Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google: Month in review on ZDNet Mobile News

It's been a busy month in the mobile world and this recap pulls all the best coverage into a convenient place. If you missed something big, you'll find it here.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

There's been a wide range of coverage this month on ZDNet Mobile News, from the recently announced Fire phone from Amazon to some new Windows 8 hybrid tablets. We've opined about the myth of the optimal tablet size and shared how to deal with that. All in all it's been a busy month and those interested in the mobile space should find lots of interesting things in the recap.

The Big Guys — Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and Amazon

Apple Store

Apple is fun again — Things have seemed a bit stiff and unsure at Apple events since the passing of Steve Jobs. The WWDC keynote indicates that Apple is back, and fun things are about to happen.

Microsoft Office for Android: Pushing Windows even further behind in mobile — Microsoft came under some heat from Windows customers when it released Office for iPad before a touch-friendly version for Windows. That heat should escalate with word that an Android version will also beat the much-needed Windows version.

Beats by Apple headphones: The next big thing — Apple’s acquisition of Beats Audio was only announced a few days ago, and they're already in the local Apple store in numbers.

Samsung reported to be working on tablet with folding screen — A report out of South Korea says Samsung is going to release a mobile device with a folding screen. The device supposedly unfolds from smartphone size to a small tablet form. Intriguing as it sounds, it’s not something buyers are likely to want.

Fire OS: Better than Android for the masses — Amazon has excited the technorati this week with the unveiling of its Fire phone. It’s based on the Fire OS used on the Kindle Fire HDX tablet. This is a good move as Fire is better than Android for the majority of consumers.

Good gadgets and apps and how to use them


10 must-have accessories for your tablet — If you are one of the millions of tablet owners or plan to give one as a gift, don't miss these good accessories to get the most use out of it.

How to use Kindle to work with PDFs — Early on, Amazon integrated the ability to read PDF documents on Kindle, including an easy way to send them to Kindle devices and apps. Some who use Kindle technology don't know about or forget about this ability.

The tablet problem: Mobility trumps screen size — The problem with mobile devices has always been that the size of the display determines how portable they are. You can’t have a large screen on a small device. That situation raises its ugly head for many looking for the perfect device.

10 good apps for the Kindle Fire HDX — There are not as many apps for the Kindle Fire HDX as there are for Android tablets but these are some good ones. They should work on most Android tablets, too.

Hardware coverage and reviews


Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and Kindle Fire HDX 7: A visual comparison — The latest tablets from Amazon are each good in their own right. Which one to choose often comes down to size so we pit them head-to-head to help you decide which is better for you.

ThinkPad 10 (review): Great Windows tablet, good laptop — Lenovo has updated the ThinkPad Tablet 2, and the ThinkPad 10 may be the best Windows tablet.

Acer Aspire Switch 10: Versatile Windows hybrid (review) — Windows 8 supports several form factors and this hybrid from Acer can morph into most of them.

Bring back the Sony Vaio P with Windows 8.1 — Sony unveiled the smallest laptop with a good keyboard ever produced in 2009. The Vaio P wasn't without its problems due to the small size, and it was saddled with Windows Vista. This little laptop with today's hardware, Windows 8.1, and a touch screen would be rather nice.

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