Microsoft just fired another shot at Android, this time aiming at Barnes & Noble and various other companies associated in the manufacturing of the Nook Color such as Foxconn and Inventec. The lawsuit filed against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec states Microsoft owns several patents that according to Microsoft, are violated within the Android OS and as such they want profits off those patents or they'll take you to court.
“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights. To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property & Licensing. “HTC, a market leader in Android smartphones, has taken a license under this program. We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year to bring great software products and services to market,” he added.
The issue at hand here for Microsoft stems from a patent claiming Android uses "natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens to find the information they need; surfing the Web more quickly, and interacting with documents and e-books." -- Broad scope really but that is how patents work for better or worse.
As noted in the information, Microsoft claims they attempted to reach a valid agreement for the past year but Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec have refused to accept the licensing conditions and as such, Microsoft will invoke their rights to sue. What do you all think, some bitterness there or is Microsoft just protecting what is rightfully theirs? Sound off in the comments, folks. [Microsoft]
Only two things to do in Orlando -- theme parks and conventions. And some of us have already done the Disney thing this month, so it's time to cover some smartphones, shall we? It's the CTIA Wireless show from the Orange County Convention Center. And we've got a pretty good idea of what we'll see, from a smattering of Sprint stuff to a new Samsung tablet -- and that's barely scratching the surface.
TouchType has released a closed beta of its highly anticipated SwiftKey Tablet keyboard. The larger inspired keyboard is optimised for Android tablet devices running Honeycomb. The creative minds behind SwiftKey, developer TouchType, has made the beta available exclusively to their SwiftKey VIP forum members. Anyone who wants to give the beta a "feel" or "touch," can register here. Once registered, newly appointed VIP members can download the tablet beta here. Make the jump to see the beta in action. Oh, and since SwiftKey is so awesome, we think you should vote for them in the CTIA Emerging Technology Awards.
What can we say? Things like this happen, and all you can do is remember the names involved and stay far away from their "work" until they disappear. We certainly will. Hopefully nobody bricked any phones toying with this one. [@clockworkmod]
Sprint has announced the latest Froyo update for the Sprint Epic 4G will begin rolling out today, and Samsung follows through with some source code. Nothing here for the average Joe, but your independent developers will be all over this and true custom Froyo ROMs for the Epic will show up and make all your geeky dreams come true. Look in the Epic 4G hacking forums to keep up to date on all of them.
If you're one of those developers, want to become one, or are just curious hit the source link and search "EC05" for the download. Now the wait for Gingerbread begins. [Samsung Open Source Release Center via @Paul627G]
Many of us have been frustrated, to say the least, that there's no toggle switch to turn off the LTE radio in the HTC ThunderBolt like there is in, say, the Sprint EVO 4G or Epic 4G. You could open up the battery cover and pull the 4G SIM card, but that's ... what's the word ... work.
No matter. User cdunn05 over at the ThunderBolt Forums worked up the instructions to manually turn the LTE radio off while still leaving the 3G radio on using the following steps. It looks scarier than it is, and the best part is that it survives a reset. We've got full instructions in the ThunderBolt forums. [How to turn off ThunderBolt LTE] Thanks, cdunn05!
Future Shop wasted no time after Motorola's official press release announcing the Motorola XOOM launch in Canada, setting up a pre-order page. Right now, if you head on over the Future Shop website the Motorola XOOM is placed front and center. Listed at $599.99 with an expected ship date of April 8, Motorola's timing for a Canadian release appears to be a planned out distraction for those waiting for either an iPad 2 that launches on March 25 and the BlackBerry PlayBook that should be getting a release date any day now. Wanna pre-order some Honeycomb goodness? Hit the source link for more details. [Future Shop]
We've gone hands-on with it, it's been spotted in the wild and its even crossed paths with the FCC but despite all of that, the closest anyone has got to an actual recent date is April. New info, as seen above from Costco pegs the device as going up for pre-order on March 24 with a tentative launch date of April 7.
Although the Samsung 4G Droid Stealth may not be a top priority for everyone to pick up, the fact we'll have another 4G LTE device to choose from is a pretty awesome. If nothing else, we can compare the battery life of it to that of the HTC Thunderbolt. [Thanks, anon for the tip!]
Earlier today the Sprint Nexus S 4G became official, and not long after that Best Buy announced that it'll have retail exclusivity on the device, and that the presale will begin today. This means that other than a Sprint store, Best Buy will be the only place you'll be able to try and purchase a Nexus S 4G. As we all know, Best Buy has had many retail exclusive releases lately, one of which was the T-Mobile version of the Nexus S, which they were very excited about.
“The exclusive launch of Nexus S from Google was a landmark for us and it continues to be one of our best-selling devices,” said Scott Anderson,head of merchandising for Best Buy Mobile. “Bringing Nexus S 4G to our stores is one more way we’re making it as easy as possible for people to find the phone that’s right for them.”
The Best Buy presale is a $50 fee, that is applied to your purchase at the time it is made, and can be done at any Best Buy retail location, or any Best Buy Mobile stand-alone store. [Best Buy] More in the Nexus S 4G forums
Motorola has announced that the Honeycomb based tablet, the Motorola Xoom, is headed north to Canada this April. Unfortunately, Motorola is currently only making the Wi-Fi version available to Canadians. Although, the press release does state 3G is coming mid-year. So for those of you waiting for a 3G Xoom, hang tight! The Xoom hitting Canada in April is the same exact one we've come to know and love here in the US -- nothing new. Press release after the break, folks.
AT&T has announced the LG Thrill 4G -- their branded version of the LG Optimus 3D (check out our hands-on). They are marketing the Thrill as the first U.S. smartphone with a glasses free 3D display -- a 4.3-inch stereoscopic LCD. Toss in the OMAP 4 dual core, dual channel 1GHz CPU, dual channel RAM and 8 GB of on-board storage memory and you have what many have been looking for. Pricing and availability weren't announced, but we expect to see it sometime in the second quarter of this year. The full press release is after the break. [PRNewswire]
AT&T has gotten hammered over the years (well, really just since the iPhone 3G came out ...) due to a congested network. As such, it should be no surprise that AT&T can barely contain its excitement at getting its hands on T-Mobile USA's significant spectrum holdings -- especially their 1700 MHz "AWS" bands, which currently hold the carrier's 3G signal. The slide you see above (from an early morning press conference) confirms that AT&T wants to use it in order to bolster their available spectrum for the upcoming LTE rollout.
They specifically mention that HSPA+ will continue to be supported on both networks in addition to LTE. As both carriers have been marketing their HSPA+ networks as "4G" to compete with Sprint and Verizon, one would wonder what they would call LTE to differentiate it. 5G, maybe? [AT&T]
If you are a Samsung Epic 4G or Samsung Galaxy Tablet owner on Sprint, be on the lookout for an OTA update that is set to roll out this week. For the Epic 4G this should be a revised update of the one that was pulled previously, which will bring the device to Android 2.2 Froyo. For the Galaxy Tab, you're getting Sprint ID. And that's nice, but we'd much rather hear about any possible Honeycomb (or at least Gingerbread) update for this rapidly aging tablet.
Sprint says the rollout will be completed by March 24. So if you own these devices, be sure to be on the look out for the updates. Full details available after the break.
Google has announced that it will be integrating Google Voice with Sprint devices to give users a nearly native experience from their Google Voice number. The Android GV experience already is as good as it gets, and it's about to get better. The long and the short of it is that your Sprint number will become your Google Voice number, without any messy porting. Here are the deets, straight from the Google Voice blog:
First, Sprint customers will be able to use their existing Sprint mobile number as their Google Voice number and have it ring multiple other phones simultaneously. So now, calls to your Sprint mobile number can easily be answered from your office or your home phone, or even your computer through Gmail. Calls from Gmail and text messages sent from google.com/voice will also display your Sprint number. This basically gives Sprint customers all the benefits of Google Voice without the need to change or port their number.
Alternatively, Google Voice users can choose to replace their Sprint number with their Google Voice number when placing calls or sending text messages from their Sprint handset. This feature works on all Sprint phones and gives Sprint users all the benefits of Google Voice without the need for an app.
While unfortunately this is not currently available right now, it will be coming "soon" to all Sprint users. If you are a Sprint user, be sure to drop your email at this link to sign up for the service. [Google Voice Blog]
Behold, the Sprint Nexus S 4G! It's a Nexus S, erm, with 4G! True to the rumors, Sprint's finally gotten itself a Google developer phone. It's the same Nexus S you know on T-Mobile, only it's on Sprint, and it has Wimax data.
That's right, same 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen. Same 1GHz processor. Same 16GB of memory. Same NFC capability. Same 5MP rear camera and VGA front camera. Same lack of carrier bloatware (we presume). Plus you get all the usual hotspot bells and whistles, which is nice, though we're checking with Sprint to see if you have to have its tethering plan to do it, or if it'll just "work" like the other Nexus phones.
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