Aiken Area Progressive

Progressive blog for the Central Savannah River Area.

Category: mobile smartphones

Best duopoly phones for displaced Windows users

Two years ago today, Windows 10 Mobile was finally released to the public. It lasted less than 19 months before Microsoft killed it.

As everyone knows, there is officially a duopoly in the smartphone industry, and the usually outspoken T-Mobile CEO John Legere has been totally quiet about it — and for no good reason.

That is the world we are in now, though.

That said, there are duopoly phones you can get if support for your Windows phone has ended.

Here are our recommended duopoly phones. Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft cuts off alternate ways to upgrade to feature_2 on Windows 10 Mobile

Redmond, Wash. — There are a few days before the Mobile World Congress gets underway.

With Microsoft having been thoroughly defeated by archrivals Apple and Google in the computing industry, on Wednesday, the formerly cool Redmond giant removed any and all upgrade paths on all Windows devices.

What that means is if you are rocking any pre-2015 Lumia or the 2016 alcatel Fierce XL, support for your phone, now stuck on the Anniversary Update that was released on August 2, 2016, will end on October 30, which is the last Tuesday in October.

After October 30, only seven Windows phones used in the US will still be supported.

Support for the Microsoft Lumia 640, Microsoft Lumia 640 XL and the Microsoft Lumia 735 will tentatively end on June 29, 2019 as those phones are now stuck on the Creators Update.

On June 30, 2019, only four Windows phones used in the US will still be supported.

Support for those four phones – the Microsoft Lumia 950, Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, alcatel Idol 4s and the HP Elite x3 – will end when the ball drops on Times Square to ring in 2020. Those phones are on the feature_2, which is the latest OS update from Microsoft.

Support for all three of Acer’s Windows 10 phones – the Liquid Jade Primo, Liquid M320 and Liquid M330 – ended on January 9. Support for the Coship Moly X1 and Coship Moly W5 also ended on January 9.

alcatel Idol 4s Review

The alcatel Idol 4s is the lone high end Windows 10 Phone to have Voice on LTE and Wi-Fi Calling on board. Although I got the phone on December 4th, 2016, I have only now gotten to reviewing it.

Read the rest of this entry »

If you solicit money from someone, you will be jailed for no less than ten years under this proposal – even if no sexual favors are involved!

Washington, DC – Thinking about messaging men for money via text or Facebook Messenger? That will cost you your freedom for a very long time, ladies.

Under a new amendment Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced Monday evening, anyone who messages to solicit money for any reason from another person would be sent to a federal jail for ten years or more.

While Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s post notes that this proposal is about messages that lead to an act of prostitution, Goodlatte’s proposal goes far beyond that. It even criminalizes the simple act of planning a date using digital means.

Mobile network operators – AT&T Mobility, Cricket, MetroPCS, Page Plus, Sprint, T-Mobile, Tracfone Wireless (including Straight Talk and Net 10), US Cellular and Verizon Wireless – would be given a huge incentive to track your text messages and give your messages to government agents. Digital platforms would be given the same incentives to do likewise.

The amendment was offered as a companion to House Resolution 1865, introduced by Ann Wagner (R-Mo.). Both measures, which would repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 outright, will be considered at any moment.

The underlying bill, which has 171 co-sponsors from both parties, would repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and would open digital platforms to criminal and civil liability not just for future sex crimes that result from user posts or interactions but also for past harms brokered by the platforms in some way. So platforms that followed previous federal laws (which encouraged less content moderation in order to avoid liability) would now be especially vulnerable to charges and lawsuits.

Under current law, only the federal government has the authority to bring charges against mobile network operators, mobile apps and web services as much of the user-generated content (which is more heavily regulated under state laws) conflicts with the more lenient federal laws. If HR 1865 passes, it would allow for states to prosecute anyone, including web services and their third-party content creators, for monetary solicitation. No exceptions would be made under the proposal, which would make innocuous messages like one my longtime friend sent to a dude on Messenger on Sunday night a federal offense.

The underlying bill would repeal and replace Section 230 with a new federal crime of benefitting from participation in a venture engaged in the exchanges of money for any purpose, and makes it easy to hold all sorts of web platforms and publishers in violation.

Any “provider of an interactive service” who hosts user-posted information with reckless disregard that the information provided…is in furtherance of sex trafficking (or any exchange of money for any reason) or an attempt to commit such an offense could face a fine and up to 20 years in prison, the bill states. And nothing “shall be construed to require the Federal Government in a prosecution, or a plaintiff in a civil action, to prove any intent on the part of the information content provider.”

What that means is that my friend’s message to a man on Sunday night after promising to go through with her plans the previous night would nab Facebook on a federal charge under HR 1865.

And that’s not all. Her message would also get her prosecuted (if the dude lives in another state) and she could be jailed for 10 if Goodlatte’s amendment is approved as a companion to HR 1865. The Goodlatte amendment significantly expands on the Mann Act. Currently, the Mann Act only criminalizes sex work if the sex worker is a passenger in a vehicle and is being transported across state lines. Goodlatte’s amendment would expand significantly on that, declaring that whoever uses or operates a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce or attempts to do so with the intent to exchange money for any reason would be subject to being jailed for ten years. The amendment additionally declares that anyone that “solicits or demands money from 5 or more persons” or “acts in reckless disregard of the fact that any monetary exchanges are in fact contributing to sex trafficking” could face a fine and up to 25 years of imprisonment.

Had my friend solicited money from at least five men who lives outside of South Carolina, she’d be facing 25 years in federal prison. And that proposal, if it becomes law, would apply to any monetary exchanges between people, even if no sexual favors are involved whatsoever.

These bills, as well as the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act, are not only unconstitutional – these bills violate basic human rights. And the worst part about them? They do nothing to combat sex trafficking. All these bills do is drive dating ads further underground, making it both harder to rescue victims of sexual abuse and harder for willing adult sex workers to conduct business safely, while simultaneously enabling unscrupulous attacks on the Internet, putting an insane chill on all internet speech, and opening the way for even more government prying into everyone’s digital lives, even on feature phones.

Now that AT&T has an unlimited plan, let’s compare the Big Five

As of today: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular and T-Mobile all have unlimited data on their postpaid plans.

We’ll also dive into a comparison of their prepaid plans in another post.

First, below the fold, here are the unlimited postpaid plans and their prices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alcatel Idol 4s is coming to T-Mobile on November 10

Bellevue, Wash. — We now know the final details of the Alcatel Idol 4s.

The device will come to T-Mobile on November 10, and it will cost $502.89 (when Aiken County sales taxes are included).

This is being confirmed by Windows Central.

Click here to see the specs.

How to use Bing Maps or OpenStreetMap without internet on your Windows Phone

Editor’s note: Jovan does not want to go to Florida during hurricane season ever again. And quite frankly, we do not blame him.

During a snowstorm, it is important to know where you are going, in case the data goes out.

The same, sadly, cannot be said of hurricanes because people will be stuck for months – or years like Floridians were post-Andrew – due to downed power lines and live wires, and the utter lack of water or other badly needed sanitation necessities.

So, for all the readers out there, snow bunnies or not, here’s how you can use Bing Maps – and OpenStreetMaps – should you have a loss of data (like the poor T-Mobile/MetroPCS folks in Pennsylvania experienced recently) on your Windows Phone.

First, download the Windows Maps app (if you do not have it already) or the Mapfactor GPS Navigation app from the Windows Store. If you do not know how to do that, links are in this post.

Secondly, open the Windows Map app. Then, tap on the ellipses at the far right. Then, tap on Settings.

From there, you will see the offline maps option. Tap on “Choose Maps”.

Once in the Offline Maps option, tap the plus sign in the box to begin downloading maps. You can also choose to change the storage location of the downloaded maps from your hard drive to an SD Card, if your phone has a micro SD Card slot available. (NOTE: the Lumia Icon does not have a micro SD Card slot. The HP Elite x3 has a micro SD Card slot, but if you insert a nano SIM card in that slot (known as slot 2), it will be inactive until you replace the SIM card with a micro SD card in Slot 2.)

If you have Data Stash (T-Mobile Simple Choice Prepaid 6 GB or 10 GB plan) or Rollover Data (AT&T Next/AT&T GoPhone), you can download the maps on a metered connection without worry. Just tap the switch from “off” to “on” under the Metered Connections section of the Offline Maps section. Screenshots of the section are below, from the Lumia 640.


How about Mapfactor, then? Well, in order to use the map app, you must download at least one offline map.

Open the app, and then choose Navigator Free. Or if you prefer, you can pay for the TomTom/OpenStreetMap Truck Maps combo by clicking on Navigator Pro. The US map costs $47.67. However, you will be able to get every other paid map for free once you purchase that map.

Unfortunately, though, both maps use up quite a bit of space, so you will need a micro SD card before downloading.

That’s it! Open the map, select the location(s) of your choice, and you can start using it without data.

Surface Phone leaked? For the love of Eros, let’s hope so!


Redmond, Wash. — Before the weekend started, one regional Microsoft account may have leaked some very good news about Microsoft phones.

According to the Twitter account Microsoft Australia (I don’t know why Microsoft is still maintaining regional accounts instead of merging them all to their global account in Redmond), the Surface Phone could be announced at their event in a few weeks.

The Daily Express, a UK publication, noted the image appears to include official Microsoft branding, shows a dark smartphone shape, flanked by Microsoft’s existing Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet device.

The Daily Express continued:

Rumours have been building , which according to reports could feature a 5.7 inch touchscreen with 2K resolution, powered by a Snapdragon 830 processor, and sporting a 20 megapixel rear camera with a Carl Zeiss lens.

The Surface Phone could even be a hybrid device, with leaked images suggesting it will have a keyboard cover that allows users to type, similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro devices.

Additionally, the device is expected to have at least an 8 megapixel front facing camera, 4k video capabilities and VoLTE.

As many other media outlets have posted, Microsoft is ending its Lumia line no later than December 31.  Which means that the production of the Lumia 550, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL will end at that approximately 8 pm Vietnam time on that day.

We at Aiken Area Progressive hope this Surface Phone will come sooner rather than later.

American Telephone & Telegraph Mobility ends overage charges on all plans – prepaid and postpaid


Dallas, Texas — Starting now, American Telephone and Telegraph Mobility will no longer charge customers for overages on any of their plans.

AT&T announced on Tuesday, August 16, that starting at 0:01 EDT today, that they would no longer charge for overages on any of their three plans: GoPhone, Next and Mobile Share Advantage.

Instead, Big Orange will throttle the customer’s data down to 128 kbps, which is 2G/EDGE speeds, once a customer has hit her data limit for the remainder of that billing cycle, which is usually 31 days.

The plans come with other changes — they strip out the cheapest, offering more data for higher prices, while lowering the cost for some higher data plans.

AT&T is likely betting consumers will switch to get rid of annoying charges when they go over the limits.

That leaves Verizon as the only carrier that still charges overages.  However, that’s not going to last long as Verizon announced last month that they were ending overage charges on their prepaid and postpaid plans by no later than September 22.

Thirty-eight months ago, T-Mobile was the first of the carriers to end overage charges.  This was at a time in which they had no LTE at all and only a small slice of 4G.

It would take 24 months before another carrier, this time Sprint, to end overage charges.  Sprint did so 14 months ago, in June 2015.  Later in 2015, US Cellular followed suit and ended overage charges, leapfrogging fellow CDMA carrier Verizon and fellow Band 12 carrier AT&T.

By the time autumn arrives, the era of annoying overage charges will, thankfully, come to a close.

Feel free to use your Lumia 950 XL on AT&T now without worrying about that annoying gimmick.

WLTX News 19

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is here!

Redmond, Wash. — If you are among those with a Windows 10 Phone, today is the big day!

At noon EDT, Microsoft released the Anniversary Update for the phones. This comes two weeks after the targeted date for the update.

Dona Sarkar, the Windows 10 Mobile Insiders chief, wrote this on the Windows Blog:

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update has begun rolling out for Windows 10 Mobile. The Anniversary Update includes additional features and improvements for your Windows 10 phone. To manually check for the update, on Start, swipe over to the All apps list, then select Settings > Update & security > Phone update > Check for updates. Note that availability may vary by manufacturer, model, country or region, mobile operator or service provider, hardware limitations and other factors.

Here are the phones that are eligible to get the update:


Liquid Jade Primo
Liquid M330


Fierce XL




Moly x1
Moly w5


Lumia 430
Lumia 435
Lumia 532
Lumia 535
Lumia 540
Lumia 635 (Sprint variant only)
Lumia 636
Lumia 638
Lumia 640
Lumia 640 XL
Lumia 735
Lumia 830
Lumia Icon (929)
Lumia 950
Lumia 950 XL
Lumia 1520






Phone Biz

Any phone not listed here is ineligible for the Anniversary Update and will remain on Windows Phone 8.x or Windows 10 build 10586.

Check your phones and get ready to download!

The Microsoft Lumia Icon will receive Windows 10 at noon Thursday


Redmond, Wash. and Basking Ridge, N.J. — Thursday is the big day for Microsoft Lumia 929 (Icon) owners!

Announced not too long ago by Verizon and spotted by a reader of Windows related blogs, Big Red confirmed they will put out an over the air update for the device at noon Eastern Daylight Time Thursday.

From Verizon

Microsoft Lumia Icon Software Update

Verizon Wireless is pleased to announce a software update for your device. This software update has been tested to help optimize device performance, resolve known issues and apply the latest security patches.

Before you download:

    • Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network, or make sure it has a strong Verizon Wireless network connection.
  • Ensure your battery is fully charged before starting the software update.

Current Software Update Benefits

Verizon Wireless is pleased to announce a new software update from Microsoft for select Windows smartphones.

Windows 10 Mobile is full of new features and improvements. To learn more about Windows 10 Mobile for your smartphone please visit:

To learn more about how to upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile please visit

Next steps and additional links:

Please allow additional time for the apps on your device to continue to download after the software update.

To get ready for the very important update, you need to download the Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor.   The update won’t be a standard Phone Update check as it’s going through that app. After you get the official update you will need to check the Upgrade Advisor app again for another over-the-air update as the Lumia Icon should go right to build 10586.420, but it will upgrade to the May Update, 10586.318, before that.

Microsoft releases Windows 10 for the Lumia 640 and Lumia 735

Microsoft Lumia 735

Redmond, Wash. — If you’re on American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) Mobility or Verizon Wireless, two phones released at this time last year are getting Windows 10.

The AT&T version of the Microsoft Lumia 640 and the RM-1041 version of the Lumia 735 has been confirmed by Microsoft to get Windows 10.  The update should tentatively go live any moment now.


Right now, it is unknown whether the two phones will be receiving build 10586.338 or 10586.420, the latter of which is being tested internally by Microsoft. It is also not known when the Cricket, MetroPCS and T-Mobile variants of the Lumia 640, or the RM-1063 variant of the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL for that matter, will get the awesome Windows 10 update.

As far as the carriers that are holding up the updates go, this is why Microsoft decided to release the operating system updates on Windows 10 on their own – without AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile.

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