Mobile Nations Weekly: Recalls, launches, and invites
The last time a smartphone company was hit with news this damaging about a retail product was Apple's iPhone 4 "Antennagate", and at least that didn't include literally exploding phones. That's the position that Samsung is in with the Galaxy Note 7, which has been recalled globally after several reports of fires and explosions traced back to faulty battery cells.
The Note 7 recall marred an otherwise successful IFA show for Samsung, which saw the launch of the new and bigger Gear S3 smartwatch, along with ASUS getting into the round Android Wear game with the ZenWatch 3. Sony also brought their a-game with the new flagship Sony XZ and Huawei impressed with the new Nova mid-range line.
But the real star of IFA was the category-bridging Lenovo Yoga Book, a convertible Android or Windows 10 laptop that sports a full touch panel base instead of a keyboard and trackpad. It's crazy in all the right ways, and awesome enough that it made both the Android Central Best of IFA 2016 and Windows Central Best of IFA 2016 lists.
Acer also came to impress, busting out the ludicrously thin Swift 7 ultrabook and the ludicrously powerful (and enormous) Predator 21X gaming 'laptop'.
And while IFA might have marked the prior week, it's Apple that's going to define the next. An Apple event on Wednesday will see the revealing of the iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2, and more from Cupertino — timing that makes Samsung's recall even more of a publicity predicament.
iMore — Se7en
It's official. Apple has sent out invitations for its annual September event, and that means we should be seeing iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2, new bands, and the final versions of iOS 10, watchOS3, and tvOS 10. iMore will be there LIVE so make sure you follow along for all the action!
- Apple iPhone 7 event preview
- iPhone 7 rumor roundup
- Apple Watch 2 rumor roundup
- Here's what you'll be able to do with Siri + apps in iOS 10!
- This is the best smart thermostat you can buy
- The future of HomeKit is now!
Android Central — The hot Note 7 news
This week saw small reports of Galaxy Note 7 battery faults quickly turn into a worldwide recall of every Note 7 made around the world. The short version is this: there's an issue with some battery cells in some Note 7s, causing fires or explosions; that means if you have a Note 7, you need to return it as soon as possible for a refund or replacement.
Meanwhile, the IFA show happening in Berlin this week gave us a look at wearables, phones, tablets and Chromebooks to get excited about. Samsung unveiled its new Gear S3 models, ASUS rolled out a round ZenWatch 3, Sony dropped its latest flagship phone, Huawei brought two mid-rangers and Acer has a new Chromebook R13. That's just a taste, though — check out all of our IFA stories right here.
- Huawei MediaPad M3 review
- Lenovo's Yoga Book aims to be the tablet-laptop convertible the Pixel C never was
- Moto Z Play Droid review
- The end of Nexus: New Google phones to forge different path
- Deciphering those 'rugged' phone ratings
- What you need to know about DT Ignite
- LG V20: What we know so far about the first Nougat phone
- Honor 8 review: A new competitor in the U.S.
CrackBerry — DBETA50
This week for BlackBerry was all about the further roll out of the DTEK50 and new partnership announcements. To kick things off, BlackBerry posted up their latest Android app updates as well as the first beta for DTEK50 owners. On the partnership side, BlackBerry has teamed up with 3 Hong Kong to roll out the carriers new multi-number SIM system using BlackBerry technology plus, BlackBerry announced they, along with Samsung, have now supplied the first 'spy-proof' tablets to the German government.
- BlackBerry rolls out their first DTEK50 Android beta through Beta Zone
- BlackBerry technology enables 3 Hong Kong to offer 10 mobile numbers on one SIM
- BlackBerry and Samsung supply the first spy-proof tablets to the German government
Windows Central — Flipping out for Yoga
IFA in Berlin, Germany kicked off early this week with plenty of announcements from PC manufacturers. None stole our attention, however, like the super creative Lenovo Yoga Book, which is expected later in October. You can see the rest of our IFA coverage in our 'best of' roundup.
Although IFA was this week's top-billed event a lot of other news happened as well. Microsoft released Windows 10 build 14915 to Fast Ring as they continue to build up the new Redstone 2 branch. The Surface Pro 4 and Book received new firmware. We also detailed a new 'night mode' and People Bar coming to Windows 10 next year.
Other bits and bobs include Instagram for Windows 10 Mobile finally gets the Stories feature. Pandora on Xbox One can now play music in the background.
Finally, we kicked off our new live show on Fridays dubbed Microsoft, Minecraft, and Libations, which also has some giveaways.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.