Operating system Stories August 5, 2015

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Android is notorious in the developer community for its rampant fragmentation. Developing an app for Google’s platform means wrestling to make the app work optimally on the ecosystem of thousands of devices in different shapes and sizes. And according to a new report out today giving us a look at the state of Android fragmentation as of this month, August 2015, there’s both some bad and good news: There are more devices than ever before, but fewer users that are spread out across different operating system versions.

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Operating system Stories March 16, 2015

Cyanogen recently gave itself a rebrand, and now the company has come out to share the new boot animation shipping with its upcoming Cyanogen OS 12. It’s definitely sporting the company’s slick new logo which, according to Cyanogen, “celebrates space, with minimal letterforms that don’t quite connect, giving the logo a sense of motion and a feeling of inherent energy.”

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Operating system Stories November 10, 2014

While it has yet to become a significant player in the smartphone market, Mozilla is hoping that its open-source Firefox OS will be a game changer when the mobile operating system gains a larger presence in countries like the United States and United Kingdom. In the meantime, the software maker has gone on the offensive against rival platforms Android and iOS. expand full story

Operating system Stories October 31, 2014

The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that Android was installed on over 8 of 10 smartphones worldwide in the third quarter, as the mobile operating system captured 84% global market share for the three-month period ending September. That figure arrives just one day after the research firm reported that Chinese company Xiaomi has become the third-largest smartphone maker in the world.

Android continued to be a dominant player in global smartphone operating system market share, increasing its lead over iOS by three percentage points compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple’s mobile operating system held 12.3% market share during the third quarter, trailed by Windows Phone (3.3%) and BlackBerry (0.7%). Other mobile platforms accounted for less than 0.1% market share. expand full story

Operating system Stories August 19, 2014

Amazon’s Fire Phone gets its first update, mostly things it should have had in the first place

Amazon’s Fire Phone didn’t get off to the best of starts, with most reviews panning it, but it just got a little better thanks to its first over-the-air update – mostly providing things it should have had in the first place.

Fire OS 3.5.1 provides a quick means of switching between apps, app folders, pinning of favorite apps to the home carousel, improved battery-life and more. To install it, swipe down from the top of the home screen to open Quick Actions, select Settings, then tap Device > Install system updates > Check Now to download. Once it’s downloaded, tap Install System Update and wait for the restart.

If the improvements are enough to make you consider a Fire Phone of your own, it’s available direct from Amazon from $649 outright or from $0 to $299 on contract.

You can read chapter-and-verse on all the improvements below. 

Operating system Stories March 3, 2014

There’s a dual-boot Android/Windows Phone smartphone on the way – we’re just not sure why

The Times of India reports that local phone maker Karbon Mobiles is launching phones that can run both Android and Windows Phone, with the first handsets expected to be available by June.

The company has just signed the licence agreement with Microsoft to make Windows-based phones and will put this along with its existing Android system to bring out the dual-OS phones in about six months, the company’s chairman Sudhir Hasija said.

While I can see the sense in a dual-boot laptop/tablet that can run both Windows 8 and Android, a dual-platform phone seems rather more of a ‘because we can’ gimmick. The explanation may be as simple as Microsoft waiving the license fee to help grow the platform, especially after Nokia announced its (kind of) Android handsets. Hasija commented:

Microsoft has eased the regulations and is opening up its platform for other players.

Karbon gets a cost-free talking point for its new handsets, Microsoft gets a bit more market share in a growth market. We’re just not sure what consumers get …

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