Deal: Perfect your pictures with Adobe Photoshop mastery

Adobe Photoshop is 30 years old this year and continues to be the gold standard of digital editing software. Whether you take photos for a living or just for social media, mastering this program takes your pictures to the next level.

There are many useful online courses out there which don’t cost the earth, and today we’re spotlighting a particularly good offer. Tech Deals have bundled together eight learning kits into one package, and it’s available today for just $29.

All the skills you need to ensure every photo is eye-catching.

A huge range of editing techniques is covered, including lighting styles, cinematic color grading, and portrait photography. Photoshop is complemented by Adobe Lightroom, and there’s even a crash course in this software included too. You’ll have all the skills you need to ensure every photo is eye-catching.

Also part of the package is a specialist guide on putting together your own photo book. For amateurs, this can be used to make thoughtful gifts for friends, or a collection of your own memories. For professionals, you’ll have the know-how to compile an impressive portfolio.

The Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle

The Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle:

Despite the huge combined value of these learning kits, the whole bundle is now on offer for just $29. That’s a huge saving, and thousands of people have already signed up. The deal is due to end later this week though, so you don’t have much time.

Hit the button below to find out more about this deal.

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.

Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!

New Instagram update introduces voice messaging

Reported by TechCrunch, Instagram’s latest update includes a new voice messaging feature that works very similarly to voice messaging in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Apple’s Messages app.

The feature is easy enough to trigger — just tap and hold the microphone button when in Instagram Direct to record your voice message. You can record a voice message up to one minute in length and remains in your Instagram Direct threads indefinitely.

Finally, the voice messages work in one-on-one and group chats on both Android and iOS.

Voice messaging is rolling out now to Instagram on both aforementioned platforms.

Recent updates

Nametags and school communities

October 5, 2018: Instagram introduced Nametags. Likely inspired by Snapchat’s Snap Codes, Nametags display a scannable area that includes your username. The idea is to forgo searching for people and just scan their Nametags instead.

Instagram also introduced school-specific communities for current and former college students. You can add your school and graduation year to your profile, as well as any school-based organizations you might be a part of.

Once you add a school, you become part of the university’s directory on Instagram. You and other students can then search profiles based on class year.

Support for video chat, revamped Explore page, and new camera effects

June 26, 2018: Instagram introduced real-time video chatting within Instagram Direct. To start a video chat, go to the Direct tab, open a message thread, and tap the camera icon in the right corner. You can video chat with one friend or with a group of four people at a time.

Next up is the refreshed Explore page that includes new topic channels. When you open the Explore page, you now see a tray at the top with several personalized channels, such as art, sports, beauty, fashion, and “For You.” Each channel includes posts for that specific topic.

Finally, the new camera effects feature designs from Ariana Grande, Buzzfeed, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel, and the NBA. You will have to follow any of those accounts to get the corresponding camera effects, however.

Mute users without unfollowing them

June 26, 2018: Instagram introduced a new feature called Mute. As you might have guessed, the new setting tweak lets you curate your feed by muting certain people and brands you follow. You’re still a follower of those people and brands, but they won’t clog up your feed.

When you mute someone you follow, you will still be notified of comments or posts you are tagged in. If the person has their account set to “private,” you will still be able to view their feed. The only thing mute does is prevent that person’s posts from appearing in your personal feed.

Instagram update lets you buy stuff without leaving the app

May 3, 2018: The payments feature lets Instagram users add their credit or debit cards, set up a security PIN, and buy stuff without leaving the app. One of the first businesses to support the feature is dinner reservation app Resy, though Instagram said additional businesses will support the feature over time. Eventually, you will be able to buy things like movie tickets through Instagram.

Instagram lets you upload your Stories all at once

April 24, 2018: Instagram not lets you upload multiple pictures and videos to your Story at once. You can up to 10 images or video files to your Story and re-order them to make your Story. Instagram will automatically suggest location tags for your Story media by using timestamps and geolocation.

Instagram now lets you ‘regram’ public posts to your story

February 7, 2018: Instagram is rolling out access to a new regram feature. Essentially, you can share and add public feed posts from other users to your story. As you can see from the video here, not only can you resize it, but you can also edit it by adding stickers or drawing on it before posting. Of course, you have the option to disable others from sharing your posts in the app’s settings.

Next: How to delete your Instagram account

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition has a crazy rear screen and 10GB of RAM

  • The Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition has been launched in China today.
  • It offers a virtually bezel-less front screen and a smaller rear screen that’s used for selfies.
  • The phone also has a TOF sensor for 3D/AR effects, much like the Oppo R17 Pro.

We saw leaked images of a supposed dual-screen Vivo smartphone last month, but the Chinese brand has finally announced the device at a launch event in Shanghai today.

The Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition indeed packs two screens, featuring a virtually bezel-less 6.39-inch OLED screen (2,340 x 1,080) on the front and a 5.49-inch OLED display (1,920 x 1,080) on the back.

The rear-mounted OLED panel serves a couple of purposes. The main one is to allow users to take selfies – there’s no front-facing camera, so the triple-camera setup on the back doubles as a selfie cam. The rear screen is also used for a couple of software features – Mirror Mode and Pose Director. The latter displays a pose you want to imitate, if that’s your thing. Vivo also talked about using the secondary screen to control games you’re playing on the main screen, though we assume this will require game developers to adapt their games for the device.

There’s no front-facing camera, so the triple-camera setup on the back doubles as a selfie cam.

A set of LEDs run around the circular camera module. Called Lunar Ring, this feature serves as a notification light, and also as a diffuse flash for selfies.

Thanks to this arrangement, you don’t need a front-facing camera, allowing you to simply take selfies with the rear camera trio. And it’s a pretty odd, humped setup, consisting of a 12MP f/1.79 main camera, a 2MP snapper (presumably for depth effects), and a time-of-flight (TOF) sensor for 3D/AR effects.

We’ve previously seen the latter sensor on the Oppo R17 Pro, where it was used to quickly 3D-scan objects and subjects. Unfortunately, our own Lanh Nguyen felt it wasn’t “particularly useful” and was “very buggy.” Hopefully Vivo makes better use of the sensor…

You can also expect plenty of camera features, including AI scene recognition, portrait mode, “face shaping”, and AI portrait framing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Vivo added the TOF sensor purely for a more advanced beauty mode and better filters.

In any case, the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition is pretty stacked when it comes to core specs. There’s a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 10GB of RAM, 128GB of fixed storage, a 3,500mAh battery, and an in-display fingerprint scanner. The last feature is a pretty noteworthy inclusion for a phone with two screens, owing to the complexity of a dual-screen phone in the first place.

The Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition is pretty stacked when it comes to core specs.

Vivo tends to make affordable devices, but the new Nex’s specs and, in particular, secondary screen on the back cost a premium. It’s not as bad as we were expecting though: 4,998 yuan, or the equivalent of $725. The phone will go on sale from December 29 in China, with pre-orders starting today. No word yet on international availability or pricing.

Read next: OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition hands-on: What should you expect?

Stay tuned for our Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition hands-on, coming over the next few hours, and let us know what you think!

Deal: Become an in-demand Hadoop engineer

The Very Big Data and Apache Hadoop Training Bundle

There’s data, then there’s Very Big Data. For the latter, conventional analysis methods just don’t cut it. Big businesses need specialist Hadoop engineers, and they’re willing to pay specialist salaries to get them.

These skills can be learned, but face-to-face training from experts can be very expensive. Fortunately, online courses can be sold thousands of times, and therefore be brought to students at a much more affordable rate.

The Very Big Data & Apache Hadoop Training Bundle is the perfect example of this.

Data Scientists in the U.S. command a median base salary of $110,000. (Source:

This five-star-rated series of 10 learning kits is a step-by-step guide to harnessing the huge processing power of the Hadoop software framework. Even as a complete beginner in Big Data, you’ll be introduced to the concepts of Hadoop, Apache, Hive, MapReduce and many more powerful data handling tools.

You’ll then progress to master them by applying them to real-world data analytics problems.

The Very Big Data and Apache Hadoop Training Bundle

Here’s the full Hadoop lineup:

In one of the biggest discounts we’ve found this year, the combined $3,000 value of all these learning kits has been temporarily slashed by 99 percent. Right now you can get the entire bundle for just $29.

With 30 hours of Hadoop training, you’re paying less than $1 per hour of expert-led instruction. You get lifetime access too, so you can crash-course it all in one week, or make it your New Year’s resolution. 

The offer expires in a matter of days so don’t miss out. Over 800 people have already enrolled. Hit the button below to find out more.

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.

Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!

The U12+ is the best HTC phone you can buy

New phones are always coming and going, and we get that it can be a little difficult to keep up with things, so this is our continuously updated list of the HTC phones that you need to be aware of. The U12+ is the company’s most powerful flagship, but the older models are great, too.

Best overall

HTC U12+

The HTC U12+ takes after last year’s U11+ with a 6-inch, 18:9 LCD panel, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, a whopping 3500mAh battery, and Android 8.0 Oreo with the promise of an update to Android P. It features dual cameras, consisting of a wide angle and a telephoto, that take some of the best photos of any phone on the market. The Digital Buttons have been improved with software updates, and the U12+ comes in three striking color options.

$800 at Amazon


HTC U11+

While the U11+ never made it to the United States, it can be ordered unlocked on Amazon with price tags that compare favorably to other high-end Android phones. Like the newer U12+, it has an 18:9 display and a rear fingerprint sensor, along with a 3930mAh battery. Of course, the U11+ still has HTC’s signature Edge Sense technology, along with real hardware buttons — the latter of which the U12+ lacks.

$572 at Amazon

Best small phone


The U11 is a solid flagship phone with last year’s top-tier specs — a Snapdragon 835, 4 or 6GB of RAM, 64 or 128GB of storage, and an excellent camera. The U11 reinvented HTC’s design language after years of the same look with a bold new glass-backed chassis in a range of shimmering colors. It was the first phone to include Edge Sense, which lets you squeeze the sides of the phone to jump quickly into the camera, take a photo, or launch your favorite personal assistant.

$574 at Amazon

Best budget phone

HTC U12 Life

The U12 Life doesn’t have the ultra-premium glass design or top-tier chipset of the U12+, trading the former for plastic and the latter for a Snapdragon 636, but it’s an excellent phone for just under $300. The U12 Life follows a similar design language to its flagship counterpart, and as always with HTC, comes in a couple of fancy-looking finishes.

$299 at Amazon

HTC may not be the mobile giant it used to be, but that doesn’t mean its phones aren’t still fantastic for die-hard fans and casual users alike. The U12+ is the company’s latest and greatest, and despite a rough launch with problematic buttons, software updates have since made it a fantastic flagship. You can still buy one of HTC’s older models through Amazon, and the new U12 Life is a pretty great budget option for those looking to save some money.

Apple ordered to stop selling iPhones in China due to patent infringements

Qualcomm has scored another victory in its ongoing dispute with Apple.

Qualcomm and Apple have been at each other’s throats for seemingly endless months over various patent disputes, and in the latest development of this saga, Qualcomm’s seeing another victory. In a press release issued by the company on December 10, 2018, it announced the following:

The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China has granted the Company’s request for two preliminary injunctions against four Chinese subsidiaries of Apple Inc., ordering them to immediately cease infringing upon two Qualcomm patents through the unlicensed importation, sale and offers for sale in China.

In other words, the People’s Court is ordering Apple to stop selling the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and X in China. The newer iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR aren’t affected by the ruling.

The reason for the ban? According to Qualcomm, these phones infringe on patents that:

Enable consumers to adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photographs, and to manage applications using a touch screen when viewing, navigating and dismissing applications on their phones.

This is one of the most aggressive moves we’ve seen from Qualcomm’s side in its war with Apple so far, so it’ll be incredibly interesting to see where things go from here.

It’s unclear when the ban is supposed to go into effect, but we’re bound to hear more on this in the not-too-distant future.

5 things from the iPhone and iOS we want Android to get ASAP

Nokia 8.1 hands-on: The best yet from HMD Global?

Nokia 8.1

Last week, HMD Global unveiled the Nokia 8.1 in Dubai and today the company launched its latest smartphone in India.

The new Nokia 8.1 is not a successor to the Nokia 8 or Nokia 8 Sirocco in terms of specifications and also isn’t in the same segment as those flagship smartphones. The nomenclature can confuse you, but essentially, the Nokia 8.1 is the successor to the Nokia 7 plus – a segment that the company likes to call as ‘affordable premium’.

I spent some time with the Nokia 8.1 ahead of its launch, and here are my first impressions of the same.


Nokia 8.1

The Nokia 8.1 sports an elegant dual-tone design with 6000-series aluminum frame that packs in a sculpted glass body. The chrome trims, that we’ve seen on Nokia 7 plus before, up the aesthetics of the phone.

The Nokia 8.1 has a definite flair to it without any outlandish design choices, and the glass and metal are sandwiched tastefully.

On the front, there’s a 6.18-inch Full HD+ edge-to-edge display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio and 420ppi. It’s an HDR10-compliant display and has a contrast ratio of 1500:1. With the notch and minimum bezels, the 8.1 manages to pack in a larger display than even the Nokia 7 plus.

It’s a beautiful and bright display – with great legibility outdoors in sun – and the new Adaptive Brightness feature in Android 9 Pie automatically adjusts your settings learning from your screen brightness preferences.


The Nokia 8.1 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Qualcomm’s maiden SoC in its new 700 mobile platform series. Snapdragon 710 fits comfortably between the mid-range 600 and high-end 800 series and aims to make premium smartphone features more accessible via mid-range devices, like the 8.1.

And it succeeds in that very well. The AI-powered Snapdragon 710 is a solid chipset and the Nokia 8.1 could give you the impression of flagship innards in your daily drill. With 4GB of RAM, the smartphone just blazes through anything thrown at it.

There’s 64GB of internal storage, and although it’s expandable by up to 400GB using microSD card, many multimedia hoarders would find it a tad underwhelming.

The Nokia 8.1 packs a 3500mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging.

  Nokia 8.1
Display 6.18-inch (15.70cm) PureDisplay
Full HD+ (2246 x 1080)
18.7:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
8 x Kryo 360 CPU
10nm manufacturing process
GPU Adreno 616
Storage 64GB e-MMC 5.1
Expandable up to 400GB
Cameras Front camera: 20MP

Rear camera:
12MP f/1.8 aperture primary sensor
13MP depth sensor
Dual Hi-Cri flash

Battery 3500mAh
18W fast charging
Audio 3.5 mm headphone jack
Single speaker with smart amplifier
Nokia OZO surround sound capture
Connectivity LTE Cat. 6, 2CA, L+L, VoLTE, VoWiFi
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
IP Rating None
Sensors mbient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer (G-sensor), E-compass, Gyroscope, Fingerprint sensor (rear), NFC
Software Android 9 Pie
Android One
Dimensions 154.8 x 75.76 x 7.97 mm
180 g
Colors Blue/Silver, Steel/Copper, Iron/Steel


Nokia 8.1

The Nokia 8.1 sports a 12MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture and 1.4 micron pixel size combined with a 13MP depth sensor with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). The Zeiss optics are combined with some AI smarts like automatic scene detection and professional portrait shots, and Nokia’s Pro Camera goodness as well as Dual-Sight mode that allows you to simultaneously shoot and stream from both the cameras.

The phone, interestingly, allows you to capture 4K video at 30fps. Apart from hardware stabilization, there’s also EIS that would help in those videos.

On the front, there’s a 20MP adaptive selfie camera with pixel binning technology that helps you take better shots in dimmer conditions.

Android One

Nokia 8.1

Like other phones in HMD Global’s portfolio, the Nokia 8.1 is an Android One smartphone. It ships with Android 9 Oreo out of the box, and offers a clean, stock Android experience. With phones on Android 8.1 Oreo still launching in December 2018, HMD Global deserves big props for offering one of the most up-to-date Android experience on Nokia phones.

Android One certification means the smartphone will receive two years of guaranteed Android “letter” upgrades and three years of monthly security updates. Nokia 8.1 is also a part of the Android Enterprise Recommended program.



The Nokia 8.1 sits pretty between the mid-range smartphone segment and the ‘flagship killers’. It’s a well-rounded smartphone that tries to punch above the specifications sheet thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor that aces the performance bit.

The cohesive experience and stylish design of the Nokia 8.1 makes me wonder if this is the best Nokia phone since HMD Global brought the brand home. You’d have to look hard to find an issue with this one, really.

The Nokia 8.1 comes in three color variants – Blue/Silver, Steel/Copper, and a new Iron/Steel combination – and will globally retail at 399 Euros ($450).

While the device is going on sale in the Middle East for 1499 UAE Dirhams this week, it is priced at ₹26,999 ($372) in India and will go on sale on and top offline retailers.

Deal: Xperia XZ2 Premium and Ear Duo headphones for $699 (save $500)

Amazon Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium deal Amazon

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium is on sale on Amazon bundled with the true-wireless Xperia Ear Duo earphones. The list price for the bundle is $1229.98 but it can be yours for the next twenty hours for just $699. 

The XZ2 Premium started at $999 on Amazon while the Ear Duo list price is set at $279.99. Additionally, if you buy the smartphone alone right now it will cost you $899. With this deal you’re making a saving and getting the headset free — it’s a great offer no matter which way you slice it. 

Editor’s Pick

The XZ2 Premium features a 4K, HDR display, dual 19MP + 12MP monochrome rear camera, and a Snapdragon 845 chip. It’s also now upgradable to Android Pie

The Xperia Ear Duo, meanwhile, is a unique in-ear wireless product with an open design. This allows for listening to music and calls without blocking out environmental noises; it’s kind of the opposite approach to active noise canceling. The Ear Duo comes with support for digital assistants like Siri and Google Assistant too — you can read more about it here.

The bundle is one of Amazon’s daily specials so it will be over by tomorrow. If you’re interested, you can get the phone in white or black via the links below. 

Buy Now: Xperia XZ2 Premium (black) Ear Duo bundle

Buy Now: Xperia XZ2 Premium (white) Ear Duo bundle

Dodge spam calls on original Google Pixel with Call Screen: now rolling out

  • Google has started rolling out Assistant’s Call Screen feature to the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL.
  • Call Screen allows Assistant to answer calls on the user’s behalf.
  • It’s only available in the U.S. at the moment.

Google has started rolling out the Pixel 3’s Call Screen feature to the original Pixel and Pixel XL, according to reports on Reddit. A number of Pixel owners have chimed in to a thread started over the weekend to confirm the deployment.

Call Screen allows Google Assistant to answer calls on the user’s behalf. It announces itself and asks what the purpose of the call is, while users can listen in to the conversation to take over if they want to. It’s something that can deter nuisance callers.

Editor’s Pick

Google rolled out Call Screen to the Pixel 2 and 2XL only last month and it had been expected to make its way to the original Pixels shortly after. Some device owners have also reported receiving saved call transcripts too, a feature which isn’t even on all Pixel 3 smartphones yet (though Google says it will be by the year’s end).

However, some Pixel owners still report having neither feature, so it looks like a staged rollout.

Call Screen is still U.S.-only for the time being but Google plans to roll it out in more regions in the future. If you’re in the States and are yet to receive it, look out for it arriving on your Pixel 1, 2, or 3 in the next couple of weeks.

Health and beauty products all on sale with Amazon’s 12 Days of Deals promo

Top products for your teeth, skin, and more personal care discounted today only!

Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, the holiday shopping season is still very much in full swing. Amazon has just kicked off its ’12 Days of Deals’ promotion, which will bring along with it a variety of discounts each day in a particular product category. Whether you need to whiten your teeth or massage your back, today has deals covering all sorts of personal care. Schick, Mynt, Rugged & Dapper, and several other brands all have a bunch of great discounts to take advantage of.

Here’s our favorite deals from today:

Smile like you mean it

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kits

Keep your hand over your mouth during pictures? Need to feel better about those pearly whites? The AuraGlow whitening pen is down to $13.48 from a street price closer to $22. You’ll save some money and feel better about yourself.

From $13.48 at Amazon

Buzzy Buzz Buzz

Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan White Noise Sound Machine

This sale features a selection of different white noise machines in different colors, but the least expensive is down to almost $32 from price around $50. If you need a little distraction or soothing noises to help you sleep, grab one of these today.

$32.47 at Amazon

On the go

Conair Compact Folding Handle Hair Dryer

Traveling a lot for the holidays? Spending some nights in a hotel or visiting friends? This hair dryer packs up nicely and can be a great travel companion when you have a lot of locks that need drying. The price is down from around $15 and one of the lowest we’ve seen.

$9.89 at Amazon

Augment your morning coffee

Sports Research Premium MCT Oil 32-ounce bottle

Odorless, tasteless, and sourced from non-GMO coconuts, this oil can be added to protein shakes, coffee, and more. It’s designed to help you burn more fat for energy. The deal is down from a $28 street price.

$18.59 at Amazon

Get active

Men’s and Women’s Activewear

Fleece hoodies, yoga pants, and tons of other workout gear. Get what you need for your next trip to the gym with deals up to 40% off everything. These are Amazon’s private clothing brands.

Up to 40% off at Amazon

Two Bits

ToiletTree shaving gear including nose trimmers, fogless mirrors, and more

Shave in or out of the shower, trim those unsightly hairs, and feel good every morning with this huge sale on ToiletTree shaving products. The prices are all discounted up to 30%.

Starting at $11.85 at Amazon


Mynt Percussion Shiatsu Air Pressure foot massager

The tapping design uses percussion therapy on the arches of your foot, along with an energetic massage to the rest. Great to use at the end of a long day, especially if you spend a lot of it on your feet. Today’s deal is $54 off the street price and the first discount we’ve seen on this model.

$125.99 at Amazon

Save your Skin

Rugged & Dapper Skincare Products for Men

Moisturize and clean your skin with these daily products from Rugged & Dapper. Both possibilities are down to $17.46 and regularly sell for around $25. That’s a small price to pay for healthier looking skin.

$17.46 at Amazon

Each morning, Amazon will roll out a new set of discounts based on different product categories. The schedule for each day’s deals includes:

  • 12/2: Home Improvement & Tools
  • 12/3: Gaming
  • 12/4: Toys
  • 12/5: PC
  • 12/6: Home
  • 12/7: Fashion
  • 12/8: Baby, Pets, & Camera
  • 12/9: Beauty and Personal Care
  • 12/10: Electronics
  • 12/11: Kitchen
  • 12/12: Furniture, Lawn, and Garden
  • 12/13: Sports and Outdoor

Whether you have someone on your list who is looking to do some home repairs, step up their cooking game, get better at photography, or need something for your pet, Amazon has you covered every step of the way. Be sure to tune back in each day to see what items are on sale. Some of these may only be available for a few hours each day as Lightning Deals, and others may sell out early in the day, so you’ll want to make sure you look early so you don’t miss out.

See All The Day 7 Deals