According to several forum posters over at mydigitallife, Microsoft has started issuing Windows 8 to computer manufacturers via its Connect internal testing system — also known as the “Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release Program.” Reportedly, Windows 8 sports a “fully dynamic” 3D user interface, which allows the operating system to adapt to user habits and make OS interactions more efficient. A rumored “fast hibernation” feature will put the system in a saved-state in 3 to 6 seconds, and Windows 8 may also include a new “Mosh” tile-based user interface (no doubt inspired by the MetroUI found on Windows Phone handsets). Windows 8 beta could land as soon as next September, but rumors from earlier this month suggest that Microsoft could start showing off a Windows 8 tablet as early as June. Business Insider reports that the Redmond company is taking a “more Apple-like approach to interface design” with this iteration of Windows. Microsoft has yet to publicly announce when it will demo all of the new features of Windows 8. More →
According to a report filed by Reuters, Nokia’s future tablet products may be lacking in one area, Microsoft software. Speaking to a source familiar with the Finnish company’s plans, the publication writes that Nokia is weighing all options when it comes to tablets, and its now moot smartphone operating system — MeeGo — is a definite possibility. A recent patent filing found in the United States Patent and Trade Office’s database has reignited rumors that the mobile giant will be releasing a tablet in the near future. This February, Nokia announced that it would use Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating systems on future, high-end smartphones. The company’s tablet plans are, however, still unknown. More →
Motorola’s corporate Twitter account just sent out a tweet announcing that the Motorola XOOM will be receiveing an OTA software upgrade later today. The expected enhancements? Improvements for daylight savings time (change your clocks on Saturday, y’all) and support for the upcoming Adobe Flash 10.2 release. The OTA will hit XOOM tablets later on in the evening and your device can be updated over 3G or Wi-Fi.
The update came a bit later than Apple intended due to an issue fixed by last night’s iTunes update, but the company just released iOS 4.3 for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV. BGR exclusively revealed the change log for iOS 4.3 in January, which detailed most of the changes users can look forward to in this update. The most notable addition is Apple’s new Personal Hotspot feature which is now available on GSM versions of the iPhone 4 in addition to Verizon’s CDMA iPhone. Another highly anticipated feature now available in iOS is AirPlay support for third-party apps. Of note, this update is compatible only with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad, Apple TV and the third and fourth-generation iPod touch models. Earlier iPods do not have access to iOS 4.3, nor do the original iPhone or iPhone 3G.
Android has already assumed its position on top of the global smartphone totem pole, and now, according to two separate analytics firm, it has seized the top spot in the United States as well. In separate reports filed this week, both comScore and Nielsen agree, the little green alien reigns supreme Stateside. comScore gives Android 31.2% of U.S. market share, followed by Research In Motion with 30.4% and Apple with 24.7%. Nielsen reports similar number, with Android claiming 29% of the pie with Research In Motion and Apple each sharing 27%. All hail your new mobile operating system overlord, Android! More →
Windows Phone 7 fans hoping they might see Microsoft’s reinvigorated mobile OS on Motorola hardware in the near future will be disappointed to learn that this particular marriage isn’t in the cards. Speaking to the press during Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, Motorola’s corporate vice president of software and services product management Christy Wyatt said the cell phone maker is sticking with Android for now. “I don’t envision us using Microsoft. I would never say never but it’s not something we’re entertaining now,” Wyatt told IDG News Service. “We would like an opportunity to create unique value and we don’t feel we could with a closed platform.” Motorola did consider the Windows Phone 7 OS at one time, however it found Microsoft’s timeline to be less than satisfactory in terms of adding features Motorola viewed as key. “There were a bunch of things that we believed about Microsoft that ended up not being true, mostly about what functionality it would have in what period of time,” Wyatt said. Like Microsoft, Motorola recently reinvented itself in the mobile space, finding success with Android after the company fell on hard times not long ago. Motorola plans to stick with what works for the time being, however, and Microsoft will just have to look to the world’s No. 1 cell phone company for solace. More →
Tomorrow is D-Day for Nokia. At the company’s Capital Markets Day, CEO Stephen Elop is expected to announce a major shift in Nokia’s smartphone strategy — by strategy, we mean operating system. Rumors have been flying that Elop, Microsoft’s former business unit chief, will align his new company with his old, bringing Nokia-branded Windows Phone handsets to market in the near future. Mr. Elop sat down with Mobilized’s Ina Fried last week to discuss what’s next for Nokia. Without tipping his hand, the CEO let it be known that Android, MeeGo, and Windows Phone were all options.
After commenting on the viability of the three, aforementioned mobile OS’, Nokia’s front-man also addressed his company’s lackluster North American presence. “We need to be in the United States in one way, shape or form,” said Mr. Elop. “We have to have a viable way to reopen doors.”
The moment of truth is tomorrow. What do you think Nokia should do? More →
Microsoft on Thursday published a new knowledge base article to its support site that suggests the first update to the Windows Phone 7 operating system may soon be released. The article details troubleshooting information in the event a software update does not install properly. The highly anticipated first software update for Windows Phone 7 is expected to introduce various new features including the ability to cut, copy and paste text. The update may also fix a bug recently identified by Microsoft that causes large amounts of superfluous data to be transmitted randomly over 3G. Earlier rumors suggested that Microsoft would release the update in January and with just over three days left in the month, this new knowledge base article rekindles hopes that we might see an update before February arrives on Tuesday. More →
Nielsen released its November 2010 smartphone market share data for the U.S. on Monday, and highlighted two main observations along with its report. First, Apple’s iOS platform held on to the lead it won in October, when it passed RIM to become the most popular OS in the United States with 27.9% of the market. RIM’s BlackBerry OS fell to the No. 2 spot at that time with 27.4% and Android closed in on both platforms with 22.7%. Nielsen’s new November data shows Apple climbing slightly to 28.6% while BlackBerry OS just barely holds its position above Android, falling to 26.1% compared to Android’s 25.8%. Nielsen’s other observation emphasizes Android’s huge popularity over the past six months. Among those who made smartphone purchases in the last six months in the U.S., 40.8% bought Android devices, 26.9% bought iPhones and only 19.2% purchased BlackBerrys. More →
In a post on his personal blog Wednesday, Nokia employee Watts Martin discounts rumors from earlier this month that Nokia might be considering Windows Phone 7 as a future platform for its smartphones. Rumors that Nokia might be looking at the platform began when former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop was appointed CEO of the company. They came to a head last week, however, when industry insider Eldar Murtazin wrote that the company might build “an entire line of Windows Phone devices that may go under the name Nokia.” Watts Martin, a developer at Nokia, stated that the idea of Nokia considering Windows Phone 7 as a possible platform for its devices is “stark raving loony.” Martin states that while Symbian and MeeGo are both open source, Nokia demands complete control over its operating systems and there would be no way to achieve that using Microsoft’s mobile platform. Martin does not indicate in his blog post that he speaks for Nokia in any official capacity. More →
Google’s VP of Engineering, Andy Rubin, utilized the social-network Twitter to drop some knowledge on the world. Mr. Rubin notes that his company’s mobile operating system is now being activated on over 300,000 phones each and every day. That’s over 2.1 million phones every week and over 9 million phones every month. Back in August of this year, Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced that Android activations had just passed the 200,000 per day mark — and subsequently set off a little activation brouhaha with rival Apple. For the sake of comparison: the latest numbers from iOS maker Apple (released in September 2010) revealed that there were over 230,000 new iOS activations happening every day.
The verbiage used in both of the companies statements is interesting. Rubin notes 300,000 phones activated each day (indicating the number does not include tablets or other devices running Android, but could include users upgrading), while back in September, Jobs noted there were 230,000 new iOS activations each day (indicating that Apple’s numbers include other iOS devices like iPads and iPod touchs, but not users upgrading).
Either way, Google is now on pace to activate over 10 million Android phones per month. That is an impressive figure any way you slice it. More →
It’s no secret that BlackBerry 6 will be coming to the Bold 9650 and Curve 9330. RIM has publicly stated that the two devices are in line for the yet-to-be-release update and both sets are marketed as “BlackBerry 6 ready.” Exactly when the updates will start to roll-out is, however, still a mystery. Several unofficial builds of BB6 for both handsets have been circulating on the Internet for quite some time, but as with all handset updates, the code needs to be carrier tested and ultimately carrier approved — a process that has historically proven to be the opposite of swift.
Bureaucracy aside, blog CrackBerry has produced some hard intel that indicates — at minimum — Verizon is getting their proverbial ducks in a row for a BB6 release. An advertisement that shows the company’s Curve 9330 and Bold 9650 running the new code has surfaced. The advert dramatically proclaims RIM’s OS as “the ultimate blend of productivity and fun” and lists some of the new features the update packs: social feeds, new browser, universal search, better multimedia, etc.
Both the 9330 and 9650 are seen sporting their current price tags, $49.99 and $99.99 respectively. More →
Here’s a bit of good news for Android enthusiasts: as of December 1st, 83% of Android devices are now running OS version 2.1 or higher. The numbers, which come directly from Google’s developer analytics, show the progress the Big G is making in getting the wide-variety of handsets in market updated to newer code. As you can see from the above chart, the majority of handsets are now running Google’s latest mobile OS version, Android 2.2. While the nature of the mobile market will always be prohibitive to 100% of in-market devices on a single OS version, it is nice to see the lion’s share of handsets on a more recent, modern code — a favorite party-line of Android detractors is to call the platform “fragmented.” Hit the read link to check out the full article. More →