You’ll be able to purchase a OnePlus One on Tuesdays without an invitation

oneplus one tuesday salesTuesday might be the most boring day of the week for most people. There’s no joke to make about Tuesday, and it’s far enough away from the weekend that nothing exciting ever really happens. OnePlus is going to shake that up in 2015, though, as they’ll let you pick up a OnePlus One, completely invite free, on TuesdaysWhy Tuesday? Who knows.

OnePlus has been trying to figure out the best way to get the device into the hands of as many people as possible without them having to shell out extra cash for an invite or post stupid pictures to a forum, and this one seems like it might be the most successful. The company doesn’t plan on ditching its invite system completely, but at least on one day of the week you won’t have to worry about it.
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Sling TV leaves beta, now accepting sign-ups without an invitation

sling_tv_logoSling TV launched in a closed beta where users could test out the service, but only if they had an invitation. As of Sunday night, that closed beta is offer, so anyone can sign up for the service for just $20 per month with no contract or obligations.

The basic package for Sling TV includes 15 channels like ESPN, ESPN2, ABC Family, Cartoon Network, The Food Network, and a handful of others that cover a pretty wide demographic. You can also pick up a “Sports Extra,” “Kids Extra,” or “News and Info Extra” package for $5 that bundles in a few more channels, depending on what you watch.
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Cyanogenmod 12 finally released for the Nexus 9

Nexus_9_LTEThe wait for Cyanogenmod 12 is finally over for HTC’s flagship Nexus 9 tablet. The first nightly build for the tab is available on CM’s download page, and getting it flashed to your device isn’t too much of a hassle, considering this a Nexus tablet.

Cyanogenmod 12 is built from Lollipop’s source code, so you fortunately won’t have to abandon any features here. The first builds are going to be nightly builds, though, so there may be a few bugs here and there.
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Google utilizing Hangouts to help sell Android and Chrome products

Google-Hangouts-logoGoogle originally launched Helpouts so users could give live technical assistance over Google Hangouts, which was a great and unique way to use the instant messaging service. Now it looks like the company is utilizing the Helpouts platform to sell Android and Chrome products to potential buyers.

The program is still in a testing phase, but customers can jump into a live stream to learn about and discuss products, including Google phones and tablets and Chromebooks, although it doesn’t include things like Nest and Google Glass, at least for the time being. The chat agents can answer questions to help you pick out what device is right for you, and they can even help you with some basic troubleshooting in case you run into issues with your devices.
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Corning working on even more durable damage-resistant glass

corning-gorilla-glassCorning has announced that they plan on bringing a new type of scratch and damage resistant glass to market later this year, improving on the extremely durable but slightly scratch-prone Gorilla Glass 4. This new glass, called Project Phire, combines the durability of Gorilla Glass with the scratch resistance of sapphire, which should theoretically make for some of the most rugged smartphone displays we’ve seen yet.
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Qualcomm working on three successors to the Snapdragon 615

Snapdragon 800 SoCAfter the controversy surrounding the Snapdragon 810, some leaked information suggests Qualcomm is planning three new processors to supplant the Snapdragon 615 CPU that was announced roughly a year ago. It’s a pretty odd strategy, but at least they’ll have several options if one of the chips runs into any kind of issues.

The three new processors actually sport some pretty high specs considering where they fall in Qualcomm’s lineup, which is great news for someone looking for a mid-range device in 2015.
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New laws for unlocking phones go into effect February 11th

Unlocked_DeviceSIM unlocking phones is something that comes up in the legal world every so often, with the most recent event making it completely legal to unlock your device. Like any other law, though, the fine print changes, and on February 11th there will be some slightly tweaked rules to go by when getting your smart device unlocked to use on other networks.

Most of the rules generally stay the same, but some of the details have been altered to keep up with the changing landscape of buying phones. When purchasing a subsidized phone, if you sign a 2-year contract for your device and it’s paid off, your carrier is still legally obligated to unlock the phone for you. This now extends to installment plans, too. Prepaid phones are similar, but the carrier has up to a year to unlock the device.
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AT&T ranked #1 in J.D. Power 2015 Wireless Customer Care survey

AT&T_Logo_01_TAAT&T has picked up some new bragging rights with the latest J.D. Power rankings. The Wireless Customer Care survey scored AT&T at the top, ranking them above other wireless carriers for the third time in the past four surveys spanning back to the second half of 2013.

I think it’s safe to say the pressure from some other carriers probably helped spur AT&T to step up their customer service game. Either way, it’s definitely a win for the consumer.
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Samsung to begin selling Gear VR in some Best Buy stores on February 8th

samsung_gear_vrSamsung’s Gear VR headset was announced at the same time as the Galaxy Note 4, but getting your hands on one has been tricky. So far, Samsung has only been selling it online through Best Buy’s online store and in some European countries, so it’s hardly widely available. Fortunately it looks like that’ll change in February.

Starting February 8th, a select 100 Best Buy stores will begin stocking the Gear VR with a demo Note 4 for customers to test drive. The demo units will have four experiences to check out, including Milk Video for videos, TheBlu for gaming, Transformers for a virtual reality movie, and 360 Photos for viewing images. Those should cover most of the bases for someone that’s interested in buying a Gear VR.
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