Ameranth vs Apple: The Passbook App Comes Under Fire

Another day, another lawsuit.

Apple is hit with another court case, this time by Ameranth, who claims that the Cupertino Calif.-based company’s Passbook application violates its patents.

In a document filing, the San Diego gaming and restaurant software company declared suing Apple for the violation of four of its copyrights in the new iOS 6 Passbook app- No 6,384,850, No 6,871,325, No 6,982,733, and No 8,146,077.

First two patents are titled “Information management and synchronous communications system with menu generation,” and the second two have the same title: “Information management and synchronous communications system with menu generation, and handwriting and voice modification of orders.”

This is not the first time Apple got sued. What’s surprising is that it’s not Samsung, who is the Apple’s biggest rival. The two are entrapped in court battles for patents all over the world.

Ameranth deals in for-sale products. The company sells software and services to the hospitality and the gaming industry. The firm has also received strategic investments from both Microsoft and Motorola.

This battle between Ameranth and Apple is regarding Passbook app. The app is introduced in iOS 6. It lets users synchronize and save tickets, boarding passes, and gift cards. The Passbook app is integrated with one credit card provider.

Ameranth states in its court filing that Apple has infringed several of its patents and is hoping to get triple amount of damages that it sustained due to Apple.

This is not the first time Ameranth has filed a court case.

Back in July, the firm filed patent lawsuits against various companies such as Hilton, Marriott, Best Western, Travelocity, Kayak, Hotwire, Expedia, Orbitz, Ticketmaster, Stubhub, and Fandango.… Read the rest

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“Apple Still To Approve A Separate Google Maps Apps For iOS”: Google’s Eric Schmidt

Inaccurate information and errors in navigation in Apple’s latest Maps apps drew lot of criticism from all users of iPhone 5 and iOS 6. And things got a little hyped up as Apple Map Apps replaced Google Maps, which had been a staple in Apple’s iPhones and iPads since 2007.

Google Maps is already a well developed application, which is complete, accurate and easy-to-use.

According to a report on Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google on Bloomberg.com, he said that the company is waiting for Apple to approve the offer of including a separate Google Maps app in the iPhone. He further said that nothing has been decided up to now, it’s totally going to be Apple’s decision whether Google Maps can be a part of the iOS operating system or not.

Apple replaced Google Maps not because of some fault, but due to its balanced relationship. It seems that once-good friends; Apple and Google are no longer associates.

The rivalry between the two started when Google developed its Android mobile operating system, which runs devices that are Apple’s rivals such as Samsung and HTC. Google’s Android is the most popular smartphone available in the market today.

However, Google refused to comment or give any clarifications about the application being pending in Apple’s hands. But the firm did say that it supports giving the app to as many users as it can.

On being asked to comment, Apple refused to respond.

However, there is a way for users of iOS 6 to use Google Maps. They can access it through their browser but what they will get will be a slightly stripped-down version of the app. The application can even be pinned to the home page, using the share menu in Safari browser.… Read the rest

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Apple’s New Map Lacks Depth And Glint As Compared To Google Maps: Users

Apple’s iOS 6 is out and is much loved by users. However, despite being a solid update, there are few glitches to the software.

In spite of so much to be liked about this new version, users are still reluctant to let go of old iOS due to the Google Maps application. The latest iOS 6 software does take Apple’s devices to new directions, only it lacks directions in its Apple Maps app.

Apple’s new Maps app is one new addition in iOS, which is universally hated by all reviewers. Apple replaced Google Maps in iOS 6 with its own maps application, which seems to be riddled with problems.

Misplaced addresses and inaccurate findings are main points in Apple’s new Maps app that are most hated by users.

For its new app, Apple is using data navigation firm TomTom and others such as Yelp, to create information, only to disappoint users. On being asked to clear its stance on the matter, TomTom said it offered just the data and was not responsible to see how the app got into effect and worked.

The new Maps app by Apple comes pre-installed in its latest offering- the iOS 6 software.

News regarding the complaints is hitting the web across the globe, with users reporting getting misplaced due to incorrect landmarks or places.

But now these users got no choice until Apple upgrades its Maps app for better as it comes pre-installed in Apple devices.

In spite of complaints regarding the Maps app, Apple’s iOS 6 is pretty solid. The firm has worked on a lot of changes to make the interface attractive and reasonable.

The iOS 6 comes installed with a lot of features including the ability to add photos or video to e-mails, set up different e-mail signatures, send Facebook updates or set a “do not disturb” period. And then there’s Siri tool, which can listen and command to voice controls.

All things good, but Apple really needs to work on its Maps app to give users a better search option. We know Apple will surely do it; it might just take some time.

Apple’s New Maps app has faced a lot of criticism. Many feel it lacks the depth and glint that Google Maps had.

The street sings tag on the app has a small font, which is not easy to read. So it’s likely for users to miss a turn with this new app. Along with place listings, the maps are also not logical. It isn’t as clear as traffic layout in the Google Maps. And now with Google Maps for Android, users can also take a peek inside the shops or buildings.

So downloading the latest iOS 6 is totally up to users. It depends on how much they use Maps. The iOS 6 has got a lot of exciting features. It’s just the Maps app, that we are sure Apple will immediately start working on to improve for better.… Read the rest

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Have A Look At The Updated Facebook App For Andriod And iOS

In a way to overcome the aftermath of plunged IPO offering, Facebook has started rolling out updated versions of its apps at a considerable high speed.

The social networking site introduced latest updates for its mobile app- two Facebook apps for Android and a revamped version of Facebook iOS app.

Well, for those who think this update to be out too quick, take note of the fact that Facebook will now keep on updating its mobile apps every four to eight weeks. That means Facebook will work on to offer new and better user experience every month.

The news was posted at Facebook.com by Christian Legnitto, here is the link to his post- https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-engineering/timed-releases-for-mobile-apps/10151078442213920

Legnitto said that the firm has launched its best apps, Facebook Messenger for Android and Facebook for iOS and also announced delivering regular cycles of apps for iOS, Camera and Messenger. He also emphasized on the fact that maintaining high quality standard and quick speed has become the main aim of developers at the mobile team.

In his blog post, Legnitto wrote, “As we started developing more and more for mobile, it became clear we needed a scalable process to manage the increased mobile engineering activity and ship quality updates to users fast. The good news is we already used that process elsewhere at the company.”

This latest update marks the second release of Facebook for iOS between last month and today.

Legnitto said that Facebook.com is offered various test features and code pushes each week, but native mobile app architecture makes the same process impracticable.

He said the developers added some twists and came out with an updated mobile app that offered great results.

“Today’s Facebook for Android update came just four weeks since the last version, and our goal is to deliver another in a month,” he says.

Since downloading a mobile app takes time as compared to signing into an automatically updated web page, Legnitto says, “We also wanted to balance getting improvements out to people quickly while minimizing disruptions for users. Our 4-8 week release timelines feel like a good trade-off for now.”

He added, “We’ve adopted this new date-driven release process so that people get important stability, speed, and feature improvements as soon as they are ready.”… Read the rest

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Facebook Speeds Up App for iPhone and iPad

Facebook recently heard the pleas of iPad and iPhone users and launched an upgrade of the version of its Facebook App for iOS. Those who suffered due to the slowness and sluggishness of Facebook apps can now breathe a sigh of relief as the new app offers quick, easy, and fast browsing.

Marked Facebook 5.0 for iOS, the app hit the Apple App Store Friday and comes with the most updated change ever.

Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder and CEO, Facebook seemed happy with the new app and posted on his page, “We just released a new Facebook app for iPhone and iPad, and it’s a lot faster. Our team completely rewrote it from the ground up to focus on speed. It’s a big step forward.”

The upgraded app is made to offer twice as fast services in three areas such as launching the app, scrolling through the News Feed, and opening photos in feed.

Other changes include old photo sharing and opening experience, which has now been transformed to much zippier and faster process. With this new app, users just need to tap a photo to open it right away and pull down to close the photo just as quickly. Notifications should now also load just as swiftly.

Mick Johnson, product manager for iOS revealed in a statement, “As you scroll down your news feed, all your friends’ stories appear faster than ever. A banner lets you know when new stories come in, and you can tap once to immediately see the latest updates.”

Now it is believed that with Facebook 5.0 for iOS, users experience on iOS devices won’t be as tedious or boring. With the success of this app, Facebook can mark a step ahead in an opportunity to monetize its service via Sponsored Stories and application ads when the service has just got better and faster!

So do you also find Facebook 5.0 for iOS to be notably quicker? Upload it right away in case you haven’t and let’s see if it’s twice as fast or not.… Read the rest

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Pinterest Comes to iPad…. Looks Gorgeous

Injected with some serious fun and gorgeous interface, Pinterest app finally gets an iPad makeover. Now you can browse all your favorite boards and pins as well as those shared by your friends from the comfort of your iPad.

Join Pinterest by simply signing up, and visit all your favorite boards as the app automatically loads new pins.

The iPad Pinterest app features a side panel navigational menu, which gives you an ease of switching views as per your liking. With this new interesting Pinterest iPad feature, you can search by keywords and can even access your own profile.

The good thing about pinning on iPad is that you no longer use a third party app for pinning, instead the pinning feature has been integrated in the app itself.

If you are not one of the proud owners of an iPad, then don’t feel let down as the Pinterest App developers have made the iPhone app more user friendly by giving the app a two-column layout, which lets you see more pins on a single screen.

Our team here has gone bonkers about this new addition to the Pinterest App and it is rare that you will not find them pinning down straight from their iPad or an iPhone. So when are you updating your Pinterest app…?… Read the rest

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Apple vs. Samsung: It is Now Time for Samsung’s Testimony

Dubbed as the patent trial of the century, the courtroom war between Apple and Samsung continues to remain just as nail-biting and exciting as it was when it first started out. As the trial now enters the third week, Apple has rested its case against Samsung, and it is now time for Samsung to present their side of the story to the jury, and to the rest of the world following the trial closely.

Samsung’s testimony in court began with Benjamin Bederson, a computer scientist who is also a professor at the University of Maryland, taking the stand to illustrate how some of Apple’s claimed patented technology were already prior art, existing well before they were patented by Apple. Bederson brought forward “Launch Tile”, an app developed by Microsoft in 2004, which could be used to zoom in and out of screens, including apps and webpages.

During cross-examination, however, Apple’s lawyers shot down the app’s features, as it did not feature the “rubber-banding” element of bouncing back when reaching the end of a list or page. Apple also termed Launch Tile’s zooming feature as a semantic zoom, where zooming-in provided more detailed information, as opposed to Apple’s “pinch-to-zoom” feature.

The next witness called to testify for Samsung was Adam Bogue, a researcher with the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab, who spoke about “DiamondTouch” – a table-top computer developed in 2001. This device had a touch screen interface and the capability to sense finger movement, similar to the iPhone, and projected visuals from a computer onto a table surface. Bogue claimed that this technology was shown to Apple’s hardware engineers in 2003, and also mentioned that he was made to sign a document declaring that the information he demonstrated was not of a confidential kind.

Bogue then went on to show two applications, “fractal zoom” – an app that allowed users to zoom using multiple finger touches and “tablecloth” – an app that had some “rubber-banding” capability of bouncing back when the user reached the end of an image on the screen. However, Apple’s team countered that neither of these applications were shown to Apple’s engineers. Apple also noted that tablecloth bounced back to the original position of the image, as opposed to Apple’s method of bouncing back to the next closest part on the screen.

In what could even be seen as a minor victory for Samsung, during the trial, it managed to get three phones – the Galaxy Ace and international versions of Galaxy S and Galaxy S II, excluded from the trial, as its sales tallies were not of much consequence in terms of potential impact on Apple’s sales. However, the case continues to focus on the impact of the US versions of the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II.

As Samsung continues to testify to maintain its claims that none of Apple’s patented designs are unique to the company, and existed even before the iPhone and iPad, this case sure seems to be complete action-packed event.… Read the rest

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Instagram: What’s It Really Doing to the Art of Photography?

I love photography. Ok, maybe not as much as all those DSLR-toting self-confessed photographers, but whenever I go somewhere and see something nice, I love to capture it with my camera. Now, my love for photography made me invest in a bit of a clunky bridge camera, which, obviously, I was unable to lug around with me wherever I went. So, in most places I had to make do with my Android phone camera – which was pretty decent too. Until I came across the formerly exclusive wonder, Instagram – and started lusting after it.

Before Instagram came to Android, I often wondered how people clicked all those lovely images with vibrant hues and effects. And I used to envy their skills and cameras. But all that changed when I downloaded the Instagram app, and I saw just how easy it was to click stunning photos with intensity and depth. It may be one of the world’s favorite apps, but now, avid photography enthusiasts are crying foul about how the app’s effects let everyone click great photos, and how it has become hard to separate original talent from images where filters or effects have been added.

True, Instagram users have upped the game for professional photographers by clicking great photos with their ordinary mobile phone cameras, like the way the latter would do with their oh-so-fancy DSLRs. But we have to ask, who is Instagram really hurting? Ordinary folks, we love all these apps – Instagram, Hipstamatic, Camera 360, etc. that let us also capture photographs with beautiful effects. And of course, we get to share them instantly with our friends on social networks too.

While some folks may take it to the extreme by clicking just about anything random and uploading them for the world to see (and of course, comment), at its heart, all these apps were designed with a simple philosophy – to give a chance to all normal people to also tell stories with their pictures.

I may sound a tad philosophical when I say that too much of something is never a good idea, and that everything in moderation is enjoyable. Likewise, with Instagram, maybe if all its users respected the app enough to use it only to add a little extra something to their most memorable pictures, and not “Instagram” just about anything, I think it’s safe to say there might not be as many haters up in arms against the app.

Basically, I think it’s just the sheer frustration of seeing so many artsy photos up on our Facebook newsfeed every time we log in, because every second friend of ours seems to think he/she has become pro, all thanks to Instagram and other similar apps. On a lighter note, perhaps we’d prefer Facebook’s customization feature to ignore all such future updates so we don’t dislike the app so much.… Read the rest

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