Top 5 stories this week: Apple vs. Microsoft retail, Editor’s awards plus more…

For many, this week has been about celebrating with family, eating good food, unwrapping presents and drinking a little too much. It’s the weird week in between Christmas and New Year where no one really knows the schedule. Is it work as usual, or a time for relaxing? There have been some interesting news stories and rumors floating around over the past 6 days. Here are our top 5 stories since Sunday.

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1. Christmas Eve images tell very different tales for Apple and Microsoft stores

One shopper over in a mall near Beverly Hills snapped some photos of Microsoft and Apple stores within minutes of each other on Christmas Eve. The Apple unit was packed, whereas the Microsoft store had more staff than consumers. It showed – more than anything – that Cupertino’s brand has a much wider appeal than Windows.

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2. Editor’s Pick of 2012: The best games, apps and accessories of the year

We’ve reviewed some great apps and accessories this year, but these were my absolute favorites from the past 12 months. The list features offerings from Arctic, Otterbox, ZAGG, Incipio and others. Check them out to see if you agree with me or not.

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3. iPad 5 to land in March 2013? Design elements supposedly borrowed from Mini

The latest rumor to be thrown off the spinning wheel claims that the next full-size iPad will be released in March with some design elements borrowed from the iPad mini. If true, it could mean much thinner bezels and rounded edges.

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4. Jailbreakers Rejoice! Auxo is out now on Cydia

Possibly the best app-switching concept to ever make it to reality: Auxo adds card-like icons to your app switching dock and also includes a very useful set of shortcut toggles for switching Bluetooth and WiFi on/off.

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5. Stories of theft, fraud and deliberate damage emerge from within Apple retail stores

Gizmodo stirring up trouble for Apple (again). This time, the online publication got in touch with many former Apple store employees who recounted some pretty atrocious activities that went on back of house, including iMacs being smashed and products being stolen.

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