There has been a lot of interest of late in a patent filed (by Google) back in 2009 for what is obviously a rendition of Android's notification bar system. There are a number of pretty (well, as pretty as black and white gets) figures in the patent showing the notification bar we all know and love, and lots of language about notification systems and the like.
As many of the Android-faithful know, Apple recently implemented as part of iOS 5 the "Notification Center," and it looks an awful lot like Android's in some respects.
Sprint posted its fourth quarter earnings this morning, and they definitely painted a mixed picture of the company's financial position. On the one hand, the Alamo of unlimited data increased its subscriber base by 1.6 million in the last quarter, with big thanks likely owed to the addition of the iPhone to Sprint's lineup - giving them a significant advantage over their primary price point rival, T-Mobile.
Unfortunately, also because of the iPhone, the company managed a $1.3 billion net loss for the quarter, owed in large part to the massive cost of providing the device ($15.5 billion over 4 years) to customers at heavily subsidized price points.
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.
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).
Adding to the ever-growing list of knockoff devices found overseas, Nexian (an Indonesian mobile phone manufacturer) brings us the Android Magic A893 – a device that looks awfully similar to the iPhone, but which packs Android 2.2 Froyo and rings in at IDR 1,599,000 (about $175 USD). To get a better idea of the device's eerily familiar form factor, check out this unboxing video:
And here are the device's (less than magical) specs:
Android 2.2 Froyo
WCDMA 2100MHz and GSM 900/1800 MHz compatibility
3.5" HVGA multitouch display
VGA front shooter and 2MP rear camera
8GB Internal memory
To the Magic's credit, the inclusion of interchangeable back plates is a nice touch, and the fact that the device (allegedly) has a capacitive display may put this device slightly above other knockoffs you may have seen.
In a new 60-second ad spot that could be described both as hilarious and extremely bold, Samsung tells consumers that "the next big thing is already here" with the Galaxy SII, while taking a pretty strong shot at die-hard Apple fans, satirizing Apple's cult following.
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.
When Sprint confirmed that the iPhone 4S was headed to the US's Alamo of unlimited data, current Sprint subscribers feared that a tidal wave of iDevices could finally force the company to surrender to tiered data pricing.
Speaking to Forbes, CEO Dan Hesse said the iPhone was actually having the opposite effect, and that Apple's smartphone would actually reduce the rate of growth of smartphone data consumption because it uses Sprint's network more efficiently.
If there's one thing the iPhone 4S seems to be screwing up after its very successful debut, it would seem to be Sprint's 3G. Since the launch of Apple's newest iThing, Sprint 3G speeds have absolutely tanked for users in many areas. How widespread is the problem? Well, this 45-page (and growing) thread with nearly 700 replies over on the Sprint Community forums would seem to indicate the answer is "very."