A recent Newsweek article has been making the rounds claiming, through an unnamed Apple "insider," that Apple has spent north of $100 million litigating its various grievances against HTC since late 2010. Verifying the accuracy of this number is pretty much impossible. But that doesn't really matter. It may just as well be $80 million, $150 million, or $300 million - the conclusion drawn would remain the same: Apple is spending quite a chunk of income on its growing lawsuit habit.
Siri competitors for Android are a dime a dozen, but the latest alternative Evi may have the winning combination of a voice recognition engine that actually understands what you say and what (we hope) appears to be a natural language processor that can figure out what you want.
Unlike a standard search engine which performs keyword searches, Evi aims to answer your query with a specific response. So, for example, if want to know what the capital of France is, you would ask Evi "what is the capital of France?" and Evi would respond "Paris".
Although iOS appears to currently be the platform of choice for developers, research firm Ovum suggests that Android is set to surpass it "in terms of importance to developers within the next 12 months".
Traditionally, the Apple App Store has generated higher revenues than the Android Market as users are more likely to download paid apps, thus luring developers. However the Android platform has been incredibly successful in the past few months and the number of app downloads have been significant, so it comes as no surprise that developers are bullish on Android's prospects in 2012.
When I read the comments of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in an interview with The Daily Beast, my first thought was "this sounds like an eminently reasonable man making some well-reasoned points." Of course, being an Android site, we took interest in Wozniak's comments on Android's superior (in some respects) voice commands, as well as his praise of its workable built-in navigation solution (something iOS currently lacks outright).
I've used Siri.
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.
Amazon has just launched the Amazon Student app for Android, providing students with an easy way to shop for textbooks, electronics, apparel, and all the other gear they need to survive their college year.
In addition to browsing and buying stuff, the app also features a barcode scanner that gives students a chance to compare prices on anything they intend to buy from a brick and mortar store. The scanner also allows students to scan their old textbooks, games, DVDs, and a million other eligible products to see their current trade-in value.
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.
There's been some discussion of late that, perhaps, Android phone manufacturers are iterating handsets at a pace which is detrimental to product polish and subsequent software support. In fact, a couple of days ago I took a look at the state of Android phones on US carriers with a few simple charts.
I also promised to write another post looking at how quickly, as opposed to how prolifically, Android handsets are moving in the US marketplace.
An analysis of recently compiled data by ABI Research indicates that Android phones are for the first time downloading apps in greater numbers than Apple's iPhone. This would seem like a milestone, but ABI's research also shows that while the total number of apps downloaded onto Android devices in the last quarter exceeds that of the iPhone, Android handsets outnumber iPhones by a factor of 2.4 to 1.
This means that Android users are still downloading far fewer apps on an individual basis than iPhone owners - ABI suggests by a ratio of 2 to 1 one, in Apple's favor.
I'm not sure I would personally ever do that (wait, I'm sure - I'm shrugging just thinking about it), but let's say that you really love the look and feel of the the iOS desktop UI found on Apple's iPhone, with the launchpad, rounded corners, folders, trembling icons with little X's, etc. However, you also love the flexibility that Android offers. Can both be combined? The answer, as it turns out, is yes - Espier Launcher, which just landed in the Android Market (probably immediately infringing on a few dozen Apple patents).