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Finally. The day has arrived: Google have unleashed Android 4.3 to the world, keeping the "Jelly Bean" codename intact. What exactly does Android 4.3 bring to the tablet versus Android 4.2?
Well, we have a bunch of multi-user settings, which includes the ability to restrict profiles for younger people. This is a great feature to keep your content, or the ability to access adult content, from children. You can restrict app content at the user level, with a user enjoying the ability of restricting a number of puzzles within a game to a specific profile.
On top of this, you can prevent kids from going crazy and racking up huge bills with the in-app purchases. This is a must-have for all parents, in my opinion. Apple, where are you?
Over 1.5 million Android devices are activated each day, Google Play Store passes 50 billion downloads, too
Late last week, Google CEO Larry Page revealed that over 1.5 million Android devices are activated each and every day. This is up from last September's numbers of around 1.3 million each day.
Google are inching closer to having one billion Android-based devices on the market, with Page stating that it is "pretty amazing given the first Android phone launched less than five years ago." Moving onto the Google Play Store, the Google CEO revealed that over 50 billion apps have been downloaded from the Google Play Store.
This number should astound people, myself included, because last September this number was just 25 billion. This represents a 100% increase in under a year, which is an amazing number no matter which way you look at it. Google Chrome received a mention, too, with the web browser from Google now enjoying 750 million users, one of those being me.
Google has updated Chrome OS in the beta channel with a couple of new features. The new build is version 29.0.1537.32, and also arrives with a number of bug fixes, security updates, and additional feature enhancements.
The biggest feature of this is the new "immersive" mode, which sees a fullscreen browsing session open up, hiding the navigation bars. Google have also updated Kernel 3.8 for both the Chromebook Pixel, and Samsung 550. Chrome OS owners can now pin apps to the shelf by using drag-and-drop from the Launcher.
The update also includes a Consumer Kiosk Mode, which lets users build a Chrome OS-based kiosk. Google didn't finish there, though, as there's now a two-finger method to navigate browsing history as well as the ability to sync default wallpaper selections across devices. The app launcher search feature has also been improved, and overall, the system dynamically learns what users search for, and can now search for apps within the web store if now matching apps are installed. There's also a tweaked interface that shows apps in a better way.
You can expect a Windows Phone 8 refresh in the near future, but for those of you thinking it would arrive this year with iOS 7 lurking around the corner and Android 4.3 (or 5.0), but you'd be wrong.
Microsoft are planning a Windows 8.1-style revamp for Windows Phone, according to The Verge. This wouldn't arriev until next year and would reportedly include "a notification center, improved multitasking, and changes to built-in apps" as well as "a rotation lock option."
There was meant to be smaller updates to arrive, but Microsoft have reportedly decided to roll them all into one big super update.
This morning, Windows chief Tami Reller announced that the company's PC and tablet vendor partners will receive a "near-final" version of Windows 8.1 in late August. Why August? This will give PC OEMs and system builders enough time with the software to prepare devices for the upcoming 2013 holiday season.
With Windows 8.1, users will notice the return of a start button, enhancements to the desktop mode, and changes to the start screen. Multitasking enhancements also make their way into the operating system as well as the inclusion of several long-sought after features such as Facebook for Windows 8.
Net Applications' latest data has some good news for Microsoft, as Windows 8 is finally getting into its stride. It has passed Windows Vista to become the third-most used OS in the world.
Windows 8 enjoys 5.1% of the OS market share, with first place going to Windows 7 with 44.37% and second place we have Windows XP with 37.17%. Windows Vista gets pushed into fourth position with 4.62% of the worldwide OS market share, and Apple enjoys the next three positions with OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8.
Net Applications' data shows that Microsoft have enjoyed a nice uptick in selling Windows 8-based systems since May, increasing from their 4.27% figure to the current 5.1% figure. It'll be a very long time in third position, unless consumers start buying Windows 8 devices in serious numbers, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I would be surprised to see them break 8% by the end of the year.
Late last year, the Evad3rs team released the Evasi0n Jailbreak tool and successfully jailbroke iOS6, and now it appears the tool is still paving the way for jailbreaking iOS 7 devices. This morning, a screenshot was posted by developer Ryan Petrich that suggests jailbreaking iOS 7 may not be as hard as once thought.
The screenshot, which was posted on Twitter, shows a jailbroken iOS 7 beta running on an iPod touch 5. While jailbreaking a beta release is kind of pointless as it will most certainly be coded out in the end-user official release, this still paves the way for a truly jailbroken iOS 7.
As of this posting, there's no information on how the jailbreak was accomplished and that's a good thing. With Apple releasing several more beta editions between now and the fall, any information leaked on the jailbreaks could lead to future releases being patched and harder to jailbreak.
BGR and their "trusted sources" are reporting that Apple are going to release iOS 7 beta 3 on July 8. It will be available for carrier testing on that day, with these sources previously revealing the release timing of the iOS 7 beta.
The new beta will arrive to developers on the same day it arrives with carriers, a week from now. In iOS 7 beta 2, Apple started support for the iPad, so we should expect beta 3 to open up to the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and hopefully, the Apple TV. There should be more refinements made in the next beta, where it is shaping up nicely so far.
Microsoft will be trashing its Messenger app in Windows 8.1 in favor of Skype. The Messaging app currently uses Facebook and Messenger accounts to communicate with friends but it appears that Microsoft will be following their word and transitioning all messaging services to Skype.
This move makes perfect sense as Skype was shown off as the primary messaging device for the Xbox One at not only the launch event last month but it was also demoed at the E3 expo and Microsoft Build Conference earlier this month. No word on an official release date has been confirmed but we expect the change to happen when Windows 8.1 is officially launched.
Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1 Preview at their BUILD 2013 conference on Wednesday, where it's free and some people can get their hands on it right now. Microsoft have promised an ISO image of the OS, but for now it's only available through the Windows Store.
This means the Preview of Windows 8.1 is currently locked down to those running Windows 8 and Windows RT - so not me then. Remember, that this is just a beta - so don't replace your full OS when using it. Maybe partition your hard drive, or use a spare one (if you have one). The Windows 8.1 Preview should be unleashed to all of us in the coming days, and we'll write up a guide on how you can install it in our Tweakipedia section once it goes live in ISO format.