AT&T will finally be lifting its almost 3-year ban on FaceTime (and other pre-installed video chat services like Google Hangouts on ANdroid) for its customers on grandfathered unlimited data plans. Over time, AT&T has made stock video chat apps available on its cellular network only to customers on tiered data plans, or its newer Mobile Share plans, while unlimited users looked on in disappointment. That all changes starting next month, when customers with LTE devices get access to pre-installed video chat services:
For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we’ll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers.
So if you've got an iPhone 5, you're in luck. If you are on an older iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, you have a bit more of a wait ahead of you. In fact, it appears that even if you have a current LTE device that isn't made by Apple, BlackBerry, or Samsung, you've got a wait ahead of you. Recent buyer of the awesome HTC One? Sorry:
Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end.
We've been getting reports that some AT&T customers with unlimited plans and LTE devices are already seeing FaceTime over Cellular enabled.
Read More | The Verge
Google has announced a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 during the opening day Google I/O keynote, which runs the latest stock version of Android Jelly Bean. This means that the specialized smartphone sports the Nexus experience. It's compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile LTE networks, completely unlocked. The bootloader is unlocked as well, and the device sports 16GB of on-board storage, expandable with a microSD card. One major benefit is the promise of immediate system updates to newer Android versions, thanks to the stock Android being used. Since the phone has no contract, it won't be cheap. The stock Android Jelly Bean version of the Galaxy S 4 will go on sale on Google Play on June 26th for $649.
That's right, we are giving away a brand new LG Optimus G Pro for Mother's Day! After all, it's time to thank the moms in your life for their hard work, and the LG Optimus G Pro is just the phone to do that with. In fact, here are a few reasons why we think she'll love it:
- The LG Optimus G Pro sports a 13 megapixel camera, letting mom capture all those important and impromptu family moments, and includes features like VR Panorama, Cheese Shutter, and Time Catch Shot.
- It's got a 5.5-inch display. That puts it almost in tablet territory. Mini tablet, if you will. So watching videos, reading books, and surfing the web are done without having to suffer through tiny fonts.
- The device has almost no bezel. That keeps it thin and easy to hold, despite the larger display size. Very comfortable in the hand.
The LG Optimus G Pro can be had for $199.99 with two-year contract from AT&T, but we are giving you the opportunity to win one right here from Gear Live, courtesy of AT&T. So, how do you enter to win? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:
By the way, if you wanna pick up an Optimus G Pro on your own, AT&T is currently selling them for $199.99 with two-year contract.
See also: LG Optimus G review
New York City subway passengers now have access to Wi-Fi, voice, and data services in 36 subway stations. The Metropolitan Transit Authority has outfitted several major stations with the service, including Times Square, Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center, and a bunch of stops on the West Side starting at 18th street, all the way up to 96th street. Wi-Fi is sponsored by Boingo, while cell service is limited to AT&T and T-Mobile at the moment, with Sprint and Verizon on the way soon.
Up next, Wi-Fi and cell service will come to Queens and the midtown area by 2014, followed by the Bronx and East Side Manhattan following. Here's hoping that it all holds up and doesn't crack under the pressure of the daily New York City commuters similar to the problems with the BART Wi-FI service in San Francisco.
[Photo courtesy of Hernan Seoane/Flickr Creative Commons]
The HTC One is finally and officially on sale, beginning today, at AT&T and Sprint locations. As we previously mentioned, you can get the 32GB model from both carriers for $199.99 with two-year contract, but the 64GB version is an AT&T exclusive at $299.99. As of today, you can get the white model--the black version won't be available for a number of weeks. If you're holding out for the T-Mobile version, you're gonna have to wait a few more days, as the HTC One doesn't drop on Magenta until April 24th.
In this episode we open up the AT&T MiFi Liberate, a portable mobile hotspot that sports two really unique features: a 2.8-inch touchscreen for managing settings, and a 2900 mAh battery that lasts up to 11 hours per charge. This makes it easy to get up to 10 devices connected to the MiFi Liberate 4G LTE signal, and once connected, you can pretty much stay connected all day. It's small, looks great, and is super portable, and in areas where there is no LTE, you will fall back onto HSPA+. Also cool, you can put an a microSD card up to 32GB in size to create shared storage space. Check out the video above to see how it all works!
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During today's Facebook Home announcement, HTC and AT&T announced the HTC First, a new smartphone set to launch in just over a week that was built from the ground up to run Facebook Home as its main interface. Aside from being the, um, first phone to launch with Facebook Home built-in, it'll also be the first smartphone to ship with Instagram pre-installed (although the Samsung Galaxy Camera does, too, but it isn't technically a phone.) The phone itself is a beautifully simple device from a design perspective, and on the inside runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor keeping things humming along, and status updates flowing across the 4.3-inch display. It also runs on AT&T's 4G LTE network, which Ralph de la Vega made sure to pimp as the fastest LTE network in the country. You'll be able to pick up the HTC First on April 12 (hey, the same day that the iPhone 5 hits T-Mobile!) for $99.99 in the US, and you'll have a choice of four colors: black, white, sky blue, or red.
Read More | HTC First
I have a bridge to sell you if you think AT&T's announcement had nothing to do with T-Mobile's hard push of its new HD Voice to its upcoming iPhone customers. AT&T Senior VP of Network Technology, Kris Rinne, was chatting it up at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit in Sausalito, California. She stated that the telecommunications company will support the HD Voice technology later this year in 2013. Nevermind that smartphones like the iPhone 5 have had HD Voice capabilities since October 2012.
@jason_diaz AT&T never implemented full rate AMR, much less AMR-WB, which is required for HD Voice.— Neal Gompa (ニール・ゴンパ) (@Det_Conan_Kudo) March 27, 2013
Rollout of newer technology has historically been AT&T's Achilles Heel; it took them over a year to include Internet tethering for the iPhone 3GS, despite carriers across the globe supporting it at launch. AT&T finally included the internet tethering, only after the iPhone 4 launched, with several deal breaking caveats such as forfeiting "unlimited" data plans and exorbitant pricing for data that customers are already paying for. On the brighter side, dropped calls will soon be in HD.
Read More | AllThingsD
The HTC One is set to officially launch on April 19th on both AT&T and Sprint, starting at $199.99 with two-year contract for the 32GB model. If you prefer the 64 GB variant, you'll have to go with the AT&T model…yup, the 64 GB HTC One is an AT&T exclusive. Despite an unforeseen delay, the HTC One is still set to beat the Samsung Galaxy S 4 to the market, and also comes in $50 cheaper. If you wanna get your pre-order on, you can put your money down with AT&T beginning on April 4, or on April 5th if you're going with the Sprint model.
If you were hoping to pick up a the 64 GB model of the HTC One, it looks like you'll need to grab it from AT&T. AT&T has posted a video promoting the HTC One on its official YouTube account, which clearly shows that the 64 GB model is exclusive to the carrier, while the 32 GB version is not. Since the One has no internal expansion slot for a microSD card, you are stuck with what you get, and if 32 GB is just too cramped for you, the AT&T model seems to be your only hope. That's unfortunate, as exclusive handset configurations in the smartphone market don't seem to help anyone byt the vendor who has the exclusive, consumers be damned. Check out the promo video after the break.