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It's that time of the month again, where we get to take a look at the Android platform numbers. Versions 4.1 and 4.2, also known as Jelly Bean, are slowly but surely chomping away at more of that mobile OS market share pie.
Breaking them down into two sections for 4.1 and 4.2, we have 14.9% and 1.6%, respectively. Combined, we have 16.5% of all Android devices now running Jelly Bean, a nice 2.9% increase in from the last time we looked at the numbers. Gingerbread dropped from 45.6% to now just 44.2%, a drop of 1.4% and we've also seen Ice Cream Sandwich melt down a little, from 29% to 28.6%, a small drop of just 0.4%.
We should expect new versions of Android and iOS this year with new phones being released every couple of months now, but what about Microsoft? According to a new job listing, the Redmond-based software giant is set to release their next version of Windows Phone later this year.
According to the job post, work on the current version of Windows Phone is being wound down, and they're "getting ready for our next release targeting the holiday of this year." This would mean that we can expect the update to fall under the Blue umbrella of tweaks for Windows. While a "next release" tease doesn't tell us much, we should expect it to bring a bunch of changes and improvements if it wants to keep up with the next versions of iOS and Android.
According to one of the developers of the Evasi0n jailbreak, the new iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 update that was seeded to developers last week fixes one of the exploits used by the jailbreak. This means that the jailbreak will no longer work, so it is imperative that users do not update to the latest version when it releases.
"If one of the vulnerabilities doesn't work, evasi0n doesn't work," David Wang says. "We could replace that part with a different vulnerability, but [Apple] will probably fix most if not all of the bugs we've used when 6.1.3 comes out."
Wang adds that the team behind the Evasi0n jailbreak, evad3rs, has found numerous more bugs that could be used in a future jailbreak tool. It's not clear whether or not Apple will patch some or all of these bugs. "If they patch most of the bugs, then we're starting from scratch."
For the really not faint at heart, Canonical has made available a developer preview of the upcoming Ubuntu Touch operating system. This developer preview is just that--a preview for developers. It's still quite rough around the edges, much more so than, say, the Windows 8 alpha or beta.
If you aren't scared off by the possibility of bricking your device, then you can consider installing the developer preview on your Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, or Nexus 10. You'll need to know what you're doing to attempt this and TweakTown takes no responsibility if something happens to your device. Make sure your device is one of the supported ones at Ubuntu's Touch website.
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.