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Google I/O 2012: Ice Cream Sandwich has been out for around six months now, and Google have taken the stage at Google I/O to announce Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean". It was previously rumored Jelly Bean would be Android 5.0, but then rumors were flying in that version 4.1 would be Jelly Bean, it looks like the latter rumors were right.
The shift to Jelly Bean from ICS isn't as grand as the Gingerbread to ICS shift was, but this time its more of an evolution, and not a revolution. One of the best features is something Google call "Project Butter", which is an effort to improve performance and response time, Jelly Bean cranks along at 60fps. This should ensure a very, very smooth experience.
Jelly Bean's home screen has been modified, with Google adding some nice features such as the ability to dynamically resize widgets, which means you no longer have to place it, resize it, then move it where you want if there wasn't enough room. If the room is there, but your app icons are sitting in the way, the widget will now automatically push the apps to the side. Apps and widgets can also be removed by simply flicking them off your screen.
Apple users across the world want iOS 6 pretty bad, myself included for my third-gen iPad, but we can't all be developers. If you are a developer, however, Apple released an over-the-air update to the iOS 6 Beta which was released shortly after the WWDC earlier this month.
The update comes in at 332MB and is for the iPhone 4S at this state. Beta 2 has a build number of 10A5338d, up from the build number of 10A5316k on Beta 1.
Windows 8 RTM is right around the corner if several sources are to be believed. Sources seem to agree that the announcement for Windows 8 RTM will come sometime in July, but they disagree about whether it will be in the build number 8500 or 8600 variety. This time frame lines up nicely for an October relase.
One source is reporting that the final build number for RTM will be 8500.0.120623-1707. However, a different source who agrees on the July time frame believes that the build number will be in the 8600 range. The announcement is supposedly coming at MGX, the event that runs from July 17 to the 20.
Windows 8 is one of Microsoft's biggest gambles yet. Some reviewers have been very upset over the lack of the start button and some of the other changes, but only time will tell if it will be successful. The ecosystem appears to be coming together with the new Surface tablets and upcoming Ultrabooks in time for the holidays.
One this is for sure, if Windows 8 is going to succeed, this ecosystem that is developing and coming together will vastly improve its chances. Furthermore, if a July announcement is indeed when it happens, it looks like we're going to have another busy technology month.
Raspberry Pi, the wonder chip for $35 can do wonderful things, but until now it has been a potential rather than a real-world item, until now. Google's Chromium OS has been ported to Raspberry Pi, where a port of the OS has the ability of booting from the $35 device.
The initial port has been completed by 'Chromium OS hacker' Hexxeh, who laid his hands on the Raspberry Pi system in mid-April. Raspberry Pi already has three versions of the Linux OS available to owners and developers to run on it, but now the choice of Google's Chromium OS has opened many more doors to users.
A screenshot of Chromium OS booting up on the Raspberry Pi was uploaded yesterday to Liliputing.com, which is a site all about "compact computing". Hexxeh has a history of porting Chromium OS to various machines such as MacBook Air's, and PCs, but in order to get the OS running on your PC, notebook or netbook, you require the right combination of hardware to get it to work. If you want to try out Chromium OS builds, click here.
Microsoft are on quite the roll this week, first up we had their Surface tablets, and now the announcement of Windows Phone 8. The next-generation mobile operating system will sport a redesigned home screen, now allowing every tile to be customized in one of three available sizes, and completely ditches the right-hand "rail" that help the link to the full app list.
Skype and VoiP functionality are built directly into Windows Phone 8. Microsoft are adding a background agent that handles incoming and outgoing calls, as well as messaging and integration with several of the Windows Phone 8 features. Skype takes full advantage of this, as well as any other VoiP-based application without favoring one over the other. Microsoft's Greg Sullivan says the integration is so good that he jokes that Apple should create its own FaceTime app on Windows Phone 8, and it would work better than it does on the iPhone.
HTC's One X looks to be soon receiving an update that should include the latest build of Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0.4. This should definitely close that nasty gap between HTC's One X and Samsung's GALAXY S III.
As usual in this world of Internet craziness we have, ROM developer and XDA member 'Football' has received the leaked ROM and has stirred up a ROM based on the firmware. The new update will be 2.05.401.2, and should be a noticeable update over the current 1.29.401.11.
Android version number gets an update up to Android 4.0.4, which includes some default stability improvements, also baked in are updated kernels, radios and software drivers, too. Early adopters of the new ROM have been happy, with some reporting a better web browsing experience, tweaked auto brightness settings, a smoother user interface and faster unlock speeds - can't complain at that!
You want proof that Apple is still a little bit OCD even post-Jobs? Pull out your iPhone with iOS 6 and take a look at the chrome slider reflection. Now, tilt your phone side-to-side. Yup, the reflection actually changes as the phone is tilted. Proof positive that Apple still has some OCD, detail-oriented people on its payroll.
This is just insane that Apple would actually dedicate the resources to do something this tiny. It serves no purpose other than to look good and replicate what would really happen. It's extremely impressive, but at the same time completely pointless. iOS 6 has many other more major features, so this isn't the whole reason for the update.
We all know Android is popular and during the Mobile World Congress in February, Google were seeing 850,000 activations per day but now those numbers are stronger. They're currently seeing 900,000 activations each and every day. This equates to around 625 per minute!
Insane numbers for Google and it'll only grow with the number of Android-powered devices coming out every few weeks. Andy Rubin was also rumored to be leaving Google, but he has squashed these numbers on his Twitter page where he says "No plans to leave Google", adding a tease of the activation numbers "oh, and just for meme completeness -- there are over 900,000 android devices activated each day :-)".
The rumor that Rubin was leaving came from Robert Scoble who is known for rumor mongering, where he reported through Google+ that Rubin was leaving to take charge of a new startup called CloudCar, but Rubin debunked this quite quickly.
Mountain Lion is nearing completion and will start shipping in July. With it comes a host of new APIs for App developers. Users will be happy to hear that updates from as far back as Snow Lion will only cost $19.99. Users who buy a new Mac will get a free upgrade when it ships in July.
A new feature has been introduced into OSX Mountain Lion which will allow the PC to continue updating while sleeping. The feature works with the second-gen MacBook Airs and the new MacBook Pro. It's claimed to be efficient and silent. I just wish it worked on more devices than the second-gen Air and Retina MBP.