One of Apple's last saving graces before they truly start experiencing more issues is iOS 7. The latest beta version of iOS 7, beta 4, began seeding out to developers yesterday.
iOS 7 beta 4 includes some aesthetic changes, which include a modified lock screen, and a new direction arrow that sits to the left of the "slide to unlock" text. There's also a solid bar up the top which is there to highlight the notification center. There are more visual refinements to be found throughout iOS 7 beta 4, too.
What does iTunes 11 do? Well, for starters the company have added support for iTunes Radio, which is set to compete against music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora. Other than that, there's not much to talk about with the new version of iTunes just yet.
If you own a Nexus device, and more specifically, the first-generation Nexus 7, you really should update to Android 4.3. It is being reported that Android 4.3 supports TRIM.
TRIM will talk to the storage on your device, letting it know when blocks are sitting there unused and are ready for garbage collection. This needs to happen, and when it does, it stops your device from eventually running slower and slower. If TRIM doesn't do its job, then when you "delete" a file on your device, it really isn't deleted, but the space is instead marked as being available to be cleared later when the system needs it.
Android 4.3 only came out last week, and includes TRIM support for all Nexus devices. So if you're one of the tens of millions running a Samsung Galaxy-branded smartphone, you're out of luck, this time.
Google launched Android 4.3 last week when they announced their refreshed Nexus 7 tablet, but now hackers and developers have been going elbows deep into the Android 4.3 code where they've discovered that the new mobile OS is ready for 4K-capable TVs.
Android Police have discovered some image assets in Android 4.3 that point to XXXHDPI resolution, a pixel per inch density of 650. Considering HTC's One smartphone has a Full HD display (1920x1080) and has a DPI of 480, this is interesting. Android now supports resolutions much higher than 1080p, meaning we should expect 4K support in the near future, or even now.
Android engineer Dianne Hackborn wrote a note attached to the code, which says: "A typical use of this density would be 4K television screens-3840x2160, which is 2x a traditional HD 1920x1080 screen which runs at DENSITY_XHIGH."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Tweakipedia section has a new post.
Sick of installing Windows from an optical drive and would like to not have an ODD in your system at all? Don't worry, I feel your pain. We have a guide on how to get your Windows ISO file onto a USB flash drive so you can do a Windows installation very quickly, and much more efficiently. You can read more on the Tweakipedia article right here!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.