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Google has updated their Google Play services API to version 2.0, and with it have brought one of their most requested upgrades. The new API will allow Android app developers to implement many of the new features of Google Maps directly into their apps. It will be supported on Android Froyo and beyond.
"The new API uses vector-based maps that support 2D and 3D views, and allow users to tilt and rotate the map with simple gestures." You can expect to see many new apps come out and existing maps get overhauled to make use of the new features now available. If you're a developer, you can head on over to the source link to check out the nitty-gritty of implementation.
The home button-sporting original Galaxy Note GT-N7000 smartphone from Samsung has received a leaked update in the form of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The leaked version is just a testing version, and doesn't include support for the S-Pen features.
There is, however, a bunch of new cool stuff, such as:
- Android 4.1.2 - Build JZO54K
- Project Butter
- Multi-View (can also be disabled)
- Page Buddy
- Notification Panel can now be customized
- New Additions in Notification Panel
- Smart Rotation
- New Samsung Keyboard
- Samsung's Cloud services
- Direct Call, Smart Stay and Pop-up Play Features
- New Widgets From the Galaxy S III
- 2 Home screen modes
- New Notifications bar
- Google Now
The official ROM should arrive later in the year, and if not, early January. There's no news on whether we'll see the US versions of JB for the Note any time soon, either. You can find out more, and grab the leaked release, here.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, address the company's annual shareholders meeting today and talked about the uptake of Windows 8. Citing the 40 million licenses already sold, he said "We know for sure that people get it, and like it." I count myself among those who don't like it.
Of course, shareholders were a bit more worried about Google and Apple than they were Windows 8. When questioned about whether or not the younger generation is Apple focused, he responded that "it's a tough competitive market out there, and we certainly think that with the products that we and our partners are delivering to market...we have an opportunity."
Microsoft took just four days to reach four million sales of Windows 8 machines, and it looks like the 30-day mark has blessed them with some great numbers. We're looking at 40 million Windows 8 licenses being sold in a month - not bad at all.
In terms of upgrades, Windows 8 is beating Windows 7, but considering Windows 7 passed the 600 million copies milestone in June, Windows 8 has a huge, huge job in front of it. Microsoft are having a good run right now, also announcing 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles sold over the Black Friday weekend.
Lacking from these numbers - Surface sales. If Microsoft were doing well, we'd be hearing all about it - so I have a feeling Surface isn't doing too well, but I'm sure that surprises no one.
Android 4.2 had a pretty annoying bug. While it didn't break the device in a catastrophic way, it did prevent users from entering the month of December into anything that used that native date picker in several apps. This meant that birthdays, anniversaries, and the like could not be entered into a contact's information.
Google has begun rolling out updates to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 to fix this bug. The update will bring the device's Android version to 4.2.1 and should hopefully make this strange bug extinct. While most of the media was focused on this December bug, all of Android 4.2 seemed a big buggy, with problems extending to Bluetooth and other areas.
The update comes in at a tiny 1.1MB, so it's unlikely to come with any exciting new features. The update appears to address only the problems and bugs that were present in 4.2. It's nice to see a company work quickly to resolve issues that are present in the software it produces as sometimes companies can be slow to respond to issues reported.
A few users of Android have had to deal with a bug for two and a half years now prompting some to question Google as to why it hasn't been fixed as of yet. Well, all of this questioning has finally made some progress with Google as they have now promised to fix the bug in the next version of Android.
The bug is a very specific and limited bug that only affects a few groups of users. In April 2010, it was discovered and reported that Android wouldn't allow a given device to resolve a hostname to the correct IP address on a local domain. This bug is only really a problem for some university students and IT professionals.
Since it had limited scope, Google wasn't in a rush to fix it as they had more pressing matters to attend to. However, Google has finally stated that a fix for this bug is coming...in the next version of Android. Unfortunately for those experiencing the bug, Google missed putting the fix into Android 4.2, so they'll have to wait for 4.3.
"Guys, it was a matter of prioritization and resources. We don't have people to put on every requested feature and we certainly were not idle during this time," a Google employee stated. "I apologize it took so long. I can't say what the next version will be (neither know it nor can discuss it) but it will be after 4.2, which has already gone out."
Windows 8's store adds 7,000 apps in two weeks, nearly 18,000 out of the 20,000 in the store are free
It has nearly been a month since Windows 8 has launched, so just how is Microsoft's Windows Store faring? Well, they've seen 2,000 more apps added to the store, bringing the total to over 20,000 apps.
Better yet, nearly 18,000 of those apps are actually free - an impressive feat. But, are all of those apps worthwhile? That's the real question. Win App Update keeps tracks of the totals, posting on Twitter that the milestone was probably passed on Tuesday. Not all of the apps are available in all regions and languages, with your particular market sporting much less than that 20,000 apps market.
Out of the 20,000 apps, Win App Update says that almost 18,000 of those are free. Breaking them down into locations, the US has nearly 13,000, Canada has almost 14,000 and the UK sits pretty with just 11,000.
For those of you running the 'yakju' international GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus, you should be receiving the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OTA (over the air) update right about now. If not, the factory Android 4.2 JB image is also available, if that's how you roll.
The only Galaxy Nexus receiving this update is the above-mentioned 'yakju' version, which is the version available in Hong Kong and the UK, the "takju" Galaxy Nexus owners had their updates last week, but at the moment the Verizon or Sprint bound updates are nowhere to be seen.
If you want to download the new update, check out this link courtesy of Android Central, they've also been kind enough to offer up a guide.
Google's Android has suffered a rather embarrassing bug. In the latest version, 4.2, December is conspicuously missing from the date picker. This makes it rather hard--well, impossible--to enter birthdays, appointments, and really anything else that requires use of the date picker. The bug does not affect the calendar.
It's not clear how Google engineers could have made this oversight, but one thing is clear, they are working on fixing it, but have not given a specific time frame. Google made the following post on the Android Google+ feed, which describes the bug and says they will have it fixed "soon":
We discovered a bug in the Android 4.2 update, which makes it impossible to enter December events in optional fields of the People app (this bug did not affect Calendar). Rest assured, this will be fixed soon so that those of you with December birthdays and anniversaries won't be forgotten by your friends and family.
The bug was first found five days ago, but Google did not acknowledge it until just today. Since I don't know the cause of the bug, I can't offer a better timeframe than Google's "soon." But I have a feeling Google's "soon" is sooner than most other people's "soon." We'll be sure to update you when the patch is out.
Rumor has it that the next version of Apple's Mac OS X, 10.9 to be exact, will be called Lynx. The OS X line of operating systems have been named after big cats and Apple is running out of big cats to name the operating system versions after. The current version of Mac OS X is called Mountain Lion. Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion have already been used.
That leaves really only two choices, out of the trademarked big cats that Apple got way back in 2003. The two unused trademarked big cats are "Lynx" and "Cougar." Here's the kicker: a cougar is just another name for Mountain Lion, so Apple would likely not use that name. This leaves the final name as Lynx.
Furthermore, a report has surfaced that Apple's internal papers say they are working on finalizing the name and that it will be Lynx. Of course, this is the part that should be taken with a grain of sand as it relies on "reliable sources" and other decidedly flaky sources. But, it does have some logic behind it.
Mac OS X 10.9 is expected sometime in the next two years, probably in the next year, if Apple keeps up the update schedule that they have been doing with the last two updates.