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Microsoft is hoping to attract the eyes and brains of iOS developers with a new design guide. The Windows Dev Center example shows the common differences in layout between an iOS app and Windows' new Metro interface, including not just the look, but how certain commands would unfold and how either would respond to gestures.
The most important element of this is an explanation of "contracts", or agreements between applications and Windows 8 that gives them permission to share files, or search between each other, play out to other audio sources, or toggle settings. This isn't a step-by-step instruction guide, but it shows that Microsoft sees iPad developers as a big step in their Windows 8 tablet plans.
Microsoft played out similar actions when rolling out Windows Phone, where they tried to lure iPhone developers. Microsoft's guides eventually led to tools to more directly help port apps, and even pay for ports with guarantees whether or not an app sold well. Microsoft seem to be trying very hard. On top of this, the Redmond-based company is also trying to lure traditional PC developers, using Intel-based systems, as well as ARM-based tablets that are more suited to combat Apple's iPad.
We should be expecting Microsoft to release their next-generation Windows 8 OS in October, where we could see both the x86 and ARM-based versions dropping simultaneously. This would give Microsoft a head start for the holiday season, letting tablet, notebook and other device makers ample time to get products ready for holiday consumption.
Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft want to claw back some of the lost sales they've experienced because of the iPad, and reinvigorate the sluggish PC market. Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Garter Inc. has said:
If they miss the September-October time frame, they're going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012. The last thing Microsoft wants to have is a situation where there are no compelling Windows tablets at a time when the new iPad looks like it's going to be a good seller for the holidays.
According to Bloomberg, who cite sources with "knowledge of the schedule", we should expect an event hosted by Microsoft next month where the company will unveil their release strategy for Windows 8, where they'll provide more details on timing and marketing. The same sources have said that there will be less ARM-based devices in the rollout, because Microsoft have tightly controlled the number and set rigorous quality-control
Screenshot renderings have floated up to the surface of the Internet, which are said to have been created by a former Nokia designer suggesting that the company may have been (at some time) considering its own custom Windows Phone interface. The concept sports free-form bubbles versus Microsoft's Metro-style tiles, with an overall theme geared towards female users.
Pocketnow notes that the designer had worked as a senior member of Nokia's research and development team, but has since transitioned to work on Accenture projects last summer. At the moment it's unclear whether the renderings actually represent any form of a final product, or concept that Nokia was considering. Nokia's partnership with Microsoft is also said to provide flexibility for Nokia to mess around with the UI and diverge from the consistent experience that Microsoft demands from other Windows Phone makers.
Research In Motion (RIM) have been having a little bit of trouble hitting homeruns with their smartphones since Apple, and Google have entered the market space, but they're hoping that BlackBerry 10 marks a change in direction.
When BB10 hits, the PlayBook will be next in line, according to RIM's VP of product management, Rob Orr. He confirmed the news to TechRadar, saying:
We've said publicly a number of times that our first BB10 handset will be available towards the end of 2012, and that's still firmly the case. At some point after the launch we'll bring BB10 to our PlayBooks, yes.
Other than that quote, there hasn't been any specifics, which is expected because it's so early in the year still. RIM have confirmed they've seen a spike in updates to PlayBook OS 2.0, which only arrived last month. According to the executive, roughly 50-percent of all users made the jump to the OS the day of release... which is just not too shabby at all. GG, RIM.
HTC announce that the Sensation 4G and Sensation XL will be the next to receive Ice Cream Sandwich updates
HTC have announced that the next phones in their lineup to receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be the Sensation 4G and Sensation XL. HTC have already committed themselves to upgrading a very long list of devices, but the release timing has been leaking out ever so slowly.
HTC have also confirmed that they are in the early stages of releasing ICS for its original Sensation and Sensation XE handsets. Reports have floated onto the Internet that unlocked devices in European-based counties are the first to have received the official updates, head of a more international rollout.
HTC are still yet to announce a detailed time frame for their Android 4.0 updates, where its Global Community Manager, Darren Krape, has cautioned that "it will take time for all carriers in each country to get the update". So a little patience is required, but the update should be worth it.
Samsung should start pushing out their Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update to their Galaxy S II (GT-i9100) models on March 10. Yes, we're that close. The update should be pushed out via Kiez, and should sport Samsung's TouchWiz UI.
The first and only version to get the ICS update (for now) is the global version of the Galaxy S II, the GT-i9100. According to Samsung's notes, we should expect Face Unlock, Android Beam, and data usage included. On top of this, multi-tasking and some apps will be "improved".
Samsung's site also states that because of "ICS OS feature", Flash and Bluetooth 3.0 HS won't be supported. The update should roll on to individual carriers, and their own GS II variants over time, after a fair amount of testing. I for one, cannot wait and I'm anxiously sitting here waiting to get my first lick of Google's Ice Cream Sandwich.
As a loving Samsung Galaxy S II owner, I've been awaiting Android 4.0 ICS on my handset for what feels like, forever. But, news from Samsung's Israel-based division posted on Facebook with a date for the ICS upgrade to the Galaxy S II.
They're promised to end a 'patient' wait by delivering ICS to the flagship Galaxy S II on March 15. The upgrade would apply to both carrier-locked versions as well as unlocked versions bought directly from Samsung. At the moment, it's not known which countries would get the upgrade first, or at the same time.
But, as usual, Americans would most likely have to wait longer, as versions such as the Epic 4G Touch and T-Mobile's 42Mbps-capable HSPA+ edition will need their own, individual additional testing. Areas where the Galaxy S II stock is healthy, such as Canada and most of Europe, should get the upgrade pretty quick.
The upgrade promises to make the Galaxy S II jump up to its cousin, the totally stock Galaxy Nexus, in some areas. Web performance is expected to be improved, as well as the (personally much-awaited and anticipated) Chrome for Android. Face-to-unlock and other interface-based elements should also leak into the ICS upgrade, but Android Beam's device-to-device sharing might only hit NFC-enabled GSII units, such as AT&T's version.
Google have already teased us with the codename of Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean", but it seems Android 6.0 is peeking its head around the corner ever so slightly. Android 6.0 has a rumored codename of "Key Lime Pie". Until now, I had never even heard of such a thing. At least Google are schooling people like me in desserts.
Google have been naming Android versions alphabetically, after desserts. First up we had Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, and now, Android 6.0 Key Lime Pie. No features are known about Key Lime Pie, and its way too early to even think of what Google could bake into the upcoming Android OS.
Android 5.0 won't even ship until late-2012. What I do love, is we know when Google's OSs are coming out, where Apple holds everything far too close to their chest. Android owners can expect better phones with each Android release, which is some what of a "should I buy a phone now, or wait for Android x.0".
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview came out just a little over 24 hours ago, and has enjoyed an insane 1 million-plus downloads in those 24 hours. This is a runaway success for Microsoft, which is pretty much going all-in with their next-generation OS.
Considering that over 1 million people downloaded the OS, the servers handled it pretty damn well. I personally had no issues with the download, with it maxing out my 8Mbit connection. I also didn't notice a single person on my Facebook news feed whinging, so that's a good sign, isn't it? Or maybe I don't have enough friends?
Microsoft broke the news on their BuildingWindows8 Twitter feed, saying "One day later... one million downloads of the consumer preview.
Have you downloaded it yet? Your thoughts on Windows 8 thus far?
Microsoft has just pulled the trigger and launched the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and it's ready for download and your testing now.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup will check to see if your PC can run Windows 8 Consumer Preview and select the right download. Setup also features a compatibility report and upgrade assistance. Built-in tools for creating an ISO or bootable flash drive are available for some previous versions of Windows (excluding Windows XP and earlier). You can find system requirements and additional information in the FAQ and in the links on this page.
Note before you download: Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it's commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software. If you decide to go back to your previous operating system, you'll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.
Go and grab it here if you are interested.