Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, December 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

Time for the last mobile stories wrap-up of 2013! It’s been a crazy year for mobile, and December was no different. In fact, a lot of the stories are about how great mobile has been for businesses and consumers alike. Also, there a lot of “what’s coming around the corner” stories that show what 2014 might look like.

1. Windows 9

Could the next edition of Windows be around the corner? Windows 8 didn’t exactly win over the hearts and minds of new customers or old fans, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Microsoft hurried the next version out.

2. Blackberry has another bad month

While there were several stories of Blackberry not exactly having a great final month of 2013 (abysmal Christmas sales, for one), a story from the beginning of December captured just how bad things have gotten. They literally wrote two letters to their customers to remind them they are “very much alive.” Ouch!

3. Cyber Monday Sales

The numbers for Cyber Monday came in shortly after the event, and it’s not entirely a surprise that 2013’s edition was another blockbuster. Sales were way up and it seems that mobile played a huge part in helping to break records.

4. Phablets Big in 2014?

Bob O’Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, seems to think the phablet will overtake traditional small tablets in the new year. Considering they’re a huge hit over a growing number of countries, especially South Korea, it’s not a far-fetched idea.

5. New Features Coming to Galaxy S5

While the S5 didn’t perform as expected, some new features coming out may change that. The quad HD display is ok, but reports of an eye scanner for extra security adds a much more interesting wrinkle.

6. Real Live Buttons

Remember phones that had actual buttons you could press for Menu, Back and the like? Those were the days. Well you can now relive them with the low-end Galaxy Core Advance.

7. Amazon Acquires Gopago

Amazon quietly made another acquisition in December: Gopago, an app that allows customers to pre-pay for goods before picking them up at the store. Not only that, but could this be part of Amazon’s secret “ambitious” new project?

8. Thanksgiving Apps

Thanksgiving sales were up this year, partially due to mobile – and it also turns out Americans also opened more apps than ever before. Over 1.3 billion were opened, a more than 2/3 jump over 2012.

9. Lumia 1320 Lands in China First

Showing the growing Chinese market for companies, Nokia has decided to release the Lumia 1320 in China first. The budget phone will soon also land in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other countries, yet no word about the US yet.

10. Smartphones in 2014

The smartphone war is just going to pick up like crazy in 2014. So what should smartphone companies focus on if they hope to make any ground on competitors? In short: playing with the accepted shape, form, and design.

Did we miss any big news from December? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, November 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

What a crazy month! Some companies are doing well (Apple) while some are pretty much toast (Blackberry). Some companies are suing (Microsoft) while others are getting sued (um…Microsoft). We’ve got Terminators, Wi-Fi turning into electricity, and execs actually admitting faults – clearly, November has been a riotous one.

1. Become a Google Glass Explorer

Well, it’s that time – time to get in (virtual) line to become a Google Glass Explorer! Sign up and as soon as a spot is available (and you have a cool $1,500 extra for the entry fee) you’re welcome to step into the future. Just remember: try not to drive with them just yet.

2. LG G Flex is Basically a Terminator

Uh oh, you just got a nasty scratch on your smartphone. It’s done for, right? Well, not if you have the G Flex, as it’s pretty much the T-1000 from Terminator 2 and can heal itself. It doesn’t work perfectly, as detailed in the blog post, but it’s still a really cool feature that will hopefully improve.

3. More Lawsuits

The patent wars continue – this time with Microsoft suing Acacia over broken contracts and patent infringement. The lawsuit is actually a countersuit from Microsoft after they were sued by Acacia subsidiaries back in October…ugh, I have a headache. We’ll just wait and see.

4. Wi-Fi Signals Turned Into Electricity

You live in the future and you’re tired of your battery in your smartphone dying all the time. Actually, wait, you’re not, because your battery doesn’t die anymore since the tech for turning wi-fi signals into electricity was developed way back in 2013! You laugh, get in your teleporting space car, and go to work inside of a black hole or something.

5. Verizon Admits a Problem

Somewhat surprising for a wireless carrier company, Verizon acknowledged their customer complaints that signals are weak in bigger cities due to capacity constraints. They’ve invested $500 million in infrastructure, so at least they’re taking strides to fix it.

6. Coin Doing Well

Have you heard of Coin? If not, you will; it’s a Bluetooth enabled swipeable that allows you to store multiple cards (credit, debit, loyalty, etc) so there’s no more searching through your wallet. They’ve recently boosted availability and added new security features. Wouldn’t be surprised if this is a really big deal in 2014.

7. Apple Stores to Offer 5S & 5C Screens

If you have an iPhone 5S or 5C you know that small problems could mean a totally new phone for you since repairs weren’t “ready” yet at stores. That’s all set to change, including repairs like replacing screens.

8. Apple Leads, Samsung Nibbling at their Heels

With two new iPhone models out on the market, Apple has a large chunk of the US mobile market this month at just over 40%. However, Samsung was no slouch, gaining almost 25% stake in US mobile devices. The numbers after the holidays should be really interesting.

9. U-Verse Dropping Xbox 360 Support

Do you use your Xbox 360 to watch cable through U-Verse? Not anymore you don’t, at least at the beginning of the year. As of January 1st the feature will be gone and you’ll be forced to get a conventional box.

10. Get a Z10 for a Song and a Smile

If you were waiting for the price to drop even more on the Z10, your wait is over. If you wait any longer, Blackberry will have to start paying you to take it off their hands. That’s because the Z10 is free on Verizon and 49 cents on AT&T. Not sure which is worse, actually.

Did we miss any big news from October? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, October 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

Time for our monthly wrap-up of all the amazing news that may have slipped through the cracks! A few new releases, other companies making big strides and taking big risks, and some interesting rumors that may or may not come to pass. Plus, one big court case that could have huge implications in the tech world. Let’s get started!

1. Google Glass While Driving – Illegal?

This has potential to be one of the biggest stories that happened this month. A cop gave a ticket to Glass Explorer Cecilia Abade while she drove around California. However, there’s no actual law saying it’s illegal and the state will have to prove she was using it as “entertainment” rather than “informative.” Definitely one to keep an eye on!

2. Motorola Backs Phonebloks

There was some good buzz this month about Phonebloks, the concept phone that lets you switch out components of a phone and not just software. Now, Motorola is throwing their weight behind it with their group Project Ara.

3. Amazon Phone…Again

It comes, it goes…but it looks like the Amazon smartphone is here to stay! New information from Bloomberg and Financial Times could mean we’ll see the phone sooner rather than later. But could it make a dent in the market?

4. Sony Backs Off US

While Sony usually doesn’t struggle with breaking into markets, their smartphone venture in the US has proven to be a little more difficult than they first thought. So much so that CEO Kaz Hirai said Sony is ceding to the competition at least until they can come up with a solid plan.

5. PayPal Thinks People Like QR Codes

To make payments easier, PayPal has gone all in with their new QR Payment Codes. To be honest, although QR codes have a bad reputation, this could be very intuitive and speed mobile payments up by quite a bit. Some big names are reportedly behind the move as well, such as Home Depot.

6. iPad Air Will be Super Duper Fast

If the numbers are to be believed, iPad Air will be a million times faster than everything else on the market: twice as fast as 4 and five times faster than 2. Want to find out the truth? You don’t have to wait long; it comes out November 1st!

7. Tablets Grow, PCs Decline

Unsurprisingly, tablets are taking it to traditional PCs this year, up 53% to the PCs decline of 11%. While PCs still have a stranglehold on the computer market as a whole, things are changing, and they are changing rapidly.

8. Coupons Through Google?

Look for coupons the next time you search around Google Maps! A little blue tag will let you know the company has linked a coupon with Maps, giving them an edge on the competition. Could your business use this new function?

9. Tweeting Bra

Wish your clothes could talk to your friends and family? Probably not, but it is an interesting application of the Internet of Things. Plus, the tweeting bra was for a good cause: raising awareness for breast cancer.

10. Technology Transforming the Less Fortunate

We know technology has done a ton for us in our everyday lives. But how much has it changed lives for the world’s poor? More than we realize, as this blog post details.

Did we miss any big news from October? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, August 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

It was a fairly low-key month for mobile, especially after last month’s leak-a-thon. Still, there was still a lot to talk about, including patent bannings, some release dates, and even some wacky news like flip phones becoming a thing that people buy (what year is it?). Let’s get started on all things mobile!

1. iPhone 5S in September

While there was plenty of back and forth about the various new iPhones, one thing looks certain: the 5S is coming in September, possibly on the 20th. Or it’ll be in October. Either way, soon!

2. New Zealand Bans Software Patents

Perhaps in response to all the bickering between companies the past few years, New Zealand has banned software patents. They hope this will spur innovation so companies don’t have to worry about getting buried under legal tape every time they make something new.

3. Smartphones Beat Dumbphones

For the first time ever, smartphones overtook “dumbphones” globally. It’s been a point coming for some time now, but the tipping point was finally reached. Growth came in all regions, but was strongest in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.

4. Android Device Manager

Android announced and released Android Device Manager for their devices which helps you recover lost tablets and phones. The Manager lets your device ring whether it’s on silence or not, and if it’s out of earshot you can see it on a map. Hopefully next up: installing this on your keys!

5. Blackberry 10.2 Simulator Arrives

The next version of Blackberry Simulator has hit and includes 3D views, camera support, and 4.2 Jelly Bean. The company also claims it will work with “any USB compatible Bluetooth dongle.”

6. Flip Phones are In Again

Samsung is betting that everyone woefully misses the flip-phone as it unveils the Galaxy Golden. It’s a flipper with 4.2 Jelly Bean and contains two back to back 3.7 inch screens, meaning you can see the screen open and closed. No word if it comes with Backstreet Boys and Goo Goo Dolls songs pre-installed.

7. Leak Shows Z30

Blackberry’s first phablet is coming, and another leak gives us a better idea what it will look like. It’s the largest BB to ever be released and features 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 8 megapixel rear camera, 16GB of internal storage, and much more. Could it be the turnaround the company needs?

8. Telepathy Raises a Ton of Money

Google Glass competitors are constantly coming out of the woodwork, and yet another has announced they’ve raised funds to get started. Japanese company Telepathy raised $5 million to make its own wearable tech to compete with Google. Who will come out on top?

9. T-Mobile Doing Well

T-Mobile is experiencing some happy days after its Uncarrier event revealed simpler programs and plans. Also helping: selling lots of phone as well as plugging up the hole that was bleeding repeat customers.

10. Youtube Update

Youtube for Android has always been halfway useful, but a new update released in August might get more users to click on it regularly. It’s one of the biggest updates they’ve ever gotten, including brand new interface, in-app multitasking, playlist searching, and much more.

Did we miss any big news from August? Let us know in the comments!

SEO Friendly Mobile Redirection

Heads up, mobile developers! In a recent blog post, Google announced that they were going to start penalizing sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users (in mobile search)

Problems, Problems

Mobile Search Misconfiguration Errors

Is this where you want to send your Smartphone traffic?

Fortunately, they didn’t leave us hanging, and detailed the two most common smartphone configuration errors, the first of which was the always-frustrating faulty redirect.

This happens when someone clicks a link to your site from search but doesn’t end up on the equivalent page on your site.

Ex: They click http://www.handsetdetection.com/blog because they want to check out your awesome new blog post about variable substitution….

But they end up at http://m.handsetdetection.com instead.

You had a faulty redirect. This creates more work for the user, who now has to search around your home page. If they were already dealing with a slow mobile network to begin with, you’ve already frustrated your potential customer. Not to mention Google’s algorithm. Uh oh.

The Solution

Handset Detection has you covered on faulty redirects with our Variable Substitution feature.

When redirecting to your mobile site from search, Handset Detection can be configured to preserve URL query perimeters. So if someone clicks your “About” page on a search listing, you can send them directly to the mobile version of your About page. No more accidentally routing them to your nice mobile homepage.

To make a long story short, while logged into Handset Detection:

1) Create a website profile
2) Add a redirection rule (such as ismobile is true)
3) In the ‘Redirect to this URL’ field place your url with the substitution eg m.domain.com$path$

This will redirect from www.domain.com/about-us to m.domain.com/about-us and
from www.domain.com/a/b/page.html to m.domain.com/a/b/page.html (It takes the path and substitutes that into the redirected url).

Click here for all the vital details on redirection using variable substitution. Google will smile upon you if you do.

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, March 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. The Blackberry Recovery

Blackberry’s Hail Mary pass seems to have worked as they made over $94 million revenue and shipped over 1 million Blackberry 10 devices in Q4. Whether or not this upswing stays is another thing, but this is a good sign for the company.

2. Cheap iPhone Rumor #83297489

It’s happening, it’s not happening – every day or so the story changes. The latest rumor has the cheap version of the iPhone coming out in August. Is it true? We’ll just have to wait and see.

3. Nexus 5 – Too Much Too Soon?

Excited about the Nexus 5? Think it’s going to be the greatest thing since the Nexus 4? You might be a little premature, in that literally everything you’ve heard may be completely untrue.

4. Lockscreen Security Bug

Smartphones are having some security issues, and one of the latest in March was the lockscreen security bug with Samsung Android phones. The exploit lets sneaky people into your phone with a series of spy-worthy button presses.

5. Car Apps

Tired of playing with apps on your tablet or phone? In a few years you’ll be able to play Angry Birds 19 with an app in your car! Looks like we have some work to do when customers start shopping at your store from their windshield…

6. White House on Unlocking Phones

Surprises all around when not only did a petition to the White House to investigate unlocking phones get enough signatures but the White House actually agreed customers should be able to do so! Next step: an investigation, and what it means for businesses everywhere.

7. LTE on its Way

T-Mobile announced earlier this month the LTE is on its way, and by the time you read this they should be around the country. They’ve also included a nice update on the Galaxy Note 2 software updates.

8. Google Glass Apps

More information is coming out about Google Glass, including the programs and apps it will run. Power hitters like Gmail (obviously), New York Times, and Evernote are some of the first to announce support. Who knows what’s to come in the future?

9. Wireless Charging

Plugging in your phone to charge is and always will be a pain. Luckily several companies out there are plugging away at creating the proper tech for wireless charging, with one company sponsored by none other than AT&T.

10. Hate Your Phone?

Do you hate your mobile device? You’re certainly not alone, at least according to mobile video service Vuclip. A survey of more than 120,000 users revealed 48% of people hate their current device. With so many options out there, it may just be a case of “grass is greener.”

Did we miss any big news from March? Let us know in the comments!

Breaking Mobile News You May Have Missed 2/01/13

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Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Unlocking Now Illegal

Just picked up the hot new Android or Apple smartphone and want to unlock it for your own purposes? Be prepared to break the law, because this action is now illegal. Will you do it anyway?

2. Blackberry 10 Review

RIM (now just Blackberry) officially launched the Blackberry 10 line, and the reviews of the phones are coming in. Mashable reviewed the Z10 and found it “exceptional, but perplexing.” Find out why!

3. T-Mobile Smartphones Supporting LTE

T-Mobile is set to “light up” its LTE network in Las Vegas with Kansas City soon to follow, but which smartphones will actual support the network?

4. Facebook Mobile

More Facebook users are jumping on the mobile version rather than going on their computers according to recent stats. If you’ve ever been stuck in a long line or felt the aftermath of late night super spicy nachos, you know it’s true.

5. Organize Your Life

Mobile apps can be fun and quirky, but the best ones help you get your life in order. Check out these 7 that can help you organize everything that needs organizing!

6. Galaxy S4 Coming in April?

The Galaxy S4’s announcement is at least another month away, so when should we be able to buy the thing? Some leaked documents seem to indicate the launch could be as early as April.

7. Mobile Coupons

With the rise of mobile comes new ways of bringing in customers…some that seem awfully familiar, like coupons! Mobile coupons are a huge deal right now, and here are some stats to show you why you should be doing it too.

8. Remote for Your Phone…

Tired of physically touching your phone? Who isn’t? Well, now you have an option – the HTC Mini remote! It lets you do all sorts of stuff you can do with your phone/tablet, just in a…smaller form…like a mini phone. Sorry, I just don’t get this, but good luck to them!

We think we were pretty thorough this week. But did we miss the big mobile news you were most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

Breaking Mobile News You May Have Missed 1/25/13

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Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Galaxy Note 8 Caught on Camera!

The new Samsung device is expected to make its debut next week at the Mobile World Congress, but yesterday there was a leak showing it in the hands of a user. Luckily it wasn’t caught saucily shrugging off it’s case for an iPhone 5S or anything!

2. iPhones Rule US & Japan

Android may be the king in the rest of the world, but Apple has the market cornered in the US and Japan. Other interesting growth: Windows Phone is slowly capturing Europe, possibly due to Android saturation.

3. Siri’s Story

Not many remember Siri’s original incarnation. Here’s how she’s grown over the years and why she could totally overshadow the iPhone in the future.

4. The Last Symbian

Nokia’s earnings are on the way up, but the Nokia 808 Pureview may have been the last Symbian phone. However, look for the company to integrate Pureview tech into future Windows Phone devices. Also: the headline for this blurb sounds like a fantasy novel.

5. Big Mac Problems

No, not the burger from McDonald’s we pretend not to like. Apple figured out its inventory problem with the iPhone, but now they may face a similar issue with their Mac department.

6. New Shoes

We all suffer from not knowing when to get new shoes, or at least I do. I know it keeps me up at night! Well wonder no longer – Apple patented smart shoes that alarm you when they’re about to “die.” Honestly, it’s pretty neat, but would you use them?

7. 5 Inch Displays Rule 2013

Another big winner for 2013? The 5 inch display, at least if the early trend is to be believed! This is yet another sign that the “phablet” is sure to be the future of mobile devices.

8. Google Says Chill About Motorola

Google may have earned over $14 billion in Q4, but Motorola was not part of those earnings. Instead of freaking out, Google says for everyone to give them some time, as it may take a little while to get them back on their feet. Can they really reinvent the business and make it profitable again?

9. Smartphones in the Job Market

The smartphone has undoubtedly changed the job market, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Employers are finding new employees with new tech but employees are also messing up a great job by forgetting themselves on those same phones. Care to share any examples of people who’ve accidentally used their smartphone to Tweet or email themselves out of a job?

We think we were pretty thorough this week. But did we miss the big mobile news you were most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

Breaking Mobile News You May Have Missed 1/18/13

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Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Apple Cuts iPhone 5 Parts Orders

With sales not quite what they expected, Apple has cut iPhone 5 parts orders in half. Does this also have something to do with the (possibly fake) cheaper iPhone model?

2. Google Wants You to hack Glasses

The New York and San Francisco hack-a-thons are coming up, and Google will be there with the Google Glass project. They will be willingly allowing developers to take a crack at the tech to learn how to create software and get the skinny on the Internet enabled glasses.

3. Nokia Cuts Jobs?

Despite doing great recently, Nokia is still chopping 300 jobs and another 800+ getting shuffled around. Seems no matter how well you’re doing it’s still not enough to keep everybody.

4. Connected Cars

Looking for a real smart car? Google’s driverless vehicle is a ways off, but in the meantime other makers are looking to connect their cars in various ways, although they’re careful due to safety reasons.

5. Facebook Calling

Need to make a call to a friend but don’t want to stop looking at status updates? Facebook now allows free calling between iPhone users, as long as they’re both using the Messenger app!

6. Peak of the iPhone

Is 2013 the last growth year for the iPhone? Analysts are saying the company will peak this year and will level off or even descend in the next five years.

7. Lumia to Carry X-Box’s Blobster

Nokia’s Lumia phone will be the only phone to carry X-Box’s new Blobster game. It’s yet another exclusive it gets with its Windows Phone 8 platform. Will it have any interactivity between the actual X-Box console?

8. Trees Literally Call for Help

It sounds like some sort of hippie dream, but talking trees are a reality…well, sort of. In Brazil, trees are set up with Gemalto radio tech to call for help when they’re getting cut down. The range is up to 20 miles and should help with illegal logging

We think we were pretty thorough this week. But did we miss the big mobile news you were most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

Breaking Mobile News You May Have Missed 1/11/13

*Love Handset Detection? Take our quick survey and make us even better!*

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Polaroid Announces Camera with Jelly Bean 

This week was filled with CES news coming from every which-a-way, including, of all companies, hipster favorite Polaroid! The iM1836 is a Jelly Bean powered camera with a mirrorless camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.

2. Morphing Touchscreen

Another crazy invention coming out of CES was the morphing touchscreen. Imagine you’re using your tablet and you have a lengthy email to write. You’re tired of missing buttons all the time as you just can’t get used to the keys not…wait, what’s this? The keys just rose out of the screen! You send your email, and the keys vanish magically back into the screen. It could completely change the way touchscreen typing is done.

3. 6 Blackberry 10s

Another big news item out of CES was that RIM is going to release not just one but six Blackberry 10 phones. They vary in price and capability, and you can expect the first two to debut with the announcement of Blackberry 10 on January 30th.

4. Cheaper iPhones

Cheaper iPhones are most likely on their way, making some wonder why and how it’s going to hurt Apple’s sales. However, the move could make a lot of sense by bringing in those who want to try an iPhone without breaking the bank.

5. NFC

Near Field Communications saw success at CES, with all sorts of robots and talking fridges and paired up devices making waves. Could we finally be entering the “house of the future” era?

6. World’s Slimmest Phone

Tired of carrying around a brick in your pocket? The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra measures just at 6.45mm which clocks it as the world’s slimmest phone. It only has 8 GB of storage, though, so be prepared to utilize as many clouds as you can find.

7. Google Increases Patents

Likely inspired by Apple vs. Samsung, Google increased its patent filing by 170% in 2012. Their 1,151 patents actually surpassed Apple’s 1,136 patents!

8. Dial Up was Better?

According to Vint Cerf, dial-up was better…for competition, at least. According to the co-father of the Internet, broadband actually killed a lot of competition as it narrowed the possibilities down. Could Google’s Fiber project help with that?

9. Beam Me Up!

Now for the nerdiest news of the week – and the item I’m most excited about! Forget Bluetooth, the cool new way to interact with your phone is a way that’s been around for years…the Star Trek CommBadge! Now instead of walking around talking to yourself, you can tap your chest and look awesome. Expect to see these in every comic convention around the world forever.

We think we were pretty thorough this week. But did we miss the big mobile news you were most excited about? Let us know in the comments!