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Mobile weekly wrap: iPhone 5 hangover week

A week after the iPhone 5 made it into the hands of nearly 5 million people, the world finally started spinning on its correct axis again. As the dust settled from the lines of stampeding early adopters, other companies started to unveil their own upcoming offerings. Whether its new tablets and phones for the holiday rush, leaks for the long term, and fallout from the iPhone launch, we’ve got the goods — along with apps and games — from this week in mobile tech (Sept. 23-28, 2012).

AT&T goes all-in on 4G

While the iPhone 5 is the biggest addition in terms of name recognition, AT&T is improving their 4G device offerings in quantity and quality. Teaming with Samsung for much of the new wave, AT&T announced four new devices, three phones and one tablet, from the Galaxy line up that will be available in the coming months. If users have trouble managing the madness of having so many devices on the 4G network, they can connect them all to AT&T’s newly announced touchscreen mobile hotspot. The first of its kind, the MiFi Liberate has a 2.8-inch touchscreen and will allow up to 10 devices to connect to it. It’s all part of AT&T’s plan to cover the world in LTE, which is pretty non-threatening on the scale of evil plots against humanity.

Where the Apple went rotten

Apple’s mobile OS brought quite a few innovations that have people clamoring for what might be possible in the future. For the time being, though, it’s not all pretty. The move away from Google’s products and embrace of Apple-made apps has left Maps users lost. It’s been so bad that Apple CEO Tim Cook openly apologized for the debacle. The switch isn’t the only wrong turn that Apple made. The newly redesigned headphones, dubbed “earpods,” seem to put the emphasis on “piece” in the term “earpiece.” That is to say, “piece of junk.” (That was a long way to go for that joke, I know.)

Blackberry fails upward

As more and more iPhones and Android devices creep in to the business space, Research in Motion is doing its best to dig in and wait out the storm. While it hasn’t really been working, it has managed to spin some losses into wins this week. The first “win” came with its second quarter reports. The company lost $235 million, which actually beat expectations of just how bad it was doing and led to a jump in its stock prices. Later, video of the yet-to-be-seen BlackBerry 10 L and N series phones leaked onto the web, blowing whatever surprise the company had planned for an unveiling. The thing is, the video generally impressed consumers and may mark a potential comeback for the oft-forgotten phone company. 

Apps and games of the week

Street Fighter X Tekken ($3, iOS) – The button-mashing, combo-smashing fighter that has been a favorite on the consoles now makes its way to mobile. This iOS title will allow for you to take your fist to your friends online or play through single player battles.

Scape ($6, iPad) – Carry a composer with you. Scape lets you pick between a variety of different soundscapes, mixing and matching them as the app creates a custom, computer-generated soundtrack for your listening pleasure.

Draw Pad Pro ($2, Blackberry) – Just because you’re on a BlackBerry doesn’t mean you’re all business. Let your creative side flow with the inner artist’s dream app.

LazyLog (Free, Android) – While some missed calls and texts are important, others are the equivalent of inbox spam. Cast them to the side and get back to the people that matter with LazyLog.

eTrade Mobile (Free, Windows) While it’s been out on iOS and Android, Windows users can finally get their hands on this powerful portfolio manager.

Skitch (Free, iPhone) This app is already available for iPad and Android and has been beloved buy its owners on those platforms. It’s finally making its debut on the iPhone, and is sure to get just as much love.

Friendizer – (Free, Android) – This app will close the gap between your charming inner personality and unfortunate lack of social skills. Check out who else is near by and if your interests match up without having to go through awkward small talk.

BDrive (Free, iOS/Android) – The social cloud memory bank, use BDrive on your device of choice and share files between other devices and users to create a completely virtual community database.

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