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Apple has released the last beta of iOS 7 before it goes official, with iOS 7 beta 6 being the last beta we'll be graced with. Apple is expected to launch iOS 7 officially next month.
Before then, we should expect the golden master (GM) version of iOS 7 early next month, after which we'll see the official release, which should coincide with the iPhone 5S launch. I expect Apple to unleash iOS 7 with the iPhone 5S, which will go hand-in-hand with each other.
Apple is most likely crying into its upcoming iPhone 5S at this news, but Google's mobile OS, Android, is just dominating. Gartner has confirmed a recent report from the IDC that Android-based devices accounted for 79% of all smartphone shipments in Q2 2013.
This represents a record share for Android, that just continues to grow each and every day. Gartner found that vendors across the world shipped 178 million Android-based smartphones, with 40% of those being Samsung devices. Apple's market share on the other hand, shrank year-over-year from 19% in Q2 2012 to just 14% this year.
I've said it before, but I think Apple has jumped the iShark and these numbers prove it. Even Microsoft's mobile OS, Windows Phone, is increasing its market share, jumping from 2.6% in Q2 2012 to 3.3% in Q2 2013 shipping over 7.4 million devices.
It appears that yesterday's report from Mary Jo Foley about Microsoft releasing Windows 8.1 in October was correct. Today, the company confirmed that Windows 8.1 will be arriving in digital download format at 12:00AM on October 18 in New Zealand, which means it will launch in the US at 12:00AM on October 17.
While digital downloads go on sell on the 17, retail copies of the operating system will not be available for in-store purchase until October 18. Microsoft says that Windows 8.1 "continues the vision we began with Windows 8 and is an example of our commitment to continuous innovation and improvement for our customers. And Windows 8.1 brings many improvements in areas like personalization, Internet Explorer 11, search which is powered by Bing, built-in apps including a few new ones, an improved Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity with SkyDrive (and much more) that people will enjoy."
Since the announcement of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has publicly stated that it plans on launching the updated operating system sometime around the end of August, but a recent report from ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley suggests that we will not see an official release until the end of October.
"Unlike the case with Windows 8, however, I'm hearing scuttlebutt that Microsoft is not planning to make available the final Windows 8.1 bits to its MSDN or TechNet subscribers shortly after the release RTMs," wrote Foley. "In the case of Windows 8, Microsoft RTM'd on August 1 and made the RTM bits available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers in mid-August, even though consumers couldn't get the final version until late October 2012."
She went on to say that even though the Windows 8.1 final release could hit OEMs before the official public release, Microsoft could holdback OEM launches until after its launch event. What do you think about Windows 8.1? Have any of you tried out the release candidates? Let us know in the comments!
Apple is getting a little quicker with beta releases with iOS 7, with iOS 7 beta 5 already out. Build 11A4449a is the latest version of Apple's upcoming mobile OS, and includes an overhauled Settings app, which comes with colored icons, as you can see below.
Build 11A4449a also includes a new Control Center setting that allows you to turn it off while in apps, which stops Control Center from accidentally being opened up from the bottom of the app you're using. People have been complaining of Control Center seeing issues with controls and buttons located along the lower edge of an app's UI.
iOS 7 beta 5's way of working this out is with a new "Access Within Apps" option, which is either turned on, or off. As ZDNet stated, it would be good if Apple gave users the option of blacklisting specific apps, instead of all of them. The last few new features in iOS 7 beta 5 include an updated power off slider, new phone icons, banner notification pull-down behavior, new On/Off toggles in the Accessibility settings, as well as a new Twitter icon.
Google have been hiding Android 5.0 "Key Lime Pie" behind some very sealed doors, but it looks like the first sliver of information has leaked out on Google's next-gen mobile OS.
Members of the Chromium Project are used to seeing countless Android builds, but the latest one is from a Chromium user who spotted a posting of bug 267659, who reported an issue with Cloud Print by listing out his devices. The Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 were both listed, running Android built KRS36B. These few digits and letters are very significant, to those who know what to look for.
The most important part? The "K" in KRS36B, which stands for "Key" in Key Lime Pie. All previous releases for Jelly Bean start with "J", and it continues backwards with "I" for Ice Cream Sandwich, "G" for Gingerbread, and so on. The most recent build pushed out to the original Nexus devices was JWR66V, so we have "J" for Jelly Bean, obviously.
Samsung has been working on Tizen for a while now, but in case you didn't know what Tizen was, you might want to do some light reading. Tizen is Samsung's mobile OS, that will see a bright future for the South Korean giant in the years to come.
But now there's some new information on just how much faith Samsung have in Tizen, with co-CEO, J.K. Shin, who runs Samsung's IT and Mobile Communications Division saying that Tizen is more than a small project for the company, and it isn't just a "simple alternative for Android." Shin sees a future of Tizen powering more than smartphones, a future where the mobile OS would move into vehicles and other industries.
Shin continues: "There are many convergences not only among IT gadgets, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and cameras, but also among different industries like cars, bio, or banks. Cross-convergence is the one [area] Samsung can do best since we do have various parts and finished products."
I've been using Android 4.x Jelly Bean since day one, and I'm in love with it. But, it has seen a slow adoption rate, but thanks great selling smartphones like the Galaxy S4, HTC One and Xperia Z, Jelly Bean has finally become the dominant version of Android.
The numbers speak for themselves, with the digits posted on the Android Developers website. As it stands right now, Android 4.1 and 4.1 are found on 40.5% of all Android devices, up from 38% of devices last month. This news means that Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" users are upgrading, with Android 2.3 numbers down to 33%, just 1% lower than June's numbers of 34%.
I haven't updated my Nexus 4 to Android 4.3 just yet, but it looks like those that have are finding issues with the latest update. Some users are reporting overheating, rapid battery drain, frequent crashing while in use and a perpetual loop during boot which renders their Nexus 4 unusable.
Other users are reporting that their Nexus 4 has become too slow to be usable. There are other reports from users that state passwords not being requested, which prevents their Nexus 4 from being unlocked. Whereas some users are reporting that there is no multitouch capability, reception issues, data disappearing, and applications that have gone missing.
The bad news for Android 4.3 on the Nexus 4 doesn't end there, with other users reporting that a device erase and factory reset fix the issues, but users shouldn't have to resort to formatting their phone to resolve an OS update problem.
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.