While every other company has been busy launching their new smartphones and tablets, Intel, the largest producers of chips, has shown a preview of its tablet inteface MeeGo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. MeeGo is a Linux based system which like Android, iOS, WebOS and Windows is a phone based OS. The MeeGo project was in the making for quite sometime now and both Nokia and Intel were involved in the development of this user interface. But now, Nokia is not involved with the mobile phone OS any more as it has now partnered with Microsoft and even abandoned its own phone OS Symbian and Intel did express its disappointment about the withdrawal at the MWC.
Apparently MeeGo is the only user interface that will enable dynamic panels on a mobile phone. We’ll have to wait and see how a new OS can fare amidst such fierce competition in the market.
Microsoft has announced that the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 will be made available to the general public from the 22nd of February. The Windows 7 SP1 for the time being has only seen a manufacturer’s release. The SP1 is coming with only a few minor updates as there have already been some updates to Windows 7 in the recent past. The SP1 is coming with client side support for windows 7 virtual machines that will enable Remote FX and dynamic memory. Though Windows 7 has been deemed to be the fastest selling OS ever produced by Microsoft, an upgrade was expected much earlier by many.
Microsoft is going to make the downloads available on their download center from the 22nd of February onwards. Those who buy the Windows 7 OS after 22nd would get the SP1 pre-installed.
As of now, this is only a rumor – Apple is planning to get rid of all its boxed softwares from the shelves in their stores. MacRumors has reported that the move can come quicker than expected as Apple plans to make space for its most earning products rather than the softwares, which earn very less when compared to other Mac products. Apple is planning to sell these softwares off their online stores, in the same way, they sell Apps off the App store on various touchscreen iDevices.
To be honest, Apple actually does not make much on these softwares when compared to their other products, although they get a 30 percent share of the profits. Ironically, they only made 786 million dollars on the Apple software front during the first fiscal quarter of 2011 while iPad has made a whopping 4 billion dollars.
So, it is better to bring down these softwares from the racks and make room for iPad 2 and iPhone 5.
Apple released the first beta version of the new iOS 4.3 operating system to developers earlier this month. Now, although there is no word as yet from Apple regarding the official launch date for the new platform, it is getting increasingly evident that the company may soon launch the new iOS to customers. The app review staff at Cupertino is learned to have started approving app updates that support iOS 4.3 features. StreamToMe, a media streaming iPhone application has recently released a new version that brings “Support for AirPlay video (requires iOS 4.3)”.
Verizon would be launching a CDMA variant of iPhone 4 from February that will include features like personal mobile hotspot. The iOS 4.3 launch is expected to happen earlier than that in order to bring similar features to existing iPhone subscribers. Are you looking forward to this release? We will update you as and when that happens.
Those of you who have jailbroken your iPhone or iPod Touch may have inevitably used the Cydia app store to browse and install one of those applications not available on the Apple App Store. Now Jay Freeman, the developer of Cydia has released a new version of his app store that will make it easy for users to easily reinstall previously purchased applications using the ‘Manage Account‘ feature.
The new feature is extremely useful for users who have upgraded their handset to a new iOS firmware or for users who have upgraded to a new handset altogether. Jay Freeman has also indicated that yet another Cydia update is on the cards and that this new version should come with features to rate and comment on apps besides backing up the installed jailbreak apps.
This is a rumor that you must take with loads of skepticism. Folks at a popular podcast show have claimed that Apple could be working on integrating its popular iTunes service with its Safari web browser in a bid to spike up the market share of the latter.
According to the source, the company may have already thwarted its plans to build cloud-based iTunes service that would be accessible from any browser. Instead, the new plans will make Safari the only browser that could load the music service. The source further adds,
“Moving iTunes organizational side-bar into Safari isn’t a monumental task. Safari would skyrocket in use as a result of integrating the software titles together.”
The news-quote appears dubious not just because of the untrusted source. It’s also because Apple might not be hedging its iTunes market share in its bid to improve Safari’s market share. Although iTunes is a pretty popular application, the software is pretty bulky and might not be ideally suited for use as an internet browsing application – something that would require it to be pretty lightweight.
In any case, this is a very interesting rumor and we look forward to such a move sometime down the line. An announcement in this regard is expected around the iPod Touch media event in September. That’s a long time from now and hopefully, we will hear a lot more in this regard by then.
If you have been enjoying the free music downloads on Nokia Ovi Music unlimited, here is some bad news. The Finland based company has decided to pull the plug on unlimited free music in as many as 27 countries. The Nokia Ovi Music Unlimited service was launched in 2008 in partnership with popular music labels like Vivendi, EMI, Warner Music Group and Sony, and was seen as a viable alternative to Apple’s iTunes.
While not much information has been revealed about the reason for discontinuation, the company has noted that lack of interest in music tied with DRM is one of the primary reasons. DRM-free tracks will continue to be sold in all 38 countries Nokia Ovi is available on.
There is however a silver lining here if you are from India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey or South Africa. Nokia Ovi users in India, China and Indonesia will continue to enjoy 12 month free music subscription while those in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa will enjoy six months’ subscription.
If you are a user in one of the countries where the service has been plugged, do note that existing tracks will continue to be available. It is the newer tracks that you will be unable to download.
Yahoo has announced an update to their Flickr for iPhone app that brings support to the retina display screen that is available with the latest generation of iPhone. This means that the new version 1.3 of Flickr iPhone app will now render images compatible to the 960×640 pixel resolution of the iPhone 4 display. You will recall that the newly launched iPod Touch too comes with a retina display and there are speculations – though unconfirmed – that iPad 2 could feature this high resolution display.
Apart from support for retina display, the new Flickr iPhone app update also preserves EXIF data (date, time and geo-data) across all photos. Users can now upload photos in batches of five. Besides, the new update also enhances social sharing functions making it easy for users to share pictures via Twitter using the Flic.kr URL shortener.
The app is free to download and can be accessed by visiting this iTunes link.
Mozilla may be releasing the next major update to Firefox by the end of February. This has been revealed in a note sent from Mozilla team member Damon to fellow developers at Mozilla. In the note, Damon writes,
“We have to reach Release Candidate status as quickly as possible, ideally finishing the hard blockers by the beginning of February and shipping final before the end of February. We’ll need your help to balance these targets against the need to build a high quality product.”
While this may come as a sigh of relief for Firefox fans who have been awaiting this release, do note that the release date appears to be optimistic at the moment. As Damon reveals, the team traditionally completes work on 100 blockers in six weeks time. With work on close to 160 blockers still remaining, we will have to wait and see if the Mozilla developer team completes work on all of this by the end of next month.
Have you ever felt the need to ask for directions in a foreign country where nobody speaks in your tongue? Google has just introduced an interesting new ‘Conversation Mode‘ on their Translate app for Android that will make such conversations simple.
Using the conversation mode, users can speak in their native tongue that will then be translated and read out aloud in the chosen language. The app will further take voice inputs from the person you are speaking with and translate it back in your native tongue.
The feature is still in the alpha mode and only available with English-Spanish mode for the moment. However, expect all the bugs and the number of supported languages to increase soon enough.
Apart from being used as an ‘interpreter‘, this feature also has several other use-cases. Writes one commenter on the Google blog,
“This could be an awesome tool for deaf people. As someone who is deaf and speaks/lipreads, I’ve long dreamed of having a handheld device that would convert all spoken conversations around me into text.
I just tried this in English to English mode with one person, and it worked! The only issue is that it’s not continuous; you have to keep hitting the “reply” button to keep the conversation going.”