Sunday, December 29, 2013

LG's intuitive display-waking Knock tech coming to all future phones

LG's intuitive display-waking Knock tech coming to all future phones

LG's intuitive display-waking Knock tech coming to all future phones

LG has decided the popular Knock feature on its LG G2 handset shouldn't be kept from the masses and is rolling out the tool to all current L Series II handsets and including it as standard in all future devices.

The neat UI tool (previously known as KnockON) allows users to turn the display on and off simply by double tapping the screen.

It made its debut on the G2 as a means of getting around the rear-facing power button, ensuring users wouldn't need to pick up the device every time they wished to wake the display.

Knock graduated to the recent LG G Pad 8.3 and is also featured on the new LG G Flex with the curved display.

Taking the Knock

Now it's coming to all thanks to a software update and inclusion in the company's next wave of devices.

"Knock is distinctively an LG UX and a great example of what happens when you marry the latest in mobile technology with consumer-centric insights," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO, LG Mobile.

"No one ever thought that a power button needed to be improved until our engineers wondered why they couldn't turn the entire screen into a power button."

The Knock tech is LG's answer to 'Quick Glance,' which allows the user to see missed calls, notifications, the time and more, simply by waving their hand over the sensor.


BLIP: BlackBerry pulls buggy Twitter update for BB10, tells users to downgrade

BLIP: BlackBerry pulls buggy Twitter update for BB10, tells users to downgrade

BLIP: BlackBerry pulls buggy Twitter update for BB10, tells users to downgrade

BlackBerry is instructing users to ditch the latest version of its Twitter client and downgrade to the previous iteration, following a host of complaints from BB10 users.

The beleaguered company has pulled the current, glitch-heavy app (version 10.2.2) from the BlackBerry World portal and says users should delete the app from their phone.

BlackBerry has reinstated Twitter v10.2.1 within the app store and says users can access it by entering the device's settings and refreshing BlackBerry App World.

The former version of the app should then appear and be avai lable for download. Simple. A pain in the rear end, but simple nonetheless.

More blips!

Don't worry, you won't have to uninstall anything after reading these blips...


In Depth: Apple in 2014: what to expect

In Depth: Apple in 2014: what to expect

In Depth: Apple in 2014: what to expect

For Apple, every year is "magical" and, indeed, "amazing" - but it does look like 2014 will live up to the superlatives. Tim Cook promised "amazing new hardware, software and services" into 2014 - so what can we expect to see coming from Cupertino?

What hot hardware should we see at WWDC? Come with us as we pilot the canoe of news down the river of rumour.

1. iPhone 6

The only certainties in life are death, taxes and an annual iPhone event. 2014's one is likely to be a biggie, quite literally: even-numbered iPhones tend to get new shapes, and reports of big-screened iPhone prototypes have been getting louder. We'll be adding to our iPhone 6 rumour roundup throughout the year to help sift tiny truths from the sand of speculation.

Could the iPhone 6 have a 3D sensor? Apple bought quite a few companies in 2013, and one of the most intriguing is Kinect creator PrimeSense. Its 3D sensing technology can detect 3D objects, recognise gestures and even scan rooms so that when you go furniture shopping, you can check whether items will fit.

2. iPad Air 2

New iPads are another safe bet, with the next iPad Air likely to deliver improved performance and probably TouchID too. One of the most tantalising rumours is of an iPad Pro, a big-screened iPad that would sit happily between the iPad Air and the MacBook Air. We reckon a 12.9-inch iPad would be an easy sell.

3. A better Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple's TV set remains the stuff of rumour and speculation, but its Apple TV set-top box is due an update and is likely to go 64-bit in 2014 with the addition of Apple's A7 processor. Difficulties in getting broadcasters on board and the vast differences between different countries' TV industries means that TV is likely to remain Tim Cook's "hobby" for a while longer.

4. Grown-up gaming

iOS 7's support for gaming controllers is beginn ing to bear fruit, with the first iPhone controllers hitting the shelves just in time for Christmas. More will follow, and we hope they take off: button-mashing is so much more fun than finger-tapping. The controllers also raise the tantalising possibility of connecting to that A7 Apple TV, turning it into a pretty powerful little console.

5. iOS in the car

iOS car

Siri Eyes Free hasn't caused much excitement so far, but that might change in 2014 as iOS in the car comes to a showroom near you. 18 car companies have announced plans to put Siri Eyes Free in their cars, including BMW, GM, Mercedes, Audi. Honda, Volvo, Nissan and Ferrari. Ford, which has its own Microsoft-powered Sync, is notable by its absence.

6. iOS 8: better maps and smarter Siri

ios 7

Studying Apple's recent acquisitions provides some interesting clues about the future of iOS. While iOS 8 is unlikely to come with a dramatic visual overhaul so soon after iOS 7 scared the horses, the underlying tech could be getting much smarter and more useful. Apple has bought public transport navigation services HopStop and Embark, business mapping firm Locationary and Google Now-esque personal assistant Cue, whose technology creates personalised agenda s by scanning users' email. Who knows, we might even get some of the things on our wish list.

7. A brand new MacBook Pro

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, whose predictions have been pretty reliable in the past, Apple is working on a brand new MacBook Pro that harks back to the much-loved 12-inch Powerbook: it'll have a twelve-inch Retina display and be thinner and lighter than a MacBook Air thanks to a new clamshell structure. Apparently it's going to "redefine laptop computing" just like the MacBook Air did.

8. A cheaper iMac


Could WWDC 20 14 see a new, cheaper iMac? Ming-Chi Kuo thinks so. Apple isn't immune from the global slowdown in PC sales, and plugging the gap between the £499 Mac Mini and the £1,149 iMac could give its bottom line a boost.

9. OS X 10.10

Details are firmly under wraps, but web servers are already recording visits from computers running the next version of OS X. The iOS-ification of OS X is likely to continue, with OS X and iOS remaining separate platforms but sharing data and features, and OS X's look and feel may well get an iOS 7-style refresh too.

10. iWatch


We do love the rumour mill: apparently the iWatch, a product currently made entirely fr om wish lists and dreams, has been delayed to speed up development of the iPad Pro, which might not exist either. Apple's secrecy appears to be holding, which suggests that an iWatch isn't imminent, but the inclusion of the activity-tracking M7 in the iPhone 5S indicates that Apple's plans for wearable computing aren't just bloggers' excited imaginings.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Google takes Rockstar Consortium patent battle across state lines

Google takes Rockstar Consortium patent battle across state lines

Google takes Rockstar Consortium patent battle across state lines

Google has asked a court in California to rule on a patent issue that was first raised by Rockstar Consortium in Texas in October.

Rockstar, a patent firm backed by Microsoft, Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony, outbid Google to acquire a pack of patents for $ 4.5 billion in 2011.

Then in October this year Rockstar proceeded to sue Samsung, HTC and five other Google partners in a Texas court for allegedly infringing on seven of those patents.

Now Google has reached out to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to ask the court to rule that its Nexus devices and the Android devices produced by its partners do not in fact infringe on Rockstar's patents.

They're certainly not making Grand Theft Auto

From the outside looking in it would appear that Rockstar Consortium is nothing more than a patent troll looking to dampen Android's dominance. Google certainly things so at least.

In its filing with the California court, the search company said Rockstar "produces no products and practices no patents."

"Instead," the filing reads, "Rockstar employs a staff of engineers in Ontario, Canada, who examine other companies' successful products to find anything that Rockstar might use to demand and extract licenses to its patents under threat of litigation."

Google believes the California court has jurisdiction because Rockstar shareholders (like Apple, for one) and companies Rockstar litigates against are located in the Golden State.

Everything's bigger

Texas courts are notorious for being lenient toward patent claims, even when said cases appear to be obvious instances of patent trolling.

In a separate but related case Rockstar and subsidiary NetStar Technologies have sued Google in Texas over another seven patents concerning search queries and related ads, an important part of Google's business.

Google has asked for a 30-day extension to issue a response in that case.


//PART 2