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Device operating systems

OS Watch: Apple iPhone Updates Photos, Not 4G

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) wooed the world with its latest introduction of a Long Term Evolution (LTE) iPad this week, but its new operating system also had people talking 4G. (See Apple Intros First 4G LTE iPad.)

  • Apple makes photos more fun: Apple's latest OS update to 5.1 was mainly bug fixes and minor changes, but photo buffs had a lot to be excited about too. Apple debuted a new iPhoto app designed for iOS to take advantage of the iPad and iPhone's multi-touch gestures. The app allows for advanced photo editing, browsing, sharing and, a celebrity's favorite function, airbrushing.

  • iOS 5.1 turns iPhone 4G?: Another iOS 5.1 feature that many iPhone owners who updated their AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) iPhone 4S were surprised to see was 4G (!!!). Er, not so much. The switch to 4G, or "Updated AT&T network indicator" as Apple wrote in its list of what's new, was just a marketing decision by AT&T. The iPhone still runs on its high-speed packet access (HSPA+) network as it has since launch, but might trick a few into believing its one step ahead of rival Verizon Wireless 's version. Sigh. (See LTE Not a Selling Point for Apple's New iPad.)

  • Google locks developers in its wallet: In Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s new Play hub, there's only one way to pay to play, and that's through Google Wallet. Reuters reports that Google is banning third-party payment options like PayPal in an effort to promote its own service, but a Google spokesman tells The Verge that this has always been its policy with the exception of purchases of physical or transferable goods. (See Google Plays With Android Market Branding.)

  • Windows Mobile Marketplace closes: Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) will be shutting down its Windows Mobile Marketplace come May 9. The two-year-old app store will be replaced by the new Windows Phone Marketplace (see the difference?) at that time to reflect its revamped mobile strategy.

  • No Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung: Samsung Corp. is backtracking on its promise to update its Galaxy S II smartphone to Google's latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. The update was supposed to drop tomorrow, but now the company says it will come at a later, undisclosed date. The OS has been plagued with delays, making it hard for handset makers and wireless operators to make good on their promise of swift updates. Today, only around 1 percent of Android device run Ice Cream Sandwich. (See Google Preps for an Ice Cream Social.)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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