Operating Systems

Windows Phone Gets Mango-ed

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Microsoft unveils its long awaited Windows Phone update, "Mango"-- promising "hundreds" of new features and improvements. 

MangoThe update should allow for simpler communications, as it now unites MSN Messenger chats, SMS and Facebook messaging under conversation threads. It will also have a contact group system, with the ability to send emails or SMS to entire groups. 

Twitter and LinkedIn feeds now get integration into contact cards, together with Facebook's check-in system.

Internet Explorer 9 is now Windows Phone's browser of choice, complete with HTML5 support, hardware acceleration and further Bing integration. 

Meanwhile the Windows Phone app store should be receiving a revamp, alongside other general tweaks and fixes. 

Mango should appear on the future's Microsoft-powered Nokia phones, as well as devices from new partners Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE (joining HTC, Samsung and LG). 

Go Microsoft Officially Unveils Mango

A Peak into Android's Sweet Future

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Google announces Android version 3.1 at its I/O conference-- alongside a look at the OS' future, Ice Cream Sandwich.

ice cream sandwichAndroid 3.1 will be tablet only, and will have a number of tweaks to Honeycomb's interface, as well as allowing Android devices to act as USB host-- or, in other words, allowing users to plug in USB input devices (keyboards, mice, game controllers) for use with Android tablets.

It will also support Google's Music Locker service, as well as movie rentals via Android Market.

The big announcement is Ice Cream Sandwich, Android's next iteration-- one to unite mobile phones and tablets under a single OS. Rolling out late 2011, few details are actually out. Mobiles will get Honeycomb's "holographic" UI, launcher and widgets through an applications framwork allowing for scaling between different device form factors.

Meanwhile Google has other plans for Android-- such as Android @ Home, its home automation framework, and the Android Open Accessory standard.

Go Android 3.1 Highlights

Go Android: Momentum, Mobile and More at Google I/O

LG to MeeGo?

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MeeGo LGAs Nokia steps away from Intel's MeeGo project, other handset makers are set to fill in its shoes-- including LG. 

Reuters reports LG's joining a working group including the likes of ZTE and China Mobile. Its task? Developing a handset version of the OS. 

Nokia was supposed to roll out MeeGo-based devices by this year, but is currently concentrating on Windows Phone instead, following its partnership with MS. 

Will MeeGo have any chance in an already overcrowded smartphone market? One will have to wait later this year,  when actual MeeGo devices-- possibly from LG-- should hit the market. 

Go MeeGo Sees Interests from Others After Nokia Shift

Google Gelato?

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Will Google merge its smartphone (Gingerbread) and tablet (Honeycomb) OS codebases with Google TV's, creating its next mobile OS iteration named after a sweet summery treat? That's what the rumour mill is saying, according to various sites' "reliable" tipsters. 

Google SundaeFinal confirmation of such rumours shouldn't be too far away, either-- supposedly at Google I/O developers conference on May 10th/11th. 

Throwing more oil (or maybe sugar?) into the rumour fire is Google's recent decision to turn its "Google Doodle" into, well, ice cream on April 3rd. The company says it was only to mark the 119th anniversary of the ice cream sundae's invention. Others insist of its being confirmation of Ice Cream OS' invention. 

Either way, confirmation-- or lack thereof-- will come on May. Ice cream season will be closer by that time, if anything. 

Go Google TV to Become Part of Android Code Branch?

WebOS Goes Tablet-- but is it Enough?

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HP introduces its strategy for WebOS-- optimising the OS for tablets, just alongside the revealing of its TouchPad tablet.

HP TouchpadThe TouchPad (to be available in summer 2011) carries a 9.7" touchscreen and a Snapdragon dual-core CPU. It also features connectivity with other WebOS devices, such as the Veer and Pre3.

The new WebOS framework (called Enyo), is also sounding interesting. Relying on web-based technologies, HP says it allows for new WebOS apps to automatically stretch between different screen resolutions without any issues.

New WebOS apps can also run in a PC browser-- without an emulator or OS install.

Also showing at Mobile World Congress is a new version of HP's App Catalog-- also tablet friendly, with a magazine-style interface and streamlined payment options.

HP's vision for its WebOS ecosystem does sound impressive on paper, even if noone's got their hands on the actual TouchPad tablet yet (outside of HP itself). But will it be enough to rival Android 3.0 and RIM's Playbook? WebOS does appear to offer a fluid user experience for customers, alongside real-time cloud syncing across devices, but a lot remains unknown. Meanwhile, the Touchpad's specifications impress, but only just.

Ultimately it an increasingly saturated tablet market-- with Google, RIM, and now HP all wanting a slice of Apple's pie (and who knows what Apple will have up its iSleeve?), the tablet war will be fought over more than simply hardware specs.

Go HP TouchPad