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The HTC One is one of Android’s best phones — it came second in our list of recommended flagship phones — and it is now available for Windows Phone. Windows Phone 8.1 is a mature platform and mostly on par with iOS and Android, and now it also has top notch hardware. The HTC One for Windows Phone is cheap too at $100 on contract in the US.

Unfortunately, it won’t be enough. This fair review from the Wall Street Journal sums it up best:

In the smartphone market, people tend to join in the biggest crowds. By the time Microsoft got its act together, the masses had chosen sides between iPhones and Android phones. For most, a switch would be like being uprooted from a comfortable home for a comfortable home across the street—it just isn’t worth it.

Microsoft probably has only two plays left before Windows Phone is dead for good. Maybe three: making Windows Phone free, utilizing apps from Windows 9 “Threshold” and waiting for web apps to become mainstream. But really it’s just two.

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There is an interesting back and forth at The Verge, where Nilay Patel and David Pierce have a Google vs. Samsung argument. Of course, the reality is they need each other, and there is no practical outcome where one is better off without the other.

For the sake of discussion, let’s accept the premise that Google and Samsung ought to be pitted against each other in battle. Who wins? Pierce has the dilemma boiled down to one question:

Google needs Samsung more than Samsung needs Google. Samsung has its own platforms, its own services, its own software. It’s vertically integrated, reliant on no other company to make its products. Android could disappear tomorrow and Samsung would just switch to Tizen — and I’m not sure how many consumers would even notice the change.

I agree this is the right way to decide the debate. But I disagree with the conclusion.

We all know what would happen if Samsung switched to Tizen: Samsung would end up just like Microsoft-Nokia.

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I’ve resisted writing about Yo because, well, it’s a dumb app and I didn’t want to give it more PR than it already got.  You can use the app to send a Yo message to a friend.  Aaaaand…that’s it.  The app took one developer 8 hours to make.

Even Apple thought the app was stupid.  According to this excellent Business Insider’s article:

Yo launched quietly on April Fools Day, but Apple rejected its App Store application. Yo lacked substance, Apple argued. The pair fought back and defended Yo’s simplicity. Eventually, Yo was published.

And yet, today, over 500,000 people are using Yo.  The app reached #4 on the US iTunes app store and raised $1.2 million in funding.  Supposedly, they could have raised a lot more money if they wanted to.  Argh!  And what’s worse — Yo has even spawned copycats.

The tech industry can be a bit of a joke sometimes.

Yo is a marketing gimmick that people latch on to because using something really dumb can be really funny, and for many that’s real value.  I get that.

Yo isn’t even the first to hit humanity’s ironic goldmine.  Make it Rain and yes, Flappy Bird are two other examples.

As an industry outsider I’d find this app’s success hilarious.  Not so much as an insider, working hard to get our own app noticed.

e27’s Echelon is the TechCrunch Disrupt of South East Asia; it’s the region’s largest and arguably most influential tech conference.

Echelon also has its own start-up battlefield, and in cornerplay tradition, we’re giving our high level assessment on the winner: Taamkru, an iPad educational game for kids five and below (iOS only for now).

In the words of the company:

Taamkru helps your preschooler achieve academic success in both an enjoyable and productive way while allowing parents to monitor achievement with personalized progress reports…Taamkru’s kid-tested inventory of nearly one million creative learning exercises has been developed by trusted child development experts and aligned with Ministry of Education standards. Our productive learning app has been carefully designed for preschoolers to use and help them achieve academic success with fun, interactive and premium quality educational content of increasing difficulty.

Taamkru is a worthy winner, but it wasn’t my first choice for the competition.

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When Facebook first started, the homepage was essentially your profile.  You navigated by viewing a friend’s profile; and then a friend’s friend’s profile and so on.  Facebook was about jumping from one profile to another.

Then Mark Zuckerberg debuted the news feed.  Instead of having to check each person’s profile to see what’s new with that person, your friends’ updates were all pooled into one page.  People then consumed the news feed regularly, and only visited an actual profile when they wanted to go in depth on a person.  This was a fundamental shift in how people used Facebook and it’s hard to imagine going back the old way.

Profiles are static while the news feed is dynamic.

Profiles are “what is” while the news feed is about “what’s changed.”

Profiles are X, the news feed is ΔX.

I hope this distinction makes sense, because I’m about to apply it to mobile phones.

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My tennis buddy asked me the other day what phone he should buy; price is no object.  A simple question, but what a chance to nerd-out for a gadget lover like myself!  So if you’re in the market for a new flagship-quality phone, here are the options in alphabetical order and a conclusion on which I would personally buy.

A lot of it comes down to preference, and since this is my blog, I’ll give you a bunch of mine intermixed with what reviews have been saying in aggregate.

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