We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2011, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2012!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone original:
iPhone 5 certainly got a lot of attention this year, and our image gallery comparing it to previous iPhone designs served as our most popular post in all of 2012.
The airwaves are running out, and you may've noticed it from the data diet your phone company has probably went on, or from the inability to send texts from busy areas in the city.
The FCC has approved the transfer of 608 spectrum licenses to AT&T that cover about 82 percent of the US population. Don't start streaming those 1080p movies from your data plan just yet, as the new spectrum isn't going in effect any time soon. It'll be years before any of us can take advantage of it, we're afraid.
Read More | FCC
If you're an AT&T customer sporting a Samsung Galaxy S III, today is the day that you finally get to update your smartphone to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This means you get access to Google Now, better notifications, low light photo mode, as well as all the fixes and knowledge that you're on the (almost) latest and greatest. Get the Android 4.1 update now by hitting the source link.
Read More | Samsung
After launching its new 4G LTE service in Seattle days before the iPhone 5 launch, AT&T is now launching its faster data service in Tacoma, Washington, as well as Federal Way, Lakewood, Puyallup, and Auburn. Additionally, LTE expansion upgrades are now live in Seattle, Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Renton, Redmond, Tukwila, and Woodinville. AT&T plans to officially announce the enhancements tomorrow. Of course, you'll need an LTE-compatable AT&T device to take advantage of the faster speeds.
AT&T has announced on its public policy blog that FaceTime over cellular will be available to iPhone and iPad users with several caveats. Users must have LTE versions of iPads and iPhones and must be on a tiered plan. Previously FaceTime on AT&T was only available for customers on mobile shared plans. However, the rollout is not immediate. AT&T expects it to take 8-10 weeks, which is unusually slow. The decision has come after much pressure from customers, public advocacy groups, and the media.
Still, AT&T's policy change is a half-hearted attempt as it doesn't fully cave in to demands. It omits a larger group of customer that are not on LTE from using FaceTime over cellular on 3G and "4G." Also, it continues its hostility toward customers of grandfathered unlimited data plans on any cellular mode. The FCC has warned that discriminatory practices on citizen owned spectrums will not be tolerated in accordance with net neutrality regulations. AT&T is cherry picking customers based on monetary gains and not necessarily reasons of management of network congestion.
Read More | AT&T
After a ridiculously long wait, it's finally been announced that AT&T will be selling launching the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 Windows Phones this Friday, November 9th, with pre-orders starting tomorrow. Pricing has also been revealed, and things are looking good there as well, with the flagship 920 costing $99.99 with two-year contract, and including a wireless charging dock. If you'd prefer the 820, that one will sell for $49.99 on contract. Now that the pricing is public, anyone planning on picking up one of the new Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices?
What you see in the image above is the evolution of mobile phone SIM card design over the past four years. The largest in the image, known as the mini-SIM, was used for quite a while as the standard in GSM cell phones. However, as smartphones began to rise in popularity, drop is cost, and brought increased functionality, it was determined that the mini-SIM just wasn't mini enough. It took up too much of the precious real estate that mobile phone manufacturers needed for other things. Thing like a GPS radio, Wi-Fi, larger batteries, dock connectors, graphics chips, and more. And so began the start of the shrinking SIM card.
Oh man--looks like the Nokia Lumia 920 is set to drop in November, and it's going to be an AT&T exclusive. That's unfortunate, since it's the new hotness from Nokia that Microsoft may just be hanging it's hat on as it pertains to Windows Phone 8, so it's a little odd that the 4G LTE smartphone won't be available on Verizon, the company that has the largest LTE network by far. The Lumia 820 should launch alongside the 920, but that is more of a mid-range phone rather than a top-of-the-line model, and that one should make an appearance on multiple carriers. That said, if you're interested in one of the colorful (yellow, black, cyan, red, white) 920 models, you're gonna have to go with AT&T come this November. No word yet on pricing.
Be sure to check out the top 5 features of Lumia 920.
It's been widely reported that the Verizon iPhone 5 ships with an unlocked SIM slot, which means you can insert any 3G nano SIM into its tray and you can use it with any carrier. The AT&T model isn't as forgiving, as all AT&T iPhone 5 (see out iPhone 5 review) models ship locked to that specific carrier. However, there are a few ways of unlocking the AT&T model for use with other carriers, like T-Mobile.
Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 to the world on September 12th, and just 9 days later, the smartphone launched. Pre-sales hit over 2 million in the first 24 hours alone, showing that there was massive demand for the newly redesigned iPhone. According to Apple, it's the best iPhone it's ever made, but does it live up to the hype? More importantly, os it worth your hard-earned cash? We've had a few days to use the iPhone 5 (as well as its built-in operating system, iOS 6,) and we’re ready to break it all down in our iPhone 5 review.
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