Microsoft is investing in a hot startup that’s trying to weaken Google’s hold over Android.
People familiar with the matter say Microsoft is putting money into Cyanogen, which is building a version of the Android mobile-operating system outside of Google’s auspices.
Last week, I reviewed ChromeOS from a desktop environment perspective as part of my “Linux Desktop-a-Week” series (which, really, has become less of a weekly thing and more of a “Desktop-Every-Few-Weeks-Or-So” thing. But I’m sticking to my original title. Because I’m stubborn).
This “week,” I am spending time with another Linux desktop environment that isn’t exactly traditional. This week, I’m using Android.
I've never been tempted to buy a large widescreen tablet. They're good at certain things, but they're too wide for everything onscreen to be reachable if you're holding it with both hands. They're too tall for portrait mode to be comfortable for long stretches. One-handed use is generally tolerable at best. Smaller widescreen tablets like the Nexus 7 are nice because they're closer in size and heft to books, but 10-inch-and-up widescreen tablets have always been too gawky for my taste.
Android updates don't matter anymore—or at least that's what many people think. Back-to-back-to-back Jelly Bean releases and a KitKat release seemed to only polish what already existed. When Google took the wraps off of "Android L" at Google I/O, though, it was clear that this release was different.
Do you want to use a secure smartphone, but not look like you're using a secure smartphone? A team of researchers are developing a version of Android called DarkMatter that could turn mainstream Android phones, such as the Galaxy S4 and the Nexus 5, into high-end security devices.