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.

  • I think we will see iOS11 before W10M
  • Why would you say that? iOS updates are incremental until the major release in Sept/Oct (iOS10). So with that timeline, and the current air of W10M OTA, I'm pretty sure we'll see W10M fully released before iOS11 (Sept/Oct 2017), even with carrier delays.
  • I am just asking is it possible to install wp8.1.1 into Lumia 950XL
  • no, it's not. 
  • Why any human with a regular mind in his head wants to put w8.1???
  • Weird. I read about what Google and Apple have in the works and I feel some excitement. I read what MS has and it's just, meh. Probably due to this 950 with windows 10 Mobile I have here, bit whatever, right?
  • MS is back in the game with W10, but just like the desktop version,until there is wide release, there will be a small adoption rate (though the insider program is still pretty big). The Lumia 950x , and 550/650, even with continuum support for those that have it, still have yet to deliver what people expect as a flagship phone. A 'metal' body or 'faux' leather casing were just as important as new Hardware/OS/Software features for the competition. mS promised "a phone that could replace your PC", but instead we got a "a phone that acts like a PC" when you need it. MS just need to deliver on their promise or match up to the competition until they can.
  • 550/650 support continuum???
  • Microsoft just sks always
  • When you came up with IOS these guys are so sensitive, they know how to solve the bugs in time, most of the Microsoft developer its seems their not working together what's why their are misunderstanding in writing software.
  • This isn't entirely true in my opinion...iOS have already developed a tried and proven formula of Hardware/Software, so one could say it's easier to push out big fixes for iOS (they're, argumentatively, nearly all the same patches where some new feature broke an old feature or vice versa). MS on the other hand is trying not to have to wait an entire year of testing to release a mass update, and with the insider program we'll see more releases to whichever ring you are in. The downside is that there Wu be more bugs being released, with the upside that they can be fixed with fast turnaround of use feedback. Don't people I've spoken to still don't want to update to W10 for the mere feedback that it's a testing ground for the next big Windows OS and not a fully released OS...
  • Finally someone with a true logic here...I spotted him 1st...
    They are in the insider program and they complain about bugs.
    I don't like w8.1 actually I hate this os but are smoother because they are build for my phone(640XL) and are the final product of the os.
    Many people here (I don't blame anyone)want a phone before 2-3years to run smooth the new os(and I repeat it: insider program)
    Always need the best for our purchases and especially when its about something we use all the time such our Smartphone but c'mon guys...We need the best product for our smartphones and i will wait for that whenever it comes January or February or March.
    Sorry for the long post.Sorry No potato (this application blocks emoji's)