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The best Verizon Wireless plans in May 2019

The best Verizon plan for you is going to depend largely on what you need to use it for. Verizon has a wide variety of plan types, from premium unlimited data plans to cheap prepaid plans with a touch of data to let you check emails now and then.To figure out which Verizon plan is best for you, you’ll want to consider how much data you’re really going to need and what extra features you want to get from your service. Its shared data plans and prepaid plans come at low prices, but don’t offer exciting extras. Meanwhile, its unlimited data plans feature extras like Apple Music, fast mobile hotspot data, and more.Verizon is the first carrier to launch a true 5G network, with support for both the Moto Z3 and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. So, you have the option of jumping onto one of its top unlimited data plans for access to that service, which we’ve seen deliver data speeds in excess of 1Gbps in a 5G speed test. It’s currently only available in Chicago and Minneapolis, but coming to more urban areas this year.The wide variety of plans and pricing details leave you with a lot to think about. So, whether you’re shopping alone or with friends and family members, we’ll help you understand Verizon’s mobile plans and what you’ll pay. In almost all cases, the plans will be cheaper per-person if you activate multiple lines. For example, the monthly rate for one line on an unlimited plan would be $75 while getting four lines would bring the per-person cost down to $40 per month.We’ve gone through the details, both the major and the fine print, to find out everything we can about Verizon’s various plans so we can help you find the best one. Whatever your needs, we’ll help you understand Verizon’s best plans so you can make the right choice.
Jump straight there: View the plans at Verizonwireless.comSee also: The best Verizon Phones available this monthShopping for Internet services? Internet provider deals (USA) | Broadband deals (UK)

Verizon Wireless unlimited plans: Explained
Verizon offers three tiers of its unlimited plan: Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and Above Unlimited. All three include unlimited talk and text in the US, Verizon Up rewards, unlimited mobile hotspot, video streaming, and support for talk, text, and data while abroad in Canada or Mexico. The way these plans differ is in the speeds, 4G LTE data thresholds, and perks they offer. Go Unlimited support mobile hotspots at 600Kbps, while Beyond Unlimited offers 15GB of hotspot at 4G LTE speeds, and Above Unlimited steps that up to 20GB. Go Unlimited also limits video playback to DVD quality (480p), but the other tiers support HD (720p) streaming.The plans handle network congestion differently as well. Go Unlimited may reduce your speeds at any time if the network is congested. Beyond Unlimited offers 22GB of data and Above Unlimited offers 75GB of data at 4G LTE speeds before you should see reduced speeds due to network congestion. Above unlimited also offers 500GB of cloud storage and some extra travel perks.Both Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited also offer access to Verizon’s 5G network where it’s available and on supported devices. This includes 4K video streaming, mobile hotspot at 5G speeds, and full 5G data speeds without data deprioritization.

Small: 2GB – $35/MonthMedium: 4GB – $50/Month5: 5GB – $40/MonthLarge: 8GB – $70/MonthGo Unlimited: Unlimited – $75/MonthBeyond Unlimited: Unlimited – $85/Month Above Unlimited: Unlimited – $95/Month
The best Verizon Wireless plans for you
Let’s take a close look at what each of these plans has to offer for the price. Afterward, we’ll also go over some of Verizon’s alternative plans in case these aren’t a fit for you.Whether you’re a modest web surfer, a heavy Netflix-user, or just pull your phone out a few times a week, there should be a plan to fit your needs.

Verizon Wireless plan: Small | 2GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $35/Month
If you don’t do a lot of music or movie streaming, this plan will probably be a good choice for you. 2GB is enough data to do regular surfing and watch the occasional YouTube video. It’s also one of Verizon’s cheapest plans, so if you have your budget in mind, look no further. This is a Shared plan, which includes an access charge of $20 per phone added to the plan, including the first phone.View this plan: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon Wireless plan: Medium | 4GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $50/Month
If you think you’re likely to bump up against the 2GB limit on Verizon’s cheaper plan, you may want to consider the 4GB plan. For $15 more, you get an extra 2GB at full 4G LTE speed. Plus, with these plans, you can carryover unused data into the next month, in case you want to save up some data for a new Netflix show. This plan can also be shared and has a $20/line access charge.View this plan: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon Wireless plan: 5| 5GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $40/Month
When 4GB is too small and 8GB is too much, Verizon also offers a 5GB plan for $40 a month plus the $20/line activation fee. This plan is a good fit for two people who will split the data a small amount of data, and it has a curiously obvious value over the 4GB plan.View this plan: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon Wireless plan: Large | 8GB | Unlimited calls and texts | $70/Month
If you really can’t hold off on the occasional movie or TV show streamed over your data plan, this might be a reasonable option for you. However, since Verizon’s cheapest Unlimited plan is just $5 more, it may be worth jumping up to that plan and not worrying about how much data you use each month. Like the other Share plans, this one has a $20/line access charge.View this plan: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon Wireless Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and Above Unlimited plans | Unlimited data | Unlimited calls and texts | $75/Month, $85/Month, or $95/Month
Heavy data users who don’t want to worry about running up against data limits, and want to stream TV, movies and music to their hearts’ content may want to go with one of these options. If there’s network congestion, you may get reduced speeds, but it won’t be because you accidentally fell asleep with Netflix streaming and went over your data allotment. If you don’t want your speed reduced during periods of high network traffic, you may want to get the Beyond Unlimited plan. And, if you want extra Wi-Fi hotspot data and cloud storage, check out the Above Unlimited plan.These plans also allow you to add extra lines at reduced rates. You can see what you’ll pay with a calculator Verizon provides on its site. For four lines, the per-line price drops to $40, $50, and $60, respectively.View these plans: at Verizonwireless.com

Verizon Wireless: Prepaid plans
If the above Verizon plans aren’t what you’re looking for, there are also a number of monthly prepaid plans. They all include unlimited talk and text in the US and unlimited text to over 200 international destinations. They also allow data carryover and mobile hotspot usage (except the unlimited plan). They range in price from $30 a month for 1GB to $75 a month for unlimited data comparable to the Go Unlimited plan. One current deal that offers great value is just $45 a month for a plan with 16GB of data (it’s the 8GB plan, but Verizon is offering an extra 8GB of data at no extra charge).View Verizon Wireless prepaid plans hereIf you just have a basic phone and want simple service, Verizon also offers a basic plan with unlimited talk and text and 500MB of data for $30 a month. See that plan here. 

Phones are more expensive, unfortunately

Since Verizon Wireless eliminated the two year contract and switch to these new types of plans, it has unfortunately done away with the old subsidies on new phones that came with 2-year contracts.That means instead of paying a flat $200 for every new phone you get, you’ll have to pay whatever that phone actually retails for. For a new flagship, that can be anywhere from $600 to over $1000.Verizon Wireless does offer installment plans for customers, though. So if you’re shopping for a new phone and plan and have good credit, you can likely find a phone that you’ll be able to pay for over the course of a couple years.
 See all available Verizon Wireless phones 

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The new Xbox Game Bar adds a fresh layer to gaming on Windows 10

The Xbox features in Windows 10 have been fairly simple, with quick tools for capturing game footage and sharing it. That’s changing today, just after the launch of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. Now, the Xbox Game Bar includes extra overlay options for social features, audio, Spotify and more. Microsoft presented the details in an Inside Xbox announcement.Before, pressing “Windows Key + G” while gaming would open up a simple overlay with tools to begin recording, capture screenshots, broadcast to Mixer and other tools related to capturing your gameplay. While those tools are still present in the new Xbox Game Bar, you’ll now be able to pull up other players’ streams while you game. And, those features have got a lot more company to make the Game Bar increasingly useful.The audio tool will serve as a volume mixer so you can balance the audio coming through different apps. The Xbox Social and Xbox Chat tools will let you easily connect with and chat with your Xbox friends. And, a Looking for Group feature can help you find other gamers to play with.Microsoft has also integrated Spotify into the Game Bar, so you can control streaming music playback in the overlay. And, finally, no gaming overlay is complete without a system performance monitor to see how your CPU, GPU and other parts are working while you game.
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A crowded field
The Xbox Game Bar’s new features may be on point, but they’re entering a space that already has competition. Steam has its own overlay, as does Ubisoft’s uPlay and EA’s Origin. The popular voice chat app Discord also has an in-game overlay.And, for capturing features, Nvidia’s GeForce Experience is readily accessible on computers with recent Nvidia graphics cards.Microsoft may have one key advantage, though. While the other overlays require the specific software to be running in order to use them (or hardware and software in the case of GeForce Experience), the Xbox Game Bar comes at the OS level.Any computer running Windows 10 will have the Xbox Game Bar available across almost any game. It should work with games from Steam, Origin, uPlay and more.That ubiquity could be a strong point in favor of the Xbox Game Bar, but limitations like streaming via Mixer only could hold it back for now. We’ll have to see if Microsoft has even more in store for the tool at E3 2019.
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Via The Verge

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Mario Kart Tour mobile game is out in closed beta for Android users

The next Nintendo mobile game, Mario Kart Tour, is officially out, but only in closed beta in the US and Japan and only on Android. Players and news outlets have already reported it’s a faithful 3D racing experience…with microtransactions and multiple in-game currencies.That’s right – it’s free to play, at least in this beta version. It’s important to remember that the game may change based on feedback, especially its monetization, though Nintendo doesn’t shy away from the roulette-style “gacha” item buying, which appears again in Mario Kart Tour.But the gameplay at least seems fun, and appropriately simplified for mobile, which, yes, means it’s played vertically. Characters automatically drive forward while you drag your finger on the screen left and right to turn. Some items (like invincibility stars) are automatically used if you pick them up, others are activated just by touching the screen, according to Kotaku.

As in the latest Mario Kart games, players pick a driver, kart and glider, then they’re matched against seven other players online. Maps are a mix from the entire series: the initial Toad Cup features courses from SNES, 3DS and GameCube versions of Mario Kart.And then there’s the in-game item economy. In a word: collecting. In a few words: very easily-monetizable collecting.
Not surprised, but hope for more
There are three currencies (of a sort) in the mobile game. The first, and most anodyne, are Grand Stars – you get these when you finish races or challenges, Stars unlock gifts, which might have the second and more important currency, green gems.Five gems gets you one item straight from a warp pipe – this is where you’ll get new drivers, karts and gliders to expand your collection. Each gets particular bonuses on different maps, with rarer ones granted advantages on more maps, at least what we’ve seen thus far. You can see where this gacha train is choo-chooing to.If you played Nintendo’s other wildly profitable mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes, you know how the company has used this in the past: lure players into paying for more and more rolls of the dice to get the characters/items they crave (and it works: the playerbase spent $500 million on the free-to-play game in the two years after its February 2017 launch, per Sensor Tower). It seems like Nintendo is setting up to do the same with Mario Kart Tour.Players can already buy gems. They can’t buy the third currency, gold coins – which are awarded based on performances or found mid-race – but you can spend gems to enter coin-collecting mini-races. Oh, and there’s a heart-based stamina bar (like the “energy” in other F2P games) that diminishes over time, and when you run out, you can’t play. You can wait until they refill naturally…or pay gems to get back on the track.We’ll see how the game plays, as even a little F2P Mario Kart action is better than nothing, and look to what Nintendo may change before the game’s full release date (which is still TBD).
What will you play Mario Kart Tour on? Here’s our best gaming phones list

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Box update makes it easier to sort out your storage

Cloud content management company Box has announced its all new Box Relay to help simplify business processes across organization’s extended enterprise of employees, partners and customers.The company’s revamped version of its key workflow product features a powerful new workflow engine, simplified user experience and a rich menu of triggers, conditions and outcomes that will make it easier for businesses to automate processes around content and improve efficiency without the need for intensive IT support.Chief product officer at Box, Jeetu Patel explained why the company chose to revamp Box Relay, saying:“Enterprise workflows built around content like document reviews and approvals and employee on-boarding and off-boarding need to be reimagined. They’re disconnected from the apps teams use every day, locked behind IT, and don’t support external collaboration. The new Box Relay brings powerful automation to improve these critical business processes, whether it’s creating sales proposals and marketing assets, or driving budget sign-offs and contract renewals, and more. Enterprises now have one platform for secure content management, workflow, and collaboration that’s built for how we work today.”
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Box Relay
Box Relay’s powerful new workflow engine includes an extensive list of ‘if this then that’ (IFTT) triggers and outputs to help businesses automate multi-step processes including both sequential and parallel workflows. It also supports conditional logic which gives users the ability to route content based on metadata attributes such as date, dropdown, multi-select or open text fields.A simple no-code workflow builder has been designed from the ground up with business users in mind so that they can build and edit their own processes without requiring additional support from IT.Box Relay also provides users with the ability to assign tasks to customers, vendors or partners so the process does not break down when content flows across or between organizations.Box’s workflow product is also deeply integrated with other enterprise workflow platforms including Salesforce, Pega and Nintex.Box Relay is currently in private beta but will be generally available by the end of June.
We’ve also highlighted the best cloud storage

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Honor 20 Pro vs OnePlus 7 Pro

While the Honor phones have typically packed trickled-down features from top-line Huawei phones at a cheaper price, the Honor 20 Pro is specced so highly that it could easily go toe-to-toe with other ‘budget flagships’ that have cropped up. Lo and behold, one recently launched that’s ideally poised to compete with the Honor phone’s best aspects: the OnePlus 7 Pro. We’re going to figure out which of these two admirable smartphones is better, and inevitably, which makes it into our best smartphones list. As with all our versus pieces pitting competitive phones against each other, these are both great picks. But we’d be remiss not to point out the current events that may leave Huawei locked out of Android, which could affect the phone’s features down the road given the uncertainty that Google will allow the company’s devices access to Android updates and the Google Play Store. In this category, and at this time, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a safer bet.Politics aside, both phones are well-matched, though keep in mind we’ve had a little more time with the OnePlus 7 Pro, so we’ll mention where uncertainties with the Honor 20 Pro leave comparisons a little murky. Without further ado, let’s dive in to which is truly superior.
OnePlus 7 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)
Honor 20 Pro vs. OnePlus 7 Pro design
Both smartphones are pretty similar in design, following the ethos of their predecessors: the Honor 20 Pro has a flat front and curved rear edges with a camera blister in the top right corner (much like Huawei’s P-line), while the OnePlus 7 has both edges curve to meet each other at the sides and a centrally-aligned camera bump on the back. Between the two, we prefer not to have the Honor 20 Pro’s lopsided bulge.In effect, this makes the OnePlus 7 Pro just a little more luxe – as does its signature feature, a pop-up periscope that houses the front-facing camera. In effect, this leaves the front display unblemished thanks to an eye-catching cool trick. The OnePlus 7 Pro again takes the cake in biometrics with its in-screen fingerprint sensor; the Honor 20 Pro’s side-mounted sensor within the power button is a nice out-of-the-way touch, but it’s less easy to activate while the phone is lying flat.By a respectable margin, the OnePlus 7 Pro wins this round, though both are attractive and well-designed by 2019 phone standards.
Honor 20 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)
Honor 20 Pro vs. OnePlus 7 Pro display
We’ll cut to the chase here: by all metrics, the OnePlus Pro 7’s display is superior, though the Honor 20 Pro’s screen is no slouch.It comes down to resolution, refresh rate and holes for the front-facing camera – the Honor 20 Pro has one as a punch-hole, the OnePlus 7 Pro does not. You’ll also find a 90Hz screen refresh rate on the new OnePlus, so it scrolls and plays games more smoothly than the standard 60Hz refresh rate. The rest comes down to a numbers game. The Honor 20 Pro has a 6.26-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, for about 412 pixels per inch. The OnePlus 7 Pro’s 6.67-inch AMOLED display is 1440 x 3120 pixels for a whopping 516 PPI, giving a sharper screen in the same 19.5:9 ratio. Whether you like bigger phones might tip your own scales (the OnePlus 7 Pro is half an inch bigger diagonally), the higher quality of the OnePlus phone’s display wins it this round. 
Honor 20 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)
Honor 20 Pro vs. OnePlus 7 Pro camera and battery
This category might be the biggest slugging match between the two phones – and ironically, the one we might have the least justification to answer, since we haven’t had time with the Honor 20 Pro to properly compare camera samples. Await our full review to fully compare the two.In terms of sheer specs, the two are…nearly evenly-matched. As in, their camera suites are almost identical: both have 48MP main cameras (f/1.4 for Honor, f/1.6 for OnePlus), 16MP f/2.2 ultrawide lenses, and 8MP f/2.5 telephoto shooters with 3x optical zoom. The Honor 20 Pro may have the slight advantage with an extra 2MP f/2.4 macro camera as a fourth lens, which could be super convenient for those who want to take photos of subjects from up close. We’ll have to see how much it comes in handy in our full review.As for selfie shooters, the Honor 20 Pro again has an edge, with a 32MP front-facing camera compared to the 16MP lodged in the OnePlus 7 Pro’s pop-up tab. Plus, we don’t know how durable that periscope mechanism is – not until we’ve tested it, or at least seen whether it breaks in accidental falls.For cameras, the Honor 20 Pro slightly edges out the OnePlus 7 Pro, but this could change when we see photo samples.As for battery, both have a 4,000mAh capacity – though the OnePlus 7 Pro’s 30W fast-charging beats the Honor 20 Pro’s 22.5W fast-charging.
OnePlus 7 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)
Honor 20 Pro vs. OnePlus 7 Pro power
This one’s a little trickier to compare since we haven’t tested the Honor 20 Pro, but we can make a bit of an educated guess.The Honor 20 Pro packs a Kirin 980 processor, which debuted in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro late in 2018. It’s also featured in a more recent phone, the Huawei P30 Pro, which in our testing scored 9,669 in a Geekbench 4 CPU test. The OnePlus 7 Pro is powered by an even newer chip, the Snapdragon 855, and scored a 10,960 on the same Geekbench 4 test. In sheer numbers, the OnePlus 7 Pro comes out on top, and is a little bit more future-proof.In terms of other specs, the Honor 20 Pro has only one configuration of 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage. The OnePlus 7 Pro starts at 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, upgradeable to 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage (or even a 12GB RAM model). The OnePlus 7 Pro is the winner here, but you’ll have to pay for the privilege.Otherwise, both phones come with Android 9 out of the box – though given Huawei’s trouble potentially getting cut off from Google support (and Android/Google Play Store access), OnePlus 7 Pro wins for long-term safety.
Honor 20 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)
Honor 20 Pro vs. OnePlus 7 Pro price
The Honor 20 Pro costs €599 (around $668, £471, AU$971), which puts it right at the $669 / £649 (around AU$971) starting price of the OnePlus 7 Pro. This is a price deadlock, and as you’ve seen above, their features are very comparable, with differences that might come down to taste.And yet, for some readers, the OnePlus 7 Pro comes out ahead purely by accessibility. Even before the recent ban on US companies working with Huawei, it was difficult to acquire the company’s phones in America and other regions who followed the US’ lead in keeping them out of stores and far from carriers. The OnePlus 7 Pro, on the other hand, is available in the US in T-Mobile stores and online.
OnePlus 7 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)
Takeaway
This isn’t the most fair competition, as we haven’t had time to unpack a complete understanding of the Honor 20 Pro. But from what we know, the OnePlus 7 Pro is simply, if barely, the better phone. Its sharper (and unblemished) display paired with slightly faster charging makes up for one less (inconclusively useful) rear camera lens. Plus, in our professional opinion, it’s a bit prettier of a phone.But that shouldn’t dissuade anyone from picking up the Honor 20 Pro, which is a strong contender for smartphones at this cost category – the “budget flagship,” as it were. Unfortunately, both of these creep close in price to the iPhone XR and Samsung Galaxy S10e, which are arguably better phones than both of these. But if you don’t want to spend the ~$100 to get to those higher-quality devices, the Honor 20 Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro are both smart picks.
See how these phones stack up to our best phones list

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Zendesk boosts CRM capabilities with Smooch deal

Zendesk has announced that it has acquired the Montreal-based company Smooch which provides a platform to help connect businesses with customers across a wide variety of messaging platforms both on the web and on mobile.The acquisition will help the customer service software company deliver the best omnichannel experiences by connecting conversations between businesses and their customers on any messaging channel with support for the world’s leading messaging apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.Currently Smooch is one of the largest providers of WhatsApp Business integration and Zendesk customers will soon be able reach the app’s 1.5bn users to manage service interactions and engage with customers directly through Zendesk Chat as part of its early access program.
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Founder, CEO and chairman of Zendesk, Mikkel Svane praised Smooch’s progress in advancing the conversational experience, saying:“We live in a messaging-centric world, and customers expect the convenience and interactivity of messaging to be part of their experiences. As long-time partners with Smooch, we know first hand how much they have advanced the conversational experience to bring together all forms of messaging and create a continuous conversation between customers and businesses.” 
Future of CRM
As Smooch offers an API and SDK-based development platform build on AWS, Zendesk’s acquisition of the company furthers its commitment to an open and flexible CRM that businesses can utilize to build and offer differentiated customer experiences.Co-founder and CEO of Smooch, Warren Levitan explained how the deal will allow Zendesk to boost its CRM capabilities, saying:“With their launch of Sunshine last year, Zendesk took the bold and disruptive step required to compete for and win the future of CRM. The decision to combine forces with Zendesk and help further their CRM strategy will allow us to supercharge our existing mission for building the best customer experiences. We are thrilled to be joining the entire Zendesk team, so many of whom we have had the pleasure to work with over the past three-and-a-half years.” Together the two companies will drive the next wave of connected conversations on wide variety of messaging channels including, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat, Telegram, Twitter DM, Viber, Kakao Talk, SMS and RCS through native web, iOS and Android apps.The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
We’ve also highlighted the best CRM

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The CEO of EE just made the best case for 5G yet

We’ve known 5G is coming for a while now, but so far we’ve been struggling to comprehend why tech companies are so keen on the new standard. Sure, it’s quicker and more reliable than 4G, but isn’t 4G enough? Who needs faster internet than we already have?We’ve been promised that cloud gaming will be great on 5G phones, and that you’ll be able to download Netflix shows in a heartbeat – but we’ve got Wi-Fi for that, haven’t we?However Marc Allera, CEO of telecoms company EE, spoke at the company’s launch of its 5G network in London, and he gave an example of why we’ll embrace 5G – and it makes a lot of sense.
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Allera compared 5G to 4G – when that was coming up, people said it would be unnecessary too, but we were soon using it as part of our everyday lives to do things we wouldn’t dream of being able to do on 3G.As an example, Allera pointed to apps like Uber, Instagram and Spotify, which use 4G networks to great effect. You wouldn’t be able to order and track a taxi on 3G, nor would you be able to view and upload pictures or download songs, and these are things we’d barely knew we wanted to do before we could do them.Now we use our phone for these tasks every day, and it’s become so normalized that we do it both with Wi-Fi, and using 4G networks when out and about.In effect, Allera’s saying that instead of hunting for a reason to use 5G, we should just embrace it and see what useful features and functions pop up along the way.That’s quite a vague plan, but the comparison to 4G is a very valid one, so in a few years our roster of most-used apps could be completely different to those we use before.To some the future of 5G may look cloudy, but others can see the sun peaking through those clouds, and there could be many useful functions to 5G that we discover once we’re connected.
Google Stadia could be the first good use for 5G phones

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Google’s Huawei ban: what does it mean for you? [Updated]

Update: we have altered this article to include information on the moves from Microsoft to remove Huawei laptops, as well as reports of the potentially crippling move from ARM to stop working with the brand.The news that Google has blocked Huawei’s future access to Android updates – for both apps and timely security updates – not only casts doubt over the entire future of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s business, it also could have wide-ranging implications for the future of the global smartphone market.After US President Donald Trump placed Huawei on the ‘entity list’, limiting the business US brands could do with Huawei, Google has been forced to restrict the company’s access to the Google Play Store, which means that in the future users won’t be able to gain access to popular titles, nor to speedy security updates to the Android OS.On 20 May, the US Commerce Department has issued a temporary license for Huawei to work with businesses in the US, meaning Google can resume its partnership with the brand. However, this only lasts until August 19 and it’s unclear how Huawei will be able to gain the full license to work with US brands while the government considers it a threat to national security.So it seems, for now, that this is nothing more than a delay to a hugely difficult time for Huawei and in a few months the brand will no longer be able to offer access to crucial Google apps.Of more worry for the brand is the news that UK-based chip designer ARM has ceased all activities with Huawei, thanks to being placed on the Entity List. This means the Chinese brand will find it incredibly difficult to manufacture key parts of the phone at all – casting its future as a smartphone brand into doubt if it can’t get the ban permanently lifted.
Is this ARM news truly damaging?
The latest issue facing Huawei is that chip designer ARM isn’t going to work with the brand for the short term. That may seem odd, as it’s a Japanese-owned brand headquarted in the UK, but as its designs use US-based technology, there’s a fear this could fall foul of the trade restrictions.It should be noted that this hasn’t been confirmed as yet, but the BBC is claiming to have seen internal memos that order employees to cease activity with Huawei.If Huawei can’t use ARM reference designs in its chipsets, it would be incredibly difficult and costly for the brand to replace them – and it may prove to be impossible, which would cast further doubt over the future of Huawei’s phone arm.A Huawei spokesperson told the BBC: “We value our close relationships with our partners, but recognise the pressure some of them are under, as a result of politically motivated decisions. “We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world.” The upcoming Kirin 985 chipset is not believed to be affected, which would mean Huawei might be able to release another cycle of smartphone before the ban truly causes issues, but partners and networks are already starting to react to the US’ trade license suspension.
What does that mean if I have a Huawei phone?
Perhaps the most useful piece of information about current Huawei phones is Google’s statement issued to TechRadar:“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices,” a spokesperson told us.However, there is one nugget of good news if you’ve just spent large amounts of money on a Huawei P30 Pro: as alluded to above, current devices from the Chinese brand will continue to get security updates and access to the Google Play Store for the foreseeable future, as Google has promised not to leave those out in the cold.The temporary lifting of the ban will also allow the brands to prepare better Android support for current and future models, meaning that Huawei will be able to do bueinsess as it has been for a little longer – so current customers will be able to benefit for longer.Huawei has also told us that it will continue to do all it can to support all its phones currently out in the wild, and is looking at other implications of Google’s decision.The company told us: “Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry.
The Honor sub-brand of Huawei is also subject to the same constraints. Image credit: TechRadar 
“Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.”Huawei Australia has echoed the sentiment, and also claiming that  “those that are planning to buy a Huawei device in the near future” will not have to worry about the sanctions, according to Huawei Australia’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Jeremy Mitchell.We’ve asked for comment regarding the recent lifting of the ban, but Huawei declined to comment.Whether this will allow the flexible Mate X to launch with ‘full fat’ Android remains to be seen, but that’s likely to be a huge target for the brand as it’s spent enormous sums marketing that model since the unveiling in February and is keen to lock in its reputation as a technological leader.It looks like the Mate X will, at least, be delayed though – the CEO of UK network EE said, during the launch of its 5G networks, that the brand had temporarily paused stocking the phone while it worked to understand the implications of the trade ban.So while the fact current models will be offered updates, it’s unclear how long these will last for, and the fact networks are already getting jittery about the sanctions isn’t going to make anything easier for Huawei.While most smartphone brands will only honor security updates for two to three years after launch of a new handset, one might expect this to be much shorter in the case of Huawei phones, given these new restrictions from Google.
What about future Huawei phones?
Image credit: TechRadar
The move from Google means it will no longer work with Huawei directly on issuing updates to its system, and won’t give the company access to the Google Play Store. This is a potentially critical blow to the brand, which only recently spoke out about its plans to be the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer.This means that if Huawei wants to keep using the Android operating system, it will need to use the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP), which is a free platform that any brand can use as an underlying foundation for its products.However, it along with the Google Play Store it won’t have access to the core Google apps like YouTube, Google Maps and Chrome – these are core elements of Google’s business that it’s not duty bound to make available to anyone.Without access to the Play Store, Huawei would be forced to work directly with developers to get them to create versions of their wares for its phones. This situation would be similar to that of Amazon’s Fire OS, which is based on AOSP but has its own app store, as the retail giant seeks to control the platform its Fire tablets and Echo devices run on.If Huawei does have to use AOSP, the consequences could be devastating, as access to a fully-stocked app store is crucial to the success of any modern smartphone – Nokia and Microsoft failed to make Windows Phones a viable alternative to Android and Apple’s iOS, even though both brands poured millions into developer tools and enticing the top app creators onto their platform.However, Huawei has claimed that it’s been developing its own alternative to Android for nearly seven years, calling it a ‘Plan B’ that’s ready to go should it lose access to the services listed above.In the latest statement to TechRadar, Huawei said: “We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” which sounds like it already wants to generate some positive hype around its alternative OS.How this would work is currently unclear, as Huawei also said it would rather continue working with brands like Google and Microsoft (whose Windows operating system runs on Huawei laptops) to offer the best experience.However, Huawei’s CEO of Consumer Business Yu Chengdong said its alternative operating system will be launched either at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020, and would work across “mobile phones, computers, tablets, TVs, cars and smart wearable devices.”  What’s more surprising is that the CEO confirmed that it would work with current Android apps, although it would still have to convince app developers to bring their wares over to its platform, and keep them udpated – otherwise Huawei won’t be able to retain or attract consumers to its smartphone devices.
The Google Play Store is a key part of attracting users. Image credit: TechRadar.
”Huawei has been working hard on developing its own AppGallery and other software assets in a similar manner to its work on chipset solutions.” Ben Woods, Chief of Research at CCS Insight, told TechRadar. ”There is little doubt these efforts are part of its desire to control its own destiny.”It seems unlikely, however, that the Chinese brand would have developed viable alternatives to all the top Android apps for its next round of smartphones.If Huawei loses access to the Google Play Store, it would take an enormous amount of investment to attract developers to create app options that would keep users of its smartphones happy – and you have to wonder whether the brand would feel it was worth continuing to make phones at all when faced with that kind of hurdle.The same would also apply to Honor, the sub-brand of Huawei phones, in the future. Honor might have tried to distance itself from its parent company, but it’s been confirmed that it will be subject to the same sanctions.However, the launch of that brand’s Honor 20 smartphone went ahead as planned and made no mention of the issues facing its parent company – so it’s clear that devices currently created and in the supply chain are still going to be supported in the Android ecosystem.
What about other brands? What does this mean for the wider smartphone world?
Image credit: TechRadar
While these sanctions don’t currently affect other brands, the message being sent is clear: global politics can have dramatic implications for the manufacturing and marketing of consumer devices that have become indispensable for billions of people.While there’s currently no issue with brands headquartered in other parts of the world, a similar sanction could see other smartphone manufacturers forced into a costly rethink.A few years ago Samsung seriously threatened a breakaway move from Google’s Android operating system, as it felt the search giant had too much control over the operating system on its Galaxy smartphones.It worked to develop the Tizen OS, which is still used on devices like Samsung’s Galaxy smartwatches, triggering negotiations with Google about allowing more freedom for manufacturers.(It’s worth noting that while Samsung did release smartphones based on Tizen, they were budget models, and didn’t come anywhere close to the success of its Galaxy phone range).The big beneficiary here could be Apple – President Trump has long advocated for the brand to move its operations from China to the US, and exempted Apple from the trade tariffs imposed on China so that the brand wouldn’t have to raise its prices.Huawei has been a thorn in Apple’s side of late, with the rise of the Chinese brand seeing it usurp its Cupertino-based rival in the worldwide rankings and become a serious competitor in the premium smartphone space – and Trump clearly wants to see the US tech giant do more of its business back home.However, moving its operations from China would be incredibly costly for Apple, and it would still need to source many components from Asia to build future iPhones, so it’s unclear what the effect would be, both on the company and the US economy.The loss of Huawei as a major player in the global smartphone market could also have a wider impact on the smartphones other vendors are pushing out. The Chinese brand’s aggressive development of new technological capabilities has forced rivals to significantly improve their devices and push out new advancements of their own, and any diminution of its influence would likely slow the rate of development.Huawei’s smartphone camera prowess has arguably kickstarted a race to offer cameras that deliver ever-better sharpness, color and overall image quality in the last two years – the quality of the pictures it’s possible to take on a premium phone has improved dramatically as the brand’s P series has relentlessly pushed the boundaries of what’s possible.The company is also in a race with Samsung to bring out the first widely available foldable phone – and the Huawei Mate X’s mere existence surely forced the South Korean brand to speed up its development of a bending handset, meaning consumers will get access to the technology earlier (although Samsung probably would have rather waited to deliver the Galaxy Fold…).
So is it all over for Huawei?
There is a glimmer of hope for Huawei’s continued use of Android and the capabilities that offers. The recent ban lifting means there’s a real chance that negotiations can be entered into with the US government, allowing the brand to prove itself ‘safe’ and move out from the middle of the trade war between China and the US. This is far from certain, but things certainly look a lot less bleak for the brand.Google has also confirmed that it’s ‘reviewing’ the situation, and the implications of the US sanctions – it doesn’t want to limit the reach of its Android ecosystem, and US brands like Qualcomm are going to be severely impacted by the Huawei restrictions, so will likely lobby to have this decision re-examined.However, if Google is forced to cut Huawei off from future Android security updates and access to the Play Store, then it could not only make things difficult for Huawei, but may cause consumers to view any Chinese brand with suspicion – and given the proliferation and technological prowess of the latest phones coming out of that country, that would also have a huge impact on the industry.So while this move seems to only affect Huawei right now, it’s going to have a knock-on effect for the entire industry, and will most likely have implications for the next smartphone you buy – and it could also mean the rise of a new mobile operating system, and potentially a serious challenger to Android.
What about laptops? Currently, Microsoft can’t say

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Memorial Day TV sale at Walmart: deals on Samsung, LG, and Vizio 4K TVs

Memorial Day is almost here, and that means discounts and deals from your favorite retailers. Walmart is participating in the big sale event with TV deals from top brands such as LG, Vizio, Samsung, and more. For a limited time, you can find Black-Friday like prices on a wide array of 4K TVs. If you’re looking for other promotions, we’ve also rounded up the best Memorial Day sales going on right now.

If you’re looking for a mid-size TV with premium features, Walmart has the Vizio 43-inch 4K TV on sale for just $239.99. That’s a $128 discount and the lowest price we’ve seen for the smart TV. The UHD TV is part of Vizio’s D-Series lineup which means you’ll get to watch movies and TV shows in stunning resolution with bold colors and sharp contrasts. The smart TV also has Google Chromecast built-in so you can download thousands of apps on your smartphone to stream on the TV. The Vizio TV is also compatible with Amazon Alexa so you can use your voice to search movies, turn down the volume, change the channel and more.

This isn’t just a killer deal, but also a fantastic price for a 43-inch 4K TV with smart capabilities. This sale will only last until Monday, so you should make sure to take advantage while supplies last.
Shop more of Walmart’s best Memorial Day TV deals below.
Walmart Memorial Day TV deals:
Shop more of best cheap TV deals and sale prices that are currently going on.

Shop more deals with our roundup of the best Memorial Day sales of 2019.

Learn more about Prime Day with our guide on Amazon Prime Day 2019: everything you need to know for the July deals event.

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US could blacklist up to five Chinese surveillance firms

Following the recent executive order that banned US firms from doing business with Huawei, the US is now considering adding up to five Chinese firms specializing in video surveillance to a blacklist that would bar them from using US components or software.The US could add Hikvision, Dahua and several other video surveillance makers to the US Commerce Department’s Entity List alongside Huawei which prohibits the sale of American technology without a special license.The Trump administration has raised concerns over how these companies have helped the Chinese government repress its Uighur minority. Additionally, both Hikvision’s and Dahua’s cameras ship with facial recognition capabilities that could be used for espionage.
Trump order bans US firms from dealing with HuaweiThe US-China trade war: does this mean more expensive TVs and phones?Amazon offers suggestions on facial recognition guidance
The ongoing trade war between the US and China could be escalated further by the move and the recent ban on Huawei has already led shares in US chipmakers Qualcomm and Intel to dip.
Hikvision and Dahua
After the New York Times first reported on the potential ban, Hikvision and Dahua plunged in Shenzhen with Hikvision’s shares dropping by 9.6 percent.Chinese President Xi Jinping’s push to keep tabs on the country’s 1.4bn people has helped Hikvision become the industry leader in the video surveillance market while Dahua and other firms have also benefited significantly.Hikvision now sells its devices, which use AI to conduct facial recognition on a vast scale, on the global market and its shares on the Shenzhen market are the most owned by overseas investors.By adding these companies to the Entity List, the US risks provoking China further at a time when San Francisco has already banned facial recognition technology and other cities are considering similar measures.
Looking for a video surveillance system for your home? Check out the best home video surveillance
Via Bloomberg

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