Amazon Fire Phone
Amazon’s Fire Phone lacks Bluetooth 4.0 LE at launch
One curious detail that emerged late last night after the debut of Amazon’s Fire Phone is the fact that it only supports Bluetooth 3.0—that means that the device won’t ship with compatibility with the Bluetooth 4.0 LE (low energy) standard that makes wearables work well with phones.
It’s an odd omission, but not a critical one, apparently. Amazon tells Mashable that the functionality will be patched into the device via a software update after launch. Still, considering all of the neat little features built into the device, it’s certainly a strange oversight.
PlayStation 4 digital pre-orders can now be pre-loaded
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
One of the big benefits of buying digital versions of big AAA console video games on the release date is that you don’t have to wait for daylight hours to hit the store and grab a copy—but when there’s a 30GB download staring you in the face, you might be better off just going to bed anyway.
Luckily, that’s about to change with PlayStation 4 games, or at least the most notable ones to start. Sony announced yesterday that digitally pre-ordered games can be downloaded to your console days before the release date, so they’ll be there and ready to unlock right at midnight upon launch.
Massive upcoming releases like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Battlefield Hardline, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End are all on the list, and next week’s film tie-in Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark will be the first to kick off the initiative. If it’s like most movie games, however, that might be one to hold off on pre-ordering before the reviews drop.
T-Mobile US loaning out iPhone 5s, killing data fees for streaming music
T-Mobile Test Drive
T-Mobile may have missed out on the Fire Phone, but it made its own interesting splash on Wednesday. Continuing its “Un-carrier” initiative, T-Mobile US announced that it will allow prospective customers to borrow an iPhone 5s handset for a full week to test out the service’s LTE connectivity.
“Our network kicks ass, and now people can experience for themselves what a data-strong network can do with T-Mobile Test Drive,” says outspoken CEO John Legere. T-Mobile expects more than a million people to try out the Test Drive within the first year, and Apple will provide the carrier the (likely refurbished) units needed for the initiative.
Additionally, T-Mobile unveiled a Music Freedom program that allows certain mobile music streaming services—Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, and Slacker—to function without counting against users’ data plans. It’s unclear whether either of these big changes will extend beyond the States, though perhaps competing carriers will follow their lead.
READ MORE: iPhone 5s review