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Last week we broke the news that Valve was prepping for three big announcements this week surrounding its Steam gaming platform, and today the company released its first announcement by unveiling a new operating system. The new SteamOS is a free, open-source operating system that is designed around steam and built on Linux.
Valve says the new OS is capable of running on "any living room machine" which presumably means custom-built HTPCs, Laptops, and almost certainly the mystical Steam Box many industry insiders expect to be launched during one of the company's next announcements on Wednesday or Friday. Unfortunately Valve did not clue us in on an actual release date, but did say that the new OS would be available for download "soon."
"As we've been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we've come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself," Valve stated. "SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines."
We saw a tease yesterday of the new status bar with gray icons in Android 4.4 KitKat, but now we have another look from 9to5Google, which gives us a closer look at the redesigned stock apps on Android 4.4.
You can see from the images above that we have the Messaging app, and the Dialer app, which both look quite nice in their updated form. Controls for the Messaging app have been shifted to the top right of the app, and the Dialer app gets a much more streamlined look, with a nice blue color scheme. We should expect Android 4.4 KitKat to arrive mid next month on the rumored Nexus 5 handset.
The New York Police Department seem to share boxes of donuts with Apple, going as far as being crowd control at and around Apple stores on iPhone launch days, for example when the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launched over the weekend.
Thanks to the new iPhone's being announced, the NYPD is expecting an increase in theft of Apple's latest smartphones. Apple's iOS 7 features new security measures that help deter theft, with the NYPD and other police agencies in the US using it to secure their smartphones, making their jobs easier.
The new feature that the NYPD likes is the Activation Lock, which forces anyone who has your phone to enter an Apple ID and passwords before they can turn off the "Find My Phone" security feature, erase it, or reactivate it. Because this happens, someone who steals your phone would need to enter in their secure information, which most would do in the excitement of nabbing themselves a new iPhone.
Apple may have launched its iOS 7 platform, but it is receiving mixed responses if my Facebook news feed has anything to do with it. Well, on the other side of the field we have Google with its Android 4.4 KitKat OS which is set to hit Android devices in the near future.
The latest tease, in the shot above, shows off a new status bar with gray icons versus the current blue. I dig it, as it is more visible on the screen than blue is. We are to expect Android 4.4 KitKat to have a refreshed UI, which is something I'm quite excited to see. What to expect? We don't know just yet, but I expect we'll see much more in the coming weeks, where I hope we'll see the Nexus 5 unveiled with Android 4.4 KitKat on board.
If you're one of the many millions of people who have just updated your iOS device to iOS 7, you might want to read this news. There is a rather large security hole in Apple's latest mobile OS, which lets anyone access your device directly from the lockscreen.
The video above shows just how easy it is to bypass the lockscreen, where all someone has to do is access your iDevice's "control center" and then open up the alarm clock. It sounds stupidly easy, and that's the problem. Holding the phone's sleep button will bring up the option to power the device off with a single swipe, but instead someone can tap "cancel," double click the home button and access the device's multitasking screen.
This gives the person access to the device's e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, photos, and Flickr account. Apple knows of the issue, and said to Forbes: "takes security very seriously and we're aware of this issue. We'll deliver a fix in a future software update."
Cyanogen has secured $7 million in venture funding from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures, with the main goal of CyanogenMod becoming a major player in the mobile OS arena.
A major player, you ask? Yes: Cyanogen wants to compete directly with the big boys, and wants to overtake Windows Phone and BlackBerry to become the third most used mobile OS in the world. The statement comes directly from Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster, who talked to The Verge, where he said: "There's always been lot of talk around who's going to be the third dominant mobile computing platform. Windows Phone would probably be No. 3 now. If you look at what our actual user base is, we might be equal to or greater than that."
Cyanogen founder Steve Kondik also had something to say: "The mobile devices out there, they're just not meant for anybody to use. They're essentially mobile cash registers. We want to help you get stuff done, and use these things to their fullest potential."
According to CNET, the open-source OS known as Tizen, would be featured on Samsung's range of TVs in 2014. Co-CEO of Samsung, Boo-Keun Yoon, has confirmed that the open-source OS will work with mobile devices, TVs and appliances, too.
Rewinding back to 2011, where Intel and Samsung joined forces to work on Tizen, with the first release arriving in January of 2012. Intel is working away on its own Tizen-powered devices, but Samsung has been hush-hush about any Tizen devices. I would say this is because of its tight relationship and massive reliance on Google's mobile OS, Android.
The current Samsung Smart TVs, one of which I own, are bloated and slow. Tizen could change all of this, in the hopes of a faster, and smarter TV for Samsung and its consumers in 2014.
IDF 2013 - Intel invited Sundar Pichai to talk about Google and Intel's partnership and commitment to working together to ensure that Android and Chrome OS will work beautifully on the Intel platform. Intel has committed some 1000 engineers to Android and Google has committed to Intel on the other side. Watch the video to learn more about their strategic partnership and where Pinchai sees Android heading.
IDF 2013 - Microsoft's Tami Reller took the stage at this year's IDF to talk about Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8.1 update. The Redmond giant recently released the update to manufacturer and posted it on MSDN for download, which Reller suggested was well received. You can listen to Reller talk about Windows 8.1 in the video below:
By the end of this month, Apple will have passed the 700 million iOS devices shipped milestone, but before then we should expect the release of iOS 7, the company's next-generation mobile OS.
iOS 7 looks gorgeous when compared to iOS 6, and finally brings it up to the multi-tasking, gorgeous UI that we've come to expect from the various Android 4.x iterations of Jelly Bean (4.1, 4.2, 4.3). It looks great, and has some new features, such as Siri being able to search Tweets, as well as Siri being capable of searching Wikipedia, inline web search and photo search.
We have textured ringtones, and improvements made to system sound alerts. Apple has made it easier to share on iOS 7, with a new "Share Sheet" which lets you push out to Twitter or e-mail, as well as the ability to use AirDrop to share with people close to you over "P2P Wi-Fi". iOS 7 also has iTunes Radio, which Apple describes as "the best way to experience new music."