US Cell Phone Carrier Unlocking Policies

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US Cell Phone Carrier Unlocking Policies

unlock carrier

Policies: Verizon | AT&T | Sprint | T-Mobile | US Cellular

First what is carrier unlocking and why might I want this for my device? If your device is carrier unlocked then you can put any carriers sim card in your phone and it will work as long as the device you are using supports that carriers network frequencies. On the other hand if your cell phone is carrier locked then it is stuck on whatever carrier you have and will not work on any other network.

Note: Most people confuse bootloader unlocking with carrier unlocking. These are to very different things carrier unlocking has to do with the Network and bootloader unlocking has to do with freedom to flash custom firmware / OS to your device.

Above you will find linked all the policies for these major carriers. Check to see if you meet the requirements and can get your device carrier unlocked for free through there programs. If you aren’t eligible then start Googling carrier unlock and you will find that there are many free and paid for services out there that can accomplish this task of unlocking your phones networks for you. Most cost 25 dollars or less some are even free.

As of today Feb 11th 2015 the FCC and CTIA is forcing all carriers to allow customers to unlock there phones if they meet the requirements listed. So go check out your carriers policy and see if you are eligible.  Now you will be able to bring your device to any carrier and not have to buy a new one if you don’t want to. As a customer you bought the device and you should fully own it and have full control not the OEM or the carrier.

Other Important Links:  FCC device unlocking FAQ | CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service

 

Motorola Firmware Restore

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Motorola Firmware Restore Plus Unbrick

In this tutorial i will be covering restoring and unbricking your motorola device by flashing the stock fimware. We will be using RSD lite (Motorola Program) along with using fastboot and a batch file. This tutorial will be for windows user only since i dont have a mac. First lets cover the older Motorola droid devices that use RSD lite

WARNING Restoring your Motorola firmware will factory reset your device and you will loose all data on the device and have to set it back up like a new phone.

RSD Lite Firmware flash Requirements

1.  Motorola device

2.  USB cable for device

3.  Download the Motorola Drivers and install them your PC

4.  Download RSD lite Program and install it on your PC

5. Download your devices latest firmware. (NOTE) The best way to find out what device and firmware you need is to go into phone settings then about phone. Look at System Version plus build number. Between these you should be able to figure out the firmware you will need. Another good thing to find out is the device code name. Normally a quick Google search can accomplish this task. If you dont know this info and your device is bricked then start Googling it. You can get your motorola firmware from my server or Motofirmware.com

Flashing firmware

(NOTE) It is highly recommended that your device is fully charged before starting this firmware flash. Older devices have small batteries and can die during the restore which would be bad. The only way to fix a dead bricked motorola android device is with this factory cable that can send power to the device even with a dead battery. This cable comes in really handy at times and can be picked up from amazon if needed.

1. Place your phone into AP Fastboot Mode. Turn off the device then press and hold both volume up and down then hold power, now wait 5 seconds and release then buttons. You should now see a screen like this one.

ap fastboot

2. Now connect the USB cable to the device and let the motorola drivers you downloaded and installed on the PC, install for the device. This may take up to 5 minutes.

3. Open the RSD lite program and make sure it sees your device like in the picture below

RSD lite

4. click on the 3 dots where it says file name and select your firmware you downloaded. (NOTE) if the firmware is in a zip then just select it. If you extracted the firmware already, then select the XML file

XML

5. Click start button on RSD lite and sit back and wait for the device to finish the restore. Once the device has finished it will reboot and you will see the setup screen. Now you have unbricked and restored your stock firmware to your Motorola device.

(NOTE) Do not bump or unplug the device while flashing the firmware. This could cause a hard brick and your device will be dead. Also, if  the device gets stuck in a bootloop on reboot, just boot the device into stock android recovery, then wipe data factory reset the device. This will fix the bootloop. Below is a video on this process.

HERE IS A GREAT POST ON XDA THAT COVERS THIS EVEN MORE

 

 

 Fastboot Firmware Flash Requirements

1.  Motorola device

2.  USB cable for device

3.  Download the Motorola Drivers and install them your PC

4.  Download Fastboot and ADB files 

5.   Download your devices latest firmware (Note) best way to find out what device and firmware you need is to go into phone settings then about phone. Look at System Version plus build number between these you should be able to figure out the firmware you will need. Another good thing to find out is the device code name. Normally a quick Google search can accomplish this task. If you dont know this info and your device is bricked then start Googling it. You can get your motorola firmware from my server or Motofirmware.com

Flashing firmware

(NOTE) It is highly recommended that your device is fully charged before starting this firmware flash. Older devices have small batteries and can die during the restore which would be bad. The only way to fix a dead bricked motorola android device is with this factory cable that can send power to the device even with a dead battery. This cable comes in really handy at times and can be picked up from amazon if needed.

1. Place your phone into AP Fastboot Mode. Turn off the device then press and hold both volume up and down then hold power, now wait 5 seconds and release then buttons. You should now see a screen like this one.

bootloader mode

 

2. Now connect the USB cable to the device and let the motorola drivers you downloaded and installed on the PC, install for the device. This may take up to 5 minutes.

3. Extract the firmware and fastboot / adb files you downloaded to the same folder on your desktop like the picture below.

fastboot plus firmware

 

4. Click on the file in the folder ending in .bat This is a batch file that will open and flash all the firmware in this folder. Once the firmware is flashed and if you dont have any errors, then in fastboot mode on the device, select normal power up and the device will power up and be fully restored.

(NOTE) Using a batch file and fastboot to restore your device is the preferred method over RSD lite. RSD lite sometimes hangs on some steps in the XML and can be a real pain. Here is a video of me using a batch file to restore one of my Motorola Android devices.

 

The Future of SmartPhone Batteries

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Instant, QI, RF, & Turbo Charge

3d-microbattery-illinois-king-supercapacitor-lithium-ion

The Future of the SmartPhone Batteries and charging them is really starting to look interesting.  The progression I have seen in that last couple of years is really amazing, lets take a look.

chargebatterylonger

Lets make a quick list

1.  Nickel–cadmium battery

2.  Lithium-ion battery

3.  MicroBatteries

We all know that the Lithium-ion batteries are really nice and last a lot longer then the NI CD, but with these batteries you still need to charge them all the time based on there MA Hours example: most phones are around 2800MA hours and tablets are around 4000mah to 6000mah.  There are many different ways to accomplish this task of recharging your device so lets take a closer look at them and some of the new ones as well.

Now on to the good info the charging Tech.

1.  Quick Charging

2.  QI wireless induced Charging

3.  RF wireless Charging

4.  Instant Charging

5.  Power Banks

I am pretty sure most of you have heard and seen the Quick Charger in devices like the Nexus 6, Note 4, Xperia Z3, and the Droid Turbo.  It allows you to charge your android device much faster and with more amperage if your battery is really low. Example: In laboratory tests using a 3300mAh battery, a Quick Charge 2.0 enabled device went from 0% to 60% charge in 30 minutes, while a device without Quick Charge 2.0 using a conventional (5 volt, 1 amp) charger achieved just a 12% gain in the same 30 minutes. A device with Quick Charge 1.0 managed a 30% charge in that time period.  This is a huge step in the right direction but i recommend you read on.

QI charging

QI wireless induced Charging is also a great charging option on many devices like the Moto 360 smart watch and the Nexus 6.  QI charging is done with pad that creates a magnetic field that you place the device on and as long as the phone is inside the magnetic field the device is charging.

Power Banks are another great accessory for those on the move and need a little extra juice.

The two up coming charging / batteries i really want to talk about are the RF wireless Charging and Instant Charging with MicroBatteries.  RF wireless charging is brought to you by Powercast’s technology.  They provided true wireless power for continuous charging and power-over-distance for one or more devices. Wireless power transmission is based on commonly used radio waves (around 5.8GHz) and Powercast’s patented RF-to-DC conversion technology.  The combination enables low-power electronic devices to become untethered with trickle-charge embedded wireless power.  As I search the web some more I have found a company with this same RF technology called Energous there product is wattup and looks to to use the same technology as Powercast.  Energous transmitter looks like it has a range of up to 30 feet which isnt bad if you have one or two transmitters in your house you could go totally charger free.  I am really looking forward to see this technology in your portable device really soon.

3d-microbattery-illinois-king-supercapacitor-lithium-ion-5

MicroBatteries with Instant Charging are in my mind even better then RF and here is why.  Micro Batteries give you capacitor-like power with battery-like energy storage.  This allows the battery to charge instantly like a capacitor on a motor and then drain fast if needed or slowly like a normal battery. Material in todays battery is a thin film that allows for very fast charging and discharging, but reduces the capacity because the active material lacks volume to store energy.  Micro batteries wrap a thin film into a three-dimensional structure, achieving both high active volume (high capacity) and large current.  These battery electrodes can charge or discharge in a few seconds, 10 to 100 times faster than equivalent bulk electrodes, yet can perform normally in existing devices. I cant wait for the day that my portable device fully charges in 5 seconds or maybe along side all the free wifi hotspots will be free RF charging.

Please check out all the red links if you would like to read more about this amazing developments.

 The future of smartphone batteries is looking good and should finally start to catch up with the tech that they are powering.

 

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