It’s been a busy week in the world of smartphones, with a final release update to Apple’s iOS5 operating system, strong rumours of a brand new super-smartphone from HTC, the Edge, and the merest hint of an even more futuristic Nokia project, Humanform.Apple fans!Here are some pretty good news for you!
Apple iOS 5.0.1 (iPhone 4S Battery Update)
The full, final version of Apple’s iOS5.0.1 is finally here, available in the usual free iTunes download format. Most Apple fans with handsets that run iOS5 will already have downloaded one or other of the beta releases, which are very similar, but the full version should be more stable. The release notes are virtually identical to those for the beta: this release is intended mostly to fix bugs, particularly the battery life problem that many users reported. Apparently it also improves the voice recognition function for Antipodean accents, which should please Aussies and Kiwis who were struggling with getting Siri to understand their queries.
Two independent researchers have discovered some Easter Egg-like features in iOS5, a special auto-correct keyboard and a panorama function for the camera. Neither has been authorised for use by Apple yet, so we don’t advise modifying your iPhone to access them unless you really know what you’re doing and are prepared to risk voiding your warranty. Presumably Apple intends to activate them fully in a later release of iOS5, once it has them fully tested out.
Also in Apple OS news, the much-loved free e-book reader, Lexcycle Stanza, is now fully compatible with iOS5. It had previously stopped working for anyone who downloaded iOS5, but the latest version works fine. People who use their iPhones as e-readers can breathe a sigh of relief.
The HTC Edge has been confirmed for a 2012 release, probably during late Quarter 1 or early Quarter 2. It will have an outrageous four cores, each running at 1.5 GHz, as well as a full 1 MB of RAM. In sheer computing power, this is just unprecedented in a mobile phone, and will be tough to beat by any of the other phones due for release next year.
Nokia has released a promo video for its concept phone, the Humanform. The phone, which appears to be a kind of flattened torpedo shape on the video, is supposedly manufactured using nanotechnology to give it unique properties. The video shows the handset as flexible, with a user bending it between their hands.
The entire phone is claimed to be touch-sensitive, not just the touchscreen. A pop-up joystick will support gaming applications.
It’s a fascinating concept, but as yet, the Humanform has no release date, so it may never actually launch to market.