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CNET Update: T-Mobile's new twist: Free music streaming, iPhone test-drives

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CNET Update: T-Mobile's new twist: Free music streaming, iPhone test-drives

2:53 /

The wireless network offers week-long iPhone 5S trials, free data for streaming music. Also: LinkedIn launches a Job Search app and Intel's Pocket Avatars app turns you into a talking 3D cartoon.

If you can test drive a car why not test drive a phone? I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] T-Mobile wants to prove to you that its network is just as good as the other wireless carriers. And to do that, it's acting like a car dealership. By letting you test drive an iPhone 5S on its network for a week. There are no strings attached, although if you don't bring the phone back, they will charge you full price for it. T-Mobile has been improving its service and expanding coverage of its faster network. But when you're the fourth place US carrier, perhaps the only way to get consumers to believe in the network. Is to let them take the phone home for a spin. T-Mobile has been making drastic changes in how it charges customers. It killed contracts, removed international data roaming charges. It pays you to break your contract with a competitor and it all seems to be working. T-Mobile added 2.4 million new customers in the first quarter. That's more than all other carriers combined. And T-Mobile added another incentive to the list. Streaming music won't count against your monthly data limits. You can listen to Pandora, I Heart Radio, Slacker, I Tunes, Spotify, and Rhapsody. Without it counting against your plan, as long as you have a plan that costs $50 or more a month. Now if you pay for the $80 monthly plan with unlimited data at full speeds. T-Mobile's gonna give you a different perk. Top-paying customers get free access to a new music app. It's called Rhapsody unRadio. It's like Pandora, but you can skip as much as you want, and there are no commercials. That's available June 22nd. There are a few other apps to keep an eye on. LinkedIn created a new Then off app that is only for job listings. It cuts out all of the fluff of the main app. No posts, or people connections, or recommendations, just job hunting. And when you find a listing, you can apply and use the app to keep track of positions that you're interested in. But if you don't feel like being so serious, check out a new app from Intel. It's called Pocket Avatars, and it lets you send a short video clip message where a 3D cartoon face mimics your mouth and your face as you talk. It's not perfect, but it does succeed at being silly. You can pick from many free faces. But some of them cost $1 to use. You can add effects to make your voice sound funny. This is Intel's first smartphone app for consumers. And lets the company show off the facial gesture software that it's been working on for years. That's your tech news update, but you can always get more, at CNET.com. From our studio's in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]
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