App spending rose 12.3% on Christmas Day to $196 million

According to data from Sensor Tower, global spending on in-app purchases and subscriptions from the App Store and Google Play Store hit $196 million on Christmas Day 2017. The figure, which excludes spending on apps and subscriptions for Android devices in China, represents a 12.3% year-over-year gain from the $174 million spent on the holiday in 2016. A recent report from App Annie revealed that global app revenue hit a record $17 billion during the third quarter of this year. App downloads also hit a record 26 billion during the quarter. The continued rise of smartphone usage in emerging …

Google Pixel 2 shows the largest bump in activations during the Christmas holiday weekend

Despite recent reports revealing multiple issues with the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL (mostly with the screen and speaker), the two handsets enjoyed a surprisingly strong Christmas weekend and showed more growth in activations than the Apple iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The percentage increase is computed by subtracting the number of activations from the Christmas holiday weekend compared to the average number from the prior three weekends. A phone is considered to be activated once it starts opening and using apps.

At the top of the list is the Google Pixel 2, which …

Donald Trump attended Midnight Mass for Christmas and heard all about the power of words


Do you think the message landed?

As Donald and Melania Trump sat for Midnight Mass in the wee morning hours of Christmas Day, the presiding reverend at one point seemed to speak directly to the Twitter-loving 45th president. It happened during the homily, which focused on the power of words.

You can probably see where this is going.

As a Sunday morning White House pool report notes, Reverend James Harlan started off with a quote from Nelson Mandela:

Harlan went on to talk about the ways that words can be used, both to make the world a happier, better place and to do harm. If you want to imagine him pausing on that last point and shooting a meaningful glance at Trump right there, go right ahead. It helps set the scene. Read more…

More about Politics, Christmas, Donald Trump, Trump, and Us World

The International Space Station's crew is having a very merry Christmas


‘Twas Christmas Day and all over the place,
People were celebrating, even in space.
The halls were all decked, the stockings were hung,
And for all that we know, even carols were sung.

Two-forty miles up, above Santa’s sleigh,
Was the International Space Station’s own holiday.
Gifts came on a rocket that was launched up from Earth,
Bringing cosmonauts and astronauts plenty of mirth.

On that zero-g station with their hearts all a-flitter,
Astronaut Vande Hei shared this photo on Twitter.

Merry Christmas from the International Space Station!

— Mark T. Vande Hei (@Astro_Sabot) December 25, 2017 Read more…

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Bitcoin's wild 2017 ride continues with a Christmas Day rebound after a record slide


Slow your roll, bitcoin.

The finicky cryptocurrency has skyrocketed in overall value throughout 2017, but its bumpy December continued in the run-up to Christmas. After posting an all-time high of $19,796 per bitcoin on Dec. 17, the price fell to $11,590 on Dec. 22, according to Coinbase data).

It was the steepest decline of the year, losing more than 40 percent of its peak value to date — a milestone reached just days earlier. The price has been creeping back up since then, and it continues to hover at around $14,000 as of Christmas Day, Dec. 25. Read more…

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'Die Hard' screenwriter confirms that it is, in fact, a Christmas movie, as if there was ever any doubt


You can finally settle that never-ending debate around your Christmas dinner table, once and for all: Die Hard is definitely a Christmas movie. 

Or at least that’s what the classic action movie’s writer says. 

When CNN’s Jake Tapper asked screenwriter Steven E. de Souza about it on Twitter, he confirmed that he sees Die Hard as a Christmas flick, right down to the fact that “a woman about to give birth features prominently.”

Yes, because the studio rejected the Purim draft #DieHardIsAChristmasMovie

— Steven E. de Souza (@StevenEdeSouza) December 24, 2017 Read more…

More about Movies, Alan Rickman, Die Hard, Bruce Willis, and Screenplay

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from PhoneArena!

On the verge of this holiday season, the PhoneArena team wishes our readers love, health, and plenty of gadgets to look forward to in the New Year 2018!

We want to thank you for your patronage, and may the spirit of this holiday always be with you! On the day of Christmas, we realize that it doesn’t really matter which phone we use, or the operating system it employs.

Today is a day to realize that we all inhabit the same planet, breathe the same air, and share the same joy of technology, regardless of whose camera produces the least noise in low-light scenarios. We hope that …

George Michael's family shares touching message for everyone missing him on Christmas


It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since pop star George Michael passed away.

He will forever be tied to Christmas, as the mastermind behind Wham! tune “Last Christmas” passed away on Christmas Day 2016.

Michael will also be forever remembered for his many acts of kindness, the details of which didn’t emerge until after his death at age 53.

A year later, his family has shared a Christmas message to his many fans who are still mourning his passing. (“Yog” is a nickname for Michael, which comes from the pronunciation of his given name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou.)  Read more…

More about Uk, Celebrities, Christmas, Wham, and George Michael

Rare white Christmas in Seattle, Portland as 'thundersnow' hits Boston


People around the U.S. are waking up to a white Christmas. 

Seattle and Portland — two cities that aren’t exactly known for heavy snowfall this time of year — are both seeing a fair bit of snow on Monday. 

Large swaths of the Midwest and Northeast also woke up to plenty of the white stuff coating lawns, trees, and cars. 

And that’s not all. 

Some lucky Boston residents awake early enough on Christmas morning got treated to one of the rarest and most treasured of weather events: thundersnow.

We just had THUNDERSNOW in Wakefield!!

— Matt Hoenig (@MattHoenigWx) December 25, 2017 Read more…

More about Christmas, Weather, Boston, Snow, and Midwest

Jennifer Lawrence got Kris Jenner the perfect Christmas present


What in the world do you get the matriarch that rules the Kardashian family and subsequently, many of our lives? 

Somehow Jennifer Lawrence knew exactly what to get Kris Jenner, the mother who has it all. The two, who are apparently best friends, exchanged Christmas gifts and well, Lawrence got Jenner something she definitely doesn’t already have.

“My BFF Jennifer Lawrence asked me what i wanted for Christmas and of course I said a Porsche, DUH. My girl didn’t disappoint,” Jenner wrote on Instagram. “Thank you Jen I love you!!! Read more…

More about Christmas, Porsche, Jennifer Lawrence, Kris Jenner, and Culture