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We are expected to see Apple unveil its next iteration of iOS at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, but what exactly should we expect? Rumor has it that we won't see a visual redesign in iOS 8, as that is something Apple took care of last year with the release of iOS 7.
Instead, the iPhone maker is going to polish existing features and apps such as Maps, Siri, iCloud and more. iOS 8 should also see much more support built-in for future products and services such as the rumored iWatch, as well as a "Healthbook" application which would be similar to the Passport app. Healthbook would provide iOS 8 users with health-related data, with multiple sources of information.
Maps is another part of iOS that Apple wants to finally get right, after the company received significant backlash after ditching Google back with iOS 6. We should see Apple provide indoor mapping functions, as well as public transport directions with iOS 8. We should also see Siri receive some increased abilities, as it'll need to begin catching up to Google's incredibly powerful Google Now service.
If recent rumors are true, we could see Apple release the next major update to its OS X operating system. This morning several sources are reporting that Apple has finalized its 10.9.3 update for OS X Mavericks and will be releasing it in the coming days as a free update. This update will mark the third milestone for Mavericks since its 2013 release.
This release will also signify that Apple has managed to remove most of the bugs from the operating system as signified by the companies increased frequency of updates. OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 will usher in improved 4K display support, as well as improved 4K video support. Apple has also added in the ability to sync contacts and calendars between Mac and iOS devices via USB. Additionally the update will include Safari 7.0.3.
We are expecting an update to Android any day now, something we should see unveiled at Google I/O in a couple of months time. But, it looks like Google is going to bake in much more powerful and ever-present voice commands into its mobile OS.
The Mountain View-based giant is reportedly trying out a new "OK Google everywhere" feature that would be an always-listening feature, responding to your voice and commands. If you're looking through photos for example, you could say: "OK Google, share this photo". Not only that, but there are more changes rumored to be baked into the next release of Android.
On top of the improved "OK Google" commands, we should expect a new navigation bar that will replace the home button with a "Google" item. Tapping this would start a search without having to utter a word. When you need to go back to the main screen, you could use the "recents" key, too.
Google will soon roll out Android 4.4.3 KitKat, but as usual, we don't know what do expect. The latest report suggests that Google will push through a major redesign of its Dialer app.
The new Dialer app would feature a series of cards - like Google Now does - for each contact, instead of a list. The cards themselves have a colored background, with the first initial of the name placed on them, but they can also display a picture of the contact, too. The new Dialer app was reportedly spotted on a Nexus 5 smartphone running the new OS, with a firmware version of KUU84F.
According to a Russian leaker, the next version of Windows will be a free, cloud-based OS known as Windows Cloud. Windows Cloud would require an Internet connection for full functionality of the OS, but to receive functions past the basic ones provided for free, a subscription would be required.
The person behind the leak, Wzor, has been right on previous rumors, such as an early version of the Windows 8.1 update. According to PC World, part of Windows Cloud would be stored locally on your computer, possibly sitting in your PC's BIOS, with the rest of it downloaded from the Internet. When not connected to the Internet, it would offer the user just basic functionality.
This would work similar to how Windows 7 Starter gave users basic functionality, with the option to upgrade to other versions of Windows.
Google isn't seeing massive adoption rates no Android 4.4 KitKat, even though the updated mobile OS is capable of working on more devices than the OS it succeeded on. KitKat's adoption rate is sitting at a lower point than Jelly Bean was when it first launched.
Chitika's number crunching abilities see that Android 4.4 KitKat is on around 10% of devices, six months after it was launched. After six months of Jelly Bean being available, it was on 14% of devices. Chitika explains: "[L]ooking beyond the device type breakdown, on a wider scale, KitKat has not progressed quite as quickly as Jelly Bean in North America from an adoption perspective. We previously observed Jelly Bean users generating 13.6% of North American Android Web traffic approximately 24 weeks following its debut on the Nexus 7. This overall number is 10.1% for KitKat as of this study, close to 22 weeks following its release on the Nexus 5".
Chitika has analyzed just North American numbers here, with its ad impressions blasting onto tens of millions of US and Canadian Android-based devices between March 31, and April 6, 2014. When it comes to the US, around 61.8% of devices are running a version of Jelly Bean. 20.3% of traffic is coming from Gingerbread-based devices, while Ice Cream Sandwich sits on 21.3% devices.
Microsoft has been talking about the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 for months now, and today the Redmond, Washington-based giant has finally released the update to the public. Windows 8.1 users can head over to Windows Update and install Update 1 to their system now, or you can wait and let Windows run the update for you when your automatic updates are scheduled to run.
"Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update include improvements to make Windows more familiar and convenient for devices that use touch and mouse input and to make Windows available on a wider variety of devices, so you have more to choose from. Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update also include security and performance updates, and they must be installed for your PC to receive any future security updates for Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1," Microsoft said in a release.
The latest numbers are in for the iOS ecosystem and iOS 7 is growing very quickly. Back in January, the numbers showed that iOS 7 adoption was at 80%. Now only a few months later, the adoption rate for iOS 7 sits at 87%.
That is a gain of 7% in about three months. The metrics are figured by looking at the clients that accessed the App Store during a seven day period ending on April 6. iOS 7 adoption has also grown a lot since last month when it was at 84%.
iOS 6 holds 11% of the iOS usage market. Earlier versions of iOS hold less than 2% of the market. I'm always surprised people are still on these old versions of the OS considering the updates are free.
Microsoft has been playing catch up in the mobile market, with its latest iteration of Windows Phone being teased at the company's Build Developer Conference during the week.
We should expect Microsoft to launch Windows Phone 8.1 within the coming weeks, with the final version of the mobile OS ready for developers on April 14. The "final feature build" has already been seeded to partners according to reports, with the "Final Adaption Kit" to be completed on April 8. The combination of the latest build and the kit should gel together for the final release of Windows Phone 8.1.
Apple has today began seeding the fifth version of its OS C Mavericks 10.9.3 beta build to developers. This pre-release version is coded 13D33, and developers are being asked to focus on key aspects of the OS such as Graphics Drivers, Audio, Safari, and Contacts / Calender USB Sync via iTunes.
This is part of the upcoming update to OS X Mavericks that will usher in 4K Support for external monitors, a first for the operating system. While the syncing via USB option was nixed in previous builds, Apple hopes to bring it back in the next update with a more refined and intuitive version that will work seamlessly with iTunes.