Gather 'round the digital yule log.
'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.
1. Windows Central — There arose such a clatter
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.
- 27 essential apps you should install on your Windows 10 computer
- The Force Awakens! Sphero's universal Windows 10 app for BB-8 is here
- Why are some 'universal' Windows 10 apps only available on desktop but not mobile (and vice versa)?
- The HoloLens Experience: Microsoft's developer introduction to the holographic headset
- Microsoft now lets you customize the buttons on Surface Pen with any apps you want
2. Android Central — A right jolly old elf
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.
- Hands-on with the Hauwei Mate 8
- What you need to know about Chromecast Audio grouping
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 review
- Nexus 6P versus the Mate S: Huawei showdown
3. CrackBerry — Like the down of a thistle
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.
4. 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!
- Williams, Schiller, Srouji: What Apple's new executive titles really mean
- How to stay sane and spoiler-free until you see Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- This is big: Apple Pay coming to China in early 2016!
5. 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.