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.
Owner of an NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered HTC One X? Been waiting for Cyanogenmod 9? Today is your lucky day! Cyanogenmod 9 has been released for the Tegra 3-powered HTC One X, with the interface offering a much more stock Android 4.0 ICS feel, with HTC's Sense 4.0 UI locked back in its closet.
With Cyanogenmod 9 loaded, the HTC One X looks more like Samsung's stock GALAXY Nexus, which isn't so much of a bad thing if you're not a fan of HTC's Sense 4.0 UI. The people behind the release, TripNRaVeR of the TripNDroid Mobile Engineering team are the ones who released this particular build, and whilst they've used the open-source Cyanogenmod 9 files, the release is not 'officially sanctioned' by the Cyanongenmod 9 group.
Most functions work on the HTC One X, apart from the camera and Wi-Fi hotspot functions. There is one revision the Cyanogenmod 9 build brings to HTC One X users, is that it remaps the device's hardware buttons. The multitasking button has been reworked to initiate the 'menu' function, whilst the multitasking menu is now made available by holding down the home button.
Connected to Verizon, or T-Mobile and waiting on an Ice Cream Sandwich update to your Android device, well, you might enjoy some leaked scheduled update maps. Of course, as usual, this isn't confirmed by either provider, so for now it's just a rumor.
Verizon should be rolling updates to the following handsets soon: HTC Rezound, Motorola Razr, Razr Maxx, Xoom 3G and Xoom 4G. The "pull" dates for those handsets are between May 9 and 23, whilst ROMs for the Xoom have yet to be determined. For those on T-Mobile, Samsung's GALAXY S will receive ICS after May 14, with teh HTC Amaze 4G and Sensation 4G getting their ICS updates after June 16.
Of course, these dates and models are always subject to change, especially when it comes from leaked schedules.
Ice Cream Sandwich has arrived on the GALAXY S II with Telstra, and there's only a few steps between your old Gingerbread life on the GSII and your new Ice Cream Sandwich-rocking life. Do it now!
You'll need to visit this website if you want to do it, as there's a few steps you'll have to do. If you're still running the older Android 2.3.3, you'll need to upgrade to 2.3.6 before you can upgrade to ICS 4.0.3. Other than that, have at it!
It can be done OTA (over-the-air), or you can chose to upgrade it through Kies. This method would require that you backup all personal data, just in case. Before any update, I would suggest backing up personal data, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Apple may have quite a bit of power in the smartphone and tablet sector, but we all know that all kingdom's eventually collapse. Before that, the King's make big speeches and Apple is no different. Apple CEO Tim Cook took time out from yesterday's earnings call to take a swipe at Microsoft's plans for WIndows 8, where he likening them to combining a toaster to a fridge.
Cook had a question-and-answer session that followed the earnings call, and was asked if Apple had any plans to merge their tablet and laptop efforts, as Microsoft are doing with their upcoming Window 8 OS. Cook replied with:
You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren't going to be pleasing to the user.
Cook snapped again, saying that any sort of convergence between tablets and laptops would result in a dilution of both, where he added:
We are not going to that part, but others might from a defensive point of view.
But, we all know Apple are big at talking and then going back on their word. If you'll remember when the iPhone was first released under Jobs' leadership, Apple made a very big deal of claiming that their then-new iOS operating system was, at heart, the same as its OS X desktop. Where they have now gone back on that word. Comparing iOS to OS X is just silly... iOS is even more closed off than OS X and is quite basic in comparison.
Microsoft have confirmed that a near-final "release preview" of Windows 8 is expected to drop in early-June, says Windows unit president Steven Sinofsky, where he made the announcement at at Windows Developer Days event held in Japan earlier this week.
This should mean the release could arrive at the time of Computex, which would be a perfectly timed show off period for the Redmond-based company. All eyes will be on the releases as they hit as Microsoft push Windows in a new direction.
Windows 8 should be quite the all-in for Microsoft, as they're not only trying to keep desktop-based customers happy, but notebooks, newly-arrived Ultrabooks, and then tablets and smartphones. Microsoft want to combat Apple's iPad, but right now have nothing to even compete with. Windows 8 will change all of this.
On top of the OS being able to run on traditional x86-based processors, it'll work on low-powered ARM-based solutions, too.
Apple are today seeding registered members of the Mac Developer Program the latest, third developer preview of OS X Mountain Lion. The new version is Build 12A178q, which is up from the previous 12A154q version.
There are various changes baked in which have yet to be discovered, but the lucky ones with access to the Developer Preview will surely swim through the sea of changes to find out just how Mountain Lion ticks, or roars. Apple has a list of known issues with the latest build:
Microsoft Evangelist Nuno Silva was involved in a video interview that has been posted by Portugese site Zwame, where it's been suggested that ALL Windows Phone devices, even those from the first-generation will get an upgrade to the next-gen OS.
Outside of this interview, Microsoft have barely whispered about the future of Windows Phone, whether its even in development or not. It's believed that Windows Phone 8/Apollo could break the mould on how Windows Phone 7 behaves. There could be enough code compatibility with the desktop that its apps could run on Windows 8 with minimal porting. Wouldn't that be nice?
Of course, we should expect new features in the next-gen OS that would require next-gen hardware. But the underlying OS should work on lower-end devices, but would most likely include restrictions. Apple does this on their devices with iOS versions, same with Google's Android OS.
We all know Windows 8 is baking very nicely in Microsoft's ovens right now, and they're just some more information surface now in the form of the editions we should expect. Microsoft are going to release Windows 8 in three editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT.
The differences? Well, the first two edition's are for x86-based systems, both in 32- and 64-bit. Windows 8 will be the OS for most people, as it includes most of the features you need, plus an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support as well as the ability to switch languages on the fly, which was previously an exclusive feature to the Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows.
Next up is Windows 8 Pro, which is designed for tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals. It includes all of the features of Windows 8 as well as encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center is now considered an economical "media pack" add-on for Windows 8 Pro. Finally, we have Windows 8 RT. This is the newest member of the Windows family, which is something Microsoft have been calling Windows on Arm, or WOA.
Google's Chrome OS has been in development for quite a while now, and has since late-2010 had the same system interface, until now. The latest developer version of the operating system sports a major redesign in its UI, and it is not only looking great, it's looking more and more like Windows, which isn't a bad thing.
The first thing people are going to do with Chrome is think "is it Windows?" and once they realise its not, they're going to attempt to use it. If they've never used the Chrome browser before, it'll feel very alien, much like OS X does the first time you use it after using Windows for X amount of years. Chrome OS now looks like a traditional OS, with a full-blown desktop and window manager instead of just a browser and tabs.
Chrome's next-generation use interface framework, known as "Aura", makes its public debut with the new developer version of Chrome OS. This is a huge change, as previous iterations of Chrome OS were just an operating system, within a browser that very closely resembled Google's popular web browser. This is a great move, something that I applaud Google for doing. You can sometimes think outside of the square, but sometimes floating outside of that square makes you think you require a triangle to be 'better' or 'evolved', a simplistic UI will go a long way to ensure that Chrome OS is a serious contender for the OS wars to come.
Microsoft to drop Windows Vista, Office 2007 mainstream support, XP's head arrives on the chopping block in two years time
We all knew this day was coming, mainstream support for Windows Vista will end on April 10 with Office 2007 receiving the same fate today. Windows XP and Office 2003 will enjoy another two years before being cut.
Microsoft divides its support lifecycle in two stages: "Mainstream" and "Extended". Within Mainstream, software receives the full range of free security updates, stability improvements, bug fixes, and occasional new features. Within the Extended phase, only security updates are made available, though companies with paid support contracts can receive other fixes.
Currently, Windows XP and Office 2003 are in their "Extended" support phase, which ends in 2014. Once this hits, they'll cease receiving even security updates, leaving anyone still running that software open to whatever malware the Internet throws upon them. Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be in Extended support from now until April 2017.
Samsung's GALAXY Note may have kicked arse in ad campaigns, beating out Doritos and M&Ms, and its reward may just be Ice Cream Sandwich. No really, thanks to Samsung and RootzWiki, you can now enjoy ICS on your 5.3-inch GALAXY Note smartphone.
RootzWiki have intensely tested the ROM before releasing it, so that the user ends up with a great experience rather than a slightly beautiful paperweight. RootzWiki's internal build tester provided them with the following rundown of working features:
- Face Unlock is fully functional
- LTE connections are solid and up to speed
- Phone calls work great both ways
- Audio quality is up to par
- Stereo Bluetooth is fully functional
- MMS is fully functional
- GPS is fully functional
- Google Talk and Video Chat work
- Google Voice is fully functional
- Task Manager is smooth and transitions are quick
- Downloaded Flash video and in-browser video works flawlessly
- Chrome autosync is fully functional
- AT&T Hotspot functionality works, external devices connect fine
Google have posted up their latest Android version distribution numbers, for the 14-day period ending on April 2, 2012. The numbers are quite interesting for Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich, where we can see the adoption rate rise from March 5th's 1.6-percent to 2.9-percent, now.
ICS was at just 0.6-percent on January 4, and had only risen 0.4-percent by February, and only rose 1-percent in March. To compare against Apple, iOS has a 75-percent adoption rate, with the latest iOS 5.1 at 61-percent last week. Will this adoption rate continue over the coming months? Yes and no. Some handset makers are pushing updates over-the-air (OTA), and some are not. Most Android consumers probably aren't even fully aware of Ice Cream Sandwich, where people with Apple devices tend to get OTA updates or buy new Apple products every 1-2 years.
Google's Gingerbread OS is still powering through with its numbers, with a majority of Android-based devices sporting the OS with a very hefty 63.7-percent market share. You can see on the above picture Android 4.0.3 is peeking up toward the end, but still it doesn't even begin to compare with Android 2.3.3.
Over the weekend Sony detailed their Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update plans for their Xperia lineup of smartphones, where we should see the ICS updates rolling out to no less than 11 Xperia handsets by mid-June. The update will be pushed out to some phones in mid-April, with these phones being the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V, and Xperia Ray.
The late-May, early-June should see ICS-based updates for Xperia Arc, Play, Neo, Mini, Mini Pro, Pro, Active, and the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman as well. There is a problem with these updates though, is that none of them will be over-the-air (OTA), and will require that owners of these handsets who want to upgrade have to tether their handsets.
This is because Sony wants users to make a "conscious and informed decision to upgrade". All this means is that while Sony are pushing out ICS updates for 11 handsets, those who don't know about ICS will have to wait until Sony push them OTA, if they even bother doing so. I would expect a notification from Sony saying "your phone is compatible for an update, if you would like to do so, visit this site", and that site explains what ICS is, and how you upgrade.
Sporting a HSPA+ Samsung GALAXY Nexus (i9250) or an UMTS/GSM Nexus S (i9020), well, you might want to check System Update for a brand new update that Google took to Google+ to announce: Android 4.0.4.
Android 4.0.4 is also rolling out to the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi, which is a bonus. At the moment, the Android 4.0.4 update isn't going to arrive on the CDMA-based versions of the phones, not yet anyway. What about Verizon GALAXY Nexus' phones, or Sprint's Nexus S 4G? No word on that yet either.
If you've gone one of the above phones, we suggest you update. Ice Cream Sandwich is beautiful and if you have a smart device capable of being updated to it, you should do it.
According to people who are usually in know regarding things like this, Windows 8 will feature multiple SKUs. You can think of SKUs as versions; each SKU will feature a different version of the code that is Windows 8. Similarly to how we currently have Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate, we can expect to have all of the above in Windows 8.
Of course there will be a SKU for ARM as well. Windows 8 is pretty lightweight, so there really isn't a reason to feature more versions than just a Consumer and Professional version. It's clear that Microsoft doesn't particularly care about consumer confusion. Windows 8 is pretty revolutionary, but it would appear that Microsoft hasn't left some things in the past.
Microsoft is hoping to attract the eyes and brains of iOS developers with a new design guide. The Windows Dev Center example shows the common differences in layout between an iOS app and Windows' new Metro interface, including not just the look, but how certain commands would unfold and how either would respond to gestures.
The most important element of this is an explanation of "contracts", or agreements between applications and Windows 8 that gives them permission to share files, or search between each other, play out to other audio sources, or toggle settings. This isn't a step-by-step instruction guide, but it shows that Microsoft sees iPad developers as a big step in their Windows 8 tablet plans.
Microsoft played out similar actions when rolling out Windows Phone, where they tried to lure iPhone developers. Microsoft's guides eventually led to tools to more directly help port apps, and even pay for ports with guarantees whether or not an app sold well. Microsoft seem to be trying very hard. On top of this, the Redmond-based company is also trying to lure traditional PC developers, using Intel-based systems, as well as ARM-based tablets that are more suited to combat Apple's iPad.
We should be expecting Microsoft to release their next-generation Windows 8 OS in October, where we could see both the x86 and ARM-based versions dropping simultaneously. This would give Microsoft a head start for the holiday season, letting tablet, notebook and other device makers ample time to get products ready for holiday consumption.
Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft want to claw back some of the lost sales they've experienced because of the iPad, and reinvigorate the sluggish PC market. Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Garter Inc. has said:
If they miss the September-October time frame, they're going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012. The last thing Microsoft wants to have is a situation where there are no compelling Windows tablets at a time when the new iPad looks like it's going to be a good seller for the holidays.
According to Bloomberg, who cite sources with "knowledge of the schedule", we should expect an event hosted by Microsoft next month where the company will unveil their release strategy for Windows 8, where they'll provide more details on timing and marketing. The same sources have said that there will be less ARM-based devices in the rollout, because Microsoft have tightly controlled the number and set rigorous quality-control
Screenshot renderings have floated up to the surface of the Internet, which are said to have been created by a former Nokia designer suggesting that the company may have been (at some time) considering its own custom Windows Phone interface. The concept sports free-form bubbles versus Microsoft's Metro-style tiles, with an overall theme geared towards female users.
Pocketnow notes that the designer had worked as a senior member of Nokia's research and development team, but has since transitioned to work on Accenture projects last summer. At the moment it's unclear whether the renderings actually represent any form of a final product, or concept that Nokia was considering. Nokia's partnership with Microsoft is also said to provide flexibility for Nokia to mess around with the UI and diverge from the consistent experience that Microsoft demands from other Windows Phone makers.
Research In Motion (RIM) have been having a little bit of trouble hitting homeruns with their smartphones since Apple, and Google have entered the market space, but they're hoping that BlackBerry 10 marks a change in direction.
When BB10 hits, the PlayBook will be next in line, according to RIM's VP of product management, Rob Orr. He confirmed the news to TechRadar, saying:
We've said publicly a number of times that our first BB10 handset will be available towards the end of 2012, and that's still firmly the case. At some point after the launch we'll bring BB10 to our PlayBooks, yes.
Other than that quote, there hasn't been any specifics, which is expected because it's so early in the year still. RIM have confirmed they've seen a spike in updates to PlayBook OS 2.0, which only arrived last month. According to the executive, roughly 50-percent of all users made the jump to the OS the day of release... which is just not too shabby at all. GG, RIM.
HTC announce that the Sensation 4G and Sensation XL will be the next to receive Ice Cream Sandwich updates
HTC have announced that the next phones in their lineup to receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be the Sensation 4G and Sensation XL. HTC have already committed themselves to upgrading a very long list of devices, but the release timing has been leaking out ever so slowly.
HTC have also confirmed that they are in the early stages of releasing ICS for its original Sensation and Sensation XE handsets. Reports have floated onto the Internet that unlocked devices in European-based counties are the first to have received the official updates, head of a more international rollout.
HTC are still yet to announce a detailed time frame for their Android 4.0 updates, where its Global Community Manager, Darren Krape, has cautioned that "it will take time for all carriers in each country to get the update". So a little patience is required, but the update should be worth it.