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Google released Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mostly on their $199 Nexus 7 device, which we should hopefully receive a sample of for a review soon, with one of the main features being Project Butter, and Google Now, but there are little things that slip through the cracks in terms of bragging points.
Jelly Bean allows you to share photos and videos through Android Beam via Bluetooth as well as sporting additional options for vision impaired users, and USB audio support. Automatic disabling of background data while using a Wi-Fi SSD that has been designated as a mobile hotspot and an easily accessible Windows-like safe mode. Some nifty features indeed.
At the moment, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is only officially available on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the aforementioned Nexus 7 tablets, but it should slowly be baked onto other devices in the coming months.
It looks as though Microsoft is going for a big change in regards to how they'll be selling their upcoming next-gen OS, Windows 8. Previously, Microsoft had sold Windows in full retail, on retail shelves, at retail stores. This was on top of the already-available OEM system builder and upgrade versions of Windows.
But, "Netcast" video show, Windows Weekly 269 carried an interview with Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite, as well as Mary Jo Foley of AllAboutMicrosoft.com, that things are about to change. They've said that Microsoft will completely drop the full retail version of Windows 8, as anyone who wants to buy Windows for a PC that's never had Windows on before, or a newly-built PC, will just purchase the OEM system builder version.
The Redmond-based company has re-thought how they sell the Windows OS when it comes to upgrade pricing and availability. Anyone with a copy of Windows XP or newer on their PC is eligible for pretty decent upgrade pricing to Windows 8 at $40. This is definitely the way Microsoft need to take it, and it really shows how much they've come 180-degrees on the previous years, and their rules. People who buy PCs with Windows 7 on them now, have an even better deal: an upgrade price of just $14.99, available until next year.
Apple's next-generation OS X Mountain Lion comes out later this month, with the OS hitting Golden Master status just 24 or so hours ago. This means the company has locked in which Macs will support the upcoming OS. Apple have listed which Macs will support Mountain Lion:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
Google have announced the rollout of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which first arrives on Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ devices. If you haven't yet heard of the wonderful Jelly Bean OS, with its Project Butter and new features, you should definitely read up on it, especially if you're rocking a handset that is ready to receive the OS.
If you're rocking a Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ device, you should hopefully soon receive a prompt notifying you to update the handset over the coming days. Jelly Bean is set to hit other devices shortly, such as all Galaxy Nexus', Nexus S, Motorola Xoom and the Nexus 7, which will ship with Jelly Bean on-board later this month.
Some stand out features of Jelly Bean are Project Butter, where the engineers at Google have made Jelly Bean buttery smooth, the OS runs at a constant 60fps, which is just impressive. Something else to get excite over is Google Now, which can tell you today's weather before you start the day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, or your favorite sport team's score as they're playing.
Microsoft have finally coem out and given a delivery schedule for their upcoming Windows 8 OS. Right now, Microsoft have said they are on track to getting Windows 8 to the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) point in the first week of August.
From there, retail will arrive in late-October, which will give Microsoft the time they need to certify additional language packs and to give OEMs time to prepare Windows 8-based systems. Unfortunately, Microsoft haven't released plans for MSDN and TechNet.
Enterprise Software Assurance customers are being told they'll have access as early as August. Who is excited about Windows 8? I don't think we're going to see the surge of users that Vista to 7 saw, not in the short term, anyway. Smart devices running Windows 8 will have my money all over it.
Good news for Apple is that they have released the Golden Master (GM) version of their upcoming next-gen OS X Mountain Lion to developers. The "GM" version of the OS indicates this is the version of software that is destined for customers.
The build of the GM version if 12A269. Apple previewed Mountain Lion back in February of this year, highlighting a bunch of new features that are found in their mobile OS, iOS. This includes Messages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center, Game CEnter, and more.
Just recently, at WWDC, the company showed off some new features including Dictation, iCloud Tabs, and 'Power Nap'. Apple's OS X Mountain Lion will be priced at $19.99 and should hit the Mac App Store later this month.
Jean-Baptiste Queru, the technical lead on the Android Open Source Project has just announced that the source for the newest version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will be made available today. Binaries are available for the Nexus 7 and GALAXY Nexus, with Nexus S and Motorola Xoom models promised soon.
This is more ammo for big third-party coders like CyanogenMod to crank out some great releases. It might take a little while before the code to be replicated and go live, but we've been patient enough, right?
We should see some great releases thanks to Jelly Bean and its Project Butter 60fps goodness, I can't wait to try out a Nexus 7 personally.
Google have updated their Android Developer site with some juicy numbers on Android adoption rates based on the number of active smart devices rocking the mobile OS. Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich has had a jump of 3.8-percent over the last month, but in the eight months since its release, it has only been able to take 10.9-percent of the Android OS pie.
These decent gains come from device manufacturers updating their smart devices to Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as new flagship Android-based devices like HTC's One X and Samsung's GALAXY S III. Android 2.3 Gingerbread still remains the top of the heap, with 63.6-percent, with Android 2.2 Froyo behind that with 17.3-percent. Good news is Android 2.3 and 2.2's install base is shrinking, dropping 1-2 points over the last month.
Google get this data based on the number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play within a 14-day period, ending July 2. They use this data to decide how to prioritize the development of their applications' features for the devices that are being used the most by users.
It appears that Mozilla, developer of the web browser Firefox and other things, is currently working on an "open mobile OS" that seems similar in many ways to Google's Chrome OS. The new OS will be based off of HTML 5 and open web standards and be designed to remove many of the barriers that currently make mobile website development difficult.
Mozilla has its sites set on emerging markets such as Brazil in 2013. The basic operations of the phone, calling, gaming and messaging, can be developed as HTML 5 applications. Mozilla is already seeing support from Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, and Telenor.
Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla:
The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote opennes, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers. As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use.
Mozilla has been working on allowing HTML 5 to access the hardware more directly than was previously allowed for. They have been doing this through their "Boot to Gecko project" and it will allow HTML 5 apps to access the hardware like only a native app used to be able to. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, but it seems likely to follow Chrome OS in that it won't work very well.
Mozilla have just announced that they are renaming Boot to Gecko to Firefox OS, the company has talked of having support from multiple carriers worldwide, as well as a couple of device manufacturers. Firefox OS is a totally open source OS, and its interface is built from HTML5 and CSS web standards, making it very customizable.
A proof of concept was recently shown off running on Samsung's GALAXY S II, with the company pointing out its responsiveness to touch input, a 3D graphics demo, a full SMS client and on-screen keyboard, as well as a store for various web apps. The first Firefox OS-powered device will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and should launch sometime in early-2013 in Brazil through Telefonica's Vivo brand of entry-level handsets.
Manufacturing partners are looking to be TCL Communication Technology, and ZTE, with operators such as Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia and Telenor all jumping on the Firefox OS bandwagon. Mozilla ia hoping Firefox OS will change how developers have to re-write their apps to run on the various mobile operating systems, with apps that can run in a browser but still look, and feel like a native app with access to underlying phone capabilities like calling, messaging and games.