After nearly six months, Android Oreo finally breaks 1% market share

Google has just released the Android distribution numbers for the month of February. At first glance, the situation looks terrible for those hoping that Oreo will pick up the pace and improve its market share.

However, looking back at the same numbers one year ago, we can confirm that deployment of new Android platforms is within the parameters. Google announced today that Android Oreo has finally passed 1% market share worldwide, which is exactly what Android Nougat did exactly one year ago.

Apparently, Android Oreo is now running on 1.1% of devices, while Android Nougat is now at …


Apple employees can buy the HomePod for half price over the next two months

According to a tweet from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, for the next two months Apple employees can purchase the HomePod at a 50% discount. Apple’s smart speaker will launch on February 9th, and can be pre-ordered now at a price of $349. But if you work for Apple, you’ll be paying $174.50 for what amounts to a premium speaker combined with personal virtual assistant Siri.

Apple is focusing on the audio experience by buffing up the speaker compared to the competition. The HomePod speaker features a custom-made woofer and 7 “beam-forming” tweeters, and the smart speaker is powered by the same Apple …

Buy an Apple iPhone from Virgin and get 6 months of high-speed data for $1 per month

Pre-paid carrier Virgin Mobile is offering consumers who purchase any Apple iPhone from them, 6 months of unlimited talk, text and high-speed data for only $1 a month. Taking that into consideration, you could purchase a refurbished 32GB Apple iPhone 7 for $299.99, or a refurbished 32GB Apple iPhone 7 Plus for $349.99. Add to that the $6 it will cost you for 6 months of wireless service through Virgin’s Inner Circle plan, and you will end up paying $305.99 for an iPhone 7, or $355.99  for the iPhone 7 Plus, with half a year of high-speed data. There are two caveats, neither one an insurmountable …

The Essential Phone gets a substantial price cut mere months after launch


Andy Rubin’s Essential announced that its very first
smartphone, the Essential Phone (PH-1), is now officially sold for $499. Released
several months back, the Essential Phone was initially offered for $699,
so we’re talking about a significant price cut here – $200 off. Essential says
it’s cutting the price in order to “make it even easier” for consumers to try
its device and experience its brand. Honestly, we’re not sure why it didn’t
launch the phone for $499 to begin with.

 

If you’re one of the (apparently not too many) people who’ve
already bought an Essential Phone, the company …

Deal: Pre-order the Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch and get 6 months of Spotify Premium for free

Samsung Gear Sport is already available for pre-order in the United States, but that’s not the only good thing about the smartwatch. It appears that Samsung if offers some freebies to those who pre-order its wearable device.

First off, it’s worth mentioning the Gear Sport is the first smartwatch to run Tizen 3.0 OS. In the United States, the smartwatch is available for pre-order for $300 or $50 per month with Samsung Financing (no interest if paid in full within 6 months).

However, for a limited time, those who pre-order the Samsung Gear Sport will also receive …

Xfinity Mobile MVNO has 200,000 subscribers after 6 months

You might recall that back in April, Comcast launched its hybrid MVNO Xfinity Mobile. Using a combination of 18 million Xfinity hotspots and Verizon’s nationwide 4G LTE pipeline, Xfinity customers are covered from coast to coast. An unlimited plan costs $45 a month to those subscribing to Comcast’s expensive X1 cable service. Others will pay $65 a month for unlimited data. Those who don’t need an unlimited plan can pay $12 for each GB of data wanted. Phones available for purchase include several different Apple iPhone models, and Android phones manufactured by Samsung and LG.

So far, Comcast …

State of the Galaxy S8/S8+ union: 6 months after launch, sales are picking up pace

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ landed with the most radical design overhaul in the history of the Galaxy S series, a top-shelf camera, and numerous other enticements, but this may have not been enough for users to stomach the higher price at the beginning, and sales were reportedly slower than the S7 and S7 edge in that initial period.

After the unveiling of the Note 8, however, those who were holding back to see what the phablet will bring to the table might have jumped the gun, as the two spring flagships have caught up in sales nicely, and represent a significant …

Verizon discontinues the Wear24 smartwatch 4 months after launch

Talking about the weird decisions that some carriers take when they launch new devices, it appears that Verizon has decided to discontinue its Wear24 smartwatch just 4 months after launch.

The Wear24 was released by Verizon back in May after the carrier “purposely” delayed the expected launch of Samsung’s Gear S3, just to make room for its own smartwatch.

Even though the Wear24 benefited from one month of sales before the Gear S3 made its debut at Verizon, it didn’t help the carrier’s smartwatch. Probably due to low sales or lack of interest from consumers, …

Google adds two extra months of security updates for Nexus 6P and 5X

For whatever reason, Google has decided to offer Nexus 6P and 5X and additional two months of security patches. The information has been quietly shared with consumers on Google’s support page, so it’s as official as it could possibly be.

Both Nexus 5X and 6P have been previously confirmed to receive security updates until September 2018, but Google changed the end date earlier today. It appears the consumers who own the smartphones will continue to receive security patches until November 2018.

Unfortunately, nothing has changed in regards to the major Android …

Google will delete your Android backups after 2 months of inactivity without any warning

Turns out Google will get rid of your old Android backups after two months of inactivity if you don’t actively use an Android device. This important tidbit of info was brought to our attention by Reddit user Tanglebrook, who learned this in the worst possible way – by having all of their Android settings, saved Wi-Fi passwords, and app data deleted after using an old iPhone of theirs for a while.

And that’s quite normal – Google’s own terms of service explicitly say that after 14 days of inactivity, your existing Android backups will get an expiration date, after which they go …