Remember a few years ago when Nortel’s enormous patent portfolio went up for auction and we had tons of tech companies bidding for it? Well, looks like we’re about to see the effects of it. The group of companies that won the patents – Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Sony, and Ericsson – banded together under a new company named titled “Rockstar” and have filed an extremely extensive patent suit against Google and several Android handset makers, including HTC, LG, and Samsung.
Originally, Google wanted to purchase those patents to prevent this from happening, but stopped bidding for them at $4.4 billion. Rockstar nabbed the patents for $4.5 billion, which is an astronomical sum of money for a patent portfolio. Some of the patents that are being used in the lawsuit include patents for things like an “associative search engine” and “an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network.” Vague? Yep.
Realistically, the ultimate goal for the Rockstar Consortium would be to strong-arm other companies into paying licensing fees for infringing devices. Microsoft already makes several bucks per Android phones sold because of patents and licensing agreements. It’ll be interesting to see how this suit plays out, but make no mistake, it’s probably going to get pretty messy.
source: Ars Technica
After being exposed yesterday by Twitter’s @evleaks, a poster regarding the inevitable Moto G has appeared. According to a tipster from GSM Arena, the poster shows Motorola’s budget-friendly device will run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor. The screen, which has a water repellent coating, is a 720p screen sized at 4.5-inches covered with Corning Gorilla Glass. Considering its purpose, the Moto G will have just 8 GB of storage. The camera around the back is 5 MP and the front is 1.3 MP.
As for the price, this handset is expected to be free with a new contract and maintain a relatively low price without one. With the holidays quickly approaching, this could be that one item that gets all of the attention. You would be getting a pretty good device since the will be priced competitively.
Source: GSM Arena
Thor: The Dark World, Marvel’s latest superhero movie, will be opening next week, so it is only fitting that a companion app has been released. Thor: TDW – The Official Game hit Google Play today, letting players take on the forces of Malekith and the Dark Elves in the action-arcade game with RPG elements. Read more
Yesterday we learned that the Nexus 5 will have a non-removeable battery sized at 2300 mAh, but prospective owners should not have to worry about running out of juice quickly. Inside will be Qualcomm’s new QFE1100 envelope tracker that the company claims to be able to reduce heat and power consumption from the radio components. A huge concern with many phones is the pace at which LTE data kills a phone’s battery; however, Qualcomm’s new envelope tracker aims to solve that. Also, the Nexus 5 has the 802.11ac WiFi standard. This means that if you have a compatible router, your phone will reach the signal easier with much larger transfer speeds. All very good signs if you’re picking up a Nexus 5.
For the first time in a long time, Google announced a new version of Android, but didn’t release it for Nexus devices right away. Those of you with a Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (old and new), and a Nexus 10 will have to wait a few weeks until Google pushes it out.
If you find yourself needing a Kit Kat fix right away, then look no further than Paranoid Android. They have posted early Android 4.4 ROMs for the Nexus 4, the 2012 WiFi Nexus 7, and the 2013 WiFi Nexus 7. These are based on the AOSP build, but again, this is an early build so expect some bugs.
Remember that mystery barge in San Francisco that was thought to be a data center for Google? It’s going to be way cooler than a data center. KPIX 5 in San Francisco is reporting that it will include luxury showrooms and a party deck. It will be used to market Google Glass and other gadgets to invitation-only clients. Sergey Brin is behind it as well.
According to sources, the first three floors will have “dazzling showrooms” that are outfitted with chrome features and floor lighting. The upper level will include a party deck that will feature bars and lanais.
Last week, we mentioned that “Windy Day” was coming to the Moto X through the Spotlight Player app. It’s an animated interactive short story that is also somewhat of a game. It was created by Jan Pinakava and a team of engineers at both Motorola and Qualcomm. Jan Pinakava was actually a co-director for the Pixar hit Ratatouille.
You don’t have to do anything to get “Windy Day” on your Moto X. It’s an automatic download, and you should already have it. You may have noticed a little red hat floating around and/or fixed at the bottom near the on-screen navigation buttons. When I saw it yesterday, I thought it was some sort of a Google push that had to do with Halloween, but it was just a teaser for this clever app. Tap on the hat, and the story will open.
The release of Android 4.4 KitKat continues to bring us new goodies as folks get their hands on the code and compile bits for us to use on our existing devices. We have already seen the release of the new Hangouts, wallpapers from the Nexus 5, and the Google Experience launcher, and now the latest is the new keyboard that comes with KitKat. There are a couple new features incorporated into the keyboard that users may find useful. The first is an awareness of when one word ends and another begins using “space-aware gestures” which Google has named “phrase gesture” in the settings. By dragging your finger down to the space bar, the keyboard will insert a space so you can keep on typing using the swipe method without lifting between words.
The dominance in the smartphone industry continues to be lead by Google. In new numbers estimated by Strategy Analytics, Android has more than 80% smartphone market share in Q3 of 2013 (April – June). That’s an increase over last year’s 75%. Apple is undoubtebly in second 13.4%, down from last year’s 15.6%. Microsoft has also seen growth, chiming in with more than 4%. And BlackBerry continues its struggles and is hanging on to just 1%. With the Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 3, and Moto X all being launched recently, it should be interesting to see how future quarters fluctuate with Apple’s release of the new iPhones. Hit the break for shipment numbers. Read more