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Google is finally fixing its ghastly cheeseburger emoji

It might not be the most pressing issue in the world, but sometimes it’s the small victories that are the sweetest. Google is rolling out an update to its emoji package that “fixes” its cheeseburger emoji, after an internet backlash against the virtual image. What was wrong with it? It’s such a small detail that you might have never noticed, but taking moment to really look should make it obvious that the emoji is utterly and desperately wrong.

I think we need to have a discussion about how Google's burger emoji is placing the cheese underneath the burger, while Apple puts it on top

— Thomas Baekdal (@baekdal) October 28, 2017

Placing the cheese below the patty makes no sense in burger-building etiquette — you use the heat rising from the burger to melt the cheese, and since melted cheese is objectively better than normal cheese, it enhances the overall deliciousness of the burger. We’re not sure what alternate universe Google’s cheeseburger emoji dropped in from, but it’s clearly a sick and twisted place where cheese is placed underneath the hot patty, and somehow melts into the bread.

Thankfully, Google CEO Sundar Pichai noted the enormity of the situation, and promised that fixing the disgracefully built burger would be on top of his priority list after the weekend.

Will drop everything else we are doing and address on Monday:) if folks can agree on the correct way to do this!

— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) October 29, 2017

And he was as good as his word — Emojipedia reports the upcoming Android Oreo 8.1 patch changes the cheeseburger emoji, placing the cheese into a much less contentious slot above the burger patty, but beneath the salad options. While there are those who still say this isn’t the optimal position (Apple places the lettuce beneath the patty on their emoji, and this placement stops the bun from getting soggy), most appear to have been placated by Google’s revision.

Google Has Finally Fixed the Location of the Cheese in Its Cheeseburger Emoji!

— Maurie Sherman (@DamnitMaurie) November 29, 2017

Hats off to #google for finally fixing the cheeseburger emoji. Now I can put the cheese on top of the patty instead of under it. Life is so much better now. @Google @googledevs

— JC Leffler (@jc_leffler) November 29, 2017

While Google seem to has learned its lesson, it didn’t stop it from torturing employees with the “Android burger” at lunchtime.


The patch also changes a handful of other emoji, including the half-full beer steins that somehow had froth over empty spaces, and Swiss cheese that had lines running across holes. Never let it be said that Google didn’t always tackle the biggest and most pressing of concerns as soon as possible. Now, if it could tackle some of the other issues we’ve found in our list of Pixel issues, and Pixel 2 issues, that would be great.

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Wirelessly charge your iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously with Funxim

Want a wireless charger for your Apple devices but don’t want to wait around for a release date or price? You may be able to find an alternative. Meet the Funxim, a new wireless charging pad on Kickstarter that claims to power both your new iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time. Designed specifically with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, and new Apple Watch in mind, this Qi standard wireless charging past promises a charging conversion rate of over 80 percent, which should lead to pretty fast charging for multiple devices. And while it features the design of an Apple device, don’t worry — the Funxim charger can also support Android devices.

The magnetic charging pad allows you to simply place your device on the surface, and take advantage of induction-charging capabilities. We should point out, however, that while the upcoming Apple wireless charging pad (known as the AirPower) allows you to place devices anywhere, the Funxim requires that you place your Apple Watch in a specific place. While this may not be a deal breaker, it does represent a notable difference between the upcoming AirPower from Apple and this third-party solution.

Nevertheless, it would still appear that the Funxim charger can get the job done. The wireless pad doesn’t require any cables or USB interface and purports to be able to charge an iPhone even through its case. So if you don’t want to constantly take your iPhone in and out of is protective skin, you shouldn’t need to do so with this particular wireless charging solution.

Weighing in at just over five ounces, the Funxim packs 10 watts of energy (as compared to Belkin’s wireless charger, which claims 7.5 watts). And while we obviously can’t make any comparisons to the still unveiled AirPower, this may be a decent substitute while we wait for the real thing to make its debut.

If nothing else, the Funxim charger is remarkably affordable, at least for Kickstarter early birds. If you choose to back the campaign, a pledge of $29 will get you one of these wireless induction chargers by January.

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Don’t be left out in the cold! Plan ahead with the best weather apps for Android

Your local weatherman is always the best person to tell you what the weather’s going to be like, but what happens when you’re on the road, away from home, or can’t get to the TV? That’s where weather apps come in. Apps are a great way to get the latest forecast any time you need it.

There’s a surprising number of capable weather apps on the market, but the truth is, not all weather reports are created equal. There’s quite a bit of variation between mobile offerings, with some reveling in real-time Doppler images and others emphasizing the 10-day forecast, but each touts functionality designed to provide an all-encompassing weather forecast of your local area. After all, even a good meteorologist can only tell you so much.

Our list below looks at six of the best weather apps for Android that won’t leave you out in the rain or the cold, and why they should be the next apps installed on your Android. We’ll also tell you why we think they’re special and rise above the rest. Without further ado, here’s our list.

Did you know that you can check the weather on Facebook? And if you’re checking the weather because you’re traveling, don’t forget to check our picks for the best travel apps and how to book a last minute getaway.

RadarScope ($10 plus $10 a year optional subscription)

This app doesn’t tell you the temperature, nor is it going to give you a forecast. In fact, RadarScope is pretty one-dimensional when it comes to weather apps. It shows you the radar and that’s it, but you cannot get a better radar app from anyone else. At $10 a year, it’s one of the higher priced apps, but it’s worth it.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, storm chaser, or even somebody that just likes up-to-the-minute weather info, this is your app. Radars refresh every six minutes, and storm warnings are placed on top of the radar images as well. You’ll also have access to other radar products, such as velocity, precipitation estimates, and nearly a dozen other products, none of which are available through your standard weather app.

While it’s an additional expense, we recommend subscribing to RadarScope Pro. You’ll get the capability to add lightning data, dual-pane radar data (to view two radars at once), and loop up to 20 frames (two hours of data). It’s $10 per year, but this app is a must-have for those most affected by storms and rain.

Download now from:

Google Play

National Weather Service

Due to certain long-held policies within the National Weather Service, our government’s top weather agency does not put an emphasis on services that could be seen as competing with the private weather industry. It has, however, started to offer its services through APIs, which can be easily integrated into third-party applications.

National Weather Service is one of them. While not an official app of the NWS, we’d imagine if they did make an app, it would look much like this. Nearly every product the NWS offers can be found in this app, and it’s speedy and easy to navigate. It even alerts you when the NWS issues warnings and advisories for your area.

The app just added NOAA Weather Radar recently to its suite of offerings, so it does just about everything the private weather apps do — so if you regularly check your local NWS forecast, try this app to get it all but straight from the source.

Download now from:

Google Play

The Weather Channel

How could The Weather Channel’s app not make our list? It’s free, comprehensive, and has just about everything you need to keep an eye on the sky. The app will automatically change based on your current location and provides current weather plus hourly weather out two days and forecasts up to fifteen days in advance.

In addition, you can set the app to automatically notify you of severe weather alerts, as well as watch exclusive web content and videos recorded from the Weather Channel’s television broadcasts. If you’re up early — check the app from 6-11 a.m. for “The Lift,” an app-first six-minute weather show detailing the day’s weather nationwide.

Android users get a dynamic home screen option that changes based on time, location, and weather (take that, iPhone users), and allergy sufferers will find the app useful and so will outdoor enthusiasts. The app tells you whether the weather’s right for a variety of outdoor activities, which change based on the seasons. Its weather maps are also fast updating, and while not as good as RadarScope Pro, lightning data is available, too.

Download now from:

Google Play


AccuWeather gets high marks from us not only for its simplicity but also for its comprehensiveness. The app features something called MinuteCast, which is an attempt by AccuWeather to give you a minute-by-minute rundown of weather conditions up to two hours in advance. Hourly forecasts are available up to three days out, as well as a 15-day daily forecast.

Other features set it apart from the others, though. You’ll get information on allergies, sunrise and sunset information, as well as current weather news and videos. You can also send in your own weather reports and videos. AccuWeather might feature your videos in its news reports.

Overall, we’ve found AccuWeather’s MinuteCast to be a neat and surprisingly accurate feature.

Download now from:

Google Play

The Weather Underground

If you’re a fan of hyperlocal data, then The Weather Underground is it. The service (now owned by The Weather Channel) is the web’s largest repository of online personal weather stations, meaning you’re likely never too far away from a local weather report.

In addition to local weather data, The Weather Underground’s app is pretty data-heavy. Presented in both text and graphical form, you can find data — both current and historical — on temperature, wind speed, daily rainfall, and even data on pollutants and current UV index. Forecasts are provided only ten days in advance, a bit shorter than other apps and its parent The Weather Channel, but like we said, the focus is on data here.

We’re also fans of the webcam section, which gives you a photo look at what’s going on, and “Wunderphotos,” its crowd-sourced photo feature. Snap a photo yourself, and it might be featured in the app for others to see. Data nerds, you need to download this app right away.

Download now from:

Google Play

Weather Radar & Forecast

Sometimes simplicity matters. If you’re not that concerned with all the bells and whistles, Weather Radar & Forecast is a surprisingly good option. The interface is very clean, with the basics you need — current conditions, a five-day forecast, and even radar data.

Weather Radar & Forecast also includes an option to display data on your lock screen, and a widget to place on your desktop if you wish. Other than that, there’s not much — but it’s free and simple, and best for those that find the bigger weather apps a bit too confusing.

Download now from:

Google Play

If you’re on iOS, these are our picks for the best weather apps, and if you decide to go out in bad weather, you can pick one of these windproof umbrellas to help you out.

Update: We’ve gone through all the apps to check for accuracy and added some useful links.

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Be the master of your own Insta-verse: How to manage multiple Instagram accounts

Instagram users with multiple accounts can toggle between their accounts from directly within the Instagram app. This feature, which Instagram rolled out earlier this year, has been long overdue, as users have been asking for a solution.

Before this update, users had to log out of one account and log back into another, or were at the behest of third-party apps — many of which actually made it difficult to jump from one account to the next. In the age of instant gratification, this was grossly inefficient. Now, Instagrammers have the ability to add up to five accounts, meaning you, your cat, your baby, and/or several inanimate objects in your life can each have a platform to express themselves, whether posting or reposting photos, GIFs, or videos. Although you may never accumulate as many followers as the official Queen of Instagram, Selena Gomez, you can still relish the moment when one of your photos receives that crucial 11th “like” and your general existence is momentarily validated.

That said, you’re well on your way to celebrity status if you utilize the steps outlined below on how to manage multiple Instagram accounts. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, young tortoise. Rome wasn’t built in a day, although Taylor Swift’s KanTay 2020 photo did garner the equivalent population of Rome in likes in a day.

How to add an additional Instagram account(s)

Instagram has made the process simple enough. Once you launch the app, go to your profile (the icon at the farthest-right along the bottom) and select the gear — or the three dots — in the upper-right corner of the screen. Then, scroll all the way down, select “Add account,” and enter the desired username and password for the account you would like to add. If you’ve created several Instagram accounts, you will now receive push notifications from all accounts that have notifications activated. To see the notifications for each individual account, go to your profile page and select the username from the list.

How to switch between accounts:

At this point, you, your curmudgeonly cat, and your ill-fated terrarium each have their own Instagram account. Now you need to know how to toggle between the various accounts. Once you’ve launched the app, go to your profile page and tap your username at the top of the screen. You’ll then have the option to select from a list of accounts associated with your specific app. Select the account you’re attempting to manage before moving onto much more challenging questions — i.e. Nashville or 1977?

How to remove an account you’ve added:

OK, so the novelty has wore off and that newly added account isn’t really panning out as planned. It happens to the best of us. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to erase that old account and move on with other prospects. Once you’ve loaded your Instagram profile, select the gear icon — or the three dots — in the upper-right of the screen. Now, simply scroll down and select the “Log out of [username]” option. Logging out of an account will delete the account.

If you’re over the Instagram game entirely and want to remove all of your accounts, you can also select “Log out of All Accounts” to do so. But don’t be too hasty, a quantum reality could easily be at stake. After all, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to document it on Instagram, does it make a sound? It’s a good question. If you want to permanently delete your Instagram account, we have a guide for you as well so you can say goodbye and good riddance once and for all.

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Waze launches motorcycle mode, voice commands and carpool lane support

All of the new features are available starting today.


Waze is one of the most popular navigation apps around, and today it’s receiving a pretty beefy update that adds three new features for helping you get to where you need to go as fast and safe as ever.


Motorcycle Mode

For all of you motorcyclists out there, Waze is adding a few new features to make using the app more enjoyable when traveling on two wheels instead of four. Estimated arrival times have been tweaked so that they’re more in-line with what you’ll actually experience when driving a motorcycle, recommended routes are now sourced from cyclists rather than those driving regular automobiles, and information about more narrow roads that typically can’t be accessed when in a car can also be seen.

“Ok Waze” voice commands

Perhaps the biggest feature that’s part of this latest update is voice commands. When you’re in the Waze app, you can now say “Ok Waze” and then something along the lines of “take me to work”, “find the nearest gas station”, and “what’s my next turn?” to control your drive without having to touch your phone. Furthermore, you’ll also be able to use the “Ok Waze” command to report any accidents, backups, or other conditions you notice while driving.


Voice commands in Waze

Support for carpool lanes

Lastly, Waze’s new update adds carpool lanes to its routing system. Waze claims that it’s the first navigation app to do this, and it’ll be launching this service with HOV routes throughout 22 states in the U.S., as well as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal in Canada. Supported states currently include the likes of Atlanta, Boston, California, New York, Texas, and others, and Waze says that more locations throughout the U.S. and Canada will be added soon.

These new features are now available for Android and iOS with the latest Waze update starting today.

Waze on Android Auto: Invaluable feedback and alerts with sub-par maps and routing


Best Accessories for the OnePlus 5T


What are the best accessories for the OnePlus 5T?

OnePlus is never satisfied releasing just one flagship each year, so it capped off 2017 with the release of the OnePlus 5T. It’s another well-built phone with a solid list of specs — basically everything we’ve come to expect from a OnePlus phone at a much more reasonable entry price than its competition from Samsung or LG.

Folks who bought their OnePlus 5T on day one are just starting to receive their shipments this week, so it’s time to take a look at some of the best accessories for the OnePlus 5T so far.

OnePlus 5T Flip Cover


There are a limited number of cases for the OnePlus 5T on third-party sites like Amazon, so we’re only recommending cases made by OnePlus for the time being. First up, this classic flip cover case that offers the best all-around protection for your new phone.

If you’re a fan of folio wallet cases, you know what to expect here — the front cover keeps your screen protected while in your pocket or purse, and will automatically wake your phone when you flip it open. On the inside, there’s a card slot that’s perfect for storing a credit card, photo ID, or some emergency cash. Available for just $19.95, it’s a classy case option for your OnePlus 5T.

See at OnePlus

OnePlus 5T Protective Case


Looking for a more classic slim case for your OnePlus 5T? OnePlus has you covered with this minimalist case to keep your phone protected.

Available in a grippy sandstone finish, stylish carbon fiber, or premium wood grains, this is always a classic pick for OnePlus fans. The Sandstone and Ebony Wood options are currently available for $24.95, but the Karbon and Rosewood cases are currently listed out of stock. If you must have one of the latter options, you can sign up to be notified as soon as they are back available for purchase.

See at OnePlus

OnePlus 5T Big Bold Boss Bundle


If you’re really looking to accessorize the heck out of your OnePlus 5T, you should check out some of the [accessory bundles] that OnePlus offers. The best value is likely the Big Bold Boss Bundle, which includes all the best essential accessories OnePlus has to offer.

The bundle includes a Karbon Protective Case, a tempered glass screen protector, a pair of OnePlus Bullets earbuds, a Dash Power Adapter and a Dash Type-C cable — all for just under $90. It’s a great deal that must be popular with OnePlus fans because it’s currently listed as out of stock. This is definitely one to keep your eye on.

See at OnePlus

dbrand Skins


Want to keep your phone looking stylish and protected but don’t like the bulkiness of a case? You should check out dbrand’s line of skins for the OnePlus 5T.

Dbrand lets you completely customize the perfect skin for your phone — choose the finish, color, and coverage to create the perfect look and feel for your new phone. Your final price will depend on the options you choose, but you can really spend a lot of time designing a unique skin that perfectly reflects your style and personality. Admittedly, the OnePlus 5T’s design doesn’t exactly stand out from the crowd — but it will with a custom dbrand skin.

See at dbrand

OnePlus Dash Car Charger


If you didn’t know, OnePlus has proprietary charging technology, Dash Charge, which lets you top your phone up at ridiculous charging speeds. Of course, to take advantage of those speeds you’ll need to use the OnePlus wall charger that came with the phone — but wouldn’t it be nice to get those fast charging speeds in your car?

You can with the OnePlus Dash Car Charger. This accessory plugs right into your car’s 12V outlet and is specifically designed for OnePlus phones. It ships with an extra Dash USB-C cable (always nice!) and will let you go from 0% to 60% in 30 minutes. available for $30, it’s a must-own accessory for any OnePlus fan.

See at OnePlus

Anker PowerCore+ 20100 mAh USB-C portable charger


OnePlus has always prided itself on offering ridiculously fast charging speeds — as long as you’ve got Dash charging accessories on-hand and are near an outlet. But what if you’re out on the town and don’t want to be tethered to a wall outlet, even for just 30 minutes?

You need a reliable portable battery pack, and there’s no better pack to buy than an Anker PowerCore+. Featuring a massive battery pack and a USB-C charging port, you’ll be able to top up your OnePlus 5T on the go multiple times before the PowerCore+ itself needs to be recharged. Available on Amazon for $66, it’s an investment you’ll be glad you made when that low battery warning pops up at an inopportune moment. Also makes a great gift for any tech lover on your holiday shopping list!

See at Amazon

Which accessories are you excited for?

These are our picks, but we want to know how you’ll be accessorizing your OnePlus 5T. Let us know in the comments!

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Amazon launches Silk Browser on Fire TV

The Silk Browser is now available for most of Amazon’s Fire TV devices.

Since its debut in 2014, Amazon’s Fire TV has steadily grown and matured into one of the best living room streaming platforms around – especially if you’re heavily invested in Amazon’s ecosystem.


Spotted by AFTVnews, Amazon’s latest release for Fire TV is its own Silk Browser for perusing the web on the big screen.

Upon launching Silk Browser on Fire TV, you’ll be met with as the first screen that you see. Pressing the menu button on your remote is used for entering URLs and accessing your search engine, and you have the option to change this to Google or Yahoo if Bing isn’t your cup of tea. Also, while Bing is the first page you seen when initially launching the Silk Browser, this is not your homepage. Instead, opening up Silk will take you to the last page you visited during your previous browsing session.


Going back to the menu button on your remote, anytime you press this you’ll be taken to a sort of landing page for Silk. Along with being able to perform the actions mentioned above, this is also where you’ll see the name of the site you’re currently on, go back a page, refresh the site, access bookmarks, and see what stories are currently trending.

The Silk Browser is currently available on the 1st and 2nd generation Fire TV, 2nd generation Fire TV Stick, and all of Amazon’s Fire TV televisions made by Element and Westinghouse. The biggest exception from this list is the latest 3rd generation Fire TV, but Amazon says Silk will be available for it at some point in December.

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Action Launcher’s best hidden treasures: Covers, Shutters, and Quicks


When it comes to home screens, what you don’t see can be just as important as what you do.

There are a lot of ways to hide things on a home screen. Folders are the most obvious example, but gestures hide shortcuts and functions in plain sight. But what about hiding widgets? What about hiding ugly folder icons?

Well, Action Launcher hides home screen elements better than a secret agent, and here’s how to hide your things in it.


Covers are one of Action Launcher’s claims to fame, and for good reason: they’re ridiculously simple and ridiculously simple to get addicted to. Covers change folders into a gesture shortcut, essentially: they change the folder icon to the first app in the folder, with a tap opening that app and a swipe opening the folder.

Covers exist on other launchers, but on Action Launcher they’re as easy as a toggle to activate and change the icon, whereas enabling them on most other launchers is a multi-step process. They definitely take a little getting used to, but once you’re hooked, you’ll never go back.

You have been warned.



Shutters are kind of like Covers, but instead of hiding a folder inside an app shortcut, they hide a widget. Once you add a Shutter to an app shortcut, when you swipe vertically on it — up or down, in case your app is at the top of the screen or a folder — a window will open with your widget within it. If an app offers several widgets, you can select which widget you’d prefer. You can’t resize Shutters, but if it’s a resizeable widget, Covers will default to almost a full-screen sized widget, which is great for widgets like Google Keep.

Covers and Shutters can be used together, meaning you can hide Shutters within apps in a Covers folder like matryoshka. Shutters aren’t quite as widely used as Covers, but widgets as a whole aren’t as widely used on Android as folders are.

The Quicks


There are two panels on the left and right sides of Action Launcher: Quickdrawer and Quickpage. Quickdrawer is a vertically scrolling app drawer that you summon by swiping in from the left edge of the screen. Complete with letter shortcuts, Quickdrawer allows you to quickly and easily navigate to your desired app whether you have 40 apps on your phone or 240. Whenever I stray from Action Launcher, this is one of the features I miss most. Quickdrawer may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s fine, because Action Launcher now offers a plugin app that replaces Quickdrawer with a Google Now page.

Quickpage, accessible with a swipe from on the opposite side of the screen, is like a hidden launcher page, allowing you to hide widgets and app shortcuts you perhaps shouldn’t show on your desktop (ahem) where they’re still accessible with one simple swipe. If you prefer the minimal look for your home screen but still want some widgets at your fingertips for things like home automation or stock monitoring, Quickpage is for you.

action-launcher-megaman-blue-htc10.jpg?i Look, ma, no shortcuts!

There is also one awesome way to hide app shortcuts invisibly on Action Launcher’s desktop, and it’s been a part of every feature mentioned so far: Shortcuts. Gesture shortcuts can be assigned to the launcher as a whole, not just as a part of Covers, Shutters and Quickpage. For instance, you could swipe up with two fingers to turn on the lights with Tasker and swipe down with two fingers to turn it off. You can double or triple tap to open two different apps, and you can even configure Action Launcher’s tap time if you’re a slow tapper — or a twitchy tapper like me.

Your turn

Which Action Launcher tools do you hide your apps and widgets in plain sight? Are you a Covers addict, or do you hide your plunder in Quickpage? Tell us in the comments!


Sprint outage? Here’s what you need to do!


Is your Sprint service more like a crawl? Here’s what to do when there’s an outage!

Whether it’s a natural disaster, power failure, or network issues, Sprint outages happen. They’re inevitable and totally suck when they happen, but there are things you can do to alleviate some of the frustration. Here’s what to do!

Troubleshoot your devices


First thing’s first: Is the issue on just one of your devices, like your phone or computer? If that’s the case, then it could be the device acting up, so power it off, wait a few seconds, and power it back on again. Also be sure to check all network connections and make sure everything’s configured properly.

If you’re noticing the issue on several devices (every family member’s phone is having problems with texting), then you’re likely facing an outage.

Visit an outage website

There are quite a few websites that document carrier outages in the U.S., allowing you to see if other people are having the same woes you are before having to sit on hold with Sprint to find out if anything is wrong.

sprint-problems-down-detector.jpg?itok=W is one of the more popular options, offering a graph of Sprint issues over the last 24 hours, as well as a map showing you which areas the outage may be affecting most. Outage.Report is another good option, featuring a live coverage map as well.

Either way, check online before contacting Sprint, because if there is an outage, you may be waiting a long time to talk to someone.

Check out the My Sprint app

If you’re an Android user, you should already have the My Sprint app installed on your phone; if not, grab it on Google Play. If you’re an iPhone user, you can download it right from the App Store.

Sprint claims it can help you diagnose network problems and service and coverage issues. You can even report issues like dropped calls, texting issues, slow data speeds, or no service at all.

Contact Sprint

If all else fails or if you want to know just how long an outage might last, contact Sprint directly via phone or online chat. Check out Sprint’s support center page for specific issues, and click the yellow chat button when it appears after a few seconds. Chat is open 24/7.

You can also call customer service at 1-844-382-3312. You can also tweet directly to Sprint @sprintcare or message customer service on Facebook.

You can also report a network issue by signing into My Sprint.

Contact Sprint



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Rocket Lab schedules second Electron test launch for December 8th

On Friday, December 8th at 2:30 PM New Zealand time (8:30 PM ET), a 10-day window will open for a launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. The window will be open for four hours each day. This second test is called “Still Testing”; the rocket will launch from the company’s facility on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. It will be the first launch that Rocket Lab has live streamed to the public.

Despite the fact that this is a test launch, the Electron rocket will carry a client payload to space: an Earth-imaging Dove satellite for the company Planet and two weather and boat-tracking Lemur-2 satellites for Spire. “This is the first test carrying customer payloads and we’ll be monitoring everything closely as we attempt to reach orbit,” said Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck. The company expects to scrub the launch multiple times to ensure optimal conditions and that the rocket is performing as expected.

The first test launch of the Electron rocket occurred on May 25th of this year. It was mostly successful, but the rocket didn’t actually reach orbit as planned. In a post-flight analysis, though, it was revealed that the rocket had actually been performing as ordered. There was a communications drop out due to misconfigured equipment, and when the rocket detected it no longer had contact with the ground, it aborted as it was programmed to do. That issue has been fixed, so Rocket Lab expects this second launch to go smoothly. There is currently a third test launch planned for the Electron rocket, but if all goes as planned during this test, Rocket Lab may skip it altogether.

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