Samsung to Open Source Bada

Samsung, one of the largest Android device manufacturers, launched its own smartphone platform – Bada – in 2009. It was a huge hit in Korea, with the Samsung Wave selling millions of units there. However, it was completely overshadowed by the success of the Samsung Galaxy S, its flagship Android device.

Samsung has launched a few more Bada devices since then, and they have all seen moderate success. However, Samsung’s Android devices have been hogging all the limelight. It is now the top Android smartphone manufacturer and with good reason. Its last two major releases – the Galaxy S and Galaxy S 2 – have been the best Android phones of their times.

When Samsung launched Bada, many analysts questioned its move of launching yet another operating system when there were so many already. However, when Google acquired Motorola, it became clear that Samsung was right in hedging its bets on the Android platform with investments in other platforms like Bada and Windows Phone 7.

According to a report by the WSJ, Samsung plans to open source the Bada OS, and make it available to everyone. Android started the “open” trend, and even Nokia open sourced Symbian last year.

Samsung hopes that open sourcing Bada will help turn its fortunes and make it a popular alternative to Android and Windows Phone 7, but that strategy didn’t help Nokia much. Bada still doesn’t have as much developer support as Android, iOS or even Windows Phone 7. I doubt this move will have much of an impact on the prospects of Bada.

Square Enix Announces Several Classic jRPGs for iOS and Android

By several classic jRPGsI actually mean Chrono Trigger, which is worth more than a cartload of its kin, even though there are quite a few other amazing retro Japanese RPGs (jRPGs) that are being released by Square Enix for Apple’s and Google’s mobile platforms. Showing off their upcoming games’ slide at the Tokyo Game Show (TGS), Square Enix showed off Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Legends, Itadaki Street and Dragon Quest Monsters that will be available on their app marketplace for Android, with the imaginative and interesting name of Square Enix Marketplace. While there is the very correct concern over why a new marketplace app is needed when the Android Marketplace works well enough, they are secondary to the fact that Square Enix is releasing Chrono Trigger and a free download of a marketplace app is forgiven when the prize is so brilliant. (A similar kind of logic is applied to the Amazon Marketplace app by me and several others one downloads it to get the free app of the day every day)


Square Enix also announced three brand new games developed for the mobile platforms Chaos Rings 2, Diffusion Million Arthur and Demon’s Score. The company also showed Final Fantasy 1, 2 and Crystal Defenders for the Android Marketplace in a sizzle reel. This is shaping up to be a pretty good year for mobile RPG lovers!

Total App Count for iOS and Android Now More Than 1 Million

According to a report by Appsfire, an application discovery platform, the total number of apps on the iOS and Android platforms has crossed 1 million. That’s a significant milestone considering that the app gold rush started only about 3 years ago with Apple launching the iPhone App Store in June 2008.

1 Million Apps on Android and iOS

iOS used to lead Android and all other platforms by a huge margin, but apparently, Android has almost caught up with iOS now. Of the 1 million apps, 48% are Android apps while 52% are iOS apps. At this rate, I expect Android’s total app count to surpass iOS by the end of 2011.

Of the 1 million total apps, only about 800,000 are currently active. However, extrapolating from the current figures, we should see 1 million live apps by the end of 2011.

There is one statistic which is a bit worrying. It seems that only a bit more than half of the total Android apps which were developed are currently live on the Android Market. In contrast, inactive or dead iOS apps are much less in number.

Anyway, this does reaffirm the general notion that smartphones will define the state of computing in the coming years. Collectively, all these apps on iOS and Android have paid out billions of dollars to developers and made quite a lot of “App Store Millionaires”.

iOS and Android Developers Plan to Boycott Apple and Google over Lodsys and Macrosolve’s Patent Trolling

Tired of being harassed by patent trolls like Lodsys and Macrosolve, which have been suing them over basic features like in-app purchasing, some app developers on the iOS and Android platforms have let out a call encouraging other developers to rally together and boycott Google and Apple for not helping them actively.

Though Apple and Google have announced that they would be assisting developers on their platforms with these lawsuits, they haven’t been much help yet. Some developers are urging others to pull their apps down from the iOS App Store and the Android Market for 5 days starting September 30 until Apple and Google decide to help them with the lawsuits against these trolls.

Here’s the original post at DevsUnite:

Macrosolve and Lodsys

September 30, 2011 – October 4, 2011
Starting 12 AM Friday to 11:59 PM Tuesday

Apple and Google are dragging their feet to assist with the Macrosolve and Lodsys patent bullying of small businesses, entrepeneurs, and developers. Without Apple’s and Google’s assistance, the app development community is vulnerable to the strategic attacks made by these companies. Since no Union for developers exists, individual developers are defenseless to the financial and legal bullying brought on by Lodsys and Macrosolve. Small companies and developers cannot afford to invalidate the patents claims made by Macrosolve and Lodsys. In protest, we have no choice but to voice our discontent for the lack of assistance. Have we not given our 30% of the cut for a reason? Starting Friday Sept. 30, 2011 to Tuesday October 4, 2011, developers may want to consider removing their apps from the iPhone and Android Market (or other Markets) to show their support for the developers community. You may lose a few dollars out of the process, but collectively, the disruption will help bring attention to this patent crisis. So you have to decide whether to lose a few dollars vs. losing much more when Macrosolve or Lodsys decides to go after you. For those who think by keeping your app on the market will allow you more visibility on those days, it only allows Macrosolve and Lodsys to discover you more easily. Don’t be surprised if they elect to go after you. Then your worse nightmare will begin.

There will be attempts to take this posting down. Share this message via email with other developers or use the link below.

Should Apple and Google prevent developers from accessing their accounts,then removal of apps will begin the day they open up access again.

Personally, I think this effort will largely be a failure. There are hundreds of thousands of app developers on both platforms with more than 700,000 apps between them. Unless a lot of Top 100 apps are pulled down, there is no chance that the average user will even notice the missing apps. And even if he does, there is no guarantee that Google or Apple will do anything more than they already are.

Given how difficult it is to get into the top 100, I doubt any developer would be willing to risk his position in the list by pulling their app down for a few days. Anyways, we will keep you updated.

Android May Have Got Its Inspiration/Start at Apple

Andy Rubin

An interesting discovery by FOSS Patents has been made today. FOSS Patents reports that in Apple’s case against HTC, which is currently underway with the  U.S. International Trade Commission. According to the report, Apple claims that a key patent for a  “real-time signal processing” API which HTC is accused of infringing in its Android devices was developed by a team of Apple engineers, which Android co-founder and current Google executive Andy Rubin was a member of.

Android and Mr. Rubin’s relevant background does not start, as HTC would like the Commission to believe, with his work at General Magic or Danger in the mid-1990s. In reality, as the evidence revealed at the hearing, Mr. Rubin began his career at Apple in the early 1990s and worked as a low-level engineer specifically reporting to the inventors of the ‘263 [realtime API] patent at the exact time their invention was being conceived and developed. […] It is thus no wonder that the infringing Android platform used the claimed subsystem approach of the ‘263 patent that allows for flexibility of design and enables the platform to be “highly customizable and expandable” as HTC touts. […] While Mr. Rubin’s inspiration for the Android framework may not be directly relevant to the pending petitions for review, that HTC felt compelled to distort this history is illustrative of the liberties it takes in attacking the ALJ’s [initial determination] and the substantial evidence supporting the ALJ’s findings.

The claim isn’t direcetly related to Apple’s case against HTC, but is used to bolster Apple’s case that HTC has not been completely honest in justifying its case by refusing to discuss of Rubin’s time at Apple. Rubin was a “low-level engineer” at Apple reporting directly to the inventors of the patent. In additon, Apple suggests that Android’s infringing framework was the result of “Mr. Rubin’s inspiration” from his work at Apple.

The patent in question is U.S. Patent No 6,343,263. Also, Apple claims that Rubin may have used ideas from the patent in his work on the foundation of Android.

This isn’t the first time that Rubin has encountered accusations of patent infringement. Oracle is also accusing Google of infringing on its Java platform, citing two emails from Rubin and another employee.

Apple Testing Remote Diagnostics Tool for iOS Devices?

HardMac reports that Apple has made an internal announcement that it has completed working on tools that will allow support technicians to utilize remote diagnostics on iOS devices. For example, receiving informations about a device’s state. In addition, the report notes that the new tools will allow Apple’s tech support to provide enhanced device support without customers having to bring their devices in to an Apple store or service center.

In effect, this systems operates entirely online. An email is sent to the device containing a URL (this can alsoo be entered by hand) and the device will connect via Mobile Safari and the telephone to start internal checks and sends the result of it to the Apple servers to which the service centres are connected.

The application is a web application, which can be accesed via iOS’s Safari browser, and can detect  the device’s Unique Device Identifier (UDID), device name, battery health and charging information, installed iOS version, and data on improper hangs and shutdowns.

iOS Diagnostics Tool

AppleInsider notes that this tool is similar to  site, which apparently has been used for some time by Apple retail stores to wirelessly gather system information. When the site is run from a device, the results are sent back to the MobileGenius software used in-store by Apple’s Genius representatives. In addition, the data can also be read from the desktop iRepair software to which Geniuses have access to.

Rumors suggest that Apple perhaps is preparing to officially expand the remote diagnostics to allow users to take advantage of it.

Adobe Unveils PDF Creation App for iOS

Today, MacStories has discovered that Adobe  released a new iOS app called “CreatePDF”. “CreatePDF” is a $9.99  universal app allowing users to easily create PDFs on their iPhones or iPads. Adobe claims that  CreatePDF  brings the same high-quality PDF creation as Adobe Acrobatto iOS devices. In addition, the app uses Adobe’s  online services for performance and quality, creating PDFs that offer quality and accessibility standards.



Upon installing, CreatePDF registers as a default app to open Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, Adobe Illustrator drawings, Photoshop images and InDesign  files, in addition to Open Office and StarOffice documents and JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF and TIFF images.

The app currently supports the following file formats:

  • MS Word (docx, doc), Excel(xlsx, xls), PowerPoint (pptx, ppt)
  • Adobe Illustrator (ai), Photoshop (psd) and InDesign (indd)
  • Images JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF
  • RTF, Text and WordPerfect
  • OpenOffice and StarOffice documents

The app works through iOS’s built in “Open in” menu, which allows third party apps to communicate with each other by sending documents to other applications that support specific file types, such as PDF, .doc, or plain text.

You can purchase CreatePDF for $9.99 in the App Store.

[image credit: MacStories]

iPhone 4 and 3GS Rank as Best-Selling U.S. Smartphones

Today, research firm NPD released its new mobile phone track report for the second quarter of 2011. The report shows that Android continues to lead the U.S. smartphone market with 52% of new sales during the quarter. iPhone accounted for 29% of the market while Research in Motion’s BlackBerry continued to decline and only accounted for 11% of the market.

SplatF points out that Apple’s 14 month-old iPhone 4 continues to lead the market in sales. In addition, the 8 GB iPhone 3GS ranks second. Apple’s iPhone 3GS was introduced 26 monnths ago, and they have kept the device available for purchase following last year’s iPhone 4 introduction by dropping the capacity to 8 GB and price to $99. Pricing for the iPhone 3GS has dropped to $49 since then.

Here are the top five best-selling phones during Q2, via NPD’s Mobile Phone Track service:

1. Apple iPhone 4
2. Apple iPhone 3GS
4. HTC Inspire 4G

Apple has continued to keep the iPhone 4 traction going by introducing a CDMA version on Verizon and the launch of the white iPhone 4. The company is expected to release a new version of the iPhone at the end of September or early October, and is expected to offer a lower end version of the iPhone 4.

If you were to ask me, for a phone that has be pronounced “dead in the water” many times, these results are shocking.

Verizon’s Android Share Down Dramatically Following iPhone 4 Launch

At the end of March, Chitika Insights reported that Verizon was the largest Android carrier, due to the carrier’s migration from RIM’s BlackBerry to Android throughout 2010.

Five months later, Chitika Insights now reports that there is a huge decrease in Verizon’s share of the US Android market share after the iPhone 4 became available on Verizon.

Chitika Insights Android Marketshare

Even though several promotions for Android devices were offered,  AT&T’s share of Android users is up just 5 percentage points. T-Mobile and Sprint both have maintained a ratio of the nation’s Android users as Verizon moved millions of its subscribers to the iPhone.

Surprisingly, the largest growth comes from other carriers, including MetroPC, Virgin, and US Cellular. These carriers amounted to less than 3 percent of the US Android market in  in March, but now claim 8.5 percent.

Chitika Insights says the “Verizon’s share of iPhone traffic continues to increase, but it seems that Verizon is gaining market share in Apple’s prominent smartphone at the expense of its other, Android-running devices.”

In conclusion, in less than six months Verizon Wireless’s share of Android phones sold in the US has declined from 51.4 percent to 41.1 percent, suggesting a shift among Verizon subscribers to iPhone 4.  In any case, the iPhone remains to be “dead in the water”.

Android Captures More Than 40% of the U.S. Smartphone Market

Android has been in the leading position in the worldwide smartphone market for months now. It has also been the most popular smartphone OS in the U.S., despite the extremely high sales of the iPhone, which is the single most popular smartphone on the planet.

There are now more than 550,000 Android device activations every day, and both Android and iOS are growing at the expense of RIM’s Blackberry and Nokia’s Symbian.

We already reported Nielsen’s numbers a week back, which confirmed what we already knew – Android is on the rise, and so is iOS.

Today, ComScore released their own statistics for the three month period ended June 31.

It seems that Android has been steadily gaining market share in the U.S. market. It had a 40.1% share by the end of June compared to 34.7% just three months before that. It’s possible that by now, its market share is closer to 41% or so. It was the biggest gainer in the second quarter of 2011.

Even iOS gained market share, and is now on 26.6% of all smartphones. Nielsen reported that Android was on 39% while iOS was on 28% of all smartphones in its report, so it isn’t clear which of them is right, but what we do know is, Blackberry and Symbian are definitely the biggest losers.

RIM doesn’t seem to have a clue about what strategy it should adopt, while Nokia has dumped Symbian to go with Windows Phone 7. It is expected to unveil its first WP7 device soon.

ComScore US Smartphone Data