It’s been a busy month for three of our favorite mobile platforms. Microsoft launched “Mango” in late September, Apple released iOS 5 on October 12, and Google announced the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich on October 19 (the evening of the 18th in the US). Each update offers significant improvements in features and/or UI, but keeping track of all those new goodies can be an arduous task. We’ll give you a look at what’s new on these platforms, as well as some idea of how or if you can get them on your device.
"Now it's no longer just about the desktop but really a broader vision.” This remark was part of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s CES 2009 keynote address, in which he talked about the impending transformation of Windows into “an experience that spans the PC, the phone, the TV and the cloud." Fast forward to the present and Canonical is ready with a similar strategy for Ubuntu.
As we reported earlier today, Asus is said to have dramatically cut down its ultrabook sales target for 2011 due to lackluster initial sales. If true, this doesn’t augur too well for Intel and its costly ultrabook initiative, which has been conceived as an answer to both the MacBook Air and iPad (and other tablets). As for Asus, it’s pretty simple: if you can't beat them, join them. To this end, Asus is said to be readying a strong lineup of tablets.
We do our best to report the truth here at Maximum PC, but sometimes companies just don’t make it easy. First Microsoft tells us the Zune is dead, then alive, then dead. Then HP tells us WebOS is dead, then alive, but just between us, we still think its dead. We fully admit that on Friday we wrote a piece informing everyone that WebOS development at HP was not long for this world, along with dozens of other mainstream news outlets, however HP’s Vice President Todd Bradley has gone on the record to label this an “unfounded rumor”.
As an addendum to yesterday’s revelation that HP was staying in the PC business, it sounds like webOS is on its way to an early grave. We don’t mean that the HP is going to spin it off, or re-purpose the platform for something else, we mean kill it dead and shed 500 jobs in the process. The Guardian claims to have the inside story, and the decision has already been made.
Intel hopes to stop the tablet wave dead in its tracks with its ultrabooks, a new breed of ultra-thin and -light notebooks starting at around $1,000. While most PC vendors are finding it difficult to meet the current price requirement for ultrabooks, Intel wants them to move to an even more competitive pricing model in the future.
As if Apple’s ridiculous tablet design patent didn’t hold enough ominous tidings for the mobile tech industry, the US Patent and Trademark Office just awarded the company another ludicrous claim: that's right, “slide to unlock” is officially an Apple patent. That means all the non-Apple phones and tablets that use the omnipresent unlocking maneuver are possibly infringing on Apple’s intellectual property – which could lead to complex legal battles that tie up competitors’ products, as Apple has done with the Galaxy Tab in Australia.
HP seems to be rethinking its plans to get out of the consumer business with new CEO Meg Whitman at the helm. According to HP itself, it has been testing the Windows 8 developer release on the defunct HP TouchPad. This is just being done as a proof-of-concept right now, but there have even been talks of reviving the device as a Windows 8 slate.
The bane of every Android user’s existence is the update cycle. Just because Google has updated the platform doesn’t mean that every device maker will be able to get an update to every phone in short order; or at all. That’s why Motorola’s new statement via Twitter is so surprising. In a series of Tweets, the OEM has confirmed that 6 weeks after the code is available, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be in the hands of some Moto users.
After cannibalizing netbook sales for well over a year, media tablets are said to have finally leapfrogged their prey in terms of shipments. According to ABI Research, tablet shipments in 2Q11 numbered 13.6 million units compared to just 7.3 million netbooks. Hit the jump for more.