013 agreement set forth by the CTIA.
The agreement is industry-wide, and mandates that carriers adhere to 6 rules including clearly posting their unlocking policies online, and offering to unlock postpaid handsets once the customer’s contract has expired.... Read the rest of this post here
"Unlocking your iPhone gets a little bit easier today" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.