The Ultimate Mobile App Development Bundle is now 96% off

The Ultimate Mobile App Development Certification Bundle

App development is just about the hottest ticket in town right now. It’s fun to learn too, as creating each new app is a fulfilling little project.

Then there’s the potential for big bucks. With the right idea and a bit of training, you never know if you’ll strike gold. A friend of mine, who’ll remain anonymous, developed an app which is close to being sold for a seven-figure sum.

Interested in discovering if this is for you? You can learn online, and the Ultimate Mobile App Development Certification Bundle, which is on offer this week, is an extensive resource. You can learn at your own pace in your spare time.

The Ultimate Mobile App Development Certification Bundle

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Interested in taking on the Play Store? You can find the deal by tapping the button below.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

ASUS ZenFone 6 is all set to make its debut in India

The ZenFone 6 gets listed on Flipkart ahead of its launch in India.

ASUS unveiled the ZenFone 6 earlier this month, with the phone featuring a 48MP rotating camera and massive 5000mAh battery. India is a key market for ASUS, with the ZenFone 5z doing remarkably well in the country last year. So it’s no wonder that the Taiwanese manufacturer is getting ready to launch the phone in the country, with Flipkart rolling out a microsite for the ZenFone 6.

There’s plenty to like in the ZenFone 6, but the marquee feature is that 48MP rotating camera. The camera module effectively flips over to the front when you need to take a selfie, which not only eliminates the notch, but also lets you take selfies with the 48MP rear camera. It’s an elegant solution, and one that worked astonishingly well in the brief time I spent with the ZenFone 6.

ZenFone 6 preview: ASUS reinvents itself with stock Android, 48MP flip camera, and 5000mA battery

Elsewhere, the ZenFone 6 has a 6.4-inch FHD+ panel backed by Gorilla Glass 6, Snapdragon 855, dedicated MicroSD slot with dual SIM card slots, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and a massive 5000mAh battery with Quick Charge 4. ASUS has significantly dialed back on the customizations with ZenUI, and the interface is just as clean as Motorola or even HMD have to offer.

With the ZenFone 6, it will all come down to pricing. We’ll have to wait until the launch to know more, but what do you guys think will be a decent price for the ZenFone 6 in India? Let me know in the comments.

Intel, Qualcomm join Google in cutting off business with Huawei

The Huawei logo.

  • Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Xilinx have reportedly moved to stop supplying Huawei.
  • The news comes after the U.S. government instituted a trade ban on the Chinese brand.
  • Google has also suspended business with Huawei in the wake of the ban.

Huawei‘s trade ban by the U.S. government has already resulted in Google cutting off the Chinese manufacturer. Now, several tech giants have joined the search company in following the government ban.

Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Xilinx have all told employees that they won’t supply Huawei, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the actions.

Read: Huawei would sign ‘we promise not to spy’ agreements with governments

Intel and Qualcomm are perhaps the two most prominent companies taking action here. Intel supplies processors for the Chinese brand’s laptops and servers, while Qualcomm supplies chipsets and modems for its budget phones.

The news comes a short while after Reuters reported that Google has suspended business with Huawei. This means the Chinese brand loses access to Android updates as well as Google services, according to the newswire.

Google has since issued a statement via its Android Twitter account, saying that current Huawei devices will still receive access to services like Google Play and Google Play Protect.

Editor’s Pick

Huawei’s barrage of bad news comes after President Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively banning telecoms equipment from foreign firms deemed a security risk. Shortly after the order was signed, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei to its Entity List. The listing means U.S. companies had to seek prior approval from the government in order to have business dealings with the manufacturer.

We’ve contacted Intel and Qualcomm to confirm Bloomberg‘s article, and will update the article accordingly. What do you think of the situation? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

NEXT: Best prepaid phones (May 2019)

Huawei has immediately lost access to Android and Google (Update: Current phones are safe)

Huawei logo MWC

Update, May 19, 2019 (11:50 pm ET): Google has released a new statement regarding the Huawei situation, this time via the Android Twitter account. As seen below, the company states that current Huawei (and likely Honor) phones will continue having access to services like Google Play and security from Google Play Protect.

Google plans to comply with the U.S. government’s order to place Huawei on its Entity List. It’s still unclear what effect this decision will have on the future of Huawei.

Original post, May 19, 2019 (3:14 pm ET): Google has suspended business operations with Huawei effectively immediately, a forced move that will have a dramatic impact on Huawei devices across the globe.

According to Reuters, citing a source close to the matter, Google was forced into suspending business with Huawei that “requires the transfer of hardware and software products.”

“Huawei Technologies Co Ltd will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, and the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app,” Reuters noted.

This effectively means no further Android security updates for devices new and old, including the recent P30 and P30 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, and many more.

Google’s actions come after the U.S. Commerce Department’s announcement on Wednesday, which placed Huawei and some 68 affiliates on a so-called Entity List, a trade blacklist, following an executive order signed by U.S. President Trump.

This is the same list that ZTE was added to and subsequently removed from, over the course of 2018, which caused it massive disruption. Huawei is now effectively forbidden from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval – which includes Android.

This is, of course, a massive blow if the story is accurate. One of Huawei’s arms, its HiSilicon chip division, had stated it has “long been ready” for any ban, while Huawei has previously mentioned it has been preparing for six years or more for any ban of Android. Honor, a sub-brand of Huawei, had been set to launch the Honor 20 on Tuesday May 21, in London — it’s unclear what will now happen.

The Chinese giant said in a statement earlier this week that it was “against the decision made by the Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Department of Commerce.”

Android Authority has contacted Huawei and Google for comment.

This is a developing story.

NEXT: Report: Samsung and Huawei agree to settle their smartphone patent disputes

Huawei losing access to Android updates, Google support, after Trump ban

It’s unclear whether devices already slated for Android Q will receive the update.

What you need to know

  • Huawei won’t receive access to Android updates
  • Future smartphones may not be certified for Google services like Gmail or Maps
  • Move comes after Huawei was added to U.S. trade blacklist following Trump executive order

Reuters reports that Google has put gears in motion to stop working with Huawei on future Android updates and device certifications after an executive order and subsequent U.S. Commerce Department blacklist made it difficult for certain companies to pursue business with U.S. entities.

Google is merely complying with the trade blacklist, on which Huawei and 68 of its subsidiaries were placed last week. The ban was enacted when Huawei was placed on a so-called Entity List, which bars the company from purchasing equipment from U.S. companies without prior government approval, something the Commerce Department is unlikely to give in the near future. The Trump administration has accused Huawei of working with the Communist Party of China to undermine international networks by potentially installing backdoors in network equipment. No proof of such vulnerabilities has been made public.

Because of the trade ban, companies like Google, Qualcomm, Intel, and NVIDIA are not allowed to sell or make deals with companies on the Entity List; Huawei relies on Google for access to the closed portions of Android, as well as its Play Services suite, which must be approved for every phone a manufacturer releases. According to Reuters, Google won’t retroactively remove Play Services support for existing phones, but it will no longer provide software updates for them, and it won’t certify new phones. Huawei already released a list of phones to be updated to Android Q, but it’s unclear whether those devices will receive it once it’s released to the public later this summer

Huawei isn’t barred from using Android’s open-source components, which are freely available to any organization so long as they abide by the licensing terms. Huawei uses Android’s open source libraries, also known as AOSP, to build EMUI’s core codebase as well as release updates to its phones in China, where Google services are not available.

It’s not clear whether the U.S. government intends for this to be a death blow of sorts to Huawei’s western prospects — it also has a thriving PC business where it purchases components from Intel and NVIDIA — or if the trade ban is to be used as leverage with China in trying to reach better terms on an overall trade deal with the country.

Update: Google has clarified that Google Play services and Play Protect will continue to work on Huawei devices:

Get More P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro

$900 at eBay
£899 at Amazon UK
$1200 CAD at Huawei

Best prepaid phones (May 2019)

OnePlus 7 Pro cameras with logo

There was a time when prepaid plans were reserved almost exclusively for young people and often the “credit challenged.” After all, prepaid phone plans were generally less impressive than carrier plans, with too many restrictions to make them appealing, and prepaid phones were just a small step better than utter garbage.

Thankfully, this situation has been flipped on its head in recent years. Nowadays, prepaid phone plans actually tend to offer the best value for consumers and generally share many of the same perks you’d find with a traditional “postpaid” plan. The selection of phones has equally improved, with prepaid networks offering at least a few flagship options and plenty of respectable mid-range and entry-range devices. There’s also the ability to bring your own unlocked phone to a number of prepaid carriers, unlocking even more possibilities.

So what are the very best prepaid phones available? A lot of it will come down to what network best suits you, though below we’ve gathered up several of the best smartphones available in the prepaid world right now, from the best of the high-end flagships to the best of the mid-range phones to the best from the budget line.

Looking for full lists of the best prepaid phones for a specific network? We have those too! Check them out below:

For those that would rather go unlocked and bring your phone to a compatible GSM network, you’ll also want to take a look at the following lists:

Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.

Best flagship pre-paid no contract phone – OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus 7 Pro screen in front of fire

OnePlus may not make great mid-range phones anymore, but even with its higher cost, the OnePlus 7 Pro still packs in high-end hardware for a price that’s still well below the competition. It has a huge, and nearly bezel-free, 6.67-inch 3,120 x 1,440 resolution AMOLED display, with 90Hz and HDR 10+ support, along with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Inside, the phone packs in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, and you can purchase it with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or you can upgrade to either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, combined with 256GB of storage.

OnePlus has struggled with its cameras in earlier phones, but for the OnePlus 7 Pro, it has put in a triple rear camera setup, with a huge 48MP main sensor, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a 16MP ultra wide angle camera. It also has a 16MP pop-up front-facing camera for selfies. It’s certainly the best camera setup ever put in a OnePlus phone.

Other features of the OnePlus 7 Pro include an improved in-display fingerprint sensor, stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support, a 10-layer liquid cooling system, RAM Boost to put in more memory for apps that need the performance, and a 4,000mAh battery that you can charge up to 50 percent in just 20 minutes with its Warp Charge 30 charger.

While there are a couple of features we wish were included (the OnePlus 7 Pro lacks an IP waterproof rating and a a 3.5mm headphone jack), the OnePlus 7 Pro still packs in a ton for the money. You can get the pre-paid no contract version direct from the company for as low as $669 for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage model, or you can spend just $80 more to get the 12GB RAM/256GB storage model for $749.

Read more

Honorable mentions

Samsung Galaxy S10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 offers perhaps the best value among the several Galaxy S10 models that were released this year. It has a 6.1-inch AMOLED display, support for up to 512GB of onboard storage, the Snapdragon 855 chip, excellent camera, plus it has an IP68 waterproof rating and a headphone jack. However, the starting price of the phone is higher than the highest OnePlus 7 Pro for prepaid no contract customers at $899.99.

Google Pixel 3 XL

If you want a pure Android experience, and the best camera you can get in a smartphone, along with high-end processors and other hardware, the Google Pixel 3 XL is the way to go. You can get the pre-paid no contract version direct from Google starting at $899.99.

Best mid-range pre-paid no contract phones – Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL

Google Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3 front on table

After years of making and selling flagship phones, Google finally decided to jump back into the mid-range market with the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL. The biggest plus for both phones is that they have the same 12.2MP dual-pixel rear camera that’s found on their more expensive brothers, the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL. If you love to take pictures, these phones will give you the best experience for the money.

The other hardware specs are more in line with the prices of these phones. You get a 5.6-inch gOLED display for the Pixel 3a, and a 6-inch screen for the Pixel 3a XL. Both share the same processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon 670) the same RAM amount (4GB) and the same storage (64GB). You also get an 8MP front-facing camera, and a pure Android 9 Pie OS. You even get a headphone jack. The Pixel 3a has a 3,000mAh battery while the Pixel 3a XL has a much bigger 3,7000mAh battery that should last you quite a while. 

Best of all, people looking for more affordable pre-paid no contract phones will find that the Google Pixel 3a starts at just $399 directly from the company, while the Pixel 3a XL starts at $479. Both offer excellent value for the money.

Read more

Honorable mentions

Razer Phone 2

Do you want the best gaming smartphone you can currently buy? Then the Razer Phone 2 is for you; it’s fast, it has a 120Hz display and Razer has cut the price down to just $499, which is an absolute steal for this handset.

Motorola Moto Z3 Play

Not only is this phone an excellent device to get on its own, you can also add to its features with the various Moto Mods that are available for the phone. You can expand its battery life, add new camera features and more, all for under $500 (or even less during Motorola’s many promotions).

Best budget pre-paid no contract phones – Motorola Moto G7 Play, G7 Power, and G7

The Moto G series have always offered solid hardware inside smartphones for low prices, and the Moto G7 Play is no exception. The 5.7-inch screen offers plenty of space for content, and inside you have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. You also get a 13MP rear camera, an 8MP front-facing camera and a 3,000mAh battery that should last for well over a day on a single charge. All of that is inside a phone that can be used with all of the major U.S. carriers, including all the pre-paid ones, for the price of just $199.

If you want to spend just $50 more to get an even bigger 6.2-inch phone, and a much larger 5,000mAh battery that could last as long as three days on one charge, you should check out the Moto G7 Power for the price of $249. If having a better camera is a priority, you can spend $100 more on the Moto G7, with its dual 12MP rear cameras, along with its AI-powered photo assistants. Even then, the price is still $299.

Read more

Honorable mention

Nokia 6.1

Not only do you get solid hardware for the low price of just $210, or even lower, the Nokia 6.1 is an Android One device, which means it not only runs on a near stock version of Android, but it will get steady updates until at least mid 2020.

That’s it for our roundup of the best pre-paid no contract phones. What’s your pick?

How to use themes in Windows 10 for a more personal desktop experience

Imagine a large white room with nothing more than a boring brown desk and a boring brown chair. That’s no fun, right? It’s sterile and seemingly siphons every creative drop from your soul. What you need is a work area that’s yours and feels comfortable just like home. We’ll show you how to use themes in Windows 10 so your PC’s virtual desktop isn’t boring and sterile.

You acquire Windows 10 themes in four ways: From the Microsoft Store, third-party websites, device manufacturers, and individuals who share their themes. Installing themes from the Microsoft Store is your safest bet while new desktops and laptops typically ship with a custom wallpaper (at the very least).

Our guide to using Windows 10 themes provides several ways to install, change, and even create custom themes. We also show you how to save custom themes as a file to share with friends and family. This guide is based on Windows 10 1809 (October 2018 Update) using Dark Mode.

From the desktop

This method takes the shortest route to theme management.

Windows 10 right-click personalize

1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Personalize in the resulting menu.

Windows 10 Themes panel

2. Select Themes.
3. Click on a theme currently installed on your PC. Window 10 will automatically load the theme.
4. Close the Settings app.

Related: How to enable dark mode in Windows 10, Office, and Microsoft Edge

Create a custom Windows 10 theme

Since we’re here, you’ll see an option to create a custom theme. Let’s start the process from the beginning if you want to create a custom theme later:

Windows 10 right-click personalize

1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Personalize in the resulting menu.

Windows 10 Use Custom Theme

2. Select Themes.
3. Click Use custom theme.

Windows 10 Custom Theme Choose Picture

4. Select Background to choose the images you want as wallpaper. For the Slideshow option, click the Browse button to use an image folder. Do the same for Picture mode only you will select a single image instead. The Solid color option provides 24 set swatches and an option click the “+” to create a custom color.

Windows 10 Custom Theme Choose Color

5. Select Color to change the interface color. Windows 10 provides 48 color swatches and an option to click the “+” to create a custom color. Here you can also choose where the accent color appears, toggle between Light and Dark app modes, and toggle transparency effects.

Windows 10 Custom Theme Choose Sound

6. Select Sounds to change the Windows 10 sound scheme.

Windows 10 custom Theme Choose Pointer

7. Select Mouse cursor to change the mouse cursor appearance.

Windows 10 Save Custom Theme

8. Click Save Theme.
9. Name your theme in the pop-up window.
10. Click the Save button.

Share a custom Windows 10 theme

Again, since we’re here, let’s go over how you can share a custom theme by creating a file friends and family can install:

Windows 10 Save Theme for Sharing

1. While remaining within the Themes section, click on your custom theme to make it active.
2. Right-click on your custom theme.
3. Select Save theme for sharing.

Windows 10 Name Custom Theme File

4. Select a location where you want to save the theme.
5. Enter a file name.
6. Click Save to create a .deskthemepack file.

Related: How to use notifications in Windows 10

Use the Settings app

Windows 10 access Settings

1.  Click Start and select the “gear” icon on the Start Menu. This opens the Settings app.

Windows 10 Settings Personalization

2. Select Personalization.

Windows 10 Apply a Theme

3. Select Themes.
4. On the right, scroll down to Apply a theme and click on a theme.
5. Windows 10 automatically applies the chosen theme. You can now close the Settings app.

Use the Control Panel

If your nostalgic soul just can’t let go of the old-school Control Panel, there’s a way to access the hidden Personalization panel we loved in Windows 7 and older:

Windows 10 Personalization Run Command

1. Type Win + R to open the Run command.
2. In the pop-up box, enter this command:

explorer shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921}

Windows 10 Control Panel Personalization

3. Select the theme you want to apply.
4. Close the window when done.

Related: How to split your screen in Windows 10

Use File Explorer

Use this method to install themes downloaded from third-party websites, or if you like taking the long, old-school scenic route. Here are two important locations where Windows 10 stores your themes:

  • Default themes – C:WindowsResourcesThemes
  • Manually installed themes – %LocalAppData%MicrosoftWindowsThemes

Windows 10 File Explorer icon

1. Click the folder icon on the taskbar to open File Explorer.

Windows 10 File Explorer Select Theme

2. Locate the destination where your downloaded theme resides, such as Downloads. If you want a default theme or one you manually installed, copy and paste one of the addresses listed above into File Explorer’s address field.
3. Double-click a *.theme file you want as the current theme. Windows 10 will open the Settings app Themes section as well.

Get a new theme

Windows 10 access Settings

1. Click Start and select the “gear” icon on the Start Menu. This opens the Settings app.

Windows 10 Settings Personalization

2. Select Personalization.

Windows 10 Get More Themes

3. Select Themes.
4. On the right, click Get more themes in the Store listed under Apply a theme.

Microsoft Store Windows Themes

5. In the Microsoft Store app, select a theme you want to install.

Windows Store Get Windows Theme

6. Click the Get (free) or Buy (paid) button.
7. Click Install if the process doesn’t begin automatically.

Microsoft Store Apply Windows Theme

8. Click Apply to use the theme.
9. Close the Microsoft Store app.

Related: How to change your screen resolution in Windows 10

Use a high contrast theme

If you need a theme that’s merely black and white like the old days of MS-DOS, you can find these in a different part of the Settings app.

Windows 10 access Settings

1. Click Start and select the “gear” icon on the Start Menu. This opens the Settings app.

Windows 10 Ease of Access

2. Select Ease of Access.

Windows 10 Use High Contrast

3. Select High contrast on the left.
4. Toggle on Turn on high contrast (off by default).

Windows 10 High Contrast Colors

5. On the Choose a theme drop-down menu, select one of the four pre-installed themes.
6. Customize the high contrast colors if needed.
7. Close the Settings app.

You can take the File Explorer route too by heading to C:WindowsResourcesEase of Access Themes and double-clicking on a *.theme file.

Finally, for Windows 10 power users, the operating system keeps track of the current theme at this location in the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionThemes

It’s listed as the CurrentTheme (REG_SZ) value.

That wraps up our guide on how to use themes in Windows 10. For additional tips and tricks, check out these guides:

How high a standard? [#acpodcast]

With another week of experience using the OnePlus 7 Pro under their belt, Daniel Bader and Andrew Martonik have more to say about the sub-$700 flagship. They also talk about Samsung’s intended design changes for the Galaxy Fold.

Additionally, ASUS is previewing ZenFone 6 and some wild design concepts they explored. 5G is a little more real (but still not worth buying into), and President Trump has signed an order to protect the U.S. network infrastructure from ‘foreign adversaries’.

Listen now

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Show Notes and Links:

Sponsors:

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  • Wix Creation without limits. Visit wix.com/podcast and get 10% Off Your Wix Premium Plan — enter the code WIXPROMO at checkout.

Android quiz: True or false?

Let’s test out how much you really know about Android, the most popular mobile operating system in the world. This quiz contains 10 statements that revolve around the history of Android, its features, and much more. Your job is to figure out whether each statement is true or false.

Think you know enough about the OS to get a good score? Press the Start button below and show us what you got — and don’t forget to share your result on social media and challenge your friends to try and beat it.

Note: There is a widget embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s widget.

Note: If you don’t see a Start button, click here.


This is the 39th quiz in our regular weekly series. You can take a few of the most popular ones via the links below or check out all of them by clicking here.

Let us know which questions you thought were the hardest and share your result with others in the comment section.

Deal: Master MATLAB and begin earning a higher salary

Complete MATLAB Mastery Bundle Data

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