AT&T

AT&T to stop offering two-year phone contracts next month

AT&T plans to stop offering two-year phone contracts next month, reports Engadget. The outlet on Wednesday published an internal document that says the carrier will launch a “pricing simplification effort” on January 8 that will effectively get rid of contracts.

According to the document, starting on the 8th, AT&T Next and full-retail will become the only purchase options for smartphones. Folks looking to buy a flip, or “basic,” phone from the carrier will also have to choose between paying full-retail or an installment plan.

AT&T to increase price of grandfathered unlimited data plans in February

AT&T is going to announce a price hike for its grandfathered unlimited data plans early next year, reports CNBC. The outlet announced the news on Twitter this afternoon, saying it has learned that the carrier plans to increase the price from $30 to $35 in February.

The move is unsurprising, given that Verizon announced earlier this year that it’d be raising the price of its own grandfathered unlimited plans, and the two carriers tend to follow each others leads. AT&T’s price bump is significantly less though, at just $5 versus $20.

Apple seeds iOS 9.2 beta 4 to developers and public beta testers

Following yesterday’s release of OS X El Capitan 10.11.2 beta 4, Apple today posted a fourth beta of the forthcoming iOS 9.2 software update for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

iOS 9.2 beta 4 (build 13C5075) is now available to members of the Apple Developer Program as an over-the-air update or through Apple’s portal for developers. The update is also available to public beta testers who are signed on the Apple Beta Software Program.

AT&T to take orders for iPad Pro starting tomorrow

As Apple gears up to start taking orders for the iPad Pro starting tomorrow, carrier partners are as well, or at least AT&T is. The company will be letting customers order it both in stores and online, but the 128 GB WiFi + Cellular model will be their only one, AT&T announced today. AT&T noted that Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard will also be available from the carrier.

iOS 9.2 beta 2 brings AT&T Wi-Fi Calling to the Mac

The latest beta version of what would become the second major update to iOS 9, which was seeded to developers yesterday, enables Wi-Fi Calling through AT&T on your Mac, 9to5Mac discovered.

While Wi-Fi Calling allows you to place a phone call in an area with little or no cellular coverage, bringing AT&T Wi-Fi Calling to the Mac and other devices you own lets you make and receive phone calls on your Mac (or iPad or iPod touch, for that matter) without needing to be on the same network, or even in the same area, as your iPhone.

AT&T wants to give you more data in exchange for your time and attention

AT&T today introduced Data Perks, a program that allows qualifying customers to earn extra data for free by taking surveys, completing offers, and making purchases at partner websites.

The concept is simple, and to be honest, not so original. Using the free Data Perks app, you can accumulate data by giving time, attention, and sometimes money to a selection of partners. You can for example watch promo videos, attend online demos for products, sign up for free trials for services such as Gamefly, make purchases at partner websites, and more.

AT&T gets FCC waiver to begin offering Wi-Fi Calling

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday gave AT&T permission to begin offering Wi-Fi Calling, reports The Verge. The Commission has granted the carrier a waiver, allowing it to offer the feature without the typically-required support for TTY, a service for those with disabilities.

AT&T announced last week that it had intended to deploy Wi-Fi Calling on September 25, the day Apple launched its new iPhone 6s, but decided to delay its release until it received word from the FCC. Now that the Commission has given the green light, the feature should be available shortly.

AT&T delays public release of Wi-Fi Calling

As reported by Fierce Wireless, U.S. carrier AT&T is delaying a public release of the Wi-Fi Calling feature over the decision to wait for a waiver by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would temporarily relieve the company of having to support options for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Attempting to enable the feature on iPhones running iOS 9.0 or later by flipping the Wi-Fi Calling switch in Settings → Phone to the ON position yields a “Wi-Fi Calling is not yet available. It will be coming soon” message.

AT&T raises LTE throttling threshold for unlimited customers to 22GB

AT&T on Wednesday updated its website with a minor but noteworthy change to its throttling policy. The carrier says it will no longer throttle subscribers on grandfathered unlimited data plans in congested areas until they surpass 22GB of data in a single bill cycle.

The move represents a significant change from AT&T’s previous stance on throttling, which was to start slowing down unlimited data plan customers in high-traffic areas after just 5GB of usage, and it probably has something to do with the FCC’s $100 million fine.

Breaking down the iPhone 6s model numbers and LTE band capabilities

Apple is shipping four different models of iPhone for its yearly refresh. The iPhone 6s sports two models—A1633 and A1688, while the iPhone 6s Plus feature models A1634 and A1687.

Although both iPhones in the 6s and 6s Plus lines are virtually the same, the model numbers differentiate the cellular LTE band capabilities of each phone. Thus, by familiarizing yourself with each model number, you can learn what networks each phone will support.

Why is this important? Say you wanted to order a new iPhone 6s in rose gold. As you might have heard, rose gold is proving to be very popular, and is selling out quicker than some of the other iPhone color options. Rose gold 64GB iPhones designated for T-Mobile and Verizon are now on backorder for 2-3 weeks.

But some rose gold models remain available—for example, some Sprint-designated rose gold models are still shipping on 9/25. By using our knowledge of iPhone model numbers, we might still be able to obtain a rose gold iPhone 6s to use with a provider like T-Mobile or Verizon by purchasing the Sprint model…

AT&T cutting prices of shared data plans and unveiling new ones tomorrow

U.S. wireless carrier AT&T announced this morning a few notable changes coming to its shared-data plans beginning tomorrow. For starters, customers on existing Mobile Share Value Plans with fifteen and twenty gigabytes of cellular data will now pay less for their high-speed 4G LTE data: the 15GB plan will drop from $130 to $100 per month while the 20GB tier will go from $150 down to $140 per month.