Fully Charged: Google wants to end roaming fees abroad, and OnePlus releases OxygenOS

Cap off this holiday weekend with our latest quick-hit tech news roundup

Nexus 6

Google aims to axe international roaming

The Internet and connected technology have broken down barriers in the world, yet we’re still challenged by exorbitant costs whenever we try to use our devices on international networks. But Google wants to change that with its upcoming mobile network.

The Telegraph reports that Google is in talks with Three owner Hutchison Whampoa, which also has networks elsewhere in the world, on a deal that will let customers of Google’s mobile service make calls, send texts, and use smartphone data for the same domestic prices when traveling abroad. The report says the proposed plan would work both ways, so customers on any of the partnered networks would have access at regular rates in the United States, UK, Ireland, Italy, and potentially other countries.

As confirmed last month, Google’s upcoming service won’t take place on its own spectrum, but rather ride on the back of existing U.S. networks - reportedly T-Mobile USA and Sprint. It sounds like Google is trying to implement some tweaks to the usual cellular service, however, and a report last month claimed that the company will begin only with the Nexus 6 to ease into this new endeavor.

[Source: The Telegraph]

OnePlus releases OxygenOS

CyanogenMod has its own distinctive aims to break Google’s grasp on the Android market, but OnePlus has opted to start moving away from using that custom ROM on its devices. After just over a year’s work, OnePlus has released the first build of its own custom Android ROM, OxygenOS, for anyone willing to flash it onto a OnePlus One.

According to its post on the release, OnePlus says, “In this environment where everyone is fighting to stand out with custom ROMs, we think it’s important to go back to basics. We place things like performance and battery life over gimmicks and bloated features.” It also promises speedy updates and “a better-integrated range of services.”

This initial release - which looks to be close to stock Android Lollipop in many ways - is designed to bring in input from more advanced users, which is why it must be flashed. A proper OTA update will come down the line once OnePlus is satisfied with this phase of testing.

[Source: OnePlus Blog]

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Surface 3 will have an unlocked LTE version

Microsoft Surface 3

Just last week, Microsoft spilled the beans on the Surface 3: a full-Windows tablet that takes some cues from the Surface Pro 3, yet at a much lower price (from £420). We also heard that LTE versions were planned through certain carriers, but if you’re seeking an unlocked LTE tablet, it looks like that’s also in the cards.

Microsoft’s Surface 3 team did an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread on Reddit on Friday, and confirmed the move in response to a fan query: “We are doing an unlocked LTE version. Can't say where it will be available yet, but we hear you and in many markets we will have it available. Stay tuned for more!” Microsoft PR wouldn’t elaborate on its plans to VentureBeat, but it’s a promising prospect for Windows tablet fans.

[Source: VentureBeat]