You have some tech questions, I have some answers. Every Friday, I try to resolve these mysteries, succinctly and in plain language. Please send questions to walt@recode.net. Note that I won’t be able to diagnose your personal tech glitches and problems. I also reserve the right to edit questions for length or clarity, and to combine similar inquiries.

Q.In reading all the coverage of the new Amazon Fire phone, I’m confused. Some articles call it an Android phone, others don’t. Which is it?

A.The answer is: Both and neither. All of Amazon’s Fire devices use the open source version of Google’s Android operating system, which doesn’t include Google’s standard suite of apps or its Google Play app store. For Amazon, Android is essentially plumbing, not the face of the device. To provide the look, feel and navigation, Amazon has its own operating system, called the Fire OS. It also has its own app store, browser, email program and now, on the new phone, non-Google maps. The best way to think about it is that the Fire phone and tablets aren’t standard Android devices, and typically use third-party apps specially modified for them and curated by Amazon.

Jeff Bezos announces Fire phone

Ina Fried

Q.I want to order a new 13-inch MacBook Air and wanted your feedback. Your thoughts on getting the 1.4GHz versus 1.7GHz processor, and on 128 gigabytes of storage versus 256GB? I use the Internet mostly for trading and browsing.

A.I wouldn’t pay a penny more for the faster processor speed, but would spring for the extra storage, even if you think you won’t need it. After awhile, most people wish they had gotten more.




3 comments
kenwyatt44
kenwyatt44

Have been trying to find out who built this device for Amazon and have not been able to find anything online.  HTC?

gprovida
gprovida

I wonder if Amazon will face an Oracle copyright suit against their use of Android? I don't think Oracle would kill Android, but it will not be. This might change the Amazon strategy. Forks don't escape infringement. I wonder if Tizen is listening.

Perhaps I have this all wrong, since I hear so little in the news.

gprovida
gprovida

Error, will not be FREE.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 279,620 other followers