Google just announced
that Books is now available in Spain, as well. Yay for reading!
Not a bad week for German Android fans. First on the map in Europe with the recently-reviewed LG Optimus 4X HD, and now the release of books for sale in the Google Play store. The soccer team's not doing too badly, either.
Posted today on its Google+ account, Google Play announced the availability of book purchases effective immediately in Germany, including plenty of German-language bestsellers. Unfortunately their German-speaking neighbors of Austria and Switzerland have been left out in the cold with no way to get their deutschsprachige literary groove on, but this is Read More
the service's first step another step beyond the realm of English and is unsurprisingly gradual.
In case the specs have slipped your mind, here's a quick refresher:
- 4.7" (720p) True HD IPS display
- 1.5 GHz Quad Core NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC
- 8MP rear camera and 1.3MP front shooter
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB onboard storage
- 2150 mAh battery
- 8.9mm thickness
- SHSPA+ 21Mbps connectivity
- NFC and MHL
Following on from this initial release in Germany will be the Netherlands, Sweden, UK and Italy. Read More
Apple is causing more mischief over in Germany today, having received an injunction from a Munich Regional Court against phone manufacturer Motorola for utilizing slide-to-unlock style lockscreen methods patented by Apple. Motorola intends to appeal the ruling. The basic point to take away is this: the court ruled that Apple's patent on the concept of moving a tracked image from left to right in order to unlock a phone is valid, and it seems likely that every slide-to-unlock implementation on Android would be infringing in their eyes.
The appeal will likely take months, and after a Hague court in the Netherlands ruled that Apple's slide-to-unlock patents were invalid for obviousness and existence of prior art, it seems that there are still some very relevant substantive issues in need of higher review here. Read More
The ridiculous and wasteful patent war continues, with a German court confirming that Apple has filed two new suits against Samsung. The first is against 10 phones including the SGSII, and the second against 5 tablets. Details are light at the moment, but evidently Apple is using these two (unsurprisingly very vague) patents in the smartphone suit:
Yes, seriously - their patents are basically for a shape. Readers familiar with the current lawsuit situation in the tech world know the situation is violently out of control, and close followers of AP have heard my thoughts on just how hypocritical and ridiculous Apple is. Read More
If you haven't heard, Germany has pretty much become the hotspot for smartphone and tablet patent litigation. Most recently, HTC has been hitting headlines in its ongoing battle against IPCom, an intellectual property firm. IPCom claims that HTC's smartphones violate a number of its patents in the realm of 3G GSM technology. HTC says that the last time it made a phone which might have violated those patents was in 2009, and that it has since developed a workaround which does not infringe on IPCom's patents.
A court in Karlsruhe issued an injunction against HTC because of these patents last week. Read More
A court in Mannheim, Germany today held a preliminary hearing in a patent dispute between Motorola Mobility and Apple Sales International (a European Apple distribution subsidiary), and it seems like Apple's on the ropes.
While the hearing didn't discuss the particular merits of Motorola's patent infringement claim against Apple, the presiding judge issued substantial blows to Apple's defense by indicating that he believed the patent-in-suit was ripe for trial. The judge also seemed to agree with Motorola's reading of that patent (also known as "construction claims") in important ways that would allow it a broader scope of applicability at trial.
The judge did not seem interested in many of Apple's defenses, such as Motorola's claim lacking specificity, the patent in question being invalid, or that the patent should be construed more narrowly. Read More
Now, this all based on one German online retailer (where imports of the Tab 10.1 were banned), but it's very interesting nonetheless. It appears that a new version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been launched in Germany, called the Tab 10.1N. The difference? So far, all we see is a re-designed bezel and the fact that it's now shipping with Android 3.2. Take a look at this comparison shot from Mobiflip:
The Tab 10.1N is above, and the old Tab 10.1 is below. And below that is an iPad 2. If you look at the bezel design, the Tab 10.1 originale has a bezel more similar to the iPad 2 - a very minimal metal frame along the edges. Read More
Google has made good on its promise to expand carrier billing for the Android Market internationally today, introducing the feature to customers on various carriers in three countries. This is great news for consumers, and even better news for developers.
South Korean users on SK Telecom and KT Corporation, UK users on Vodafone UK, and German users on Vodafone DE will all be receiving access to direct carrier billing in the coming weeks.
Carrier billing is a major feature for users in countries outside the US, where Google Checkout support for regional banks and credit cards can often be severely wanting. Read More
Despite the fact that German courts recently decided not to lift the ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, OSnews is reporting today that German retailers will technically still be allowed not only to sell remaining stock of the Tab, but to reorder from Samsung as well.
The catch here is that German retailers cannot restock by ordering from Samsung's German branch, but must instead order from other branches, Sammy's Korean branch, for example, can provide more stock to retailers in Germany. OSnews goes on to say that Media Markt, a popular electronics retailer in Germany and The Netherlands is not sure yet how the ban will affect business, but could easily route Tabs through the Netherlands to avoid violating the ban. Read More
Early last month, a German court halted the sale and distribution of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 due to a suit filled against Samsung by Apple. Naturally, Sammy appealed the injunction, but the court has upheld the ban on Tab 10.1 sales, citing that "Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible."
This comes as yet another blow against Samsung, as it has already had to halt sales of the Tab 10.1 in a few other countries, as well as pull its Galaxy Tab 7.7 showcase from the IFA conference last week.
Sammy said that it will once again file an appeal, as this ruling "severely limits consumer choice in Germany” and “restricts design innovation and progress in the industry."
[Bloomberg] Read More