Microsoft’s forthcoming Surface tablet includes a built-in “kickstand” that allows you to use the device like a laptop—just flip out the keyboard/magnetic screen cover.

Summer is a busy time in the tech industry, as several of the big hardware and software players announce new products at their annual user conferences. In recent weeks, Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and Google’s I/O all served up big tech news. The events provide a glimpse of the electronic horizon and give technophiles something to look forward to. Here’s what you may have missed:


Microsoft’s entry into the tablet world has drawn some positive reviews from critics since the company announced its Surface tablet on June 18. Some of the most notable features of the Surface include full-sized USB ports and a built-in “kickstand” that allows the device to sit up like a digital picture frame—or like a laptop when you flip out the keyboard that’s built in to the magnetic screen cover. Unfortunately, Microsoft has yet to provide a firm release date for the Surface, though initial speculation has the tablet hitting the market in October 2012. Rest assured, we’ll make every effort to get our hands on one as soon as we can in order to check for OverDrive compatibility.


Apple announced the newest version of its MacBook Pro laptop, which runs the newest version of Mac OSX, Mountain Lion, to be released to the public in mid-July. The new MacBook Pro features the same Retina display found in the latest iPad. Speaking of the iPad, Apple is developing a new mobile device platform, iOS 6, which will feature expanded support for Siri—including Siri on the iPad. We expect all these enhancements to have no impact on our existing iOS app and Mac software.


Last, but not least, Google announced several upcoming changes to its Android platform, as well as some new hardware. Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) will be making its way to Android devices soon. In addition to general performance improvements, Jelly Bean features “Offline Voice Typing,” more accessibility options for users with disabilities, interactive notifications and “Google Now,” a location assistant. Google demonstrated these new Android features on the Nexus 7 tablet, the forthcoming iPad rival. We already have the Nexus 7 on order and expect to have it listed on the Device Resource Center soon after release.


So what does all this mean for OverDrive? It means we’ll continue to provide a great user experience, adapting to the changing technical landscape. Whether on iOS or Android, tablet, desktop computer or mobile phone, the OverDrive platform puts library eBooks and audiobooks at your patrons’ fingertips!


Justin Noszek is a Support Specialist at OverDrive.

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