Android's got style: Ice Cream Sandwiches were all over CES, so much so that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) released its first style guidelines for device manufacturers and apps developers to learn about how to best build for Android. The guidelines are, however, just a suggestion, so there's no guarantee they'll help ease fragmentation of the Android ecosystem.
RIM promises a better OS: BlackBerry didn't have a large presence in Vegas, but it did use the gadgetfest to try to lure developers back to BlackBerry with promises of OS updates. In its upcoming BlackBerry OS release, RIM smartphones will gain Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) updates, and Tag, a Near-Field Communications (NFC)-enabled content sharing app. RIM's now much cheaper PlayBook tablet will also get improved productivity apps, a native calendar, email capabilities, contact apps and social networking integration.
Microsoft connects with LG: Even if Windows Phone doesn't pan out, Microsoft has a healthy business eking patent royalties out of the competition. LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) is the latest to agree to pay the company royalties for all its "tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform." This brings Microsoft's total licensing deals with Android or Chrome vendors to 10, covering 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S.
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