Weekly mobile wrap: MetroPCS is the prettiest girl at the dance

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The holidays are quickly approaching, as if you couldn’t tell by the inappropriate combination of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations that fighting for retail territory like rival gangs. While you’re not likely to land a mobile device for Halloween — are there candy smartphones yet?– it does look like the days between now and the New Year will be packed with treats from every major name in the mobile field. This week saw AT&T bulk up it’s mobile menu, smartphone use come under scrutiny, and MetroPCS emerge as a major player — assuming someone else owns it. All that plus the best apps and games from the week of October 1-5, 2012.

Smartphone surveys reveal men and women are different

Have you ever noticed just how different men and women are? One could only imagine there is some really apt observations that perhaps a humorist of some sort could make about these things. According to surveys that surfaced this week, men and women use their phones in different ways. Men are more likely to watch a movie on their mobile device, says a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and InMobi.On the other side of the spectrum, women make up a majority of the gaming market reports EEDAR. Likely included in those surveys were some teens, as 58 percent of 13 to 17 year olds own smartphones according to Nielsen research. Presumably they just email back and forth about how absurd it is that they have smartphones.

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AT&T want to carry everything

Last week, AT&T bolstered their mobile offerings by swiping up a handful of Samsung phones to include in their upcoming lineup. This week, they’ve continued to lengthen the already sizable list of devices that will be available on their network. With Windows 8 smartphones coming just around the corner, AT&T has already put in their claim for a part of the market. The sizable carrier will place exclusivity on the first two Nokia Windows offering with the Lumia 920 and 820. Never one to be satisfied, AT&T then dipped back into the waters of Samsung and caught a camera. Not wanting to squander the opportunity, AT&T said, “why not?” and added the Dropbox-compatible camera to it’s 4G network.

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MetroPCS is suddenly important

If you were familiar with MetroPCS before the week, you were likely either one of their nine million subscribers or you pay close attention to the mobile market. Don’t be surprised if the name starts sounding more familiar in the weeks to come — though it’ll likely disappear under a new name after that. The sizable regional carrier has become the prize of two separate mobile providers: Sprint and T-Mobile. Earlier in the week, it appeared that MetroPCS would become property of T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom and the two would become one. It seemed all but final until a desperate Sprint tossed its hat in the ring. Both T-Mobile and Sprint seem to think MetroPCS is the key to compete with the big two, AT&T and Verizon. MetroPCS probably agrees because who wouldn’t love that kind of attention?

Fresh App of the Week

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Rumpus Music (iPad, $2) – Friends love to try to get one another hooked on their favorite music. How many times have you had a person insist you have to hear the latest song from their favorite band? Even if you looked it up and kind of dug it, it probably was forgotten not long after that first listen. Rumpus aims to change that by acting as your archiver. No matter how much new music you discover on your aural journey, Rumpus will lead you back to your beginning point, allowing you to listen you’ve loved along the way. You can also grab Rumpus on Android phones and tablets.

Honorable Mentions

CamRuler (iOS, $2) – Turns your iOS device’s camera into an accurate means of measurement.

CowLick (Windows Phone, Free) – A simple and plain Twitter app. It’s lightweight and light on distractions. You get just the tweets.

TomTom (Android, $38) GPS service from one of the most trusted names in travel. No matter where you live, you can get directions. Also available for iOS.

Fresh New Game of the Week

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Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin (iOS, $1) – A new chapter to the beloved Windows Phone game (yes, there is such a thing), Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin is a fantastic offering. With 3D animations, intuitive tap and touch controls, and increasingly intense battles, it’s a game that is sure to keep you engaged. The graphics might be bright but the game’s humor is on the dark side, so prepare for some morbid pleasures along the way.

Honorable Mentions

Stick Tennis (Blackberry, Free) – It’s sports according to sticks. Take to the tennis court in this ace of a game. Also available on Android.

Grow Away! (iOS, $1) – Monsters have run out of sweets and are attacking vegetables out of desperation. Help fight back in this tower defense-style title.

NBA 2K13 (iOS/Android, $8) – Take on the NBA, past and present, with the latest installment in the NBA 2K series.


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