Weekly Mobile Wrap: Election hangover edition

weekly mobile wrap election hangover edition voting machine

The 2012 Presidential election is finally over. We can all finally go back to Instagramming pictures of food like a civilized society. No more talk of red states or blue states. We’re back to being one nation united under our love for mobile devices. This week was packed with political stories, so it’d be pretty easy to miss all the excitement that happened in the world of mobile tech. Don’t worry because we’ve lined it all up and counted it down for you. And don’t forget, we’ve got the newest apps and games worth checking out, all in our summary of the news from November 4-9, 2012.

weekly mobile wrap election hangover edition xboxsurface1

5. The Xbox Surface tablet surfaces

Microsoft is easily one of the most recognizable names in technology, but it just can’t make Microsoft synonymous with mobile. Even with Windows 8 out and running on PCs, tablets, and phones, Microsoft can’t get the love it believes it deserves. Instead of sitting back and letting others play with the OS, the Redmond based company might take matters into its own hands — and it’s bringing out the big guns to do it. Microsoft has reportedly begun development on an in-house tablet that will sport Xbox branding and focus on gaming. Now gamers can be insulted by sassy 9-year-old kids on Xbox Live even on the go.

weekly mobile wrap election hangover edition apple court

4. Apple keeps holding court

We’re starting to think Apple never wanted to be a computer company. It truly wanted to be a law firm but just could never pass the bar. It’d explain why the fruit-themed tech company was back in court on two different cases this week. Not satisfied with a victory over Samsung earlier this year, Apple went after the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). The official lawsuit could include up to 17 more devices that either have a stylus or could use a stylus but didn’t ship with one. While we’re sure there’s some reason for this suit, it seems like Apple is suing Samsung for not including an accessory that Apple devices also don’t have. Given that Apple just had another case against Motorola dismissed in which the Cupertino company accused Motorola of abusing the patent system, it seems Apple is suing people for doing what it does. We wouldn’t be shocked if Apple had a patent on how to abuse patents.

weekly mobile wrap election hangover edition foxconn

3. Consumers can’t get enough, Foxconn can’t make enough

Even though Apple is spending much of its time in court, consumers are too distracted by the pretty looking products the company produces to really care about its extracurricular affairs. The first weekend they were available, the fourth generation iPad and its smaller sibling, the iPad Mini, sold more than 3 million units. Don’t expect those numbers to curb down too quickly, as everyone’s holiday wish list appears to have an Apple product on it. With the iPad Mini’s LTE model set to come out soon, it’s up to Foxconn to meet the demand. That’s something the manufacturer had difficulties with when it came to the iPhone 5.

weekly mobile wrap election hangover edition spraytect pepper spray

2. New uses for your phone

The great thing about mobile technology is there are always new ideas that change and improve what you can do with your handset or tablet. Take, for example, the iPhone case that shoots pepper spray. It’s meant to be a defense method to fend off potential attackers. This is an improvement over the previous method of simply bludgeoning the would be criminal with your phone. Another new way to take advantage of tech on the go came from a mom that wrote an entire novel on her Blackberry phone. Finally, someone has found a use for Blackberry.

weekly mobile wrap election hangover edition app update roundup

1. The week of app updates

You can skip down to the next section to take a look at the best new apps that came to market this week, but sometimes you just want your old trustworthy apps by your side. Some very highly regarded downloads got upgraded with an update this week. Among the old dogs learning new tricks are Tumblr, Evernote, Foursquare, Pinterest, and Pulse News. Another app we expect to see an update roll out for soon is Mitt Romney’s campaign app, which will now simply display unemployment numbers for Mitt Romney (currently at 100% unemployment).

Fresh new app of the week

weekly mobile wrap election hangover edition 365scores

365Scores (Free, iPhone) — Amazing moments in sports are something you have to see, not just read or hear about. 365Scores understands that and is here to score with sports fans. Not only will you get aggregated updates about your favorite teams, complete with real time updates of scores and stats, but you’ll also get video of every score just minutes after it happens live. This is instant replay on demand for sports fans.

Flitto (Free, Android) — Learning a new language can be easier if it’s a little more relatable. Flitto takes your Twitter feed and translates it to the language you’re trying to learn so you can compare English to what will soon be your second language.

Udemy (Free, iPad) — Udemy has been producing top quality online courses for people interested in all parts of computer programming. Now yo ucan take those lessons with you with this mobile app.

Fresh new game of the week

weekly mobile wrap election hangover edition angrybirdsstarwars

Angry Birds Star Wars ($1, iPhone and Windows Phone/$3, iPad and Kindle Fire/Free, Android) — This is the app you’re looking for. Use the force to bring Angry Birds Star Wars to whatever mobile platform you’re using. It’s the same game you know and love with a new skin that doesn’t skimp on the insider references. Star Wars fans are sure to love it, and even those that have no interest in visiting a galaxy far, far away are sure to enjoy a new installment in this fan favorite series.

Skylanders Lost Islands (Free, iOS) — Adding to the already extensive world of Skylanders, this game takes you to a whole new landscape where you can build and evolve your own village. 

World at Arms (Free, iOS) — War. What is it good for? Well, it makes for a pretty decent game. World at Arms puts you in the President’s seat after a war breaks out on U.S. territory. Stop the evil empire before it takes over.

Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Gaming

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.
Mobile

iOS jailbreak app store Cydia shuts down purchasing

For years, iOS users have been jailbreaking their devices to install software not approved by Apple. But now the popular app store alternative Cydia will no longer be accepting purchases.
News

Lawsuit alleges Apple falsely advertised the screen size of the iPhone X

A lawsuit alleges that Apple was dishonest in the way that it marketed the iPhone X. The lawsuit alleges that despite Apple's marketing campaign, the new iPhone is not in fact all screen because of the notch.
Business

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.
Mobile

Report: Samsung's upcoming foldable phone will cost a hefty $1,800

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Smart Home

Starbucks teams with Uber Eats for delivery from 2,000 of its U.S. stores

Starbucks has teamed up with Uber Eats to offer customers deliveries from almost a quarter of its stores in the U.S. The major expansion launches early next year, making life even easier for fans of the coffee giant.
Mobile

Huawei Nova 4 has a hole in the screen, and a 48-megapixel camera on the back

Huawei has launched the Nova 4, a new smartphone that has abandoned the screen notch and adopted a punch hole alternative, and also has a massive 48-megapixel camera. Here's what you need to know about the Nova 4.
Mobile

Black hole in the screen of Samsung's new Galaxy A8s has a camera inside

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.
Mobile

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.
Mobile

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.