Topic: Operating systems

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    BlackBerry to Provide Operating System for Delphi Autonomous Driving System (Sep 20, 2017)

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    Bloomberg Reports More Details on Forthcoming iPhone User Interface (Aug 30, 2017)

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    ★ Google Previews ARCore, Its Response to Apple’s ARKit for Android Phones (Aug 29, 2017)

    Google today announced ARCore, an equivalent to Apple’s ARKit tools for developers to create AR experiences on Android phones. Importantly, it’s not tied to the latest version of the Android operating system but rather is being implemented on a device-by-device basis, with Google’s own Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 the first devices to support it, with the latter running Nougat rather than Oreo. There are two ways to look at this announcement, given the timing: on the one hand, it looks like a response to ARKit and the massive positive buzz that’s received since it was announced in June; on the other, it’s a natural outgrowth of the work Google’s done with its much higher end Tango AR framework in the last few years, and that’s certainly how Google’s pitching it. I think the reality given the speed with which this has been released is that this was something Google was working on pre-ARKit but has accelerated in light of the ARKit launch.

    Its blog post headline is “Augmented reality at Android scale” and you can read that one of two ways: on the one hand, as a counterpoint to ARKit, which runs at the somewhat smaller iOS scale, but on the other as an acknowledgement that – interesting though Tango is as a platform – it was never going to achieve true Android scale. The rollout plans here are a little vague – Google hopes its “preview” of ARCore will hit 100 million devices sometime this winter, which is likely a fraction of the iOS devices that will support ARKit by that time, but there’s potential for broad rollout of this platform to most recent premium Android devices over the next couple of years. That’s likely short of true Android scale (2 billion plus phones) but would likely hit the devices where it’s most relevant, which are those that compete more directly with the iPhone, though Apple will enjoy a year or two of significantly greater adoption before Android starts to catch up.

    At this point, it’s hard to see Tango as anything other than a time-consuming and expensive failure in its own right, but it’s clearly allowed Google to learn a lot which can now be applied to ARCore and therefore be much more useful and widely available. Between Apple and Google’s launches, it’s clearer than ever that smartphone AR will be by far the largest chunk of the overall AR/VR spectrum, and we should see some really interesting implementations over the next few months.

    via Google

    Google Starts Branding Google-Fork Android Devices as Certified (Aug 28, 2017)

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    BlackBerry Says It’s Close to Licensing Secure Android Version to Phone Makers (Aug 24, 2017)

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    Google Releases Android Oreo, Which Will Take Over a Year for Meaningful Use (Aug 21, 2017)

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    Microsoft’s Windows 10 Starting to Reach End of Support on Some PCs (Jul 17, 2017)

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    Microsoft Begins Bundling Windows and Office for Businesses (Jul 10, 2017)

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    Windows 10 S is Not as Secure as Microsoft Says Because of Word Vulnerabilities (Jun 23, 2017)

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    Intel Fires Warning Shot over x86 Emulation as Microsoft Preps Windows on ARM (Jun 9, 2017)

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    BlackBerry Debuts New QNX Version Which Partitions Critical and Other Car Systems (Jun 7, 2017)

    BlackBerry’s QNX division already makes the operating systems that power many cars today, and it’s just announced a new version of its OS for cars titled QNX Hypervisor 2.0. The key selling point of the new version is that it better partitions the safety-critical and non-safety-critical elements of the OS and the services they support in order to both prevent localized glitches from crippling the whole car and also insulate safety-critical functions from hacks that penetrate, say, the infotainment system. The implication of both of those, of course, is that there could be glitches or hacks that would penetrate certain systems, which seems a realistic if not a heartening concession. But as Android and other operating systems make their way into cars, being able to separate functions relating to driving tasks from those that merely deal with infotainment and other elements of the in-car experience is going to be increasingly important, and BlackBerry/QNX is emphasizing that element. I also wonder if it means QNX will be more able to operate as part of a hybrid operating system environment within cars, where infotainment features might be powered by the new version of Android for center consoles while driving features are still powered by QNX.

    via Axios

    ★ Apple Tweaks its iPad Pro Line and Further Optimizes iOS for iPad and AR (Jun 5, 2017)

    Apple today upgraded its iPad Pro lineup and announced a new version of iOS with big changes for the iPad as well as support for AR. The major theme in both the hardware and software aspects of the iPad announcements was productivity, where Apple continues to push the iPad Pro as a potential laptop replacement. The hardware changes improve performance across the board while specifically tweaking the ratio between screen and device size for the smaller iPad Pro in a change that likely foreshadows what Apple will do in a more dramatic way in the Fall with the iPhone. Just as the Mac lineup became more powerful with today’s announcements, so the iPad is becoming more powerful as a potential computer replacement, and the iOS changes specific to the iPad further that message, with support for a much wider range of multitasking scenarios and other more sophisticated features. For the first time, the iPad version of iOS feels like it’s gaining a truly distinct identity that’s really optimized for heavy-duty productivity tasks, and it will be interesting to see how the OS feels on the iPads not designed for pro use, because a number of user interface elements and conventions will change as a result. However, the other big change in today’s iOS announcements is support for AR through ARKit for developers, which is Apple’s first foray into AR. Notably, whereas the VR support in the Mac is primarily aimed for today at creation of VR content, Apple’s AR push is much more end-user centric, and will enable developers to quickly and easily create a range of AR apps and games for the iPhone and iPad. Whereas smartphone-centric AR today is very photo- and video-centric and dominated by companies like Snapchat and more recently Facebook, Apple’s platform approach could dramatically expand the use of AR in smartphone apps and move smartphone-based AR forward significantly in terms of mainstream adoption.

    via Apple (iOS) and Apple (iPad Pro)

    ★ Apple Updates Mac and macOS with Creatives and VR in Mind (Jun 5, 2017)

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    ★ Microsoft Announces New Surface Pro, Custom Windows 10 for Chinese Government (May 23, 2017)

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    Amazon Fire TVs Announced by Westinghouse at CES Go on Sale (May 16, 2017)

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    Google Announces Android Infotainment OS Deals With Audi and Volvo (May 15, 2017)

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    Google Announces Modular Android Base to Simplify OEM Upgrades (May 12, 2017)

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    Microsoft Announces Details Around Windows 10 on ARM (May 12, 2017)

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    ★ Microsoft Makes Windows- and Device-Centric Announcements at Build (May 11, 2017)

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    ★ Microsoft Introduces Windows 10 S, a Streamlined (and “Soulful”) Version of Windows (May 2, 2017)

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