Just over three weeks has passed since the last Moblin preview image for Intel Atom netbooks and already the final release is here. That kind of pace has me burning through blank CDs faster than Hideki Matsui is batting runs in. But I’m a glutton for OS testing, so I’ve downloaded the release and will burn it shortly. Why bother taking a look? Plenty of reasons, if you ask the Mobile project team:
- Internet Browser. After much work, we are including a new internet browser application that far exceeds our previous browser performance and adds full support for features such as plug-in support and add-ons. Many thanks to Moblin users and the developer community for their feedback and contributions.
- 3G Data Support. Support for 3G data connections using the Ericsson* MBM 3G modems. Support for additional 3G modems is planned for future releases.
- Application Installer Integration. The Moblin Application Installer is integrated and provides a logically categorized list of applications that you can choose to install. The selection of applications that appears within the Moblin Application Installer comes from the Moblin Garage.
- Clutter 1.0. With this new version of Moblin, we are releasing Clutter 1.0, the Moblin animation framework.
- Bluetooth* Device Support. Bluetooth* device discovery and pairing now supported via a new panel in the toolbar, which supports Bluetooth* audio devices, input devices (keyboards, mice), OBEX file transfer, and using a Bluetooth* phone as a 3G modem.
- Connection Manager. Connection Manager (ConnMan) has significant modifications particularly in the areas of performance and reliability. The new version of ConnMan now supports Ethernet, WiFi, WiMAX, and 3G.
- Nettop Support. UI scaling is provided for a wide range of nettop resolutions, including the ability to show more information in the Myzone panel based on the available screen space.
- Improvements to Instant Messaging. Improvements have been included for Instant Messaging account setup, integration within the connection manager, and support for transparent connection to your friends on your local network.
Slowly but surely, Moblin is becoming very functional while offering an effective interface for mobile devices. By building such a mobile operating system from the ground up — instead of trying to cram a desktop environment into a smaller device — Moblin has a real chance of gaining an audience. It may not happen on netbooks, but the groundwork here will help on even smaller devices.