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blog-0346838001372701264.jpg[uPDATE] Just to add to the gravity of this - this includes no ESN swaps - meaning, if you break a phone or need to trade one out, you're completely out of luck until systems are back online.

[uPDATE #2] Wave 3 - Midwest markets as far as we can tell have been pushed back on this blackout. East coast (we believe Wave 1) is dark from customers we have talked to as 611 immediately disconnects when calling in those areas.

[uPDATE #3 (9:55 p.m.)] Wave 3 is actually made up of the more major markets. Some of the smaller markets (Wave 1 & 2) have already converted to TOPS and this is why answers are varying. The markets with upgraded software are already forcing new 2 year contracts from customers if upgrading lines. TOPS was delayed in major markets due to some issues that tech support has encountered with those already using the software our sources say. They are not major issues but they would like to correct them before the major markets switch to them. Stay tuned and we'll keep you updated!

[update #4 (7/18)] TOPS Blackout has been rescheduled for this weekend. 9 PM CST Saturday, July 20 until the morning of Thursday, July 25.

It's happening this time. You will have no support from US Cellular. This includes 611 and any retail/agent locations. None of these locations will even be able to accept bill payments. Also, no insurance claims, no ESN swaps, no prepaid replenishments, etc. Our advice: make sure your account is set ASAP for 5 days.

Reasons for this total blackout are cited as transitioning to TOPS. TOPS is the new billing system that US Cellular has been testing in a few locations and has finally been given the green light to be used everywhere. A main factor that this new system will offer is the ability for Shared Data plans. Many have requested this and US Cellular has been working on it but was not possible with the current billing software.

Towers and reception should be unaffected during this time.

What do you think? Are you worried about no 611 during this time period? Have you ever even needed to use 611? Share below!


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


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 or calling 800-216-7023. To find the nearest Sprint store, please refer to

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.


Thomas Roberts

Senior Vice President, Marketing


blog-0868722001372531721.jpgFirst off, before I get into my experience with this brand new device, I would like to say thank you to I didn't join this forum to get free stuff (although it doesn't hurt), I joined for the WEALTH of information available on this site, that is specific to us US Cellular folks. I love the fact that we have so many devoted members willing to put forth their time and energy to give us custom roms, kernels, and advice/help! Winning the giveaway and getting a free galaxy s4 was a HUGE bonus on top of that. So once again, thank you!

So prior to winning the S4, I was using the S3. I was very happy with it, although slightly annoyed that Samsung came out with a new device 8-9 months after I'd bought it. I was annoyed, but I still wanted to have the latest and greatest phone :) I searched craigslist and found some deals, but even at the low, no contract price of $400, I still wasn't willing to spend that amount. My parents went to Ireland, and on their way back my dad lost his phone. I convinced him to get a new smartphone, namely the S4, and I would trade him my S3 and pay for the S4, so he would pay nothing and have a good smartphone. He asked what was so great about the S4? So I told him, and did too good of a job. He went out and bought the S4 for himself, and I was out of luck! Less than 2 weeks later I got an email from Ron427 that I had won the S4, and I nearly peed my pants. I gave Ron my shipping information, he sent it out the next day, and I had the phone in hand within 5 days. I was amazed (thanks again for your promptness Ron)!

One of the things I was excited about right away was the fact that it's running 4.2.2 Jellybean. I love the S3, but being a Samsung/US Cellular customer, you never know how long you're going to have to wait for the next Android OS update. Since Google gives it to Samsung, who adds touchwiz and then gives it to US Cellular, who adds their infamous apps (i.e. Your Navigator Deluxe, Daily Perks etc..), and then finally pushes the update out to us, it can be a while. So while I was aware that 4.3 Jellybean was just around the corner, I knew I wouldn't be too far behind the latest Android updates.

Another thing that jumped out to me was the screen. Immediately I noticed how much crisper it was than the screen from the S3. Colors appeared sharper as well as images, especially images taken with the camera. Now keep in mind these are minor increases I'm noticing. The S3 has a great screen and camera, it's just that the S4's screen and camera are slightly better. The quad core processor is nice also. Games that lagged slightly on the S3 seem to run lag free on the S4.

The battery life is great too. I know the battery is a little higher capactity than the S3's, but even so I feel like I get longer lasting performance than I would've expected. I rooted my phone on day 1, and proceeded to remove useless apps like Wi-Fi Now, ChatOn, other samsung apps and all of US Cellulars apps. Other things I do regularly that help with battery life, is to adjust screen brightness to low settings, use wi-fi when at home instead of 4G, turn off touchwiz features like smartstay/smartscroll/airview, and turn screen off time down to 15-30 seconds. All these things combined have helped me to achieve great battery life with the S4.


As for the newest touchwiz features such as Airview and Smart Scroll/Pause, I remain unimpressed. As with the S3, I played with those cool features for a day or two, then disabled them as I personally had no use for them. Although the integration of the IR blaster was a good idea in my book. I have used it with the WatchOn app not only to see what's on TV and change the channel, but also to mess with friends and family. It's been fun.


After using the S4 for over a month now, I will sum up my overall experience. To be honest, it's a slight upgrade from the S3. If you want the latest and greatest, it's definitely worth getting. If you're expecting a revolutionary upgrade from the S3, you may be disappointed. I would've upgraded from the S3 to S4 if I had been eligible to upgrade, it's definitely worth the $200 upgrade price tag. Yet I wouldn't have spent $400-$500 or more for this phone to buy it without upgrade eligibility. Overall it's definitely an improvement and I love it. Thanks again teamuscellular for having such an awesome giveaway!

-Adam Bliss

Des Moines, IA

Avid fan/contributor to!

This article contains my personal opinions, and not those of, it's owner/moderators or members. If you have further questions feel free to email me at


blog-0243706001372463225.jpgBetter Moments Parent-Child Agreement .pdf

In a couple of recent press releases, U.S. Cellular has revealed their plans to help parents better protect their families through the Better Moments programs.

A series of programs and services designed to help parents and children better utilize their devices to communicate more frequently, save time, share experiences, have peace of mind and make life easier among other things.

Below are two press releases outlining the Better Moments programs and services.

Attached is the Better Moments Parent-Child Agreement in PDF format if anyone wants it for themselves.

U.S. Cellular Survey Reveals Better Moments Via Mobile Devices

Company to offer Parent-Child Agreement for Children's First Mobile Phones and create Better Moments Advisory Board

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 3, 2013) – Life's best moments sometimes happen when least expected — and wireless technology can help make them better and more frequent for families and friends.

So say customers of U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM), who participated in the wireless carrier's Better Moments online survey1 in April. Seventy-six percent of respondents say their mobile devices save them time and an equal number say it makes their lives easier. In addition, one in three says their mobile device has improved their relationships with their children. Interestingly, the survey found that even though texting, email, social media, picture messaging and video chat have all become hugely popular forms of communication on mobile phones, nearly 75 percent of respondents said that there's still nothing like picking up the phone and hearing someone's voice. Seventy-three percent said phone calls still improve their relationships more than any form of mobile communication, followed by text messaging (66 percent), picture/video messaging (35 percent), social networking sites (31 percent), email (25 percent) and video chat (9 percent).

"The survey findings confirm what we have long known – that for every family member, from grandparents to kids, mobile technology is embedded in our lives," said Dave Kimbell, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for U.S. Cellular. "Mobile devices help us communicate more frequently, share experiences immediately, and generally enrich the quality of our relationships. Whether at home or on-the-go, U.S. Cellular is providing the tools needed to help consumers create, discover, enhance and share life's Better Moments with their families."

According to the survey, while mobile technology is creating Better Moments for families to make their lives easier, more efficient and meaningful, 69 percent of respondents still say they don't fully utilize the features and services on their phones. Of those, about 31 percent say they want to use more features but don't know how.

U.S. Cellular wants to help and has outlined a series of programs and services to help ensure that parents and children alike are equipped to enjoy Better Moments to their fullest, whether finding educational apps to help your children do well in class, learning how to eat healthier or finding the best restaurants near you while exploring a new city with the family.

Better Moments Advisory Board

In 2013, U.S. Cellular is building a community of like-minded customers eager to enhance everyday events by creating, capturing and sharing meaningful moments using their mobile devices. To help identify and share effective tips for enabling Better Moments through technology, U.S. Cellular is inviting select customers to participate in a first-ever advisory committee, named the Better Moments Advisory Board. Members will be selected from locations throughout U.S. Cellular's footprint, and will participate in monthly and ongoing discussions about how technology enables Better Moments at various times – like on summer road trips, holiday gatherings or everyday activities.

Their suggestions will be shared via U.S. Cellular's Facebook page, local media outlets and blogs.

Better Moments Parent-Child Agreement

For U.S. Cellular, it is not only important to listen to customers, but also to act on their needs. From the survey results, U.S. Cellular discovered that while 91 percent of parents set mobile phone usage guidelines for their children, 63 percent indicated they would find it helpful to have a parent-child agreement to guide their ability to supervise children's usage and behavior with mobile devices. As such, U.S. Cellular is creating a Better Moments Parent-Child Agreement, a document to guide the conversations parents and children can have in determining guidelines for using a mobile device safely, courteously and appropriately. It will be available for download this month, and can be customized by you and your child based on your preferences.

Kimbell added, "Mobile devices provide numerous benefits for parents and children, along with it certain responsibilities. We encourage parents and their children to mutually create an agreement that establishes acceptable guidelines that will help ensure they have nothing but Better Moments with wireless."

Device Workshops & Family Protector

U.S. Cellular is providing two other services to help families make the most of their Better Moments. In the coming months, its retail stores will host Better Moments Device Workshops, where moms, dads, kids and grandparents learn tips on making the most of mobile devices to enhance everyday life. These special workshops in July and November will focus primarily on preparing children for their first mobile device. The workshops are open to all consumers, not just U.S. Cellular customers, and are part of a series of Device Workshops on a variety of topics. Visit for workshop dates and times.

Parents can achieve greater peace of mind when their children are away from them with U.S. Cellular's Family Protector App. This service provides safety and security by monitoring your child's location and mobile usage. Features include the ability to review calls, block websites and restrict apps. Your child can even send an alert to you with the simple press of a button.

Better Moments Survey Highlights

Many survey respondents indicated that mobile devices are improving their relationships with friends and family members by enabling them to:

  • Communicate more frequently (77 percent)
  • Share experiences right away (66 percent)
  • Share moments that would have otherwise been missed (52 percent)

Also, respondents noted many ways mobile devices are improving their lives by:

  • Saving time (76 percent)
  • Making life easier (76 percent)
  • Helping them feel closer to family (58 percent).

In addition:

  • 69 percent do not utilize their phone to full capacity
  • 31 percent want to use more features but don't know how
  • 88 percent take pictures/video with their phone
  • 1 in 3 say their mobile device has improved relationships with their children
  • 66 percent say a mobile device improves relationships by updating each other immediately/sharing experiences right away
  • 55 percent use their mobile device to improve their child's education
  • 51 percent feel educational apps have made their children more successful in school


U.S. Cellular Introduces Family Protector Mobile App

Family Protector creates Better Moments with additional safety measures for children and peace of mind for parents.

CHICAGO (June 6, 2013) – A recent survey1 conducted by U.S. Cellular found that nearly half of their customers say their biggest cell phone concern is access or exposure to questionable content. To deliver peace of mind to these customers, U.S. Cellular is offering its new Family Protector app to help users monitor device usage.

Families are already relying on technology in their daily lives and U.S. Cellular is providing tools, such as the Family Protector app, to help people use this technology to enjoy Better Moments with family. Parents see great value in giving their children their first cell phone. In fact, 85 percent of parents say being prepared for emergency communications is a deciding factor to purchase a phone.

"Whether at home or on-the-go, families are using mobile devices to make their lives easier, more efficient and meaningful," said Joe Settimi, vice president of products, pricing and innovation for U.S. Cellular. "However, parents can't always be looking over their kids' shoulders to monitor their smartphone usage. This way, parents can lay the ground rules and Family Protector can enforce them."

U.S. Cellular's customer survey found that 56 percent of parents say their child's involvement in after-school activities is a deciding factor to purchase a phone for their child. To make sure that children aren't using their phone during the school day, parents can use the Family Protector app's Time Restrictions function to disable usage during school hours but re-enable it to coordinate after-school pick-up.

Time Restrictions is just one of many key parental control features available on the Family Protector app. Highlights include:

  • Content Filters. A filter that helps parents determine what content, games, videos, apps, and websites are suitable and age-appropriate for their children to view and share on their smartphone.
  • Controlled Communication. Parents can also monitor the overall communications content on smartphones – such as text messages, contact lists, photos, and call history. Access to the child's contact list allows parents to designate trusted contacts and blacklist others.
  • Location Features. A location feature allows a parent to find a child's lost phone or monitor their child's whereabouts. It also includes a child check-in feature.
  • Secured Controls. Parents access the Family Protector dashboard through a convenient and easy-to-use website, where they can set controls and monitor their child's smartphone usage. To make changes to the control settings, a password is required. And if a child turns off their smartphone, the parent will be notified.

U.S. Cellular's Family Protector is available for $9.99 per month for up to five devices with a 30 day free trial.

1Between April 1-5, 2013, a total of 527 online interviews were conducted among U.S. Cellular post-paid customers by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Directions Research Inc.


  1. Do you think these programs and services will help create Better Moments in your family?
  2. Will you and your children sign the Better Moments Parent-Child Agreement?
  3. Will you use the Family Protector Mobile App?


Spectrum Sold

It appears US Cellular is not done selling itself and paying it's shareholders. This time it is T-Mobile being the lucky winner. They have officially announced the sale the of majority of its Mississippi Valley 10-megahertz, regional economic area advanced wireless services spectrum license to T-Mobile. The sale is reported to bring $308 million. They will keep a portion of the license covering its markets in Knoxville and eastern Tennessee to meet future operating needs.

What do you think? Are they selling too much? They say these are non-strategic areas which usually means they cannot compete but what do you think? Let us know!


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!


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?


ZTE Imperial

blog-0441906001370889407.jpgFirst off, thanks to Engadget for the info. Sometimes you just can't be first with the info!

Now, it looks like US Cellular is listening to some point. They are bringing more budget-minded phones. With that though comes the lower specs, as usual. I present to you, the....

ZTE Imperial

Let's look at the specs:

  • 4-inch 480x800 display
  • Android 4.1
  • 1.2 GHz single-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB of built-in memory
  • 2,5000 mAh battery.
  • 5-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • microSD slot

We all are definitely in agreement that this is no powerhouse device as well as depends on your opinion of ZTE. They are pretty new to the US Cellular scene but this will be the third device they've released in such a short time. No word on pricing yet but it is rumored to be launching this coming week! What do you all think? Maybe a good introductory device for someone? Let us know below!

Source: Engadget


U.S. Cellular is offering a VIP sweepstakes to their customers in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. It started June 3rd and will end at 11:59:59 PM CT August 2nd. There are 7 different sponsored events, with a winner for each event.

The sponsored events consist of:

· Milwaukee Summerfest - Summerfest is an annual music festival held at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee Wisconsin, USA

· Iowa State Fair - The Iowa State Fair is an annual state fair held in Des Moines, Iowa and is one of the largest state fairs in the country.

· Wisconsin State Fair - The Wisconsin State Fair is an annual event held at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee

· River Roots Music Festival - The two-day festival, begun in 2005, brings national and regional bands on multiple stages.

· 80/35 Music Festival - 80/35 is a multi-day music festival in Des Moines, Iowa celebrating music and the people who support music.

· U.S. Cellular® 250® Race at the Iowa Speedway

· Milwaukee Brewers Game - August 31st

Most of these are VIP experiences and also have second place prizes.

To sign up all you have to do is get on Facebook and go through a few steps. Go to and click on “Get Started” and follow the directions for a chance to win! You may return to the page and enter DAILY.


SamMobile announced today that Samsung is rolling out an update for the Galaxy S4 that also contains some bug fixes and improvements. The biggest being the ability to move apps to the SD card. This is great news for current US Cellular customers because they only are offered the 16GB version, which only ships with 9.15GB of user acessible storage. This update gives the user storage some breathing room, both with apps to SD and the bump to 9.23GB user storage.

Besides the app to SD card feature, this new firmware also includes the following:

  • New Camera firmware
  • Smearing issue has been fixed (Purple effect while scrolling)
  • Smart Pause Toggle
  • Move Apps to SD Card
  • HDR Video (Can record HDR video)
  • Semi-transparent status bar
  • New Icons in Settings
  • Secure boot status (About Phone)
  • Increase legibility (Display) (New feature)

The update is expected to hit the Snapdragon-equipped Galaxy S4 handsets first and then the Exynos-powered variants shortly after. It has already been pushed in Germany and should shortly make its way to other countries. Stay tuned for the latest information!


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.


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.


This just in! It appears US Cellular is bumping up some more tactics to migrate existing customers to 4G and relieve some strain on their 3G network. It's still clear that the 3G network is still struggling. Just last night I did some speed tests out of curiosity. Here's those results:

3G Network


4G Network


Keep in mind that I am on a very fringe area for 4G but the download speed does speak volumes. I'm never a believer in speed tests but rather real world tests and I can for sure tell differences when switching between 3G and 4G. Obviously US Cellular wants to tote their new LTE as well so I now present you with their newest special.



Those are some pretty impressive deals if you ask me. Seriously, an S4 for $99!? Activation waived!? Keep in mind that this would require a new 2 year contract as well. Still seems worth it in my mind. However, we're not finished with restrictions unfortunately. What was Steve Jobs' tag line, "One more thing..." Here we go....

This promotion is only eligible for certain lines and only if you received the post card attached here.

As you can see in the image there is a number blacked out at the bottom. Our source informed us that he spoke to a CS agent who gave two bits of information:

  1. If you jump on this deal you cannot transfer the device to another line or account.
  2. This promotion was sent to those customers and lines that use a larger amount of data and might benefit more from the 4G network as well as alleviate data from 3G network.

Both of these seem like pretty straightforward restrictions apart from #2 in a way. I understand US Cellular's reasoning and selection process but again it seems rather exclusive. They always seem to have some sort of standards to keep even the "basic" loyal customers out of special deals. Maybe I'm biased but those are my thoughts on the matter.

What do you all think? Any others receive this offer in the mail? Would you switch if this offer was presented to you or someone on your account? Let us hear your thoughts!


blog-0158997001369243886.jpgIt appears that US Cellular has brought another "RUGGED" device to their lineup. I've seen something like this requested by many who hard on their phones or are outside daily and need that extra protection. On top of that, it really appears to be some great specs so you won't even have to compromise those aspects. Here's the specs:


  • Android 4.1(Jelly Bean)
  • Military Standard 810G for shock and drops
  • Certified dustproof and waterproof for IP57-protection against dust and water immersion for up to 30 minutes in up to 3.28 feet (1 meter) of water
  • 4G LTE
  • 1.2GHz Dual-Core Processor
  • 4GB on board memory
  • 4.0" Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 5 MP camera w/flash & video camcorder and 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a,b,g,n
  • MicroSD Card Slot support up to 32GB
  • Bluetooth Version 4.0 LE+EDR Stereo
  • Smart sonic reciever technology (let's you hear in noisy or harsh environments)

Technical Specs:

  • Battery: 2000 mAh
  • Usage Time: Up to 12.4 hours
  • Standby Time: (3G) Up To 17 Days, (4G LTE) Up To 12.5 Days
  • Dimensions: (H) 4.88" x (W) 2.52" x (D) 0.42"

Additionally, it is being reported that this device is sponsored by Bear Grylls. Now, apparently I'm not up on my TV watching but after research, Bear is the star of Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel. Wonder if we'll see him carrying this on his show now? What better way to promote a device than on a national show! With this sponsorship, US Cellular is running a promotion for ALL US Cellular employees, agents, cashiers, etc. So, if you're an employee and haven't heard about this yet, check out:!

What do you think Team? Again, I'm sure most won't rush to this device but I have seen multiple requests for a more rugged device and it sounds like US Cellular listened. Add in the sponsorship and this device might sell very well. Let us know what you think!


Phone prices are dropping tomorrow, we just received notice a few hours ago.

Here's the complete list, yes these are a lot of older or EOL devices but the feature phone prices have been ticking a lot of people off lately.

Chrono 2 $20- Down from $70

Pantech Verse $20- Down from $100

Freeform 4 $20- Down from $50

One V $30- Down from $100

ZTE Render free- down from $50 w/$50 MIR

Electrify 2 $50- down from $100 w/$50 MIR

So what do you fine fellows here at tuscc think?

Bout' time.


Rooting of Devices

By default, on Android only the kernel and a small subset of the core applications run with root permissions. Android does not prevent a user or application with root permissions from modifying the operating system, kernel, and any other application. In general, root has full access to all applications and all application data. Users that change the permissions on an Android device to grant root access to applications increase the security exposure to malicious applications and potential application flaws.

The ability to modify an Android device they own is important to developers working with the Android platform. On many Android devices users have the ability to unlock the bootloader in order to allow installation of an alternate operating system. These alternate operating systems may allow an owner to gain root access for purposes of debugging applications and system components or to access features not presented to applications by Android APIs.

On some devices, a person with physical control of a device and a USB cable is able to install a new operating system that provides root privileges to the user. To protect any existing user data from compromise the bootloader unlock mechanism requires that the bootloader erase any existing user data as part of the unlock step. Root access gained via exploiting a kernel bug or security hole can bypass this protection.

Encrypting data with a key stored on-device does not protect the application data from root users. Applications can add a layer of data protection using encryption with a key stored off-device, such as on a server or a user password. This approach can provide temporary protection while the key is not present, but at some point the key must be provided to the application and it then becomes accessible to root users.

A more robust approach to protecting data from root users is through the use of hardware solutions. OEMs may choose to implement hardware solutions that limit access to specific types of content such as DRM for video playback, or the NFC-related trusted storage for Google wallet.

In the case of a lost or stolen device, full filesystem encryption on Android devices uses the device password to protect the encryption key, so modifying the bootloader or operating system is not sufficient to access user data without the user’s device password.




Today at Google I/O, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Nexus edition was announced. The hardware will be exactly like the current Galaxy S 4, but the software will be stock Android and receive updates directly from Google. Like previous Nexus smartphones, the Galaxy S 4 will be sold SIM unlocked and bootloader unlocked. The device will support HSPA+ and LTE on AT&T and T-Mobile’s network. Look for the Galaxy S 4 Nexus edition with 16GB storage to go on sale June 26th for $649.


Here's an interview from WIRED with Android boss Sundar Pichai that I thought I would share:

New Android Boss Finally Reveals Plans for World’s Most Popular Mobile OS

BY STEVEN LEVY | 05.13.13 | 6:30 AM


For the past few years, Sundar Pichai has been part of a tag-team routine staged at Google’s annual I/O developer conference. Pichai, a Googler since 2004, would present on behalf of Google’s Chrome division, including its browser and cloud-based operating system. His counterpart was Andy Rubin, head of Google’s Android division. As Android grew to the world’s most popular mobile OS (it’s now on 750 million devices worldwide, with 1.5 million new activations every day), people wondered what was the sense of Google having two operating systems. Meanwhile, Andy Rubin was the unofficial king of I/O.

That won’t be the case this year. In March, Google announced Rubin was stepping down from Android to pursue unspecified moon shots elsewhere in the company. Pichai would take over Rubin’s duties at Android. He immediately went from being an important Google executive (in addition to Chrome, he was also in charge of Google’s apps efforts) to perhaps the most pivotal member of Larry Page’s “L-team” of top executives. So far Pichai, a 40-year old grad of the fabled Indian Institute of Technology and later Stanford, has kept his head down and refused all press. But as this week’s I/O event approached, he granted WIRED his first interview since taking over Android.

WIRED: The Android handover from Andy Rubin to you seemed sudden and mysterious to us on the outside. Was it long in the works?

PICHAI: I got to know only towards the end of the process of Andy deciding to step back. It played out in a rapid time fashion over the couple weeks prior to the actual announcement. I am passionate about computing and so to me, it was very exciting to be in a position where I could make an impact on that scale.

Now that you’re in this new position, have your views evolved in terms of the coexistence of Chrome and Android?

I don’t think my views have changed much. Android and Chrome are both large, open platforms, growing very fast. I think that they will play a strong role, not merely exist. I see this as part of friendly innovation and choice for both users and developers.

But can’t it be confusing having two operating systems?

Users care about applications and services they use, not operating systems. Very few people will ask you, “Hey, how come MacBooks are on Mac OS-X and iPhone and iPad are on iOS? Why is this?” They think of Apple as iTunes, iCloud, iPhoto. Developers are people, too. They want to write applications one time, but they also want choice. What excites me in this new role is that I can try do the right thing for users and developers — without worrying about the fact that we have two things. We embrace both and we are continuing to invest in both. So in the short run, nothing changes. In the long run, computing itself will dictate the changes. We’re living through a pivotal moment. It’s a world of multiple screens, smart displays, with tons of low-cost computing, with big sensors built into devices. At Google we ask how to bring together something seamless and beautiful and intuitive across all these screens. The picture may look different a year or two from from now, but in the short term, we have Android and we have Chrome, and we are not changing course.

Still, it’s a huge use of resources to have two operating systems as opposed to one. This has to be an issue you wrestle with.

It’s a fair question. We want to do the right things at each stage, for users and developers. We are trying to find commonalities. On the browser layer, we share a lot of stuff. We will increasingly do more things like that. And maybe there’s a more synergistic answer down the line.

As Android’s new head, what do you see as the biggest challenge?

First let me talk about the opportunities. The scale and scope is even bigger than what I had internalized. The momentum — in terms of new phones and new tablets — is breathtaking. I see huge opportunity, because it is just shocking how much of the world doesn’t have access to computing. In his book Eric [schmidt] talks about the next 5 billion [the people on earth who aren’t connected to the internet who soon will be]. That’s genuinely true and it excites me. One of the great things about an open system like Android is it addresses all ends of the spectrum. Getting great low-cost computing devices at scale to the developing world is especially meaningful to me.

Now what about the challenges?

Here’s the challenge: without changing the open nature of Android, how do we help improve the whole world’s end-user experience? For all your users, no matter where they are, or what phone or tablet they are buying or what tablet they are buying.

What does that mean when a company like Facebook comes out with Home, which changes that experience?

It’s exciting that Facebook thought of Android first in this case. Android was intended to be very customizable. And we welcome innovations. As for the specific product, my personal take on it is that time will tell. To Mark [Zuckerberg], people are the center of everything. I take a slightly different approach. I think life is multifaceted: people are a huge part of it, but not the center and be-all of everything.

Some people worry that Google might respond to Facebook Home by blocking this kind of approach in a future release.

We want to be a very, very open platform, but we want a way by which end users are getting a good experience overall. We have to figure out a way to rationalize things, and do it so that it makes sense for users and developers. There’s always a balance there. It’s no different from the kind of decisions that Facebook has to make about its own platform. But right now, we don’t plan to make any changes — we are excited they’ve done good work.

Hold on. You’re saying that you like innovation like Home–but at some point in the future you might decide that an invasive software approach like this isn’t good for users and can’t be done in a future Android release?

No. Let me clarify. Users get to decide what apps and what choices they want. Some users really want this. We don’t want to get in the way of that. [but] in the end, we have to provide a consistent experience. As part of that, with every release of Android, we do go through changes. So we may make changes over time. But if this is what users want, I think Facebook will be able to do it. We want it to be possible for users to get what they want.

What about something more drastic like Kindle Fire, which actually forks the Android experience into something quite different?

Under the rules of the license, Amazon can do that. In general, we at Google would love everyone to work on one version of Android, because I think it benefits everyone better. But this is not the kind of stuff we’re trying to prevent. Our focus is not on Facebook Home or Kindle Fire. Computing is going through a once in a lifetime explosion. Our opportunity is making sure that this works well for people and solves important problems for them. For example, you are going to have computing which can potentially warn you before you have a heart attack.

Is it a problem for Google that Samsung is so dominant, and makes almost all the money on the platform?

I realize this gets played up in the press a lot. Samsung is a great partner to work with. We work with them on pretty much almost all our important products. Here’s my Samsung Galaxy S4. [Pichai holds up the phone.]

How’s that eye-tracking thing working out?

I actually never used it. Look, Samsung plays a critical role in helping Android be successful. To ship great experiences, you need hardware and software together. The relationship is very strong on a day-to-day basis and on a tactical basis. So I’m not that concerned. Historically the industry has had long stable structures. Look at Microsoft and Intel. They were very codependent on one another, but it served both of them well. When I look at where computing needs to go, we need innovation in displays, in batteries. Samsung is a world leader in those technologies.

One benefit of Samsung being so dominant is that you don’t hear much concern that Google might show favoritism to Motorola, which it now owns.

For the purposes of the Android ecosystem, Motorola is [just another] partner.

What’s the future of Google-branded hardware?

You will see a continuation of what we have tried to do with Nexus and Chromebooks. Any hardware projects we do will be to push the ecosystem forward.

One reason that people think that Chrome might step back in favor of Android is that the Open Web might not be able to deliver what users need on their devices. As head of Chrome you have promoted the vision of cloud-based apps, based on technologies like HTML 5, saying that they will be as powerful and fast as native apps written to run directly on specific machines. But last year Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s biggest mistake was trying to use HTML 5 and the open web for its mobile apps. He said it simply didn’t have the quality and speed to serve his users. Was that a blow to your vision of Chrome?

I think the reality is a bit different. I managed Chrome and apps even before Android. Some of our large applications are now written directly to the device — for instance, we have native Gmail apps. But I disagree with the opinion that all of Facebook’s mobile issues can be blamed on HTML 5. I just don’t think that was true. There are other companies with very successful apps that have taken an HTML 5 approach on mobile and done really well. For instance, a lot of magazines have switched from native back to HTML 5 for the mobile apps. Financial Times did it, and they’ve blogged that their user engagement and traction has increased significantly. It’s the reverse of what Facebook said. And this is the beauty. Each developer’s needs are unique.

In terms of numbers, Android sells more than Apple, but Apple makes more money from its platform. Is your mandate to generate more revenue from Android?

We’re very comfortable with our business model. All our core services–Search YouTube, Maps, etc.– are used on phones, and Android helps people to use those services. So fundamentally there’s a business model there. And services, like Google Play, are obviously a source of revenue. We saw payouts to developers on Play quadruple in 2012. I think we are barely beginning to get started. We’re in the early beginnings of a sea change in computing. Think about education and enterprise — incredible opportunities. We’re much more focused now on the consumer end of the experience, but we think the right things will happen from a business sense.

Were you surprised to see a Firefox OS?

Not at all. The web is an important platform, and I don’t think it’s going change ’til I die. It’s another reason why if we don’t do Chrome OS, someone else will.

A lot of people have complained about Android’s update process. How does Google make sure that people will get updated with the latest version?

We are thinking about how to make Android handle updates better. We see ways we can do this. It’s early days. We’re talking with our partners and working our way through it. We need time to figure out the mechanics, but it’s definitely an area of focus for me and for the team.

What can we expect from I/O this year?

It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms.

As Android head, what are your marching orders from Larry Page?

Larry wants to make sure we are driving innovation and doing amazing things for users and developers. That’s what I want too. So there’s a melding of minds– his marching orders are, “Please go and do Google-scale things.”

Finally, you had a pretty full plate with Chrome and Apps, and now you’re handling the world’s biggest phone platform in addition. How are you managing?

I have a secret project which adds four hours every day to the 24 hours we have. There’s a bit of time travel involved.



Yes, already! There is an update already rolling out from Samsung to adress some things that were present when the device was released. Obviously, these are not major issues as the device was still released and seems to be doing quite well. Now, there's a positive and a negative to this update. The version we have is a full ROM update meaning it will wipe your device using ODIN. I'm sure there will be a version using Simple Upgrade Tool coming soon from Samsung. The good news though since this uses ODIN, we now have Stock to get back to! That's great news and should set a lot of people's minds at ease now that they can recovery from errors.

So, here's the change log:

  • Pressing Home key in Sound&shot mode and a device will be in idle mode. And then, receiving a message, no sound observed.
  • Camera file name deleted which printed on log file
  • Ghost Touch / Glove Touch by upgrading TSP Firmware
  • Add protection for changing timer values when some sensor is malfunctioning and it is being screened in a factory now.
  • Multiwindow default setting set to off
  • When video content of WatchOn/Samsung App is deleted, available space is not increased until rebooting.
  • Update S Health version
  • Audio quality improved by tuning the recording solution's parameter
  • Implemented the SIM Lock Feature


Let us know what you think. Should this have been released so soon after the device or should they have loaded it before launch? Are you glad we have a full stock to fall back on now? Let's hear it!


As we all now know, Apple products have been confirmed to be coming to U.S Cellular. Well, some have asked where the money came from to pay the exorbitant fees Apple demands to carry their products. We have it on good information that the money most likely came from the Mid-West sell-off.

Now the whole idea of the sell-off starts to make more sense from a business perspective.

We are also hearing that once the iPhone is released that it will require a 2 year contract no matter what plan you're on. Similar to how the newest promo unlimited plans require a new contract.

Also shared data is coming, best guess is August because the new billing system will be fully in place by then.

Small and medium businesses can ADD smartphone lines to their account to get the $100 credit. Also eligible for trade in guarantee.


U.S. Cellular is said to start offering "Apple products later this year,"

A strong indication that it will soon launch the iPhone, marking a reversal from the position they took in 2011, stating that launching the iPhone did not make sense for the company, especially since it didn't offer LTE.

"By further strengthening our device portfolio, we'll give consumers another great reason to switch to U.S. Cellular, and enable our existing customers to choose from an even wider variety of iconic smartphones, and enjoy the outstanding U.S. Cellular customer experiences they deserve,"

-U.S. Cellular CEO Mary Dillon said in a statement.

It's likely that U.S. Cellular will launch an LTE-capable iPhone 5 or whatever comes out later this year.

What say you TUSCC? Apple products on USC?

(the reason behind the sudden price hikes and BS fees?)

More info (thanks


PDF file contains 2013 1st Quarter slideshow stating US Cellular will be offering Apple products: http://phx.corporate...3&p=irol-IRHome

US Cellular to buy $1.2 Billion in iPhones over 3 years

A little more behind the decision:


This review was written by forum member bleemck.

So I've had my Galaxy SIV for two whole days now, and like the others on the site that have chosen to dive in head-first, I've been scrutinizing it like no other. After having such high hopes for the SIII and being so severely disappointed on a personal level by it, I'm glad to say that I really do see the SIV as a solid step up from it's now older brother. Here's why, in no particular order:

The hardware:

If you haven't had the SIV in your hands, and it doesn't obviously feel like a more solid device compared to the SIII, you've not paid attention. Seriously, go a store and just hold it. Albeit it's still just glass and plastic (and we all wish Samsung would throw some anodized aluminum our way) this phone feels SOLID. Not only does the battery back attach so snug that it's borderline terrifying to take it off, but the phone itself does not creak or give at all. The chrome painted plastic isn't as obvious as it was in the SIII, either. This is what the SIII should have felt like. I have no doubt that I'm holding a luxury piece of hardware now that they've taken those rounded corners down a notch to a form factor that more closely resembles the SII. On the down side though, this phone is VERY thin and VERY light. Now, that may seem like a plus to some, but I've heard several say that how light it is makes it feel fake. It just doesn't seem like so much can weigh so little.


I know you've probably heard this a billion times over already, but the screen on this thing is an absolute wonder to behold. Not only is the device the same dimensions as the SIII as far as height and width, but they packed in a much higher resolution screen by reducing the screen bezel. That 5" Full HD Super AMOLED display is just beautiful. The resolution is insane and images (Default Wallpapers, for instance) are so sharp you might cut yourself. I can't describe it as anything other than gorgeous. This alone sold the phone for me, as it was the ONE aspect of the the SIII that I considered to fall short of the standard my last iPhone had set for me.


Because I know it's a major deciding factor for most of you, the signal is so much better from initial observations. At the time of typing this my SIV reads -87dBm 4 asu (3G mode) and my SIII sitting next to it is at-103dBm 4 asu (3G mode). I live in what can be considered a "tough" zone for signal, so this is a huge relief. Now keep in mind that the LOWEST (which is better in case you, like myself, did not know) I've seen my SIII hit in my room is -79dBm, where as the SIV has only gotten down to -83dBm. My litmus test is my drive home from work. I have NEVER been able to stream music from Google Play without interruption on my SIII, and I enjoyed constant, uninterrupted playback all the way home on the SIV. The SIV even held 4G for a longer period of time (driving away from the 4G area where I work) than my SIII ever did and it also seems to switch between the two networks more seamlessly.


The camera is awesome. I haven't had time to test it thoroughly, but when I do, I will update. Comes with a ton of features and effects. Keep in mind that out of the box it is set to 9.6 megapixel to fit the aspect ratio of the screen. Setting it to 13 takes much better photos, but your viewfinder does NOT take up the whole screen. Which brings me to the inevitable..


Believe it or not, Samsung put a bit (see: "a bit") of effort into refining TouchWiz in the latest version we see on the SIV. It's not perfect (and still drags along the Android 2 green we're all sick-to-death of), but it makes a few leaps forward. Your old gripes are sure to be there, but a few things have been fixed. I recommend checking it out in person before buying if TouchWiz is a dealbreaker for you.

  • The stock TW launcher is very pleasant to look at. Though not much more functional than the SIII it's much more fluid and responsive. I actually don't mind using/am growing to like it.
  • The Camera app is beautiful if you're willing to sacrifice a few megapixels. Setting the resolution to full puts your viewfinder in a letterbox, and makes the interface look horrible. The default 9.6 mega pixel aspect ratio fits the new camera design well (though why they decided to ditch function in favor of good design instead of going for both is beyond me).
  • The stock messaging app is also a lot easier on the eyes, though I couldn't say why. It's no longer something you'll be ashamed of opening in public.
  • All of the crazy TW features are very cool to play with, though for the most part that's what they amount to - toys. Waving your hand over the phone to scroll though pages, though it feels a little unnatural, is very fun and acts like hitting Page Down on a keyboard. It's useful to preview texts and photo albums by just hovering your finger, too.
  • Samsung decided that their awkward TW blue goes better with bright white, which makes the Dialer and Contacts app not only a pain to look at, but also very hard on battery and your eyes in a dark room.
  • The Gallery app is much more like the Note II and can sync with Facebook, Picasa, and Dropbox so all of your photos across all of your accounts are there.
  • The lock screen does support widgets, and works as expected. The new unlock animation is very interesting, as is the unlock sound effect.
  • The S-Cover accessory is neat. Very neat. I like that, when closed, pressing my unlock button shows me a quick glance at the time and notifications, and that I don't have to open it to answer or decline a call, I can swipe through the window. It's also cool to have the phone automatically wake up and unlock when you open it (think Nexus 7 covers). The window also allows for use of the camera when the cover is flipped behind the phone, which I didn't even realize until I just flat-out tried it.
  • With all of the added TW features, the Settings on your phone are now in tabs. This means that nothing in your settings is immediately easy to find, and some options are just plain out of place.
  • WatchON allows me to control my parent's TV and works flawlessly with their LG TV and DirectTV box. It even sports Netflix support, though I haven't tried this out.
  • The S Health App is very, very useful looking and very well designed. In fact, all of the new apps Samsung loads on here are very well designed. The Media Hub for music, video and everything else would be my first choice to use if all of my media weren't already through Google Play and therefore inaccessible to Samsung's Apps. Samsung even has it's own media stores. It makes me feel as though the next iteration of this wonderful line of Phones is going to say goodbye to Android.


Overall, I am very pleased. I was concerned when I ordered it that it would be nothing worthy of spending money on, but the tech junkie inside me is very satisfied with it so far. I'll keep everyone updated (although I'm sure most of you will have one soon) on my discoveries, likes and dislikes as time goes on. To paraphrase kremlingifts, the SIII was the revolution, the SIV is an evolution. I totally agree, but I'll add this: The SIV was the phone I was hoping to get when I bought the SIII.

Thanks again to bleemck for the great review. So, what do you think? Will you be more likely to jump to the S4? Let us know in the comments.


Well, the good news is in! I just received a message from Shabbypenguin while on the road accompanied with this screenshot:


It appears droidroidz, Shabbypenguin, and kallell have worked together and figured out that our bootloader is officially unlocked as opposed to Verizon and AT&T.

If you're not familiar, the bootloader needs to be unlocked and accessible so that a custom recovery such as CWM (ClockWorkMod) or TWRP (TeamWinRecovery) which then allows custom ROMs to be flashed. It was unknown for a few short hours what the outcome would be for us as AT&T joined the locked list. Seems we know our fate now.

While the bootloader is obviously unlocked and droid confirms a recovery was flashed, this was a Sprint recovery. While this will work in a pinch, this is what causes assert failed errors when flashing stuff as this CWM is not made for our device. Shabbypenguin will be working on a recovery specifically for us as soon as Sprint's is finished. CWM and TWRP version are planned. Stay tuned here for updates but in the mean time - are you excited? Ready to put custom ROMs on already? Let us know below!


blog-0065746001366927635.jpgUS Cellular customers who preordered the new Galaxy S4 will be happy to hear that US Cellular will be shipping on April 26th! (That's tomorrow at the time of writing.)

This puts us first in line out of all US carriers- AT&T will have it in stores on the 27th, Sprint will start online orders the same day, T-Mobile goes in stores on May 8th and Verizon possibly not until the end of May. This is actually big news- even though all these carriers are much bigger, we go first with a major flagship release- who knows what this could mean for the future of US Cellular?

Those who didn't preorder or want to get the opinions of the early adopters can pick up the device in stores starting April 30th.

The Galaxy S4 specs are as follows:

  • 4G LTE capability
  • 1.9 GHz quad core Snapdragon 600
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1080p HD Super AMOLED display (441 pixels per inch) with Gorilla Glass 3
  • 13mp camera and 2mp front facing camera
  • 16GB internal storage and support for MicroSD cards
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, temperature, humidity, and gesture sensors




Quick Info Update

Just a few updates I'm hearing on phone prices changing and promos continuing.

Samsung Galaxy S4 - $199 in store price with no rebates when available. Some reps saying it will be in stores 4/26 while other stores are laughing at this claim. TUSCC cannot confirm either way.

Samsung Axiom - current $30, will be rising to $50 beginning 4/26.

Motorola Electrify M - Buy One, Get One promotion continues until August. Reports of back to school specials will begin then as usual.

SMB (small and medium business up to 20 lines) new deal starts 5/2/13. It includes:

  • Instant rebates
  • waived activation
  • $100 guaranteed trade in credit for any working condition iPhone, Android or Blackberry
  • $100 switcher credit per line

However, here are the stipulations of course...

  1. New accounts only
  2. New phone numbers or ported from another company
  3. Customer must show business card to be placed on business plan.

What do you think? I'm sure most are excited to hear the S4 news. Don't count the Electrify M out though as it's a nice little 4G device!