March 10, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat over the air update for the HTC Butterfly S is now rolling out! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 4 has been released and 2011 Xperia devices running CM10 have a mod for recording 720p30 video! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the exciting news coming out of Google including the “always listening” Google Nexus 5 proof of concept and the announcement that the wearable tech SDK will be released is two weeks! Finally, Sony added widget functionality to Firefox OS! Pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos.
Chances are that when you think of widgets, you’re thinking about Android. While our favorite little green robot didn’t exactly invent the concept, the OS sure brought it into the mainstream. As such, our home screens are riddled with widgets of every size and shape, accomplishing a variety of different tasks.
Ever since launching a Firefox OS build for the Xperia E, the company has been hard at work developing the platform and considering offering it on more devices. Now, Sony is trying to bring the world of widgets to Firefox OS.
Dubbed “gadgets,” the general concept is nearly identical to what we see in Android. But naturally, their usefulness will ultimately come down to third-party developer support.
Currently, this submissions are visible on Bugzilla (980929, 980935, and 980936) for active consideration by the community. Head over to the Sony Xperia Blog and Developer World Blog for more information.
What are your thoughts on Firefox OS? Is it more important than ever to have a viable and more open operating system now that Android is becoming increasingly closed source, or is Firefox OS not the answer? Let us know in the comments below!
[Thanks to my fellow writer Samantha for the heads up!]
December 31, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The end of 2013 is here, and it has been an exciting year in the mobile device world. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan combed through all the headlines, hardware releases, and device developments that happened this year and identified the Top Five Technology Trends for 2013.
Everything from expanded mobile OS offerings to great independant mobile device choices, the rapid expansion of wearable technology and Google Glass, and much more. So take a moment to check out today’s video and see the top 5 trends in the mobile industry this year. Let us know if we got it right or why we are dead wrong in the comments below!
We have already talked about the future of Ubuntu, as presented by Jono Bacon and Michael Hall from XDA:DevCon 2013. However, Ubuntu isn’t the only startup mobile operating system that was discussed at XDA:DevCon 2013. There is a scrappy competitor that told their story and plan.
The presentation was given by Director of Websites and Developer Engagement at Mozilla, Stormy Peters. Stormy is known for educating companies and communities on how the web and open source software is changing the software industry. In her presentation “Bringing the World’s Next 2 Billion People Online,” Stormy talks about the developing world’s path to the Internet being different than those of the first world. The first world took a path through desktop computer to Internet-enabled mobile devices. Developing countries are going straight to mobile. Developing countries have limited infrastructure and expendable income, as well.
So rather than take on the Google giant of Android, Mozilla is focusing on creating an open source mobile operating system that can work well on devices without constant Internet connections and large piles of cash. Firefox OS is poised to be a big hit in the developing countries. Check out this video to find out what developers can do to ride this wave.
If you want to see more visit the XDA:DevCon Presentations page.
May 10, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
CyanogenMod 10.1.0 RC1 has been released for various devices. That story and more are covered by Kevin, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the Windows Phone 7.8 updater tool Sharp7Eighter and FireFox OS making an appearance on the juggernaut device, the HTC HD2.
Kevin talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Steve talked about unlocking the bootlader of the new HTC One, Kevin talked about spring cleaning for your Android and TK released an Android App review of Pocket Converter. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
If I asked you to guess which device had just received yet another OS to add to its collection (and what a collection it is), what would you say? Okay, forget that the title gave it away, you’d have known which device I was talking about.
The HTC HD2, not that it needs any introduction whatsoever, is an unstoppable monster of a device that has been a favorite with users and developers alike for over three and a half years now. As if that weren’t incredible enough, those users and developers are spread across 3 major platforms, not to mention the numerous other operating systems which can be used on the device. XDA Senior Member feherneoh however has decided that it’s time to add another one to the list.
Ferherneoh has successfully ported Mozilla’s open source operating FireFox OS, or Boot2Gecko as it’s sometimes labelled, to the HD2. And despite being a very alpha work in progress, it shows a lot of promise. Despite being able to easily handle more advanced platforms such as the latest versions of Windows Phone and Android, FireFox OS could be a very nice fit for a device like the HD2 if it becomes stable enough for daily use.
Looking at the list of what does and doesn’t work initially sets off quite a few alarm bells. Things like the SIM card not being detected and the camera not working are usually enough to keep people from downloading. However, reading through the thread itself suggests these issues may be closer to resolution than the OP suggests, as users are reporting the ability to make calls and some level of (admittedly intermittent) camera functionality. Bugs or not, this is still another jewel in the crown of what is, in my opinion, the single greatest smartphone of all time.
Be sure to check out the original thread for more information on throwing yet another OS at your HD2.
[Thanks to poyensa for the tip.]
April 12, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
HTC has released the source code for the HTC One and updated source for the Droid DNA. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is a discussion of the Firefox OS Port for the HTC Explorer and a bunch of forum additions.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Steve had a cross-platform Instagram App Shootout and XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin gave us a demonstration of Dashclock. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
March 8, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The White House replies to the SIM-unlocking petition, and they agree! That story and more are covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Jordan talks about Sony Mobile releasing a develop build of Firefox OS and Jordan mentions his video of Boot2Gecko. Jordan talks about the mods collection for the Xperia P, U, Go and Sola.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer and newcomer Steve gives a Windows Phone App Review of CloudMuzik, Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler released a video on GPIO and the Raspberry Pi, and XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Android app review of Carbon. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Unless you have been living under a rock (or at the very least away from access to XDA), you will have likely noticed that a somewhat unlikely company has become developer’s best friend. Sony’s mobile division has gone through massive changes in terms of ideology and support of developers and the mobile scene. Said support ended up earning them the OEM of the Year “award” (essentially consisting of bragging rights for an entire year) due to their continued investment in the community with time and resources from their engineering teams. On top of that, they are trying to abide by the law of the land, also known as GPLv2, by releasing kernel sources in a very, very timely fashion. However, their love for what they do seems to not stop where Android ends. Much like Samsung/Intel has done with Tizen OS, the Japanese manufacturer is exploring other venues to further the evolution of mobile platforms. The most recent development, announced at a press conference, introduced the new project that they are working on together with the telecom giant, Telefonica: Firefox OS.
We have briefly covered this new OS a few times in the past. The first indications and projects on this came from the Boot2Gecko project (which is the code name for FFOS), in which ports of this OS were/are being done for several Android devices. The OS itself, in case you are not familiar, is a web-based OS that mainly uses open web standards for all of its application and overall ecosystem (somewhat similar to Chrome OS). The main appeal of this is that it is not restricted by proprietary hardware or even by specific coding languages, thanks to a wide array of APIs for developers to bring their applications. The OS structure essentially consists of 3 parts: Gonk (middle-ware including HAL, libraries, and the Linux kernel), the Gecko runtime layer for running and managing code, and Gaia, which is your UI/desktop/user environment. Seeing the growing success of Chrome OS and web/cloud based technologies as a whole, taking a crack at this is a rather obvious choice.
Sony decided to start off small and has provided a free, easy to set up, developer version of this OS to current Xperia E owners. This is but a preview, alpha version of the OS. As such, quite a few things may/will be broken. In other words, if you are going in on this thinking of making it your daily use OS, you may want to rethink things. Having said that, if you are a developer trying to get a glimpse of what Sony and Mozilla have in store for the near future, you should definitely check it out. The announcement has all necessary instructions and requirements to install this on the Xperia E, and who knows? Maybe with enough tweaks, blood, sweat, and tears, it could end up getting ported to newer Xperias as well. Only time will tell at this point.
Good move Sony, good move.
You can find more information in the original article.
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[Thanks to OEM Relations Manager jerdog for the tip!]
Recently, we created two new forums for your browsing pleasure. The first is for a phone that we recently examined during our time at CES, the Sony Xperia Z. The second isn’t for a physical device, but rather for Mozilla’s Firefox OS.
The Xperia Z is Sony’s flagship device for early 2013. The device is dominated by a 5″ 1080p display, featuring an incredibly high pixel density of 441 ppi. In order to power such a screen, the device features a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, backed by the speedy Adreno 320 GPU. The Xperia Z also features 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot capable of taking up to 32 GB cards. The svelte 7.9 mm device not only packs high end specs, but is also water- and dust-resistant. Boasting IP55 and IP57 water resistance ratings, Sony claims that it’s able to withstand shallow submersion for up to 30 minutes.
Next up is Firefox OS. Mozilla’s offering to the mobile OS landscape has been seen running on several devices under its previous alias, including the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Defy. Last year, however, we saw Firefox OS emerge as the continuation of Boot to Gecko. Needless to say, having another Open Source offering to choose between and develop for won’t be a bad thing. And now that the first Firefox OS developer phones have been revealed, perhaps this may come into fruition sooner rather than later. However, one has to wonder if this will actually gain traction, given the current state of two-party dominance and the difficulties faced by later entrants. Plus, let’s not forget about Ubuntu for Phones!
Those looking to join the discussion can do so by visiting the links below: