Sprint announces revamped family data plans with double data, individual plans coming soon

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Sprint has unveiled its newest family data plans in an attempt to win back customers that have fled to rivals AT&T and Verizon. The new plans offer twice as much data as the competition at about the same prices. It’s the latest move by the floundering carrier following the less-than-stellar reception of its recently-announced “Framily” plans.

The new plans allow up to ten lines with a shared data pool of 20 GB—paired an additional 2 GB per device as part of a limited-time offer—for a grand total of up to 40 GB of shared data through 2015. A pricing chart (below) breaks down how all of the charges in the new plans work, including an additional $10 per tablet and shared data packs of up to 60 GB.

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Verizon bundling an extra gigabyte of data with its MORE Everything service plans

Verizon logo (medium)

Verizon announced a new promotion today that offers an additional gigabyte of sharable data when customers activate a new smartphone or upgrade a new smartphone on one of the carrier’s MORE Everything plans. In order to take advantage of this deal, you’ll need to be on a MORE Everything plan that uses at least 1GB of data.

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Samsung acquires iOS-connected home automation company SmartThings

SmartThings

About a month ago, word broke that Samsung was interested in acquiring home automation firm SmartThings and today the two companies have made things official. A blog post by the company’s founder and CEO, Alex Hawkinson acknowledged the deal and stated that SmartThings will continue to act as an independent company under Samsung’s Open Innovation Center group.

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Samsung trolls iPhone-toting ‘wall huggers’ at power outlets in major airports

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Image via Cnet

Last month Samsung ramped up the anti-Apple rhetoric with a new ad campaign that depicted iPhone users as “wall huggers,” constantly tethered to a power outlet due to the inferior battery in their non-Samsung smartphones. Today Cnet reports that the company has taken its campaign one step further by trolling real-life iPhone users at power outlets throughout major airports.

The new ads take the form of posters near power outlets that read, “Samsung Galaxy S5 with Ultra Power Saver Mode,” followed by a tagline that appears to poke at Apple’s own recent ad campaign: “So you have the power to be anywhere but here.” If you’d like to take a gander at the latest salvo in the ever-escalating flame war between Apple and Samsung, you’ll be able to do just that very soon at JFK, O’Hare, and Midway airports. Samsung says even more airports could be getting the ads if they’re successful in the first three.

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T-Mobile to throttle customers using unlimited data plans for peer-to-peer file sharing

T-mobile

In the world of wireless, words like “unlimited data” have their restrictions if you take the time to read the fine print of a carrier’s service agreement and it appears that T-Mobile is not exempt from such practices. An alleged internal memo obtained by TmoNews details how the company will address customers suspected of using its network to access peer-to-peer file sharing services.

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Future Xbox One update will let you stream live TV to your iPhone or iPad

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Microsoft announced today that a new system update for its Xbox One game console will soon let users stream live TV to their iPhone or iPad. Set to arrive in the next few months, the Xbox One’s SmartGlass companion app will be equipped with the option to watch television via a local network connection without interrupting a gameplay session.

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Samsung and Apple agree to end all patent disputes outside of the United States

Men pose with Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4 smartphones in photo illustration in Zenica

Samsung and Apple just announced that they have agreed to drop all patent suits against each other in countries outside the United States, Bloomberg reports. The two companies will drop suits against each other in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France and Italy. This agreement does not include any licensing agreements, though. This has no effect on United States battles either.

In a joint statement, the two companies had the following to say:

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Sprint gives up its plans to acquire T-Mobile USA over regulatory concerns (updated)

John Legere

Sprint’s plans to buy out the U.S. arm of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom came to an end today, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to the Journal, Sprint’s leadership was concerned that it would be too difficult to get United States regulators to agree to the merger.

The announcement is not yet official, but is said to be planned for Wednesday. If the merger had suceeded, the two companies would have united under the Sprint banner, possibly abandoning all of the “un-carrier” moves made by T-Mobile in recent years, including free one-week iPhone test drives on the network and unlimited music streaming on a variety of services.

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Google silently launches Chrome 64-bit Canary and Dev channel for Mac OS X users

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Google recently released a 64-bit version beta version of Chrome for Windows 7 and 8 users and for an encore the company has turned its efforts towards Apple’s OS X. The search giant has silently added 64-bit support to its Chrome Canary and Dev channels for Mac users. If you’re running the latest version of Canary on your Mac, the software should read as 64-bit capable in its About tab.

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FCC throttles Verizon Wireless over plans to throttle customers

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Following the recent revelation that Verizon Wireless would begin throttling some 4G LTE customers on unlimited data plans, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has sent a letter to the carrier (full text below) expressing his disdain with the policy and question the necessity of throttling only customers on unlimited plans.

In the letter, Wheeler asks Verizon CEO Daniel Mead why exactly the company feels the need to only throttle customers on certain plans, rather than throttling based on the needs of the technology that powers the network. Wheeler says he is “deeply troubled” by Verizon’s claims that the policy is necessary to “optimize” the network, when in his opinion, it appears to more likely be a ploy to get customers off of unlimited plans.

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Square announces new EMV chip reader for more secure mobile credit and debit card payments

Square-EMV-iPad

Today, Square announced a new version of its popular mobile payment system that will support EMV chipped credit cards. EMV is a joint effort from MasterCard and Visa to help improve security credit and debit card transactions and is set to become a standard in the US by October 2015. In addition to EMV-equipped credit cards, the new version of Square’s payment system will still feature support for legacy magnetic strips, so customers will still have the option to swipe and sign.

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