Mobile Nations Weekly: 'Twas the week before Christmas

Drawing with the iPad Pro

'Twas the week before Christmas, and no new tech was shown,

Not a new watch was released, nor tablets, nor phones;

The blogs were not restless, for there was still news,

In updates and comparisons and years-in-reviews.

Project Fi went data-only and BlackBerry posted results,

Apple shuffled execs and the Windows apps you must consult;

And at the week's end we look through all our categories,

To bring you the very best of our Mobile Nations stories.

Looking for the perfect tech gift? Check out our 2015 holiday gift guide!

iMore — Visions of sugar plums

iMore is doing a complete year-in-review on the podcast, and part 1 (including the March event) and part 2 (including WWDC) are already live and ready for your listening or viewing pleasure. Part 3 and the 2016 preview will follow shortly! We're also sharing our top tech purchases of the year, so make sure you check both out Rene's favorites and Serenity's favorites.

Meanwhile, between past and future, the present keeps on going!

Android Central — A right jolly old elf

Google Pixel C and HTC Nexus 9

If you're looking for some holiday deals and like Google products, the Google Store has you covered. The store is offering free overnight shipping on everything, and has discounts on the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Huawei Watch. Keep an eye out, because we wouldn't be surprised if other deals were on the way in the next week. Maybe you'll want to try out one of Project Fi's new data-only SIM cards with your purchase.

Both Phil and Russell have been using the Pixel C for over a week now, and have some serious thoughts on it. We have a full comparison of the new tablet to the Nexus 9, a spec showdown versus the convertible competition, and Phil broke down that Pixel team Reddit AMA. Be on the lookout for our full Pixel C review on Monday.

For those who are fans of mobile payments, Samsung Pay has added 17 more banks to the service — and is even getting ready to expand into China, which is a huge deal. Android Pay is finally going digital, taking over Google Wallet's old responsibilities for in-app purchases in a handful of apps, with more to come.

Check our epic 8-part series on the complete History of Android

CrackBerry — Like the down of a thistle

BlackBerry lock screen

Another reasonably busy week for BlackBerry news as we head into the holidays. This week, BlackBerry and some great developers, went ahead and announced a bunch of app sales for BlackBerry World. Plus, there was a few BBM updates as well as a Blackberry 10 OS update. Finally, the most important news closed out the week, and that was BlackBerry's Q3 Fiscal 2016 results.

Windows Central — There arose such a clatter

Surface Pen

Is Microsoft's Windows 10 universal app strategy working? This week saw the first signs of some resurgence as a wave of newly updated official apps have hit desktop and mobile. New releases include Pandora, 1-800 Flowers, Sphero's BB-8 Droid app, NPR One, Adidas miCoach, Netflix, American Express, AccuWeather, World of Tanks, WiFi Commander, PicsArt, Breaking News, Garmin Connect Mobile, TripAdvisor, Edjing, and the Wall Street Journal. Phew! Even Bank of America is coming back. Of course, the question is, can Microsoft sustain that momentum in 2016?

In other news, Windows 10 and Mobile were updated to build 10586.36 with some cumulative patches for both.

Kicked — Like a bowl full of jelly

This week on Kicked we show you some swanky Christmas lights, a smart, wearable weather system, and a key that will open almost anything! You'll also see a way to make any bottle spill-proof and a lacing system that means you'll never have to tie your shoes again! Plus Dan has a little problem with drink spillage while Kim debuts a festive hat.

For the coolest crowd funding projects you need to know about (along with a few weekly antics) be sure to subscribe to the Kicked TV YouTube Channel and follow us on social media. We're active on Twitter, Facebook and of course Instagram.

Derek Kessler

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.