More options with better data plans coming June 21; new LTE device joining the prepaid ranks
Closely following earlier rumors, AT&T announced today that it will be restructuring its GoPhone prepaid plans to be more data friendly and offer a wider variety of options. Starting next week, AT&T will shift to a new three tier prepaid plan structure:
$60 per month: unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data, $10 per 1GB additional
$40 per month: 500 minutes, unlimited text with 200MB of data, $5 per 100MB additional
$25 per month: 250 minutes, unlimited text with no data, $5 per 50MB of data additional
This is a serious shift away from what AT&T' s prepaid offerings looked like at this time last year, and even a marked improvement over its current plans. Currently $65 on GoPhone will get you just 1GB of data, with no option to purchase additional gigabytes -- they've knocked the price by $5, added 1GB to the base price and now allow additional data to be purchased. For the less-than-power user, the $40 plan offers a good choice for those needing less data. Let's also remember that AT&T now allows customers to bring any phone, including those with LTE, to its prepaid plans.
Nyko recently announced their first batch of NVIDIA Shield accessories, and we got a chance to play around with them at E3. First up is a soft shell with form-fitted interior for some solid baseline protection. There's a zipper all around the outside to keep it snug, and a lanyard to make sure you don't lose your grip on it. That one should be going for about $19.99.
How does Sony's latest mid-range handset shape up?
From a handful of phones a few years ago, Sony Mobile now offers a vast portfolio of Android devices -- and it's quickly exhausting the alphabet with its letter-themed Xperia handsets. We've already covered the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL at the high end, now it's the turn of the Xperia SP, the company's mid-range offering for mid-2013.
With a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, a 720p screen and 8-megapixel camera, the SP boasts specs that would've been considered bleeding edge less than twelve months ago. It's also much more hand-friendly than its larger siblings, with a comfortable, curved back panel. The SP also sees Sony resurrecting one of the quirkier features from its 2011 line-up -- the glowing "transparent element" that acts as a giant notification LED (and disco lights, if you're using the Walkman music app.)
Check out our full video walkthrough of the Sony Xperia SP after the break.
Back at CES, NVIDIA announced a cloud gaming solution called Grid, though it was mostly overshadowed by the Shield portable console. Luckily at E3 we got some time with one of the grid engineers, Chad Cooper, to talk about what Grid can do. Specifically, they were showing how the Android-powered Ouya game console could play big-boy games like Borderlands 2 thanks to their tech.
AT&T and Sprint HTC One going for $79.99 up-front for new customers, $99.99 for upgrades
Amazon's one-day sale on the Sprint and AT&T HTC One has begun. For today only, HTC's latest handset is being sold at a reduced price of $79.99 if you're a new customer, or $99.99 for upgrades, which is a pretty good discount on our favorite Android phone of the moment.
If you're interested, check out the links below --
If Candy Crush is bleeding you dry, fear not - these tips can help you out
Admit it: You're playing Candy Crush Saga. Or you know somebody who does. The Bejeweled clone has become a big of hit on iOS as well as Android, amassing more than 50 million total downloads on Google Play, with an average rating of 4.4 on some 1.2 million reviews.
Like the app or not, you can't deny those numbers.
And so Candy Crush has quickly become the latest and greatest timesuck, not to mention a money pit thanks to some devilishly good in-app purchases to get you through those tricky levels. Fortunately, our pals at iMore.com are damned wizards when it comes to Candy Crush Saga, offering up a number of tips and tricks that can keep the frustration at a minimum.
At E3 2013, we got some time with Ninja Theory, who's been working on their first mobile title called Fightback. These guys made the latest Devil May Cry game, which is part of a well-respected console action series, so it was pretty exciting to see what they'd be able to do on Android.
Fightback is straightforward (but gorgeous) beat-em-up where players have to tap and swipe their way through waves of 80s-era goons within a limited timeframe. If things get tight, you can always bust out the guns to clear a wave, but depending on your weapon and upgrades, you'll have to wait on your reload time to use them again.
It's Friday and we're in a great mood this week, especially since the latest iteration of the Android Central App has surpassed 50,000 downloads in its first month of release, which is wildly exceeding our expectations!
As a way to say thanks, we're going to give away 20 Android Central T-shirts. Just leave a comment in this post, and we'll pick 20 winners at random. We'll leave comments open through 5 p.m. Sunday to make sure everybody gets a chance, and this one's open to everyone. (We'll post the winners here in this post after they've been chosen, and we'll contact them by e-mail as well.)
Thanks again, everybody! Check out the all-new Android Central app if you haven't already, and be sure to leave a review!
Rather than allowing the app to offer as high of quality music as possible given the current connection, users now have three settings -- low, normal and high -- to cap the quality, and therefore data usage, of streaming. We've done a little semi-scientific testing on the new settings, and have found them to be quite effective.
$200 on a two-year plan or $595 up-front, shipping June 18
Right on schedule, Samsung's rugged, water-resistant Galaxy S4 Activet is now available to pre-order from U.S. carrier AT&T. The Active packs similar specs to the regular Galaxy S4 -- Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 1080p screen -- with the added bonus of being able to withstand the elements. It's rated IP67 for dust resistance and water resistance up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
The Galaxy S4 Active will set you back $199.99 on a two-year plan, or $594.99 outright. It's available in "urban grey" and "dive blue" colors, and will start shipping to pre-order customers from June 18, ahead of the June 21 date for general availability.
Anyone placing a pre-order today? Shout out in the comments!