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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.
According to the latest data from analytics company, StatCounter, Windows 7 has gained more than half of the worldwide operating system market, for the first time ever. Windows 7 had officially surpassed Windows XP as the most popular OS choice globally back in October of 2011, but this is the first time that Windows 7 has passed the 50-percent mark.
StatCounter's data shows that Windows Vista still holds third place, just, with 8.32-percent market share, but Apple's Mac OS X has been making a sprint for third position, sitting at 7.05-percent at the end of June. If Apple continues with this slight jump, they should overtake Windows Vista as the third position by the end of the year.
But, as with all analytical data, there are other sides and companies working at it. Net Applications claims that Windows XP still holds 43.61-percent of the OS market, with their data showing that XP edges out Windows 7 ever so slightly, with Windows 7 sitting at 41.59-percent.
Microsoft have just announced some upgrade plans for their upcoming Windows 8 operating system, where the company will be selling Windows 8 Pro upgrades online for $39.99. If you prefer to make your Windows 8 upgrade purchase in-store, it'll set you back $69.99.
The offer is open to anyone running any version of Windows XP, Vista or 7, and lasts until January 31, 2013. The deal runs for the same amount of time that the $14.99 upgrade deal does, but this one applies to any version of Windows, not just those who have recently purchased a Windows-based PC in the run up to the Windows 8 launch.
Microsoft have also said that the offer will be open to 131 markets, and that it will release more details on the offer as the launch of the OS gets closer. The Verge reports that the upgrade process is quite simple, where it'll offer an upgrade assistant that will help users migrate files, settings, and apps from Windows 7, files and settings from Vista, and files only from XP. After the upgrade, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the "add features" option.
The online version comes as a download-only feature, but you can purchase a backup DVD for $15.
Samsung are quickly out of the gate by announcing that they will be providing upgrades for Jelly Bean "eligible" devices. This is good news, especially considering that Samsung only released their GALAXY S III a few weeks ago.
But, the question remains, what does Samsung consider "eligible", and how many would be eligible for Jelly Bean upgrades? Samsung's flagship GALAXY S III will most likely be the first to receive the Jelly Bean goodness, followed by the S II, Nexus and so forth.
Considering that the GALAXY S II just received its Ice Cream Sandwich update, it might be a little while before we can expect Jelly Bean on the S II. The Note II is coming soon, too, so that might just ship with Jelly Bean out of the box. This is the direct quote from Samsung's announcement:
Samsung will soon announce which additional devices are eligible for the Jelly Bean update. As the world's largest smartphone manufacturer, Samsung leads the Android community with best-in-class devices like the Galaxy S III, and is creating new device categories with products like the Galaxy Note. Samsung has delivered the most Nexus-branded lead OS devices and we are pleased that Google will be bringing Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S customers the first experiences of Jelly Bean on a handheld device.
Microsoft is keeping the developer community informed, where they've announced the total pool of countries where they'll have apps available for download at the launch of Windows Phone 8. They've said:
[W]ith Windows Phone 8 we're dramatically expanding our footprint around the globe. Consumers will be able to browse and download apps in more than 180 countries at launch.
Considering that this number was 63... the jump to 180 countries is quite the leap, nearly three-fold. If you're a smaller Windows Phone developer, your app just launched into 117 more countries, this could be a make-it-or-break-it situation for some app developers. Microsoft also took the opportunity to reiterate that in-app purchasing is making its way to Windows Phone 8.
If you want to try a signed copy of the official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean build, then now is your chance. It has just hit the Internet and seems to only be working on the 'takju' (GSM) GALAXY Nexus' given out at Google I/O 2012, reports Android Police.
You can download it for yourself here, coming in at 156MB. The dev community should smash into this pretty quickly and GALAXY Nexus owners should be munching on those delicious jelly beans shortly.
Please do let us know if you get it working, we'd love to hear from anyone running Jelly Bean.
Just before Google I/O 2012 started, the team behind CyanogenMod released version 9.0-RC1. The team stated that the job wasn't easy, but they're very proud of the results, and what it represents for the group.
Making the jump from version 2.3.7 to 4.0.4 was a fresh start for this project. The team states that the code has changed, the structure and organization of CM as a whole has changed, too, according to their blog.
This first release candidate is said to be the first of many, with the 'core' OS stabilized, the team's device maintainers will continue to work on their device trees to bring up more devices, which includes some of the newer releases as well as some from the older generations. CyanogenMod's issue tracker is now open for CM9 RC1, which can be had here.
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.