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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.
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.