Articles by Derek Kessler

The State of CrackBerry Survey: Help us help you (and win big!)

Fair warning: this is a long one!

Our sites at Mobile Nations are living things. Not in the sense that they're breathing, eating, procreating beasts (though sometimes it feels that way), but in that they're always changing and evolving to meet the needs of our users — you.

We've gone through a number of changes over the past year, and we wanted to check in with you and get your opinion on all of it. How are we doing on reviews, on news, on recommendations, in the forums, on Facebook and Twitter, in our videos, and more? This is your chance to tell us.

Below you'll find a survey on all of that and more, where your responses will help us evaluate our progress and chart our course ahead. Tell us how we're doing — there are no wrong answers, and we especially want to hear if you think there are places where we could improve.

Fair warning: this is a long one, you're looking at around 30-45 minutes to complete, so if you want to open this in another tab or window, here's the link to do that.

Oh, and as a thank you for your time, everybody who completes this survey will be entered to win their choice of a slew of exciting new gadgets, from the Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG V30 or iPhone 8 to the Xbox One X or a Microsoft Surface Pro i5 to a new VR headset from HTC or Oculus!

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CES 2017 Day Three: How many pixels do you really need?

CES 2017

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Three screens are better than one

Razer's concept laptop is just… insane.

There are the laptops that everybody else is showing off at CES 2017, and there's Razer's Project Valerie. The bottom half is a standard Razer Blade Pro — a powerhouse gaming laptop, no doubt — but the lid contains not one, not two, but three 17.3-inch 4K displays. Combined they span around four feet, tucking back behind the center screen when not in use. It's a crazy cool and just plain craze concept. And we want one so hard.

ASUS's updated Chromebook Flip is a Chrome OS powerhouse

No tolerance for slouches.

There's no doubt about it: Chromebooks are coming into their own. From the Samsung-Google partnership that resulted in the Chromebook Plus and Pro to ASUS's new Chromebook Flip C302, they've never been better or more capable. The new ASUS Chromebook is a powerful little beast, sporting an Intel Core processor, up to 8GB of RAM, and two USB ports. Chrome OS is finally coming into its own.

Dell's 8K monitor is the new king of the display hill

Just when you were getting comfortable with the idea of 4K.

Let's be honest: most of us don't have 4K displays yet. But that doesn't stop the march of technological progress, nor will Dell let such trivialities slow them down. So they unveiled a 32-inch 8K monitor that they're planning to have available to buy as soon as March. Words can't really describe the beauty of this beast.

The connected everything

Is it a thing? Can it be connected to the internet? Stop asking silly questions.

Some things have long been "connected" and are getting more so, like security cameras and thermostats and door locks. Other things are new to the connected space, like Lego robots and women's health fertility trackers. Others… are hairbrushes with built-in artificial intelligence.

Dell Canvas is a big honkin' touch screen to go with any PC

Think of it as a Surface Studio without the built-in PC.

If there was one let-down with the Microsoft Surface Studio, it was the lack of true oomph from the computing hardware behind that gorgeous touch screen. So Dell decided to make a screen that does the same things, but without the included computer bits. So this is the Dell Canvas, a 27-inch QHD panel that lets you tap with your fingers, draw with the included pen, and spin away with a Dell "totem" — their take on the Surface Dial. It's not cheap, but it's still cheaper than a Surface Studio, and you can hook it up to the high-powered PC of your choice.

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CES 2017 Day Two: New laptops, new phones, and old ideas made new

CES 2017

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Update all the laptops

Thinner, faster, lighter, stronger.

With new 7th-generation Core chips from Intel landing in the months before CES, it was time for a seemingly every PC manufacturer to update their lineup. In the cards for everybody: thinner, lighter, marginally faster, longer-lasting batteries, Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C, and a notable decrease in bezels.

The new BlackBerry that's not made by BlackBerry

BlackBerry's back, alright!

From the looks of the BlackBerry Mercury you'd think that BlackBerry hadn't changed at all. But this is a phone from TCL, the new licensee of the BlackBerry brand, even if it looks and feels every part a BlackBerry. We're still light on practically every detail, from specs to the actual production name, but we're still kind of excited to see that the shifting of the BlackBerry brand doesn't mean the abandonment of the classic keyboard.

Honor's Magic is a design showcase as a phone

Curved all around, because they can.

Huawei's never been a manufacturer that shied away from making crazy hardware, and their Honor sub-brand has generated a phone that's a truly beautiful piece of design: the Honor Magic. The glass is curved in every direction more substantially than any phone we've seen before, married to a thin metal frame. As Android Central's Andrew Martonik described it, it's similar to the "Galaxy S7 edge, but it's even more impressively thin and compact." More impressive, however, might be the software: Honor baked in artificial intelligence to help the phone predict what you'll want to do, such as dynamically rearranging your home screen.

The first Chromebook designed for Android apps

Google and Samsung partnered up to design an impressive new pair of Chrome OS devices: the Samsung Chromebook Plus and Pro. These convertible Chromebooks are the first designed with running Android apps in mind, and as such they're equipped with full motion sensor suites. Beyond that, Samsung also built in their stylus tech — pop out the docked pen and you'll be able to write and draw to your heart's content on the hi-res 12.3-inch display.

ASUS announces two new phones with four cameras

ASUS took to CES 2017 to unveil their newest ZenFone devices: the ZenFone 3 Zoom and the ZenFone AR. The ZenFone 3 Zoom is the follow-up to the unique if flawed optically-zooming ZenFone Zoom, and its ditching of the mechanical optical zoom is both a disappointment and not a surprise. In its place are a pair of cameras — one standard, one telephoto, not unlike the iPhone 7 Plus. On the flip side is the ZenFone AR, which uses its cameras and sensor array to scan your surroundings in full 3D. It's not the first phone to do this, but it's certainly the most compact Google Tango phone we've yet seen.

NVIDIA's Shield TV box has been something of a sleeper hit — those that know it love it, but it's never really got a heavy push behind it. We don't know if that's going to change with the latest update, but we do know it's an impressive update. Coming to the Android TV party is Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings integration, HDR video, and a whole bunch of new games.

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CES 2017 Day One: Processors, convertibles, and clamshells galore

CES 2017

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Honor 6X goes for the broke

A decent enough Android phone for a cheap enough price.

Honor is back at it with the new Honor 6X, a phone that offers far more than you'd expect for its low price — just $249. For that you get a 5.5-inch 1080p display, an octa-core Huawei Kirin 655 processor, 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, and a 12MP camera. That main camera is paired with a 2MP monochrome sensor that Huawei uses to enhance clarity and depth of field. Alas, it's a new phone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but at that price we're honestly not surprised. What is surprising is the use of a Micro-USB port instead of the newer and better USB-C standard.

VR comes to practically any game

Lenovo's Entertainment Hub includes a neat trick: VR adaptation for first-person shooters.

Lenovo introduced a new bit of software for their Legion laptops in the Entertainment Hub. It pulls together your TV shows, movies, and games into one easy-to-use app, but the neatest part is a clever bit of software to bring any first-person game into VR. Essentially it maps the movement of the headset to the look/aim controls in a game, so where you turn your head is where you look. It's a neat way to bring existing game libraries into virtual reality.

Lenovo's new Echo

It's an Amazon Echo, but made by Lenovo.

One of the most surprising early announcements from CES 2017 was the new Lenovo Smart Assistant. It's a smart speaker in a cylinder that you can trigger by calling out for… Alexa. Just like you would with an Amazon Echo. Because the Lenovo Smart Assistant is running the same software. But Lenovo's design is a bit classier than Amazon's plain black or white cylinders, and they're undercutting Amazon by $40.

Crazy for convertibles

Your next laptop might just flip all the way out, er, around.

Convertible laptops aren't anything new, but for a while they lagged behind their traditional laptop brethren. That's changed recently, and CES 2017 is proving to be a big show for the flip-around touchscreen laptops. Lenovo updated their ThinkPad X1 line to be even thinner and lighter, as well as faster and longer-lasting, and the only notable difference between the X1 Carbon laptop and the X1 Yoga convertible is that the Yoga's a convertible and the Carbon is not.

Dell also announced a long-awaited XPS 13 convertible, bringing all of the power and hardware design that we love about the super-compact XPS 13 laptop to a 360-degree convertible form factor. Also coming from Dell was the new Latitude 5285, which packs all the latest hardware in a 12.30-inch 2-in-1 tablet. And HP took the Spectre x360 that we love so much and scaled it up to a huge 15.6 inches with a 4K display.

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon, Intel's new Lakes

Faster, more integrated, and significantly smaller.

There's a lot of fuss over nanometers in the processor game, and for good reason: smaller transistors mean processors can use less energy and be physically smaller. That's the game Qualcomm is playing with the new Snapdragon 835 mobile processors, which is both 30% smaller and 40% more efficient than the older Snapdragon 820, even while offering a 27% performance boost. Not only that, but the 835 includes a gigabit-capable LTE modem, Bluetooth 5, support for HDR video, a secure enclave for biometric data, and more.

On the other side of the processor spectrum, Intel rolled out their new 7th-generation Intel Core i processors for desktops, following a launch a few months ago of the laptop versions of the Kaby Lake generation of chips. Ranging from a Core i5 at 2.7Ghz to the top-end Core i7-7700K at a whopping 4.2GHz, these new chips aren't significantly faster than the older Skylake chips, but they are less power hungry and thus less hot.

March of the Chromebooks

With Android apps coming to Chrome OS, Google's browser-based operating system is starting to come into its own. The first Chrome OS announcements from CES 2017 come from Acer and ASUS. Acer rolled out a new Chromebook 11 N7, which takes their standard Chromebook 11 and bulks up its ruggedness to better withstand the rigors of the classroom environment. ASUS, on the other hand, updated their touchscreen-driven Chromebook Flip C302, going all-in on USB-C and dropping the big old USB-A ports.

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Take the State of the Mobile Nations Phones Survey for your chance to win $600 towards a new phone!

Silly season for new phones and gadgets is on us — it feels like we can't go a week without a major release as the calendar races into the holidays. There are a bunch of new phones out there and we wanted to get an idea about what's important to you in a phone and in a cellular carrier. Thus, this survey.

We get a little detailed, but that's because we want to suss out what it is that drives your decisions in purchasing a new phone or picking a new carrier. These are expensive and long-term choices, and your answers will help to influence what we write. This survey is your chance to help guide and inform how we approach answering your most important technology questions for years to come!

And because we love you, one random respondent to this survey will win $600 to buy the new phone of your dreams — or to pay for the next several months of your mobile service!

Hit up the survey below (or click here to open in a new window); it should take about 10-15 minutes to complete.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Pixeling, retargeting, and pivoting

Google ramps up to Pixel, BlackBerry ramps down hardware, and Lenovo's Yoga is coming in hot for landing.

Coming soon from a Google near you: Pixel. Tuesday will bring the follow-ups to the Nexus line of "pure" Android phones, but this time Google's making more of a Google phone. There have been some leaks, but there's a lot we don't know and are looking forward to. And we might just get to hear something about the "Andromeda" project that will further blur the lines between Chrome OS and Android.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry weathered a rough week from making a sound decision. After years of declining handset sales, BlackBerry announced that they're done making their own phones, but they'll partner with other manufacturers to make new BlackBerry phones. They've done that twice already — the Leap was built by Foxconn and the DTEK50 is a re-badged Alctalel phone. Plus BlackBerry will be licensing their software and the famed BlackBerry keyboard to other manufacturers.

If you've been wondering which Apple Watch to get, wonder no more: here's the iMore review of the Apple Watch Series 2. Oh, and there's an iMore sticker pack for iMessage because this is the world we live in now.

Over in VR land we went for the ultimate in VR experiences: a roller coaster. In virtual reality. And real life. At the same time.. It's more insane than you might imagine. That was with just a mere Samsung Gear VR — imagine what that'd be like with a more powerful VR system like, oh, the soon-to-launch Sony PlayStation VR.

The phone that Windows Phone fans have been waiting for, the HP Elite x3 (or at least the phone that'll tide them over until the next phone they're waiting for) received a substanial update that's fixed a wide range of issues and improved performance. Of course, we're still waiting for it to go on sale in a predictable fashion. Oh, and we got our hands on the Lenovo Yoga Book running Windows 10 and we're really intriuged by it and chomping at the bit for our review!


Mobile Nations Weekly: Sequels and successors

iPhone 7 takes the world by storm, Forza races onto consoles everywhere, and yet another chat platform says Allo.

If there's only one iPhone 7 review you read, make it Rene's at iMore. Diving deep into what makes the new iPhone, both good and bad, it's everything you need to know about the phone you're going to start seeing everywhere. Oh, and there's also a whole new version of tvOS and even an updated and renamed Mac operating system.

The HP Elite x3 is the best Windows phone that Dan's ever used, but it's not yet ready. It's an awkward position. Forza Horizon 3 is one of the best racing games ever, if not the best — and the best Xbox One game. And Gears of War 4, coming in October is shaping up to be one heck of a game, and as an Xbox Play Anywhere title it'll work on both Xbox One and PC with one purchase.

After a few months of gestation, Google's anticipated chat app slash smart assistant Allo has launched. It's Google's latest attempt at a communications platform, and it's mostly stripped down the messaging side and seriously ramped up on the artificial intelligence. But if you're more into the hardware side of things, Google's next Nexus Pixel phones are coming on October 4. Probably.

If VR's your thing, Sony's PlayStation VR appears to be threading the needle between the accessible and affordable options that lack power (Samsung Gear VR) and the super powerful versions that demand an expensive PC to even function (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift). You might have heard of Sony — they've been doing the whole console gaming thing for a few years now — so it's no surprise that PlayStation VR has an impressive list of games lined up for launch.

Which smartphone camera do YOU think is the best?


Mobile Nations Weekly: Sevens

You might have heard about the hot new thing in tech...

Samsung's Note 7-shaped hole, err, recall just keeps getting deeper — the recall of the potentially-explosive phone got "now the government's involved" official. If you're still using a recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (if you've not exchanged your phone, that's you), please go to the nearest store for your carrier and exchange it. It doesn't matter if you'll have to use a different phone for a week or two while we wait for replacement Note 7s to become available in mass quantities — this is a safety thing we're talking about.

As we've been saying since the news first broke, the timing couldn't be worse for Samsung: Apple rolled into town with the iPhone 7 launch and sucked all of the oxygen out of the room (we hear that's good for putting out fires), along with a major update to iOS. Of course, if you're not into Apple stuff, that won't change your mind, but it's worth noting that while there are a lot of people that read sites like this one, there are a lot more people that don't, and the only mainstream news about the Note 7 is that it blows up while the worst the iPhone 7 gets in the midst of another huge launch is that there's no headphone jack.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is staying quiet while the Note 7 and iPhone 7 storm rages on by (don't doubt that they'll have plenty to say about both in comparison once the dust settles). We saw new preview builds for the next major update to Windows 10 and a neat PC-phone-bridging feature coming to Skype. And with the new HP Elite x3 stepping into the spotlight as the new most powerful Windows Phone, it was put to the test with a week of using the phone with a monitor and keyboard instead of a PC.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Seven squared

A new iPhone 7 and a Galaxy Note 7 walk into a bar and things get a little heated.

It happens every year — Apple announces a new iPhone and the tech world comes to a halt. This year is was for the iPhone 7 — it's faster, more water resistant, and sporting better cameras than ever before. But it's also not radically different-looking than the previous iPhone and controversially has dropped the as-old-as-time headphone jack. But... it's already selling out in pre-orders world-wide and will doubtless sell in the millions and millions.

The Galaxy Note 7 recall keeps looking worse for Samsung, with the company now advising that owners turn their phones off and return them to the store immediately. Non-exploding replacements are starting to filter out, so hopefully Samsung will be able place this ordeal behind them. Needless to say, the timing couldn't be worse.

But things are burning down everywhere on the Android front — Samsung's closest competitor (in a very literal sense) rolled out their latest: the LG V20. It's big, it's bold, it sports a pair of rear cameras, a second screen, and will be the first new phone running Android 7.0 Nougat.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Recalls, launches, and invites

A week of tech in Berlin, Apple sets the date for the iPhone 7 reveal, and Samsung's Note is maybe a little too hot.

The last time a smartphone company was hit with news this damaging about a retail product was Apple's iPhone 4 "Antennagate", and at least that didn't include literally exploding phones. That's the position that Samsung is in with the Galaxy Note 7, which has been recalled globally after several reports of fires and explosions traced back to faulty battery cells.

The Note 7 recall marred an otherwise successful IFA show for Samsung, which saw the launch of the new and bigger Gear S3 smartwatch, along with ASUS getting into the round Android Wear game with the ZenWatch 3. Sony also brought their a-game with the new flagship Sony XZ and Huawei impressed with the new Nova mid-range line.

But the real star of IFA was the category-bridging Lenovo Yoga Book, a convertible Android or Windows 10 laptop that sports a full touch panel base instead of a keyboard and trackpad. It's crazy in all the right ways, and awesome enough that it made both the Android Central Best of IFA 2016 and Windows Central Best of IFA 2016 lists.

Acer also came to impress, busting out the ludicrously thin Swift 7 ultrabook and the ludicrously powerful (and enormous) Predator 21X gaming 'laptop'.

And while IFA might have marked the prior week, it's Apple that's going to define the next. An Apple event on Wednesday will see the revealing of the iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2, and more from Cupertino — timing that makes Samsung's recall even more of a publicity predicament.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Ludicrous zero-day nougat

Android goes to 7, Apple goes to the repair kit, and Tesla goes for maximum speed.

Android 7.0 Nougat is finally here! … if you have a Nexus phone. If using a modern Nexus phone, it might be a while before you get the update — or never. But does that really matter?

Apple found itself in sticky security waters following the disclosure and prompt patching of a trio of particularly nasty zero-day exploits. What's more terrifying than these sort of "fix it immediately" exploits is who is making them: private malware firms that cater to governmental desires for ever-more-prying eyes. Thankfully, Apple did the right thing and moved fast to patch their products.

The long-awaited HP Elite x3 is finally here. Kind of. Almost. But Windows Central got one and went hands-on with the latest and greatest Windows Phone anyway. It's the first Windows Phone to tout both a fingerprint scanner and an iris scanner, and all sorts of high-powered bits.

The Tesla Model 3 is set to start at $35,000. Tesla's newest Model S option, the P100D, starts at $134,500. It's just a small difference. But that P100D is the quickest production car on the planet, making it to 60mph in a dizzying 2.5 seconds. If you can afford it… and the inevitable speeding tickets.

So you're interested in getting into VR, but which headset should you be donning? VRHeads sits down and looks at the desktop-class options to figure out which is better: HTC Vive or Oculus Rift?. It's a tough call with how many variables are at play here, but rest assured that both are pretty damn cool.


Mobile Nations Weekly: So Noted

The Note 7 arrives, Honor 8 makes a splash, and a treat for Windows Phone users.

Behold, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is now here — and Android Central has everything you need to know about the S Pen-toting flagship Android phone. Also arriving, a flagship from Huawei that's solidly-specced but about half the price: the dual-camera-toting Honor 8.

Just two weeks after landing for Windows PC users, Windows 10 Mobile has received its anniversary update. The update brings a bunch of behind-the-scenes improvements for Windows phone users as well as few new and long-awaited features. But there's no rest for the weary: the first beta builds for the next major iteration of Windows — Redstone 2 are already in the hands of testers.

While Android fans are busy with new devices and Window users have swanky new software, Apple land is busy with new devices to come, including plenty of rumors about the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Ramp up

Yet another Android security scare, yet more MacBook rumors, and yet even more Windows 10 builds.

Android's open nature doesn't mean that it's any more vulnerable to security threats than any other OS. But it does mean that it's more vulnerable to the perception of being more vulnerable. Case in point: the so-called "QuadRooter" vulnerability — lots of smoke and lots of people blowing it around, but a tiny little fire.

LG's V20 is shaping up to be a worthy successor to the V10, sporting possibly the best audio we'll see on a smartphone and adopting the G5's modular design. And BlackBerry's new phone, the DTEK50 — is shipping now to customers alongside a reduced-price BlackBerry Priv.

Over in VR land we're dabbling in AR — Augmented Reality — with the Microsoft HoloLens headset, and it's simply incredible. Plus a look back at the first three months of Oculus Rift and another dipping of our toes in the PlayStation VR waters.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update isn't even two weeks old and Microsoft is already moving on to the next thing: Redstone 2. The first preview builds for the next big update to Windows 10 already have hit Windows Insiders, and there will be plenty more to come. Alongside that we might just expect to see the second edition of the Surface Book arrive, alongside a Surface All-in-One desktop range.

Rumors are flying left and right about the next products from Apple. The iPhone 7, while rumored to be physically quite similar to the iPhone 6-series phones, is said to have upgraded displays, while the long-overdue-for-an-update MacBook Pro might just be sporting a fancy OLED display strip to replace the function buttons and the addition of a Touch ID fingerprint reader.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Seven One Ten

Samsung's new Note and Microsoft's new Xbox: head-to-head.

It's time. Time for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. It's both a huge release for Samsung and something of an iteration at the same time. It retains a lot of the design language of the latest Note and S lines with a refined aesthetic, and is practically the same phone inside as the S7, but goes all-in on the big (and curved) display, S Pen stylus, and even USB-C. That new-fangled USB port necessitated an updated Gear VR headset, which Samsung used as an opportunity to make a few notable improvements to the phone-driven VR experience.

Microsoft joined the huge launches part with their own Xbox One S, an updated Xbox One that's a little faster, a lot sleeker, and 100% more 4K. Along with that came the Xbox One Summer Update with Cortana and Xbox apps. Oh, and a big release on the Windows side as well: the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

There's a bit of a shake-up going on in Apple's secretive car project, with Apple hardware veteran Bob Mansfield returning to take over. Apple also did something we've never seen them do before — or fathomed they would consider: they're offering a bounty to hackers to break into the iPhone's most secure chip (all in the interests of finding and securing any vulnerability discovered).

All of that and much much more in this edition of Mobile Nations Weekly/


Mobile Nations Weekly: Anniversary Update

BlackBerry's newest phone is a new approach and Microsoft ramps up for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Microsoft is updating in a big way — the week past brought a huge update for the Xbox One and the week ahead will be bringing the huge Windows 10 Anniversary Update to PCs. The Xbox update brings the console's feature set even closer to that of core Windows, including the addition of Windows 10 app support and Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana.

BlackBerry's seond Android phone is here, and it's a mouthful: the BlackBerry DTEK50. Billed as the "world's most secure smartphone", the DTEK50 is actually a re-badge of the Alcatel Idol 4 — made by BlackBerry contractor and Alcatel owner TCL.

Apple's earnings report landed, and as expected, they made several buckets worth of money. And in an interesting twist, an Apple veteran is back to take over their not-so-secret car project.

There's all of that and so much more — like a VR roller coaster inside a real-life amusement park — in this edition of Mobile Nations Weekly!


Mobile Nations Weekly: Modular, mainstream, McLaren

Moto's modular masterpiece and Nokia's never known novelty.

Motorola's latest phones — the Moto Z and Moto Z Force have at long last arrived, but with a catch: they're Verizon "Droid"-brand exclusives for now. But give it a little while and the modular-backed smartphones will be available elsewhere. And even though the BlackBerry Security Summit was all about, well, security, we couldn't help but wander about new BlackBerry devices — word on that is coming next week.

Windows Mobile is going through something of a retrenchment period while a new path forward is plotted, but before things went south there was the Nokia McLaren. This highly impressive Windows Phone never saw the light of day until now, and we've got everything you need to know about its giant camera, all-metal body, and insane depth- and pressure-sensing display. Oh, and Microsoft made a bunch of money in the last quarter.

VR took a step into the mainstream with an impressive Mr. Robot tie-in and a new Star Wars game for HTC Vive. Speaking of the Vive, it's cropping up in the most unexpected places, like hospitals.

And, as you might expect, PokéGeddon continues, and we're all in. There's a new podcast — Go Time! — tips on throwing Pokémon Go curveballs, and a parent's guide to the insanity.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Pokéworld

It's a Pokémon Go world and we're just living in it.

The Pokémon Go craze continues. There's no denying the game's popularity. It's become one of the most popular mobile games in the world, if not the most popular. Ever. People are going nuts for it. You probably know somebody who has. Maybe you are that somebody. It's okay, we're here to help.

But... there are things other than Pokémon happening in the mobile tech world.

We've got word of when the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be announced (that'd be August 2nd) and rising competitor Huawei outed their new Honor 8 in China

Microsoft's next huge Windows 10 update — the Windows 10 Anniversary Update — is almost ready for a full public release. Anniversary Update is bringing a bunch of changes for both PC and Phone, the neatest of which are some new advanced pen features.

Tesla's most expensive vehicle also got a little less expensive: the new Model X 60D starts at $74,000 — or $66,500 after federal tax credits. Its 60kWh battery pack is actually a 75kWh pack that's been software-limited — but you can unlock the full capacity for a fee. And the Tesla Autopilot safety controversy continues, with calls for it to be disabled and ongoing resistance from Tesla.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Pokémon Going

If you're reading this you're not catching 'em all.

I'm not sure if you've heard, but there's this new game called Pokémon Go and well, everyone is playing it. Everyone. Including you.

Out now for Android and iPhone, Pokémon Go brings the classic Pokémon into the modern smartphone world. Not only do you capture and train your Pokémon to fight others, but you can actually go out into the world and capture Pokémon — it is perhaps the most intrinsically mobile of games.

Apart from that, Verizon fiddled with their data plans, giving customers more data but demanding more money in the process — at least there's now roll-over data and throttled overages. Speaking of Verizon, the launch-exclusive Moto Z Droid Edition and Moto Z Droid Edition are coming on July 14.

BlackBerry killed the BB10-powered Classic, but don't fear — the BlackBerry keyboard is here to stay. And even though it seems like WWDC 2016 was only a few short weeks ago, but the public betas for iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are now available for you to download and try.

New builds and rumors abounded for the Windows crowd, with fresh Windows 10 Anniversary Update builds for PC And Mobile and the addition of double-tap to wake on the Lumia 950. Rumors are continuing to swirl about the next Surface, supposedly due in the fall, and the anticipated HP Elite x3 will evidently come in blingy gold.


Mobile Nations Weekly: Name and release

N gets named, Autopilot turns deadly, and Huawei goes thin.

Android N finally has some branding clarity: N is for Nougat and the version is 7.0. It'll still be a while before the next flavor (*ahem*) of Android starts hitting devices, but at least we now know what it will taste li— err, what to call it. Samsung did something we've long been asking for — they released unlocked U.S. versions of the Galaxy S7. BlackBerry went big with advertising the same week they got the disappointing, if envitable, news that the United States Senate would no longer issue BlackBerry phones to staffers — but it appears that a new Android-powered BlackBerry is on the horizon.

Huawei is pushing hard with their new Windows 10 tablet, the MateBook; it's super thin and super impressive. Additionally, we finally have a date for the launch of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (also known as Redstone): August 2 for PC, Mobile, and even Xbox. But one of the marquee features — Messaging Everywhere — didn't make the release.

Those living on the bleeding edge of the Apple world are putting all of the upcoming software updates through their paces through developer previews. From iOS 10 to macOS Sierra, there's a lot to take in. Not to mention the big updates coming for tvOS and watchOS 3

The Tesla community is grappling with the first fatal wreck in an Autopilot-driven vehicle. The tragedy is drawing more scrutiny of automated driving, but also highlighting the dangers that arise when we get too complacent with technology that we know isn't yet ready to operate entirely on it's own. People die when we get reckless, and in this instance we're lucky only the driver of the Tesla was killed or injured.

VR took a tentative step forward into... reality? In a truly interesting experiment, the upcoming Ghostbusters movie put on a really unique VR experience. They called it "Ghostbusters: Dimension" and it took the stereoscopic 3D vision and audio and threw in some new senses: touch and smell.


Mobile Nations Weekly: MrMobile!

Say hello to the one, the only, the MrMobile.

Michael Fisher is back in action, ladies and gentlemen! As the one and only MrMobile, he'll be bringing to YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram his own unique take on the latest and greatest in technology.

MrMobile launched officially with the above amazing video, plus a review of the new OnePlus 3, a nerdy in-depth examination of the Star Trek Bluetooth Communicator, and a look at Tesla's EV offerings.

Give MrMobile a subscribe for even more great videos from the world of mobile technology!


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