Microsoft v Apple in App Store Trademark attack

Microsoft is taking on Apple, protesting at the latter firm’s claim to a trademark on the name ‘App Store’. Ballmer’s boys are arguing that the term is generic and competitors should be able to use it.

Apple applied for the trademark in 2008. It is to be applied in goods and services, including those for computer software solve via the Internet. The App Store is now available for iOS and OS X devices. Read more

Google Goggles for iOS now reads print ads, plays sudoku

Google has updated their popular Google Goggles application with two incredible new features. The first allows you to point your iPhone’s camera at a print advertisement and it will then search the ad and show you more information about it online. The second feature, as shown in the video above, lets Google Goggles read sudoko puzzles.

Our favorite weekend distraction is a quiet 15 minutes spent solving a Sudoku puzzle. But even that can be an frustrating experience if (like us) you make a mistake and are unable to solve the puzzle. Now, Goggles on Android and iPhone can recognize puzzles and provide answers to help make you faster than a Sudoku champ. So if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we’ll tell you the correct solution. Check out this video to see how it works.

The update is available for the stand alone Android Google Goggles app and will soon be available in the official Google app on the App Store. We’ll update when it’s live for iOS devices.

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Makers of VLC Player for iOS respond to App Store removal

We recently reported on the removal of VLC Player for iOS from the App Store and today the makers of the app responded to the removal. Romain Goyet from Applidium provided us with the following statement:

Much to our surprise, we received this friday an email from Apple that said “We regret that the dispute regarding your application named ‘VLC Media Player’ could not be resolved amicably between the parties. We have removed your application from the App Store. For any questions relating to this matter, please contact Rémi Denis-Courmont directly.”

This was a follow-up from an email we received from Apple last October : “On 10/20/2010, we received a notice from Rémi Denis-Courmont that Rémi Denis-Courmont believes your application named ‘VLC Media Player’ infringes Rémi Denis-Courmont’s intellectual property rights. In particular, Rémi Denis-Courmont believes you are infringing their copyright.”

Rémi Denis-Courmont’s complaint came pretty much unsuspected, since we did receive approval from the VideoLAN association before starting the iOS port of VLC. As a matter of fact, some members of VideoLAN even helped us porting VLC to the iOS.

It goes without saying, we still believe the AppStore licence is compatible with the GPLv2 under the which VLC is released. Therefore, together with the VideoLAN association, we’ll do our best to not let this be the end of VLC/iOS.

As a final word, we think it’s pretty sad to deny millions of users the right to enjoy a nice piece of open source software … in the name of freedom.

It appears that Apple is one sided with Rémi Denis-Courmont (the man behind the open source project) and is really putting both parties against each other. Hopefully something gets resolved between all parties and we can back to enjoying VLC Media Player on our iOS devices.

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CES: AirPlay systems are heading for prime time

More news from Apple’s AirPlay partner, BridgeCo, the company which manufactures the silicon used in AirPlay devices.

AirPlay devices weren’t so apparent at CES this year, though iHome, B&W and Klipsch all showed solutions implementing the standard, which enables users to stream audio from an iOS 4 device to an enabled speaker system. Read more

British Library comes to the iPhone, iPad

The British Library has introduced its first ever smartphone app, providing access to many of the Library’s most precious titles to iOS (and Android) users.

The app (available in HD for iPad users) is called ‘Treasures’ and offers over 100 library items, including the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Codex Sinaiticus which is thought to be the oldest bible in the world, the battle plan written by Nelson before his victory at Trafalgar, and the original draft of Nicholas Nickleby handwritten by Charles Dickens. Read more

VLC for iOS removed from the App Store (updated)

Nearly two months after a licensing issue arose between the creators of the open-source VLC platform and creators of the VLC iOS application, Apple has removed the application from their App Store. The conflict even broke an Apple-created policy on the App Store regarding DRM and applications built off open-source projects. One of the original creators of the VLC open-source platform announced the app’s removal on their blog and had this to say:

At last, Apple has removed VLC media player from its application store. Thus the incompatibility between the GNU General Public License and the AppStore terms of use is resolved – the hard way. I am not going to pity the owners of iDevices, and not even the MobileVLC developers who doubtless wasted a lot of their time. This end should not have come to a surprise to anyone.

Update: Remi decided to lighten up his quote we put above with this (notice the differences):

On January 7th, Apple removed VLC media player from its application store for iDevices. Thus the incompatibility between the GNU General Public License and the AppStore terms of use is resolved – the hard way. This end should not have come to a surprise to anyone, given the precedents.

He also wrote up a nice post about Apple’s involvment (very interesting). It’s posted after the break in case he decides to change that up a bit too.

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Mac App Store Downloads Top One Million in First Day

CUPERTINO, California—January 7, 2011—Apple today announced that over one million apps have been downloaded from the Mac App Store in the first day. With more than 1,000 free and paid apps, the Mac App Store brings the revolutionary App Store experience to the Mac, so you can find great new apps, buy them using your iTunes account, download and install them in just one step.

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No, you can't update previously-installed software via the App Store

Consider this a general tip: The Mac App Store won’t update third-party applications that you’ve bought elsewhere, despite recognising that they are installed.

It will tell you if software you acquire through the store is updated, but existing installs from outside the store won’t be noted in this way. Read more