Verizon Wireless have finally done it, they've released a new software update for the GALAXY Nexus from Samsung, 'IMM76K'. Verizon and Samsung both encourage the update, which fixes a heap of e-mail and text problems, calendar issues and more.
The IMM76K Android 4.0.4 update comes in at approximately 39MB in size, and can be manually updated if you choose to do so, an instructional post for it can be found here. Strangely, this is the same update that popped up in early-May, but was yanked by Google.
If you're rocking a GALAXY Nexus on Verizon, you'll probably want to grab this update. Be sure to let us know how you go with it!
With Windows 8 Zune is out and Xbox is in. Zune will be no more, that Microsoft has made abundantly clear. We finally have an answer as to what is replacing it: Xbox. Increasing from its humble roots as a gaming platform, the large brand will become an entire entertainment center for Windows 8 on phones, PCs, tablets, and TVs.
This year, Xbox becomes the premium entertainment service for Microsoft. Whether on your PC, tablet, TV or phone, Xbox will be a gateway to the best in music and video, your favorite games and instant access to your friends.
With the launch of Windows 8, we'll bring Xbox entertainment to everyone. With Xbox on Windows 8 devices, we rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 60 million people to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
This makes sense as Microsoft is working on a new music service for Xbox. Xbox is continually getting new and more varied services so it was only a matter of time before an announcement like this came. I can see where it soon could be an unlimited music, movie, and gaming platform for a single price. Seems simple and the likely way to go.
A Microsoft-sponsored IDC report claims that the annual support costs for a Windows XP systems are five times higher than a Windows 7-based system, as part of Microsoft's latest efforts in pushing more people toward Windows 7.
Microsoft have also issued a statement that has told organizations if they have not started "the migration to a modern PC, you are late". Windows XP gets orphaned by the software company with no further support or patches in April 2014, close to 13 years since it launched.
The report states that 42-percent of Windows' non-home installed base remains on the ageing Windows XP OS. If this continues, 11-percent of all Windows users will continue to be powered by Windows XP when the security patches end in 2014. As for support costs: IT workers' time and worker productivity costs jump by 25- and 23-percent respectively in year four.
A report from Neowin, that a well-known Windows insider "Canouna" has tweeted the intended launch date of the Release Candidate of Windows 8. According to "Canouna", Windows 8 RC will be available on June 1. This does agree with previous talks of the "first-week of June", that we heard about last month. The tweet reads:
"#Microsoft #Windows8 Release Preview public download = 1st June".
So, one could guess from there, we're looking at a June 1 release. But, this isn't from Microsoft, or a credible website, so it gets slapped with the RumorTT stamp. Canouna also tweeted that Windows that Windows 8 will be the first Windows OS to include Adobe Flash pre-installed. Yes, pre-installed! But, Microsoft seem to be experiencing some serious lag, as Flash has been around since the days of Windows 98.
Windows 8 is nearing release, and with it, we're prompted with more and more news about it, but that's good, right? The latest out of the gate is that the upcoming OS from Redmond is booting... too fast? Yes, too fast. Everyone wants quicker boot times, and Windows 8 definitely delivers in that way.
But, there are problems with an OS that boots too quickly, that if you need to enter the setup menu by pressing F2/F8 during the boot, there's next to no time to tap those keys. What did Microsoft do? Well, they can't just hold the OS boot time back, that would be crazy, so they've had to add some new features to the OS to make it easier to get to these menus.
If you have a machine with a solid-state drive installed, you can boot into a machine in around 7 seconds, and this will only decrease as hardware gets faster over time. In a test machine at Microsoft sporting an SSD and UEFI system, the time window to tap F8 is 200 milliseconds, yes, 200 milliseconds. In the case where you can't boot into Windows, Windows 8 will automatically enter automatic failover behavior which is determined by an algorithm that establishes a baseline over several boots.
Microsoft are putting up more than one way to get to the boot menu options for when it's needed and for the most part, the average user won't even need to use any of these options. But for enthusiasts, and users who love to tinker, this is something that should put you at ease: Microsoft is thinking of you, too.
Microsoft have just announced that starting today, you'll be required to have Windows Phone 7.5 on phones to download, buy, update, or review apps in Marketplace. This change applies to both the phone and web Marketplace storefronts.
While this seems like a strange move, remember that most phones are already running Windows Phone 7.5, and most phones can be upgraded to the latest version if they're stuck on a previous version of the operating system.
If you're running an older version of Windows Phone and try to access the Marketplace, you'll be prompted with an error message when you try to download a new app, or update an app that's already on your device. If you do get the error, all you need to do is install the free Windows Phone 7.5 upgrade.
You can find more information, and a step-by-step instruction guide on Update Central.
Windows 8 arrives later this year, and we're already getting some huge numbers from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on predictions of sales. In a speech to the Seoul Digital Forum in South Korea, Ballmer has said that up to 500 million users will be on a Windows 8-based device by the end of 2013. Ballmer added:
It's really, in some senses, a dawning of the rebirth of MS Windows... It's certainly the most important piece of work we've done.
Ballmer also teased that Microsoft will "soon" launch a version of Skype for Windows 8. This could be part of, or arrive close to the Release Preview of Windows 8, which is expected sometime in teh first week of June. Ballmer also talked about cloud computing, predicting that in a few years, there'll only be a few companies that will dominate that industry, he continues:
The number of core (cloud) platforms, around which software developers will do their innovation, is not ever-broadening. It's really a quite smaller and focused number -- Windows, various forms of Linux, the Apple ecosystem.
Since this is an enthusiast site, I imagine a majority of the readers are running multiple monitor setups. If you are, I'm sure you're aware of some of the difficulties associated with such a setup on previous versions of Windows. Well, Windows 8 isn't just receiving a touch screen UI upgrade; it's also receiving tweaks for multiple monitor setups.
There are several different tweaks that Microsoft is making in the upcoming Windows 8. One of the more minor tweaks is that you will now be able to put different backgrounds onto different monitors as seen in the picture above. Additionally, it will be possible to span a single panoramic picture across multiple monitors.
Microsoft has also improved the slideshow function to take advantage of multiple monitors. This is an especially important feature for users who have monitors in different orientations. Some pictures are more suited for a portrait or landscape monitor, so Microsoft has added a piece of logic code to show images on monitors to which they are better suited.
A further option, one that I am particularly excited about, is the addition of the task bar options. The task bar will be visible on all monitors, if the user desires. Additionally, users can select where they would like application icons to show up. Users have the option to show the task bar icon on the main bar, the bar on the monitor where the window is open, or both.
The latest developer build of Apple's upcoming OS X Mountain Lion dropped last week, and has shown off some iOS-like automatic app downloads to Mac App Store purchases.
Like on the iPhone and iPad, when you buy and install an app on one of your Macs, all of your other Macs logged into the same App Store account will automatically install the app too.
Unfortunately, the feature does not seem to be working completely. While the App Store will still offer to enable automatic downloads (as seen above), it does not actually install anything when you purchase apps from another computer.
This is something that just makes using a computer... easier. Not everyone lives on the bleeding edge of app updates, and not all apps auto-update. Hopefully we see something from Microsoft along these lines with Windows 8. But, then there's the case of what if an app was working perfectly before the update, and starts having issues after? Auto-updates are a double-edged sword.
Sony have revealed some great information for Sony tablet owners, that all Sony-branded tablets in all regions will receive over-the-air updates to Android 4.0 by the end of May.
Sony had previously announced the coming updates for their tablets, but only their latest models, and now this news have confirmed it. Sony's Tablet S has received Android 4.0 ICS, but only in the US. Europe, Japan and everywhere else has been on Android 3.2.1. The ICS update for the Tablet S brings panoramic camera mode, an updated gallery viewer with SD card access, and browser enhancements.
Tablet S and Tablet P will receive the update on May 24.
When Aero Glass first arrived with Windows Vista, people were finally impressed with the sleek look of a Microsoft operating system. Windows 7 polished it up a bit, and pushed it even more, but it seems like Microsoft are ready to throw Aero out when Windows 8 arrives.
Microsoft has "moved beyond" the design, and are looking forward to embrace an approach that feels "clean and crisp". Microsoft's development blog has some great thoughts and information on the move, where they say that by "flattening surfaces, removing reflections and scaling back distracting gradients", Windows 8 will provide a simplified experience over its flashier predecessors:
We applied the principles of "clean and crisp" when updating window and taskbar chrome. Gone are the glass and reflections. We squared off the edges of windows and the taskbar. We removed all the glows and gradients found on buttons within the chrome. We made the appearance of windows crisper by removing unnecessary shadows and transparency. The default window chrome is white, creating an airy and premium look. The taskbar continues to blend into the desktop wallpaper, but appears less complicated overall.
Microsoft is getting their hands dirty with Windows 8, and one of the things they're tweaking at the moment is the way the next-gen operating system manages multi-monitor setups, starting with the next major release of their OS.
Mark Yalovsky, a lead program manager on the User Experience team, had gone into detail explaining some of the features that have already been baked into the Consumer Preview, such as taskbar options for multiple displays, and some that will change like the ability to launch Metro apps on any display - but this post has been taken down.
Microsoft have collected data through the Windows Feedback Program, which points to 14-percent of desktop PCs and approximately 5-percent of laptop PCs sporting multiple monitors. Microsoft have taken this information, and made multi-monitor support better in Windows 8. They have set themselves a few goals: make the desktop a more personal experience, improve the efficiency of accessing apps across monitors, improve the efficiency of accessing system UI, and allow side-by-side Metro style and desktop apps.
LG have just today announced the Optimus UI 3.0 for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices the company sells. The new user interface is an enhanced Quick Memo feature which allows users to use their finger to quickly take notes.
Quick Memo information also has the ability of sharing through to social networks, or sent as a text message, or e-mail. The update, according to LG, will make it "faster, simpler, and more convenient" for its Optimus owners to get work done on the handset.
Optimus UI 3.0 also includes a Voice Shutter feature, allowing users to take photos with voice commands, an icon customizer for changing how certain application icons look, and finally, a Download category for additional organization options. LG should release Optimus UI 3.0 with the LG Optimus LTE II which launches this week in Korea. The software will then find its next target, the LG Optimus 4X HD in June.
Apple have just rolled out a new update to their next-gen OS, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. The developer preview has been pushed up to build 12A206j. This update replaces the current build 12A193i, which was released a little over two weeks ago.
Apple notes that "MacBookPro3,1", which links up to mid-to-late 2007 models, is not compatible with the new build of Mountain Lion, but will be fixed in later builds of the OS. There aren't many other details about the update, or what improvements it has made. But it seems Apple are baking in some final tweaks for developers leading up to their Worldwide Developers Conference next month.
The company is expected to provide extensive previews of Mountain Lion at the conference, with the public release scheduled for "late summer".
9to5Mac is reporting that earlier today an unnamed app developer informed the site that users accessing its software had been identified as running iOS 6 by analytics. Adding fuel to the iOS 6 fire is that other unidentified developers polled have also seen traces of the new iOS 6 since, wait for it, late-April. This means people in the wild, or people within Apple, are testing out iOS 6, right now.
Keeping in mind that prior to the 2011 Apple World Wide Developer's Conference, versions of iOS 5 were spotted in the same fashion. When enabled in an application, iOS apps can send data to developers, this data is mostly used for application improvement, and to track metrics of users in regards to which device along with which version of the iOS are being used.
But, it can all be a game, too. It's possible for someone to jailbreak a device, to spoof, or fake, an iOS or device revision metric passed onto a developer, but this is probably not what has happened, as iOS 6-based devices are known to be under active development.
Microsoft has always given a good deal on an upgrade to the next generation upgrade when a customer has purchased a computer just months before its release. Often that good deal is a free upgrade, however, that is not the case with Windows 7 to Windows 8. The reasoning for this good deal is simple: if customers know the next version is right around the corner, they often will hold off which kills sales for a few months.
The fee for users to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 will be $15, according to one source. This upgrade will get you Windows Pro and no upgrade path will be offered to Windows 8 standard. The offer will be valid for users who purchase a computer after June 2, which roughly coincides with the Release Preview version of Windows 8.
Windows 8 is expected to be widely available in the second half of 2012. Microsoft will also be providing "in-the-box" upgrades packaged along with Windows 8. These upgrades will be in the form of "packs" that will provide Pro and Media Center capabilities. These packs take the place of the antiquated Windows Anytime Upgrade system.
I'm really hoping that struggling RIM (Research in Motion) and their next-generation OS, BlackBerry 10 (BB10) bodes well against the likes of Apple and Google. Just hours ago, there was a media briefing for RIM's next OS in London.
BB10's home screen has been hidden, until now. The media event showed off the swish looking home screen, which is now populated with widgets, but the change is that all of the on-screen widgets are actually active applications that will dynamically change based on your activities.
Most of BlackBerry 10's interface is gesture-driven, where you can quick swipe to the right to bring up the full launcher, where a swipe to the left will open the unified inbox. Definitely not revolutionary, or even resolutionary, but it's better than previous iterations of RIM's operating system. RIM have also updated the BB10 software keyboard, where RIM's Head of Software Portfolio, Vivek Bhardwaj has stated that the company spend a lot of time and effort trying to replicate the capabilities of the company's iconic plastic keyboards.
There have been people sitting around a watercooler somewhere, who have overheard the chatter of Apple replacing Google Maps in iOS 6 with an "in-house" maps application. The rumor isn't just a statement, it comes with some juicy nuggets, too.
These nuggets come in the form of silent acquisitions by Apple of Placebase, C3 and Poly9, what do all of these companies have in common? They're all mapping companies.
The original iPhone smashed into the market in 2008 and since then has had Google Maps as their default "Maps" app in iOS. Just recently, the Curpentino-based company dropped Google Maps in their iPhone app, but why? Could this rumor be something that would eventually create itself into reality?
Google have recently started to monetize Google Maps, that would piss Apple off. As well as the fact that Google have recently changed their terms of service, so that developers who use Google Maps in their projects and receive more than 25,000 views per month must pay a premium.
As usual, more news on this as it comes.
Quick one here, folks! Samsung GALAXY Note owners should love this: Samsung have very quietly begun rolling out the very long-awaited Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for their 5.3-inch GALAXY Note smartphone.
The latest OS arrives with a "Premium Suite" full of S-pen-friendly apps such as S Note, Shape Match, My Story, and more. Samsung haven't confirmed the launch, but there are more than a few European users who are already loving ICS on their Note's.
If you've got a GALAXY Note, and upgrade to ICS, be sure to let us know how it is! I'm interested to see how Ice Cream Sandwich is on the 5.3-inch GALAXY Note.
Microsoft are really wanting to make Windows 8 stand out, bigger than most operating systems they've released before. Today, the Redmond-based company have announced that Windows Media Center is not going to be included with Windows 8.
If you'd like to have access to Windows Media Center, you'll need to pay for it. You're thinking this is bad, ridiculous, how could they? Well, Microsoft are promising that Windows 8 will "deliver a world-class video and audio entertainment experience", and they've made it clear that DVDs are not part of this. Windows Media Player will continue to be included with Windows 8, but the ability to play DVDs, will not.
ZDNet's Ed Bott has noted:
There will, of course, be plenty of decoders included with Windows 8. The goal is to "cover all key playback scenarios for mainstream content such as YouTube video, Netflix video, Amazon audio/video, H.264 web browsing/streaming, Hulu video, MP4 video, AVCHD video from camcorders, Ultraviolet video, and the HTML5 video tag."
Decoders for H.264, VC-1 (WMV), and MP4 video are included, as are audio codecs for MP3, WMA, AAC, PCM (Wave), and DD+. Metro style apps are free to add their own decoders, the post says, using FLAC, MKV, and OGG as examples.
There's always VLC.
Apple has pushed an update to their next-gen OS X, Mountain Lion, where the Developer Preview 3 release has been updated from build number 12A178q to 12A193i. Apple says:
If you already have Mountain Lion Developer Preview 3 installed, choose Software Update from the Apple menu to download the update from the Mac App Store. Download Xcode 4.4 Developer Preview 4 from the Mac Dev Center to continue building apps for Mountain Lion Developer Preview 3 Update.
9to5Mac notes a change with the new update, where they've spotted a "Do Not Disturb" setting in Mountain Lion's Notifications Center:
Apple has baked in a fair amount of iOS-like features, such as Reminders, Messages and Game Center. Mountain Lion should roar its way onto your Mac sometime in late summer 2012.