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

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.

What devices are Android Authority readers using? (2019 edition)

Nokia 7.1 installing Android 9.0 Pie update

Two years ago we published an update on exactly which devices your fellow Android Authority reader buddies are using. We wanted to do another update in 2019, combined with a look back at our data from 2017, to see how things have changed.

This data comes from a dig through the anonymous usage statistics that Google Analytics collects for the site. So, which devices rule the roost, and how have things changed from 2017?

Mobile vs Desktop vs Tablet

First up, an update on what sort of devices that you lot are using to browse the site, broken down into mobile, desktop, and tablet devices.

It’s probably not a shock to you that mobile share has increased since 2017. From a 62.2 percent share in 2017, up to 74.3 percent in 2019. Desktop browsing has fallen from 32.2 percent to 24.4 percent, but tablets have shrunk to almost nothing: falling from 5.6 percent to just 1.1 percent of browsers:

As much as tablets filled a niche at one point in time, bigger sized mobiles and the trusty old PC or laptop dominate. A market is a market though — Samsung just launched a 10.5-inch OLED-display Galaxy Tab S5e with Android 9 Pie for $400.

Top 10 devices

Going mobile only, let’s look at the top a little more closely and break down the most popular smartphones to visit the site in the last three months:

Apple? The Apple iPhone range takes the gold medal, followed by the Google Pixel 2 XL, with the iPad back in third — actually falling from second place to third from 2017.

Apple? We can explain.

Why is the iPhone the top device on an Android site? Don’t be alarmed: this is a family of devices up against individual devices. Apple doesn’t give out enough device information to Google Analytics for the tool to be able to discern between different models. So, with all models of iOS devices rolled into either the iPhone or iPad we get two of the top three spots.

The insights out of this are interesting. The iPad share has fallen since 2017, when it was second, and even with all those iPhones sold all over the globe, grouping them together still sees nearly 90 percent of our readers as Android owners.

OnePlus 6 vs Google Pixel 2 XL-6

Android devices: What we’re here for is actual devices — down to the model numbers — so let’s look closer at this data from the most recent 30-day period. And, it’s all Google and Samsung!

Intriguingly, the four of our top ten are Google Pixel devices, with the Pixel 2 XL the most used of any one device, following by the Google Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 2, and Google Pixel 3. That’s despite the wider slow uptake of the Pixel.

Samsung dominates the next spots: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (U – meaning a US/Qualcomm device), Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S8 (F – or Exynos version), and Samsung Galaxy S9+ (U).

Yes, we now know how closely aligned Android Authority readers are to the big brands of Google Pixel and Samsung. But we also know smartphone shipment figures for all owners. So where, you might ask, are the likes of Huawei, or even OnePlus, which has just the cult following that makes sense showing up here?

Here’s a peek at the top 50: the OnePlus 5T is the first of the non-Samsung, non-Pixel devices, clocking in at 15th spot. The OnePlus 6 is then next at 16th.

Huawei does feature throughout the top 50 phones, with the Huawei P20 Pro the best seller amongst our readers. Other points of interest – the Essential PH-1 gets into the top 50, as does the Xiaomi Poco F1, just, which are good results for both brands, even if Essential is just clinging to life in 2019.

Editor’s Pick

Given the lack of Huawei penetration of the US market, and given that we’re an English-speaking website first, that may explain Huawei’s low-showing, and why it has to keep pushing its flagships.

Top 10 favorite brands

Once we combine all of the branded handsets together, we get another interesting story, and there’s also data from 2017 here too.

Samsung really has held on well, with Apple gaining slightly, while Huawei is now firmly in the picture. But Samsung is, without a shadow of a doubt, our community’s favorite brand, just as we saw in 2017. From 2017’s whopping 31.7 percent of readers browsing a Galaxy device, to just a shade lower at 30.3% in 2019.

Google follows in third again, repeating the top three of 2017:

But beyond third place is where things now get interesting. Xiaomi climbed three spots to fourth, Huawei up to fifth, OnePlus held down sixth again, while LG fell to seventh and Motorola to eighth. Sony and HTC, which figured in the top 10 two years ago, are now out.

This compares fairly closely with my Android Power Rankings from the start of 2019. It might look like I sold Lenovo/Motorola a little short, and ranked OnePlus a little high, though?

Ahead of the OS curve

Moving over to Android software versions, it’s clear that Android Authority readers are keen on being on the latest and greatest. 19 percent of you are running Android 9.0 Pie, with 43 percent running either Android 8.0 or 8.1 Oreo. Given that not all devices can yet run Pie, that’s a pretty good result and far better than the global average, at last check. Good job! (We currently can’t compare to the latest global distribution because, weirdly, Google’s Android Distribution Dashboard has been down for maintenance since October 2018. Hey Google, get on that!)

Compared to 2017, close to 50 percent of you were running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and around 15 percent running Android 7.0 Nougat, the latest and greatest at the time. In 2019, just over 5 percent are hanging in there on a Marshmallow device, while all Nougat owners total just under 15 percent again:

Now, you could either give credit to manufacturers for those old phones hanging in there for a good amount of time or give no credit at all for those devices not receiving enough updates. Or, maybe, some people just don’t want to update?

So we’ve pulled out some of the data we see around these parts and I’m interested to know how it all makes you feel, and if you have any more insights that I might’ve missed. Are you surprised by the strength of the Pixel, or just how well Samsung has managed to cling on as the clear Android leader? Does this match up to your own thoughts and experiences? Chime in via the comments below, ask questions, and let’s have at it.

Warnings will appear for Android apps not targeting Oreo or higher by 2020

Xiaomi Mi A2 Android Oreo

According to Google, over 95 percent of malicious Android apps caught by Google Play Protect are targeting older Android versions. The malicious app creators do this to avoid runtime permissions, even when installed on devices with the latest version of Android.

Things get more complicated and dangerous when you have apps downloaded from sources which aren’t the Google Play Store.

To combat this, by the end of this year Google Play Protect is going to start warning users if they try to install an app from any source that doesn’t target Android API level 26 or higher. In other words, if you try to install an app with a recent update that isn’t targeting Android 8.0 Oreo or newer, a warning will pop-up telling you that app could be unsafe.

Editor’s Pick

Google is hoping this pop-up warning will “shame” developers into updating their apps to more recent API levels, while simultaneously preventing at least some users from going forward with the installation of what could be a malicious app.

This change will affect apps installed from any source, such as competing app stores from Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, etc. It will also affect sideload installations like those from Epic Games, where millions of Android users download Fortnite.

At the Google Play Store, things will be even more strict. For new Play Store apps and apps receiving new updates in 2020, developers will be required to target API level 28 or higher, which is Android 9 Pie. Since Google controls the Play Store, it can deal with developers directly who don’t comply.

Older apps that aren’t being updated will be unaffected by these new rules and apps designed for older versions of Android will also still be allowed.

NEXT: Google lays out how it plans to fight disinformation in lengthy white paper

One-month test: Can a Chromebook replace my main computer?

Ever since Chromebooks started coming out, the most common question has been, can they really replace your main computer? Many users have already done it, especially those who don’t need much more than something for checking emails, going through social media, and doing light browsing. But using a Chromebook full time in a professional setting, that’s another question.

I’ve tried before to fully replace my PC with iPads, Android tablets, and Chromebooks. It’s never worked, mostly because I need a decent way to edit photos and videos for work, but also because of the many kinks these type of products tend to bring to a larger screen. However I’ve felt that if one of these platforms was to get it right, it would be Chrome OS.

I thought running the same experiment again would be a waste of time, but things have changed and this time I took on the month-long test with much more enthusiasm. Is this the year I can finally dump my PC?

I think so.

Experiment dynamics

Test device: Google Pixel Slate

If you want to replace a PC, you need a device that is powerful enough to compete with a good laptop. The Pixel Slate I used is the $999 version with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. Other specs include a 12.3-inch 3,000 x 2,000 display, dual speakers, dual microphones, an 8MP camera, a fingerprint sensor, and up to 12 hours of battery life.


Experiment duration: 1 month

I used the Google Pixel Slate as my only work computer through the month of December. I put my Windows and Mac OS machines away and didn’t touch them for the duration of the experiment. Whatever I had to do, whether personal or work-related, it was done with the Google Pixel Slate (or my smartphone).

What we’re focusing on

Putting a Chromebook against a traditional computer can be a bit of an unfair competition. There are Windows, Mac OS, and Linux computers in every price range, and the same can be said about Chromebooks.

Putting a Chromebook against a traditional computer can be a bit of an unfair competition.

Edgar Cervantes

There are plenty of differences from computer to computer. Therefore, we won’t be focusing much on specs like screen resolution, sound quality, available ports, and so on. This experiment is mostly about Chrome OS’ capabilities as an operating system. Other specifics you will have to research on your own.


Just like with any other computer, you essentially get what you pay for with Chromebooks. Sure, a $999 Pixel Slate seems expensive, but if you put the same specs on a Windows or Mac OS machine, the price looks much more reasonable. It’s a matter of perspective.

What is true is that a Chrome OS device will always give you more bang for your buck in terms of general performance.

Edgar Cervantes

A Chrome OS device will always give you more bang for your buck in terms of general performance. That’s because the operating system is still pretty much a glorified browser, and a very quick one at that.

Chrome OS can boot in under eight seconds. The operating system is so light, you will rarely come across slow-downs or hiccups. This wasn’t solely because I used the expensive Google Pixel Slate. Chrome OS in general is light and fast, and requires much less power to run efficiently compared to other platforms. Often, $200 Chromebooks can feel faster (performing general tasks) than $600 Windows machines.

Often, $200 Chromebooks feel faster (performing general tasks) than $600 Windows machines.

Edgar Cervantes

You only start feeling a big difference when you move to Android apps and games that require a bit more power to operate. It’s not that the Slate can’t handle intensive mobile apps (this Pixel Slate runs on an Intel Core i5, after all), it’s just the experience can be buggy. Android apps and games are not all optimized for a Chrome OS device with a huge screen.

However, using the Google Pixel Slate for browsing was a breeze. Pair it with a stable internet connection and you should run across very few slowdowns or hiccups. Apps certainly had their issues from time to time, but I was using the browser most of the time anyways.

I only used Android apps for very specialized tasks like photo editing, and though there are some design discrepancies between Android and desktop apps, they worked amazingly in terms of performance. Lightroom CC actually worked better on the Pixel Slate than on my Windows and Mac OS computers.

Lightroom CC worked better on the Pixel Slate than on my Windows and Mac OS computers.

Edgar Cervantes


Software & apps

I am definitely a fan of the Chrome OS user interface. It’s simple and to the point. You can pin your favorite apps to the dock, or simply press the search button at any point and start typing what you need. Press the action button in the lower-left corner and you will find a search box, as well as options to see your recent apps or all apps. Settings and notifications will be accessible from the lower-right corner.

Editor’s Pick

That’s about it when it comes to the computer’s UI! It operates much like a desktop PC interface, but it is simpler and cleaner.

Now, let’s talk about the software topic that matters: apps. Chromebooks used to lack software, but now that Chrome OS supports Android apps it can do a lot more. It’s allowed me to do all the things I couldn’t do before.

Not only did Chromebooks get the ability to run Android applications, but Android started getting apps that truly competed with their desktop counterparts.

Edgar Cervantes

Most of my work can be done online, for which the Chrome browser worked seamlessly. I did have to replace a couple offline applications with cloud services. For music I went with Google Play Music, as opposed to playing it locally with iTunes. For documents I used Google Drive instead of the usual Microsoft Office.

A huge part of my job here at Android Authority is overseeing photography. I have to manipulate images all the time. I pay for Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which gets me access to Lightroom CC. I prefer the classic version of Lightroom, but the lighter iteration honestly doesn’t lack much. I had little to no issues creating pro-level photos using Lightroom CC on a Chromebook. Here are a few samples of images solely edited by the Google Pixel Slate.

For those who would rather not pay to use Lightroom CC, there is a plethora of options out there. My favorite free alternative is Snapseed.

I don’t edit much video, and didn’t have to during the month of December, but I have used PowerDirector in the past and it works like a charm.

What I will say is that I will always opt for the web version of a service if available.

Edgar Cervantes

There are also millions of other apps on the Google Play Store. Since most Android apps still aren’t optimized for Chrome OS, I usually opt for the web version if it’s available. Throw an unoptimized app on a large computer screen and they are bound to look at least a bit wonky. There is often a lot of dead space, or text is not proportionate to images. It can be a bit of a mess, depending on the app, which also results in an inconsistent experience.

However, the apps are all there, even if they aren’t perfect. I can now comfortably do every single part of my job using Chrome OS. I never felt like I needed to go to my Windows or Mac OS machines to get something done.

Read: The best Android apps that work great on a Chromebook

Are you a gamer?

Android has plenty of great games, but we all know the serious gaming scene is on Windows. Microsoft’s OS has the widest portfolio of available titles and Chrome OS will likely never beat it (unless Google integrates its cool game streaming service into it).

I found a workaround to do some serious gaming from the Google Pixel Slate.

Edgar Cervantes

In fact, gamers probably wouldn’t even bother to read this article. If by some reason you made it this far, though, let me tell you I found a workaround to do some serious gaming from the Google Pixel Slate.

I have a subscription for Shadow, which offers a virtual Windows 10 computer you can access remotely over the internet. This machine can be used with Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android apps. The remote machine has some serious specs too, including an Intel Xeon CPU, 12GB of RAM, a GTX 1080 GPU, and 256GB of dedicated storage. All for $35 a month.

This is probably an expense you would rather not have to deal with, but if you are serious about gaming and still want the benefits of Chrome OS, this is a way.

Shadow offers a full Windows machine, which means you could technically run any Windows program from it!

Edgar Cervantes

Naturally, the experience is better locally on a powerful Windows machine. The Android app can get a bit buggy, and it froze and slowed down on me about five or six times during the month-long test. Otherwise, it was actually quite fun.

The fact that you get to play any Windows game means you have the widest portfolio at your disposal. I got to play Final Fantasy VII, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with no issues. I got a 1080p@60fps experience, so you can’t really beat that. And don’t forget Shadow offers a full Windows machine, which means you could technically run any Windows program from it!

Of course, Shadow does have some recommendations for an optimal experience. They say you should have a 30Mbps connection, a strong 5GHz Wi-Fi connection (or wired connection), and more. I’ll have more to say about the service in the review I’m working on.

Battery life

We won’t delve too much into this topic, as it is technically something that will vary from machine to machine. I ended up getting about 9 hours of battery life, which is common to see in Chromebooks. These products are not as power hungry as most traditional laptops. Processors and software are getting better at managing energy, and some laptops will beat certain Chromebooks in this department, but the general consensus is that Chrome OS units will last longer.

Should you use a Chromebook as a main computer?

Windows, Mac OS, and Linux still offer benefits like a more refined UI, better optimized apps, and overall more streamlined experiences. Apps and games are also more readily available for them, especially if you have more demanding software needs.


Getting through the month took some compromising. I no longer had the full version of Photoshop or Lightroom Classic, though Lightroom CC and other compatible editing apps are great. I couldn’t really use Adobe Premiere, but PowerDirector is plenty powerful. No serious gaming is available for Chrome OS, but cloud services can compensate.

While my previous attempts to go with a Chrome OS laptop for an extended amount of time resulted in an elongated hair-pulling session, this time I was able to find a worthy solution for all my needs.

Edgar Cervantes

While my previous attempts to go with a Chrome OS laptop for an extended period amounted to elongated hair-pulling sessions, this time I could find worthy solutions for all my needs. I don’t think you should drop your full desktop OS and jump into the Chrome OS platform with both feet — I know I probably won’t be doing that anytime soon. However, now it’s actually possible to do it, and without too much trouble at that. That is saying a lot from someone who works entirely online.

Hey AT&T, stop lying to your customers about 5G

AT&T is at it again. A generation ago, AT&T began marketing 3G technologies as 4G in order to make up for its initial lack of 4G coverage. Fast forward to 2019 and AT&T is doing the same thing. The company is marketing LTE 4G as “5G E” on select Android devices in order to fool customers into thinking they’ve received some sort of upgrade. They haven’t.

This is pathetic, AT&T, and you should be ashamed. And yet somehow, you’re not.

AT&T’s 5G Evolution is simply rebranded LTE-Advanced. It relies on 256QAM, 4×4 MIMO, and three-way carrier aggregation to improve throughput and speeds on compatible devices. AT&T has increased the footprint of this LTE-A technology rapidly over the last year and it is now in more than 400 markets. That’s laudable, but 5G it ain’t.

AT&T coined the 5G Evolution marketing term in 2017. From Day One, the press has rightfully called out AT&T for its bogus and confusing nomenclature. This month AT&T took things to a new low: The company pushed a minor software update to nearly 20 different Android models. Those devices now show “5G E” in the status bar at the top of the screen instead of “4G LTE.”

Consumers who are paying attention know there is no technology improvement here, there’s no actual upgrade, they aren’t connecting to a real mobile 5G network. Not every consumer is as informed, and surely some believe their phones are magically faster. In other words, the change, which is a lie, may be confusing to some people.

AT&T doesn’t care.

Last week during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, AT&T executives doubled-down on the lie.

Igal Elbaz, AT&T senior vice president for wireless technology, told Tom’s Guide, “What we’re trying to do is two things. One is to let the customer know that they are in an enhanced experience market or area. So we’re letting them know this on the device.”

When pushed about the misleading marketing, Elbaz replied, “Our customers will love it.” (Psst, Elbaz, as an AT&T customer I can tell you I’m not lovin’ it. In fact, quite the opposite.)

John Donovan, AT&T Communications CEO, also defended the lie saying, “We felt we had to give [customers] an indicator of when they getting twice traditional 4G speeds.” While LTE-A does provide faster speeds than LTE, it’s still 4G. Calling it anything else is just plain wrong.

AT&T defended the lie.

Eric Zeman

Why is AT&T lying like this? Perhaps the answer is perception. All the major networks are scurrying to launch mobile 5G as rapidly as possible. Each wants to scream “First!” like a 12 year old YouTube commenter.

In October, Verizon launched a non-standard, fixed 5G network in a handful of markets. This is specifically an in-home broadband replacement service. In December, AT&T launched standards-based 5G in a handful of markets. A single device, a $499 mobile hotspot, can access that mobile 5G service. Sprint and T-Mobile are still working on their 5G plans and expect to get things up and running by mid-year.

AT&T’s competitors lashed the company for its approach. Verizon took out a full-page ad bashing AT&T, while Sprint, and T-Mobile also derided the company.

What bugs me most about this is AT&T’s complete and utter disregard for the truth. The company is intentionally misleading its own customers. It makes me sick.

Android in 2018 is the opening act for Android in 2019

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

As the end of 2018 gets closer, we’ll start seeing the usual “Best of 2018” lists for smartphones and mobile devices. Android Authority will take part in all the fun as usual. No doubt some of these lists (and the comments) will mention how lackluster 2018 was for the mobile industry, with incremental updates and little innovation.

To be clear, 2018 hasn’t been bad. We’ve seen incredibly cool devices that slide, pop, and bend. We’ve seen great products made even better with subtle tweaks and refinements. We’ve seen established brands launch new sub-brands to rousing success. We’ve seen brands still establishing themselves achieve things few would have suspected.

There have also been incredible advancements in photography, with multi-lensed smartphones becoming the norm and AI-powered photography tricks empowering even novices to take professional-quality shots.

However, let’s face it: despite all that, 2018 has also been full of yawns.

It’s hard to correctly judge the future, but I think Android in 2018 won’t be fondly remembered in the Android history books.

Just look at how nearly every manufacturer jumped onto the notched display bandwagon, resulting in a deluge of iPhone X clones. Regardless of how you feel about the notch, it’s hard to deny there were a lot of look-alike devices this year, which makes for a pretty yawn-inducing market.

Editor’s Pick

We also yawned at the launch of “new” devices that look and feel so similar to the previous device they’re hard to tell apart. A lot of the major smartphone releases were just revamps of previous devices with a few extra bells and whistles added. Just look at the iPhone XS, Google Pixel 3, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, LG V40 ThinQ, and the Sony Xperia XZ3, all of which are minor steps up from the previous models. It would seem appropriate to label 2018 an “S” year.

Even the Google Pixel 3 XL — one of the most talked-about devices of the year — fully leaked months before it launched, and landed to a chorus of yawns.

For these reasons and more, it would be easy for me to write an article where I bash this year’s Android devices. Instead, I’m going to spin things into a more positive take: Android in 2018 will likely be the competent opening act to the true main event: Android in 2019.

Android in 2019

Samsung Foldable Phone

Each major Android OEM has made a lot of promises about what it will have to offer next year. In fact, companies like Samsung and Motorola dedicated large parts of their 2018 device launches hyping up what is coming soon, rather than what they actually had on offer that day.

Let’s check out what a handful of the major OEMs have coming up.


In early November, Samsung finally revealed its years-in-the-making foldable phone. The potentially game-changing device opens up into a bendable tablet, allowing users to do all sorts of things currently impossible to do on a standard smartphone. Samsung didn’t fully reveal the device at the event but promised we’d see it in 2019.

The 2019 iteration of the Galaxy S series (likely called the Samsung Galaxy S10) looks to be a complete overhaul from what we’ve seen over the past two years. We expect three (or possibly even four) variants of the S10 instead of the usual two, and we expect them to sport some unique technology like 3D mapping scanners and ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensors. It’s also possible the S10 line could launch with an Infinity-O display, with a small hole cut out for the front-facing camera.

We also expect to see a 5G-enabled smartphone from Sammy in 2019. However, we aren’t sure if it will be part of the S10 line or something all its own.

Regardless, we know Samsung is currently in a “crisis” and working hard behind the scenes to get consumers excited about buying its smartphones again, which is good news for all of us.


OnePlus is revamping its entire smartphone strategy in 2019 by releasing a 5G model that won’t be a successor to the most recent OnePlus 6T. That means there will likely be two smartphone lines running concurrently from OnePlus. This will be the biggest strategy change for the company since it launched the OnePlus X in 2015.

OnePlus also might release a television in 2019, as weird as that sounds. The Chinese company gets bigger, more popular, and more ambitious every year. 2019 will likely be quite exciting for OnePlus.

The major Android OEMs have made some big promises in 2019 which are making us pretty excited.


Xiaomi is doing some exciting things in 2019, too. It’s already started to trickle into new territories this year, including the U.K. The company is also selling products in the United States, but not smartphones yet. It’s absolutely possible we’ll see Xiaomi smartphones worldwide in 2019, even in the U.S.

The launch of the ultra-cheap Pocophone F1 was one of the surprise hits of 2018, and we fully expect Xiaomi to double down on its new sub-brand in 2019. While the Pocophone F1 was certainly awesome, it wasn’t without flaws, and we hope the Pocophone F2 (or whatever it gets called) will fix some of those issues.

As with most other OEMs on this list, Xiaomi is promising a 5G smartphone in 2019. It’s also promising a foldable phone to compete with Samsung (and possibly LG). Either way, we’d just be happy to finally be able to buy Xiaomi devices in the U.S.


Like Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, and others, Huawei has promised a foldable phone in 2019. However, it is one-upping the competition by claiming its foldable device will be 5G capable and possibly even the first one from a major OEM to market.

Huawei will be pushing its very popular sub-brand Honor hard in 2019. In certain areas of the world, Huawei’s biggest competitor is Honor, which is the best kind of problem for any company to have. As such, you can likely expect more powerful mid-range and budget devices for incredibly cheap prices.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing Huawei devices in the United States in 2019. The company could surprise us, but it looks like we’ll still be watching Huawei’s success from afar in the immediate future.


Let’s face it: 2018 hasn’t been the greatest year for LG. After a controversial decision to abandon its original plans for the follow-up to the LG G6, the company launched the LG G7 ThinQ later than planned and to lukewarm sales. The company’s smartphone lineup has gotten incredibly confusing, with the LG V30 quickly followed up by the LG V30S ThinQ and then the LG V35 ThinQ after that, and so on.

However, 2019 could be a new dawn for LG. It’s even apparently hired a “turnaround expert” to solve its mounting financial woes in the mobile sector.

Nothing would please us more than to see LG make a true comeback. LG devices are usually pretty awesome, albeit with a few caveats, but those caveats combined with a usually-very-high asking price make them hard to recommend. Hopefully, LG’s future strategy will take this into account.

Choose your perspective

Many of you reading this might be disappointed with 2018’s phones. You might be holding on to your 2017 device because nothing this year motivated you to run out and replace it. That makes sense.

However, just because 2018 didn’t blow us away, it doesn’t mean we should start with the doomsday talk. We can choose to see 2018 as a stepping stone year, building up the hype for what’s going to really wow us in 2019. There are certainly enough potentially awesome things on the horizon to warrant a positive outlook.

Do you agree? Do you think 2018 is paving the way for an awesome 2019, or do you think next year will be more of the same? Sound off in the comments!

NEXT: Google dev hints Android Q previews could come to more users, sooner

iOS notifications have been improved, but Android’s are still better

iOS vs Android Notifications

When most compare Android to iOS, the first thing people typically bring up is that Google’s mobile operating system is customizable while Apple’s is rigid and set in a walled garden. While this can be argued for and against, one of the critical aspects of each operating system is how they handle notifications.

As Apple recently introduced new notification grouping in iOS 12 and Google has been working to provide Android users with more control over notifications, let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each mobile operating system.

Grouping notifications

iOS Notifications

Apple as a company took a significant step forward with iOS 12 and introduced a feature users have been requesting for years: notification grouping. With the update installed, iPhone and iPad owners no longer have a long-running list of incoming notifications. In its place is a long-running list of incoming notifications that are grouped by whichever they came from.

If it sounds like Apple’s new notification grouping feature is still a pain point, that’s because it is. This will be touched on in another section.

Editor’s Pick

Google first introduced grouped notifications, or bundles, with the release of Android Nougat in 2016. By stacking or combining all of the incoming notifications from a single app into a single card, users wouldn’t have to worry about a cluttered status bar.

The implementation of bundles have been improved upon in Oreo and now Pie, but the feature became a hit and was widely adopted within the Android app ecosystem.

iOS Notifications
Android Notifications

As previously mentioned, a similar notification grouping feature was added with the release of iOS 12. Each of these groupings shows the name of the app that supplied the notification, how many notifications there are to view, and displays the preview of the last notification to come in.

I will note that not ever app follows this practice by default. Twitter, for example, groups notifications based on the sender of the tweet. Instead of every notification from the social network showing up in a single grouping, I have multiple groupings, each one based on the account who shared something on the platform. Fortunately, this can be changed in the app’s notification settings.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max: Which is worth your $1,000?

Lastly, Android sorts the groupings of notifications by importance instead of leaving everything in chronological order like iOS. While it’s nice having the latest notification right at the top of the list, I find it much more useful when Android places texts and urgent messages front and center. It helps me not lose track of them in the chaos of other incoming notifications.

Interacting with notifications

Android Notifications

This is a section where iOS and Android are pretty much neck and neck, but Android still retains the lead. While implemented in slightly different fashions, both operating systems give the user almost identical options when interacting with the notification.

Using Twitter as the example again, on Android, you can swipe downward on an individual notification and choose to Reply, Retweet, or Like the Tweet. These same actions are available on iOS, but it requires you to swipe the notification card left or right, tap on the View button, and then interact with the tweet once things were finished loading.

Dismissing notifications is also a lot easier on Android. With a simple flick to the right or left, the card is gone and never to be seen again. On iOS, you slide the notification to the side and then you can tap on the Clear button to get rid of it.

iOS Notifications
iOS Notifications

The process is almost identical for groups of notifications. On Android, swiping the group one way or the other dismisses the whole bunch. On iOS, sliding over the bundle brings up a Clear All button. Additionally, after expanding a group of notifications on an Apple device, there is an X button that can clear everything away.

If you just want to clear away every notification on the phone in one grand sweep, both operating systems allow you to do that.

I will admit that the extra steps required by iOS to dismiss notifications can get annoying, but it adds a safeguard so that you don’t accidentally dismiss something. Far too often I somehow swipe away an entire group of notifications on Android when I meant only to get rid of one. By making it a two-step process on iOS, this isn’t a problem.

Notification settings

Android Notifications

Over the last several versions of Android, Google has added additional controls that allow users more authority over app notifications. Instead of just wholly allowing or blocking an app from throwing up notifications whenever it wants, the user can now go into any app through the Settings and adjust what they do and don’t want to see.

Comparing the options made available for Twitter on both operating systems, iOS does give the user a lot more control over where and when they would like to see notifications.

On Android, the user can choose to disable all notifications or individually turn off types of notifications. Google calls these channels.

iOS Notifications

All of these settings are offered on iOS in addition to so much more. On an iPhone or iPad, the user can decide if they want to see a notification on the lock screen, in the notification center, as a banner, or any combination of the three. They also have control over if incoming notifications should inform the user with a sound, show badges, and display previews of the alerts.

While Android has come a long way over the last several years, iOS offers a lot more notification customization options on a per-app basis.

Why Android is still the champ (in my opinion)

Android Notifications
Android Notifications

As I made clear at the beginning of this comparison, I am not a fan of how iOS handles notifications. On Android, notification icons are ever present whether you’re looking at the lock screen or the status bar. By always having the notifications front and center, the operating system makes sure you don’t miss out on information that might be important to you.

With iOS, notifications are hidden and out of sight, almost as if Apple expects you to search for incoming notifications if you know that they might be important.

When the iPhone XS came out, I temporarily made the switch to iOS. It was a welcome change (wow, apps are built so much better for iOS), but I had an ongoing struggle with notifications. Because of the way that things are tucked away, I would constantly miss messages only to stumble across them hours later.

Read next: An Android fanboy spends an enlightening week with an iPhone

Now before anyone writes a comment, yes, iOS does feature notification badges that highlight how many unread messages and alerts that you have. This only supports my argument about having to hunt and search for your notifications.

An argument can and has been made against Android and how it pushes users to keep checking and dismissing notifications so that they aren’t just sitting there in your face. While it’s still a work in progress, Google did release Digital Wellbeing as a way to completely hide notifications if the user so wishes.

Digital Wellbeing Hands-On

Unfortunately, Digital Wellbeing is currently only available for Pixel and Android One phones. Here’s hoping the feature becomes available to all Android devices in the future.

So, for me, Android still offers a better notification system over iOS. I get a lot of notifications which means I spend more time managing all of the alerts, but by going through them in order to clear them from my status bar, I don’t feel like I miss anything. 

Editor’s Pick

There’s a definite benefit and need to hide notifications occasionally, but iOS does it in such a way that made me feel required to continually check my iPhone just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

If there was one thing that I wish Android would copy from iOS, it would be the ability to retain notifications after restarting the phone. It doesn’t happen often anymore, but when Android was more buggy, there were times that my handset would just shut off, making me lose any unread notifications.

Again, this isn’t the most significant feature in the world, but it would be nice to have.

What do you think about iOS’ new notification system? Do you think it’s still worse than Android’s or is it on par? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Get ready for the upcoming Android Dev Summit with the official app

  • Google has announced the official app for the upcoming Android Dev Summit.
  • The app presents a schedule of all of the conference’s events and lets you livestream the conference.
  • The app also works as an Instant App, which lets you use the app without fully downloading it onto your device.

With Google’s Android Developer Summit right around the corner, the company has announced the official app for the upcoming developer get-together.

The app lets you look through the conference schedule and all of the keynotes, sessions, and lightning talks that will take place over the two days. You can also save those events to your own calendar, they’re color-coded based on type (like breaks or sessions).

You can also stream the event from the app, though you can also stream it from the website if the app does not fit your needs.

As a nice bonus, the Android Dev Summit app also doubles as an Instant App. This lets you try out the app without needing to fully download it on your device. That is why you will see the “Open App” option when you get to the Android Dev Summit app on the Play Store.

Editor’s Pick

As for the event itself, the Android Dev Summit is expected to bring together Android developers from various walks of life for two days of technical sessions with Google’s engineering team. There is even a keynote speech, which vice president of Android engineering Dave Burke and group product manager for Google Search and Ads Stephanie Cuthbertson hosted during 2017’s Android Dev Summit.

The discussions during this year’s Android Dev Summit will likely focus on the nitty-gritty of Android and its SDK tools. That compares drastically to Google I/O, which typically delivers more consumer-friendly news and developments.

You can download the Android Dev Summit 2018 app at the link below. You can also follow the developments on Twitter. The Android Dev Summit will be held in the Computer History Museum in California and go from November 7 through November 8.

Pop quiz: Is this an Android or iOS feature?

Pop quiz - iPhone XS Max and Google Pixel 3 XL

The 10 questions in this quiz revolve around popular smartphone features, and your job is to figure out whether they are available on Android, iOS, or both operating systems. To be more specific, we’re talking exclusively about stock Android and iOS running on iPhones, which makes the quiz a lot more challenging.

Do you think you know enough about the two operating systems to get a good score? Find out by pressing the Start button below — and don’t forget to share your result on social media at the end.

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

This is the 13th quiz in our regular weekly series. You can take the other 12 via the links below:

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