Sprint brings back two-year contracts

Sprint logo

Falling in line with the other three big carriers, Sprint recently got rid of two-year contracts. It’s been the direction US carriers have been headed in for a while now, with T-Mobile dropping contracts first. Installment plans are the new contract, but it gives people just a bit more freedom to move between carriers.

However, Sprint is officially bringing back two-year contracts. The company claims it wants to give customers more choices. Sprint now offers a phone lease, a monthly installment plan that we’re all used to, a contract, or full retail price for a phone. To be fair, more choices is rarely a bad thing, and this move isn’t really going to hurt Sprint in any obvious way.

Now Sprint can brag about being the only carrier of the big four to offer contracts to all of its customers. What do you guys think of this decision? Do people still want contracts, or is this just a useless move by Sprint? Leave a comment!


Inbox by Gmail adds two new Snooze options to help with email management

Inbox by Gmail Snooze option

Managing a steady stream of emails can get complicated, and sometimes you just don’t want to deal with a particular correspondence right then and there. Thankfully, Snooze options exist.

The Gmail team has made the Inbox email app even better with two new additions to its Snooze feature that should help with email management. New additions “Later this week” and “This weekend” are joining the ranks which already include “Later today,” “Tomorrow,” “Next week,” and “Someday.” The team hopes this will make it less necessary to use a custom Snooze option, as it adds more options that cover select spans of time.

Inbox by Gmail will let you select the preferred time in the morning when you receive emails, and now that feature is getting extended to being able to select the weekend days that work best for your schedule. After all, not everyone’s weekend is on Saturday and Sunday.

The new features will be rolling out over the next week, so keep an eye out.


Facebook Live now available on Android as the U.S. rollout begins

Facebook Live for Android

Facebook Live has been available to iOS users for a bit of time now, and finally the social network is bringing its live video streaming to Google’s operating system.

Through an update in the Facebook Newsroom, the company has announced that Facebook Live is now rolling out to Android users. The rollout is only taking place in the United States for now, but Facebook says it has plans to bring it to more countries in the coming months. It’s pretty simple to share your live video: Just tap on “What’s on your mind” at the top of your News Feed, and then tap on the Live Video button.

Before you start streaming the video, you’ll be able to type in a quick description of what you plan on streaming, and you’ll even get to choose the audience that can see your video as you stream. There will be a real-time stream of comments that you can respond to and you’ll see the names of friends and family that are watching as well as the number of viewers. After ending the stream, the video will be saved to your Timeline.

Do you plan on streaming, or watching, a lot of live video on Facebook?


AT&T files lawsuit to delay Google Fiber in Louisville, Kentucky

google fiber internet boradband

Google recently announced plans to consider rolling out Google Fiber in Louisville, Kentucky. The rollout would have been held up for a few months, had the Louisville Metro Council not passed an ordinance that shortened the time needed for a competitive internet service to access the city’s utility poles. The new ordinance shortened the necessary time from six months to just 30 days, allowing Google Fiber to begin rolling out in a much more timely manner.

The passage of the ordinance, however, has sparked some trouble for the city. AT&T, which owns about 40 percent of Louisville’s utility poles, is filing a lawsuit against the city for the passage of the ordinance. AT&T claims that the city doesn’t have the rights to decide who can use AT&T’s poles. Check out the quote from the company below.

Louisville Metro Council’s recently passed ‘One Touch Make Ready’ Ordinance is invalid, as the city has no jurisdiction under federal or state law to regulate pole attachments. We have filed an action to challenge the ordinance as unlawful. Google can attach to AT&T’s poles once it enters into AT&T’s standard Commercial Licensing Agreement, as it has in other cities. This lawsuit is not about Google. It’s about the Louisville Metro Council exceeding its authority. AT&T

AT&T doesn’t seem to blocking Google Fiber simply to block it. Instead, the company has a legitimate argument about making sure that the correct and legal process is followed. That being said, the suit will likely delay the rollout of Google Fiber, with the possibility that Google may even abort its plans to bring Google Fiber to Louisville. We’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out.


Appeals court overturns $120 million judgment in Samsung vs Apple case


A specific Apple vs Samsung case to do with some software patents (including slide-to-unlock, if you remember that one) ended up with Samsung having to pay $120 million to Apple. But an appeals court overturned that decision, saying two patents were invalid and one was not infringed upon.

Though this isn’t the main case where Samsung had to pay $548 million to Apple (that’s being appealed, too), it’s still a win for Samsung. The slide-to-unlock and autocorrect patents were invalidated, while the quick links patent is valid but Samsung was shown not to have infringed on it. The court also ruled that Apple infringed on one of Samsung’s patents, and Apple will have to pay the large sum of $158,400 to Samsung. We know, disastrous.

We’ll have to wait and see how the initial ruling turns out, but for now, the court battles rage on.


16GB Nexus 5X available for $269.99 on eBay


The 16GB model of the Nexus 5X usually sells for $349.99 from Google, but an eBay seller has it available for a much lower price of $269.99 with free shipping right now. It’s the US model with warranty intact, so you’re not getting a refurb model for this price. Unfortunately, there’s no 32GB model available. The lack of storage might be a problem for some.

You can buy it in Carbon and Quartz, but Ice is now sold out. These deals don’t usually last long, so if you want it, jump on the deal now!


YouTube desktop editor can now blur moving objects


Sometimes you’ll upload a YouTube video and notice something that shouldn’t be there. Whether that’s a person’s face, a license plate, or anything else, YouTube’s editor will now allow you to blur it out from your desktop.

The best part about this new feature is that it’s not just a blur feature, but it’ll follow whatever you have it set to blur. You don’t have to worry about having the blurred part stay on your subject, YouTube will take care of it automatically. When saving the video, it’ll allow you to either save over the original or create a new video and delete the original (you know, in case the comments are full of whatever you wanted to hide).

If you want to find out more about this feature, hit the source link. I think it’s an amazing feature and takes so much effort out of blurring moving subjects out of your videos. Let us know what you think of it in the comments!


DisplayMate names Samsung Galaxy S7 display best it’s ever tested


Samsung mobile displays have long been considered some of the best around, with the company’s flagships being outfitted with AMOLED displays that always push the boundaries of what’s available at the time. With the Galaxy S7, Samsung decided to keep both the display size and resolution the same as the previous year’s model, which ended up winning it DisplayMate’s “best mobile display tested” title.

DisplayMate says that Samsung bumped the brightness by 24% over the Galaxy S6. Colors are also spot-on with customizable color profiles. Samsung introduced Personalized Automatic Brightness Control, as well, which learns your preferred brightness depending on the lighting situation, and DisplayMate claims it works really well.

Overall, the Galaxy S7 display comes out on top in almost every test, coming second in a few to the Galaxy Note 5 that it ends up besting. So if you want an amazing display, you know what device to buy. We’re glad to see Samsung improving the display outside of insane resolutions, instead opting to make every other aspect better.


Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge to lock to the first carrier SIM inserted


Thanks to a leaked slide, it seems that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will have a very unique carrier lock mechanism. Carrier devices that usually would be sold locked (or occasionally unlocked) will now be sold completely unlocked, but will lock themselves to the first carrier SIM that’s inserted.

This is interesting because it’ll technically be an unlocked phone from the factory, both hardware and software wise. Inserting a carrier SIM before first boot will install the carrier software, which will lock the device to that carrier. Maybe this means someone will be able to get around the device installing carrier software?

We probably won’t see this in the US, since our carriers have logos and branding all over the device. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting approach to carrier locks. You’ll still be able to unlock the device using an unlock code as usual, and factory unlocked devices will not be affected. What do you guys think? Is this preferable to regular carrier locks? Leave a comment!


Google is reportedly partnering with Vizio to put Chromecast tech in TVs

Google Chromecast

When Google created the Chromecast, it gained plenty of attention. But one downside of the Chromecast is that it’s still an accessory that you have to plug into your TV. With the rise of smart TVs that have the tech built directly into them, it’s becoming slightly antiquated to continue plugging accessories into them.

That could soon change with the Chromecast, however, as Variety is reporting that Google is partnering with Vizio to build Chromecast tech directly into TVs. The TVs won’t be smart TVs, but they will feature Google Cast built directly into them, so your other devices will recognize them in the same way that they’d recognize a Chromecast.

Google isn’t playing the exclusivity game, though. Variety reports that the tech giant has approached at least one other TV manufacturer in regards to a similar partnership. With Google looking to bring casting functionality directly to TVs, it’s also possible that the company could have plans to merge Android TV and casting technology.

Additionally, Vizio may be planning to change the system by using the remote. According to this report, the company could be ditching a traditional remote in exchange for a tablet. This tablet would be pre-loaded with apps for streaming and casting content.

At this point, there’s still a lot of speculation surrounding the matter, but with the launch of Vizio’s new TVs reportedly coming this spring, it may not be long before we hear official word on the matter.