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Device operating systems

OS Watch: Moto Packs Tablet Apps

Motorola Mobility LLC 's new app approach for Android kicks off our Friday mobile operating systems digest.

  • Moto makes app packs: Moto is taking a cue from Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and making apps easier to find on its phones running Android's OS. Its new MotoPack for tablets groups apps by areas of interest and ensures that those included have been tested by Moto for use specifically on tablets. (See Sprint Announces Sprint ID and Android Transformation.)

  • Frag Watch: Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)'s Kindle Fire has attracted so much developer interest that some are building apps exclusively for the tablet. That's great news for Amazon, but not so good for Android's already significant fragmentation problem. If the Fire gains traction as most are predicting, more developers may choose to optimize for that tablet, which runs an older version of Android. In this case, newer versions -- like Honeycomb -- could get left behind. (See Android: More Than One Way to Skin an OS? and Google Compels Operators to Ease Fragmentation.)

  • Samsung hosts an ice cream party: Speaking of the latest and greatest Android OSs, the Samsung Corp. Galaxy Nexus debuted this week in the U.K., bringing with it Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s first helping of Ice Cream Sandwich. For those in the U.S. that can't wait, Slashgear digs in to the device in the video below. (See Scoop! It's the Ice Cream Sandwich.)



  • Amazon's silky, fast browser: Powering Amazon's Silk browser on the Fire tablet is the world's 42nd fastest supercomputer. Amazon Web Services Inc. made the famous TOP500 list of supercomputers for its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) servers, a Linux-based, 240-teraflop mass with 17,024 cores, 66,000GB of memory and 10Gbit/s Ethernet interconnect. (See Amazon Fires Up Low-Cost Tablet Market.)

  • Android wins favor in enterprises: Seventy percent of IT pros are planning to develop apps for Android, compared to only 49 percent for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and 25 percent for one-time leader BlackBerry , a new IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) survey indicates. Even Windows Phone beat RIM with 35 percent of IT pros indicating they'd build for the platform as enterprises increasingly explore the opportunities in mobile apps. IBM attributes the interest in Android to the fact that it's open source and based on Java and XML, suggesting a much shorter learning curve. (See Verizon to Launch Enterprise App Stores and AT&T App Enables Work/Play Divide.)

  • RIM's holiday doldrums: BlackBerry may not be having a good run-up to the holidays, according to checks from Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley. He writes in a note to investors that sales of RIM devices are looking weak and that with the "launch of the iPhone 4S, increasingly price competitive Android smartphones, improving Windows smartphones, and the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, we anticipate increasing competition across all tiers of RIM's products in 2012." (See OS Watch: RIM Rushes a Recovery.)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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