Mobile Nations Weekly: What's old is new again
Apple made waves early in the week, and we wasted no time in putting their latest wares to the test. So here they are, our iPhone SE review and our iPad Pro 9.7-inch review. Oh, and some updates to iOS and new Apple Watch bands.
We're still getting to know the Samsung Galaxy S7, but things are about to get real crazy with the arrival of the LG G5. Not content to be left out, HTC is getting in on the action with the HTC 10.
Microsoft made waves of the wrong kind when their Tay AI Twitter bot was hijacked by the nastier parts of the internet. But there was good news too: a universal Windows Skype app is coming and our awesome limited-edition Clippy shirt is available for just a bit longer, so order yours now!
iMore — All the reviews!
Apple's "Let us Loop you in" event happened on Monday, and as expected we got the new 4-inch iPhone SE, the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and new colors, and a woven nylon fabric, for Apple Watch bands. We also got iOS 9.3 and updates to all the other operating systems, an something unexpected — CareKit, which will hopefully do for outpatient care what ResearchKit has done for studies. More on all of that in the weeks to come!
- iPhone SE review
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro review
- iOS 9.3 FAQ: What you need to know
- Apple pausing iOS 9.3 update for older devices, working on activation fix
Android Central — LG's turn
In the oddest twist of the week, LG decided that its Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE (what a name) was good to put back on sale, with both AT&T and Verizon putting it on sale — just be ready to pay a hefty price.
The LG G5 is getting closer and closer to availability, with several retailers now on board with pre-orders and different offers — from AT&T, Sprint and others — to sweeten the deal. The modules are varying in prices at this point — B&H has the CAM Plus for $69.
At the same time, HTC is ready to launch its HTC 10 flagship with an online-only event on April 12. We know it'll have some extra "Boom" in its speakers, and the latest leaks give us a good idea of what it'll look like. As we near the launch, we want to know what you'd like to see from the HTC 10.
In Google news, get ready for the company to continue its rebranding of "Chromecast" apps to "Google Cast" apps. Chromecast is just the name of the streaming dongle, now — the protocol is Google Cast.
- Should you upgrade to the Galaxy S7 from the GS5?
- Android Wear 1.4 review: Marshmallow brings features, not polish
- Money is the root of all Android
- Galaxy S7 second opinion — the nicest phone I can't stand to touch
- Samsung Pay's biggest challenge isn't the technology
- Android Central Podcast 280: Virtual porn, real issues
CrackBerry — Savings galore
The week was all about deals, sales and updates. BlackBerry reduced pricing on the BlackBerry Passport, kicked off an app sale within BlackBerry World and released a new security update for ShopBlackBerry purchased Priv devices.
- BlackBerry Spring Sale: Save 20 percent when purchasing a BlackBerry Passport!
- March Madness Giveaway lets you score some great apps from BlackBerry World for free
- Latest Priv update patches recent security exploits
Windows Central — We can't have nice things
Microsoft was in the news again this week but for reasons it would rather avoid. The company tried to do a good thing by launching Tay AI a fun, interactive 'bot that users can play with to help forward the artificial intelligence crazy. In less than 24 hours, however, the internet ruined a good thing by turning the AI into a racist, bigoted monster and Redmond had to shut the AI down. Microsoft is set to fix the bot before it returns to the human swamp sometime in the future.
New data suggests that around half of all active Windows Phones could, theoretically, upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile. However, that number is likely to be actually lower due to carriers, regional delays, or users not taking the free over-the-air update.
We also compared the Surface 3 to the new, smaller, iPad Pro in terms of specs and features to see which would come out on top.
Microsoft is reversing course and will release a universal Windows Skype client to mobile and PC users in the coming weeks. The change undoes the merging of the Messaging and Skype apps as users evidently prefer a standalone client.
Finally, don't forget to order your limited-edition Clippy shirt to help support our site!
- Windows 10 PC and Mobile Insider preview build 14295 now available for Fast ring members
- Microsoft introduces Social Challenges and Leaderboards for the Band
- Unlocked Lumia 950 is on sale for $449 until March 27
- Windows Phone isn't dead, Part V: How Alcatel fits into the Windows ecosystem
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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.