Samsung copied Apple. There really isn’t another way to put it. Samsung didn’t copy Apple in every conceivable way, but when you compare several of their phones to the iPhone, it’s clear that Samsung wanted their hardware and software to resemble that of Apple’s iPhone.
It’s easy for Android supporters to want to defend Samsung, but the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of Apple’s argument: Samsung realized that it needed to copy Apple to get ahead in the smartphone space. In terms of what this means for the lawsuit seems trivial, but there are deeper issues at stake. How did Samsung copying Apple damage the Android ecosystem as a whole and why should you care?
With the release of the Nexus 7, Google set its sights on Amazon to try and reclaim control of the Android tablet space. Ever since Amazon forked Android for the Kindle Fire there has been some confusion about what OEM software customization means. There seems to be some confusion in the industry about what TouchWiz and Sense really are. More and more often I have seen articles arguing that the Galaxy S III and the Kindle Fire offer the same non-Google experience. Even more shocking, I’ve heard arguments that AOSP is Android and the Nexus line of phones offers the “Google experience.” The question isn’t whether or not OEMs offer a Google experience (they do); the question is if they’ll keep a Google experience.
Choice in browsers has been an integral part in the history of computing. Mozilla has been at the heart of the push for choice in browsers from its inception out of Netscape to the introduction of Firefox in 2004. Since 2004, Mozilla has been dedicated to giving users a choice in browsers not only on the desktop, but on mobile.
The latest version of Firefox for Android, available in Google Play today, comes in the midst of heavy competition in browsers for Android with Dolphin HD, Opera Mobile, Opera Mini, and Firefox each having been downloaded more than ten million times. Perhaps even more dauntingly, Google is in the process of making Chrome the default browser in Android. Chrome made headlines in the last six weeks as it surpassed Internet Explorer to become the most used browser internationally on desktops. Mozilla is keenly aware that by developing Firefox for Android they are competing with Google in a way that is much less obvious on the desktop.
Yesterday Microsoft unveiled their new tablet, Surface. A reimagination of the original Surface concept, Microsoft’s new tablet combines Windows 8 with a slew of ideas borrowed from multiple devices. Does Microsoft’s latest foray into the hardware space threaten Apple, Google, or Amazon?
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In late May Paul Miller of The Verge detailed his visit to a rally put on by various groups of Orthodox Jews about the dangers of the Internet. The article itself is a good read, but the video of the event is incredible. In the video Paul talks with a number of Orthodox Jews about their views on the Internet, but one man in particular, Eytan Kobre, an editor for Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly, had some particularly fascinating things to say about how the Internet should be viewed.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Google’s purchase of Motorola and the rumor that Google will partner with five manufacturers for the Nexus project. There seem to be signs that things are changing around the way Google controls Android. Google needs the phone manufacturers and the carriers to ensure that handsets get into consumers’ hands, but the tug of war between OS vendor, OEM, and carrier hasn’t been pretty. (more…)
Droid Life is a site that was built on a passion for Android, especially its incarnation in the OG DROID. Back when I was still sporting the OG I remember coming across The Mobile Panda. Between blog posts and trolling podcasts, @black_man_x, as he’s known on Twitter, used to drop hints about future products and help out regular users. I’ve always appreciated his perspective on mobile, so I thought our lovely community of readers would enjoy the chance to read more about the Panda’s perspective on a variety of topics. (more…)
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When Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPad it was hailed as a content consumption device. Most of the people that I know that own a tablet use it almost exclusively to consume content, not to create it. Despite the heavy emphasis on consumption, publishers have struggled to get smartphone and tablet owners to pay for content on their devices.
This struggle between publishers and readers is as old as the Internet. The Internet set a new standard for content with most websites publishing articles for free with ads lining the sides of the website. Eventually publishers used paywalls to force readers to pay for a subscription or a one time fee to read an article in its entirety. Readers who had become accustomed to free content moved on to other sources or looked for ways to get the article for free. The iPad was supposed to be the medium with which publishers would be able to charge for content again, but as Jason Pontin of Technology Review explains, the cost of app development and limited reader response made the iPad an illegitimate messiah of publishing.
Pontin concludes that since the iPad and Newsstand failed to attract subscribers, the web must be the future of publishing, not apps. I’m convinced that Pontin is wrong. Publishers made two vital errors with digital publishing: first, apps should not be treated as a magazine replacement and second, people shouldn’t be forced to pay for content that they don’t want. If publishers and Google can work together to correct these errors, together they can save digital magazines and newspapers. (more…)