What version of Android are you running? (Poll of the Week)

Last week’s poll summary: Last week, we asked you if you’d ever buy a slider phone. Surprisingly, out of almost 56,000 total votes, the results were pretty much split down the middle – roughly 50.5 percent of voters said they wouldn’t buy a slider phone, while 49.5 percent said they would.


Android updates may be rolling out faster than ever before, but the majority of users still aren’t running the latest version of Android. At least, we think — Google hasn’t updated the Android distribution dashboard since late October 2018. At that time, Android 9 Pie wasn’t even on the chart, meaning it was installed on less than 0.1 percent of all Android devices.

See For Yourself

However, thanks to initiatives like Project Treble, third-party manufacturers have been able to roll out Android 9 Pie to their devices much quicker than ever before. We looked at the data and found many manufacturers averaging roughly 118 days before rolling out Pie to their devices, whereas the number was closer to 170 days for the Oreo update.

We want to hear from you. What version of Android is your phone running?

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

Next: Android Q: The top features we know about so far

Deal: 9 Cisco certification toolkits to launch your career

The Complete Cisco Network Certification Training Bundle

If the January gloom of your job is getting you down, how about starting a lucrative new career as a Cisco engineer instead? Today’s deal could be your ticket.

Networks are integral to every organization on the planet, meaning network engineers are in high demand. Cisco is by far the biggest name in networking, so Cisco certifications are highly sought-after when businesses are looking to recruit.

‘Cisco remains the biggest single player in enterprise networking, and it’s not particularly close.’ — NetworkWorld

If you’re thinking of earning your stripes, the Complete Cisco Network Certification Training Bundle is about as extensive and affordable as professional tuition gets.

This huge bundle contains nine learning kits, and the premium content is tailored to suit all levels of experience. A wide range of networking topics is covered, from the basics through to video networks, wireless networks, and security.

The Complete Cisco Network Certification Training Bundle

Each course contains all the materials you need to prepare for a particular certification exam. As you successfully pass each exam you further enhance your value in the global marketplace.

The acronym intake is pretty heavy at first, but you’ll quickly pick it up. Stick with the bundle and you’ll become a network specialist from the comfort of your own home.

The Complete Cisco Certification Bundle:

The learning kits have a total retail value of over $800 but right now, you can get the entire bundle for only $59.

This offer expires in a few days, so no time like the present. Hit the button below to learn 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.

This week in Android: It’s weird phone week

We got to play with a lot of cool tech at CES 2019, but little was cooler than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Qualcomm had a reference device sporting the new SoC and we were able to put it through its paces, including our very own Speed Test G. The results are impressive.

In other big news this week, we found out Motorola is planning on bringing back the Razr phone, made famous in the mid 2000s. We don’t know a lot about the phone itself, but we can make some guesses based on a patent from August of last year.

Plus, we look ahead at the future of LG and OnePlus, including a new peculiar accessory for LG. Also, we have good news and bad news about Huawei’s security.

Here are your top stories for the week

4:20 – Snapdragon 855 performance and benchmarking: Speed Test G, AnTuTu & Geekbench

At CES, Gary Sims previewed the Snapdragon 855 processor in reference hardware. He had some fun with it.


21:45 – You’ll flip for the foldable Motorola Razr smartphone reboot

Motorola (read: Lenovo) is talking about releasing a new version of the Razr phone, this time with a folding screen.


34:40 – Google Pixel 3 Lite leaks in video review: Should you expect flagship photo quality?

The back of the Google Pixel 3 Lite. Andro News

The Google Pixel 3 Lite wanted to be just like its older siblings and come out with a full leak before its official announcement. Mission accomplished.


44:20 – Yes, there is a system-wide dark theme in this early Android Q build

You’ve been asking for it. Google’s giving it to you. A full, system-wide dark theme for those late-night phone-using sessions.


Meanwhile, here are some stories we couldn’t cover on the podcast

OnePlus in 2019: A force to be reckoned with

OnePlus made some remarkable strides in 2018, including working with a U.S. carrier for the first time. Will OnePlus be able to keep that momentum going in 2019?


Huawei Mate 20 Pro camera review

Huawei Mate 20 Pro triple camera close up

We took a deep dive into the camera on Huawei’s latest flagship and the results are a little surprising. No spoilers here though. You gotta click through.


LG in 2019: No more excuses

LG has not made great strides in the mobile space of late. It’s time for LG to do something to finally gain some world-wide ground.


LG might make a phone you can add another screen to… no joke

But honestly, LG, this probably isn’t it.


Opinion: Slider phones might seem cool, but are a design dead end

Slider phones are a great way to get smaller bezels, but they’re not a permanent solution. We break down why.


Huawei founder breaks years-long public silence to talk company security

The founder of Huawei had a few things to say about security and how the company handles security. Which is nice and all, but…


Huawei is reportedly under federal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department

Now don’t get us wrong, this particular case isn’t as bad as it sounds, but it’s not good either.


Xiaomi’s new in-display fingerprint sensor solves one big issue

Xiaomi showed off a video of a new kind of in-screen fingerprint sensor which has a larger touch area, making it easier to unlock your phone.


Galaxy S10 Plus photo leak: Is this Samsung’s new flagship?

A Samsung Galaxy S10 was spotted in the wild. Check it out here!


Who wants to win a Samsung Galaxy Note 9?

This week, we’re giving away a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 9Enter this week’s Sunday giveaway for your chance to win!

Don’t miss these videos

That’s it, folks! We’ll have another giveaway and more top Android stories for you next week. To stay up to date on all things Android Authority in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters at the link below.

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Compare your Unlimited plan to these soon-to-vanish offers from Verizon and Sprint

How much are you paying for your Unlimited plan?

Even if your plan was a killer deal at the time, the competition between carriers has only been growing fiercer. This month, Verizon and Sprint are both pulling out all the stops to attract new customers with an impressive lineup of Unlimited plans, but you’ll have to act before January 31.

Keep your monthly bill in mind as you browse these offerings:


(Note: Verizon’s Unlimited plans here are part of a family mix-and-match promotion. The more phones you bring on, the cheaper your rate per device (1-4 phones). Subscribers don’t all have to have the same plan – you might choose two devices on Go Unlimited, one on Beyond Unlimited, and another on Above Unlimited. That way different family members only pay for the plans they need) 


Verizon Go Unlimited

Go Unlimited is Verizon’s budget-conscious offering of the bunch. Unlimited talk, text, and data with mobile hotspot capabilities and access to Apple Music for six months. You’ll also get a $250 prepaid Mastercard when you bring your own eligible phone.

1 phone – $75
2 phones – $65
3 phones – $50
4 phones – $40

Includes

  • Unlimited 4G LTE data
  • Unlimited talk & text
  • DVD-quality streaming (480p)
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot (600Kbps)
  • Verizon Up Rewards
  • Mexico & Canada talk, text, & data included
  • Apple Music free for six months


Verizon Beyond Unlimited

Beyond Unlimited is for users who stream lots of music or video. Of course you’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data with high-speed mobile hotspot capabilities, but a full Apple Music membership is also included. Streaming is HD-Quality (720p).

Beyond Unlimited also has Premium Unlimited 4G LTE Data to the tune of 22GB. What Verizon means by “Premium” is that for your first 22GB of data every month, your traffic will be handled with priority. After 22GB, you may experience slowdowns during times of heavy use. 

Once more, $250 prepaid Mastercards are offered to those bringing their own eligible devices.

1 phone – $85
2 phones – $80
3 phones – $60
4 phones – $50

Includes

  • Premium unlimited 4G LTE data (22GB)
  • Unlimited talk & text
  • HD-quality streaming (720p)
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot (15GB at 4GLTE)
  • Verizon Up Rewards
  • Mexico & Canada talk, text & data included
  • Apple Music included


Verizon Above Unlimited

Above Unlimited is Verizon’s powerhouse offering. If you’re a frequent flyer who needs global connection or a power user who churns through data at an incredible rate, this is the plan for you.

Naturally, you get unlimited talk, text, and data and high speed mobile hotspot capability. Apple Music is included, as are five travel passes every month that can be used in over 130 countries. The Premium Unlimited here snags you 75GB of uncompromised data monthly, and your streaming quality is HD (720p). Furthermore, you get half a TB of storage on the Verizon Cloud.

1 phone – $95
2 phones – $90
3 phones – $70
4 phones – $60

Includes

  • Premium unlimited 4G LTE data (75GB)
  • Unlimited talk & text
  • HD-quality streaming (720p)
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot (20GB at 4G LTE)
  • Verizon Up Rewards
  • Mexico & Canada talk, text & data included
  • 5 Travel Passes per month for use in more than 130 countries
  • Exclusive 500GB of Verizon Cloud
  • Apple Music included


Sprint Unlimited Kickstart

Sprint’s Unlimited Kickstart is a stripped-down plan that offers basic unlimited service at a very competitive price. Don’t expect any extra features with this one, but if all you want is to get away from data restrictions and not worry about extra fees, it’s a pretty solid deal.

There are no leasing options with Unlimited Kickstart. Bring your own phone or buy one from Sprint outright, then you’re free to enjoy your unlimited access for just $25 per month.

Includes

  • Unlimited talk, text & data


Sprint Unlimited Basic

Sprint Unlimited Basic is Ol’ Yeller’s default offering going at a promotional rate for a limited time. In addition to unlimited talk, text, and data, you’ll get 500MB of high speed mobile hotspot capability followed by unlimited data at 3G speeds. Bring your own phone, or lease one.

Unlimited Basic also comes with a Hulu subscription, which is a definite perk. 

This plan will be particularly attractive to families, as savings increase dramatically if you have 3-5 people on your plan:

1 phone – $60
2 phones – $100
3 phones – $100 (through 1/31/20 then $120/mo.)
4 phones – $100 (through 1/31/20 then $140/mo.)
5 phones – $100 (through 1/31/20 then $160/mo.)

Includes

  • Unlimited talk, text & data
  • Sprint Flex Lease
  • Mobile motspot
  • Hulu included

Learn More


Sprint Free Unlimited

You read that right. Sprint is running a limited time promotion that offers Unlimited service for a full year at $0 per month.

If that’s not a deal, I don’t know what is.

This is offer is available for those bringing along their own eligible device. There are no annual contracts or activation fees, and the total savings allegedly exceed $800 in the first year. This version of Sprint Unlimited doesn’t include Hulu, and some other restrictions apply.

To check your phone’s eligibility and the full details of this offer, click the button below.


Verizon and Sprint are certainly kicking off 2019 with a bang. If you’re paying more for less on your current plan, it might be a good time to make the swap to a new one. Just remember to act before January 31!

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

We asked, you told us: Slider phones aren’t for you

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 - slider mechanism

In the quest to get rid of bezels, smartphone companies have made countless attempts to redesign smartphones. While most companies are now moving towards hole-punch displays, some are experimenting with sliding phones.

This design concept separates the screen portion of the phone from the rest of the handset. By doing this, the screen can include minimal amounts of bezel as the front-facing camera and other sensors are located behind the display on the main part of the device.

The primary issue with this design is that there are moving pieces. Whether the sliding mechanism is done automatically with a motor or the user has to slide the two pieces apart physically, something could break or get damaged. If that happens, you lose access to the camera and any other sensor hidden behind the display.

So with phones like the OnePlus 7 rumored to be using a slider mechanism, we decided if you would buy a slider phone. Here are your answers.

Would you buy a slider phone?

Results

Surprisingly, the results are almost split down the middle. While a majority of the 1,800+ voters who voiced their opinion on the website stated that they would buy a slider phone, the polls from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all skewed to “no.”

As outlined above, it appears that most people are against the slider form factor because there’s a chance that something might break. But on the other side, a lot of people said they were all for the change in style since it would stop companies from introducing phones with notches and hole-punch cameras.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • I’d prefer a simple bezel, instead of making the phone more complex, fragile and expensive.
  • I prefer the slider option over a notch or a punch hole in the display, and it could work as way to protect the front camera.
  • i would rather to not have front camera and no slider
  • Yeah why not, i rarely use the front camera anyway
  • Pros : • you can play with your slider • possible jack revival ( or sacrificed again for extra something ) • no notch, so full screen ( perhaps with small chin )
    Cons : • No IP Rating • possible broken slider cuz’ u playin it a lot

That’s it for this week, everyone. As always, thanks for voting, thanks for the comments, and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the results below.

Deal: Become an Adobe expert for under $30

The Complete Adobe CC Training Bundle

The Adobe suite is the gold standard when it comes to photo editing and graphic design software. To build a successful career in almost any creative industry, mastering these programs is a must.

Today’s deal is the perfect way to become an expert in the Adobe suite. The Complete Adobe CC Training Bundle contains seven learning kits to give you creative skills that the great artists of yesteryear could only dream about.

The bundle has masterclasses in both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator – two of the most popular pieces of photography and graphic design software ever created. If you want to be that guy who gets paid crazy money to design the latest corporate logo, this is where to start.

The Complete Adobe CC Training Bundle:

Complete Adobe CC Training

This package contains over 65 hours and 200 online video tutorials on the world’s leading creative suite. You have access 24/7 for a year, so you can work through it at your own pace. It could be just a hobby to make your Instagram pictures pop, but there’s potential for a whole lot more.

Ignore the $673 retail value, as there’s currently a steep price drop on the whole bundle. Right now you can pick it up for just $29. The offer only lasts until Monday though, so don’t hang about if you’re interested.

Over 18,000 people have already enrolled. To join them, hit the button below.

The AA Picks 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.

Galaxy S10 case renders seemingly confirm three variants and hardware features

Every year Samsung releases a new generation of Galaxy S smartphones and every year they leak out early. While we’ve already seen a good number of photos appear online, Evan Blass has now shared case renders of the South Korean company’s entire Galaxy S10 lineup.

The below renders reportedly show the Galaxy S10E (previously known as the Lite version), S10, and S10 Plus.

If you turn the contrast up on the renders, you can spot a number of additional features. First, it’s quite clear that the Galaxy S10E and S10 each sport a single hole punch camera sensor while the S10 Plus includes a dual-camera setup.

Second, the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus feature three cameras around back while the S10E only has two. Thanks to a previous leak, it’s rumored that the three rear sensors will include a 12MP primary camera with an f/1.5 to f/2.4 variable aperture, a 16MP wide-angle sensor, and a 13MP camera with a telephoto lens. We’re not sure what two sensors will be available on the S10E.

Third, while the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus will likely include an in-display fingerprint sensor in addition to face unlocking technology, the cheaper S10E model will not. Instead, it appears as though Samsung is going to add a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that doubles as the power button.

Lastly, thanks to the case being clear, we can see that all three phones should include a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port, and a bottom-facing speaker. Additionally, there had some talk that Samsung might use a sound-emitting screen similar to the Vivo Nex phone, but the renders do appear to show a minuscule cutout for an earpiece at the top of the display.

Editor’s Pick

Based on previous leaks, it’s believed that the Galaxy S10E will have a 5.8-inch display, the S10 will have a 6.1-inch screen, and the S10 Plus will be the largest at 6.4-inches. It’s also rumored that the class on the two larger models will be curved on the side like with previous Samsung handsets while the S10E will be flat, but it’s hard to tell if that’s exactly true in these renders.

One thing to note here is that case renders aren’t always the most reliable. Occasionally, the accessory manufacturers like to sprinkle on additional details that won’t be seen when the handset is released. But as these images look realistic and they were leaked by Blass, we find them trustworthy.

What do you think about these renders? Which one of the Galaxy S10 variants are you most interested in? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

The Onkyo G3 Smart Speaker is now under $100 (deal ends tomorrow)

OK Google, how can I combine a booming sound system with Google Assistant? The answer is the beautifully designed Onkyo G3 Smart Speaker. We were excited to find out that it’s temporarily available today for only $94.99.

As a speaker, the weighty G3 is quite a beast. It has a custom woofer with massive magnet, soft-dome tweeter, and powerful switching amp in a resonance-tuned wood cabinet. The result is crystal clear highs and punchy, deep bass, with the casing specially designed to maximize sound quality.

The Onkyo G3 Smart Speaker has Google Assistant and Chromecast built-in, giving you extra bang for your buck. At the most basic level, you can just tell it what music to play without lifting a finger. This is the tip of the iceberg though because as your home gets smarter, the G3 can really start to compliment every aspect of your day.

Onkyo G3 Smart Speaker

You could be controlling your TV, getting your coffee made, or just looking up baseball stats. This smart speaker can do the hard work for you, all while banging out your favorite tunes.

The Onkyo G3 Smart Speaker at a glance:

  • Comes with Google Assistant and Chromecast built-in for voice-automated media streaming to Chromecast-enabled speakers
  • Features voice control for home automation with compliant devices
  • Crafted for premium high-fidelity sound with 5Ghz/2.4Ghz Wi-Fi for stable audio streaming
  • Non-resonant, computer-modeled wood enclosure with gloss finish and robust and stylish baffle grille for protection
  • Custom woofer with massive magnet and balanced dome tweeter produces deep bass, rich mid-range, and clear high-frequency sound
  • Efficient and powerful switching amplification system with noise reduction technology

The retail price of the Onkyo G3 is almost $300, but for the next 36 hours or so it’s available for just $94.99 at Tech Deals. It’s available in black or white.

The deal expires on Saturday night, and we don’t know when it will be back. To find the offer, 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.

Google is giving away Play Store credits (Update: Redux!)

this is the featured image for the best android apps list

Update, January 18, 2019 (3:29PM EST): If you missed the free Play Store credit the first time around, Google now offers a second opportunity for some Pixel 3 and 3 XL owners.

If you were selected, you should see a banner for a Play Store credit of $2 when you scroll down a bit in the For You tab. You can apply the credit at checkout and expires within 30 days of you saving the offer.

You can use the credit for anything on the Play Store, so long as it’s over $2. That said, not every Pixel 3 or 3 XL owner were selected for the credit.

Also, some folks received $3 of Play Store credit instead of $2.


Original article, November 5, 2018 (1:59PM EST): If you like free money (who doesn’t?), you should open up the Google Play Store app on your Android smartphone. You might find you’ve earned a free Play Store credit, worth anywhere from $1 to $5.

To see if you’ve got cash, open up the Google Play Store and scroll down a bit. If you’re one of the lucky ones who got a credit, you’ll see an image banner telling you so. If you scroll down all the way to the bottom of the page and don’t see anything except for suggested apps, unfortunately, you’ve missed out this time around.

Google didn’t make any announcement about the credits that we know of, so it’s hard to tell what this promotion is all about. It appears that owners of a Google Pixel 3 or Google Pixel 3 XL in the United States get a credit — but not all owners are seeing credits right now. It also appears people who don’t own a Pixel 3 who see the credit are a mixed bunch, with no obvious connection linking them.

Editor’s Pick

However, it does seem like all recipients of the free credit have one thing in common, which is they live in the United States.

If you do find yourself with some free credits, tap on the image banner and follow the instructions. The credit will go into your Google account and can be used towards any app or game on the Play Store. Keep in mind, though, that you can’t use the credits to pay for subscriptions or in-app purchases.

The credits will expire in two years, although you’ll likely spend $5 on the Play Store between now and then, won’t you?

NEXT: How to get a refund for apps purchased from the Google Play Store

Microsoft tells everyone to get off Windows 10 Mobile with new FAQ page

If you’re holding on for dear life to a Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile phone, you have less than a year to upgrade to something else. This comes from Microsoft itself on a new FAQ page surrounding the end-of-life of Windows 10 Mobile.

The FAQ explicitly states that Windows 10 Mobile customers should “move to a supported Android or iOS device” by December 10, 2019. After that date, there will be no more free support, no more software updates, no more security patches, etc., for any Windows 10 phone.

Editor’s Pick

However, if you have a Lumia 640 or 640 XL, Windows 10 Mobile version 1703 was the last supported update for them. As such, those devices will reach the end of support a bit earlier on June 11, 2019.

Either way, after these end-of-support dates, your Windows 10 phone will be unsafe to use, as Microsoft will no longer be keeping it updated with security patches to combat viruses and malware.

While Microsoft admitted defeat long ago when it stopped making and selling Windows mobile devices, this FAQ is a new nail in the coffin for the mobile operating system. Although Windows 10 phones had their ardent supporters — and the OS itself was praised by a devoted fanbase — user engagement was just too low for the system to survive.

If you are one of those supporters, you’ve got some months left to enjoy your device. After that, it will officially be time to move on.

NEXT: How to reset Windows 10, 8, and 7 password if you forgot it