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Apple has had to be especially diligent with updates and patches after the iOS 6.1 update. iOS 6.1 came with numerous bugs, some of which have already been patched by previous updates, and some that are still hanging around. Apple needs to quickly address these issues to maintain the notion that Apple products "just work."
iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 is actually a renamed iOS 6.1.1 update. Apple was forced to delay the iOS 6.1.1 update to deal with critical issues of cellular connectivity and battery life. The recently released 6.1.2 took care of the Exchange bug that was causing poor battery life in iOS 6.1 devices.
The new beta, which has been seeded to developers, includes the patch for the lock-screen bug that allowed people to easily bypass a password-protected iPhone. This update also includes the improvements to Apple Maps in Japan. Let's hope, for Apple's sake, that this latest update, when made publicly available, doesn't include any more bugs.
Good news for those of you who run, or were thinking of running CyanogenMod, the team have just added HDR (High Dynamic Range) camera functionality for most devices running the CM10.1 build.
The new camera function has been enabled on most devices, which will capture and process images similar to how Google's Nexus 4 handles it, with it's stock Android ROM. The camera takes three images per second - one under exposed, one neutral exposed and the final one over exposed - after which it processes them together and makes the image quality 'pop' a little more than usual.
The new HDR functionality is now ready for anyone who uses the default CyanogenMod camera app. As with most custom ROMs, the new function will work with most devices, but not all. The CyanogenMod team recommends that you use some form of image stabilizer, such as a tripod. You can read more, and grab it right here.
Canonical has shared a busy press day with NVIDIA and HTC to announce that they are bringing a version of Ubuntu to tablets near you. The operating system is very similar to that of the recently announced Ubuntu Phone OS, but is also very similar to the desktop version of Ubuntu.
The new operating system joins the fray of available tablet operating systems. However, Canonical is doing something different with the Ubuntu stack of mobile operating systems: the OS will be the same across all platforms. This means that apps written for Ubuntu Desktop will run fine on tablets and smartphones.
It also will allow you to plug in a mouse and keyboard into your tablet and interact with it in a traditional desktop manner with multiple windows and a cursor. Unplug the mouse and you're back to working with the touch controls and interface.
Here's the awesome part of the announcement: developer preview code is coming Thursday. That's right, developers will be able to get a copy of the source code on Thursday and install it on the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. I can't wait to put it on my Nexus 7.
Apple has released an update to iOS 6.1 that patches the Exchange bug that has plagued many users and resulted in shorter battery life. iOS 6.1.2 is the update that was just pushed out by Apple and is currently available OTA and through iTunes to patch all of your Exchange woes.
No word has been given about whether or not the update patches the exploits used by the Evasi0n jailbreak tool, so you probably shouldn't try updating until an official word has been given by the developers. We'll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear something.
Another question is whether or not this update fixes the lock screen bug that would allow people to bypass a password lock with a couple of simple steps. An announcement saying that it is fixed is curiously absent from the release notes, though that doesn't mean it hasn't been patched.
Last September, an early release of Tizen 2.0 popped its head up, but disappeared back into its hibernation until now. The SDK and source code to Tizen 2.0 is now out, dropping its Alpha name.
Tizen 2.0 has now had some enhanced support injected into it, with HTML5 getting some amplification, as well as better Web UI framework that provides full-screen and multi-window features. Developers can now use the new hardware APIs for Bluetooth and NFC support, as well as access a device's call history, calendar and messaging "subsystems".
The updated OS now includes support for background applications, text-to-speech and IP Push, as well as reference applications including calendar, gallery and a phone app. Native IDE and an improved web development environment have been included with the latest code. More information is available here.
Canonical has put up a timer on Ubuntu's website with the text "Tick, tock, tablet time!" We widely expect this announcement to be a tablet-optimized Ubuntu operating system as Canonical isn't known for making hardware and we have no reason to believe they are going to get into the hardware game.
It's not clear whether the tablet version of Ubuntu would be based off of the desktop version or off of the new smartphone version. Either way, Canonical needs to establish itself across the entire mobile stack in order to make itself a viable mobile operating system.
Canonical has already confirmed plans to launch a tablet version of Ubuntu. We'll have to wait another 18 hours or so to find out the full details. We'll be sure to have coverage of the announcement along with coverage of HTC's press conference scheduled tomorrow.
You may not have heard about Windows Blue, neither had I until this morning. It appears to be the next generation Windows operating system from Microsoft. Unlike the 10+ year reign of Windows XP or the three years Windows 7 saw, Blue will begin a new era for the OS giant.
If what we are seeing is true, Windows Blue will follow an annual update model, which would actually bring development cost down for Microsoft. Blue will roll out across both Windows Phones and PC's sometime in mid-2013, a mere 6-7 months after the release of Windows 8. Blue was confirmed in a series of job postings which were uncovered by The Verge, who managed to get a snippet of one of the listings.
We're looking for an excellent, experienced SDET to join the Core Experience team in Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE). The Core Experience features are the centerpiece of the new Windows UI, representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalization. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.
Apple has several problems on-hand with the latest iOS 6.1 operating system. At least one of the most pressing issues was fixed with an iOS 6.1.1 update that was pushed out to iPhone 4S devices earlier this week. However, more problems remain and some new ones have popped up, some more pressing than others.
The major issue that has been discovered is the ability to bypass the lock screen's passcode easily and without any special tools. A bug like this could prove problematic for a company who usually prides itself on security. Security issues also result in enterprise customers being more wary of a product.
German blog iFun, who accurately predicted the release of iOS 6.1.1, is predicting that iOS 6.1.2 will be pushed out "early next week." This means users should only have to wait a few more days before security is returned to the device. The update will also hopefully bring with it a fix to the Exchange problems that are present in iOS 6.1.
One unknown is whether or not the update will patch the Evasi0n jailbreak tool. It's possible that Apple has been too busy fixing bugs to focus on patching the jailbreaking tool. However, Apple doesn't like jailbreaking and has probably devoted quite a few resources to patching the bugs the Evasi0n tool makes use of.
Ubuntu Mobile OS developer preview to be released on February 21, will be compatible with Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4
Ubuntu Mobile OS will be made available for developers to install on their Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 devices on February 21. The new mobile operating system by the creators of the Ubuntu Linux distribution will be compatible with those two devices and Canonical will be at Mobile World Congress flashing compatible devices for users who want to check it out.
The new operating system is sleek. This is partly due to the fact that the OS will be launching without an app store, something that seems like it would make the operating system dead on arrival. However, Canonical says they are looking at going after users who want to use a core set of applications.
Come February 21, we should start seeing more information about the operating system including more hands-on time and thoughts regarding how it works.
I don't know why someone would be running Windows 7 without Service Pack 1, but if you're one of those users, you might want to upgrade soon. Why? Because the end-of-support date for Windows 7 without Service Pack 1 installed is getting close.
On April 9, Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacturing), without Service Pack 1 installed, will no longer be supported. The news is coming from a post on the Microsoft Springboard Series blog. Support for specific Windows releases ends 24 months after the release of a Service Pack - and you guessed it - Windows 7 SP1 was released in February 2011, two years ago now.
Windows 7 SP1 mainstream (free) support continues until January 13, 2015 and extended (paid) support continues all the way up until January 14, 2020 for Windows 7 SP1. The Springboard blog includes the above chart which explains the differences between Mainstream and Extended support.