Monthly Archives: June 2012
Adobe has confirmed that their much maligned Mobile Flash player, which has been available for Android for several years now, will indeed not be receiving an update which would allow it to support the just released Android 4.1. Adobe had announced that they were discontinuing Mobile Flash development several months ago, but had subsequently released one last update to support Android 4.0 devices.
On top of all that, Adobe has also announced that they’ll be removing Mobile Flash from the Google Play store for new devices, meaning only devices that have previously had Adobe Flash installed will be able to download a copy.
Mobile Flash has long suffered compatibility and performance issues on devices and platforms that it had supported. Apple had famously banned Adobe from shipping a version of the product for iOS due to these exact same issues.
As previously promised, both the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 are now available for purchase on Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile provides customers with unlocked, contract free phones and plans for far cheaper than most traditional carriers can offer, with the catch that customers must purchase the device outright rather than having them subsidized.
The 8GB iPhone 4 will set you back $549, while the 16GB iPhone 4S costs a whopping $649. Both phones are offered with Virgin Mobile’s base plan of $35/month for 200 minutes, unlimited data, and unlimited texting.
Windows Explorer, you had a long run. We knew that Windows Explorer would become secondary to the new Metro experience introduced in Windows 8, and now we have the end of the name itself – according to leaked screenshots provided by Win8China, new pre-RTM builds of Windows 8 have seen all references to the name “Windows Explorer” removed, with “File Explorer” put in its place.
“Windows Explorer” was first introduced in Windows 95 and has appeared in every subsequent version of Windows since. While “File Explorer” is simply the same application as always with a different name, the change in branding symbolizes much about Explorer’s role in Windows 8.
Google Chrome, the popular multi-platform web browser that was just released for Google Android yesterday, has just come to Apple’s popular iOS platform. The application brings its own form of the WebKit rendering engine different from the one bundled with iOS, making this more than just a wrapper for Safari as most other web browsers on the App Store are.
Google Chrome for iOS supports all iOS 4 and up devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Included is Google’s unique browser sync feature which syncs bookmarks, tabs, history, and more between different devices.
One thing missing from the iOS release that’s featured in the Android version is the ability to make Chrome the default browser on the device. This, however, is more of a limitation of iOS itself than Google Chrome.
Google Chrome for iOS is available on the Apple App Store now.
On top of doing a complete update for their Android operating system, Google has also deemed us worthy of a couple of updates for some applications, including their YouTube app, Google Chrome for Android, Google Maps, and Google+.
YouTube adds precaching for your favorite videos that you know you might want to watch later, which allows for less buffering issues, remote functionality for controlling playback on select devices, and a new, totally overhauled UI to better match their website.
Google Chrome finally comes out of beta with a slightly refreshed UI, stability improvements, and bug fixes. An interesting note here is that Google Chrome comes installed as the default browser in the Nexus 7 tablet, which was also announced today.
Google Maps and Google+ also got their fair share of updates, including the previously announced 3D maps on Google Maps and a new tablet UI for Google+.
All of these updates are available now for Android devices, and most require Android 4.0 at the least.
Source: Google Play
Google has taken the stage today and introduced their next flagship Android device in the Nexus line, the Nexus 7. As the name implies however, this is no cell phone but rather a 7″ tablet, one that bares a remarkable resemblance to others currently on the market such as the Kindle Fire at that.
The Nexus 7 was manufactured by ASUS and will run the just introduced Android 4.1 operating system. It’ll come I’m two different variants, an 8GB model and a 16GB model. Both will come with an 1280×800 IPS display, a front facing camera, 1GB of RAM, and a 4325 mAh battery. It also runs on a decent performing 1.3 GHz quad-core Tegra processor that’s been around and kicking for a little while now.
Pricing starts at a decent $199 for the 8GB model and $249 for the 16GB model. Both will be shipping shortly and are available to order as we speak.
Source: Google Play
Google has today officially revealed Android 4.1 codenamed “Jellybean”, the newest version of Google’s top selling mobile operating system.
Android 4.1 comes with a host of new improvements included a slightly refreshed user interface, offline speech to text support (previous versions of Android required an internet connection to turn speech into text), Google Now, which allows for location based searching (allowing for more intelligent searching, such as automatically reporting when the next bus arrives while at a bus station, flights while at an airport, etc.), predictive keyboard, and most importantly given the performance of previous versions of Android an improved graphics pipeline that will supposedly triple graphics performance.
Android 4.1 will come bundled with the new Nexus 7, while the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus will see an update in July. As per usual other devices may have to wait considerably longer as manufacturers struggle to update their devices and carriers slowly approve said updates.
While fans of Palm’s (now HP’s) innovative webOS platform continue to wait anxiously for the release of Open webOS, still currently slated for a September release, they at least have this to hold them over – HP has today announced the immediate release of webOS Community Edition, which includes the source code for webOS 3.0′s (which is the version of webOS found on the HP TouchPad, an ill fated tablet released by HP last year that, despite being the second best selling tablet on the market at the time, was pulled from the market place due to poor sales just months after its release) LunaSysMgr. LunaSysMgr acts as the user interface layer for webOS.
webOS Community Edition has been designed for users of webOS 3.0.5, allowing users to “modify [their] TouchPad experience and then apply that learning to Open webOS 1.0 in the future”, specifically the TouchPad’s user interface. Open webOS 1.0 will, presumably, be a more dump of webOS’s source code that will allow webOS to run on devices not released by either Palm or HP.
All of this is lead by a new team called WebOS Ports, which will be involved in the furthered development of Open webOS in the coming months. According to HP, Open webOS will include built-in support for existing devices without the need for developers to write their own drivers.
So if you’re an HP TouchPad developer, you may find something interesting to play with by downloading the source code here, or by checking out WebOS-Port’s official IRC channel at #webos-ports on Freenode.
Source: Open webOS Project
Massive social gaming giant Zynga today held it’s annual “Zynga Unleashed” conference today where they unveiled a slew of new goodies, including more than a couple of games as well as a whole new social network which they’re calling “Zynga With Friends”.
Basically, “Zynga With Friends” allows users to connect and socialize around Zynga’s huge game portfolio. Described as a social “lobby”, users of iOS, Android, and the web was called “one network, one unified experience, one social lobby that will for the first time connect all our players no matter where they’re playing”. It’ll also include leaderboards, as well as their social stream.
Games announced includes “Matching With Friends”, “Ruby Blast”, “ChefVille”, “The Ville”, as well as “FarmVille 2″, sequel to their almost disgustingly popular “FarmVille” game. Yes, that FarmVille. All of these games will be released throughout 2012 – some, such as “Matching With Friends” and “The Ville”, as soon as today and tomorrow, for various slews of platforms, including Facebook.
Apple has today released a new iOS application to the App Store called Podcasts which, as the name implies, is a dedicated application for the sole purpose of listening and watching podcasts, including audio podcasts and video podcasts. Podcasts supports not only the upcoming iOS 6 but also iOS 5 and iOS 4, bringing an application that would otherwise require an upgrade if it were to be bundled with iOS 6 to users may be, for whatever, reason, unwilling to upgrade.
The release notes for Podcasts are as followed:
Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.
- Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app
- Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages
- Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more.
- Browse by Audio or Video podcasts, or see what’s most popular in Top Charts
- Tap subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available
- Stream episodes or download to listen while offline
- Skip forward and back using simple playback controls
- Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed
- Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages and Mail
- Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC
- Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices
The first update is iOS 6.0 beta 2, which is now available for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPod touch (4th generation). The update weighs in at 332MB for iPhone 4S users and can be installed via iOS’s built-in Software Update tool. iOS 6.0 beta 2 identifies itself as being build 10A5338d. Apple lists the following as its release notes:
This beta version of iOS 6 contains bug fixes and improvements.
For more information, visit: http://developer.apple.com/ios6/releasenotes/
This beta ersion of iOS should only be deployed on devices dedicated for iOS 6 beta software development.
Second, Apple has released a security update for OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4 users. The update brings daily checks for security updates in Mountain Lion so as to allow for quicker patching of any potential future security exploits. The update can be installed via the Mac App Store and the following is listed as its release notes:
This update tests the new Mountain Lion Security Updates system. The new system includes:
- Daily Checks for required security updates
- The ability to install required security updates automatically or after restarting your Mac
- A more secure connection to Apple’s update servers.
This update includes general updates and improvements to Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4.
Though the new MacBook Pros with Retina displays have seen some pretty great reviews, looks like it’s suffering some early-run problems, just as most major releases do these days. This time around we’re seeing customers complain of what’s called “ghosting” occurring on their new high resolution displays. What happens with ghosting is the monitor has issues with image retention, keeping a “ghost” of whatever’s been on the screen recently lingering in the background.
There’s a large thread growing on Apple’s official Support Communities with more and more people confirming the issue, as well as multiple pictures popping up showing just how bad the issue is (including the one above). It reportedly happens after just 20-minutes of use, which is a surprisingly little amount of time for any display with this issue.
Apple is reportedly replacing any computer that a customer reports as having this issue, so if you’re somebody who seems to be affected you should probably either call up Apple Support or visit your local Apple Store if you’re lucky enough to have one within driving distance.