Facebook is first brand into the mobile skin game

5 April 2013 by Steve Blum
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Sometimes innovation only needs to be skin deep.

Facebook Home is a new kind of threat to Android and a new kind of opportunity for mobile entrepreneurs. It’s middleware that’s downloaded onto select – for now – smartphones and acts as the top skin of the user interface. Instead, for example, of seeing the standard lock screen, users see their Facebook feed, constantly updated.

Android apps are still there, if you dig down. But if you just go with the flow all you see is what Facebook pushes to you.… More

Mobile OS buzz for some, deafening silence for others

3 March 2013 by Steve Blum
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Firefox hasn’t quite landed yet.

Firefox has sharpened the debate over prospects for HTML5. The open source, connectivity-centric mobile operating system developed by the Mozilla Foundation gained a lot of attention at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Sceptical attention, mostly.

When the OS landscape is so thoroughly dominated by two superpowers – Apple and Google – it’s risky to bet on a challenger. Several mobile carriers expressed support, but manufacturers lagged behind. Geeksphone, a small Spanish company, had demo units to show at Barcelona, but missed its February ship date for SDKs.… More

Tizen ready to replace Samsung's Bada OS

23 February 2013 by Steve Blum
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Doesn’t take long to browse the Bada store.

Bada is Samsung’s in-house operating system for low cost smartphones, but its days might be numbered. Tizen 2.0 has been released to developers, with a consumer version likely to be available on phones in the fall.

This Linux-based, open source operating system is also backed by Samsung, along with other major technology players. And that’s the key difference. The burden is distributed across many companies and individual developers who, for one reason or another, invest their time in developing Tizen source code and writing apps to run on it.… More