Mobile Nations Weekly: Winding down and ramping up

Microsoft Lumia 550

After a week of recovering from the madness of CES, it's time to get back into the swing of things, and the tech industry's wasting no time. Google has set their dates for I/O 2016, bringing the annual Google confab back to their Mountain View, California, headquarters. Speaking of annual confabs, the always-insane Mobile World Congress is coming up next month, and at the very least we're expecting the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 among everything else coming to Barcelona.

And while BlackBerry might have something up their sleeve for MWC (last year they launched the Leap and gave us our first very brief look at what would become the BlackBerry Priv, they've yet to tip their hand. In the meantime, the Priv in Canada is receiving its monthly security update and BlackBerry 10 isn't being left out in the winter cold, having received an update on OS 10.3.2.

Apple is on the updates train, pushing out developer previews for practically every device in their line-up. But the most impressive is for iOS 9.3, which is bringing long-awaited education-centric features to the iPad.

On the Windows front, after a strong showing from their partners at CES, Microsoft isn't slowing down. They too had plenty of preview build updates, but the big news came in the form of a future update: ARM64 support is coming to Windows 10. But before that happens, we take an in-depth look at the excellent Lenovo Yoga 900 convertible ultrabook and the Microsoft Lumia 550 with Windows 10 Mobile.

That's just the quick hits — let's see what else is in store in this edition of Mobile Nations Weekly!

Windows Central — Groundwork

We may be in the doldrums of January and post-CES recovery but plenty of movement is still happening with Microsoft.

Late Friday evening we learned that the Microsoft is working on bringing their prized Word Flow keyboard from Windows Phone to iOS (and eventually Android). Microsoft also released build 11090 of Windows 10 to Insiders in the Fast Ring. Once again, no new features were introduced, and we explained some of the prepping they are doing for 'Redstone wave' in 2016. There is also a high chance we'll see Windows 10 for ARM64 this year too. Finally, Redmond is making progress in their iOS to Windows 10 software bridge as they are creating a new automation tool for developers.

Regarding reviews, we took a look at the Lenovo Yoga 900 Ultrabook — one of the best two-in-ones you can get. We also shared our thoughts on the budget friendly Lumia 550 with Windows 10 Mobile.

Android Central — Back to business

Samsung Galaxies

We're all getting back up to speed in the week following CES, and that means more topical news and things that are happening right now. This week AT&T brought back unlimited data plans (sort of), Google announced dates for its I/O conference and the Nexus 5X got a (seemingly permanent) $30 price cut.

As we start to get closer to MWC — which is in Barcelona at the end of February — we're also hearing rumblings about the big announcements. Samsung is expected to show off its Galaxy S7, and we want to know what you're looking for in the latest flagship. We also expect to see LG take the wraps off of something exciting, among plenty of other manufacturers.

CrackBerry — Regularly scheduled programming

BlackBerry 10 update

With CES 2016 wrapped up, it's back to your regular scheduled program until Mobile World Congress rolls around. This week, we saw multiple Canadian carriers roll out the January update for the Priv, the latest BlackBerry 10 OS update got a broader release and BlackBerry stepped to the plate to defend itself against claims that a Dutch forensics unit has found a way to decrypt messages from specially customized PGP enabled BlackBerry smartphones.

iMore — All the betas!

iOS 9

This week Apple pushed out previews for iOS 9.3, watchOS 2.2, tvOS 9.2, and OS X 10.12.3. There's a lot of great new features in the new betas, especially for iPad in education. Apple's also dismantling iAD and taking the fight for strong encryption to the U.S. government.

Yeah, break time's over.

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.