While it's not the "rounded rectangle" iPad patent of fame, the iPhone 3G design patent is easily the second most-famous Apple design patent of record. It's called D618677, and it was a key issue in Samsung v. Apple "round one" - and by "key issue," I mean "reason for most of the remaining half billion dollars in damages." According to the USPTO, that iPhone design patent is now invalid on multiple counts of obviousness in light of prior art (in a technical, not literal, sense - two very different things).
Samsung was deemed to infringe this patent by a jury, and while it may well have were the patent valid, the USPTO is saying the point is moot - the patent itself is not eligible for protection.
It seems like ages ago that Apple and Samsung finished duking it out in court over Samsung's "borrowing" from Apple's early iPhone designs. However, the $930 million judgement against Samsung was just the beginning of the legal tussle. This whole time the lawyers have still been racking up billable hours, and now a US appeals court has reversed a big chunk of the damages saying Apple's trademarks on the look of the original iPhone aren't valid.
According to a source who spoke to The Verge, Google is almost ready to add iOS support to Android Wear. If the timing is a coincidence, it's a very happy one for Google. Apple is getting ready to start selling the Apple Watch to compete against Android Wear. Of course, Apple could always try to block the Wear app.
The Czar has spoken. After his anointment as Google's Senior Vice President of Products last October, which put him in charge of Chrome, Android, search, ad technology, Google+, Maps, social, commerce and infrastructure, Sundar had been operating in incognito mode, occasionally letting loose a few tidbits of information, like Inbox' deployment to Apps users. In a recent interview with Forbes, the man behind most of the things we talk about here on Android Police has answered some interesting questions regarding his vast portfolio of products, tried to put an end to a few concerns, and remained mum about other issues.
The most intriguing section of the interview starts when Google+ is addressed.
By now just about everyone knows about ostentatious headphone maker Beats - if you haven't seen them shilled by hip-hop stars and football players, you've seen them in custom-made corner displays at Best Buy. The company has also technically been a part of Apple since May of last year, presumably because a gold iPhone 6 just isn't complete without a matching pair of Champagne Studio Wireless headphones. But a more interesting question to ask is this: what will happen to Beats Music, the multi-platform streaming service that competes with the likes of Spotify?
The Pushbullet team has long impressed us with the creation of a solid product that works as advertised across multiple platforms, pushing files and syncing notifications with ease. Now you can add more names to the list: Mac OS X and the Safari web browser, which join the existing iOS app to flesh out Pushbullet's support for Apple's ecosystem.
Let's be real here, there are no shortage of Mac users who carry around an Android phone (some of them even write for us). The Mac app comes with the same features found in the Windows app and Chrome/Firefox extension. For example, you can view notifications whenever you wish, filtering them by channel, friend, or device.
Apple's proprietary iMessage system lets iPhone users send text messages to other iPhone users over a data network, avoiding SMS charges and making texting free, at least within Apple's ecosystem. It's an impressive run-around of the entrenched carrier system - the same basic idea, applied to an agnostic model, has made texting alternatives like WhatsApp fantastically popular. But users found that trying to leave Apple's walled garden was much harder after setting up iMessage with their personal phone numbers.
If you're moving from an iPhone to another smartphone platform, you must first de-associate your phone number with iMessage, not only on your iPhone, but on any other Apple device (iPad, OS X) that you've used it with.
It's common for companies to eliminate redundancy when an acquisition takes place. So it should come as no surprise that Apple is reportedly in the process of shutting down Beats Music, the streaming service it picked up when it bought the company for $2.6 billion earlier this year. The timeline isn't clear, but the wheels are allegedly already in motion.
As with every iPhone release over the past four years, your average Android fan is probably summing up today's announcement with a big "so what?" In truth, it's an understandable, if predictable, reaction: Apple has quickly gained a reputation in the smartphone community for turning last year's (or the year before that) features into this year's thing you totally won't believe.
As a lumbering multi-hundred-billion dollar consumer product giant, though, Apple has lost the luxury of disrupting a market it took into the mainstream, and has in recent years moved more and more to the conservative side of the smartphone market, calibrating and refining on a basic hardware premise we've all been familiar with since the iPhone 4: one phone, one size, three storage options, and a dogged refusal to give in to market "trends" it didn't agree with.