Apple announced iOS 7 a few hours ago, and it does a bunch of new things that we're going to cover over a few news posts. The first of which, is the option to combat against mobile spam with the ability to block calls and texts from specific numbers.
Apple talked about the new privacy option during their WWDC keynote, saying that the next-gen mobile OS includes "Phone, FaceTime and Messages blocking to prevent specific people from being able to contact you". I think this feature is going to be great for those stalker exes you might have, or those friends who drunk dial you on a Friday or Saturday night.
I'm sure Apple will continue to work with this new feature and give it more power, which is something we should see before iOS 7 debuts later in the fall.
Apple has just announced the next major version of its OS X operating system. OSX 10.9 was unveiled at this afternoon's WWDC developer's conference being held by the Cupertino based giant. This update, while expected, seemed to impress all those in attendance with the company touting over 200 new features being added to the operating system.
Notable new features include tabbed Finder windows, support for tagging your documents, and even some major updates to Safari. Apple is also promising improved support for multiple displays, something that became a pain with the introduction of full screen apps in OSX Lion.
Notifications are also getting some big improvements, with alerts in iOS now being able to be pushed to your Mac for a more seamlessly integrated experience. Password management is getting an overhaul as well with iCloud keychain which stores your passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive data for syncing between all devices.
Computex Taipei 2013 - We've seen many images of the Windows 8.1 Start Button surface over the last few weeks, which has led to much speculation on what it will actually do. Thanks to a recently surfaced video, we now know exactly what it does.
During a demo the company held at the 2013 Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan, Microsoft briefly showed off the new Start button. It appears that clicking the button will launch the Windows 8 Start Screen, but will launch it from within the desktop environment.
This frees the consumer from having to switch between the "Metro" UI and the desktop environment constantly to perform different tasks. A proper Start menu is still not present, but users will be able to launch desktop apps from the start screen without being forced to search for the apps.
Many are excited for some of the improvements Windows 8.1 will bring to Windows 8. While we still don't have a public preview to play around with, Microsoft has whetted our appetite by releasing a video detailing some of the changes we can expect to see when the public preview goes live at the end of this month.
Some of the larger changes include the Al;l Apps screen, which has received the ability to sort Apps by the date installed, most used, or category. Users can now select, pin, and personalize multiple apps with a simple gesture. Search has also seen an improvement, bringing together local and web content in one location.
Watch the video and let us know if the new improvements are enough to encourage you to switch to Windows 8.
One of the main issues with Google's Android operating system is the lack of after-purchase support. Manufacturers aren't required to keep devices up-to-date with the latest versions of Android. This means app developers have to write code that works on various different versions of the operating system, making it harder or impossible to do certain things on older devices.
That's why it's both good news and bad news that Jelly Bean's adoption rate has hit 33 percent. It's good that more users are adopting the latest Android version, but it's also bad because only 33 percent of users have the latest version. 25 percent are still on Ice Cream Sandwich and a whopping 36 percent are still on Gingerbread.
It's important to note that Google changed the way it calculates usage percentage:
Note: Beginning in April, 2013, these charts are now built using data collected from each device when the user visits the Google Play Store. Previously, the data was collected when the device simply checked-in to Google servers. We believe the new data more accurately reflects those users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem.
According to a Barrons blog, which cites Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research, Apple's iOS 7 could be one for the history books. Most people currently think of iOS as rather stale because it hasn't seen a major overhaul since its inception. This could all change with iOS 7, rumored to be coming at WWDC next week.
Specifically, Chowdhry says that iOS 7 "has a very simple, clean and uncluttered UI." He notes that it "may take a little time to be appreciated." This comes from interviews with 400 to 500 people a month. Chowdhry predicts that "iOS7 is completed new UI, which is far superior to anything that is available out there."
As an iPhone user, I hope that iOS 7 does bring to the table some major changes while keeping the simplicity available in the current iOS. I'd love to see features that were introduced by the jailbreak scene included in iOS 7. If we do see iOS 7 at WWDC next week, you'll see coverage of it here.
A picture reportedly portraying the home screen of an early build of iOS 7 has been posted online by iDownloadBlog. The picture reportedly shows off the rumored "flat" redesign that is said to be happening under the watch of Jony Ive. The photo is rather low quality, but could end up being legitimate.
9to5mac tweeted a similar picture, but adds that many things have changed since it was taken. The image is most likely of an early alpha build of iOS 7. We don't have to wait too much longer to see if this is the real deal as it is widely expected that Apple will unveil iOS 7 at WWDC next week.
Other hints of changes to come can possibly be seen in the recently released WWDC app. It features a much "flatter" design than previous versions, but it could mimic what we will see with iOS 7.
To tell you the truth, I haven't bothered with Windows 8 and I know I'm not the only one. It looks like I'm not alone, as Net Applications' latest numbers show that Windows 8 still isn't doing too well out in the wild, but its numbers are improving.
During May, Windows 8 gained 0.43% of the OS market share, rising from 3.84% to 4.27%. In the same month, Windows 7 actually gained 0.13%, shifting from 44.72% to 44.85%. In December, Windows 8 gained 0.66% of the worldwide OS market share, and has seen similar numbers in the months following the end of 2012.
Leaked Windows 8.1 screenshots show that the much-loved Start button will be making its return to the desktop. In the screenshots posted by Paul Thurrott, we can see just how Microsoft plans to implement the Start button. (Hint: it's not exactly the same as the current Windows 7 Start button)
In the screenshot above, you can see that the Start button has returned to its usual location in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. The Start button is currently unable to be disabled, but it's not clear if there will be an option when Windows 8.1 is officially released.
In the above screenshot, you can see how the new Start button will function. It will still make use of the new Start screen that was introduced in Windows 8, which is unfortunate for those who love the old Start button. Users will be able to have the desktop wallpaper as the Start screen background, though that is an option that defaults to off.
During a talk at the D11 conference this afternoon Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, hinted at the possibility of opening up iOS a little more to developers. Apple's software is more closed than its biggest rival Android, which hinders what developers can and cannot do with iOS based devices.
"On the general topic of opening up APIs, I think you'll see us open up more in the future," Cook said, "but not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience. So there's always a fine line to walk there, or maybe not so fine."
Cook was also asked about Facebook Home, specifically about rumors that Facebook had first approached Apple who shot the social networking giant down. Cook did not confirm or deny the rumor but said "We think the customer pays us to make choices on their behalf. I've see some of these settings screens, and I don't think that's what customers want. Do some want it? Yes."
According to some anonymous sources of 9to5Mac, iOS 7 is going to be the biggest change to Apple's mobile OS yet, where we should expect it to be: a flattened, minimalistic, anti-skeuomorphic UI poured uniformly atop its next-gen mobile OS.
Jony Ive is the man responsible for this big change, with his design chops resulting in what we have with the iPhone, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iMacs and MacBooks. Both Ive and Jobs were very close, where Jobs' biographer, Walter Isaacson labeling the two men as "soul mates". There have been teases of iOS 7 in the past, but we haven't heard about the black and white aspect of it yet, which would be a huge jump.
9to5Mac's sources claim that iOS 7's home screen icons will ditch their shadows and gloss, replacing it with flatness. The icons to Game Center and Note will lose their older-themed look (such as green felt, leather-like trim, etc) and in replacement, we'll have solid color and style. We shouldn't have to wait long for iOS 7, which should be unveiled at WWDC.
Android 4.3 has reportedly been spotted in the wild at a mobile expo currently taking place in Thailand. The new operating system was spotted running on a Nexus 4 and appears to remain nearly unchanged. The only noticeable user interface difference appears to be the camera app, which sports controls in different locations:
Android 4.3 is seen running with a build number of JWR45B, indicating that it is a completely new build. The operating system also had the Jelly Bean Easter egg found in the About section. We still don't know when Google will release the new operating system, though it shouldn't be too far off in the future.
During the keynote address at this morning's Google I/O conference, the company announced that its Android mobile operating system has surpassed 900 million activations to date. The company said that "While this number is large, there is still six billion more people in the world to reach."
Android is about to enter its 5th iteration very soon and it is highly expected to be debuted at some point this week during Google I/O. Stay tuned to TweakTown for full Google I/O coverage and Live Blogs of select I/O events as they take place.
Windows 8 is receiving an update in the coming months pushing it to Windows 8.1, which was called Windows Blue. But, there have been questions of whether we would see an update to Windows Phone 8 or not, which was answered in a report by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet.
The report states that we won't see an update version of Microsoft's mobile OS until 2014, with Foley's sources stating that Windows Phone will see three smaller updates to roll through before the end of 2014 in preparation of a bigger update that'll arrive in 2014. These updates will include "support for CalDAV and CardDAV, so that it will continue to work with Google contact and calendar syncing services" and will "reintroduce support for FM radio... a feature which was part of the Windows Phone 7 operating system platform, but which was cut for Windows Phone 8".
Microsoft has made it official: The upcoming Windows Blue update will be referred to as Windows 8.1 and will be available free to all Windows 8 users. The first public preview of the software will be available in June in conjunction with Microsoft's BUILD conference. This remains the same as previously reported.
Windows 8 has been seen somewhat as a failure. While it was received with much fan-fare, sales of the operating system have been quite low. Around 100 million licenses have been sold, but the install base is actually quite a bit less than that. Many are upset with the removal of the Start button, which is rumored to be coming back in 8.1.
Microsoft has gone with the Windows 8.1 nomenclature to indicate that it is just an update, not a whole new version. It's somewhat akin to a service pack. We'll be sure to get you the full technical details as soon as Microsoft details what they've changed for Windows 8.1.
Windows 8 may have 100 million licenses in the wild, but install base sits at an estimated 59 million
Microsoft may have sold 100 million licenses of Windows 8, but this doesn't mean that those licenses are all installed onto consumers' PCs. ComputerWorld talked with Patrick Moorhead, a principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, who estimates that the actual number of Windows 8 devices being used is closer to 59 million.
This is according to the most recent data from Net Applications shows that Windows 8 is being used on around 4.2% of all Windows PCs. There are over 70 million PCs in the wild still running Windows Vista, which is a number that needs to change.
CyanogenMod 10.1 has reached a step closer to being a proper 'stable' release, reaching Release Candidate (RC) 1. The final release is now close, according to the team.
CyanogenMod 10.1 RC1 is now available to download for compatible devices, and if you aren't aware of what it is, it's an OS based from Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, but has a huge cache of additional features. This is the perfect way to upgrade your device if your manufacturer hasn't bothered to do so. The compatibility list, is below:
Apple's iOS 7 beta has started to show up in website logs, suggesting that Apple is testing out the new operating system ahead of its rumored WWDC debut. This isn't the first time that operating systems have shown up in website logs ahead of their launch.
Onswipe, for instance, has seen massive spikes in iOS 7 traffic to the sites they manage. The majority of the iOS 7 traffic is coming from San Francisco and Cupertino, 18.75 percent and 17.9 percent respectively. 75 percent of the iOS 7 traffic is coming from iPhones and 25 percent is coming from iPads.
Apple is widely expected to announce iOS 7 at the WWDC. It's not clear what changes will be included, though there has been talk that it will feature a flat visual design. If iOS 7 makes an appearance at WWDC, you'll be sure to hear about it here.
There has been a lot of talk about Microsoft's upcoming update known as Windows Blue. Julie Larson-Green confirmed on stage at the Wired Business Conference that the Windows Blue update is coming later this year, though a specific release time was not provided.
Larson-Green announced that a public preview of the update will be made available during the BUILD conference taking place at the end of June. This will allow the public to get their hands on the update and provide feedback.
Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs. It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem. It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play. The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we've been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. From a company-wide perspective, Windows Blue is part of a broader effort to advance our devices and services for Microsoft.
We'll be sure to update you when the public preview is made available in late June.
Consumers might not be bragging about Windows 8, but Microsoft now has something bragworthy about their touch-friendly OS: it has passed 100 million licenses sold, and has no signs of stopping, for now.
These sales figures are pretty much identical to that of its predecessor, Windows 7, which reached 100 million sales on April 27, 2010. While the traditional PC industry is on a downward slope, Microsoft are still somehow moving significant amounts of Windows 8 licenses.
Most have been expecting Google to unveil Android 5.0 "Key Lime Pie" at Google I/O in a couple of weeks, but ahead of that HTC have teased an event scheduled for May 16 in San Francisco, where HTC developers will talk about new features on Android 4.3.
These new features will include Bluetooth Low Energy and Open GL ES 3.0. The members of the group will be receiving "an overview of the BLE specification and take us through the new APIs with some hands-on demos with various devices, heart rate monitors, key finders, and multi-sensor kits (temperature, pressure, humidity, accelerometer)".
We should see a new Neuxs phone unveiled at Google I/O with Android 4.3 inside, as well as LTE capabilities and hopefully, expandable storage. I'm guessing we'll also see a screen bump from 4-inch to 4.7-inch or so.