I pay extra for my “High Performance Internet” from Comcast which boasts a 25 MBPS download speed. I was able to get that speed only up to about two weeks after the upgrade. Now I am only averaging about 15 MBPS. That’s one problem I will have to address Comcast about, but the picture below depicts another problem that I am totally confused about. The problem is I can be trying to watch a YouTube video and it freezes. Now I watch most videos full screen in 1080i if possible, but the problem persists at even lower quality settings. Now a lot of people suffer from this problem that have slower connection speeds, but should I really be having the problem with the current speed of my ISP verified from SpeedTest.net? I don’t think so, but as you can see from the picture below is that according to the gray part of the bar on the bottom of the video, it can be buffered and still not playing on my Quad-core. What’s up with this? Is it a YouTube problem or what. It seems that Google’s servers on YouTube have been getting slower instead of faster over the year. That’s another story, but what about the “buffering”. Are they trying to pull the wool over our eyes or is this a flash problem or what? Any ideas?
To Protect And Defend ANDROID Dominance
Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users. Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide—with over 550,000 devices now lit up every day—through a network of about 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries. Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed toacquire Motorola.
Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today. Its many industry milestones include the introduction of the world’s first portable cell phone nearly 30 years ago, and the StarTAC—the smallest and lightest phone on earth at time of launch. In 2007, Motorola was a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance that worked to make Android the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. I have loved my Motorola phones from the StarTAC era up to the current DROIDs.
In 2008, Motorola bet big on Android as the sole operating system across all of its smartphone devices. It was a smart bet and we’re thrilled at the success they’ve achieved so far. We believe that their mobile business is on an upward trajectory and poised for explosive growth.
Motorola is also a market leader in the home devices and video solutions business. With the transition to Internet Protocol, we are excited to work together with Motorola and the industry to support our partners and cooperate with them to accelerate innovation in this space.
Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere.
This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.
We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.
The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences. I am confident that these great experiences will create huge value for shareholders.
I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.
Posted by Larry Page, CEO
SOURCE Google Blog
Well, as the days pass, I am still waiting for the new Froyo 2.2 update for my rooted HTC Droid Incredible (dInc). Word now is that it should be coming by the week of Aug 6th to the 15th. Since mine is rooted I will either have to unroot it to get the OTA or wait for a new ROM from Cyanogen. Either way the wait shouldn’t be too much longer and you can see why I am excited about this major update from Google. My phone runs super fast, but I can’t imagine an increase in speed of about 300% but from the video below with them running the benchmark app Quadrant by Aurorasoftworks you will see the oldest phone the Nexus One by Google is the fastest only because it is running Froyo 2.2. Unbelievable what Google has done with their new JIT (Just In Time) compiler for Java. They are seeing performance increases from 200% to 500%. That is Incredible. Check out the video.
Droid Incredible review
By Joshua Topolsky posted Apr 19th 2010 12:28AM
The hottest New SmartPhone NOW is HTC’s Droid Incedible and this is an excellent review by EnGadget. I just pre-ordered mine yesterday and you can too here.
At this point, the HTC Incredible should seem like pretty familiar territory to our readers. We first caught wind of the device in a ROM leak back in December of 2009, and shortly thereafter saw lots of little snippets on the phone that made it clear it was headed our way. Of course, it’s a potent combination that’s been put together here — an HTC-made, Verizon-locked device sporting a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 8GB of internal storage, 748MB of ROM, a microSD slot (with support for up to 32GB cards), an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and autofocus, 480 x 800 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, and most importantly, Android 2.1 with HTC’s Sense UI on-board. The combo of America’s largest (and some say best) 3G network with a super-fast, Sense-equipped Android phone is a match made in nerd heaven. We’ve seen a near-exact device in the HTC Desire — basically the Incredible for the European market — and the internals and screen technology are almost identical to the Nexus One, but the Incredible has a personality that’s all its own. So is this the next killer device on the US market? Or have we heard this tune before? Read on for the answers you seek!
As you’ve seen in the leaked photos (and more recently, press photos), HTC and Verizon have teamed up to make what looks like it would be a fairly tame, streamlined device into something decidedly edgier. Instead of going for a predictable smooth back, HTC has given the Incredible a tiered, weirdly angular soft-touch casing which the company says is meant to evoke the styling of a race car. We weren’t immediately psyched on the concept, but after getting it into our hands, we’ll admit that the decision wasn’t completely crazy. It not only sets the device apart from its slate touchscreen contemporaries, but actually gives you a little something to hold onto when you’ve got the device in your grips. While it looks like this odd decision could add thickness to the phone, when we compared it side-by-side with the iPhone 3GS and Nexus One, they were all about even.
Beyond the racing flair, HTC has added some subtle red highlights on the phone (around the camera lens and on the ear-piece), but it’s kept things pretty clean around the sides. Up top there’s a sleep / power button on the left-hand side, a standard headphone jack on the right, and along the left side of the phone you’ve got a volume rocker and Micro USB connector. We definitely miss the inclusion of a dedicated mute switch on the recent crop of Android devices, and we wouldn’t have complained about a camera button — but those two minor niggles are certainly not deal breakers.
On the front of the device you’ve got that big, beautiful WVGA display, four touch-sensitive hard buttons (here arranged in HTC’s familiar home, menu, back, and search configuration), plus an optical trackpad standing in for the typical trackball found on earlier phones. We were pleased to discover that the wonky sensitivity on the hard buttons we experience on the Nexus One were nowhere to be found here.
All in all, the Incredible looks and feels like a modern, sophisticated smartphone with a lot of that masculine edge that Motorola imparted to the Droid along with the curvy smoothness the Droid Eris sports. It’s almost like the two devices mated (which kind of makes sense). It’s a handsome phone, though we suspect some people will be bothered by the Verizon-inspired tweaks that have been made here.
In general, the Incredible’s display was very reminiscent of the Nexus One screen — that should come as no surprise, they’re identical — though the touch response seemed notably better here, likely a software issue. Because these displays are the same, it means they share the same issues; we disliked the color intensity on the Incredible just as we did on the Nexus One. Reds and oranges, in particularly, look overwhelmingly saturated here, and other colors aren’t truly represented. It’s just too colorful, if you can believe it. Another somewhat major issue that we struggled with on the Incredible (just as we did on the Nexus One) was the awful screen visibility in bright daylight. We had numerous occasions where we simply could not answer a call or take a picture due to the AMOLED display’s poor showing outdoors. In overcast settings (such as the one above) it was usually bearable, and If you crank the brightness all the way up on sunnier days you can get some visibility, though once you’re outside and can’t see the display, that’s a bit of a challenge. In all honesty, we love certain aspects of these screens, but we’re perplexed as to why HTC continues to use this same display when it’s clear the daylight performance is hamstrung.
The camera is one of the big selling points of the Incredible. At 8 megapixels, it’s obviously one of the highest resolution smartphone shooters on the market — but is it any good? In our tests, we found the Incredible’s camera capable of taking stunning photos — particularly in daylight settings — though it also has a few drawbacks that made it a little less usable than we would have liked. First the good though. Unlike other HTC cameras, there doesn’t seem to be any color spotting or weird splotches here. When we took a snap, the reproduction was true to the source (or certainly as true as other cameras we’ve tested). The shutter speed is fairly quick, though by no means Palm Pre quick, even with the review option switched off. You take pictures using the trackpad button, though we would have liked an option to take pics with an onscreen trigger as well, as pushing in the rather shallow trackpad caused the camera to shake a bit. Another issue we had was that the autofocus seemed to shoot first and ask questions later, meaning that on a number of occasions it appeared to have locked on to its subject and snapped a photo, but the results were rather blurry. We had a similar issue with the flash, where we felt it was jumping the gun just enough to blow out a lot of the images we tried to take. Those issues aside, the more time we spent with the Incredible’s camera, the more used to it we got, and by the end of this review period (which admittedly wasn’t as long as we would have liked), we were getting pretty handy with it. We had particularly good results when we switched the metering mode to centered.
The Incredible also does fairly high resolution video — up to 800 x 480. We would have liked to see a 720p option here, but we realize we’re being hopeless romantics. Regardless, the higher res video did a decent, if somewhat pixelated and slightly stutttery, job at capturing a beautiful Brooklyn sunset. We had better results at VGA resolution, but both modes were more than acceptable for basic shooting. Just don’t expect this to stand in for your HD camcorder, and you’ll be all set.
800 X 480
640 X 480
Sound quality / speakerphone
As you may know, we loved the sound quality on the Motorola Droid. In fact, we think it’s probably the best sounding phone we’ve ever used. We didn’t get quite as excited about the Nexus One (tinny, not loud enough), but the Incredible has seriously jockeyed for Moto’s spot here. The earpiece on this device is loud and clear, but never painful on the ‘drums, while the speakerphone is excellent for both conversations and video / audio playback. It’s a really solid speaker which should be more than sufficient for conference callers and voracious media snackers alike. Bravo guys!
In a somewhat new move for Android phone, HTC has equipped the Incredible with 8GB of internal storage as well as a MicroSD slot which can handle an additional 32GB — giving you a whopping potential 40GB of space for your goods. We love the idea of a hardwired option for content storage, but HTC has some problems with this implementation. Firstly, many apps currently available in the Android Market which utilize an SD card for offloading data aren’t able to see the internal storage at all, which means if you drag some APKs you want to install or want to download some data when you’re in an app, you’re out of luck. It just simply doesn’t see it. This was especially problematic with the NYC Bus & Subway Maps application which requires a download of the train maps, and when we tried to run Nesoid (a popular NES emulator), it not only couldn’t find ROMs saved on the phone’s storage, but it force closed when we tried to move up a directory! This may not seem like a big deal, but more than once when using the phone we hit this brick wall by not having an SD card present. For the $199 price tag on this thing, it wouldn’t have killed HTC or Verizon to throw in even a 2GB card to make the transition easier.
We’re not going to go into excessive detail on Android 2.1 and the Sense UI present on this phone, as you can read all the details on the software in our previous reviews of the Desire and the Legend, though there are tweaks and additions here that are worth making mention of.
Firstly, we need to talk about the differences between Android 2.1 with and without the Sense UI. If you’ve looked at a Nexus One (or own one), then you probably know that the experience with the UI is a mixed bag. Some portions of the software have been dramatically cleaned up, while others seem to be left on the cutting room floor. That’s absolutely not the case with 2.1 and Sense. Basically, the Incredible — and all devices with that combo — feel like complete, polished, modern smartphones, with none of the perks or features missing. In particular, the homescreens have been massively expanded here, giving you seven screens in which to store icons and widgets… and there are a lot of widgets. HTC has included a handful of its own widgets alongside some of the familiar stock ones which Google offers. Of course, the widgets (and their corresponding apps) which HTC offers generally offer far more functionality than Google’s options, and they’re also tied together with Sense in way that makes the experience of using them within the OS feel complete — something notably missing from the Google-only experience. To say that this UI is competitive with something like iPhone OS 3.1 (or 4 for that matter), or Palm’s webOS is an understatement; in many ways it’s superior to what Apple and Palm are offering.
HTC has done a marvelous job in tweaking Sense in all the right places. The first Sense device we tested was the Hero, which we found to be seriously lacking in the horsepower department, resulting in an experience that was sluggish and disappointing. The performance of the Incredible couldn’t have been more opposite. The phone never hiccuped, and scrolling between pages or up and down long lists happened without hesitation. Not only was the UI blazingly fast and responsive — even with all seven homescreens running heavy widgets — but as we mentioned previously, the touchscreen response on this phone seem remarkably better than its contemporaries, which leads us to believe that HTC has honed the software in this regard as well. That sensitivity comes in especially handy when using HTC’s new pinch feature on the homescreens, which brings up a "card" view of all your pages. The only spot where we noticed any kind of slowdown was when using the live wallpapers — we’re not really big fans of the concept to begin with, but it did seem to make the homescreen frame rate visibly more sluggish. Besides just the cosmetic stuff, HTC has also done seriously heavy lifting in the details department, continuing to improve the music, video, and photo browsing options on their devices, as well as making their fantastic on-screen keyboard even better in this higher resolution version. We found finger tracking and typing speed to be considerably improved, as well as word prediction and correction. Apple, watch your back… HTC has done a damn good job of sneaking up on your tech, and maybe improving on it. We can’t stress this enough: HTC has made a really good OS (Android) into a truly amazing and competitive OS. HTC has even improved upon the copy and paste functions of the phone, making the process much more iPhone-like, but expanding on that with options to share and look up your selections via a context menu. Oh, and did we mention the amazing new text flow in the browser? No matter how far you zoom in, HTC’s software will reflow the text you’re looking at to make it zoomable. It’s pretty amazing, actually. We don’t know why Google doesn’t just collaborate with the company in a more formal fashion, because no one else has been able to deliver this cohesive and enjoyable of an experience with Android.
It should also be noted that the browser on these phones is equipped with Flash lite, though we had lots of trouble getting videos to play on many of the sites we visited (Engadget included). If someone was hoping to convince us that Flash could work on a device like this, consider the job unfinished.
Verizon and HTC have collaborated on a few perks in the OS as well, cleaning up the Google Navigation, er, navigation, and also collapsing Visual Voicemail into the messaging app on the phone, making it easier to get at all your communications at once. We’re Google Voice users (which of course perfectly integrates with the device), so we didn’t spend much time with Verizon’s version. HTC was also happy to point out that its email app supports multiple Exchange, POP, or IMAP accounts with a unified inbox — something that should please a number of enterprise users. Other bundled apps include Quickoffice, a PDF viewer, HTC’s Teeter game, and Peep, the company’s built-in Twitter client. A note about this latter application; we’re big fans of HTC making Twitter an integrated part of its UI, but this app has the annoying habit of auto-updating your timeline and jumping to the most recent tweet, which makes this "solution" less than appealing. We ended up sticking with Seesmic, and probably will until HTC addresses this minor issue. One other item that cropped up — which may or may not have to do with this being an unreleased device — is that we got very different results for apps in the Market. Some programs we were looking for just simply didn’t show up in our searches. We had the same problem with the Desire and Legend when testing, and HTC says it’s looking into this problem, though we have yet to hear a proper explanation from the company on why this is occurring.
Overall the experience with 2.1 and Sense was a complete pleasure — using the phone felt fast and efficient. We’d like to point out that we’ve been running the Incredible without any third party task managers, and without manually killing any applications. Android is designed to multitask without the need for utilities of the sort, and based on Steve Jobs’ words from the recent iPhone OS 4 event, we were extra curious to see how this brand new build of the software would fare. We can tell you this — it hasn’t let us down yet, and we’re not seeing any sluggish behavior or force closes on apps. If this OS has a need for management of its processes, we haven’t experienced it yet.
Network / Battery life
As usual, Verizon’s network was outstanding. We know everyone already accepts how rock-solid Big Red’s connections are, but we’d like to point out that at various times while riding an NYC subway underground, the Incredible managed to squeeze connectivity out of the big V. In fact, when we first took the phone out of its box we were riding the train, and it picked up enough data to auto-update our time and location. Now that really is something.
As we said previously, we didn’t have an enormous amount of time to test this device, but in the handful of days we had, we found battery life to be good, but not outstanding. In comparison to the Nexus One, it seemed to fare a bit worse; we could get through a day, but things were down to the wire by the end of the night. It’s obvious that a lot of these widgets and background processes HTC is running are going to put a strain on your device, and given that we’re pretty active with our smartphones, something is bound to give. Now keep in mind there’s nothing really abnormal about the battery life on the Incredible — it’s just not going to wow you.
Let’s just put this out there: the Droid Incredible is the best Android device that you can purchase in America right now. It’s better than the Droid, better than the Nexus One, and certainly beats the pants off of any previous generation handsets like the Eris, myTouch, or Cliq. It’s not just a very, very good Android phone (though it is); it’s also an excellent smartphone no matter how you cut it. If you’re on Verizon right now, you’re finally getting really great options for phones, but the Incredible is currently sitting at the top of that heap with a good bit of distance to the next in line. Sure, there are still issues like a lack of quality titles in the Android Market, and if a hardware keyboard is a must, this won’t do the job for you. Also, while Sense is truly great on this phone, there may be users who prefer a more streamlined, stripped down experience. Still, if you’re looking for an ultra-fast, extremely capable smartphone that has the guts and gleam to go the distance, the Incredible just might be the Droid you’re looking for. Yes, we made that joke.
Source for Review
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Patent #7,362,331: Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States
This is an interface patent granted in 2008 — it’s not specifically related to phones. According to the claims, it’s a method of moving a GUI object along a path with a non-constant velocity for a period of time — one of the claims specifically covers minimizing windows with a scaling effect like OS X, and two others describe a row of icons that rearranges itself when icons are added or removed, just like the iPhone’s app dock.
Patent #7,479,949: Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics
We did this one at length after it was issued in January of last year — check out our Palm discussion for more. The big one here is scroll behavior: starting a scroll in a single direction locks you in that direction, but starting it at an angle lets you pan around freely — just like the Android browser.
Patent #7,657,849: Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image
This one’s cute ’cause it’s brand new — seriously, it was just granted on February 2. It’s almost exactly what it says on the tin: it covers unlocking a touchscreen device by moving an unlock image. It’s broad enough for us to say that it covers virtually every unlock behavior we’ve seen on phones, not just the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock implementation.
Patent #7,469,381: List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display
Yep, we covered this 2008 patent in our Palm piece too — well remembered, friends. Jump back to that for the full details, but the executive summary is that it covers the iPhone’s distinctive scroll-back-and-bounce behavior.
Patent #5,920,726: System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device
Granted in 1999, this patent is surprisingly broad — it flatly covers managing power in a digital camera device to a power manager that sends state information to a processor controlling the camera.
Patent #7,633,076: Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices
This was issued in October of 2009, and it’s really quite specific: it covers a phone with multitouch input, a proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor, which allows input when the sensors indicate one condition and doesn’t allow input in others. In simple terms? It’s how the iPhone shuts off the touchscreen when you hold it to your ear, a scenario that’s specifically called out in the claims.
Patent #5,848,105: GMSK Signal Processors For Improved Communications Capacity And Quality
The year was 1998, and times were lean in Cupertino. Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple, and although the company’s fortunes were turning with the introduction of the iMac, it was clear that a true breakout was needed. "We have the answer!" cried William A. Garnder and Stephan V. Schell, two of the company’s employees. "We’ll develop an an apparatus for extracting a signal of interest from a plurality of spectrally and temporally overlapping input signals containing digital data having a bit rate!" Years later, this patent would thoroughly confuse a young lawyer simply trying to make sense of this mad, mad world.
Patent #7,383,453: Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor
Another deeply technical patent, granted in 2008. On reading the claims, we’re going to hazard a guess and say it covers powering down a processor when told to sleep, but this sort of patent is exactly why this litigation will take years and require many hearing to determine exactly what’s covered.
Patent #5,455,599: Object-Oriented Graphic System
This is the oldest patent of the bunch, issued in 1995. (You can really get a sense for how Apple’s counsel has changed the way it writes patents over time by reading all of these, by the way. The older ones are really quite terse.) Again, it’s technical to the point where we don’t feel comfortable saying exactly what it means, but it covers building graphics objects with a processor and outputting them through various means. Given the fact that this predates Steve Jobs’ return to Apple, we’d say this one was thrown in because Apple’s lawyers think it’s particularly strong, not because it has something to do with phones specifically.
Patent #6,424,354: Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods
This one is actually quite interesting: it’s from 2002 and is illustrated with drawing from Mac OS 9, but it covers event notifications passed among objects — a system specifically described in the abstract as presenting a context-sensitive menu on the screen. That’s very much the core of the Android UI, if you think about it. We don’t know exactly what Apple thinks HTC is infringing with this patent, but it’s one to keep an eye on, since it could have huge implications.
Okay, that’s it for the federal case. Ready for the patents claimed in the ITC complaint? They’re even more dryly technical, it’s going to be a blast.
Patent #5,481,721: Method for providing automatic and dynamic translation of object oriented programming language-based message passing into operation system message passing using proxy objects
This one’s fun — it’s actually an old NeXT patent from 1996. And we’re talking old-school NeXT — the inventors are listed as Betrand Serlet, Avie Tevanian, and Lee Boynton. Anyway, this one is large, broad, and technical: it covers passing objects in an OS between processes by way of a proxy object. Again, given that this is primarily an OS patent and that Apple claims all of HTC’s Android phones infringe it, it’s hard to shake the impression that this case is anything but a proxy for a larger fight to come.
Patents #5,519,867 and #6,275,983: Object Oriented Multitasking System and Object-Oriented Operating System
Apple lumps these older OS patents together, so we are too. ‘867 is from 1996 and covers accessing OS level services in a multithreaded way; ‘983 is from 2001 and describes an OS in which apps can access native system services and those services can make use of data associated with an object. Again, dry, technical — and totally aimed at Android, not HTC itself.
Patent #5,566,337: Method and apparatus for distributing events in an operating system
Another OS patent from 1996, this time relating to passing event notifications between objects — like changing app behavior based on battery status. If you’re not getting that Apple is targeting Android with the ITC case in particular by including low-level patents like these, there’s really nothing more we can do. Oh, wait — we can drop another six patents on your head.
Patent #5,929,852: Encapsulated network entity reference of a network component system
This one is also interesting because of it’s age — it’s from 1999, and describes a way for users to get at remotely-stored resources more effectively by using software "components" that deal with different data types.
Patent 5,946,647: System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data
Seriously, we’re almost impressed at how deeply Apple is pulling here. ‘647, issued in 1999, is what you might characterize as the "data detectors" patent — it covers parsing data for known structures like phone numbers, address, and dates, and then taking action with that data. The model described is client / server, though, so it remains to be seen how Android handles similar tasks.
Patent #5,969,705: Message protocol for controlling a user interface from an inactive application program
You’re going to love this one: ‘705 is a 1999 patent covering a form of multitasking. Specifically, it hits on the idea that a foreground app can direct a background process to go do some task while the foreground app remains responsive. The actual implementation is a bit more specific, but in the end, it’s just another OS patent that’s aimed directly at Android. Apple’s also claiming this one against Nokia.
Patent #6,343,263: Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data
Hey, a patent claim that’s aimed at HTC’s WinMo phones as well as its Android phones! That’s a new one. This 2002 patent covers using a separate real-time API to control low-level systems like digital signal processors. This is the one and only claim in the ITC complaint that touches on non-Android HTC devices. It’s like that, people. Apple’s also claiming this one against Nokia.
Patent #5,915,131: Method and apparatus for handling I/O requests utilizing separate programming interfaces to access separate I/O service
A 2002 patent hitting on multiple API usage in operating systems. Guess which Google-designed OS Apple says infringes on this one? Oh, and yes — Apple’s also claiming this one against Nokia.
Patent #RE39,486: Extensible, replaceable network component system
This patent was originally issued in 2001 and then reissued in 2007, and it covers — surprise! — OS-level software. Specifically, RE ‘486 covers organizing modular software "components" into a network layer with an API. It’s more specific than that, but again, what’s important for our purposes here is that this is about low-level software, not devices — and the HTC devices that Apple says infringe this patent all run low-level software from Google. This is another one that Apple’s claiming against Nokia.
by MIGUEL HELFT
Published: November 19, 2009
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google began lifting the veil on its planned Chrome operating system on Thursday, but it said that computers powered by the software would not be available for a year.
Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
The new operating system, which is closely tied to Google’s Web browser, also named Chrome, is seen as a potential challenge to Microsoft, whose Windows software powers the vast majority of personal computers.
But with the Chrome operating system, Google is not trying to build a better version of Windows. Instead, it is aiming to shift users toward its vision of “cloud computing,” a model in which programs are not installed on a PC but rather are used over the Internet and accessed through a Web browser. In Google’s approach, a user’s data will also reside on servers across the Internet, rather than on their PC.
Most PC users already rely on cloud computing, using their Internet browsers to access things like e-mail, photo albums and digital maps.
“Hundreds of millions of users are living on the cloud,” said Sundar Pichai, a vice president for product management at Google in charge of Chrome. Every program that users enjoy on their PCs today, Mr. Pichai said, will soon be available as a Web application. “The trend is very, very clear,” he said.
While Microsoft and others say they believe that cloud-based programs will coexist with traditional PC software, Google has often said that Web applications will replace all desktop software, another area that Microsoft dominates. Machines running the Chrome operating system, which initially will be limited to lightweight, portable computers known as netbooks, will not run any desktop applications other than the Chrome browser.
But even Mr. Pichai said that devices on the Chrome operating system were likely to be used, at least at first, as a complement to users’ more powerful computers at home.
Analysts said that the Chrome operating system could pose a challenge to Microsoft over the long term but said that Microsoft was not sitting still.
“Chrome OS moves the playing field to the cloud,” said Ray Valdes, an analyst at Gartner. “But Microsoft is a multifaceted company. They have a systematic effort to put a lot of their technology portfolio in the cloud as well.”
In a statement, Microsoft said that the Chrome operating system was in “early stages of development” and that “customers are already voicing their approval of the way Windows 7 just works — across the Web and on the desktop, and on all sizes and types of PCs.” Speaking to investors at Microsoft’s headquarters,Steven A. Ballmer, the chief executive, said that Windows 7 was outselling any previous version of Microsoft’s operating system.
On Thursday, Google demonstrated an early version of the Chrome operating system on a netbook during a news conference at its Mountain View headquarters. Google also announced that it was releasing the underlying programming code for the operating system to anyone who wants to tinker with it under an open-source license.
Not surprisingly, the Chrome desktop looked similar to the Chrome browser. It included a handful of smaller tabs that Google calls application tabs, which are meant to run the programs people use most often, like e-mail or calendar software.
The netbook using the operating system booted in seven seconds, and Google said it was working to make the start-up time even faster. Google declined to say which hardware makers were planning to build machines that used the operating system, but said it would work closely with manufacturers. It said it had been pushing them to make netbooks that were slightly larger than today’s models and included full-size keyboards.