Apple, Facebook, Google, Mozilla and Others Come Together to Create the Ultimate Resource for Web Development

It is very rarely that you will see competing companies like Apple, Adobe, Google, Facebook, Nokia, HP, Mozilla, Opera and Microsoft join forces to make the world a better place but it really is happening. All these warring Internet companies have decided to create an ultimate resource for all things related to web-development and as a result, we have

The focus of “Web Platform” is only on open web technologies, and the aim of this website is to provide a one-stop info spot for all things related to web-technologies like HTML5, CSS3, Canvas, WebGL, IndexedDB etc. The initiative is administered by the W3C, and Tim Berners-Lee describes this initiative as,

People in the web community — including browser makers, authoring tool makers, and leading edge developers and designers — have tremendous experience and practical knowledge about the web. Web Platform Docs is an ambitious project where all of us who are passionate about the web can share knowledge and help one another.

“Web Platform” is an open community of developers, and is open for contributions. There are various sections at “Web Platform” like the blog where the website was announced with a customary first post, a Q&A style forum and a chat section. However, the most attractive part is perhaps Web Platform Docs, where one will find resources on various topics presented as a Wiki.

If it lives up to its promises, Web Platform will drive innovation on the web. However, it needs a proper launch with drum-rolls to attract more web-developers.

(Via: TNW)

Intel And Lava Start Rolling Out XOLO X900’s Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Earlier this year, Intel teamed up with a relatively small and unknown Indian manufacturer – Lava – to release the first Android smartphone powered by an Intel processor, the XOLO X900. The handset was initially released with stock Android 2,3 Gingerbread on-board, but Intel promised that it would soon roll out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the handset.

Now, after quite a few months of releasing the handset, Intel and Lava have finally rolled out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the phone. The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the XOLO X900 will bring with it major UI improvements, Holo theme UI, Magazine like swipe UI, a new and improved web browser, Android Beam, and much more.

Lava XOLO X900 owners can download the update either from the company’s website or directly install the update on their handset via OTA. Thankfully, Intel and Lava have kept the Ice Cream Sandwich experience near stock with just a few minor tweaks.

Hopefully, Intel and Lava are also working on bringing Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean to the handset, which would make the handset much more tempting.

Via – GSMArena

Next Nexus Handset From LG; To Pack Similar Specs As LG Optimus G

Before October started, the rumors and information surrounding the next Nexus was surprisingly very low. However, October has had an explosive start in terms of Nexus news and rumors.  Taylor of Android and Me, and now, Paul of Modaco have got confirmed news from their 100% trusted sources that LG will be making the next Nexus handset. At the moment it is unsure whether there will be multiple Nexus handsets from multiple OEMs or not.

According to the tip that Paul and Taylor have got, the LG Nexus handset will sport specs similar to the LG Optimus G, which means that we may finally have a Nexus handset that is actually ahead in terms of raw power compared to other Android devices rather than being behind them.

Below are the rumored specs of the next Nexus handset from LG as posted by Paul  -:

  • The device is based on the Optimus G but doesn’t look the same
  • Updated Android release (currently 4.2)
  • Quad Core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1280×768 True-HD IPS screen
  • On screen soft keys (of course)
  • 8 Megapixel Camera
  • No microSD slot
  • 8GB and 16GB versions only (at least initially)
  • Non-removable battery
  • Wireless charging built in
  • The retail name of the device is yet to be decided.

While a quad-core Krait and 2GB of RAM sound really good, only 16GB of internal memory and no microSD card slot sounds really bad. With the size of Android games reaching up to 3.5GB, and averaging around 1-2GB, 16GB is just not enough. I really hope Google unveils a 32GB variant of the handset as well, and skips the 8GB version since I doubt it will find many takers.

The handset is expected to be launched sometime in mid-November so there is still quite a lot of time left for leaks, rumors, blurry cam pics and the official announcement from Google itself.

Nexus 7 With 32GB Of On-board Storage Space Coming Soon

The Nexus 7 has been a runaway success for Google and ASUS. The $199/$249 price point of the tablet, Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and the killer specs of the tablet make it an irresistible deal. The Nexus 7 has managed to bring back Android as an OS back into the tablet market, and makes it look like a worthy (and cheaper) alternative to the iPad.

However, one major complain most Nexus 7 owners have is the low amount of storage space. Without a microSD card slot, Nexus 7 owners are only limited to the 8/16GB of on-board storage space, which is not enough to store all your movies and music. The lack of a 3G radio does not help matters much as well.

Now, it looks like Google will soon be releasing a 32GB variant of the Nexus 7. The 32GB variant of the tablet has shown up in quite a few inventory systems of online retailers and websites, thus confirming its impending launch. At the moment, it is unknown as to how much the 32GB variant of the tablet will cost. Some websites showed the retail price at around the $269-272, which if true will please a lot of people.

Via – Android Police

Tim Cook Apologizes For Maps, Suggests Alternatives Including Google Maps

Apple ditched Google Maps in favor of its own Mapping service in iOS 6, and promised that it will be the most advanced mapping app with 3D buildings and effects. However, once the iPhone 5 and then iOS 6 were released, everyone realized that Apple had made false claims. The new Maps app in iOS 6 is much inferior to its competition especially Google Maps and lacks a lot of detail. Over the last couple of weeks, jokes about the new Maps app in iOS 6 have been flowing right, left and center and Apple has been heavily criticized for providing its users with a service that barely works.

Today, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has written an open letter to its customers accepting that the company “fell short on [its] commitment” to deliver a world class experience with its Maps app. The letter then states that Apple is “extremely sorry for the frustration” the new Maps has caused to its customers, and that the company is doing “everything” they can to make the experience better. The letter also states that as more and more iOS 6 customers will use the Maps, the better the service will get.

Tim Cook even went on to suggest iOS 6 users some other alternatives to Maps including Bing, MapQuest, Waze or Google and Nokia maps. While suggesting other alternative Maps service from Apple is a bold move, the company should not have removed Google Maps from iOS 6 or should have given users a warning who were upgrading from iOS 5 to iOS 6.

Below is the full letter from Tim Cook -:

To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO


Jetpack Joyride, Rayman Jungle Run and Rovio’s Bad Piggies Now Available In The Play Store

Halfbrick Studios is known for releasing some high quality games including Fruit Ninja and Age of Zombies. The company has released much more games for the iOS AppStore than on the Play Store, but is slowly bringing some of its successful titles from the former to the latter.

Back in August, Halfbrick released Jetpack Joyride for Android users, but the game was available as a free download only via the Amazon AppStore. Today, the exclusivity of the game has ended and Halfbrick has released the game on the Play Store for free. Time for some fun-filled adventure with Barry Streakfries, eh? Head over to this link to install the game for free.

In other Android related gaming news, Ubisoft has finally released its hit iOS title – Rayman Jungle Run – on the Play Store. The game has excellent graphics, and an even excellent gameplay to keep the player addicted. The game can be purchased from the Play Store for $2.99.

Lastly, Rovio released its much anticipated game – Bad Pigges – on the iOS and Android App Stores. For a change, it is nice to see Rovio not release another Angry Birds like game. Bad Piggies combines the gameplay of Rovio’s Amazing Alex and Angry Birds, with the usual colorful graphics as seen in other games from the company, to make for one addictive game. The game is free to download but has some in-app purchases, which thankfully do not affect the gameplay of the user at all.

Bad Piggies is available as a free download in HD and non-HD version.


Google Stock Hits All-Time High; Nears $750

Apple was in the news last week as its shares hit an all-time high, following the launch of the iPhone 5. It’s Google’s time to celebrate this time around. Today, the company’s shares hit an all-time high of $748.90, and may go even higher as the day progresses. Its market capitalization is nearly $245 billion, the highest it has ever been, and the search giant may soon overtake Microsoft, which currently has a market cap of near $257 billion.

Google currently has a run rate of nearly $50 billion in annual revenue, based on its earnings last quarter, and its ad business is stronger than ever. The hype surrounding Facebook’s social advertising and its threat to Google has died down, and analysts seem to have renewed faith in Google’s trusty old search advertising machine which still generates tons of money.

We expect the rapid proliferation of Android in the mobile space to help Google continue its domination of the advertising space, both on desktop and on mobile. It might even hit $750 today, before trading hours end. Compare that to Facebook, which is trading near its all-time low.

Google Claims Breakthrough in Cognitive Computing, Neural Network Learns to Search for Cat Pictures

It has been over 60 years since the term AI was first coined. Since then, the elusive human brain has fascinated us with its learning capabilities. The massively parallel network of synapses and neurons is practically impossible to replicate and that is why, there is no public record of a human brain being fully replicated with its full learning capabilities. The human brain has not gotten any better at improving itself in the last 60 years either (you can blame evolution for being slow), but we have created wonders using this brain, and “computational power” is undoubtedly one of those wonders.


But, what if we can build a machine using computational power that has the same learning capabilities as that of the brain? There are a number of limitations to that, though the biggest limitation is the remarkable power efficiency of the human brain. The cue is in massive parallelism. Currently, there is a well-known project by IBM known as the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE), which aims to achieve this goal in AI with its DARPA funding and IBM expertise. However, Google just sped ahead of IBM in AI, with its research at the Google X laboratories. Google’s neural network is built out of 16,000 computer processors, and is capable of performing complex tasks. One of those complex tasks is looking for cute cat pictures on the Internet, and the impressive fact is that the network has learned to search for these pictures on its own, without it being told to do so.

Daily Tech reports this, saying,

Thanks to the wealth of cat videos on YouTube, the cyber-brain eventually came to a single dream-like image representing the network’s knowledge of what a cat looks like.  The network was able to then able to recognize its favorite thing — cat videos, no matter what subtle variations merry YouTubers come up with to their feline’s appearance.

In short, although rough, the network has successfully simulated the human visual cortex. David A. Bader, the Executive Director of High Performance Computing at Georgia Tech College of Computing claims that the visual cortex can be simulated fully within this decade.

Google Acquires Snapseed to Take on Facebook-Instagram

Google has apparently acquired Nik Software, a German software developer which created Snapseed, one of the top iOS apps of 2011 which won the iPad App of the Year award in 2011 and amassed a user base of nearly 9 million users in less than a year. Besides iOS, Snapseed is also available for Mac and Windows, and an Android app is also in the works.

Vic Gundotra who is heading Google’s social efforts, posted on Google+:

“Welcome Nik Software!

Today I’m excited to welcome +Nik Software to the Google family! We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone. Check out the examples from some of the world’s greatest photographers, and you’ll see what I mean.

This week we also hit an important milestone–over 400,000,000 people have upgraded to Google+. It was only a year ago that we opened public sign-up, and we couldn’t have imagined that so many people would join in just 12 months. While Google+ is all about creating a better experience across Google, it’s also a destination. And here too, I’m happy to report that we have just crossed 100,000,000 monthly active users on Google+ ( and mobile app).”

While Nik Software also creates a number of other popular apps, Snapseed is what drove the acquisition. With Snapseed, Google+ has a much better chance of competing with Facebook and Instagram in the mobile photo sharing space.

Google also announced that it now has more than 400 million users on Google+, with more than 100 million monthly active users.

via The Verge, Google+

Google Gets Possessive About Android, Doesn’t Want Alibaba to Steal It

In a recent blog post on the official Android blog, Google is touting the importance of compatibility in the Android platform. Android is released under the Apache Open Source License, and its source is available at Google has spent a number of years nurturing Android, and bringing it to its present state. It has successfully created an ecosystem around Android, which has changed the mobile market, made it highly competitive. Today, we see smartphones with unmatched processing powers. A huge part of this growth can be attributed to Android, and Google has a right to be protective about Android.


However, as Alibaba thought of forking Android and build a business around it in collaboration with Acer, Google got possessive about Android and threatened Acer’s position in the Open Handset Alliance. This shows how Google dominates the Android ecosystem, and what seems to be an open source mobile OS, is clearly in the possession of Google. Both Alibaba and Google are making mistakes of their own here. Alibaba does not want to accept that its mobile OS is an Android fork, and Google wants Alibaba to join the Open Handset Alliance. However, Alibaba is probably forking an open source project without giving back, and Google is threatening Acer (Alibaba’s partner) to save the Android ecosystem, especially the Open Handset Alliance, which can take a blow from this move by Alibaba. It is hard to decide who is less wrong here.

In China, Alibaba is the equivalent of Amazon and its business is about to zoom past that of Amazon and eBay. Alibaba entered a partnership with Acer for an Android device, the CloudMobile A800. This device was supposed to be powered by Aliyum OS, a fork of Android. Aliyum was developed by AliCloud, a subsidiary of Alibaba. Although Alibaba claims that Aliyum is not related to Android, Google claims that it is indeed based on Android and it has been seen that Android apps run fine on Aliyum too. Aliyum already powers two smartphones in China. Clearly, Google has a reason to be worried but the outcome of that worry should not be an anti-competitive move like this.