We have free MapleStory M gift codes worth $10 — get them while they last!

Popular MMORPG MapleStory M just received some new updates. To celebrate, MapleStory M developer Nexon gave us a bunch of free gift codes with $10 worth of in-game goodies. We’re giving them away to Android Authority readers while supplies last!

The new MapleStory M update brings a dragon master class, in-game events, mini-games, and more. Check out the game’s listing on the Google Play Store to learn all about it.

The free gift code contains the following items:

  • Auto Battle Tickets (30min)
  • Orange EXP tickets
  • VIP Teleport Rock

If you’d like to add these items to your MapleStory M account totally free of charge, follow the instructions below!

  1. Click here to download MapleStory M to your Android device.
  2. After you’ve installed the game, make sure you create an account so you can use the gift code.
  3. Once you’re all set up, fill out the simple form here with your name and email address.
  4. Wait for your code to arrive in the email address you added to the form.
  5. Login to MapleStory M and go to the “Options” menu.
  6. Tap “Enter Coupon” and type in your coupon code.
  7. Watch as the free items get automatically added to your account!

There are a very limited amount of codes, so act fast. We will update this article once we are out of codes, so if you’re reading this there are still codes available!

Click below to download MapleStory M and get started with the process:

Samsung gunning for the low-end market with Galaxy M series?

The Wi-Fi Alliance has certified an upcoming Samsung smartphone believed to be the Galaxy M10. The phone was certified earlier today, as spotted by 91Mobiles (via PhoneArena), indicating Samsung may launch it within the next few weeks.

According to the certification document, the phone has serial number SM-M105F/DS — the DS standing for dual-SIM — and will run Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with support for the 2.4 GHz frequency band.

The Wi-Fi Alliance gives little else away about the handset, but 91Mobiles’ sources have hinted at some specifics about it.

A Wi-Fi Alliance screenshot of a new Samsung phone certification. Wi-Fi Alliance

It’s tipped to be part of a new budget lineup from Samsung, with the M10 packing an Exynos 7870 chip at 1.59GHz, 3GB RAM, and 16GB or 32GB storage. It’s also set to come with a more powerful version, the Samsung Galaxy M20.

These phones would apparently start from 10,000 rupees (~$140) in India, pitting them against phones like the Oppo Realme 2 (starting at 8,990 rupees, or ~$127.50) and the Xiaomi Redmi 6 (7,999 rupees, ~$113).

Editor’s Pick

Chinese OEMs have been trouncing Samsung in the low-end market lately, though Samsung has been making positive moves this year with the release of phones like its ultra-budget Android One device, the Samsung J2 Core. This launched in India for 6,190 rupees, or ~$88.

The Galaxy M10 may launch as soon as January, but will it help Samsung claw back market-share from Chinese OEMs? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

The Android Authority year-end survey: Help us become better!

Hey, Android Authority readers, we need you. Only you can help us become better by providing honest feedback to questions about our website, our content, and our community.

Throughout 2018, we improved our team and our organization, with one goal only: to better serve you, our audience. You’ve probably seen some new faces around the website and our social channels. We launched exciting new content projects like Gary Explains and Best of Android Readers’ Choice. We worked to improve the website experience and reduce our reliance on ads. Above all, we did our best to keep up with the ever-growing number of phones launching around the world (remember #phonepocalypse?). And we’re not slowing down in 2019.

Here’s where you come in. Whether you read Android Authority religiously or just like to watch a video now and then, you can help shape our plans for 2019 and beyond by answering a short survey. It only takes a few minutes to help us become better in every way.

Click on the button below to get started and stay tuned for a peek at our 2019 plans, coming soon.

Google will spend $1 billion on new NYC campus ‘Google Hudson Square’

A Google logo.

  • The new Google NYC campus will be called “Google Hudson Square.”
  • Google Hudson Square will cost at least $1 billion.
  • The campus expansion will be finalized by 2022 and will allow Google to double its current staff numbers in the city.

Today, Google revealed its official plans for the expansion of its New York City campus, via Politico. The new Google NYC headquarters will be dubbed “Google Hudson Square,” aptly named due to the location of the buildings in the lower Manhattan district by the same name.

Google plans to invest over $1 billion in the creation of the campus.

There will be three buildings in all that make up the campus: two pre-existing buildings on Hudson Street and a yet-to-be-built building on nearby Washington Street. Google expects to begin moving into the Hudson Street buildings by 2020 and for the new building to be complete by 2022.

Editor’s Pick

Google and Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in a blog post that the company will also “continue to deepen our commitments in STEM education, workforce development and access to technology,” which will include creating a program to train workers in digital skills. “We believe that as our company grows, we have a responsibility to support the communities we call home,” she said.

The Google NYC expansion comes as other tech giants from the west coast start moving eastward. Amazon’s move to both New York City and Virginia, in particular, is causing some controversy due to the heavy tax breaks the company is receiving. Several New York City protests have already happened related to the move.

However, Google has had a presence in New York for years already with little fanfare. It’s likely this expansion won’t receive the same amount of antagonism.

NEXT: Rhode Island sues Google over the two Google+ data breaches

California could tax text messages (Update: Vote canceled, no tax for now)

An image of the California flag on a white pole with blue sky behind it. Wikimedia

Update, December 17, 2018 (09:45 AM ET): California planned to vote in January on the “text tax” detailed below, but now it looks like the vote is canceled. According to ABC 7 News, an FCC ruling blocked the vote.

The FCC ruled that text messages are an information service, not a telecommunications service. Therefore, texting cannot be taxed like landline service is in California.

For now, it looks like Californians are safe from getting taxed for text messages, although the state could try to push this through again at a later date.


Original Article, December 13, 2108 (12:36 PM ET): Most of us in the United States have unlimited texting on our mobile phone plans, allowing us to send as many as we like with little regard. However, if a new California bill gets passed in 2019, each and every text message Californians send could be taxed, via USA Today.

The tax bill is partially aimed at filling in gaps in California tax revenue related to landline phones. Each year, California makes billions from landline phone taxes — but since fewer and fewer people use landline phones, that revenue is drying up fast, and this new text message bill could help make up the difference.

In 2011, California made about $16.5 billion from landline taxes, while in 2017, the state only made $11.3 billion from the same revenue source.

Editor’s Pick

Meanwhile, the amount of money the state spends on subsidizing phone service for poorer residents in the state is increasing fairly quickly. In 2011, California spent $670 million on phone service subsidies, while in 2017 the state spent nearly $1 billion.

The subsidies are related to the Public Purpose Programs, which identify certain telecommunications services as being “universal,” and thus necessary for all residents to have the ability to easily access. If California can identify text messaging as part of the Public Purpose Program, the state would earn tax revenue from “normal” users to then subsidize those who are less fortunate.

Predictably, the telecommunications industry opposes the bill, saying that it is “illogical, anticompetitive, and harmful to consumers.” Industry reps point to non-texting services — such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. — as being platforms which handle the lion’s share of messaging nowadays. Since these services would not be taxed under this legislation, the carriers would be put at a significant disadvantage.

After all, if every text message you sent cost you money, why would you ever send a text message?

The proposal will not see a vote this year but is on the docket for early 2019.

NEXT: 10 best texting apps and SMS apps for Android

Insta360 ONE and ONE X action camera international giveaway!

It’s time for the Sunday giveaway!

A big congratulations to the winner of last week’s OnePlus 6T international giveaway, Offord from Canada.

This week we’re giving away three Insta360 cameras!

In the world of 360 action cameras, it doesn’t get much better than the new Insta360 ONE X.

The Insta360 ONE X was made to provide best-in-class image quality no matter the environment, whether you’re skiing down a snowy mountain or deep-sea diving. It’s able to shoot 5.7K video at 30fps, 4K video at 50fps, and 3K video at 100fps. Perhaps most importantly, the ONE X features FlowState Stabilization, which means you’ll never have to worry about your videos coming out shaky.

We’re not just giving away one camera this week, we’re giving away three… and more! Check out the giveaway widget below to find out how to win. And if you want to see some great Insta360 ONE X footage, be sure to follow Insta360 on Instagram and subscribe on YouTube!

Enter the giveaway here

Insta360 ONE and ONE X action camera international giveaway!

Don’t miss: JBL Charge 4 giveaway

Winners gallery

Terms & conditions

  • This is an international giveaway (except when we can not ship to your country).
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • We are not responsible if your giveaway prize malfunctions.
  • You must be age of majority in your country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties or import fees that you may incur.
  • Only one entry per person; please do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • This giveaway is operated by Android Authority.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

More: Android Authority international giveaway FAQs

This dashcam keeps you safe on the road, and it’s just $25

Black Box HD Car Dashcam

YouTube is awash with audacious insurance scammers. There are people who throw themselves onto stationary cars and slide down the hood. They’re pretty funny as a neutral observer, but it’s only a dashcam saving the drivers from being defrauded.

Having an accurate record of bad behavior on the road can save you your insurance premium. It could even save someone’s life if you stop the perpetrator causing future damage. The easiest way to do it is to get a dashcam, and we’ve got just the deal for you.

The camera records in a continuous loop, so you always have the latest footage.

The Hi-Res car dashcam from Black Box is an affordable option that does everything you need. It’ll happily record what’s going on in the road ahead of you, and protect you in the event of any dispute.

The dashcam records hours of HD footage, but obviously you only need it if there’s an incident — you’re not going to be reliving the memory of your smoothest journeys in a few years time. To save space, it records in a continuous loop, so you always have the latest footage.

The dashcam at a glance:

  • Captures HD footage
  • Operates as both a recorder and digital camera
  • Ensures any accident is recorded
  • Records over older recordings so you always have the latest footage
  • Continues recording when your car suddenly jerks or shakes, even if the device is turned off
  • Offers up to two hours of recording time with the 8GB microSD card
  • Includes capacity for a microSD card up to a 32GB (not included)

The dashcam has a list price of almost $120, but it’s on offer this Christmas season. Well, until Monday anyway. If you get in quick enough, you can pick one up for just $24.99. If not for you, maybe you can tick your dad off the gift buying list, and it free international shipping is included.

To get your hands on the dashcam while it’s in stock hit 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.


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!

CuriosityStream is documentary heaven for $1.25 per month

CuriosityStream

Most people enjoy a good documentary. You learn interesting things, but you don’t have to read a book, and you often get stunning visuals.

If you know someone who particularly loves documentaries, CuriosityStream is the ideal Christmas gift. It’s an on-demand streaming service specializing in award-winning programming about science, nature, history, technology, society, and more.

Launched by the guy who founded the Discovery Channel, CuriostyStream has an unparalleled library of over 2,000 documentaries to choose from. You’ll find high-quality shows from some of the giants of the genre such as Sir David Attenborough and Professor Stephen Hawking.

CuriosityStream

There are even original documentaries exclusive to CuriosityStream, making it worth the signup fee alone. You can stream them to all of your devices of course.

CuriosityStream at a glance:

  • Stream an unlimited amount of content every month
  • Enjoy your content any time and anywhere via web browser, mobile app, TV, or tablet
  • Explore more than 2,000 documentaries and shows, including award-winning originals
  • Discover new favorites with personalized recommendations
  • Browse collections and lists curated by CuriosityStream’s expert team

CuriosityStream normally costs $3 per month, or $20 per year. However, right now at Tech Deals you can pick up a two-year subscription for just $29.99. That’s just $1.25 per month, and you don’t even have to go shopping.

The deal expires in less than two days, so move quickly if you’re interested. The link below takes you to it.

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 1More Stylish TWS are affordable alternatives to the Apple AirPods

1More Stylish TWS true wireless earbuds.

Android device owners have another alternative to Apple’s AirPods with audio device company 1More’s Stylish TWS. The Stylish TWS are 1More’s first pair of true wireless earbuds.

In terms of design, the Stylish TWS are in-ear earbuds with circular silicone hooks that help them stay in your ears. The earbuds include three different sized ear tips and silicone hooks just in case the installed ones don’t fit.

Each earbud features a multi-functional button near the back. The left earbud’s button lets you play, pause, skip, and rewind your music. The right earbud’s button lets you answer, hang up, and decline incoming phone calls.


1More is known more for sound quality than design, however. To that end, the Stylish TWS feature 7mm dynamic drivers for sound quality and a MEMS microphone to block out environmental noise in phone calls.

Editor’s Pick

Unfortunately, the Stylish TWS will only last two and a half hours at 50 percent volume. The included charging case provides an extra seven hours of listening.

The price makes it easier to deal with the mediocre battery life. You can pre-order the Stylish TWS at the link below for $99.99. You can pick up the earbuds in black or gold, with pink and green color options coming soon.

Apple will update China iPhones to prevent ban, but Qualcomm still fighting

  • Apple will send software updates to several iPhone models in China to remove features disputed by Qualcomm as illegal. This will, hopefully, avoid a Chinese iPhone sales ban.
  • However, Qualcomm is at the same time fighting for the potential sales ban to cover even more iPhone models.
  • Apple admitted that if it cannot avoid the Chinese sales ban, it will be forced to settle with Qualcomm.

Earlier this week, a Chinese court issued a set of preliminary injunctions in the patent fight between Apple and Qualcomm. The injunctions — which heavily favor Qualcomm — essentially put a Chinese sales ban into effect for the Apple iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Apple revealed today, via Reuters, that it will push a software update to the Chinese iPhones in question next week. This software update will change and/or remove the disputed Qualcomm technology, which Apple hopes will allow the company to avoid the sales ban.

“Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case,” Apple said. “Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance.”

Editor’s Pick

Originally, Apple claimed the sales ban was irrelevant because the iPhone models in question all run iOS 12, which the company argues fixes the issues revolving around the case. However, Apple must have changed its mind, as now it is pushing an update.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Chinese courts to decide if this future software update will be enough to avoid the sales ban.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm is pushing even harder on Apple, apparently emblazoned by the preliminary injunctions win this week. According to The Financial Times (via Engadget), Qualcomm is now pushing for the sales ban to also include the Apple iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Should the Chinese courts deem the software update to not be enough to avoid the ban, Apple concedes it would have no other option but to settle with Qualcomm. If this comes to pass, it would be an enormous win for Qualcomm in its years-long fight with Apple over alleged patent licensing infringement.

However, Apple does not mince words when describing how destructive an Apple sales ban in China would be. Apple had this to say in a December 10 filing, via The South China Morning Post:

“Apple will be forced to settle with the Respondent, causing all mobile phone manufacturers to relapse into the previous unreasonable charging mode and pay high licensing fees, resulting in unrecoverable losses in the downstream market of mobile phones. Apple, many other companies, and consumers … will suffer truly irreparable harm, [and the Chinese government] may suffer hundreds of thousands of tax losses.”

We can only assume that next week we will learn whether the Chinese courts will grant Apple some leniency in this case.

NEXT: Apple tipped to be working on own modem for iPhones, but don’t expect it soon