Is your life stuck around either Android or iOS? Don’t you want a change?
Here, Google is going to provide you that incredible chance to encounter a new experience with Fuchsia. You may wonder what Fuchsia is. It’s the newest mobile OS implemented by Google. We don’t know yet for sure, but it might be a replacement for Android down the line.
I’m pretty sure, as a tech enthusiastic, you will be curious about the technical aspects of Fuchsia.
A month ago at the annual Google I/O, Google announced a major update for their mobile operating system called Android L (most probably Google might call it Lollipop and Android 5.0 at the final release). Since 2008 Google tend to update their Android OS annually with a project in focus, in 2012 Google introduced “Project Butter” for Android Jellybean which pushed the OS to run at 60fps. In 2013 Google introduced “Project Svelte” for Android Kitkat which made the OS to run at low specs phones even with 512MB RAM. But this year Google came out with several updates at once for their latest OS Android L. Here I’m going to point out four major features in Android L, so let’s start one by one.
Google introduced Material design, it’s visual language in Android L. Material design facilitates a unified visual experience for users which lets them know how Android OS UI behaves. Google is calling this update as the biggest update ever made since 2008. Material design features a new theme, new animation capabilities, 3D views and it has real-time shadows.
ART the new runtime was introduced in Android 4.4 as an option which can be turned on and off in developer tools. However in Android L, Google replaced Dalvik with ART and sets ART as the default runtime. Comparing to the older version Dalvik, ART has many improvements. According to the Android police blog, the new runtime is 20% faster in CPU floating operations, 10% increase of speed in RAM operations, improved garbage collection and increase in battery life. Checkout the chart below.
Android L OS’s second biggest project is “Project Volta”, this project is mainly focused on battery saving. When Google was doing some testing suddenly they found out that a device needs 2 minutes of battery power to wake up a device. Ars technica did some testing on Android L’s battery life, according to them Android L is 36% more efficient than the older version Android 4.4.4.
In Android L Google did some big changes for notifications and the status bar, now you can have notifications on the lock screen and you can prioritize them too. A new notification feature called “head’s up” which Displays notifications as a floating popup so you can accept or ignore calls, see notifications while you are playing games or doing something important without leaving the current screen.
A few hours back Google made a surprise anouncement that their next Android version would be named ‘KitKat’ named after the well known nestle chocolate. Yes folks this is no joke(April fools is a good 8 months away) apparently they ditched the previously announced name Key Lime Pie as many are not familiar with it. KitKat will be Android version 4.4 and continues the line of alphabetical deserts. Not much details are given out on the new version, but we are hoping for some crunchy new features.
A new page is now available showing the journey of android through the versions. You can view it here. Shown below is an extract from it.
Also take a break and look at our previous article on the different features of Android versions.
Last week, the technology world got the first look of Apple’s upcoming OS, iOS7. In comparison to other version upgrades iO7 saw a significant change in the design and the features. The design has moved on to a flatter cleaner look courtesy of head designer Jonathon Ive. Most of the key components got a functionality revamp while some features were added on. The below infographic(by Hasan Alkhatib) gives a quick overview on the revamped components and the new ones. There were mixed opinions on the new OS, with critics hitting on the new look. What is your personal take on the new iOS7?
Research in Motion(RIM) threw the last throw of the dice by unveiling their latest Blackberry version 10 Operating System. Packed with some nifty features, it seems Blackberry has an outside shot of regaining some market share. In Sri Lanka where most corporates still use their Blackberry as their official device, this has good chance of taking off provided that devices would be available by at least mid Q2.
Blackberrry 10 will be available with the Z10 fully touch phone and the Q10 touch and keyboard phone. So if you are a fan of the Blackberry physical keyboard or a touch screen fanboy, there is phone model for you.
So lets take a look at some of those new features that make up Blackberry OS 10. Do you think with these features whether Blackberry has a chance against iOS and Android?
Blackberry Flow and Peek
Blackberry Flow is is the BB10 UI. Just as its name suggest, they have designed the UI interactions to a smooth flow. Simple swipes have been introduced which once you get a hang of, will let you easily navigate through apps and other BB10 features.
With a small swipe, BB10 will allow you to take a peek at all new notifications. From there you can go deeper into messages and get back to what you were doing in no time. For example your watching a video but want to check whether an important mail as arrived; with a matter of swipes you have checked your inbox and back to watching the video without having to move through individual applications.
The blackberry Hub will be your universal inbox. You can configure it to receive all you email, SMS, appointments Social media updates so that you have a view of all that in one place. And you can reply to any of those messages directly from the hub itself. You wont have to open multiple apps, as everything you need is in the Hub.
Blackberry Balance essentially gives you two profiles, work and personal. Through the flow UI, with a swipe you can switch between these profiles. While at work you will have the apps and shortcuts for your professional work while at home you can switch to your personal mode to have quick access to games and family photos
The new Blackberry Messenger
Two new features have been added for all you BBM fans. One is the ability to make video chats, and the other is screenshare which lets you quickly share your screen with one another. The screenshare option would be quite useful where you quickly need to show a doc to colleague or client, without sharing the document.
Camera Time shift and Story Maker
How many times have you taken multiple group photos where in each someones face is looking awkward? Well with time shift you can take multiple photos and then choose the faces that look better, enabling you to have group photos where everyone is looking good.
Using photos and videos in your phone, you can quickly create a collage video with music using Blackberry Story Maker. You can create such videos of an event, a vacation, or a wedding in order to cherish those moments a little bit more.
Now you must be wondering why it is the CDE s instead of the standard ABC s when discussing Android. This is not about the basic ABCs of Android. Rather it is about the Google Android version alphabet. We are still searching for the answer to why A and B have been missed (but we have a guess*) and you are most welcome to share any info on that.
Down below is how Google alphabetically and interestingly introduced their Android versions.
C for Cupcake
D for donut
E for Éclair
F for Froyo
G for Gingerbread
H for honeycomb
I for Ice cream sandwich
J for jelly bean
And K for Key lime pie
Now we will discuss flavor and taste of the desserts from C to J which are already served on the table while waiting to discuss about dessert K which Google is still cooking inside the oven…
Key features introduced
30 April 2009
Interactive widgets on home screen
Inclusion of copy and paste in the browser
Auto-rotation of the screen
15 September 2009
Multi-lingual speech synthesis engine
Introduction of WVGA screen resolution, and kicked off the trend of the ‘large screen’ phone.
2.0, 2.0.1, 2.1
26 October 2009
Turn by turn directions in GPS
High resolution screen with better contrast ratio
Support for HTML 5
Tighter integration of Exchange and Google services
Few months ago Firefox promised that they will make a mobile OS of their own, and two days back Firefox announced that they have released a beta version of the OS and consumers can install it as an add-on for Firefox. This Mozilla’s operating system coded named “Boot to Gecko” based on HTML5 web standards which is good news for developers. ZTE, Alcatel and some other vendors have already announced that they are already developing ARM based hardware for this OS. However, I have major doubts on how Mozilla is going to survive from the huge mobile OS war.
Even for Windows Mobile, although their developers are giving their best against Android and Apple, they can’t see any big improvements. Recently Newegg said “Windows Mobile phone sales are slow” at the same time Nokia lost $1.27 billion in last 3rd quarter and its sixth quarterly loss for them. This shows just how hard it is for a new OS to break through in to the market. However Mozilla strongly believes in success, according to “the Guardian” website, Director of Research & Development at Mozilla Corporation Andreas Gal recently said “We wanted to break out of the “silos” presented by competitors like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. We think we can change this by doing the same thing we did on the desktop,” that’s good because more competition means better products for us.
Before writing this article, I experienced the Firefox OS add-on so I can write what I personally think. The first moment I saw the OS I was like what? Is this Android? Yes it’s very similar to Android, it has a pull down notification bar where you can see your notifications and your toggle switches. If you long press the home button it will bring up the multi-task menu so you can close them by swiping up. There is no dedicated app drawer so if you swipe left you can see the app icons which already installed. Swiping right brings you the search menu and it’s bit similar to iOS search menu. I don’t think that’s a good idea for Mozilla to have similar features like iOS considering the latest legal battles. Anyway this is not the final version and who knows, the final version may be drastically different. This add-on version of Firefox OS is so sluggish, but no worries because it’s still a beta version. Firefox uses the Nokia maps for their map services. I don’t know why they chose Nokia Maps instated of Google Maps. This beta version already has a Marketplace built-in. I installed Twitter and it worked pretty nice. I hope we can see more essential apps from Mozilla when it’s available for consumers. According to Matthew Key, chair and chief executive of Telefónica Digital, the first Firefox OS based mobile devices will appear in Brazil in 1st Q2013. So next year we can see how it’s going to perform against other operating systems giants.