Playing the waiting game

They say good things come to those who wait…well, there are a lot of good things coming down the pike, I guess.

Get ready for a newer, larger Galaxy Note
There have been a few rumblings of a new version of the Samsung Galaxy Note, this one with a startling 8-inch screen. That’s starting to get ridiculous for a device that you’d regularly use to make a phone call on, but more attractive as a tablet option for those who think the new 7-inch tablets are just too small. (It also means that Samsung now has an Android device for pretty much any size you want. Choice is key, as they say.)

Alas, we’ll have to wait until the end of February for more definitive data on the device, when it’s scheduled to be released at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

A challenge from BlackBerry 10

In other news, people are getting prepped for Yet Another Challenger™ to Android’s mobile throne: on January 30th, Canada’s own Research in Motion is set to formally launch the BlackBerry 10 operating system, along with new Blackberry hardware.

This brand new version of the BlackBerry OS is (by now) considered long overdue, but nearly all early reports from people who have seen it have been very positive, including the ability to split the device between business and personal use, timeshifting in the camera app, and more. It sounds impressive, but then again, so did the new version of the Palm a few years ago. Time will tell if it’s enough to make a dent in Android’s market share, or if this will be WebOS all over again.

A challenge from…Firefox OS?
Curiously enough, there’s also news of another challenger, this one a bit further down the road, and that’s….Firefox? That’s right, a new web-based operating system from the folks who brought you the popular web browser is now making its way to developers, with two different hardware configuration for testing.

It’s hard to imagine why we need yet another mobile operating system out there when so many other platforms are already having a hard time gaining traction in the space, even with plenty of resources behind them. The webpage for Firefox OS claims that it’s all about being open, and about adoption of the most current web standards. Sounds a bit like another OS we know. Stay tuned. In the meantime, why not check out the new Firefox browser for Android?

Android for Raspberry Pi still on ice
Speaking of waiting, we’re still waiting to see a working version Ice Cream Sandwich for the Raspberry Pi. Though it had seemed somewhat imminent when I talked about it back in August, versions of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Pi seem to still be largely unusable.

That’s not really a surprise, from what I can see. I took a look at the most recent version considered “stable” (installation instructions available here), and even though an Android 2.3 interface fired up full-screen on my HDMI-connected monitor, keyboard and mouse input was so laggy as to be nearly unusable.

In short: those who like the idea of these new TV-connected Android boxes but want of trying to save money by putting Android onto their Raspberry Pi may want to think again.

(Clockwork and pocketwatch images from


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Sean Carruthers
Sean Carruthers
Sean Carruthers is a freelance writer, video producer and host based in Toronto, Canada. Most recently, he was a Senior Producer at, where he was responsible for the conception, writing, production and editing of a number of web video shows, including Lab Rats, How Do I?, Status Update, The Noob, and more.

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