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Operating Systems Posts - Page 17

Windows 8.1 to ditch Messaging app in favor of Skype

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.

 

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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.

Windows 8.1 Preview is now available, want to try it out?

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.

 

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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.

Apple seeds new version of OS X 10.8.5 update to developers

Apple has made an update to OS X 10.8.5 available to developers. Mountain Lion build 12F13 is now available for developers to try out and look for bugs. The new operating system can be downloaded through the Mac Developer Center or through the built-in Mac App Store Software Update functionality.

 

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The build contains no known issues, but Apple has asked that developers continue to focus on Wi-Fi, Graphics, Wake from Sleep, PDF viewing and Accessibility, and Mobile Device Management during their use. This software is just an update to Mountain Lion, with the OS X 10.9 Mavericks developer previews having been seeded to developers earlier this year.

 

It's not clear when this update will be made available to the general public, though it should be sooner rather than later if there are no known issues with it. We'll let you know when the actual update becomes available for you to download.

iOS 7 contains API calls to detect blinking, smiles in pictures

Apple has made numerous changes in iOS 7, many of which are under the hood. One of the new features that Apple has added to iOS 7 could foreshadow future features that the iPhone will offer, much like these changes have done in the past. Specifically, iOS 7 now allows developers to detect blinking and smiles in pictures, making it easier for photo app developers to detect good or bad pictures.

 

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In iOS 5, Apple added the ability to detect faces in pictures. This was then used by the iPhone's camera app to help with smarter autofocus and better white balance settings. It's possible that the iPhone 5S could wait until everyone is smiling or not blinking before taking a picture. It's worth noting that some Android phones already have a similar feature: they take several pictures in quick succession and select the "best" one.

 

iOS 7 has also brought the ability to shoot 60 FPS video, albeit at 720p video quality. The new API calls could allow app developers to create better slow-motion videos without losing some of the illusion of motion.

 

I can't wait to see what Apple comes out with for the iPhone 5S. It will likely be more evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but it appears like it will be getting some cool features and technology.

iOS 7 disables screenshot interruptions, would allow users to screenshot private Snapchats without the sender being notified

The latest build of iOS 7 disables screenshot interruptions. The implications of this could be massive, especially with the recent growth of private messaging apps such as Snapchat. This change to iOS allows users to take screenshots of Snapchat snaps and the app doesn't notify the sender that the receiver took a screenshot. While their are other ways of getting this same effect, it just makes it that much easier.

 

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The release notes do state that screenshots no longer interrupt touches: "Active touches are no longer canceled when the user takes a screenshot." Since this is an early iOS 7 build, it's very possible that this feature may be reset to the way it operated previously, or a new method of preventing screenshots may be introduced by Apple.

 

If you're currently snapping with someone on iOS 7, be aware of this issue as you won't be notified of screenshots. We'll wait to hear from Snapchat on whether or not they are working on a new method of detecting screenshots.

Apple's Siri to actually pronounce your name correctly in iOS 7

As an Android fanboy, when Apple first launched Siri, I will admit that I was a little jealous. Publicly, I stuck to the "Android has had voice search well before Apple" line whenever someone would show off Siri to me. While I secretly thought that Siri was cool, I did chuckle everytime the app got someone's name wrong, and I know several friends of mine actually stopped using it all together because of this bug.

 

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9to5Mac is reporting that the name pronunciation issues have for the most part went away with iOS 7 and that Siri now has the ability to offer up several different pronunciations of a given name in hopes that one will be correct. All you need to do is say, "that's not how you pronounce [say name here]" and Siri will say your name in a different pronunciation.

 

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Foxconn are confident in Firefox OS, will hire 3000 software engineers for help

Foxconn obviously think Firefox OS is a safe bet, since the company are hiring some 3,000 software engineers to help them out. Why would Foxconn need the software engineers being a manufacturing facility? Well, software engineers can write Firefox OS drivers and optimizations for devices that they build, which helps them in a big way.

 

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Considering Foxconn are mostly known for manufacturing Apple devices (as well as numerous other devices) it is definitely an interesting move, especially to back Mozilla's mobile OS. Foxconn wants these new software engineers to be experienced in HTML5 and cloud computing, which is the future.

 

HTML5 experience comes in handy from a manufacturing point of view, as most devices can benefit from it - not just Firefox OS.

BlackBerry 10.2 will be capable of running Android Jelly Bean apps

BlackBerry has the great position of being able to brag that their mobile OS runs Android apps, but BB10 only runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread apps (and earlier revisions of the OS) which isn't all that great.

 

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BlackBerry have announced that BlackBerry 10.2 will add support for Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which will see BlackBerry owners with the ability of running a bunch of the latest Android apps. There's a beta release of the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps and Plug-in for Android Development Tools that was made available for developers, but the actual updated OS isn't expected until later in the year.

iOS 7 is a love child of all mobile operating systems, and that's not a bad thing

I really thought that last week with Computex was busy, but I didn't quite prepare myself for the onslaught of data that would be slamming into my face via websites, Facebook, Feedly, our own website and e-mail. E3 and WWDC at the same time? Stahp!

 

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Anyway, iOS 7 has been unveiled to the world and I'm liking what I see. It definitely is a huge departure to the previous iterations of iOS which is great because iOS was becoming very stale for me, and a lot of others. iOS 7 now features a 'flat' design, which is gorgeous and you really need to check out videos on it to get an appreciation for just how much work Apple have put into their next-generation mobile OS.

 

The icons that are on the home screen move too, so if you move your iPhone from side-to-side, the icons kind of move - allowing you to see "behind" them, which is a nice trick. Multi-tasking on iOS 7 is heavily borrowed from Android, which is a great thing as multi-tasking on iOS until now has been pretty slow and clunky - but now, Apple have it done very well.

Continue reading 'iOS 7 is a love child of all mobile operating systems, and that's not a bad thing' (full post)

Apple's iOS 7 lets you block calls and texts from specific numbers

Apple announced iOS 7 a few hours ago, and it does a bunch of new things that we're going to cover over a few news posts. The first of which, is the option to combat against mobile spam with the ability to block calls and texts from specific numbers.

 

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Apple talked about the new privacy option during their WWDC keynote, saying that the next-gen mobile OS includes "Phone, FaceTime and Messages blocking to prevent specific people from being able to contact you". I think this feature is going to be great for those stalker exes you might have, or those friends who drunk dial you on a Friday or Saturday night.

 

I'm sure Apple will continue to work with this new feature and give it more power, which is something we should see before iOS 7 debuts later in the fall.

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