Samsung should start pushing out their Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update to their Galaxy S II (GT-i9100) models on March 10. Yes, we're that close. The update should be pushed out via Kiez, and should sport Samsung's TouchWiz UI.
The first and only version to get the ICS update (for now) is the global version of the Galaxy S II, the GT-i9100. According to Samsung's notes, we should expect Face Unlock, Android Beam, and data usage included. On top of this, multi-tasking and some apps will be "improved".
Samsung's site also states that because of "ICS OS feature", Flash and Bluetooth 3.0 HS won't be supported. The update should roll on to individual carriers, and their own GS II variants over time, after a fair amount of testing. I for one, cannot wait and I'm anxiously sitting here waiting to get my first lick of Google's Ice Cream Sandwich.
As a loving Samsung Galaxy S II owner, I've been awaiting Android 4.0 ICS on my handset for what feels like, forever. But, news from Samsung's Israel-based division posted on Facebook with a date for the ICS upgrade to the Galaxy S II.
They're promised to end a 'patient' wait by delivering ICS to the flagship Galaxy S II on March 15. The upgrade would apply to both carrier-locked versions as well as unlocked versions bought directly from Samsung. At the moment, it's not known which countries would get the upgrade first, or at the same time.
But, as usual, Americans would most likely have to wait longer, as versions such as the Epic 4G Touch and T-Mobile's 42Mbps-capable HSPA+ edition will need their own, individual additional testing. Areas where the Galaxy S II stock is healthy, such as Canada and most of Europe, should get the upgrade pretty quick.
The upgrade promises to make the Galaxy S II jump up to its cousin, the totally stock Galaxy Nexus, in some areas. Web performance is expected to be improved, as well as the (personally much-awaited and anticipated) Chrome for Android. Face-to-unlock and other interface-based elements should also leak into the ICS upgrade, but Android Beam's device-to-device sharing might only hit NFC-enabled GSII units, such as AT&T's version.
Google have already teased us with the codename of Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean", but it seems Android 6.0 is peeking its head around the corner ever so slightly. Android 6.0 has a rumored codename of "Key Lime Pie". Until now, I had never even heard of such a thing. At least Google are schooling people like me in desserts.
Google have been naming Android versions alphabetically, after desserts. First up we had Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, and now, Android 6.0 Key Lime Pie. No features are known about Key Lime Pie, and its way too early to even think of what Google could bake into the upcoming Android OS.
Android 5.0 won't even ship until late-2012. What I do love, is we know when Google's OSs are coming out, where Apple holds everything far too close to their chest. Android owners can expect better phones with each Android release, which is some what of a "should I buy a phone now, or wait for Android x.0".
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview came out just a little over 24 hours ago, and has enjoyed an insane 1 million-plus downloads in those 24 hours. This is a runaway success for Microsoft, which is pretty much going all-in with their next-generation OS.
Considering that over 1 million people downloaded the OS, the servers handled it pretty damn well. I personally had no issues with the download, with it maxing out my 8Mbit connection. I also didn't notice a single person on my Facebook news feed whinging, so that's a good sign, isn't it? Or maybe I don't have enough friends?
Microsoft broke the news on their BuildingWindows8 Twitter feed, saying "One day later... one million downloads of the consumer preview.
Have you downloaded it yet? Your thoughts on Windows 8 thus far?
Microsoft has just pulled the trigger and launched the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and it's ready for download and your testing now.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup will check to see if your PC can run Windows 8 Consumer Preview and select the right download. Setup also features a compatibility report and upgrade assistance. Built-in tools for creating an ISO or bootable flash drive are available for some previous versions of Windows (excluding Windows XP and earlier). You can find system requirements and additional information in the FAQ and in the links on this page.
Note before you download: Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it's commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software. If you decide to go back to your previous operating system, you'll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.
Go and grab it here if you are interested.
Microsoft's timeframe for Windows 8 is not being discussed, and this worries not only the Bright Side of News*, but me, too. BSN* received some interesting news regarding the timeframe of Windows 8, with information pointing to all resources being poured into the x86-based version of the OS for notebooks, desktops, workstations and server, with no attention being given for the ARM-based version of Windows 8.
Microsoft didn't let anyone have any hands-on time with the ARM version of Windows 8 at CES 2012, and the repeat is happening now in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress. On top of this, Qualcomm have announced they've delayed their quad-core processors from summer 2012, to Q1 2013. This could of course open the flood gates for NVIDIA and their quad-core-based Tegra 3 SoC, but it looks as though their having issues with the 28nm process and not talking about opportunities.
Thanks to some documentation on HP.com, there's now some well-placed rumors out on the Internet of the Windows 8 SKUs. ZDNet reported two documents on HP's website, pointing to the Windows 8 SKUs.
Both documents are said to be revision notes for the Alcor Micro Smart Card Reader Driver, where next to a section called "operating system(s)" the following is listed:
Microsoft Windows 8 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64 Edition
They've updated their story, with HP having modified their two incriminating files and the Windows 8 SKU info now gone. Should we expect just three different SKUs for Windows 8? If it were my guess, I'd say yes. It would streamline their confusion between all the different versions, that's for sure.
Microsoft have reportedly stopped compiling beta builds of their upcoming OS, Windows 8, and are said to be preparing to sign off on the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, tomorrow. The build (8250) is said to be unveiled at a special event that will coincide with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next Wednesday at 9AM ET.
The public beta will usher in some huge changes, such as the updated Windows logo, and a new "Charms bar" which replaces the Start menu. The Consumer Preview is said to sport some preinstalled games, including Pinball and Solitaire, while the preview version of the new Windows Store will sport games such as Angry Birds.
Developers will have the ability to publish free apps through the Windows Store, or charge between $1.49 and $999 per download. Microsoft, at first, takes a 30-percent stake in the sales, which is reduced to 20-percent once the app exceeds $25,000 in sales. The OS is expected to include various social and multimedia applications. We should have a huge post on Windows 8 next week, so stay tuned!
ASUS did promise the original Eee Pad Transformer would receive Ice Cream Sandwich in February, and have now, begun to fulfil that promise. The original TF101 Transformer is now receiving the ICS update, with users in Taiwan seeing the update first.
The UK are expected to be the next ones on the list, with other regions across the various ponds to receive the ICS update over the coming days. ASUS are known to stagger releases, in case any nasty bugs pop up at the last minute, instead of unleashing the updates to the entire user base, and experiencing issues somewhere along the line.
ASUS have also used the announcement to remind us of its pride in commitment to long product life-cycles and also to look forward to some new innovations at next weeks Mobile World Congress.
Do you own an Android-powered device? A lover of Ubuntu's OS? Well, soon you could be enjoying the best of both worlds. Ubuntu now runs on multi-core Android-based devices, where your handset can allow the full desktop experience of Ubuntu, when docked with a display and keyboard.
The Ubuntu OS running is a customized version that works with Android, with the two OS's sharing data and services while running simultaneously. This means you can keep your telephony access and texts all from the Ubuntu OS, while enjoying the computing capabilities that Ubuntu offers, including Ubuntu TV, virtualization tools for running Windows applications, desktop web browsers, and Ubuntu apps built for ARM.
At the moment, it's not known which exact hardware is required to run Ubuntu on Android-based devices, but Canonical has said it works on multi-core devices with HDMI and USB connections. More details on this should be unleashed at MWC next week.
Where is the full version, Samsung? Come on. Anyway, PocketNow is reporting that this is an official version of the ROM, and while it's still a test release, it'll tie us over until the full version hits. PocketNow also discovered that the Contacts app wasn't working in this release.
Other than that, they have reported that the ROM is snappy and has improved battery life. If you're like me, a Galaxy S II owner and want to give this ICS ROM a lick to taste it, all you need to do is register on SamMobile's forums and of course, at your own risk, mess with your phone's firmware.
Alternatively, you could wait for your carrier, and/or Samsung to release an "official" ROM of ICS. But this is TweakTown, and tweaking is what we do, isn't it? Isn't that why you're reading this news right now?
The final release of ICS for the Galaxy S II shouldn't be too far away now. I think I might just wait a little while longer.
Microsoft have just updated its support policy for their two latest OSs, Windows Vista and Windows 7, where they'll now be offering extended support to the consumer versions of the two operating systems.
Until now, Microsoft had provided 5 years worth of 'mainstream support' for consumers, where business users enjoyed an additional 5 years of support. Now, all Windows users will get security updates for 10 years after the operating system's release.
This takes Windows Vista's consumer support all the way through to April 11, 2017, and Windows 7 support gets a nice bump up to January 14, 2020.
BGR have gotten their dirty mits on "what is said to be" Apple's iOS 5.1 GM, which should hit users over-the-air (OTA) around March 9th or so, and BGR have thus confirmed two changes that have been baked into iOS 5.1.
First off, we have the lock screen for iOS 5.1 sporting a fixed camera button which is found next to the slide-to-unlock button, and instead of tapping on said button to launch the camera, in iOS 5.1 all you do is drag the entire unlock section up to reveal the camera finder - nifty.
Siri has also taken a trip to learn a new language: Japanese. BGR have confirmed this in the picture below where you can clearly see Siri now sports Japanese. BGR have learnt that there "are no roadblocks" and this is a release candidate that should hit in a few weeks time.
RumorTT: Google could launch Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" in Q2 of this year, would run alongside Windows 8
Android 4.0 arrived with quite the hard thud late last year, whilst it looks pretty cool, the Android-based smartphones and tablets just did not adapt quick enough. Most smartphone and tablet makers really dragged their feet, with even flagship products such as the phone that rocks along in my pocket, the Samsung Galaxy S II, not receiving it yet.
But, this could all [hopefully] change with the release of Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean". Google know that 2012 spells stronger competition in the OS market, with Microsoft releasing Windows 8 this year, and Apple will surely announce iOS 6 with the iPhone 5 (that's my guess, anyway). All of this is "according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers", thanks, DigiTimes.
Android 5.0 is said to be further optimized for tablet PCs, as well as having Chrome integration system functions to push dual-operating system designs. What does sound amazing, is that brand vendors can choose to adopt just Android 5.0 or add Android 5.0 to Windows 8 devices, allowing the ability to switch between the two OSes without the need to shut the device down. Take that, Apple.
Google hope to enter the notebook and netbook markets with Android 5.0, and if you can sport Windows 8 and Android 5.0 at the same time, this is going to be a kick-arse year for Google, and Microsoft.
Apple have just announced they've released a developer preview of their upcoming OS, Mountain Lion. Touted as the ninth major release of the 'world's most advanced operating system', Mountain Lion will introduce popular apps from the iPad to the Mac, such as Messages, Notes, Reminders and Game Center, as well as Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration and AirPlay Mirroring.
On top of these iPad-related features, OS X Mountain Lion will sport iCloud, which allows for easy setup and integration with said apps. The developer preview of Mountain Lion also intros Gatekeeper. What is Gatekeeper? It's a 'revolutionary' security feature that helps keep you safe from malicious software by giving you complete control over what apps are allowed to be installed on your Mac.
Because Mountain View includes Messages, this means that iChat is now gone. Messages will continue to support services such as AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. If you want to try it out on your Lion-based Mac, you can download the beta of Messages, here.
Because Mountain Lion has Twitter integration, you can sign on once and tweet directly from Safari, Quick Look, Photo Booth, Preview and other third-party applications. AirPlay Mirroring ushers in a new way to wireless send a secure 720p video stream of what's on your Mac, directly to an HDTV using Apple TV.
Leaked images have floated onto the surface of the waves of the Internet in the past 24 or so hours of Research in Motion's next-generation BlackBerry 10 Operating System, and boy do they look nice. BlackBerry 10 OS will sport home screen "widgets" which will allow you to call up apps and mini-apps, video chat capability, improvements to the e-mail clients design, just to name a few.
CrackBerry.com are behind the images, where they've reported they received a 14-page presentation featuring BlackBerry 10-powered BlackBerry's from "a tipster". Of course, we have to question whether these images are indeed legit, but they do seem to be. BB 10 OS is shaping up to look quite swish, and it seems RIM have worked hard at this latest OS.
RIM aren't just dressing to impress, either, it seems they are baking in some useful features such as a clock icon that continues to show the time of the day, but also what time the alarm will go off. It is the detail in the little things that make it stand out. Another feature showed off in a screenshot is RIM's Universal Inbox, which is thanks to The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) which RIM acquired back in 2010.
During CES 2012, Research in Motion (RIM) announced the PlayBook OS 2.0 would arrive "next month", with that next month being February. At the end of this month, Mobile World Congress starts up and we should see quite the flurry of announcements and unveilings, one of which should be RIM's PlayBook OS 2.0.
RIM's Senior Brand Manager, Jeff Gadway, has assured PC Magazine that they're sticking to their promised timetable, and PlayBook OS 2.0 will ship "very soon". Very soon, and MWC seem to line up quite well, and RIM should have a decent presence at the show.
PlayBook OS 2.0 will arrive as a 400MB update, and brings a bunch of important features to the OS, including an Android App player, a native e-mail client, calendar, and contact apps. We should hear and see more about PlayBook OS 2.0 in the coming weeks, or when MWC hits.
I'm sick of writing about Ice Cream Sandwich/Android 4.0 and not rocking it on my Samsung Galaxy S II, boo. Boo! Well, Android 4.0.4 has found its way onto the tubes this week, first hitting Sprint's Nexus S 4G, and now has hit the CDMA/LTE-powered Galaxy Nexus from Verizon.
Obviously this isn't available over-the-air (OTA), but it's available to those who have unlocked their bootloader. The ROM is said to be very fast, with speed gains also reaching the web browser, and the device's boot times, too.
The release includes a new radio file that offers more seamless transitions between the CDMA and LTE networks. Most of the other baked-in changes are relatively minor, so this is only for those of you who want to live on the edge. If you too, want to live on the edge, check it out here.
Get ready to dust off your OS, people, Windows 8 Consumer Preview is nearly upon us, and according to CNet News, Microsoft have now revealed the date and time of the launch (excusing the time zone weirdness as its launching in Barcelona): February 29 between 3:00 and 5:00 PM CET (or 9:00 and 11:00 AM EST).
Microsoft are set to host at event at Mobile World Congress, in the aforementioned Barcelona, Spain. MWC is a mobile conference, but then again, Windows 8 is not solely for desktops and notebooks anymore, with the OS set to land on mobile devices as well. The Verge have said that some Metro apps will feature on the Consumer Preview, with Calendar, Camera, Mail, Messaging, Music, "People," Photos, SkyDrive, and Video being included.
The Verge's information comes from "sources familiar with Microsoft's plans" so there's a few grains of salt thrown in there. Will you be trying out the Consumer Preview? I want to try it out, I hope it installs in Boot Camp on my Apple MacBook Pro. Ha.
Microsoft launched one of the most recognisable components of computing, the Start button. It was launched 17 years ago, with a huge advertising campaign, where its hard for people to not know the Start button now.
When it comes to Windows 8, Microsoft are changing it up, not just a bit, but considerably. The removal of the Start button marks a serious change, where the Start button is replaced by the "hot corner." Instead of clicking the Start button to show the full-screen Metro-style Start Screen, you just flick your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen, or touch it with your finger, and voila - Metro-style Start Screen.
Why would Microsoft do such a thing? Well, they save some on-screen pixels by removing it. That's it. Imagine long-time Windows users, booting up for the first time, not aware of this news and virtually unprepared for there to not be a Start button. They would think the OS is faulty, or a non-legit version. New users, would be OK, but how would they know to push to the bottom left of the screen to display the Metro interface?
Apple is ready to unleash a new update for OS X Lion, dubbed version 10.7.3. The new update resolves some lingering issues that Lion currently has, and includes some other things, too.
First up, it'll fix the annoying Wi-Fi connection resume issue when the system has gone to sleep (which I experience myself and it is annoying), it also addresses a bunch of issues: when using smart cards to log into OS X, compatibility issues with Microsoft Windows file sharing, printing Microsoft Word documents that use markup, graphics performance issues after the system goes to sleep on earlier ATI-based iMacs and finally, an issue that may prevent Safari from opening before joining a wireless network.
v10.7.3 also adds new language support with Catalan, Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Slovak, Thai and Ukrainian support now included. RAW image compatibility for additional digital cameras is included, too.
Apple recommends using Time Machine before updating, and you can either download it by choosing Software Update on your Mac, or you can manually download the installer, here.