Mobile Nations Weekly: Rumors, acquisitions, and accusations
For being in the weird pre-MWC quiet time, it was a busy week. The biggest news was a surprise acquisition: Microsoft snapped up keyboard app company SwiftKey for $250 million. The slow burn leading up to MWC got a little bit hotter with Sunday, February 21, being the official day for Samsung's next big event — *cough*Galaxy S7*cough*. Speaking of the GS7, it's backside got leaked, we asked what you want in the GS7 and you told us a lot, including waterproofing. Oh, and yeah, it's not an official phone or anything yet — but we're giving away a Galaxy S7 at Android Central!
When it comes to Apple, though, it was an interesting week. iPhone owners that had their phones fixed by unauthorized repair companies were suddenly locked out of their phones thanks to a generic error that turned out to be related to very legitimate securty integrity concerns and Apple found the quality of its own apps under assault — a fair argument, but one lacking in nuance or depth. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic third-party apps, like great drawing apps for the iPad Pro and excellent iPhone mail apps. Oh, and Apple's own Music Memos is really pretty great, while we're on the subject.
On the Windows front, it was update city. Windows 10 Insiders saw build 14257 , Windows 10 Mobile insiders got build 10586.71, and everybody is expected to get Windows 10build 10586.105 next week. Japanese manufacturer VAIO also made small waves with the introduction of their first Windows 10 Mobile handset, the "Phone Biz", which tells you exactly who they think that phone's meant for.
All of this and more, in this week on Mobile Nations!
iMore — Best things ever
It's sounding like Apple's March 15 event is a go, but there's many a week still between now and new, so we've been rounding up the best drawing apps for iPad Pro, best mail apps for iPhone, and kicking off our all-new intructional series with how to make your own website when you don't know how to code.
Meanwhile, in our Experts column, Dave Wisksus of Airplane Mode explains why Music Memos is a songwriter's best friend and in community column, The Network, Myke Hurley of Relay.fm tell us why happiness is a podcasting family. Oh, and then there's this:
- iMore is giving away a steel Apple Watch, enter now!
- iPhone 5se rumor round up
- Breaking down Apple's 'app problem'
- Touch ID repairs, 'Error 5s', and what you need to know!
- iPhone 7 rumor round up
Android Central — Billions
It was a busy week filled with news from a ton of sources, with a little something for everyone.
Speaking of everyone, Gmail now has 1 billion monthly active users, as does WhatsApp, and Lollipop is still king in terms of market share among Android phones. In a bit of a shocker, Microsoft purchased SwiftKey for a reported $250 million.
Motorola, Google and Verizon all have some sort of Valentine's Day promos to save you some money.
It was another week of Galaxy S7 information, speculation and analysis, which makes sense as we get even closer to MWC at the end of the month. After Samsung finally unveiled the date of its launch event to be Feb. 21, we got a new leaked render showing off the backs of the phones. We also explored the idea of waterproofing coming back to the Galaxy S7 after being removed in the GS6.
Love Android? Then you'll love our new shirts!
- Fossil Q54 Pilot smartwatch review
- Honor 5X: A second opinion
- Google's February security patch is live, here's what you need to know!
- Win Samsung's new Galaxy S7 from Android Central!
- These are the Galaxy S7 features you want to see most
CrackBerry — Ups and downs
The past week started off with a bang as BlackBerry released their latest security update followed by announcing the Priv in Australia but by the end of the week, there was a little bit of rough news as well as layoffs and departures within BlackBerry have appeared once again.
- BlackBerry Priv's February security patch is now rolling out
- BlackBerry Priv now available in Australia through Optus
- BlackBerry confirms new round of layoffs in Waterloo and Florida
Windows Central — Updates for updates
Microsoft was busy again this week. Windows 10 build 14257 for Fast Ring Insiders was released for those on the PC. The update did fix a lot of bugs as Microsoft continues to optimize OneCore in preparation for new Redstone features. Likewise, Windows 10 Mobile build 10586.71 was released for all Insiders with new OS optimizations and fixes.
Next week, we're expecting build 10586.105 for PC as a cumulative update for non-Insiders and maybe mobile as well. And VAIO announced their first Windows 10 Mobile handset in Japan, dubbed the Phone Biz.
The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL started to receive yet-another firmware update. The update should go wider in the coming weeks to other regions. Speaking of the Lumia 950 XL we're giving one away in a new contest.
We unboxed and gave a brief tour of the new 7mm thin Coship Moly X1 Windows 10 Mobile phone. Microsoft asked what HoloLens could do for the NFL with a new concept video. Finally, in a surprise move, Microsoft announced they are buying SwiftKey to integrate into their Word Flow keyboard.
- Enter our Lumia 950 XL giveaway contest!
- Alleged photos of cancelled 'Lumia 850' reveal sleek metal design and front-facing flash
- Windows 10 cumulative update 10586.105 likely coming next week for PC, now testing for mobile
- VAIO's first Windows 10 Mobile phone is here, and it looks stunning
- Top 5 Twitter apps for Windows 10 PC and Mobile
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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.