Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .
Yesterday, in a short but fiery presentation Apple’s CEO took potshots at iPhone’s biggest competitor – Google Android. As Chinmoy wrote earlier today, Jobs challenged “everything Android – from the openness, to the fragmentation, and the tablet experience”.
Steve Jobs also gave his (rather comical) definition of open. The Apple chief, who claimed that the first thing that popped into his mind when he thought about the word “open” was Windows, admonished Android for failing to offer a consistent experience to all Android users.
As you can imagine, Google isn’t pleased with what Jobs had to say. Andy Rubin, the man in charge of the Android platform, has shot back at Apple through Twitter. Rubin used his long dormant Twitter account to share his definition of open.
the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make”
While Rubin didn’t explicitly mention Apple, it doesn’t take a brainiac to figure out who he is targeting with his first tweet. This controversy is particularly strange because “open” isn’t such a hard word to define. I have a pretty well-defined opinion regarding exactly what being “open” is all out. It essentially refers to freedom. It might be freedom to choose, freedom to redistribute or simply freedom to modify. Apple’s repeated attempts to redefine “open” is frankly distasteful. Rubin’s definition might be geeky, but his ideas are definitely closer to the conventional wisdom. But then, nothing about Jobs is conventional.
Leaked Microsoft software is nothing new. Both Windows 7 and Office 2010 kept getting leaked during their development stages. Now, Softpedia is reporting that an internal Windows 7 Service Pack 1 build has been leaked. Although some websites are claiming that this is the release candidate (RC), the leaked file is most likely a pre-RC build.
The leaked image is a chinese Windows 7 (32 bit) installation, which has been slipstreamed with SP1. The build number is 6.1.7601.17104. According to reports, the leaked build is time bombed to 01.09.2011. In other words, the leaked build will stop working in September 2011. This indicates that the leaked build is at least a month old.
Installing leaked builds is never recommended. Not only are they likely to be unstable and rough around the edges, but there is also the possibility that they have been tampered by the releaser. However, if you are dying to get your hands on the latest and greatest from Microsoft, then you should be able to locate the leaked release with a simple Google search.
You are probably aware that each release of Android uses a dessert as its codename. For example, the current Android release (2.2) goes by the codename FroYo (Frozen Yogurt), while the next release (3.0) will be called Gingerbread. We also know that Android 3.5 will be codenamed Honeycomb. Now, Forbes is reporting that Android 4.0 will bear the codename “Ice Cream”.
This particular bit of information comes by the way of ARM President Tudor Brown. When pressed for comment, a Google spokesperson informed Forbes, The next platform release names are Gingerbread and Honeycomb. Additional timing and details have not been released yet.
So, what do you think about the codename “Ice Cream”? In my honest opinion, it is a tad mundane, and is possibly the worst after Cupcake. But then, I guess there aren’t too many simple and catchy dessert names that begin with an ‘i’.
While Opera is the leading mobile web browser developer, it seems forever destined to be the little guy in the desktop segment. It’s fast, functional and secure, yet it has never quite managed to catch the fancy of a large section of internet users in the way Firefox and Chrome did.
In my honest opinion, the biggest chink in Opera’s armor has been extensibility. Sure, you can modify the toolbar, edit the context menu, install bookmarklets and buttons, and even play around with widgets; however, when it comes to really captivating and powerful extensions like StumbleUpon or LastPass, Opera doesn’t have an answer.
Extensions are something I have been requesting for a long long time. Opera always seemed to be reluctant to introduce an API due to security and performance concerns. Fortunately, the Norwegians have finally found a way to implement extensions without impacting performance or compromising security.
With new tablets being announced or launched every week, the tablet market is truly on fire. However, other than Apple’s iPad, none of the other tablets have succeeded in making a significant impact. The Samsung Galaxy Tab might just turn out to be the first actual iPad competitor. However, the tablet that I am really excited about is Notion Ink’sAdam.
The Adam, which has been plagued by a series of delays, is being manufactured by an Indian startup called Notion Ink. What sets Adam apart from the rest of the tablet crowd is its ambition. Unlike other Android tablets, Adam will be using an extensively modified operation system with its own interface and market.
In a new blog post, Notion Ink’s CEO, Rohan Shravan, has shared some of the key details about Eden – Adam’s multi-tasking environment. It allow applications to run in 3 modes – i) Full Screen Mode: In this mode the application will occupy the entire screen and will be the sole object of attention. Only one application can be in this mode at a time. ii) Light Mode/Panels: In light mode, the application will only expose its key functionalities. Up to three applications can be simultaneously in light mode. Screen real estate, as well as other resources will be shared among these applications. iii) Waiting Mode (Background): When an application is minimized it creates a panel with its most important features and goes to sleep. At any point of time, three panels will be visible. Other panels will be hidden and waiting to be called upon.
Existing Android applications (which are designed for mobile phones) will work as panels, instead of being stretched to fit the tablet’s higher resolution screen.
Discussing the benefits of introducing Panels, Shravan wrote:
Using these concepts now you can compare two documents, transfer files from one folder to another, take notes from one panel and write in another, you can chat in one and read RSS in another, while third one is playing your song, read this blog and update your twitter message. Most important element in multi-tasking is to SEE two things to work on them, and now we have 3!
Earlier this week, Sony quietly launched the PlayStation Move controller in India. The Move is Sony’s attempt at catching up with the casual gaming revolution initiated by the Nintendo Wii. It is a motion sensing game controller that was demoed at the E3 2010.
The Move consists of two controllers – the main motion controller has a light bulb at its end, while the navigation controller has a joystick and a d-pad. A camera unit, known as PlayStation Eye, is used for accurately tracking the position of the Move controller. To learn more about the Move, check out our earlier extensive preview of the controller.
According to PCWorld, the Move motion controller is priced at Rs. 2,499, while the navigation controller is available for Rs. 1,899. The starter pack which bundles PlayStation Move motion controller, PlayStation Eye camera and a Starter disc including demos of the titles Sports Champions, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, Start the Party!, costs Rs. 3,650.
Back in August, Google added a Labs section to Chromium for showcasing the latest crazy projects from Google engineers. The Chromium Labs kicked off with only a couple of new features, but has since been expanded to include a few more features.
The latest feature to grace Chromium Labs is Cloud Printing. Cloud Print is a feature that was announced earlier by Google for the Chrome OS. In Chrome OS all the apps are web apps. This makes leveraging system drivers to enable native printing support in apps more challenging. Google Cloud Print enables these web apps to submit and manage print jobs without relying on the print drivers.
Cloud Print can be enabled in the latest build of Chromium (7.0.547.0) by typing about:labs in the address bar to bring up the Labs section. Cloud Print compatible printers are under development. However, a proxy (a small piece of software that sits on a PC where the printer is installed) enables legacy printers to work with this new feature.
The wait is almost over! The full version of Angry Birds – arguably the most addictive mobile game on the planet, will be launching in the Android Market next week. Angry Birds has gone on to become a phenomenon with the iOS version (iPhone, iPad, iPod etc.) amassing in excess of 6.5 million sales. Heck, it might even be adapted into a movie.
The beta version for Android was released last month and garnered a favorable review from us. According to a tweet by Revo Mobile, the developer of Angry Birds, the final version will feature full multi-tasking support. This will enable the game to save its state when interrupted in-between a level.
The demo of Angry Birds has only a handful of levels and left most Android users craving for more. I know that I will be purchasing the final version when it comes out. Will you?
Regular readers of Techie Buzz might remember that, earlier this year, Opera Software had acquired mobile advertising network AdMarvel. At that time, I dubbed the move as “surprising” and commented, “Although it is hard to guess exactly what Opera is planning to do with AdMarvel, it is fairly safe to assume that AdMarvel will play a role in helping Opera better monetize their mobile offerings”. Now, we know exactly how Opera Software is planning to monetize its mobile offerings.
Opera has just launched Open Mobile Ad Exchange, which serves “cloud-based advertising on feature phones and smartphones”. We have spent the last ten years building a mobile browser that delivers a great user experience,said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software, Today marks a new chapter in our company, helping publishers, developers and mobile operators drive their mobile revenues by reaching out to and engaging a savvy global audience. Whether you want to monetize a free site or application or raise the visibility of your existing content, the Open Mobile Ad Exchange gives you a single point of access and control.
Skype has been hammered in the past for entering into an exclusive agreement with Verizon. The lack of an official Skype client on Android infuriated and frustrated many of its dedicated users. In response to the criticism, Skype had promised to deliver a “direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace”. Now, after a long wait, they have finally delivered.
Skype for Android is now available worldwide (excluding China and Japan) through the Market. The app supports free Skype-to-Skype calls, cheap Skype-to-phone calls, free instant messaging, group conferences and more. While the app is capable of working over both WiFi and 3G, in the US, calls are supported only over WiFi.
Head over to skype.com/m or use the attached QR code to download the app. Although the app should run on all devices with Android 2.1 (or newer), it has been officially tested only on HTC and Motorola devices. The official blog post acknowledges some problems with the Samsung Galaxy S, and has promised to fix them soon.