As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has filed a lawsuit against Samsung on April 15 in the Northern District of California claiming that the South Korean company copied the “look and feel” of iPhones and iPads with its Galaxy devices — smartphones, tablets and media players. A very few details are provided in the original report, but the WSJ claims the lawsuit indicates products like the “Galaxy S 4G,” “Epic 4G,” “Nexus S” and “Galaxy Tab” are violating Apple’s intellectual property.
Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” the lawsuit said.
Representatives of Apple and Samsung didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Samsung is one of the big players in the current Android landscape — the company came out last year with a 7-inch tablet and recently announced two new models (Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1) that will also support Android’s Honeycomb 3.0 update. The relationship between Apple and Samsung is quite complex, as the South Korean tech giant makes the processors that go into iPhones and iPads sold by Apple. Several rumors in the past pointed to Apple willing to move the production of A4 and A5 CPUs away from Samsung (the iPad 2′s A5 CPU comes from Samsung), and this lawsuit might be a sign of things changing between the two companies. This lawsuit could also imply Apple is targeting Android indirectly by suing OEMs instead of Google itself — manufacturers like HTC, Samsung and Motorola are free to use Android, but they usually apply their custom graphical skins to differentiate their products. Apple is suing Samsung, a manufacturer of Android-based devices which applied its custom TouchWiz user interface to Android. TouchWiz, however, was also used on proprietary and Bada-based devices, but Apple is suing over the “look & feel” of the Android Galaxy line. The Wall Street Journal doesn’t specify whether or not TouchWiz was mentioned in the lawsuit.
Federal prosecutors in New Jersey are reportedly investigating whether various smartphone applications are illegally obtaining and transmitting data from users without their consent or knowledge. In the US it is a violation of federal computer fraud laws for companies to collect information about a user without notice or authorization.
Q&A: MLB.com Boss Bob Bowman on Android Owners, Facebook Video and Apple’s Subscription Rules
Peter Kafka: You’ve complained publicly before about the difficulty in supporting multiple flavors of Android for your apps. But this year you’ve expanded the number of Android handsets you’re supporting from 6 to 11. Did you ever consider not working with Android at all?
Bob Bowman: The short answer is no. But what we have done is that we don’t support every Android phone. Because at some point, it’s diminishing returns. The Android user typically is less likely to buy, and therefore the ROI on developing for Android is different than it is for Apple.
In comparison, the NFL Network announced that 76% of NFL Mobile Only From Verizon customers subscribed to watch video of Combine events, with a 128 percent increase in NFL.com’s total video streams from last year. The NFL Network also announced a record 2010 season with 6.6 million viewers.
In the first season of NFL Mobile Only from Verizon, a record number of fans turned to their mobile devices for NFL coverage as NFL Mobile is one of Verizon’s most successful apps.
The success of NFL Mobile was only available to select Android phones on Verizon, and I’d argue the MLB would do just fine support a few of the worth mentioning Android phones in the market. Kafka and Bowman also discuss Apple’s subscription model, and the MLB’s desire in primarily supporting the iPhone and iPad.
Perhaps Rovio’s success with the Angry Birds franchise doesn’t surprise anymore as much as it did in 2010, but we still think the numbers these games for iOS and Android are generating are impressive. The latest game of the series, Rio, is based on a collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox to merge the gameplay of Angry Birds with the world of Rio. With a tweet, Rovio said that Angry Birds Rio hit “10 in 10″ — suggesting 10 million downloads were achieved in 10 days since the release of the app for iOS and Android devices, both in free and paid editions.
A bit of investigation by Mobile Entertainment has proved that, as expected, said tweet referred to the number of downloads in the same number of days.
Rovio didn’t provide detailed numbers for iPhone, iPad and Android sales, nor did they specify whether the free version was downloaded more than the paid one. Still, 10 million downloads in 10 days is impressive. Now about that fake movie trailer…
Monday night just got a lot more interesting. Amazon has just announced their own music streaming service for the web (for all you MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners), and Android if you’re living on the edge like I am. Current (existing) Amazon customers can get 5 GB of cloud storage free, with an upgrade to a 20 GB (free for one year) upon the purchase of a hot new album. Appropriately called a Cloud Drive, Amazon enables you to upload 5GB of your music collection (non-DRM) to the digital shelf for playback on Amazon’s Cloud Player for the Web, or Cloud Player for Android. If you’re a loyal Amazon customer, those MP3 purchases can be saved right to your cloud space thus removing the need to download to your computer. As a bonus, storing purchased Amazon MP3s to the Cloud Drive doesn’t count against your total storage. Awesome stuff! To get music to the cloud, you can use Amazon’s MP3 Uploader tool, which will scan your iTunes library and playlists so you can decide what to upload. You can check out the new addition to the Amazon family via the source link below.
Might I add, “Game on?”
Update: There’s much more to cloud storage than just meager 5 GB and 20 GB plans. Past the break, we’ve got a handy chart with prices for up to 1000 GB of cloud storage. Sure it’ll cost you, but the fact that you can actually buy that much cloud storage is intriguing (and slightly frightening).
Despite the perception of Microsoft being bitter enemies with Apple it sure seems as if this rivalry is cooling off lately with Microsoft working to provide several services and products to iOS users in particular. From their iPhone apps to additional features in Bing (that won’t even make it to Windows Phone 7 till late 2011), Microsoft is making a concerted effort to be relevant in the increasingly iOS (and Android too) mobile market.
Its latest foray is an enterprise and corporate focused piece of software that will allow IT departments to more easily manage a workplace of iOS, Android, Symbian and Windows Phone 7 mobile devices. Named, in typically superfluous Microsoft fashion, System Center Configuration Manager 2012, it will let those IT departments enforce password complexity and security, remote wipe devices amongst other key functions.
As Microsoft describes it, SCCM can “Streamline operations with a unified infrastructure that integrates client management and protection across mobile, physical, and virtual environments.” The Beta 2 of System Center Configuration Manager 2012 is available for download but it does require registration and only runs on Windows Server 2008.
If you’re familiar with the PC and Mac gaming scene, then you have most definitely heard of Steam: a game distribution platform by Valve that collects thousands of games in a single marketplace that’s easy to use and aggregates users worldwide enabling them to communicate through the platform. Steam, first released on Windows PCs, came out on OS X last year after much anticipation, quickly becoming many users’ favorite way of discovering and downloading games for the Mac.
Member of Steam’s forums Political Gamer recently visited the Valve headquarters and reported an interesting tidbit from his visit and talk with Valve co-founder Gabe Newell: Valve is apparently “looking into” iOS and Android as possible platforms for Steam’s expansion in the future:
After waiting in the lobby for a few minutes it turned out Gabe was in the office and wanted to say hi. To my great delight he was playing DOTA 2 when we walked in and from what I can see the game already looks very promising. After a little “sneak peek” we sat down to talk about Steam and other goings on in Valve. During this chat he confirmed that Steam will get a video recorder very soon, also he said they were looking into the iOS/Android platform for possible expansions with Steam. He also siad that the Source film maker is in the pipeline for a public release. After the chat was over he happily signed my copy of the Orange box and sent me on my way to Robin Walker.
The report doesn’t provide any additional details on Valve’s plans for a mobile Steam, and we only speculate that the development studio might be considering an iPhone or iPad client to check on your online Steam account and friends. Certainly Apple would never approve an iOS Steam app that lets you download and play games out of the App Store, whilst on Android Valve could easily deploy and alternative store like Amazon did (and got sued for the name choice). On iOS, Steam as we know it would be a difficult goal to accomplish: Apple doesn’t allow the installation of apps from alternative sources (the so-called “side-loading”) and the possible implementation of in-app purchases wouldn’t fit Steam’s growing catalogue of games.
Apple has turned its iOS and Mac App Stores into the perfect place for users to discover and buy games, and we don’t expect Steve Jobs to change his mind anytime soon about allowing other developers to “break the ecosystem” with unofficial app stores. So perhaps Steam for iOS will be a simple app to manage your online account? Or a “brand” for App Store developers to publish their games? We don’t know yet, but it’s interesting that Valve is at least looking at the possibilities offered by iOS. [via]
Sources have told AllThingsD that News Corp’s The Daily, which is currently an iPad exclusive daily newspaper, will be heading to Android in the coming three months. Whilst it was always planned for The Daily to head to the Google operating system and propagate onto as many tablets as possible it wasn’t expected to happen at this rapid rate.
The News Corp team got some extensive help from Apple in regards to technical details and was also the pioneering app to use Apple’s new subscription service. The event in which The Daily was launched was not only supposed to include Steve Jobs, but Rupert Murdoch, News Corp CEO said at the event that “we think last year, this year, and next year will belong to the iPad.”
Why are we talking about Androids? Let’s just say our little green friends need some love too, and there’s nothing like a quick trip down syncing lane to remind us that manually inserting tunes onto your SDCard is definitely a lot more painful than iTunes. Without bloated music software, how can you manage your Droid or Nexus One? Eltima Software has the answer with their launch of SyncMate 3, which is a well rounded information manager I reviewed not too long ago. If you sport the latest in Google technology, SyncMate’s latest update can mount your Android phone wirelessly or by cable, and sync contact information like music, images, and video straight to the device.
One of my complaints was SyncMate was its interface, but the latest rendition is much improved to fit our sometimes picky standards. Plus, I quite like having a portrait of Andy giving me a quick link to my Motorola Droid when it’s time to load a podcast or two. If you’re still syncing with those Windows PCs, SyncMate also gives you more control over which accounts you want to pull information from.
If you have Android phone and use a Mac (don’t forget SyncMate is on the PC too), you’ll want to check out the latest update at Eltima Software. SyncMate Expert includes all the features described above (including the ability to manage SMS which is neat), and costs only $39.95 for a personal license (good for two Macs).