Category: Motorola


Android 4.4.3 KitKat update reportedly coming soon

After a never-before-seen version of KitKat has been spotted a few days ago – version KTU65 – suggesting that Google may release at least one more KitKat update before moving to a new Android OS version, a new tweet from known developer LlabTooFeR says that Android 4.4.3 may be just around the corner, with version KTU72B identified as the upcoming software update.

“Android 4.4.3 is under testing. Build number is KTU72B,” the developer wrote. “Probably it will fix known camera bug.” This KitKat version’s code name suggests this build (dated March 13) is newer than the previous one (dated March 6,) although the developer did not share any details as to when Google will actually release it.

Similarly, it’s not clear whether the update will bring any new features, on top of the expected camera fix for the Nexus 5, and whether it will be available to other devices as well. Still, this appears to be first time these newly discovered KitKat builds are associated with “Android 4.4.3.”

The latest KitKat software version available to Android users is KOT49H (Android 4.4.2), although only some devices have been updated so far, including Nexus tablets and smartphones. A recent report said that Google will unveil Android 4.5 this summer, likely together with new Nexus devices – the company is rumored to ship at least one new tablet this year, with rumors indicating that a Nexus device with an 8.9-inch may be in the works.

Source: BGR

Apple wins ‘device destroying’ injunction against Motorola

Apple, which continues to disrupt the mobile space with its patent litigation, has successfully won a case against rival Motorola, in which a photo management patent was infringed.

The German court ruling said that the “zoomed in” mode for viewing photos on Motorola’s Android handsets infringed the Apple-held patent, but not the “zoomed out” mode. EU Patent No. EP2059868 originally derived from another patent, which allowed photos to ‘bounce’ when they are over-scrolled; because people will attempt to claim anything nowadays.

FOSS Patents author Florian Mueller understands that Apple could order the destruction of devices if it chooses so.

“If Apple enforces the ruling, it can even require Motorola to destroy any infringing products in its possession in Germany and recall, at MMI’s expense, any infringing products from German retailers in order to have them destroyed as well.”

Having said that, Motorola played down the fears that devices could be subject to such ghastly ends by saying that doesn’t expect the ruling to affect future sales, and that it has “implemented a new way to view photos”, reports Bloomberg with a spelling mistake.

While Motorola can continue selling the devices, it did not comment on Mueller’s comments that would lead to ultimately the mass graves of Motorola phones. Motorola has said that it has already sought a workaround to prevent its smartphones from infringing Apple’s patent, thus rendering the court’s judgement effectively useless.

It appears from this, that not only is Germany a hot bed of patent activity, litigation — and frankly, trolling — but while one company sues another, the defendant in each case is more often than not forced to simply modify the software of the phones.

If you thought the patent wars were all in Apple’s favour, you would be wrong. It was just over a week ago when Apple pulled the plug on its iCloud and MobileMe push email feature within the borders of Germany, after Motorola won a patent claim of its own.

Source: ZDNet

Google buying Motorola: Nokia, Samsung, and other industry players react

Google said this morning that it dropped its “top five” Android partners a line yesterday to let them know that this Motorola acquisitionwas taking place — so naturally, many of them had prepared statements ready to go. The move will have ripple effects across several entire industries, though — not just the Android ecosystem alone — so we wanted to reach out and get reactions from a few companies that have a vested interest in Google’s successes and failures.

Overall, the theme across Android licensees’ initial statements is unwaveringly supportive at this point. Considering that Google’s primary goal is to shore up Android’s shaky patent situation, that comes as little surprise — though the striking similarity in some of the messaging suggests that Mountain View may have applied some pressure to show a unified front today. Regardless, the ball will be in Google’s court going forward to make sure that these guys aren’t put at a competitive disadvantage against Motorola — a move that could drive them away from Android altogether and into alternatives like Windows Phone, as Nokia’s statement seems to imply.

Follow the break for the full rundown from Nokia, HP, Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson, and LG.

 

Nokia

From Nokia, which had bypassed Android for its “commoditization risk” and is preparing to introduce a lineup dominated by Windows Phone devices in the coming years:

“This further reinforces our belief that opportunities for the growth of Nokia’s smartphone business will be greatest with Windows Phone. This could prove to be a massive catalyst for the Windows Phone ecosystem. Additionally, with our respective intellectual property portfolios, Nokia and Microsoft are working together to build and nurture an innovative ecosystem that benefits consumers, operators, developers and other device manufacturers.”

HP

HP hopes to go big with webOS through its own devices (and perhaps licensing deals at some point), which means it’s not directly affected by the Google-Motorola deal — but the seismic shift in the wireless ecosystem has the potential to affect the company’s fortunes nonetheless. Alas, they’ve issued a standard “no comment” today.

Samsung

Though Samsung Mobile US hasn’t specifically weighed in on the deal, JK Shin, President of Samsung Mobile’s global operations, had this to say:

“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”

HTC

HTC — which splits its time between Android and Windows Phone — called on CEO Peter Chou for this quote:

“We welcome the news of today’s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”

Additionally, the company insists that the deal won’t have an effect on its working relationship with Google:

“We are supportive of Google’s acquisition of  Motorola Mobility as this is a positive development to the Android ecosystem, which we believe is beneficial to HTC’s promotion of Android phones. The partnership between HTC and Google remains strong and will not be affected by this acquisition.”

Sony Ericsson

Bert Nordberg, CEO of the embattled company, released one of the briefest comments of the day — though it echoes the same sentiment that’s being conveyed by other Android manufacturers:

“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

LG

LG Mobile boss Jong-Seok Park seems to have cribbed off Nordberg’s notes (or vice versa):

“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

Source: Thisismynext

What Android Phones Do that Apple Phones Don’t

Does anyone remember this ad for the Motorola Droid? “Everything iDon’t,” it said, “Droid does!”

Of course, the iPhone can do half of those things now, like take 5-megapixel pictures in the dark. And the usefulness of some of the others is up for debate. (What exactly is “Open development?”) But even today, there are some pretty big things the iPhone can’t do, that Android phones can … and you may be surprised by some of them.

Come in all different shapes and sizes

Here’s one you probably won’t be surprised by, although you might be surprised by some of the weird Android phones out there. A slider phone with a second touch screen instead of a keyboard?

In all seriousness, though, the one-size-fits-all iPhone leaves out the people it doesn’t fit. Want a keyboard with actual keys? A gigantic screen, plus a kickstand for watching movies? There’s an Android phone out there for you. There’s even a phone with a slide-out game controller, a la the PSP Go. And speaking of portable PlayStations.

Run PlayStation games

And I don’t just mean games that were originally made for the Sony PlayStation (although like the Xperia Play.

These things are made for gaming, to Sony’s specs, and have access to tons of exclusive games. They can even connect to the PlayStation Network, using will be able to play Android games designed for the PlayStation Certified phones, which just shows how committed Sony is to gaming on Android devices.

Buy apps from Amazon

That’s right, Amazon has its own “Appstore for Android.” So why would you want to go through its 8-step signup process?

Well, first off is the “free app of the day.” These aren’t apps that are normally free, and are being promoted; they’re paid apps, costing as much as $4.99 sometimes, they’re put up for download for free. A new one goes up each day, like it says. You can also use Amazon.com to look for all discounted apps, or to read reviews and look for similar apps, just like you would for any other product you buy from Amazon.

 

 

A bunch of other stuff?

The iPhone doesn’t support text reflow, which is an Android feature that makes it so zoomed-in text on a website fits the screen width, so that you don’t have to swipe back and forth to read paragraphs. It also doesn’t support home screen “widgets,” which let you do things like check your bank balance or the latest news stories without opening an app. There’s even a widget to set your phone to silent mode. With all this stuff Android phones can do that the iPhone can’t, one might ask: Why does anyone buy an iPhone at all?

The answer’s as simple as it is obvious. The iPhone’s the best-designed smartphone there is, and it has more and better apps than every Android phone combined. Plus, Apple’s clout means that the wireless carriers can’t mess up its phones, with huge logos and non-uninstallable apps.

One size, though, doesn’t fit all. And thanks to Android’s open-source programming code, companies like Sony and Amazon are getting to try some interesting things, that they never would’ve been able to on the iPhone.

Source: Yahoo! / Video: IntoMobile

Motorola Xoom, Atrix 4G sales fall flat

Despite a wave of hype, Motorola’s mobile device lineup, which includes the Android 3.0 Honeycomb-based Xoom tablet and the Atrix 4G smartphone, has failed to catch on with consumers, report Forbes and Business Insider.

The low numbers for the Xoom come via an estimate made by Deutsche Bank, which predicts that Motorola has only sold about 100,000 Xoom tablets since the device debuted on February 24.

Apple, by comparison, sold 300,000 iPad 2 devices in the first weekend alone. Since that time, it’s been nearly impossible for customers to get their wanton hands on the next-generation iPad. Experts predict that Apple has sold approximately 20 million iPad 2s, so far. So not only has the iPad 2, which went on sale on March 11, outsold the Xoom — a device many consider the closest competitor in the tablet market — but it’s done so having been available to customers for half the time.

According to Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette, who spoke with Forbes, the Atrix 4G is also selling “well below forecast” due to AT&T’s $49 price point of the Apple 3GS and the HTC Inspire.

The poor showing of both the Atrix — one of our favorite handsets currently on the market — and the Xoom, which was a show-stopper at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, has caused Pacific Crest to chop the amount of revenue it expects Motorola to generate in 2011 by $1.5 billion.

This is just the most recent round of bad news for Motorola and the Xoom, which Consumer Reports yesterday said compared more closely to the original iPad than the iPad 2. The iPad 2, on the other hand, received the renowned tester’s top marks in the tablet department, despite lacking a few key features available on in the Xoom, like built-in card readers and Flash support.

If even a stellar device like the Xoom can’t compete against the Apple iPad juggernaut, it seems as though the entire tablet market may go the way of the MP3 market: Apple in front, and nobody else anywhere to be seen.

Source: Consumer Reports / Yahoo! News

Can the Atrix 4G Really Become Your Next PC?

The PC as we’ve long known is dead — or it will be soon. As mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets become more capable, few people will need a full-blown PC or Mac. Instead, a mobile device that connects to external resources as needed — keyboards, mice, monitors, storage, and perhaps even processors — can be the computer you always have with you, using its own screen and hardware when you’re on the go.

I believe that evolution is well under way. Last fall, Apple CEO Steve Jobs all but said that’s where the Mac OS and iOS are headed, with the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7 Lion marking the next step in the journey. But the Motorola Mobility Atrix 4G is here today with a more tangible version of the future ready to try.

The Atrix is an Android smartphone based on Citrix Systems’ Nirvana phone technology that can dock to external peripherals, using them to provide a more PC-like working experience. When docked, Atrix runs the desktop version of the Firefox 3.6 browser (in Linux), so you can run most cloud services available for your PC or Mac. (Note: Not all browser plug-ins, such as Microsoft Silverlight, work in the Linux version of Firefox.) And any Android apps you run on the Atrix can take advantage of the larger screen, keyboard, and mouse docked to the Atrix.

To see how well the Atrix delivered on this promise, I spent the weekend using it in its “lite” PC guise.

That hardware is not cheap. For the laptop option, Motorola Mobility’s Lapdock costs $400, providing an LCD screen, keyboard, trackpad, and battery in its laptop shell. If you want to use the laptop dock over a 3G connection, rather than just Wi-Fi, you need to subscribe to a data plan.

Source: PC World

Android Handsets Outsell Apple’s iPhone in Third Quarter

Apple’s iPhone was the top-selling smartphone in the United States during the third quarter, according to a survey released Monday. However, the Android operating system running on multiple devices dominated U.S. smartphone sales overall, the NPD Group said.

Google’s Android OS was installed on 44 percent of all smartphones purchased by U.S. consumers in the quarter — an increase of 11 percentage points from three months earlier. By contrast, purchases of iPhones running Apples iOS’ grew only slightly to 23 percent — just one percentage point higher than in the prior quarter, the research firm observed.

Much of Android’s quarterly growth came at the expense of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion rather than Apple, noted NPD Executive Director Ross Rubin. “The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors,” Rubin said. “And the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide.”

Apple Rises Overseas

NPD reports that four out of the top five mobile handsets purchased in the U.S. during the quarter were smartphones: Apple’s iPhone 4, RIM’s BlackBerry Curve 8500, Motorola’s Droid X (Android) and HTC’s EVO 4G (Android). However, the purchase of smartphones running RIM’s BlackBerry OS declined six percentage points on a sequential basis to 22 percent, and RIM’s OS unit share of the U.S. market fell 53 percent in comparison with the same quarter last year.

Based on the same year-on-year comparison, Apple’s iOS U.S. market share declined 21 percent. “The iPhone has held its own at AT&T, but Apple faces challenges in further expanding its domestic market share while still retaining exclusivity,” Rubin said.

Still, IDC reports that Apple claimed a 14.1 percent share of the global handset market overall during the third quarter, with the iPhone maker now ranking fourth among all mobile-device makers — ahead of number-five RIM’s 12.4 percent share. Even better, Apple and RIM posted the highest growth rates among the top five vendors worldwide in the third quarter, noted IDC Senior Research Analyst Kevin Restivo.

“The entrance of Apple to the top-five vendor ranking underscores the increased importance of smartphones to the overall market,” Restivo said. “Moreover, the mobile-phone makers that are delivering popular smartphone models are among the fastest-growing firms.”

Android To Challenge Symbian

Gartner expects the mobile OS market worldwide to be dominated by Nokia’s Symbian OS and Google’s Android platform through 2014, when the research firm believes the two operating systems will account for 59.8 percent of mobile OS sales. What’s more, Gartner believes Android will be in a strong position by 2014 to challenge Symbian for the top worldwide position.

Gartner analysts believe smartphones will continue to dominate mobile-device sales in the United States and other mature markets for the foreseeable future. However, it expects feature phones without an identifiable OS to continue to be the dominant device type on a global basis.

By contrast, IDC believes the worldwide mobile-phone market will be driven largely by smartphone growth to the end of 2014. “The smartphone is becoming the focal point of the personal communications experience,” Restivo explained. “As a result, new market growth will be increasingly generated by smartphones. This year, we are expecting the smartphone sub-market to grow 55 percent year over year.”

Source: Yahoo! News

Nokia, Motorola Extend IP Agreement to Include 4G Technologies

Motorola and Nokia may be competitors for market share in the high-end smartphone space, but the pair knows when to work together toward a common goal. In a shared statement, the two said they are extending an existing intellectual property licensing agreement to include 4G technologies such as LTE (long-term evolution) WiMax and LTE-Advanced.

“We are … confident this agreement will help foster continued innovation and technological advancement for the telecommunications industry,” Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola, said in the Oct. 15 statement. “Motorola is committed to leveraging the strength of its industry-leading intellectual property portfolio for the benefit of its customers, partners, shareholders and licensees.”

Paul Melin, vice president of intellectual property at Nokia, added that the “agreement also shows that the industry is making fast progress in resolving LTE licensing issues between the major patent holders. LTE has now become a key element of Nokia’s licensing program, and we expect strong returns for our pioneering development.”

In Las Vegas in September, MetroPCS activated the first LTE network in the United States, and later this quarter Verizon Wireless plans to power up its own LTE-based 4G network nationwide. Currently, the nation’s largest 4G network is offered by Sprint-owned Clearwire, which relies on the LTE competitor technology, WiMax. LTE, however, is expected to become the more dominant technology, and Sprint executives have been open about the possibility of rolling out LTE on top of the Clearwire WiMax network.

For now, the Samsung Epic 4G and the HTC Evo 4G, both offered by Sprint, are the only 4G-enabled smartphones offered by a U.S. carrier. With more 4G networks planned to live, however — Sprint announced its own branded 4G offering Oct. 18; AT&T plans to offer LTE-based 4G service in early 2011; and T-Mobile will eventually also rely on LTE  — Motorola and Nokia are sure to soon be offering consumers more 4G phone choices.

Nokia and Motorola also have in common that each is involved in a lawsuit with Apple. One of the suits Nokia has filed against Apple involves patent violation for GSM, WLAN and UMTS standards. And similarly, 18 patents related to wireless communication technologies are the focus of the suit Motorola filed Oct. 6 against Apple.

“We are pleased to conclude this extension of our IP licensing agreement,” Melin said of the deal with Motorola, “which is a great example of the value that Nokia realizes from our industry leading patent portfolio.”

Source: eWeek

Motorola DROID 2 security flaw allows Voice Actions from passcode-protected state

One of our astute readers let us know about a bug that appears to be present in all stock, unrooted, Motorola DROID 2s (and potentially other Android 2.2 devices with BLUR). The bug allows users to execute Google Voice Actions on their device even when the handset is locked and a passcode is activated. With your DROID 2 locked, and the passcode prompt on the screen, holding the “search” softkey or keyboard-key for four seconds will — without giving the user any feedback — still trigger Google’s Voice Actions. Speaking: “Call 555-555-1234″ or “Call Home” will actually make your DROID 2 do just that (assuming “home” is in your phonebook). We couldn’t make our Nexus One or Captivate replicate the issue, so we’re assuming it is a Motorola/BLUR specific issue. Anyone out there with a DROID X running Android 2.2 able to get their handset to do the same?

We’ve reached out to Motorola for comment and will update the post as soon as we hear back. There is a short video demonstrating the issue after the break.

Source: Boy Genius Report

Motorola sues Huawei for trade secret theft

U.S. mobile phone maker Motorola Inc (MOT.N) has sued China’s Huawei Technologies Co (HWT.UL) for alleged theft of trade secrets, highlighting the fast-growing Chinese firm’s difficulty in shaking the nation’s reputation for piracy.
In an initial suit, filed in 2008, Motorola sued five of its former workers for allegedly sharing trade secrets with Lemko, which was also named in the suit and has a reseller agreement with Huawei.

In the amended complaint, filed on July 16 in a federal court in Chicago, Motorola claimed an engineer shared information about a Motorola transceiver and other technology with Huawei founder, Ren Zhengfei, a former officer in China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Motorola claimed a string of emails tagged “Motorola Confidential Proprietary” showed that “Huawei and its officers knew they were receiving stolen Motorola proprietary trade secrets and confidential information without Motorola’s authorization and consent,” according to the suit.

Huawei said the lawsuit was groundless.

“Huawei has no relationship with Lemko, other than a reseller agreement. Huawei will vigorously defend itself against baseless allegations,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Cases like these are hard to prove from an evidence point of view, said Connie Carnabuci, a technology, intellectual property expert and partner at Freshfields in Hong Kong.

“Cases involving misappropriation of proprietary information are usually very difficult cases to run,” Carnabuci said.

“This case is being brought in the courts of the United States, one thing interesting is that decisions of the U.S. courts are not enforceable in China,” she added.

Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola accused Huawei of various violations including threatened or actual misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and usurpation of corporate opportunity.

Since at least 2006, Motorola had required its engineers to sign a confidentiality agreement, according to the filing.

Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said: “We don’t comment on pending litigation, but will continue to vigorously defend our IP (intellectual property).”

Lemko could not be reached for comment.

DIVERGING FORTUNES

Huawei and Motorola were once fierce rivals in China’s fast-growing telecoms market, but their fortunes have diverged in the last few years.

Over that time, Huawei has risen to become the world’s second-largest seller of wireless telecoms equipment, notching major sales not only in developing markets but also in lucrative Western Europe markets.

Motorola, meanwhile, has seen its networking equipment business struggle in recent years as its mobile phone business also lost ground. It now looks poised to exit the networking equipment business, announcing earlier this week it would sell the unit to Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN.UL) for $1.2 billion.

Motorola’s ongoing case against Huawei comes as the Chinese company is trying to push for legitimacy in the global arena despite wariness from Western politicians over Ren’s government and military ties.

In 2008, Huawei’s bid to buy U.S. firm 3Com fell through after opposition from U.S. lawmakers.

The Motorola lawsuit has echos of another lawsuit Huawei faced.

In 2004, Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) agreed to drop a drawn-out lawsuit against Huawei after the latter agreed to make some product changes.

“There is a lot of attention amongst Chinese companies and (multinational companies) doing business in China where people are looking at their business practices and ways to minimize unauthorized leakage of information,” Carnabuci said.

(Additional reporting by Helen Chernikoff and Sinead Carew in NEW YORK; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Lincoln Feast)

Source: NEW YORK/SHANGHAI (Reuters) / Yahoo!

Motorola, BlackBerry Maker RIM Call Legal Truce

Motorola and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion have decided to just get along and throw their outstanding legal litigations out the window, each announced in a June 11 press statement. The smartphone makers, once at odds over patents, have now entered into a settlement and license agreement.

“Under the Agreement, Motorola and RIM will benefit from a long-term, intellectual property cross-licensing arrangement involving the parties receiving cross-licenses of various patent rights, including patent rights relating to certain industry standards and certain technologies, such as 2G, 3G, 4G, 802.11 and wireless email,” read the statement. “In addition, the parties will transfer certain patents to each other.”

While from 2003 to 2007 Motorola and RIM had a licensing agreement, following that time the two fell into disputes. On Jan. 22, Motorola filed a complaint against the BlackBerry maker, stating that RIM “engaged in unfair practices by the importation and sale of RIM products that infringe on five of Motorola’s patents.”

Jonathan Meyer, senior vice president of intellectual property law at Motorola, added in the suit, “In light of RIM’s continued unlicensed use of Motorola’s patents, RIM’s use of delay tactics in our current patent litigation, and RIM’s refusal to design out Motorola’s proprietary technology, Motorola had no choice but to file a complaint with the ITC to halt RIM’s continued infringement.”

On Feb. 19, the International Trade Commission agreed to investigate Motorola’s claim.

In the June 11 announcement of their truce, the two said that “financial terms of the Agreement include an up-front payment and ongoing royalties to Motorola.”

All further terms and conditions, it added, are confidential.

Source: eWeek