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US Cellular blog including device reviews, apps, and leaked information!

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snodrog742

blog-0227710001372094057.jpgShort little update to say, WE HAVE A NEW CEO! Well, US Cellular does. Mary Dillon has transferred to another company - Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrances, Inc.

Apparently, this change has already happened as of June 22. Very quiet transition as I've heard nothing until today.

Mr. Kenneth Meyers will be replacing Ms. Dillon as of today. He has been with US Cellular since 1987 and been the executive vice president as well as chief financial officer at TDS (US Cellular's parent company) since 2007. He is also a member of US Cellular and TDS boards.

Truthfully, this gives me hope. Mr. Meyers has been with this industry a much longer time and appears to have much more experience in the communication business. Personally, I'm hoping he can take USCC back to it's roots. Stop trying to be "just like the rest" and do what US Cellular was good at. Obviously Belief Plans and Points blew up in there faces but is that truly what US Cellular needed? They were great before they tried all these changes and I'm hoping Mr. Meyers can see that.

What do you think? Do you feel a little more confident in Mr. Meyers who has a much more extensive background in US Cellular? Let us know below!

WinPhan7

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Welcome to 2012, what should prove to be a big year for Windows Phone. Every journey must come to an end and this journey is no different. My intentions are not to bore you with semantics, but to show you the flare and beauty being offered by Windows Phone’s newer OS, that is getting people’s attention in the smartphone market. Today we will give our final attentions to the functionality of the HTC 7 Pro. I will be covering the Browser, Camera, Photo Hub, Calendar, Maps, and finally Office. From here on out, I will spend “blog” time keeping you informed of updates, new devices, apps, and pretty much everything involving Windows Phone HTC 7 Pro and WP devices on the way, available at USCC Stores near you.

 

 

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Internet Explorer 9(IE9) is the stock browser on the HTC 7 Pro. IE9 is a HTML5 based web browser. This is significant because of the recent discontinued development of Flash for Mobile. HTML5 is becoming the unified development format for mobile web browsing. IE9 reflects this with its ability to quickly load pages and play content that previously was unavailable to non-Flash based browsers. There will be no “catching up to the rest”, as the future is already at your fingertips!

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IE9 is a vast improvement over the previous versions of Explorer that Windows Mobile offered. IE9 uses your YouTube to replace Adobe Flash, allowing you to view the web properly. Simply hit the thumbnail and your YouTube loads the video or clip. IE9 offers the ability to share, save, share link, and copy link to most photos on web pages by simply pressing and holding image. Bookmark a page, share a page, see recent history, switch between 6 open tabs, pin a page to your Start Screen, or switch between mobile and desktop view, its all 1 tap of your screen away. No apps are needed for any of these options to work, they are just THERE for your enjoyment!

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Sharing is a big deal with the social networking frenzy. This is why there are so many options available in IE9 for sharing what you find online. Windows Phone didn’t miss a beat when it came to sharing what you capture through your camera’s eye either, allowing for easy sharing to many of the social networks with 1 tap of your screen.

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The HTC 7 Pro comes with a 5mp rear facing camera that can be activated from sleep and a lock screen. To take a picture tap the screen. Once a picture has been taken, that’s when the fun begins. With 1 tap of the screen, quickly tag and upload your photo to Facebook or share your pic via Email, SMS, or SkyDrive. From the same menu prompt you can opt to make the picture your wallpaper, access your photo editing apps, auto fix the pic, or add the pic to your favorites. Your "favorites”, which are located in the Picture Hub constantly scroll on your Start Screen’s Live Tile for the Picture Hub.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with SkyDrive, it is Microsoft’s online storage center, akin to the the Cloud and Dropbox. You can store your documents, pictures, and media. You can access it anywhere you are and recently an app was released for the Windows Phone, making managing your SkyDrive much easier than doing it online from your device. In writing and editing this blog, I have used my 7 Pro and my PC, accessing this document via SkyDrive.

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Your pictures are accessed through your Picture Hub. Upon entering the Hub, you can look at photos stored by Camera Roll, by Date, by Favorites, by People(your Contacts), and by Albums. Your Albums consist of: camera roll, saved pictures, mobile uploads from Skydrive, camera roll from SkyDrive, Facebook uploads, and Facebook profile pics. Facebook and Twitter are baked into the OS, so when you swipe your screen you are taken to “What’s New”, where new photos from your FB and Twitter friends are updated. Again no apps are needed to make these features work, less time to spend trying to figure things out and more time spent enjoying your device.

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SEARCHING for what we want, MAPPING where to get it once we figure out what it is we want, and then safely arriving to that destination via our turn-by-turn GPS as it guides us, is a big deal in people’s gauge for how effective a device is. Windows Phone listened to what people wanted, as the Mango update truly brought this concept to life. How about a 1 stop shop? How about being able to do all these things without searching for and downloading an app? How about walking out of a USCC Store and just doing it!

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Start with a simple tap of the Bing Search button on your device, search the entire web, locally, or by images. Need more? Tap your Search button and you’re met with 4 options. Tap the mic icon(Bing Voice) and your devices awaits your question, how do I get there or what’s that phone number? Tap the eye icon and Bing Vision starts. This is a QR scanner and it keeps history of your scans. Get comparisons and product info quickly on the fly. Tap the music symbol icon(Bing Music) and your phone listens to the song playing and within seconds the artist is identified and you can buy it right there. Lastly, tap the building icon(Local Scout) and get all the info you need for food, events, and shopping near you.

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Bing Maps comes with your phone. Step right out and get your directions read aloud as your phone takes you turn-by-turn, showing you the traffic along the way. Have your screen rotate or lock your orientation to the north. Save your favorite places and pin them to your Start Screen to for quick and easy access, saving you time and effort. If Bing is not your thing, WP understands this and has made Google Maps, Navigon, and Garmin Street Pilot available in the Marketplace. Bingle, a combo of Bing and Google maps is also available, the best of both worlds!

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Being able to keep our busy lives organized is difficult, however Windows Phone has found some ways to really help you keep it all together with their built in Calendar. It is a hub itself. You can access your Agenda, To-Do, and Day Glance all in this hub. Sync your Windows Live Calendar, your Gmail calendar, your Facebook events, and birthday calendars. You can directly insert dates from your email on invites to events via other Windows Live account users as well. In addition to the daily, monthly, and yearly views available from the hub, you will be reminded of your calendar event on your Start Screen’s Calendar Live Tile. Your lock screen will also show the appt., date, etc., in addition to receiving a notification via your Windows Live Email.

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The last thing we will focus on, is Office for Windows Phone. I chose this last because it has stuck in people’s mind that Windows Mobile was pure function with its Office. No frills, no bells, no whistles, just drab ole Windows Mobile. I wanted to try and help you be able to see Windows Phone as Windows Phone, not its predecessor. The fact is, having some form of a document creator and editor is necessary in a smartphone. Windows Phone knew it had to appeal to fun and business, so they put their famous Office back to use. No apps needed to download, just start a new project and decide how and where to save it!

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Office is a full functioning program where you can create, edit, save, share, outline, and fully format text. You can save to your phone, SkyDrive, or your office. Available is Word, Excel, Power Point Mobile, One Note, Share Point, Templates, and Office 365. Office 365 allows you to access office docs, emails, calendars, and contacts through your phone. GDOCS is available through the Marketplace if you need to access your Google account.

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Microsoft and Windows Phone is making this a SAFE choice of platforms for people to purchase. With frequent Microsoft updates, you won't feel left behind with the constant change in technology. With a rapidly growing choice of apps and a new flurry of app developers coding for Windows Phone, more than 260 apps a day are being published in the Marketplace! Take advantage of the frantic growth of apps available for the shrinking choices in OS’ available in the smartphone market today!

I truly have enjoyed sharing this journey! I hope this has been pleasurable and informative for you all as well. I learned I really enjoy my WP7, even more than I thought. I hope to continue to hear feedback and comments from the Team US Cellular community. Remember if you’re interested in the Windows Phone HTC 7 Pro, it is available at your local USCC Store. Walk in and tell them with confidence, you want to see The Windows Phone 7, and don’t let them dissuade you!

snodrog742

Well, the tip just rolled in from our wonderful anonymous sources. Quite the awesome tip, in my humble opinion. The title covers most of it but let's cover a few things.

The Samsung Repp probably doesn't excite the majority of us but for a decent Android device and maybe for that parent or grandparent you'd like to convert to Android.... a FREE phone seems pretty unbeatable. Again, instantly free, even better. For all those that might want to remove a little US Cellular preloaded apps, this phone is also rootable if memory serves me correctly.

Now, the Galaxy S 3.... the hottest device being sold to date. Well, the sources say that rebate price will finally be offered instantly in stores. No more silly rebates, 8 weeks+ of waiting, resubmission if denied, etc. Just $200 (or $250 for 32 GB model) and out the door you go with a shiny Galaxy S 3. Now, I'm not sure US Cellular's motive here other than to boost sales quickly, maybe? For all of us that preordered and are STILL waiting on that rebate.... this is a bit frustrating.

Now.... I'm sure you're all wanting to know when these deals start? Well, read no farther..... TOMORROW! Yep, tomorrow could be your lucky day to score a hot new device.

That's all we have for now but we'll always keep our eyes and ears open. What do you think of these new prices? Any plans to score a Galaxy S 3? How about a Samsung Repp just for the fun of it? Let us know below!

noahthedominator

Recently, a newer of Android was announced, Android Lollipop 5.0. With this users are wondering if their devices if and when they will receive this update.

Obviously the first devices to get the update will be the Nexus Devices. Both 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7 variants, Nexus 10, Nexus 5 and the Nexus 4.

Shortly after that, the Google Play devices will receive the update.

Other devices and when they will receive the update is below.

Samsung:

Samsung hasn't said much regarding the upcoming Android 5.0 update. However it is safe to say that the most recent Samsung devices are going to receive the update. (Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Alpha, and the Galaxy Note 3.) Other Samsung devices like the S4, are likely to receive the update but it will be pushed out later than the newer devices. Sadly the S3 is not expected to get the update.

LG:

The G3, G3 and possibly the G2 mini are expected to receive the update.

Motorola:

Both 1st and 2nd gen Moto X's will receive the update. Also the the Moto G, the Moto G 4Gand the Moto E

Other Motorola devices that will get Android Lollipop are the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini.

Sony:

Sony stated that it will be "bringing Android 5.0 Lollipop to the entire Xperia Z Series."

It's even put out a full list of handsets which are in line for Android Lollipop. Here they are.

Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1S, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3v, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.

Other various devices getting Android 5.0 are...

HTC One M8 and M7

Oppo One plus One

Happy to see your device(s) on this list? Or sad your device isn't? Let us know!

snodrog742

blog-0661248001337898271.pngWell, all good things come to an end.... or do they? Word is that US Cellular's prepaid plans are looking even better starting June 1st! Now, I know most just here "prepaid" and go ewwwww. But, looking at these prices and after the newest Belie Plans, these actually look pretty good to me. Let's take a look:

Plan 1: $35/month

  • 450 Nationwide Minutes
  • 450 Text Messages
  • 450 Picture Messages
  • $0.25 overage (I'm assuming for each, minutes, texts, and picture messages)
  • $20 activation fee

Plan 2: $50/month

  • Unlimited Nationwide Minutes
  • Unlimited Text Messages
  • Unlimited Picture Messages
  • 1 GB data (basic/feature phones only)

Plan 3: $65/month

  • Unlimited Nationwide Minute
  • Unlimited Text Messages
  • Unlimited Picture Messages
  • 2 GB data (smartphones only)

Now, the only bummer I see is smartphones are locked into the most expensive option. However, that's $5 cheaper than the current prepaid option. Plan 2 is $10 cheaper than the current option but offers 1 GB less of data but contrarily bumps minutes and messaging up to unlimited from the current 450. Plan 1 again is $5 cheaper, but loses the 200 MB data option and unlimited messaging that is currently offered. Overall, Plan 2 looks like the better deal for non-smartphone users and Plan 3 is cheaper than what is currently offered so also seems like a good move on US Cellular's part.

Keep in mind, Prepaid Plans do not earn Belief Points.

What do you think? Will you switch to prepaid even though they don't earn Belief Points? Let us know what you think below and whether you think US Cellular is making a good decision!

John Vincent

blog-0005698001349140792.jpgThe deeper I get into mobile technology, the more I long for the day when I can literally ditch my wallet. Drivers license, credit cards, you name it - all in one mobile device. No more getting a pain in the rear from sitting on a tri-fold! Technology is slowly progressing in this direction. Today I can walk into a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts and pay for my morning coffee with my phone...and very possibly this Wednesday I will be able to pay for items at other locations with my NFC-enabled Galaxy S 3.

That's right folks - Google Wallet is coming to US Cellular. Just one more thing that your iPhone-toting friends can't do.

images1.jpgA little birdie told us today that...no, not that birdie - a reliable birdie - US Cellular will be supporting Google Wallet on the Samsung Galaxy S 3, starting Wednesday October 3. The support, and likely the app, will be pushed to the phones in a "maintenance release".

Now if you're like me, this is the first time you've had a phone that can handle something like Google Wallet. So, I did a little digging (ok not a whole lot of digging - I used the first link Google gave me) and here's some basics about Google Wallet.

From Google's Wallet FAQ page:

  • What is Google Wallet? Google Wallet is a virtual wallet that securely stores your credit and debit cards, offers, and rewards cards. You can tap your phone to pay in-store using Google Wallet anywhere MasterCard® PayPass™ is accepted. You can pay online by signing into your Google Wallet account.
  • Where can I use the Google Wallet app? Currently, you can use Google Wallet in-store anywhere MasterCard® PayPass™ is accepted, at over 140,000 merchants across the United States.
  • How much does it cost to use the Google Wallet app? Google Wallet does not charge a fee to consumers to use Google Wallet in-store or online.
  • What payment cards can I add to Google Wallet? Google Wallet allows you to store all major credit and signature debit cards from VISA®, MasterCard®, American Express®, and Discover®. If you’ve ever bought an app or song from Google Play, or if you’ve ever used Google Wallet online, these cards will also appear in the mobile app. What are linked credit or debit cards? When you activate your credit or debit cards in Google Wallet, they are linked to your virtual MasterCard® card upon setup. Linked credit or debit card credentials are not locally stored on the phone, but rather stored online.
  • In what countries is the Google Wallet app available? The Google Wallet app is available in the United States on certain eligible devices and carriers. Learn more.

You can get more details at the FAQ page.

Now am I 100% comfortable with Google handling this info? I think so. They already have my credit card in a Google Wallet for the Play Store, and it is in their best interests to protect that info. The FAQ page goes into some of the security and safety details. I think an important key would be turning NFC off if you aren't actively using it.

So we shall see later this week; remember, it ain't official until USCC announces it, so if Wednesday comes and goes without Google Wallet, don't hyperventilate!

McDaddy Tree

($4.99 on Play Store)

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Here comes another game review. This time it's Aliens Vs. Predators: Evolution another MOGA compatible game and definitely a joy to play. You get to play both as you go through level after level of destruction as well as a few side missions all of which add up to give you hours of play time. Besides having controller support that honestly works really well out of the box I love (as always) that this game includes the wonderful addition of Google's Play Games achievements because honestly I'm a sucker for achievements. I've played this game a lot and while I haven't perfected it yet I've gotten more points than I know what to do with but some of the achievements include getting all the side missions completed on hard which I'm still working on but have a slew of other games that keep me sidetracked.

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Nothing against this game as it's amazing but every game I have keeps me sidetracked from another as it's a vicious cycle but this game does indeed remain in that cycle and sometimes I play missions just to replay them. As you go through levels you are able to buy more abilities, weapons, armor pieces, gadgets, etc which help you in your endeavor of defeating the aliens or predators or humans.

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The game was developed very nicely and has played well on my S2, S4 and Note 3 and while the graphics aren't mind-blowing they are nothing to complain about. I've even played a few times without a controller and while I'm not a fan I had to give it a go just to see how it is and it's not cumbersome at all and those whom don't use controllers will find this game a delight to play especially if you're a fan of the Aliens or Predators series or of AVP. I did get the game quite a while back while it was on sale but would have gladly paid full price as I've played it more than enough to make up for the price as I'm sure anyone else will. So go check it out in the Play Store and grab your copy and get to slaying away hours and the game and I hope you enjoy as much as I have.

Au revoir,

Tree

RON427

blog-0012068001372616442.pngA Letter From Sprint to U.S. Cellular Customers Affected by the Recent Sale

This letter explains:

  • When Service Will Be Terminated
  • How To Avoid Interruption Of Service
  • How To Contact Sprint

SUBJECT: IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE REGARDING YOUR U.S. CELLULAR ACCOUNT.

June 24, 2013

Dear U.S. Cellular Customer,

On May 16, 2013, U.S. Cellular sold certain assets to Sprint, including some customer accounts. Your account was included in the sale. We are committed to your business and would like to make your transition to Sprint as easy as possible. While your U.S. Cellular device will not work on the Sprint network, we have a wide portfolio of devices and plans to meet your needs.

Please contact Sprint at soon as possible to learn about the exclusive offers available to U.S. Cellular customers to migrate to Sprint. You may reach Sprint by visiting your local Sprint store, going to sprint.com/uscellular or calling 800-216-7023. To find the nearest Sprint store, please refer to sprintstorelocator.com.

The U.S. Cellular network in the Central Illinois area on which you are a customer will be shut down on November 30, 2013. For uninterrupted service, you must transition your wireless services. After November 30, 2013, your devices and services will no longer function, including 9-1-1, and your account(s) will be deactivated. In addition, the terms and provisions of your U.S. Cellular contract no longer apply, and you will not incur an Early Termination Fee. If you are no longer a U.S. Cellular customer, please disregard this notice.

Starting in June 2013, Sprint and U.S. Cellular will begin the process of reducing a select number of U.S. Cellular towers and making other network modifications. These activities may impact your network coverage on the U.S. Cellular network ahead of shutdown.

It's an exciting time of change and building at Sprint. We are in the process of implementing major technical enhancements to the Nationwide Sprint Network, designed to provide our customers a best-in-class wireless network with superior voice, data (CDMA and 4G LTE) and video services. We value your business and look forward to delivering your services on our Nationwide Sprint Network. Thank you for the opportunity to be your wireless provider.

Regards,

Thomas Roberts

Senior Vice President, Marketing

iR1O

blog-0262101001343782803.jpgVerizon Wireless has agreed to pay $1.25 million to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to resolve a complaint that it blocked third-party tethering applications on Android phones, the FCC said Tuesday.

Verizon denies blocking any third party apps in a statement released the same day.

The FCC’s decision relies on the fact that Verizon purchased 700MHz spectrum from the U.S. government in 2008. As part of the deal, Verizon had to guarantee that it would not restrict the types of devices or applications used on that spectrum.

Because the FCC’s ruling is based solely on this “C-Block” spectrum deal, the same rules do not apply to AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, all of which charge users a fee for using wireless tethering apps.

"Verizon Wireless has always allowed its customers to use the lawful applications of their choice on its networks, and it did not block its customers from using third-party tethering applications," the company said in the statement. "This consent decree puts behind us concerns related to an employee's communication with an app store operator about tethering applications, and allows us to focus on serving our customers."

The consent decree shows that compliance with FCC rules is "not optional," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. "The open device and application obligations were core conditions when Verizon purchased the C-block spectrum. The steps taken today will not only protect consumer choice, but defend certainty for innovators to continue to deliver new services and apps without fear of being blocked."

The FCC's Enforcement Bureau launched an investigation after news reports suggested that Verizon Wireless had successfully requested that Google block Verizon's customers from accessing tethering applications from its online market, the FCC said. At that time, Verizon Wireless' terms of service required all customers who wanted to use their phones for tethering to subscribe to the company's Mobile Broadband Connect service, at an additional charge. Verizon Wireless said the additional fee was because customers who tether laptops or other devices have the capability to use more data capacity than others. But Verizon Wireless, at the time, required all customers, including those who paid incrementally for data use, to pay the fee, the FCC said.

As part of the agreement, Verizon will notify app stores that it no longer objects to third-party tethering apps, according to the FCC.

Free Press praised the FCC action. "Today's action makes it clear that Verizon was flaunting its obligations as a spectrum-license holder and engaging in anti-competitive behavior that harmed consumers and innovation," Free Press policy director Matt Wood said in a statement. "The FCC sent a strong signal to the market that companies cannot ignore their pro-consumer obligations."

What do you all think about this? Do you think it should only apply to C-Block spectrum? Will we see this on more carriers or even more lawsuits? Let's hear your thoughts below!

-note-

Tethering, for those of you wondering what the heck this is all about, allows users to access the Internet from other devices, like laptops, via their smartphone or tablet’s wireless signal.

ALymelife

Beginning July 30, a trial in select markets will examine the impact of removing the option for subsidy transactions on Legacy, Belief, and Belief Plan Evolved (BPE) price plans. The goal is to drive Retail Installment pricing to increase upgrade adoption for customers wishing to remain on Legacy, Belief, and BPE plans, while also increasing migration to Shared Connect for existing customers intrigued by the Retail Installment pricing option.

Trial Markets:

  • Ashville, NC
  • Mendocino, CA
  • Bangor, ME

Dates:

July 30 – October 10

Details:

Eliminate Subsidy in Select Trial Markets

  • Customers who wish to stay on a Legacy, Belief, or BPE plan and want to upgrade their device will only have the option of selecting Retail Installment pricing or paying outright for the device.
  • Shared Connect plans will allow customers to take subsidy equipment or a customer can receive a discounted connection charge with a Retail Installment Contract
  • Associates can communicate the benefits of moving to our 4 lines for $140 pricing on Shared Connect (COE)
  • Customers who wish to purchase a device at a subsidized price will be required to migrate to a Shared Connect plan.
  • At this time, the top 60 plans that most customers are on, are included in the trial. We are in the process of adding all plans to the trial. See appendix for a list of eligible plans.

The times they are a chagin'

smpark3

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I’m in a rhyming kind of mood today. If you haven’t heard, a company named Apple launched a new phone this afternoon. It was a pretty big deal. iPhone 5 is the device name.

A story about the Apple iPhone on the front page of TeamUSCellular blog you ask? Uncharted territories, I know. I’m feeling a little courageous.

First, the continuous leaks pretty much nailed it on the head. Not much was a surprise at this afternoons unveiling. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, stated at D10 conference that “we’re [Apple] is going to double down on secrecy on products.” Obviously he meant after the iPhone 5 was revealed.

Let’s get to the specs for those technical geeks!

External:

  • Glass and Aluminum outer body in Black/Slate or White/Silver.
  • 7.6mm thick; a full 18% thinner than the iPhone 4s.
  • 112 grams; 20% lighter than the Galaxy S III.
  • 4” Retina Display – width is still the same, but the phone is a tad taller to accomplish this.
  • Retina Display at 1136x640, this translates into 326ppi
  • Longer screen = additional 5th row of apps
  • The ratio puts the display as close to 16:9 when held horizontally

Internal:

  • A6 processor; 22 percent smaller than the dual core A5
  • 1GB RAM
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n (dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • LTE (we’ll have more on this in a moment)
  • nanoSIM card (yes, Apple is redefining the SIM card)
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage options

Other features:

  • Primary Camera: 8 megapixel sensor with a 5 element lens and f/2.4 aperture for you camera nerds!

o Panoramic Shooting (effectively providing a 28 megapixel photo)

o 40% increase in shutter speed

o 1080p video recording
  • Secondary Camera: 1.2 megapixel at 30fps (720p and hi res Facetime chats)
  • Facetime over cellular
  • Microphone upgrade which should improve voice quality on networks that support it.
  • New dock connector called…wait for it….Lightning!! (Apple will be charging $29 for an adapter for devices using the older connection….Apple sure does know how to suck every last cent out of their customers.)
  • 8 hours talk time on 4G (LTE); 10 hours using WiFi

What the phone didn’t have:

  • NFC (Apple says it’s not clear that this will be the standard going forward. AKA we can add this to the next iteration)

Phil Schiller, Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing said, “iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer devise that we’ve created. We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think the customers are going to love it.” Android users just puked (and I know there are a lot of you in the forums). Can't we all just get along?

I’d like to touch on the LTE a bit. Back in November, 2011, US Cellular turned down the Apple iPhone 4s. At the time it did not make economical sense to the company. Later, in December, it was learned that the iPhone would be considered if it had ”cutting edge” technology (interpret as LTE). Today, we have the iPhone 5, which will offer LTE on various bands. I was curious to see if any of those bands are what USCC currently utilizes, 700/850/1700/1900MHz. Here is what I found:

iPhone 5 CDMA Model

  • 2100MHz
  • 1800MHz
  • 850MHz
  • 700cMHz
  • 1900MHz

I believe that the 700MHz that USCC utilizes is of the A variety, but 850MHz matches up. Does it prove anything? No. Does it put a little hope out there? Absolutely.

So what does Christmas have to do with this? A lot actually. An anonymous little birdie tipped TUSCC with some tantalizing information. Remember, it isn’t official till USCC says so.

  • Expect a launch of the iPhone 5 on USCC!!
  • When: expect it around the holidays (Santa will be busy)

The next details are sketchy and, from a business perspective, would alienate a whole lot of customers.

  • Initial launch in 4G areas only with Iowa being first as this is where most of the testing occurs.

Honestly, I can’t see that last tidbit happening. Customers in areas where 4G is not expected soon (Chicago I’m talking to you) would be outraged! USCC would benefit from launching in 3G only areas as well.

Thanks Anonymous for that information, I’m sure there are a few happy USCC customers out there that have been flooding USCC’s facebook page with nonstop “When is the iPhone coming to USCC?” comments.

DClark

Android stats have just been released on the Android Developers website, and Jelly Bean is still rising fast.

A lot of “Android-haters” like to bring up the fact that only a small percentage is up to date on Google’s latest software, this will quiet them down some because Jelly Bean is almost the largest used at 33 percent. Gingerbread, the only OS that has more of a share on the Android platform, is sitting at 36.5 percent, down 2 percent from May’s 38.5 percent.

Google obtains these stats based on the number of devices visiting the Google play store, and these stats show that Google is growing at a very rapid rate. Jellybean is currently at 33 percent, which is up from last month’s 28.4 percent.

Jelly Bean still has yet beat Gingerbread as the most used OS on the Android platform, but should do so in the next month or two. As the chart below shows, the two OS’s are closing in on each other as the months go by.

Ice Cream Sandwich is down from last month by almost 2 percent, 27.5 compared to 25.6 percent reported for the month of May. Froyo has suffered a smaller drop than Ice Cream Sandwich this month, Falling from 3.7 to 3.2, Froyo only suffered a .5 drop for the month of June.

android_versions_june_3.png

The rise of Jelly Bean can tell us a number of things, the most logical being the huge success of flagship Android devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, which are running Jelly bean. But this isn't the only reason – manufactures are starting to use Jelly Bean on cheaper devices, offering the experience of the most advanced Android OS out. Much like the Samsung Axiom, it is a budget device that has been upgraded to Jellybean 4.1.1. These cheaper devices aren't registered any different than flagship phones when browsing the play store.

On top of that, there are a lot of older devices getting their Jelly Bean update; this means that more and more users can enjoy the latest that Google has to offer.

Regardless of this chart, everyone is still anticipating Android 4.3, which was recently spotted at Thailand Mobile Expo running on a Nexus 4.

noahthedominator

[App Review]

blog-0009877001397767821.jpgYesterday Google released the Google Camera app to the play store. This app is compatible with android devices that run 4.4+(Kit Kat) and offers some cool features with an easy to use design.

Some of the features include...

• Photo Spheres for immersive 360º views

• Lens Blur mode for SLR-like photos with shallow depth of field

• Panorama mode with high resolution

• 100% viewfinder for getting the maximum resolution from the sensor (no dropped pixels)

• Updated UI that gets out of your way and is centered on an extra large capture button

I used the app for a little bit and already I'm in love with it. I tried it on my Galaxy S4 and it works incredible. The UI is really easy to use and is very well designed. The picture quality is just as good if not better than the quality with the stock app.

I will probably start using this app as my main camera app from now on with all my devices.

So grab your android device and head over to the play store and give it a try. Link to the app --->Google Camera.

After you try it, let us know what your thoughts are about it!

iR1O

After weeks of rumors about the specs, price, and release date of the upcoming Nexus 5, it appears that Google's new Nexus Android smartphone is being listed on the Google Play store.

The device appears next to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 along with the caption "Capture the everyday and the epic in fresh new ways." Google lists the price as "starting at $349." However, when the link to the smartphone is clicked on -- the new page doesn't load. And not long after the phone appeared, it was replaced by the older Nexus 4 again.

Rumors have been flying the past few weeks about what Google has in mind for the Nexus 5. Supposedly, the device will run Android 4.4 KitKat and be revealed in the coming weeks. The smartphone has been said to cost anywhere from $299 to $399 for the 16GB and $449 for the 32GB. Just last week, the first third-party cases for the device were spotted on Google+.

While Google has stayed mum about the official release of the Nexus 5, it appears that such a device is most likely on the way.

Accessory makers are eager to get in on the action. Several Nexus 5 cases are on sale at Amazon, with the retailer saying they'll arrive in stock on October 30, October 31, including November 2.

See below for some images of the products.

Source: CNET

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A white Ringke Slim case for the Google Nexus 5 phone, on sale at Amazon.

(Credit: Amazon.com)

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This purported SoftGel Flexible case from i-Blason and for Nexus 5 phones appeared for sale on Amazon.

(Credit: Amazon.com)

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Amazon is selling this Ringke Fusion case for the purported Google Nexus 5 phone.

(Credit: Amazon.com)

snodrog742

blog-0926650001375551005.pngWell, US Cellular is finally catching up to the rest of the world but could it be too late? After TOPS conversion fiasco that still plagues many and support or in store lines that are taking hours to be helped - things are not looking bright in many aspects for US Cellular. Regardless, they are still pushing forward and officially announced Shared Data on their earnings call. Here's what a tip has told us:

Launch Date

Roughly the third week in September. This coincides with the iPhone launch time as well

Availability

Current customers will still have the option to keep grandfathered plan or choose to switch as usual. New customers MUST choose a shared data plan unless it is adding a line to a grandfathered plan.

There will also be a feature phone only plan with a limited amount of minutes but the rest appear to be shared data plans.

Features/Benefits

  • Unlimited talk and messaging
  • Tethering included
  • Will earn Belief Points (yay! -_-)
  • Can connect up to 10 devices per plan

Price

Exactly like Verizon is what we're being told. I don't have specific comparisons but personally, I've checked Verizon prices and would easily pay $75 more right now.

Who's going to choose US Cellular over Verizon if prices are exact same but can get larger phone selection and faster data speeds?

That's all we've got for now. Ready for the debate below but things just aren't making sense with US Cellular right now. Will you be staying or will you even still be recommending US Cellular? I definitely need more info on these prices to answer those questions!

snodrog742

Well, it seems that US Cellular is finally realizing that mobile security is becoming the must have in today's society. There's many 3rd party apps out there that help you block numbers, wipe your phone remotely, secure your connection, or even help you find your lost device! These have long been reviewed and different apps work better or are free and never require you to pay. Some of them are even worth a small price because they work so well.

Anyways, US Cellular is bringing their own proprietary security suite. This suite will contain:

  • GPS phone locator like Where's-My-Droid
  • Remote Wipe of device
  • Updated My Contacts Backup
  • Block/filter numbers like Mr. Number
  • Antivirus
  • SSL connection for mobile banking

Most of these features are reported to be free AND preloaded to US Cellular customers EXCEPT the Antivirus and SSL connections (might be needed for remote wipe as well). These will come with a price of $2.99/month. That's not too pricey but I do feel there are better free options out there.

Details are still very scarce but it is said to be debuting within this month or next. I have a feeling it will be kind of a quiet release as well. What do you all think? Is this just more bloatware or do you think these will be useful?

blueandigo

blog-0003315001397008685.jpgIf you thought that the bloatware was going to fall off the face of this earth then you were wrong but, wouldn't you hate if someone stole your phone? US Cellular has teamed up with Samsung to make your device more secure than before. The phone will now come preloaded with Find My Mobile and Reactivation Lock , FMM is an online service that can track and lock a stolen phone, wipe it clean, and alert the owner when a different SIM card is inserted. Reactivation Lock is a feature that detects abnormal attempts to reset a device to factory settings by prompting one to login even after a successful reset.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be released this Friday April 11th.

ForzaManny

Reports are coming in this morning that U.S. Cellular has sold its existing customer base to Sprint Nextel Corp for 480 Million.

The sale includes PCS Spectrum and about 500,000 customers. Roughly 10% of all U.S. Cellular's customer base. If the reports are accurate, that would help explain many decisions U.S. Cellular has made up to this point, such as starting to sell through Walmart stores.

U.S. Cellular is stating that they will continue to have associates in Chicago and are committed to Chicago and their relationship to the Chicago Whitesox. How? We do not know.

The deal is not expected to go though until summer of 2013 and of course, is subject to regulatory approval. You can consider this deal done though, we don't see how this wont be approved.

We will report more as we get more updates, but the question remains simple. How do you feel about it? will you be staying on board?

It's hard to argue with some positive aspects of this deal. Better phone selection? 4G in Chicago?

What about the downside?

This has come as a shock to everyone at TUSCC. What does this mean for the remaining U.S. Cellular Markets? Is there a merger on the horizon? Will U.S. Cellular be carved out and taken over by other larger wireless carriers?

There's just to much uncertainty in the wireless world today, and it seems like unless you are ATT or Verizon, troubling times are ahead.

arbliss

blog-0266768001357450285.jpgWhen I hear of an app that contains "awesome ringtones" or "HD Wallpapers!" I immediately think spyware. Fortunately for me, during my search for quality wallpapers for my US Cellular Galaxy S3, it was recommended that I give Zedge a try. According to the Zedge's description on Google Play, "you'll be able to seamlessly download free, high quality Ringtones, Notification Sounds, HD Wallpapers and Live Wallpapers optimized for your device." Well, I put that statement to the test.

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I was pleasantly surprised at the sheer amount and stunning quality of the wallpapers that Zedge contains. Personally, I like minimal or darker wallpapers, ones that aren't so loud and bright. You're given the option to search for wallpapers using specific keywords typed in, or to also filter by the most downloaded of all time, this month, or last month. You can also filter wallpapers by category. Within minutes I had found several wallpapers that I liked, downloaded them, and applied them as my wallpaper all using Zedge. It was a very user friendly and satisfying process. One complaint I have is based on the fact that they state the wallpapers are optimized for your device. There were several wallpapers I downloaded and applied, that looked stretched or distorted on my screen. That is a minor complaint though, as many of them looked great. I was also able to go back in and view the wallpapers I've downloaded, and even choose an option to have Zedge automatically change my wallpaper at preselected intervals using the wallpapers I downloaded.

Zedge also has categories for Live Wallpapers, Ringtones, Notification sounds and even games. I was able to find a few clips of current songs that were easily applied to my phone as a default ringtone. It also gave me the option to set it as a specific contact's ringtone, all through the app without going into my phones settings. This was the same for a notification sound I found. While I haven't found a reason to download the games through Zedge, it did show me all the games I had installed under the Downloads section, where it also showed me the wallpapers/notification sounds/ringtones I had downloaded.

After playing around with this app for a couple hours, not realizing how much time had gone by, I was amazed by the usefulness of this app. Previously I've spent hours searching for wallpapers I like on forums like XDA while on my phone, which can be a challenging task to say the least. This app brings simplicity to such tasks, finding new, QUALITY wallpapers and ringtones is easy now! I expected to be bombarded by ads, and possibly push notification ads showing up, and was pleased to find that the only ads were in the app itself and were not in the way - tucked nicely below the UI (see below). Additionally, I was (at first) not going to consider changing ringtones or notification sounds, since downloading this app I have already gone through several. It even has some options to recover your downloaded items after uninstalling and reinstalling the app. If you're like me and have a new wallpaper every day, this app makes this process much simpler and more fun. I recommend it to anyone who loves new wallpapers like I do!

-Adam Bliss

Enthusiastic Member of teamuscelular.com forums and Android lover!

USC Galaxy S3

"This is purely my opinion of this app as an individual, and not an endorsement from teamuscellular.com. This app was reviewed based on my own opinions while using it on my US Cellular Galaxy S3. Any further questions or comments can be sent to me at arbliss@gmail.com"

Link to the app:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.zedge.android&hl=en

RON427

blog-0513206001373283147.jpgOnce again our secret squirrels are blowing up the Tip Line with more news and information exclusive to Team U.S. Cellular members.

2 new updates coming out July 9th.

The first is for the Samsung Galaxy S4 which includes the Group Play tethering issue fix, second for the Kyocera Durapro.

What is addressed in this S4 Maintenance Release (MR)?

  • Google Wallet
  • Addressed Group Play issueo Will not require tethering package to use Group Play
  • E-Mail preview did not update after downloading
  • Update Synchronoss TEDC app (v1.3.0.8)o Address issue with USC tethering continuing after trial
  • Updated Wi-Fi Now application (v4.5.69)
  • Help application being updated to add: Camera / Motion / Airview

6zt.png

Durapro

  • My Contacts Backup added (version 3.0 207)
  • ECONZ Timecard Application added (Version 2.3.11)
  • Open API solution for ringtones/MP3 download of non DRM protected content from o http://m.zedge.net/o
  • No side loading or Bluetooth option is supported.
  • Implemented FOTA requirements for future MR if needed
  • Device fails to attach picture from SD card via email client only from device memory

s1k.png

Thanks to our AMAZING Tipsters for getting us this info!

ALymelife

Spoken from the words of numerous customer service reps/tech reps in tier one and tier 2 no one is going to lose their unlimited data UNLESS they changed to a NEW price plan. You can still fully upgrade at subsidized cost maintain your plan resign contracts ETC all with unlimited data listed on those contracts.

This seems noteworthy as so many around the forums have asked !

The reason behind this discovery was we've been waiting on LTE in the area for almost 2 years no dice bought a phone to tether with unlimited no dice. Wound up with VZW UDP plan in a hotspot. Now they may be throttling even though we managed to sneak our way back into a contract till 2016 which makes you exempt from throttling thank god !! Still we want to give USCC LTE a chance !

So we don't want to ditch the unlimited NO ONE ditch unlimited. Put the line into a six month seasonal suspend and confirmed 3 times with three different departments that if done once resume everything would remain in tact and that was a resounding yes as well as no one is going to lose their unlimited come the end of that "2 year contract" that some people signed some people didn't ?!

TETHER AWAY !!!!!!!!

iR1O

Last night was a HUGE night for us here at TUSCC.

It's been a long time coming for the Jelly Bean update to hit our devices, and as the "caboose" carrier branded GS3, we felt a little left out...

Not anymore! Last night our very own Adam (Snodrog742) along with atronin uploaded the official release to the site, and it is now available to EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!

(Are you going to update YOUR GS3 to JB before USC even announces it!?)

Downloads:

LK5 Jelly Bean - JELLYBEAN

Guide to install - WALKTHROUGH

Guide to ROOT new LK5 - (See post #10 in above link)

(will edit OP for easier find if need be)

Additionally, USC hasn't officially announced the date for this to go OTA - but rumor has it that it should be on the 21st.

Could the OTA be different that this build? We don't know, but a very large number of retail locations were given this same build to distribute, so it's very unlikely.

blogentry-3240-0-24649300-1355685900_thu

John Vincent

blogentry-1876-0-23510700-1335217273_thu

Today a tip came in on the ol’ tip line letting us know about where US Cellular is headed with the upcoming tiered data plans. And…it’s not all bad. There's always some fear, uncertainty and doubt involved in change. Unofficial leaks sometimes add to that, but we love a good rumor.

I had previously mentioned somewhere in the TUSCC forums in one of the discussions of tiered data, that I was of the opinion that if a carrier was going to get tiered data right, it would be USCC. Not everyone agreed, which is everyone’s right. But in looking at these leaked (and let me stress while these are from a reliable source, they are leaked and not official) tiered data prices, I am convinced that US Cellular is going to hit a home run with this. Keep reading to find out more.

So let’s get right to the good stuff. Here’s a breakdown of where the tiered prices appear to be heading.

300mb - $20

2gb - $25

4gb - $35

5gb - $50

10gb - $90

Now before you hyperventilate and say “those were the prices previously leaked!”, let me give you the rest of the juicy details.

The 4,5, and 10gb plans will include tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot. To me that’s big. One argument I’ve always heard is “It’s my data, I pay for it, why should the carrier care how I view that data?” Well, now, US Cellular has answered that argument. It is your data; want to view it on your tablet? Go right ahead; and the best part is it’s all legal now. Also in this, the 2gb plan will have the option of adding an additional 2gb for tethering/hotspot – no word to us on the cost of adding that.

More good news is that data overages have been tweaked into a more reasonable amount as well. The 300mb plan will rollover into an additional flat rate fee 300mb at a time. So if you go over once, your plan for the month would be 600mb; no more per/mb overages creating a hole in your wallet at the end of the month. I don’t have a price on that additional flat rate.

In the same way, the 2gb, 4gb, 5gb, and 10gb plans will also roll over at a flat rate, $10 for 1gb. I think this is a really good and fair way for US Cellular to deal with both the increasing costs of data and the increasing demands for that data by their customers. No word yet on how this will fit into Belief Plans, but I’m sure we’ll see some info soon. Also, keep in mind that USCC has said 4G LTE plans will be the same as 3G, so my best guess is that these prices are what you’ll pay for 4G LTE.

My initial reaction is that this is good. No, not everyone will like it; I’m sure some will complain. But if you know you won’t use 4gb and you don’t want tethering, get the 2gb plan; if you go over, it’s only another $10 for another 1gb. So go ahead and sound off in the comments – what’s your opinion? Good? Bad? “I’m taking my phone and going elsewhere”? Let us know in the comment section.

dBuster

blog-0895056001398898768.pngAfter going to a Moto X from a Motorola Electrify M I lost my Smartactions. The handy app I used to silence my phone when I was at work or do other location based actions.

In my searches everything I would find was resource or battery hog intensive. Until along came this Llama app to my attention. I have been running it now for a few days and it has not put a ding on my battery life and when it learns your areas it will automatically do as you set it up to do! I can have my phone now automatically silence itself when I get to work! No more having to do it manually or use a play store widget to silence my phone, which by the way was acting up lately and would not restore volume so I ditched it.

Llama is by far a recommended app for anyone! You can use it to silence your device when you are in a classroom for example and when your not there it automatically restores for you your settings. You can have it set to the loudest settings when your at the nightclub or tavern or even vibrate instead.

I have not yet fully used Llama to the fullest potential but I look forward to exploring it more!

Google play store - Llama

Let me also add it is a free app but they do accept donations. Another nice thing is that this app does not rely on GPS but actually uses the towers to help tell where it is and based on your trekking it to learn a location it has been spot on for me.

As far as battery use, it doesn't even show up on my battery stats and I have not seen any increased drain because of it and if I had to venture I would say battery seems better. But I am sure that is all psychological.

A new must have App for me!

blueandigo

blog-0771218001348065605.pngWith the recent announcement of The Samsung Galaxy Note II, US Cellular has now opened their website to take pre-orders. The price is $299.99 and you will get it in a titanium colour. The nice part about the pre-order is that the $299 is an instant rebate!

Just like the Galaxy SIII, the pre-ordering option is exclusive to the web only. The estimated ship date is by the end of October.

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