You might have noticed something missing from the Play Store in the last few days. One-click theming app Themer Beta by MyColorScreen was pulled from Google Play late on February 2nd due to a copyright complaint from Apple. When it will return is not clear, but it's probably not going to be immediate.
Chalk one up for the bad guys. FOSS Patents reports that Chinese manufacturer Huawei and the Rockstar Consortium (a patent holding company jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony, and Ericsson) have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Huawei in November. Both parties have filed to dismiss with prejudice, and have almost certainly agreed to some kind of licensing settlement, though financial details don't have to be reported.
Despite it being the holiday season, there is little jolliness in Google's legal department. Google has just filed a lawsuit against Rockstar. No, not the game maker of GTA fame. This legal attack is aimed at the Rockstar patent holding company owned jointly by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony, and Ericsson. Rockstar has been going after Google and various Android OEMs for patent infringement and Mountain View has apparently had enough.
Rockstar's patents come mostly from the purchase of the Nortel portfolio a few years ago, but Rockstar itself is merely a litigator of patents – it doesn't make anything.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Reuters reports that the Rockstar consortium, a joint effort between Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Blackberry, has sued Google and Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, LG, ASUStek, Huawei, ZTE, and Pantech over patents formerly held by the now-defunct Nortel Networks. Rockstar won the patents in an auction in 2011 that topped out at $4.5 billion - Google lost the same auction with a $4.4 billion bid.
Back in the days of the original Galaxy S and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung was frequently accused of copying Apple at every turn (often by Apple themselves). And let's not kid ourselves, Android fans: back then, Samsung kinda had it coming. Over the last three years Sammy has been forging its own identity with unique hardware designs, massive software development, and enough money to make King Midas feel insecure. So why are they still pining after Apple like a love-struck college freshman stalking the starting quarterback?
When Apple buys a company, you have to expect any associated Android apps are going to bite the dust. Indeed, that appears to be the situation with the popular public transit app HopStop, which was bought by Apple a few months ago. The Windows Phone app (yes, it had a Windows Phone version) disappeared first, and now it's Google Play's turn to feel the sting of an Apple acquisition.
Hi there. It's been a while since I last wrote about the smartphone patent wars. I consider that a really, really good thing. I really don't like the patent wars. They're little more than a proxy conflict led by Apple and Microsoft to slow down the emergence of competing OEMs in what has obviously become the next big computing market. It is, however, a proxy war they are undeniably winning. Microsoft has inked royalty deals with nearly every Android OEM of note except the Google-owned Motorola (big surprise there), Apple has a nice little licensing arrangement with HTC, and a $600 million verdict against Samsung with another trial considered to be in Apple's favor to come.
Wavii, a service that promises to help you "keep up with everything you care about" has been snapped up by Google, according to Tech Crunch, for a sum totaling over $30 Million.
The deal, which signals an end to an apparent acquisition battle between Google and Apple, likely means that Wavii's language processing prowess will be integrated with Google services from the Knowledge Graph all the way down to (perhaps) Google Now.
Back in January, we learned that if you want to be a developer and avoid leaving money on the table, you need to be on both Android and iOS. One or the other isn't going to cut it. However, according to AppAnnie, if you have to choose just one platform, Android is still struggling to prove it's the one you should go with.
According to the report, Play Store downloads are nearing App Store levels, reaching close to 90% as much as the iOS store.
Today, Facebook announced the Facebook Home suite that we've been hearing so much about. Well, to be more accurate, we've been hearing that Facebook is going to build its own phone and fork Android and create its own special social OS and that it would be the end of Google and that civilization will crash around us and we'll all wear monkey pelts and "Like" statuses by hurling spears through our enemies.