Mobile Weekly Wrap: Google’s gift and the patent war is won

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements googleplay

One never knows what the whirlwind world of mobile phones will bring over the course of a week. Well, that’s not entirely true. It’s a pretty safe bet that someone will mention patents. But there’s no patent claiming that the rest of the news isn’t just as worthwhile. If you were too busy downloading all the major app updates that rolled out this week to keep up on other stories, here’s a collection of all the most interesting tidbits you missed from August 19-24, 2012.

Update all the things

Android users were barely able to keep up with all the updates that were released this week. From Pandora (read our impressions of it here) to Facebook to Flickr and everything in between, it seemed like all the essential apps on Google’s mobile OS got a revamp, relaunch, or redesign this week. It was a virtual gift for owners of the OS, but a physical gift if on its way as well. Google Play gift cards are now available, making it that much easier to purchase those tempting little apps.

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements windows

Microsoft gets hip by being square

While Android apps were getting new features and looks, Microsoft performed the biggest makeover of all by redesigning its logo. The new image that will represent the iconic company is a square with four other colored squares inside it, a clear representation of the new tile-style OS that will appear with Windows 8 Phones later this year. This news of a new look came around the same time that they also revealed a new carrier of Windows Phone: Verizon. The mobile provider will take on Nokia-made Windows phones later this year.

Apple and Samsung are both losers in Korea

In the never-ending patent war between Samsung and Apple, at least one battle has been decided. The winner: No one. A South Korean court has determined that both companies have infringed upon the other’s patents. The judge on the case also concluded that there was little evidence that anyone would confuse Apple and Samsung devices. Given the seriousness of violating patents, the judge dropped his gavel with full force, leveling Apple and Samsung with fines. The amounts? $35,500 for Apple and $22,000 for Samsung. We beleive both companies paid the money from spare change they found between the seats of their flying cars.

Samsung wasn’t so lucky on this side of the Pacific, where American courts were a little less lenient on patent infringements. Samsung lost the lawsuit against Apple, leading to $1.05 billion being owed to the fruit-based tech company. The case is sure to head to appeals court, which will no doubt keep the story in the news for weeks to come.

Apps and Games of the Week

This was the week of the update for mobile apps. On the new release front, things were a little slow. That doesn’t mean there weren’t some solid applications that deserve a space on your mobile device of choice, though. Here is our collection of the best apps of the week.

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements evertale

Evertale (Free, iPhone) – This app takes all the photos that you and your friends take at a certain location the stores them in a folder shared amongst only your circle. Relive the moments without the embarrassment of untagging those shame-inducing images from last night.

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements thedailyhundred

The Daily Hundred (Free, iPhone) – Make money just by being in the right place at the right time. This app indicates a daily challenge and encourages you to send in your best offering. The winner gets $100 for doing what you’d do anyway.

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements purl

Purl (Free, iPhone) – The world’s first location-based search engine, Purl delivers on the most relevant information to you based on your current location.

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements ehighlight

eHighlighter (Free, iPhone) – Using your camera, you can turn your paper books into a searchable, highlightable eBook. Transcribe full excerpts from books, mark them up and add notes that are available on your iOS device without ruining the integrity of the physical copy.

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements vote

VOTE!!! (Free, iOS) – We’ve all thought about how badly we’d like to punch a politician. Now you can do it without getting arrested or drug away by secret service. 

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements karaoke

Karaoke by PureSolo (Free, Android) – Sometimes you just get the urge to break out in song. Make sure you’ve got the lyrics right with Karaoke by PureSolo. If only there was an app that told you when you were too drunk to perform acceptable karaoke.

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements shuckrelay

ShuckRelay (Free, Android) – There’s so many podcasts out there these days. It can be hard to keep up with all your subscriptions. ShuckRelay keeps all your feeds in one place and allows you to check out single episodes.

mobile weekly wrap googles gift and patent infringements mikeyshorts

Mikey Shorts ($0.99, iOS) – It’s hard to invoke the old school appeal of platform titles, but Mikey Shorts nails it. With simplistic, flawless controls and great level design, it’s a game you can’t miss.

Business

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Mobile

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.
Mobile

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.
Mobile

Walk, run, and stretch with these handy iPhone fitness apps

Working out and getting yourself in shape isn't easy, but it's easier with the right set of apps. These best iPhone fitness apps will help you to track your calories, monitor your sleep, and achieve your fitness goals.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

These parental control apps will help keep your kids' device habits in check

Looking for extra security and monitoring on mobile devices? Take a look at the best parental control apps for limiting time and keeping watch on your child's phone usage and behavior. We have the top options for Android and iOS here.
Deals

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.
Deals

Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.
Mobile

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.
Mobile

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.
Mobile

You forgot all about these 6 phones of 2018. Prepare to forget them again

The best phones of the year are memorable, exciting, and ones we all want to buy. But what about the others? We're not talking about bad phones, we're talking about forgettable phones -- ones that aren't even bad enough to be remembered.
Mobile

T-Mobile is giving away free iPhone XRs and Galaxy S9s for the holidays

T-Mobile is celebrating the holiday season with a series of deals for customers who want an iPhone XR, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6T, LG V40, or LG G7. There are terms and conditions to the deals, but they are still worth considering.