Tuesday, 31 January 2012

HP launches Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition and Mini 210 with Beats Audio


HP has expanded its ultraportable consumer notebook PC portfolio with two new products – the dm4 and the Mini 210. The HP Pavilion dm4, includes the latest Intel Core processors, Beats Audio and a 14-inch (35.56 cm) diagonal high-definition LED display. They also come with the Beats Audio headphones. 
Looks good, doesn't it?
Looks good, doesn't it?


Speaking at the launch, Mr. Vinay Awasthi, Senior Director, Products & Marketing, HP PSG India mentioned that,  “As the Indian PC market moves towards mobile computing, our new range of consumer notebooks, are designed to enhance the computing capability of the youth in the country, while maintaining a high standard of user experience. These notebooks are a perfect blend of mobility, entertainment and high performance, a must have for those on the move. We are particularly excited about the exclusive HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition and the redesigned HP Mini 210 with Beats AudioTM, as they effortlessly combine music and technology.”

The dm4 weighs approximately 2 kilos and offers up to seven hours of battery life and comes with an optional AMD Radeon HD dedicated graphics card. It is available in a brushed aluminium dark umber finish and includes optional Intel Smart Response Technology, providing relatively faster boot times and application loads.
Laptop on the go
Laptop on the go


The dm4 comes with two subwoofers and Beats Audio and aims to give a better audio experience on a notebook PC. The notebook also includes some new features such as HP TrueVision HD webcam for cleaner images in high-definition, HP CoolSense for a noticeably cooler notebook, and HP SimplePass with fingerprint reader for storing passwords in one place.

The second one, the HP Mini 210 has been redesigned and comes with Beats Audio as well. It weighs under 1.4 kilos and according to HP, delivers up to 9.5 hours of computing power. The new Mini 210 is available in three colours - charcoal, crimson red and ocean drive.

The HP Pavilion dm4 is available at a price of around Rs. 51,990. The HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition is available at a starting price of around Rs. 54,990. The HP Mini 210 is available at a price of around Rs.19, 990.

Nepal takes a liking to UbiSlate 7+, books 20,000 units


Today is the last day of the ongoing, 6-day long, CAN Info-Tech 2012 Conference in Nepal, and among the many things, the visitors seem to have taken a liking to India's very own, Aakash tablet. The conference that started off on January 26, 2012, is the country's biggest technology exhibition, according to Hindustan Times and has been seeing a heavy inflow of visitors, who have been heading towards the stall B22 to see the low-cost tablet for themselves. An updated version of the Aakash tablet put on display at the conference, seemingly impressed them; so much so that reports have it that bookings for as many as 20,000 units of the UbiSlate 7+ tablet have been made, already. Clearly impressed, reports suggest that the tablet has managed to hit off very well with the masses, there. The tablet,  in Nepal is being priced at NRs 6,000, which translates to approximately Rs.3,750.
cover
Creating a stir everywhere


In a quote carried by this report, Vivek Khetan of Gizmos Nepal, the sole distributors for Nepal, stated that, "We had a purchase order of around 10,000 units. But bookings at the exhibition and online have been over double that figure." Khetan further added that unlike in India, where the tablet has a niche buying section - students, professionals; the UbiSlate 7+ has found love from all quarters in Nepal, even in rural areas. Interestingly, a restaurant chain in Nepal have booked 1000 units of the UbiSlate 7+ tablet, further testifying just how popular this tablet now is. Reportedly, the better, upgraded version of the tablet, which features a better processor, a bigger battery, a newer version of Android, GPRS, Wi-Fi, HD video and over 1,50,000 applications, will cost Rs.750 more in Nepal. 

News back home reveals that an upgraded Aakash, i.e. Aakash 2 is expected to reach college students, next month. Interestingly, while students will be able to enjoy the benefits of an upgraded device, they wouldn't have to pay anything extra. 

Play Snake, in true Nokia style, on your Windows Phone


Most of us started out on mobile technology with Nokia phones and aside from calling and texting, a major pass time was playing snake. Monochromatic and using buttons for directions (you know, before the touchscreen phase), we spent hours feeding a snake while trying to prevent it from eating itself. Willem Middelkoop, a developer, has attempted recreating the entire experience on Windows Phones, complete with pressing buttons and the monochrome gameplay. The app essentially turns your Windows Phone into a mid 90s Nokia handset, complete with green and black screen and large buttons for numbers. The idea is to create the experience and make it as authentic as possible for good old fashioned nostalgic value. Check out the video below to see what we're talking about.

 

What, of course, makes this experience worth for Windows Phone users is the fact that Nokia's new handsets, the Lumia series run on Windows Phone. According to Slash Gear, Nokia tried to release a modern day version of Snake on the N-Gage phone. Neither the phone, nor the game did too well. Nokia also released a version of Snake this past Christmas for Facebook users. The game was modernized as well with the snake appearing in multiple colours and chasing Christmas presents instead of rodents. What will set the app off from playing Snake on other platforms is the sheer nostalgia factor. Recreating the original game on a modern phone will work in favour of the game.

For those of you wondering what the history of Snake is, the game didn't start out as a Nokia game. Instead, it was a very old computer game existing when your mobile phone wouldn't have fit into your pocket or purse. Would you play retro Snake on your Lumia phone? Would you want to play the game on your iOS or Android device as well? Let us know in the comments section below.

TRAI reveals MNP's a hit; 29 million requests processed, already


The Telecom Regulatory Association of India (TRAI) made some official data figures public, yesterday, a part of which mapped the route of MNP in India. Flagged off amidst much fanfare, Mobile Number Portability is one of the newest and fastest emerging trends in the telecommunications market, today. If the figures revealed in the report are anything to go by, then by the end of December 2011, India saw a massive increase in the number of subscribers who opted in for MNP services, almost 292.4 lakh (29 million) subscribers availed the MNP scheme further cementing the claim. The report maps the rate of adoption across the country, while revealing the number of subscribers opting for the service, state wise under Zone-1 and Zone-2. 

The report further revealed that while the concept has earned decent success throughout the country, in Karnataka and Gujarat the progress is rather impressive. Karnataka saw as many as 28,33,390 MNP requests through the year, while Gujarat saw 27,68,659 subscribers opt for MNP. The report further revealed that in December 2011 alone, as many as 34.03 lakh subscribers opted to go in for MNP. The chart below shows exactly how MNP has been faring.

The service allowed users to avail the best possible offers, schemes available in the market, while still retaining their old number. The fact that it gave complete freedom to the user, who earlier had no choice, but to stick to the less than satisfactory, sometimes disappointing services provided by their current service provider, for the fear of having to forego their old number, made it click. However, the adoption of the service has been far from easy. Even as the government tried to encourage users to opt-in for MNP, if they were unhappy with their current service provider, instances of telcos not being as encouraging began cropping up. Major mobile service providers operating in the India, like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Loop, Reliance were accused of violating MNP guidelines, forcing TRAI to take up the matter. 

Chandigarh to turn into a solar city


With a view to turn Chandigarh into a solar city, the UT administration has now decided to set up a solar cell that will offer consultancy to departments to add features that will help tap solar energy in the upcoming buildings. This cell has been created for development of renewable energy and energy conservation programs. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has drafted an action plan for transforming Chandigarh into a solar city. The project is said to be funded by the Government of India (GoI). It will also receive a similar grant from the administration or Chandigarh municipal corporation. The report submitted by TERI points out energy efficiency measures of upto 20 percent for residential as well as commercial sectors.
Solar city...
Solar city...(Image Credit: Getty Images)


With the success of this project, Chandigarh will derive considerable amount of energy through renewable resources and also implement other energy efficient measures. The report also recommends setting up a grid-based 25 Mega Watts solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in segment model and put up panels in 12 gardens in the city. So, the solar energy will be generated by setting up panels in the gardens and then uploading power to the main grid.


Reportedly, Chandigarh has an increased consumption of electricity and solar-based electricity can then be put in place. Reportedly, there’s well-knit set up of wires across the city and does not require parallel network for solar energy. Street lights, indoor lights or portable lighting systems called solar lanterns will be put up across the city as a renewable and pollution free resource, under the solar photovoltaic energy program. Solar photovoltaic technology helps convert solar energy into electricity and the installation is said to be less time consuming. As per reports, a government agency based in Chennai plans to set up a solar atlas of India that would help speedy development of solar power projects.

JBL Cinestyle 30 Review


The era of high performance, high fidelity audio systems for the Indian market is here. There’s quite literally no shortage of brands and models. Sure, there’s a price to pay, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. With everything from floor standers to monitor speakers available, there’s no shortage of variety. Floorstanders can be space consuming and for those who prefer more elegant speakers, JBL India is offering a kit called the Cinestyle 30. 

Design and build quality
The Cinestyle 30 is a 5.1 speaker setup and unlike some of the other home theatres we’ve reviewed, these are made up of five satellites, almost identical ones and one woofer. The speaker set is Harmon Kardon’s HKTS 30 5.1 audio speaker set. The amplifier is also Harmon Kardon’s AVR 255. We looked at the AVR 134 a while back - it was bundled with the last JBL audio solution kit we reviewed - the JBL Studio One. 
Cable setup is extremely simple
Cable setup is extremely simple


Starting with the amplifier, there’s one word to describe it when you get it out of the box - it’s extremely heavy. One of the reasons for AV equipment to be so expensive in India is probably the shipping cost for such heavy speakers. The AVR 255 for example weighs no less than 13.6 kg. Like any other high-end audio receiver-amplifier, the rear has a ton of connections. Installation is straightforward. The connectors on the amplifier end are large, colour coded, so it’s easy to setup the speakers. Rotate the knobs, pass the cable through and tighten to fit the cables. Setting up the cables on the satellite end are much simpler, on the other hand - simply pretty the pin till the passthrough hole is visible, then insert the cable and let go off the pin. 
Harmon Kardon AVR255 - a very capable amplifier
Harmon Kardon AVR255 - a very capable amplifier


At the front of the amplifier, things are much simpler. There’s one single dial for the volume control that’s also illuminated and there are a few connects right below it. There are also a few controls in the form of thin, flat buttons that let you use the amplifier without using the remote control. The amplifier is pretty large and has large vents on either side. We noticed that it does get a little warm after some intensive use and the vents should help keep temperatures under control over extended periods.
No shortage of connectivity options
No shortage of connectivity options


As for the speakers, these aren’t floorstanders. There are small plastic stands that come attached to the speakers themselves, which make them pretty sturdy. The design of the satellites reminds us of the satellites found on the Altec Lansing MX5021 speaker satellites. Each one of the satellites is identical except for the centre channel that lies on its side. Each satellite has three drivers and these are protected by a metal grill, while the rest of the speaker is made of plastic. The stands on the satellite help conceal the connectors and the cables, so the clutter is minimised. The bundled cables aren’t very thin but they’re long and should easy reach corners of a decent sized room.

The woofer is pretty large for the size of the satellites, in comparison to some of the other speakers we’ve seen. It’s elevated from the ground by a little more than an inch using four spike-like stands. The build quality of the woofer is excellent and it’s fairly heavy too. The black colour scheme goes well with the look of the speakers. The remote  like all other Harmon Kardon remotes is massive and can’t be used with just one grip. The buttons and controls are of good quality and well placed. The rear of the remote has a matte finish that makes gripping it easy and comfortable. 
Features
The mighty AVR 255 receiver-amplifier can output a total of 50W per channel if you set it up in 7.1 mode. In terms of capability, it’s pretty impressive and with few satellites, the power output per channel is also bumped up a bit. DTS’ set of audio standards are all supported as well. In terms of bandwidth, the processors can handle 192kHz streams at 24-bit. There are the expected set of Dolby surround modes.

Connectivity options are plentiful as well - there are three HDMI 1.3a input ports at the rear and one output port that connects to your primary display - a TV or projector. In the case of the HKTS 30, the woofer output goes directly to the woofer. At the front, there are auxiliary inputs in the form of RCA connects.  One of the unique features of the amplifier is the support of multiple zones, so you have different sets of speakers in different rooms and control them effectively. Of course, this is for more advanced users. 
Compact design
Compact design


The user interface for the AVR255 is pretty straightforward - it follows the similar interface like many of the other Harmon Kardon amplifiers of the past. We noticed some delay between the button press on the remote and the action on the screen. In comparison, the display on the amplifier reacts quickly. Apart from that, there are few flaws. The icons and menus could’ve been slightly larger for better visibility from a distance. There is some amount of customization possible as well, but we chose not to play around with the bass and treble controls while reviewing the product itself. The amplifier makes big boosts in the frequency range, which alters the characteristic of the speakers by a lot. 
Stylish design
Stylish design


The HKTS 30 are pretty simple speakers. The woofer has some more options as far as volume and phase settings are concerned. The satellites are rated to render frequencies between 45Hz and 20kHz. There’s one tweeter and two mid-range drivers. The woofer uses a 8-inch driver and the entire unit weighs 9kg - lighter than the AVR255 amplifier itself. The woofer has controls for a bass boost, a phase control, a volume dial if you want to tweak the amount of bass.

Performance
The JBL Cinestyle 30 as a whole gives us mixed reactions. Having heard louder and more impressive floor standers, the smaller mid-range drivers on the satellites of the HKTS 30 don’t impress a lot, when it comes to listening to music. Somehow, the midrange and the higher frequency of the sound range are isolated and the music doesn’t sound as fulfilling. Still, these are way more impressive than your everyday use, PC desktop users. The woofer on the other hand, is powerful. It’s not very punchy but it can move a lot of air despite its somewhat smaller size. Alternative rock music sounds fine, but when you add a whole bunch of instruments - everything ranging from synthesizers to drums, to violins and electric giutars to the mix, then you start to realize the lack of certain frequencies. Classical and female vocalists type of music also isn’t very fulfilling. There’s also a similar lack of detail between the lower range of the frequency range and where the satellites take over. Crank up the volume and there’s some distortion from the speakers, even the woofer starts losing its character a bit. 

A space saving solution
A space saving solution


Keeping aside music performance, we move to movie performance. Here is where the Cinestyle 30 really comes to life. The lack of detail in some regions is still present, but it’s not very audible because of the might of the woofer. Action sequences seem realistic and powerful with the HKTS 30. We used Dark Knight as our test Blu-ray disc while reviewing the Cinestyle 30. We would’ve liked more punch but the HKTS 30’s woofer doesn’t disappoint. Sound pans very clearly from one satellite to another.

Verdict
An affordable solution - the JBL Cinestyle 30
An affordable solution - the JBL Cinestyle 30


The Cinestyle 30 sells for roughly Rs.64,990 in India, which isn’t a lot, considering the Harmon Kardon AVR255 amplifier by itself, costs roughly Rs.39,990. The speakers themselves aren’t extremely impressive and we’d recommend looking out for a proper set of floorstanders, if your budget allowed you to. However, if you’re a movie enthusiast and are looking for an affordable solution, this might be the one to go for. If you’re looking to upgrade in the future, you have the option of keeping the amplifier and buying a new set of speakers. 

PlayStation Vita - Get reVitalised Review


To many, the PlayStation Vita may seem like a foolish endeavour on Sony’s part. When the iPhone and high-end Android phones can give you access to tens of thousands of games, many of them free, as well as other phone and portable computing features, why on Earth would anyone even care about a dedicated gaming handheld anymore? Actually, it’s quite easy to see why. The fact that Apple hasn’t killed off the iPod yet means that there is still a sizeable portion of consumers who like to keep their music separate from their phones. The same applies to gaming. There is still a massive section of gamers that prefers a dedicated gaming device; just look at the blistering pace at which the 3DS is flying off Japanese shelves. And I haven’t even got to the many compelling arguments the Vita itself makes in its favor.

The main question is this – does the Vita offer anything that a gamer who owns a high-end Android or iOS device doesn’t already have? Yes, it does, and that not only includes some great games you won’t find on any other portable device (Uncharted: Golden Abyss, anyone?), but the hardware itself. Sony may have fallen behind in the consumer electronics space over the last few years, but they’ve been wise to incorporate a lot of what consumers have come to expect from current-gen portable devices within the Vita.
Touchscreen navigation
Touchscreen navigation


The Vita’s predecessor – the PSP, went through many iterations and a few redesigns. And each time a newer model was released, there was a noticeable drop in build quality, thanks to the use of cheaper materials to be able to price the device lower. Of all the models, the launch model – the PSP 1000 still boasts of the best build quality. Same is the case with the PS3; the older “phat” model came with touch-sensitive buttons, while the slim one seems somewhat cheaper. The Vita, like its predecessor, is built exceedingly well. It’s neither too light nor too heavy, and even though it’s substantially larger than the PSP, it feels just right in your hands.

Taking up most of the real estate is the Vita’s resplendent 5-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen. It’s bright, crisp and while its performance under direct sunlight could be better, the only real worry is that without Gorilla Glass-like protection, the screen could scratch over time. A screen protector should definitely be one of your purchases along with the Vita. Unlike the PSP, the Vita features two analog sticks, and these aren’t the nubs the PSP had either. They’re raised and look and feel just like the analogs sticks on the PS3 controller; just smaller. None of the buttons feel flimsy and all the buttons on the front as well as the analog sticks are located conveniently within the reach of your thumbs. One minor gripe with the layout is that the X button is a little too close to the right analog stick, but this is something that you will get used to over time.
The back side
The back side


The XrossMediaBar or XMB, which was the UI used by Sony in the PSP and PS3 and even in some non-PlayStation products has been dropped in favor of a more colourful interface that is completely touch-driven. I liked the XMB, because it did exactly what a console’s user interface is supposed to – get you where you want to go with minimum fuss and allow you to get into a game as soon as possible. The Vita’s interface, however, doesn’t seem as intuitive. The touch screen is as responsive as you would expect, but the layout could have been better. All apps and games are represented by circular icons on the home screen, but the more games and apps you have, the more home screens they are spread out over. You can arrange these icons as you like, but you can’t group or resize them to reduce clutter.
Thankfully, getting in and out of games is quite easy and despite not being as zippy and effortless as the XMB, it’s better off than several other console interfaces, like the Xbox 360’s most recent Metro dashboard. The top-right of the home screen shows you notifications, such as messages, friends online, as well as the presence of other Vita users in your vicinity via the Near app, which uses the inbuilt GPS module either via Wi-Fi or 3G. Speaking of which, the Vita is available in two models, one with Wi-Fi, and another with Wi-Fi and 3G. Pressing the PS button gives you a shortcut view of currently running apps, notifications, etc.

Sony has dumped the UMD media that it used in the PSP and has instead decided to make games available on game cards that look just like a memory card. This has many repercussions, the first of which is Sony’s ability to make the device fairly slim in the absence of an optical drive. Making games available on memory cards also means that save files for those games as well as future downloadable content would also be stored on the game card itself, so no matter which Vita you insert your game card into, your save files and DLC go with you.
Sackboy's waiting for you to finger him
Sackboy's waiting for you to finger him


The downside, of course, is that your old PSP UMD games won’t work with the Vita. But Sony has a plan for this – the UMD Passport program. An app will be made available to PSP users, where they can register their PSP UMD games. Once registered, you will have to then have to rebuy these games in digital form from the PSN store at a fraction of price. While this is a raw deal for PSP owners, on the bright side, most of these games will support the Vita’s dual analog sticks.

Sadly, the Vita has no inbuilt storage, so you will have to buy Vita memory cards to store your games, demos and media. These Vita memory cards will be available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities, but at the time of going to press, Sony India was unable to give us a confirmed price for these cards. In the U.S, a 4GB card is priced at $20, so we’re looking at anywhere between Rs.1,000 and Rs.1,500. It’s quite clear then that the expenses on your Vita purchase won’t just end at the Rs.19,990 that you shell out for the device itself. Game prices offer little respite. Less popular games are priced at Rs.2,199, while popular franchises like Uncharted and FIFA will carry Rs.2,799 price tags; that’s the same as a PS3 game!
Golden Abyss looks almost as good as its PS3 counterpart
Golden Abyss looks almost as good as its PS3 counterpart


But boot up Uncharted: Golden Abyss and the Vita wins you over instantly! Aside from the tradition trio of analog sticks, D-pad and shoulder buttons, the Vita sports a plethora of other control options to enrich your gaming experience. A multi-touch capacitive touchscreen in the front; a multi-touch trackpad at the back; a gyroscope, accelerometer and three-axis electronic compass for motion gaming; and a rear camera for augmented reality gaming. Just imagine a game that seamlessly integrates all of these control mechanisms to offer an organic gameplay experience. There is already evidence of this in Uncharted. Use the analog sticks and shoulder buttons to look, move and shoot, the touchscreen for melee combat and to navigate across ledges, and the trackpad to climb ladders. The possibilities are endless, as the device empowers developers in a way no handheld has done before.There are other advantages to these multiple control options, too. Developers already working on iOS or Android games could easily port their games to the Vita for sale on the PSN Store as Vita Minis. While they may not rival the production values of a God of War, these cheaper games would only serve to give the Vita owner more choice.

You can read about the Vita’s specs at the end of this review, but even without it, it’s clear that this is a device that packs some serious firepower. Playing through Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a surreal experience because, at times, it’s hard to believe that such high-end visuals are being delivered on a handheld device. The only noticeable performance issue, I noticed was while performing context-based touch gestures during melee combat in Uncharted. The touchscreen response was just a tad delayed. However, this is a launch title, and we can expect developers to do a better job of optimizing their games as they grow accustomed to the hardware.
Perfect for those long flights
Perfect for those long flights


While there was a degree of interconnectivity between the PSP and PS3, the Vita-PS3 combine takes it to a whole new level. Certain games, such as Warrior’s Lair, will be available for both PS3 and Vita, and you’ll be able to transfer save games from version to the other and continue your progress on a different device. For instance, you can transfer your PS3 game save to your Vita and continue playing the game when you’re on the move. It’s a great feature and has infinite potential. Let’s just hope developers use it without making us buy the game twice – for PS3 and Vita.
Specs
Specs


Verdict
Sony has got the hardware right. It looks good, it feels good, and it offers more input options than any other gaming device out there; handheld or otherwise. It’s definitely got a lot going for it that you won’t find on any other mobile device out there. But the hardware is only one part of what will determine the Vita’s fate. Unfortunately, the pricing is extremely steep. At Rs.19,990, the Wi-Fi model is exorbitant; you’re better off getting a PS3 for Rs.16,990. Games, too are priced obscenely. Moreover, aside from Uncharted and FIFA, there really isn’t a single must-buy Vita game on the horizon. This is a great gaming handheld, but it will be even better a few months down the line, after a price drop and a better games line-up.

Ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, 8.9 in Germany stays


Coming in as a major update to the ongoing Apple vs Samsung lawsuit, a report in Bloomberg Businessweek confirms that Samsung failed in its attempt to steer clear of the German sales ban effective on its ambitious Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet (or Galaxy Tab 10.1N as it is referred to in Germany) that was appealed to by Apple. A ruling delivered by a higher regional court in Duesseldorf, Germany revealed that the sales ban decision also covers the Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet, and that a separate hearing announcing it wasn't required. Presiding Judge Wilhelm Berneke, while delivering the ruling stated that the decision was justified under German competition laws, and that Apple shouldn't rely heavily on a European Union design to secure victory.

Expected very soon
Caught in the tangle 


The presiding judge, Wilhelm Berneke was quoted by this report as saying, "Samsung wrongfully takes advantage of the enormous reputation and prestige of the iPad,” Berneke said. “Samsung unfairly imitates the iPad with its tablet. Samsung unfairly imitates the iPad with its tablet." Germany, for a while now has been witnessing a bitter battle between Apple and Samsung over a host of patents, which each one says has been infringed by the other. Samsung's ambitious Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9 have been caught in the tangle.

Couple of months ago, we had reported about Samsung's attempt at evading the sales ban, by introducing slight changes to its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet's design, and even went to the extent of renaming their tablet to Galaxy Tab 10.1N, while in Germany. While this did raise objections, back then, the presiding judge dismissed them stating that by slightly redesigning the tablet, Samsung had "moved away sufficiently from the legally protected design". Now, however, it seems like Samsung ran out of luck.  Needless to say what the ouster from the German market could do to the future prospects of the tablet, and Samsung, considering Germany is an important market in Europe for Samsung. 

Firefox 10 to be released tomorrow


Mozilla’s move to a rapid cycle release for some of their products means that there are new releases every few couple of months, instead of once a year. The changes aren’t many, but the few major changes means that the product evolves rather quickly. Firefox 9 was released back in mid-December 2011, and the next major release - Firefox 10 was expected this week and there’s news that it’s going to be out tomorrow. The Firefox development builds have been around for a while, ever since Firefox 9 came out. The new version brings along a few changes, along with a large number of bug fixes. One of the biggest features to come with Firefox 10 is improved extension support. Firefox version in the past are notorious for not letting users enable extensions that aren’t supported officially by the latest version.
Finally available for download
Firefox 10 - to be available soon


Everytime a new Firefox release comes out, extension developers take a while to compile new versions, so that they’re compatible with the new Firefox build. According to ComputerWorld, Mozilla is working on a silent update feature that will update Firefox to the latest version without the user knowing. A similar feature is already in place where users no longer have to manually download updates. Currently, users can click on the About menu under Help to access. By June, Firefox 13 should be out and it should allow users to completely automate the Firefox update.

One of the other unique features of Firefox 10 will be the Extended Support Release. This will be a release for enterprise customers who don’t like the idea of rapid releases. This means that bug fixes and security fixes will be installed on this version, as the year goes by, but drastic changes to add-ons and the browser won’t be added. Updates to Firefox ESR will take place every 42 weeks, Firefox 10 is also being released for other platforms, such as the Linux operating system as well as Android devices - smartphones and tablets.