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I'm really hoping that struggling RIM (Research in Motion) and their next-generation OS, BlackBerry 10 (BB10) bodes well against the likes of Apple and Google. Just hours ago, there was a media briefing for RIM's next OS in London.
BB10's home screen has been hidden, until now. The media event showed off the swish looking home screen, which is now populated with widgets, but the change is that all of the on-screen widgets are actually active applications that will dynamically change based on your activities.
Most of BlackBerry 10's interface is gesture-driven, where you can quick swipe to the right to bring up the full launcher, where a swipe to the left will open the unified inbox. Definitely not revolutionary, or even resolutionary, but it's better than previous iterations of RIM's operating system. RIM have also updated the BB10 software keyboard, where RIM's Head of Software Portfolio, Vivek Bhardwaj has stated that the company spend a lot of time and effort trying to replicate the capabilities of the company's iconic plastic keyboards.
There have been people sitting around a watercooler somewhere, who have overheard the chatter of Apple replacing Google Maps in iOS 6 with an "in-house" maps application. The rumor isn't just a statement, it comes with some juicy nuggets, too.
These nuggets come in the form of silent acquisitions by Apple of Placebase, C3 and Poly9, what do all of these companies have in common? They're all mapping companies.
The original iPhone smashed into the market in 2008 and since then has had Google Maps as their default "Maps" app in iOS. Just recently, the Curpentino-based company dropped Google Maps in their iPhone app, but why? Could this rumor be something that would eventually create itself into reality?
Google have recently started to monetize Google Maps, that would piss Apple off. As well as the fact that Google have recently changed their terms of service, so that developers who use Google Maps in their projects and receive more than 25,000 views per month must pay a premium.
As usual, more news on this as it comes.
Quick one here, folks! Samsung GALAXY Note owners should love this: Samsung have very quietly begun rolling out the very long-awaited Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for their 5.3-inch GALAXY Note smartphone.
The latest OS arrives with a "Premium Suite" full of S-pen-friendly apps such as S Note, Shape Match, My Story, and more. Samsung haven't confirmed the launch, but there are more than a few European users who are already loving ICS on their Note's.
If you've got a GALAXY Note, and upgrade to ICS, be sure to let us know how it is! I'm interested to see how Ice Cream Sandwich is on the 5.3-inch GALAXY Note.
Microsoft are really wanting to make Windows 8 stand out, bigger than most operating systems they've released before. Today, the Redmond-based company have announced that Windows Media Center is not going to be included with Windows 8.
If you'd like to have access to Windows Media Center, you'll need to pay for it. You're thinking this is bad, ridiculous, how could they? Well, Microsoft are promising that Windows 8 will "deliver a world-class video and audio entertainment experience", and they've made it clear that DVDs are not part of this. Windows Media Player will continue to be included with Windows 8, but the ability to play DVDs, will not.
ZDNet's Ed Bott has noted:
There will, of course, be plenty of decoders included with Windows 8. The goal is to "cover all key playback scenarios for mainstream content such as YouTube video, Netflix video, Amazon audio/video, H.264 web browsing/streaming, Hulu video, MP4 video, AVCHD video from camcorders, Ultraviolet video, and the HTML5 video tag."
Decoders for H.264, VC-1 (WMV), and MP4 video are included, as are audio codecs for MP3, WMA, AAC, PCM (Wave), and DD+. Metro style apps are free to add their own decoders, the post says, using FLAC, MKV, and OGG as examples.
There's always VLC.
Apple has pushed an update to their next-gen OS X, Mountain Lion, where the Developer Preview 3 release has been updated from build number 12A178q to 12A193i. Apple says:
If you already have Mountain Lion Developer Preview 3 installed, choose Software Update from the Apple menu to download the update from the Mac App Store. Download Xcode 4.4 Developer Preview 4 from the Mac Dev Center to continue building apps for Mountain Lion Developer Preview 3 Update.
9to5Mac notes a change with the new update, where they've spotted a "Do Not Disturb" setting in Mountain Lion's Notifications Center:
Apple has baked in a fair amount of iOS-like features, such as Reminders, Messages and Game Center. Mountain Lion should roar its way onto your Mac sometime in late summer 2012.
Owner of an NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered HTC One X? Been waiting for Cyanogenmod 9? Today is your lucky day! Cyanogenmod 9 has been released for the Tegra 3-powered HTC One X, with the interface offering a much more stock Android 4.0 ICS feel, with HTC's Sense 4.0 UI locked back in its closet.
With Cyanogenmod 9 loaded, the HTC One X looks more like Samsung's stock GALAXY Nexus, which isn't so much of a bad thing if you're not a fan of HTC's Sense 4.0 UI. The people behind the release, TripNRaVeR of the TripNDroid Mobile Engineering team are the ones who released this particular build, and whilst they've used the open-source Cyanogenmod 9 files, the release is not 'officially sanctioned' by the Cyanongenmod 9 group.
Most functions work on the HTC One X, apart from the camera and Wi-Fi hotspot functions. There is one revision the Cyanogenmod 9 build brings to HTC One X users, is that it remaps the device's hardware buttons. The multitasking button has been reworked to initiate the 'menu' function, whilst the multitasking menu is now made available by holding down the home button.
Connected to Verizon, or T-Mobile and waiting on an Ice Cream Sandwich update to your Android device, well, you might enjoy some leaked scheduled update maps. Of course, as usual, this isn't confirmed by either provider, so for now it's just a rumor.
Verizon should be rolling updates to the following handsets soon: HTC Rezound, Motorola Razr, Razr Maxx, Xoom 3G and Xoom 4G. The "pull" dates for those handsets are between May 9 and 23, whilst ROMs for the Xoom have yet to be determined. For those on T-Mobile, Samsung's GALAXY S will receive ICS after May 14, with teh HTC Amaze 4G and Sensation 4G getting their ICS updates after June 16.
Of course, these dates and models are always subject to change, especially when it comes from leaked schedules.
Ice Cream Sandwich has arrived on the GALAXY S II with Telstra, and there's only a few steps between your old Gingerbread life on the GSII and your new Ice Cream Sandwich-rocking life. Do it now!
You'll need to visit this website if you want to do it, as there's a few steps you'll have to do. If you're still running the older Android 2.3.3, you'll need to upgrade to 2.3.6 before you can upgrade to ICS 4.0.3. Other than that, have at it!
It can be done OTA (over-the-air), or you can chose to upgrade it through Kies. This method would require that you backup all personal data, just in case. Before any update, I would suggest backing up personal data, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Apple may have quite a bit of power in the smartphone and tablet sector, but we all know that all kingdom's eventually collapse. Before that, the King's make big speeches and Apple is no different. Apple CEO Tim Cook took time out from yesterday's earnings call to take a swipe at Microsoft's plans for WIndows 8, where he likening them to combining a toaster to a fridge.
Cook had a question-and-answer session that followed the earnings call, and was asked if Apple had any plans to merge their tablet and laptop efforts, as Microsoft are doing with their upcoming Window 8 OS. Cook replied with:
You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren't going to be pleasing to the user.
Cook snapped again, saying that any sort of convergence between tablets and laptops would result in a dilution of both, where he added:
We are not going to that part, but others might from a defensive point of view.
But, we all know Apple are big at talking and then going back on their word. If you'll remember when the iPhone was first released under Jobs' leadership, Apple made a very big deal of claiming that their then-new iOS operating system was, at heart, the same as its OS X desktop. Where they have now gone back on that word. Comparing iOS to OS X is just silly... iOS is even more closed off than OS X and is quite basic in comparison.
Microsoft have confirmed that a near-final "release preview" of Windows 8 is expected to drop in early-June, says Windows unit president Steven Sinofsky, where he made the announcement at at Windows Developer Days event held in Japan earlier this week.
This should mean the release could arrive at the time of Computex, which would be a perfectly timed show off period for the Redmond-based company. All eyes will be on the releases as they hit as Microsoft push Windows in a new direction.
Windows 8 should be quite the all-in for Microsoft, as they're not only trying to keep desktop-based customers happy, but notebooks, newly-arrived Ultrabooks, and then tablets and smartphones. Microsoft want to combat Apple's iPad, but right now have nothing to even compete with. Windows 8 will change all of this.
On top of the OS being able to run on traditional x86-based processors, it'll work on low-powered ARM-based solutions, too.