Google cracks down on fragmentation, but does doing so put the Android Open Source Project's openness in jeopardy? First an app store, then a cloud streaming service, and now is Amazon planning an Android-based phone? What podcatching app do you use on your Android phone? We have the answers to all of these questions, plus Antuan tries to name as many popular Android devices as quickly as he can in this week's episode of Android Atlas Weekly with Justin Eckhouse and Antuan Goodwin.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) |&… Read more
In addition to mandating that carriers allow data roaming, the Federal Communications Commission used its regular meeting this week to propose tighter regulations for cell phone signal boosters.
The decision, which actually came yesterday, is part of an ongoing discussion within the wireless industry over whether cell phone signal boosters interfere with carrier networks. Rather than approving a request by the CTIA to ban the sale of signal boosters outright, the FCC issued (PDF) a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes guidelines for using boosters safely and effectively.
"Our goal in this proceeding is to facilitate the development … Read more
It's been almost a month since AT&T dropped the $39 billion bomb that it was intending to acquire T-Mobile. And since that time, the wireless world had talked about little else. Indeed, the news of the potential merger dominated the CTIA show last month, and my CNET colleagues and I have fielded many reader questions over the marriage.
Your concerns about a merger are understandable. If approved by the feds, the deal would not only lump 130 million subscribers under one provider, but also it would result in just one GSM national carrier. Higher prices, customer service changes, and degraded coverage are top of mind for many consumers, but divestiture is another consequence to consider. We'll get into the details below, but the short story is that the combined carrier may have to stop service to your area. And if that happens, you can wind up with a different provider that you didn't choose. It's nothing to panic over, but it is something to keep in mind. So for more on divestiture and what it could mean to you, read on.… Read more
After recently adding four devices to its Android lineup, Alltel is becoming quite proud of its smartphone roster. So proud, in fact, that it issued a press release today simply to talk its Android devices up a bit more.
It took the wireless provider longer than some of its competitors to get started, but now the snowball is growing. Alltel kicked off the year with the LG Axis and most recently began offering the Samsung Gem and the HTC Merge. With price points that start at nearly free, customers have multiple manufacturers and user interfaces to choose from.
It's worth pointing out that almost all of Alltel's products are running Android 2.1 or higher, which is an impressive fact that not many other carriers can boast. Even with most of the specs bordering on midrange at best, at least they have access to much of the Android Market's applications.
T-Mobile customers will have an option for a cheaper Even More Plus plan starting April 13, according to a leaked document on TmoNews. They will now have an option of $59.99 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data--it used to be $79.99 a month. However, the document indicated that even though the data is "unlimited," T-Mobile will throttle data speeds after 2GB.
T-Mobile's Even More Plus plans are for T-Mobile customers who bought their phone at full price so they can pay less each month, which can save money over time. Even More Plus … Read more
Listed with a model number of GT-I9020A, the handset is strikingly similar to the Samsung I9020T currently supported by T-Mobile. The Web site specifically mentions AT&T and references the carrier's UMTS 850/1900 network bands, but with no announcement from Google or AT&T, this remains strictly unofficial at this point.
AT&T has increased its early upgrade and no-commitment prices for new phones. Early upgrade pricing affects those who want to get a new handset but are not eligible for an upgrade, while no-commitment pricing affects those who do not want to sign a new contract.
For early upgrades, pricing will go up to $50 for smartphones and $10 for other phones. For no-commitment deals, fees will increase by $50 for smartphones except for the iPhone and $20 for other phones.
AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom told CNET in an e-mail that "as mobile devices become more … Read more
From the moment AT&T announced a $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile almost two weeks ago, many industry watchers agreed that the deal would face close scrutiny from federal regulators. The deal would, after all, lump an estimated 130 million subscribers under one carrier and make AT&T the only major GSM provider in the country.
AT&T has yet to file the official merger documents with the Federal Communications Commission, but one agency official already has said the deal may face a "very steep climb." In an interview with C-Span that will air today, … Read more
Amazon's Android blitz continues with the launch of the Cloud Player service and a deal to preinstall its App Store onto phones. Meanwhile, in the original Android Market, app makers get a new way to monetize their wares. Also, Antuan risks bricking his new HTC Thunderbolt by attempting to installing a custom ROM during the show. Will he be left with an expensive paperweight? All of that and more on this week's episode of Android Atlas Weekly with Justin Eckhouse and Antuan Goodwin.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) |&… Read more
AT&T announced a new equipment protection plan today that bundles insurance, support, and phone location services for $9.99 per month. Most of the carrier's current handsets (PDF) will be compatible with the AT&T Mobile Protection Pack, though iPhone and iPad users will have to resort to other solutions like Apple's MobileMe and Find My iPhone/iPad.
Customers who sign up for the service will get:
Mobile Insurance (formerly called Wireless Phone Insurance) will replace handsets that disappear through loss or theft, become inoperable through accidental or liquid damage, or suffer from mechanical and … Read more