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Google introduces competitors to Apple Pay, Photos, HomeKit + new iOS apps at I/O

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Google just wrapped up the opening keynote for its I/O developer conference taking place this week, and not surprisingly many of the announced products and services are direct competitors to Apple’s. Android Pay gets an official coming out party to compete with Apple Pay, Project Brillo is Google’s answer to HomeKit, and the new Android M gets a focus on quality, much like what Apple has in store for iOS 9 at WWDC in June. The company also announced a new Photos app with unlimited photo and video syncing and iOS support, as well as a number of other iOS app announcements.

Head below for a roundup of everything Google announced today from 9to5Google:

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T-Mobile announces new $100 unlimited 2-line data plan, $100 10 GB 4-line plan

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AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon need to watch out. The “uncarrier” has announced yet another couple of reasons they hope will get you to ditch your current cellular provider for T-Mobile. Today, CEO John Legere and his cohorts have come out to announce that T-Mobile is now offering a 2-line family plan that comes with unlimited talk, text, and 4G data, for $100 a month.



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Microsoft OneDrive now provides unlimited cloud storage for Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft on Monday announced that it will be eliminating its top-tier cloud storage plan and offering unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 subscribers at no additional cost. The change will begin rolling out today for Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers and will continue over the coming months.

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T-Mobile’s new $40 plan gets you unlimited talk, text & 500MB of LTE data, no international perks

T-Mobile-Simple-Starter

T-Mobile is about to kick off three days of announcements for new initiatives starting with a new $40 Simple Starter plan that it says is a first for a U.S. carrier. Starting on April 12, T-Mobile claims the new $40 plan will make it the first to offer “unlimited talk and text, and up to 500MB of 4G LTE data and tethering with no data overages” at that price point. In this case, since the LTE data isn’t unlimited, no overages isn’t entirely accurate. It  really means you’ll have to purchase additional data once you hit that 500MB cap for the month. In its press release, T-Mobile compared the new plan to AT&T’s entry-level plan:

T-Mobile contrasted its new flat-rate value plan against AT&T’s entry-level plan, whose costs immediately jump by $20 increments – in what amounts to a massive 44% price hike on those customers least able to absorb overages and bill shock. With Simple Starter, you’ll get a ton more data compared to AT&T’s 300MB, and you’ll never pay data overages again – ever. And with data capped at 500MB, you’ll never pay more until you choose to pay more – by purchasing additional data sessions whenever you like.

T-Mobile’s argument is that its method of charging for more data is more transparent than the other guys, but at the end of the day an overage is an overage and paying for more data will cost you $5/day or $10/week for T-Mobile’s “additional data sessions.” In reality, AT&T’s $45 300MB plan is comparable considering it only charges users $5 more for the next tier up, $50 for 1GB a month.

The new Simple Starter plan won’t, however, have access to the unlimited international data and texting perks that come with T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans. They start at $50, $10 more than the new Simple Starter plan. There’s more about today’s announcement on T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s blog and the full press release below.

Day 1 of 3: T-Mobile On a Roll Again with Multiple Initiatives … First with the Launch of its All-New “Simple Starter Plan”

Un-carrier introduces zero-risk, no annual contract plan for value-conscious Americans –

and much-needed relief from other carriers’ high-risk entry-level contracts

BELLEVUE, Wash. – April 9, 2014 –T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) has announced the first in what it promises will be the rapid-fire roll-out of multiple initiatives to extend its Un-carrier consumer revolution to several new fronts. First, the company today introduced its all-new Simple Starter value plan, designed to offer a desperately needed alternative to the data overage-intensive entry-level plans the largest U.S. carriers target at Americans. This new plan makes T-Mobile the only major U.S. carrier to offer a single line of 4G LTE data at just $40 a month.

Launching April 12th, the Simple Starter plan – at only $40 a month for unlimited talk and text and up to 500MB 4G LTE data and tethering – is purpose-built for value-conscious wireless customers and small businesses that want predictability and affordability, and promises absolutely no data overages. All on America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network.

“Un-carrier is a movement, not a marketing strategy.  We are freeing consumers from the predatory practices of traditional US wireless companies and that includes these plans that start with a low price and a low data limit, but then hit you with insane fees if you send one too many emails,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile.   “It’s wrong!  And I personally want to drive those ridiculous schemes out of this industry. We will continue to be relentless and bring this forced march of change to the market every day so consumers can be creative with and enjoy the true benefits of wireless.   I know we have it right and when we all are done reporting results from the first quarter – I think you’ll share my conviction.”

T-Mobile contrasted its new flat-rate value plan against AT&T’s entry-level plan, whose costs immediately jump by $20 increments — in what amounts to a massive 44 percent price hike on those customers least able to absorb overages and bill shock. With Simple Starter, you’ll get a ton more data compared to AT&T’s 300MB, and you’llnever pay data overages again – ever. And with data capped at 500MB, you’ll never pay more until you choose to pay more – by purchasing additional data sessions whenever you like.

“Today, we are introducing a zero-risk value plan that will give consumers everywhere a predictable and affordable solution,” said Mike Sievert, Chief Marketing Officer for T-Mobile. “Even more important, we are the only major U.S. carrier to offer a single line of 4G LTE data at just $40 per month.  It is a fantastic deal!”

And, just as with all Un-carrier customers, those on the Simple Starter plan can enjoy many of the same benefits of being with T-Mobile, including America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network, and paying little or nothing down for your new device on T-Mobile’s equipment installment plan (EIP).

Simple Starter customers also qualify for T-Mobile’s break-through “Contract Freedom” offer which pays the entire contract Early Termination Fees of customers who switch to T-Mobile and trade-in their phones. The plan also qualifies for the company’s revolutionary JUMP!™ upgrade program, so customers can choose to get handset protection and they can upgrade when they want. Plus, as always with T-Mobile, there is the freedom of no annual service contract.

The company added that Simple Starter is designed as a domestic plan for people that don’t have a need for international texting and roaming. However, for customers that do want additional international benefits, the company’s flagship Simple Choice plan includes  unlimited international data and texting from 120+ countries and destinations, plus unlimited international texting from the U.S. to virtually anywhere all at no extra charge.

For more information on what to expect from the Un-carrier in the next three days, check out President and CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere’s blog about the upcoming initiatives being rolled out. And for further information, visit theT-Mobile Newsroom.

+Taxes and fees. Limited time offer; subject to change. Fastest LTE network based on download speeds. Qualifying service & device purchase with port-in required for ETF payment. . See T-Mobile.com for specific offer and service details.

About T-Mobile US, Inc.
As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: “TMUS”) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The company’s advanced nationwide 4G and 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences for customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. It currently serves approximately 46.7 million wireless subscribers and provides products and services through approximately 70,000 points of distribution, including approximately 8,000 T-Mobile and MetroPCS branded locations and 62,000 third-party locations, as well as distribution through our websites. For more information, please visit http://www.t-mobile.com.

 

Sprint debuts new unlimited plans with lifetime guarantee, ‘My Way’ feature

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Following T-Mobile’s new “Jump” plan announcement, and preceding AT&T’s forthcoming network-related announcement, U.S. carrier Sprint has announced new versions of its unlimited plans. The new service goes into effect tomorrow.

The first element of the new offering is a lifetime guarantee (for the life of your service line) to receive unlimited calling, texting, and data. Sprint has also introduced a new My Way plan, that starts at as little as $80 for unlimited usage, that allows flexibility and additional savings when it comes to multiple lines begin attached to the plan:



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Skype for iPhone & iPad updated with improvements to audio/video calls & photo sharing

After launching a new Video Messages feature for Skype back in February and making it completely free and unlimited earlier this month, Skype has updated its apps today with a number of performance enhancements. The video message feature, which allows users to record and send video messages within a Skype chat, was previously limited to three-minute-long videos, and after 20 free messages required a $4.99 premium account.

The updated Skype apps for both iPhone and iPad are available in the App Store now and also include stability improvements for audio and video calls, and performance enhancements for sharing photos.

What’s New in Version 4.9

– Video messaging is now free and unlimited.
– Audio and video call stability improvements.
– Share photos more reliably.
– Improved accessibil

‘Zact’ launches customizable, no-contract data plans on Sprint, coming to iOS soon

Earlier this month we told you that Verizon-backed ItsOn, a company building software for carriers that provides users with dynamic pricing plans on mobile devices, was planning on introducing a new mobile service that takes advantage of its software. Today ItsOn has officially announced Zact, a mobile service that provides flexible, adjustable data plans that allows users to pay for only what they use, customize voice, text, and data plans in real-time at any time, and share data on an unlimited amount of devices:

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Solavei, the T-Mobile MVNO with the interesting affiliate program now carries iPhone 5 nano SIMs on its unlimited $49/m plan


SolaveiNanoSimCardSolavei, the T-Mobile MVNO offering $49-per-month unlimited on the carrier’s newly enhanced HSPA+ network, today announced the availability of nano SIM cards for unlocked iPhone 5 owners. That means iPhone 5 customers will now be able to sign up to the unlimited voice, text, and data plans by purchasing a nano SIM direct from Solavei for $9.

Solavei®, an affordable contract-free mobile service provider, today announces the availability of nano SIM cards, compatible with the iPhone 5, and widening the company’s phone compatibility to include all major smartphones. For $49 per month, members can now bring popular phones such as Apple’s iPhone 5, Samsung’s Galaxy SIII or Google’s Nexus 4 to Solavei and enjoy unlimited voice, text and data mobile service.

For those unfamiliar, on top of unlimited $49 per month plans, Solavei offers users the ability to offset their bills by earning monthly income from recommending others to the service. For every three users you sign up, the carrier will put $20 toward your monthly bill. Signing up an additional six will pay your entire bill and earn you a bit of extra money. Solavei said it uses the system in lieu of traditional advertising and noted it has paid out over $6.5 million through the program:

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