Surprise! Facebook is the year’s most popular mobile app

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Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 14.57.26
Nielsen's sample of the year's most popular apps.
Photo: Nielsen

With 2016 coming to a close, Nielsen has ranked the year’s most popular mobile apps in the U.S. and — wouldn’t you know it! — Facebook takes the top two spots with its Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps.

Despite the growth of other social media services, Facebook saw growth of 14 percent from last year, with more than 146 million average unique users each month. Facebook Messenger also picked up over 129 million unique users every month.

Apple beat Samsung on device activations this Christmas

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Apple had a heckuva Christmas.
Photo: Flurry

More iPhones and iPads were activated over the festive season than any other company’s handsets and tablets, according to data published by analytics firm Flurry.

Analyzing data about phone and app activation throughout the week leading up to Christmas day and the start of Chanukah, Flurry found that 44 percent of all new activations were for Apple devices — more than twice the number of nearest rival, Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy S7 explodes in man’s face

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Galaxy Note 7 that exploded while charging.
Galaxy Note 7 that exploded while charging.
Photo: Mr NiBaidu

A Canadian man says he’s lucky to still have his eyes after a Samsung Galaxy S7 exploded in his hands.

Amarjit Mann told a local news station that he felt something in his pocket getting warm while he was driving. He pulled out his Galaxy S7 and says it exploded immediately. Sparks from the blast hit him in the cheek.

Cheapo Androids erode iPhone market share globally

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iPhone
iPhones were a small part of the overall smartphone pie in Q3.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhones fell to just 12 percent of worldwide marketshare in Q3, claims a new report from Strategy Analytics — totting up the figures for what it claims was the fastest growth period for smartphones in one year.

Android phones, on the other hand, captured a record 88 percent of global smartphones shipments during the three month period. As for BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone? Best not to ask, really!

Apple could troll Samsung by putting a store in its backyard

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Samsung
This could very well be a future arial shot of the Seoul street layout.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has been opening plenty of Apple stores in China, but it could go even further into East Asia with a brand new retail store — based directly across the street from Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

We guess Tim Cook’s been taking trolling notes again!

Exploding Galaxy Note 7 wipes out family’s Jeep

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Probably not the Galaxy ad Samsung was hoping for!
Photo: Fox 13

An exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone has reportedly totaled the Jeep Grand Cherokee of a family in St. Petersburg, just days after Samsung issued a worldwide recall for its hottest new smartphone.

Owner Nathan Dornacher said that he and his wife went to a yard sale over Labor Day weekend. While unloading a desk they’d bought for their daughter, Nathan left his new Note 7 to charge in his vehicle.

Samsung stops shipping Galaxy Note 7 after phones explode

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Apple should steal a lot of the Note 7's features, except the exploding one.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones have barely made it into the wild, but early reports of the devices exploding in customers’ homes may have caused the company to delay shipments.

In a statement to news outlets today, Samsung said it delayed shipments to do product-quality tests, however, local reports from South Korea reveal the company may be investigating whether the device is prone to spontaneously burst into flames.

T-Mobile is killing data plans to go ‘unlimited’

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere.
Say goodbye to data plans. (With a couple of provisos.)
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile has declared “the era of the data plan is over,” and that it is offering all users unlimited data from this point on.

Called T-Mobile ONE, the new setup announced by CEO John Legere offers customers a way to get rid of pesky data plans — with unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE smartphone data, all for the impressively low cost of $40 per line if you’re a family of (at least) four.