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Apple demanding $180M extra cash in settlement from Samsung

samsung-logo-x-x-mwc-2015 (1)

In America, trials are rarely cut-and-dry events: even after a decision is reached the losing party can often demand a retrial, and the escalation process then begins, possibly even reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. In Apple v. Samsung, a rather unusual turn of events has just taken place. Despite Samsung having finally agreed to pay the (reduced) damages it owed Apple, the latter company is now demanding even more money. How much? $ 180,000,000 to be exact.

Those who have followed the trial since it began in 2011 may recall that Apple sued Samsung for allegedly making illegal use of patents and designs related to the iPhone. The trial originally ended with a verdict favorable to Apple and requiring Samsung to pay $ 1.04 billion in damages. Years later the total stood at a reduced $ 548 million, which Samsung paid on December 14th. In doing so however, Samsung also stipulated that if the ongoing disputes related to that first trial ultimately end in the Korean OEM’s favor, Apple must give back the money. Apple, in turn, argued no such reimbursement would take place.

The new damages, filed on Wednesday, argue that Samsung must pay around $ 180 million “in supplemental damages and interests…These further damages relate to five Samsung devices that infringed Apple’s patents and were sold after a 2012 jury verdict finding Samsung liable in the dispute” according to Reuters.

While a new trial will begin next year related to the damages from this original trial, Samsung meanwhile has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, arguing that Apple’s compensation was far too much given the patents involved. Before a hearing can be scheduled, the Supreme Court Justices would first need to agree to review the case, something it could just as easily refuse.

Suddenly, Samsung?

Some have questioned what made Samsung “suddenly” decide to pay off the existing damages to begin with, especially given the company’s demand for potential reimbursement. While it is impossible to say what was ultimately decided upon, several theories are possible:

  1. Samsung’s executives became concerned with the liability-factor relating to the outstanding figure. The company has made a number of bold statements in recent weeks that underscore the difficult times currently facing the OEM. Having the Apple settlement effectively “off” the balance sheet would allow it to be taken as a loss now while the company is still in relatively good fiscal condition, rather than in the future when it might be facing a more difficult situation.
  2. Samsung could have used it as bargaining leverage with Apple. It is widely known that the South Korean OEM supplies numerous components for Apple’s products, and it has even been suggested that Apple may seek to purchase AMOLED panels from Samsung in the future for use with iPhone models. Samsung’s payment could be seen as a sign of good will, or even a way of trying to gain an upper-hand as if to say “we have fulfilled our requirement, so now we expect you to take us seriously.”
  3. Apple may have required Samsung to pay the damages before any deal regarding AMOLED production (or other new technology) could be considered. Given that LG also produces AMOLED panels, it is conceivable that Apple might have used the outstanding payout as “encouraging” board members and executives to lean towards LG for the new components.
  4. Samsung’s legal team may have suggested that a Supreme Court hearing is unlikely to happen and that it is better to just pay the damages now as opposed to further prolonging it.
  5. Samsung may be under the impression that Apple will indeed return the money should the patents related to the trial ultimately be invalidated.

It is possible one of these points has hit the nail on the head. It is also possible that the true nature may be a combination of many, or perhaps none of them at all. The politics and business decisions behind major movements like this are the stuff of speculative legend, though it is likely no one but those directly involved will ever know what happened.

apple 3d touch 2

At the very least, the fact that Apple is asking for even more money now stands as a rather contentious issue in and of itself: on the one hand the company seemingly has a legitimate reason to demanding damages related to such a protracted payout (the interest alone is worth a fortune) and inevitably Apple’s own stakeholders have been most displeased with the missing money not exchanging “hands”.

At the same time, for Samsung, this new filing inevitably comes across as a slap in the face. After finally paying the restitution, the company is now hit with additional fees serving to ensure the “you owe me” situation perpetuates for some time to come.

Wrap Up

While some have referred to the ongoing legal battle as the “The Patent Trial of the Century“, the title seemingly becomes more and more apropos given the continuing and prolonging twists and turns in the matter. Clearly Apple is not happy even after it has received it’s money, yet perhaps it shouldn’t be given how much time has taken to facilitate such. Samsung, meanwhile, wants Apple’s patents invalidated so as to absolve it of any legal problems.

We want to hear what you think. Is Apple in the right here? Should it have filed new charges? Please leave your comments below and let us know!

Android Authority

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Listen to this: Microsoft drops “Hey Cortana” hotword from Android app

Android apps weekly

As of the latest update, “Ask” means type.

There is a war of words going on right now, but it’s not political or even personal. It’s digitial. While Google had voice assisted functionality from very early on, Apple’s introduction of Siri into the mobile market arguably pushed voice in a more pronounced way, at least to the general public. While Google’s own assistant doesn’t have a name per se, it is nonetheless an integral part of the Google Now experience and features quick response times and a less “synthesized” voice. Microsoft, too, has its own assistant named Cortana, taken from its cash-cow Halo videogame series.

Recently Cortana was released to the Google Play store and with it Microsoft’s move to migrate millions. Or at least attempt to. This past weekend however, it updated the app and removed what some might consider to be a key feature: “Hey Cortana” hotword support. While the feature was essentially limited to a shout out on either a device’s home screen or within the actual Cortana app itself, support for it has been removed entirely for those in the USA.

Cortana removal keyword

What gives (and was taken)?

While Microsoft has yet to state what prompted the sudden about face, those looking for answers on the removal decision may be able to get an idea from posts on reddit in response to the news. User shamrock013 writes:

Good. Using “Hey Cortana” broke the microphone across the whole OS. It barely worked during phone calls. It broke the “OK Google” hotkey. To top it off, the feature barely worked to begin with, so it was half-baked from the start.

Get your crap together, Microsoft.

Another user, bfodder, added:

Oh shit, I couldn’t even use the microphone by tapping on it on the Google Now widget at the top of the home screen. Now it works. And now I know why.

Finally, anthonyvardiz posted:

That explains why I couldn’t “Okay, Google” on my Nexus 6P. Just tried it and it works again!

Based on these responses, it would seem that hotword detection created interference with the normal functioning of a user’s microphone. It is currently unknown as to just how prevalent this issue was, or what devices may have been affected – though clearly the Nexus 6P was one of them. It is also unknown as to the status of “Hey Cortana” on Cyanogenmod builds, which have OS-wide integrated hotword detection.

The question now is if or when Microsoft plans to restore the feature to its fledgling Android app. Part of the draw of virtual assistants is the ability to make use of them effortlessly. By requiring manual triggering of Cortana, the app has arguably lost some of the appeal it might have had, or at least some feature parity with Google Now.

Does it even matter?


Perhaps the larger issue is if hotword removal matters at all. While some love and live by it, others feel enabling the feature drains battery life due to the “always listening” approach. It is similar to criticism raised about LG’s now-heavily cloned “Tap to Wake” display functionality wherein the digitizer must always remain on so as to detect tap input. As for how much effect on battery life this actually has, that’s a different story.

Reviews that have already been posted on the Play Store indicate that yes, this is a big problem. Pedro Ramos wrote:

Hey Cortana?? C’mon Microsoft…stop screwing with us…I really love Cortana. Unless ur doing it so that pc’s Cortana doesn’t get confused then I forgive you.

Chad White’s review goes even further however:

Uninstall Without Hey Cortana there’s no reason to use this app over Google Now why do I have to actually open the app when I could just: “Ok Google, uninstall Cortana” First Microsoft screws up with Windows, then they kept messing up the Skype app for a while, let’s see if they actually listen the the people for once the make at least one good product this year.

The other issue at large is how many Android users want Cortana in the first place. As of right now, the Play Store data lists Cortana installs between 100,000-500,000. While there are other ways to get it (such as an APK file), suffice to say the app has apparently yet to hit a multi-million milestone, or even the one million mark.

Cortana for Android AA 7

Those who want a more seamless Windows 10 experience will no doubt be interested in using Cortana, but it remains to be seen how many Android users will be interested in having a second voice assistant running on their phone, especially since many are probably unsure of how to disable Google Now’s listening in the first place.

Wrap Up

There are a variety of ways to take in this news. Some might be angered and perhaps uninstall the app. Some might be pleased Microsoft has suffered an apparent setback of sorts. Some might not care at all. Whatever you are thinking, however, we want to hear it.

Has Cortana become less relevant without the hotword detection or are you still inclined to use it? Did you even know Cortana was available for Android to begin with prior to reading this story? Leave your comments below and share your thoughts for all to see!

Android Authority

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Deal: Unlocked 16GB Sony Xperia M4 Aqua only $200 from Amazon

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Announced back in March 2014, Sony’s Xperia M4 Aqua was thrown into the competitive mid-range smartphone market with a big price point at $ 350 unlocked. It’s not a particularly bad phone, it’s just never been worth the premium price point the company was asking for it. If you’ve been eyeing this device and have been waiting for the price to come down a bit, now’s your chance. Amazon is currently selling it for the lowest price we’ve ever seen.

Right now, you can purchase the 16GB unlocked Sony Xperia M4 Aqua in Black for just $ 199.99. This is $ 150 off the phone’s price at launch, and roughly $ 100 off what the device is normally sold for. The only real caveat here is that it’s only compatible with GSM networks, so you’ll need to be on AT&T or T-Mobile (or other GSM MVNOs) to use it.

maxresdefault m4 aquaSee also: Best Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Cases

As a refresher, the Xperia M4 Aqua comes with a 5.0-inch 720p IPS LCD display, an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM and microSD expansion up to 128GB. It also has a really nice 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera. The 2400mAh battery isn’t the most long-lasting cell we’ve ever used, though we’d say it’s comparable to other devices at this price point. It’s also IP68 certified for dust and water resistance. If you’d like to learn more about the M4 Aqua, be sure to check out our full review.

The Xperia M4 Aqua isn’t worth the money at $ 350, but it certainly is at $ 200. No, it’s not the most powerful mid-range device on the market, but you certainly could do worse for the price. If you’re interested, be sure to head to the Amazon link below to grab one before they’re all gone.

Android Authority

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Exposed: The BlackBerry Venice caught from all angles


BlackBerry Venice AA

In days long past, arguably two companies commanded high court among the grand arena of phones: Nokia and BlackBerry. Whereas the former took a path that many have criticized and lamented, the latter looks to be heading towards one Espoo should have embarked on from the onset: open adoption of Android. According to leaks and rumors, Waterloo plans to release several Android-based BlackBerry devices this Fall, one of which is the fascinating Venice. Thanks to the largest leak ever, it’s now laid bare for all to see:

And here are shots of the back side and top of the device:

Of particular interest is the top picture which clearly shows not only the SIM card slot, but also a second one, for microSD support. This will immediately alleviate any fears some might have held that the smartphone would pull a Galaxy Note 5.

Curious about the curve


The above leaked shot also reaffirms the clearly visible dual edged folded display. The subject of much discussion with respect to this product, it has been postulated that Samsung might be producing the panels, or perhaps even LG. Assuming either Korean manufacturer would be involved, there is also the hope that the Venice would thus make use of an AMOLED panel to provide stunningly saturated images.

Despite the “leaked” nature of the BlackBerry Venice, it actually made its debut months ago as an unnamed “slider” at MWC 2015 in Barcelona. At that time however, no mention or hint of Android was made, thus it was arguably overlooked. It is unknown as to if BlackBerry -the company- had always intended for this product to run Google’s mobile OS, or if a sudden decision was made after the fact.


The final newly leaked picture is a close-up of the camera module, which shows what looks like an 18-megapixel specification, as well as text indicating both OIS and Fast Focus technology will be on-board. Dual LED flash modules are located to the right side. We also get a very nice look at the textured, almost woven-type back the device is apparently going to make use of.

Currently, the list of rumored specs for the device are as follows:

  • 5.4-inch Quad-HD display
  • 18 MP rear-camera
  • 5 MP front-camera
  • 1.8 GHz Hexa-core (Snapdragon 808 chipset) 64-bit
  • 3 GB RAM

Off to Italy…or California?


While the exact Venice that BlackBerry chose to name the device after may be a mystery -assuming Venice is the final name and the product does become official – one thing is quite clear: this product will arguably provide for a major shake-up in the industry.  The emergence of a vested, established player into Google’s market would be a major boon to consumers looking for a secure platform, and it would also help to reinvigorate a company that has much to offer, if only were it to find a market to sell to.

Rumors have already indicated the device may be running a BlackBerry 10 skin when it releases this fall, on both AT&T and T-Mobile. Pricing is unknown, though with a curved screen it’s probably safe to assume it will not be a wallet-friendly one. It will supposedly be joined by other products as well, perhaps including a variant of the Passport.

For all those who lamented the protracted loss of BlackBerry, the latter half of 2015 is going to potentially bring forth a wealth of joy. What do you think of these new pictures? Does the product look even more promising than ever? Does the build have the potential to disappoint? Let us know in the comments section.



Android Authority

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Deal: Refurbished Acer 13-inch Chromebook for just $208 from eBay ($172 off)


If you’re looking for a perfectly capable computer that won’t break the bank, eBay may have the perfect deal for you. Normally, a refurbished Acer 13.3-inch Chromebook is sold for about $ 259.99 through eBay, which is already a pretty good deal for the computer. But thanks to Acer’s 20% off sale on eBay, when you add the Chromebook to your cart, the price drops down to just $ 207.99 before taxes. Not only is that roughly $ 170 off the original price of this computer, it’s also about $ 180 less than Amazon’s price for a brand new unit.

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The Acer Chromebook sports a 13.3-inch Full HD display, a quad-core 2.1GHz Tegra K1 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage and a battery that can last up to 11 hours on a single charge.

Even though this isn’t a brand new laptop, you’re still covered if anything goes wrong. This is a manufacturer refurbished unit, meaning it’s been restored by an Acer-approved vendor. It also comes with a 90-day manufacturer warranty, so you’ll be covered if there’s a problem with the computer.

Interested? Head to the deal link below for more information!

Android Authority

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Get a free movie rental from Google to celebrate Chromecast’s second birthday

Chromecast 2nd Bday (1)

Want to escape the heat this weekend? If you’re looking for something to do indoors, Google has a small offer that may be worth your while. To celebrate the Chromecast’s 2nd birthday, Google is giving out one free movie rental to all owners of the media streaming device from now until December 31st, 2015.

To redeem your free movie rental, first you’ll need to make sure your Chromecast is set up and connected to your Wi-Fi network. Then, open up your Chrome browser on your computer, head over to this link, then click on the offer you’d like to redeem. Once you select your streaming device from the list, you can then head to the Google Play Store to claim your free rental.

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It should be noted that Google does have some restrictions in place for the number of free movie rentals you claim on your Google account. So, depending on how many offers you’ve already claimed, you might not be able to take advantage of this deal.

Don’t have a Chromecast? Right now, you can buy two Chromecasts from the Google Store and save $ 15 at checkout. This isn’t the cheapest we’ve ever seen the media streamer, but it’s a pretty nice deal, nonetheless.


Android Authority

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ATAP’s Project Abacus aims to eliminate passwords from our lives


Following the incredibly futuristic announcements of Project Soli, Vault and Jacquard, Google’s ATAP team had yet another crazy announcement at its presentation earlier today at Google I/O. This next endeavor goes by the name of Project Abacus, and it aims to eliminate passwords for good by looking at the way you type, walk, talk and a variety of other signals. By confirming that you are in fact the one holding your smartphone or sitting at your computer by means of the aforementioned signals, Project Abacus would like to get rid of passwords altogether, and use the data collected about you as sufficient verification.

During the presentation earlier today, head of ATAP Regina Dugan explained that previously, research completed by academic institutions had a difficult time creating a system that was as secure as even a four-digit PIN code. So, Google partnered with multiple universities, along with 25 experts from separate institutions to take part in a 90-day research period in hopes to improve these numbers. With the help of 1,500 participants overall, Google has improved the system so much that it’s now apparently 10x more secure than fingerprint systems.

The whole system is based on a trust score, of which the highest scores are needed to access something like a mobile banking application, and the lowest scores would still get you access to a game. If the phone falls into the wrong hands, though, the device should be able to recognize that it’s not you, and ask for the users password, just like it currently does.

ATAP has certainly made huge improvements in this security field, but unfortunately it might be awhile until we see this tech make its way to the real world.

Android Authority

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Newest Humble Bundle offers up 10 great titles from Tin Man Games

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The latest Humble Mobile Bundle has just been announced, this time bringing you ten awesome gamebooks from developer Tin Man Games. Incorporating elements of the “choose your own adventure” genre and a standard RPG, all ten of these gamebooks feature in-depth storylines and addictive gameplay. Each one of these games are normally offered for upwards of $ 4 in the Google Play Store, so this Humble Bundle is definitely worth it.

If you’d like to pay whatever amount of money you’d like, you’ll get your hands on these four games:

  • Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106
  • Slaves of Rema
  • Siege of the Necromancer
  • An Assassin in Orlandes

To get the next four games, you’ll need to pay more than the average price (currently $ 5.80):

  • Trial of the Clone
  • Curse of the Assassin
  • Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch
  • Sultans of Rema

These last two games can be yours if you pay over $ 9:

  • Ryan North’s To Be or Not To Be
  • Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller

As always, more games will be added within the next week, making this deal even more valuable. All of the games being offered are DRM-free and you can decide how your purchase is divided between Tin Man Games, charity and the Humble Bundle team. And if you spend $ 35 or more on this bundle, not only will you get the games listed above, but you’ll also receive a Tin Man Games t-shirt and button. Not bad at all!

Head to the source link below if you’re interested in checking out this bundle.

Android Authority

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You can now pre-order the Razer Forge TV from Amazon for $150

Razer Forge

Razer unveiled its Forge TV mini console at CES a few months ago, and it’s finally up for pre-order on Amazon. The Forge TV bundle will ship to customers on May 1st, and will include the Android TV-powered mini console and gaming controller for $ 150. Back at CES, Razer announced that the device would sell for $ 100, but that was just for the console itself.

The Forge TV has a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, an Adreno 420 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage, an HDMI output (1.4), Bluetooth 4.1+HS and an ethernet port. Since it’s powered by Android TV, you can run games directly from Google Play. Not only that, you can take advantage of Razer’s new Cortex: Stream service, which allows you to transmit PC games directly to your television. Razer says Cortex: Stream can provide low latency HD resolution when streaming, but early adopters won’t be able to take advantage of the service quite yet. The company says it will be available sometime this Spring.

Considering the box’s beefy specifications and low price point, this may well be the most valuable Android TV box to hit the market so far. Especially with the added benefit of streaming PC games to the TV, we imagine many users will jump onboard with this device. If you’re interested in placing your pre-order, head to the link below.

Pre-order the Razer Forge TV from Amazon

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You can now buy the DROID Turbo in Sapphire Blue Ballistic Nylon from Verizon


Verizon is now offering the Motorola DROID Turbo in a sleek Sapphire Blue color. Best Buy used to be the only retailer to carry the Sapphire Blue Ballistic Nylon variant, but now you can pick the device up in Verizon stores or online. Just like with the other color, the 32GB Sapphire Blue DROID Turbo is being offered for $ 149.99 with a two-year contract, $ 22.91 per month on Verizon’s EDGE program or $ 549.99 to buy the phone off-contract.

It’s worth noting that in the announcement post from yesterday, Verizon quoted the 32GB Sapphire Blue variant at $ 199.99 with a two-year contract, though the product page has it listed as only $ 149.99. We’ve reached out to Verizon for further clarification and will update this post once we hear anything.

Verizon Droid turbo

Even though the DROID Turbo was announced last year, it’s still a great smartphone for anyone who doesn’t want to make too many sacrifices. If you need a refresher, the DROID Turbo has a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1440 x 2560 resolution. It also comes with a 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor backed by 3GB of RAM, a 21MP rear-facing camera and a huge 3900mAh battery. The device is still running Android 4.4 KitKat, but we couldn’t imagine it taking too much longer to get the Lollipop update. If you’d like some more information on this device, be sure to check out our full review.

If you’d like to get your hands on one for yourself, you can head to Verizon’s product page here.

Android Authority

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