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Microsoft wins case against Google in patent royalty battle

Posted by wicked July - 31 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Google HQ

Google’s nose has been bloodied slightly with the news that Microsoft has emerged victorious with a court ruling in a case that has been dragging on since 2010. The ruling could result in a decrease in royalty payments paid by electronics manufacturers for patents pertaining to Wi-Fi and video downloads. The case was a tit-for-tat move on Motorola’s part because of the lawsuit that Microsoft filed a month before claiming Motorola infringed on several Microsoft patents in Android smartphones.

The San Francisco Appeal’s Court upheld the $14.5 million jury verdict stating that Motorola had breached its obligation to offer wireless and video patents at a reasonable cost. Instead, according to Microsoft, Motorola unfairly demanded billions of dollars for using the patents involved, with a figure of around $4 billion per annum being bandied around. This has been in the mix for since 2010 before Google purchased Motorola Mobility even. One of the consequences of this case resulted in Microsoft having to move its Xbox distribution facility out of Germany so it could avoid an import ban that came about because the Redmond company refused to pay a percentage of its sales to Motorola. While Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, it kept hold of the majority of Motorola’s patents, which means it kept the court case as well. Thanks to the ruling, Microsoft is due restitution for the relocation of that Xbox facility as well as its legal costs. Neither Microsoft nor Google has commented on the ruling.

Charles Duan, a lawyer with the Public Knowledge consumer group, had this to say about the ruling:

“This ruling is a win for consumers, competition, and innovation. It keeps prices reasonable for old products and allows new products to come to the marketplaces.”

Besides being a win for Microsoft, it could help other electronics manufacturers such as HP, Apple and Intel that have campaigned against the high royalty fees they pay to access patents allowing devices to accepts calls, download videos and access Wi-Fi. The ruling could also guide other technology companies on how much access to a payment is actually worth. Although it has to be said that the ruling won’t make pleasant reading to some companies such as Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Nokia, that require recompense for the resources they pour into researching fundamental technologies that are used throughout the mobile industry.

It appears to be a result that divides opinion, what do you make of the ruling?

Source: Mercury News

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Google Play Movies and Newsstand are expanding to more countries

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

welcome_to_google_play_073015

Google looks to be expanding its Google Play Services to more countries. Today, Google announced that Play Movies, in addition to the Newsstand app, is coming to new countries around the world.

  • Countries getting Google Play Movies: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore
  • Countries getting Google Play Newsstand: Poland, Philippines, Taiwan, Ukraine

People in more than one hundred companies now have access to Play Movies while Newsstand’s reach covers twenty-two.

Source: Google Play (Google+)

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New beta track options now available for Android developers

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

android_developers_site_heading

Starting today, there are new methods for Android developers looking to test their apps with users. Google says it will be an easier, more convenient way for developers to beta test their apps upon release.

The following are new features available to developers:

  • Open beta – Use an open beta when you want any user who has the link to be able to join your beta with just one click. One of the advantages of an open beta is that it allows you to scale to a large number of testers. However, you can also limit the maximum number of users who can join.
  • Closed beta using email addresses – If you want to restrict which users can access your beta, you have a new option: you can now set up a closed beta using lists of individual email addresses which you can add individually or upload as a .csv file. These users will be able to join your beta via a one-click opt-in link.
  • Closed beta with Google+ community or Google Group – This is the option that you’ve been using today, and you can continue to use betas with Google+ communities or Google Groups. You will also be able to move to an open beta while maintaining your existing testers.

Google went on to mention that nearly 80% of its developers are currently using the new methods of beta testing in Google Play.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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Alleged rear cover belonging to the LG-made Nexus phone has surfaced

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

LG_Logo_02_TA_CES_2014

OnLeaks posted on Twitter an image of the rear camera setup of the new upcoming LG-made Google Nexus. According to recent reports, the LG-made Google Nexus will not be based on the design of the LG G4, but the device will feature a 3D camera. The leaked image shows a drawing of what could be the rear casing of the new Nexus device.

lg_nexus_rear_cover_onleaks

The image shows two equally-sized circles nearly on top of each other and a rectangle next to the top circle. The two circles could accommodate two cameras for depth-focused shots while the rectangular shaped box is presumably for flash.

The LG-made Nexus could launch as early as October, alongside a larger Huawei-made Google Nexus.

Source: OnLeaks (Twitter)

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Google shows off Android M’s Auto Backup for Apps function in video

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Google_Auto-Backup_for-Apps_Android-M

One of the great things about flashing a custom Rom on your Android device is being able to backup and restore your apps via the custom recovery or by using an app such as Titanium Backup, it’s especially helpful if you’ve had to factory reset your device or if you’ve swapped over to a new device. Now it seems like un-rooted users will also be able to automatically backup and restore their apps thanks to a feature called ‘Auto Backup for Apps’ that is present in the latest Android M Preview.

Google’s Matthew Jav Williams takes us on a video run through of the Auto Backup for Apps feature, telling us that the apps user data will be automatically backed up and stored in Google Drive with a 25mb limit. The app backups will not count as part of your Google Drive quota. If you’ve installed apps on your device either from a third-party app store or by side-loading, don’t worry, they will also be backed up because the Auto Backup for Apps function isn’t directly tied to the Google Play Store.

Backups will occur when:

  • It is night-time
  • The device is charging
  • The device is connected to WiFi

Developers can include this feature into their apps by re-building their apps with version 23 of the SDK, they can also choose to opt out of including the auto backup function as well as choosing not to back up sensitive data or device specific tokens. Matthew gives some coding examples in the video below which show how easy it is for developers to include the Auto Backup for Apps function.

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: Google Developers Blog
Via: Phandroid

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Google’s Project Loon will provide Internet access for the whole of Sri Lanka

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

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The Sri Lankan government has taken to its official website to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Google to provide the entire country with Internet access using its Project Loon program.

If you’re unfamiliar with the project, it’s a scheme set up by the search engine giant, which aims to supply Internet connectivity to country’s that aren’t in a financial situation to configure the service by using helium-filled balloons as opposed to Internet masts.

“The entire Sri Lankan island – every village from (southern) Dondra to (northern) Point Pedro – will be covered with affordable high speed Internet using Google Loon’s balloon technology,” explained the Asian country’s foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera.

Google is expected to furnish local service providers with access to the balloons by March 2016, which should enable them to improve the quality of their Internet service and reduce their operational costs, thus making it cheaper for Sri Lankan residents to access the Web.

Source: News.LK

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You can now send messages through WhatsApp and Viber using voice commands through Google

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

whatsapp2Google has integrated a few new messaging apps into its voice commands in the Android app, so now you’ll be able to quickly send messages in your favorite clients without ever having to touch your phone.

The process works just like sending a text message, but instead of dictating to send a text, you can tell Google to send a WhatsApp message to someone. Afterwards, Google will prompt for what you’d like to send. The process works with several of the most popular messaging services, including WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Telegram, and NextPlus. 

This is just one of the many steps Google is taking to roll as much functionality into their core Google Play services as possible, making Android a very, very compelling platform. Currently, sending these messages is only available in English, but like always Google is working on rolling that out to other languages soon.

source: Google

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google docs web viewGoogle has removed document editing from the mobile web version of Google Docs, opting instead for a banner encouraging users to download the official app from the Play Store. The move makes sense, since that’s how they’ve treated Sheets and Slides for a while now. But if you were hanging on and still editing your Google Docs in Chrome, looks like you’ll have to install the app now.

To be fair, the app offers way more functionality and just generally runs much better than the web view version. It might be bad news for someone dealing with a phone or tablet that has very limited storage space, but I’d imagine if they were heavy document editors, they’d probably be willing to upgrade to keep the functionality.

source: Google

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Google almost got in the burger biz

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

impossible-burgerGoogle reportedly tried to buy Impossible Foods, a plant-based cheeseburger company for $200-$300 million. A deal was unable to be reached because Impossible Foods wanted a larger amount.

We are unsure why Google would want a burger company or if they will continue to look for others in the future. Google has been buying up all different kinds of businesses in recent years, but this seem a little out of the norm.

One reason why might be because Impossible Foods is backed by the likes of Bill Gates and Google executive Tony Fadell. It is one of many recent sustainable food companies that rely less on large animals.

Source: The Information

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youtube_live_logoExciting news from Google+ and YouTube today. A very controversial feature, forcing YouTube accounts to use Google+, will slowly be taken away. Google says they got certain aspects right, but will need to rethink many parts of it. Expect changes within the coming months.

“When we launched Google+, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life. While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink. So over the next few months, we’re going to be making some important changes.”

Starting today comments made on YouTube will now only be seen on YouTube and will not appear on Google+ and vice-versa.

In a few more weeks, YouTube will almost totally separate from Google+. Users no longer need a Google+ profile to upload, comment, or create a YouTube channel. Existing channels can keep everything the same as it is now or have the option to remove your Google+ profile in the coming months. However do not remove it now or it will delete your entire YouTube channel.

“This one’s further off. In the coming weeks, YouTube will no longer require a Google+ profile when you want to upload, comment, or create a channel. If you’re happy with everything as it is now, then just keep on keepin’ on. If you want to remove your Google+ profile, you’ll be able to do this in the coming months, but do not do it now or you’ll delete your YouTube channel (no bueno).”

In other Google+ news, they are planning to make Google+ more focused and removed features that aren’t essential to your Google+ experience. For example Google+ Photos have been moved into the new Google Photos app instead. Other things like putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps where it belongs.

Source: Google+, YouTube

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