Unlock

Congress passes bill making phone unlocking legal

Earlier this year, a DMCA exemption expired, which made unlocking your iPhone not only illegal, but also punishable by a $500,000 fine, five years in jail, or both.

Today, Congress passed a bill that makes unlocking your phone without permission from your carrier legal. The bill was first unanimously passed by the Senate a couple of weeks ago, and the policy was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives this afternoon. The last step is for President Obama to sign the bill, which will officially turn it into a law.

Senate passes cellphone unlocking bill

The Senate has passed a bill legalizing cellphone unlocking this week. The unanimous decision to pass the legislation, which was penned by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, came last night, and it will now move to the House and onto President Obama.

The bill reinstates a 2010 ruling by the Librarian of Congress so that consumers can ‘unlock’ their cell phones without worrying about copyright laws. It also directs Congress to consider whether other wireless devices, such as tablets, should be eligible for unlocking…

All Sprint devices released after February 11, 2015 to be unlockable

As much as carriers would want to keep devices locked to their network to make switching service impossible, this is fortunately just a pipe dream. Last December, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was able to successfully pressure major U.S. wireless companies to agree to unlock their devices for use on other domestic networks.

The US House in February passed a device unlocking bill and now the nation’s third-largest wireless operator Sprint has responded by announcing it will make all of its devices released after February 11, 2015 unlockable for use on competitors’ wireless networks without repercussions…

US House passes bill that makes unlocking your phone legal

Reuters is reporting that the US House has passed a bill that would allow mobile phone users to unlock their devices and use them on competitors’ wireless networks without repercussions, making the once ‘gray-area’ practice completely legal.

Before you get too excited, however, there are a few big asterisks. First, for the bill to be written into law it must also be approved by the Senate, which could take years or never happen. And two, the bill contains an exclusion for ‘bulk unlocking.’

PassTime lets you customize the passcode requirement duration (and it’s really awesome)

If you’ve been listening to either Let’s Talk Jailbreak or Let’s Talk iOS, you’ve probably heard Cody and I rant about the fact that you can’t use Touch ID for iTunes purchases without either using Touch ID or a passcode to unlock your device.

Since I first got my iPhone 5s, this has been a big annoyance. I do like the simplicity and security that Touch ID brings to my purchases on iTunes or in the App Store, but I do not want to use Touch ID or even a passcode to unlock my device. As it turns out, Apple won’t let you do one without the other.

Enters PassTime, a new jailbreak tweak by Julian Weiss that lets you set custom passcode or Touch ID unlock requirement durations, effectively solving my biggest Touch ID pet peeve…

FCC and carriers finally agree on cell phone unlocking

Threatening regulatory action, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was able to drive U.S. wireless carriers into a corner concerning their stance on cell phone unlocking. As much as carriers would want to lock phones to their network to make switching service that much harder, the FCC and major U.S. wireless companies have reached an agreement which will make it easier for people to unlock their devices and switch from one carrier to another.

The wireless association called CTIA, which represents U.S. carriers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular, released a statement on Thursday confirming that all named carriers have agreed to the new cell phone unlocking principles put forth by the government…

Leaked document shows White House in favor of banning unlocking, jailbreaking

The last we heard, things were looking good in the fight to reform out-of-date policies on device unlocking here in the US. Last week, the FCC chairman sent a letter to the CTIA saying he’d like to see changes made before the holidays. But don’t get your hopes up just yet.

According to information recently leaked by WikiLeaks, the White House—despite publicly supporting unlocking—has been secretly negotiating a treaty with other countries and special interest lobbyists that would make this and other processes illegal by international law…

FCC Chairman urges CTIA to amend Consumer Code on unlocking

There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about the consumer’s right to unlock their mobile devices, but very little meaningful action. That changed this week, though, thanks to new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Wheeler sent out a letter to the CTIA (the governing body of the wireless industry) urging it to amend its Consumer Code to include a policy ensuring consumer rights to get their devices unlocked once off contract…

The Verizon iPhone 5s comes unlocked just like the Verizon iPhone 5

It looks like we’re 2 for 2 when it comes to unlocked iPhones on Verizon’s network. As you all know, I picked up my Verizon iPhone 5s on launch day, but I haven’t been able to test it out with a GSM sim card until today.

I walked into Walgreens just a few hours ago, and picked up one of T-Mobile’s No Annual Contract kits that contains the SIM card starter kit. Unfortunately the SIM card that came with the kit was one of the old-school normal sized SIM cards (people still use those?), so I had to break out a pair of scissors and cut it down.

After a few minutes of manicuring the SIM card down to a nano size, I was ready to rock and roll. I popped out my Verizon SIM, inserted my T-Mobile SIM, and sure enough, I was on T-Mobile’s “4G” network.

Review: Touch ID fingerprint sensor

Far and away, the most compelling upgrade worthy feature on the new iPhone 5s is the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It was a feature that was rumored for many months, and today the general public can finally see what all of the fuss is about.

I’ve been putting the Touch ID sensor, which rests inside of the iPhone 5s’ redesigned Home button, through its paces all morning. I’ve come away extremely impressed — not only with its ease of setup, but with its uncompromising accuracy.

After using it for a while, it’s readily apparent that this is not something that Apple hastily put into the iPhone 5s. This isn’t your father’s fingerprint sensor. Touch ID is a feature that Apple has meticulously meshed into the iPhone to make one transparent and cohesive experience. And it just works.

The price of an unlocked iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

This is it. Apple finally unveiled the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c without much surprise to anyone who’s been following the rumors for a while. We’ve already posted about the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c pricing and availability but we thought it’d be worth having a post dedicated to these devices’ prices off-contract.

So far, looking at Apple’s website, only T-Mobile will be offering unlocked and contract-free iPhones from day one, starting September 20th. If history is any indication of the future, chances are other carriers such as AT&T will later offer the devices without a contact, and unlocked for use on other carriers.

But let’s have a look at the prices of contract-free iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c…

New bill introduced that legalizes cellphone unlocking and more

Back in January, the mobile homebrew community suffered a major blow when several DMCA exemptions expired. Among them was a rule that made unlocking cellphones legal, effectively making the practice illegal here in the United States.

But it may not be that way for long. A new bill just landed in the House of Representatives called The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, which, among other things, would make the process of unlocking your cellphone unequivocally legal…