Android is perhaps the hottest mobile OS on the planet right now, and much of its success can attributed to rabid demand in North America. According to AdMob's April Mobile Metrics Report, 75 percent of all Android devices reside stateside, followed by Asia at a distant second with 12 percent.
Despite Android's rapid rise, however, Apple's iPhone still claims the lion's share of the mobile device market, both in the U.S. and overseas. There are 8.7 million Android devices in the U.S. compared with 10.7 million iPhones. Globally, there are 11.6 million Android devices scattered all over the planet, compared to 27.4 million iPhones.
Both mobile platforms have shown strong growth around the world, and while the iPhone still dominates, Google's Android platform does claim a few territories. This was the case in China in April, where the HTC Hero, HTC Magic, and HTC Dream helped Android owners outnumber iPhone owners.
Following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, some analysts have heralded Oracle as the biggest and baddest open source vendor on the block, but not everyone is buying it. Some, like Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies at Red Hat, don't even consider Oracle to be an open source company at this point, let alone the largest one.
"I wouldn't even consider calling them an open source company at all," Cormier said. "When you're making a choice as a company on what's open and what's closed then your customers suffer."
Cormier went on to accuse Sun of sometimes holding back "the good stuff" from the open source community in developing MySQL, claiming that "open is not just seeing the code. Open is also having a community of developer. OpenSolaris is not open. There is no community other than Sun people developing Solaris."
Cormier did admit that there are some parts of Oracle he would consider open, but nothing that approaches the level of openness at Red Hat.
It was one year ago that we got our first look at Google Wave. When it launched in preview it was only available by invitation. Now Google has announced that anyone at all can wander over to Wave, and get started without being invited first. Google detailed a variety of ways the public has used Google Wave in order to inspire new users. For example, Mashable's use of Wave to conduct interviews. A few educationalprojects were highlighted as well.
Showing that they are acutely aware of the state Wave was in when it launched, Google took pains to encourage disappointed users to give it another shot. According to Google, Wave is much faster and more stable than it was just a short time ago. In our experience, Google has fixed some of the major annoyances, like being unable to remove someone from a Wave. Developers will be happy to know Google has also open sourced some additional Wave components, and also released some new APIs.
Have you been using Wave all this time, or did you forget all about it? Let us know what you think of Wave now that it's freely accessible.
There are a ton of apps out there that you can use to automate something you do on your PC. I mean, that's the central conceit of software development as a whole, correct? To somehow ease the time burden it takes one to do a particular task in what would otherwise be a manual, labor-intensive process?
Well, when a number of new apps each seek to automate some facet of your everyday computing life, it should come as little surprise that I'm going to cover them. However, I've also hand-selected a few interesting little freeware and open-source tools that are a bit more esoteric in their operations than what you might typically think of when you ponder the word, "automation."
Case in point: Want to find a way to find and delete all the credit card information you've accidentally left open on your system? Or would you like a method for discovering duplicate images on your system so you can nix unwanted (and space-consuming) shots you don't actually want to keep around?
These are but a few of the situations I'll be tackling in this week's Freeware Files. Click the jump and let's get started!
I'm often surprised by what people find popular in the world of freeware and open-source applications, let alone Web apps. It's tough to use the comments on Maximum PC's website as an official barometer, as they don't take page views, click-throughs, or raw downloads of whatever apps I/we recommend into account. Nevertheless, judging by the wrath, boundless joy, and heavy presence of spam-filter-nose-thumbing-signatures attached to the various weekly software articles, I can sometimes get a general vibe for what's appreciated... and what's not.
But I'm not about to dedicate the next 700 words or toward tooting my own horn--not unless there's an app for that. I do find it interesting, and a little bit funny, that a relatively innocuous application like last week's "Instant Elevator Music" received such an exuberant amount of interest via the blog comments. Of course, that's after weeks can go by with nothing but tumbleweeds greeting other applications that, honestly, I find much more useful.
Oh woe are we, for yet another freeware application has grown its wings and left the nest of awesome, available software that we can all install on our desktop and laptop systems ad infinitum. In case you haven't heard, Google has picked up BumpTop--technically, Bump Technologies--leaving fans of three-dimensional displays but a scant week or so to download the company's freeware app before it all goes away.
Of course, BumpTop isn't gone for good--it remains to be seen just how Google plans to integrate its multitouch-friendly, three-dimensional desktop transformations into the company's own services. Rest assured that you'll likely see some incarnation of BumpTop emerge in the future. But whether it's coming back as a standalone download or as a part of a brand-new device is anyone's guess.
However, that doesn't mean that you're left with no way to break your two-dimensional desktop out of its existing constraints. I'm taking a look at five different 3D transformation tools in this week's Freeware Files. Don't let the (brief?) demise of BumpTop be the end of your experimentation with three-dimensional system desktops!
Some of my favorite kinds of freeware apps to find (and install) are the ones that build new functionality into the Windows operating system. I'm running Windows 7 right now, but even this latest version of Microsoft's OS has substantial room for third-party improvements.
It's not difficult to find free or open-source apps to boost the common interactions one has with one's operating system. The tough part is in the classification: I'm really not sure how to best lump this week's applications together, save for the fact that they're all awesome ways to enhance Windows with new and useful features. And I'm not talking about super-complex, command-line scripts or what-have-you. No, these apps are all super-easy to use-if you even see them at all, given that most will modify some form of your Windows OS without needing any further interaction past the installation screen.
Anyway, if you can think of a better way to classify this week's Freeware Files other than, "Apps that Make Windows Rock," I'm all ears. Otherwise, click the jump and get ready to take your operating system to new places!
It's hard to deny the power of Google Docs, especially if you don't have the cash (or the wherewithal) to shell out for Microsoft Office. Sure, you could grab OpenOffice.org, but you would trade away the ability to edit your documents from any Internet-equipped location-one of Google Doc's important, Cloud-based features... as well as its ability to allow multiple users to simultaneously edit a document. You just can't get this kind of stuff in an offline word processor!
Of course, that's not to say that you can't use Google Docs offline. Nor are applications like Microsoft Word completely removed from the Internet-there's Microsoft Office Live for that, if you're so inclined.
Anyway, the point of this Freeware Files is not to confuse you in feature-lists or semantics. I'm here to show you just how easy it is to set up your system to use both offline and online word processing tools. Provided you're ready to jump into the wide world of Google Docs, all of the freeware and open-source applications listed below will do much to help integrate online editing and storage into your traditional offline type-type-typing.
Don't be surprised if the next version of Drupal runs slower than what you're used to, that's by design. According to Drupal project founder Dries Buytaert, Drupal 7 will sacarifice a bit of speed in order to build on scalability.
"Unfortunately, Drupal 7 will be a little slower than Drupal 6, but it will be much more scalable," said Dries Buytaert.
While it will run slower out of the box, the open source CMS will be able to power bigger sites, Buytaert added. Version 7 will feature 70 modules, including an image API, and significantly more code. But despite all that's being added, Drupal 7 won't spend years in development.
"First of all, it's very important that we get it out as soon as possible," Buytaert said when stressing the importance of maintaining momentum.
Drupal, which began life without a "grand vision," has become a prominent fixture in website design and is used by a number of big name sites, including NASA, Ubuntu, Popular Science, WhiteHourse.gov, and right here at MaximumPC.com, among others.
Desktop virtualization specialist Citrix last week announced the release of Xen 4.0, the company's open source hypervisor software.
"The explosion of cloud computing in the industry and increasing demands from enterprise customers are the driving force behind the continued technology advancement of the Xen community. The Xen hypervisor already powers most of the world’s largest clouds and our customer base expects the Xen community to set the pace in virtualization infrastructure. Xen 4.0 delivers on these expectations," said Ian Pratt, found and chairman of Xen.org.
Citrix says more than 50 technology vendors, universities, and virtualization experts collaborated on Xen 4.0. The latest release purports to bring "substantial performance and scalability gains," tons of memory and security optimizations, and improvements to ease of management.