Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Amazon's Fire OS 3.0 'Mojito' arrives just in time for those new tablets


Amazon's Fire OS 30 'Mojito' arrives just in time for those new tablets

New hardware without a software refresh? Don't make Jeff Bezos laugh. Today's (well, tonight's) arrival of three new slates also marks the unveiling of the company's latest tablet operating system. And this time, it even has a name. See, Amazon's been using "Fire OS" internally to describe the software powering its tablet line, and now we get to use it as well, with the arrival of version 3.0. Based, as ever, on Android (Jelly Bean, this time out), Bezos and co. have been using the codename "Mojito," trading in candy names for sugary cocktails. The operating system will ship on the new HDX and HD devices. We didn't get exact confirmation that it'll roll out to older devices, but an Amazon rep we spoke with implied that there's a good likelihood of that, given update precedents from the company.

First thing's first -- still no Google Play access here. No surprise there, of course. After all, the company's in the habit of subsidizing the cost of its hardware based on future content sales, though, as ever, the company was quick to point out the speed with which its proprietary app store has grown in recent years. UI-wise, things look familiar here. Content, once again, is king, with the home screen built around a river featuring apps, games, movies, music and the like. The company did respond to customer concerns, however, by adding a more familiar grid-style layout that you can access with a swipe up, appeasing you Android users out there. Swipe from the right, and you'll see Quick Switch, which lets you switch between different recently used pieces of content.

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