Columbia University students create software allowing native iOS apps to run on Android devices

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

For some time now, iOS users have cited the quality and quantity of third-party software available for the platform as an important factor in their choice of mobile devices. Over the years Android has amassed its own collection of apps and users have continued butting heads over which system had the better selection.

Now, six Columbia University students have bridged the gap between the two platforms with something called Cider (via The Next Web). Not to be confused with the other Cider software (for OS X), the Android version of Cider essentially fools iOS applications into believing they’re running on an actual iPhone or iPad.

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Apple reportedly ends iPhone 4 sales in India after relaunching it earlier this year

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After introducing the phone to the Indian market in January this year, The Times of India is reporting that Apple has reversed this decision, once more discontinuing the product which was originally released in June 2010.

The paper says that new supplies of the iPhone 4 have been terminated at three leading trade partners in the country. It is weird for Apple to reverse plans so soon, but it was also uncharacteristic of the company to bring back the iPhone 4 in the first place.

Apple may have decided that the iPhone 4s and 8 GB iPhone 5c fills the gap well enough that it no longer needs to keep the iPhone 4 around. Despite expanding the availability of the SKU to more countries in mid-April, however, the device is not actually offered in India just yet. It is possible that the transition is still taking place.

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Patent jury foreman advises Apple to sue Google directly

patent

Photo: technobuffalo.com

The foreman of the jury that awarded Apple just 5.5 percent of the $2.2B it claimed Samsung owed for patent infringements said yesterday that Apple should sue Google rather than handset manufacturers, reports the WSJ.

If you really feel that Google is the cause behind this, as I think everybody has observed, then don’t beat around the bush,” said Tom Dunham, whose job at IBM was to oversee developers expected to file patents. “Let the courts decide. But a more direct approach may be something to think about” …

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Apple enticing games publishers with promotion deals in return for exclusivity

Game Center WWDC 2013

The Wall Street Journal has published a report saying that both Apple and Google are actively pursuing exclusivity deals with game developers. Whispers of these type of arrangements surfaced last year, with reports highlighting a partnership between Apple and EA for Plants vs Zombies 2.

The Journal confirms that Apple’s exclusivity deals do not include monetary payments. In return, the companies offer “premium placement” (such as featured spots on the home page) for launching first on their platform.

In regard to the Plants vs Zombies’ deal, the report says EA gave Apple agreed about two months of exclusivity.

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Death of Steve Jobs prompted Samsung’s U-turn on Apple attack ads

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We learned yesterday from patent trial evidence that Samsung was worried about running ads that directly attacked Apple, wanting Google to do it for them. We now know that it was the death of Steve Jobs which prompted Samsung’s change of mind, running the Next Big Thing ads which directly mocked Apple customers.

An email trail shows that Samsung America’s VP of U.S. sales Mike Pennington cynically described the death of Jobs as “the best opportunity” to run the campaign, as consumers might be worried about Apple’s future product innovations following the death of its famous co-founder.

Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone …

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Opinion: Should Apple settle its Android disputes and move on?

battle

With Apple in the midst of its second major court battle with Samsung over alleged patent violations, and all but one of the five claims relating to Android rather than to anything Samsung-specific, it’s gotten me wondering whether further cases of this kind are truly beneficial to Apple.

I understand it emotionally, of course. It’s galling to work hard on a hugely popular hardware design or user-interface only to see someone else copy parts of it, and the desire to hit back at that is a natural one. But I’m not sure that it makes too much sense rationally …  Read more

Samsung wanted Google to do its dirty work in attacking Apple

Image: amongtech.com

Image: amongtech.com

Another interesting revelation from the ongoing Apple vs Samsung patent trial: concerned about launching attack ads on a company that was a customer as well as a competitor, Samsung sought to persuade Google to “launch a campaign against Apple.”

The then CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America, Dale Sohn, emailed his chief marketing officer to ask:

As you have shared previously, we are unable to battle [Apple] directly in our marketing. If it continues to be Samsung’s position to avoid attacking Apple given its status as as a large customer, can we go to Google to ask them to launch a campaign against Apple based on the many better Android products available in the market for Q4?

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Amazon reportedly announcing first smartphone in June, will feature glasses-free 3D

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is planning to announce its first entry to the smartphone market in June. The possibility of an Amazon phone has been a long-running rumor, but recently sources claimed that the company had partnered with HTC to finally produce the device.

Following the launch of the Fire TV earlier this month, the Amazon phone will mark the second of Apple’s product categories the online retailer hopes to invade in 2014. With its Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon has been attempting to position itself to compete with the iPad for a few years.

The Amazon device will reportedly feature a display capable of creating 3D images without the need for glasses, according to the WSJ report:

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Mailbox goes beyond iOS, now available on Android and coming soon to OS X

Dropbox announced today that Mailbox, the popular gesture-heavy email client it bought last year, will soon be launching a desktop version of its software.

The company also announced a set of new features like Dropbox account sign in and syncing and delete automation coming soon to the iPhone and iPad versions that will debut first in a version available for Android; this marks the first time the email software will be available on another platform aside from iOS as Mailbox is available on the Google Play Store today.

Users interested in using the beta version of Mailbox for OS X (screenshot preview below), which is said to be very minimal and rely on the trackpad for gesture-based interactions, can sign up on Mailbox’s website to learn more about the upcoming beta. Read more

‘Beating Apple is #1 priority, everything must be in context of beating Apple’ – internal Samsung docs

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Documents revealed by the second Apple vs Samsung patent trial are not just giving us a peek behind the corporate curtains at 1 Infinite Loop, but also a glimpse into Samsung’s Seoul boardroom. A slide from a Samsung business forecast from 2011 shows the company viewing “beating Apple” as its number one priority for 2012 …  Read more

New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 8.48.37 PM

A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

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MLB At Bat app updated for 2014 season w/ new expanded instant replay feature

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This season will be the first that Major League Baseball uses a new expanded instant replay system that it first announced back in January. Now, the MLB At Bat app for iOS devices has been updated with support for the 2014 season and the new replay system. That means that users of the app will be able to view “every decisive instant replay video clip and review explanation,” the same footage the umpires review, through the app’s Gameday feature. 

A little more on the new replay system from the MLB’s announcement: Read more