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Posts Tagged: Samsung

nature UX

Well, it’s been a long time coming. But after a whole load of nay-saying, conjecture, and incessant optimism, Samsung Galaxy S II owners can finally grab hold of a leaked Samsung test build of Android 4.1.

Although Jelly Bean has been available for the Galaxy S II for some time now, there’s been no sign of a version from Samsung. But thanks to XDA Forum Member izap, build XXLSJ based on Android 4.1.2 is now available to download. The build features the latest version of TouchWiz known as Nature UX, which will give your Galaxy S II something of an S III look and feel. And to quote one user - “It’s freaking smoooooooooooth…”

So far the general feedback seems to be quite positive, and it looks like the i9100 is handling the transition to an official version of Jellybean quite well. You’ll need to be familiar with Odin to flash this latest build, as there’s currently no flashable .zip available. If you’re not familiar with Odin, I’d strongly suggest you read up first to save yourself from running into trouble further down the line.

If you want to take this build for a spin, check out the original forum thread for the details and those all important download links.

Idea note_2_01(1)

The story of the Samsung Galaxy Note II is an interesting one. When the first Samsung Galaxy Note came out, many people panned it, saying it was too large to be a usable phone and too small to be a usable tablet. The sales must have been good enough because Samsung has released the Galaxy Note II, and it’s bigger than before. So we got our hands on one, and we took it for a test drive.

This is the second part of a two part review series by XDA Developer TV Producer TK. You can catch his full write up here. This part covers an overview of the phone’s power, camera, and the coveted S-Pen. So check out this Review of the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

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USPTO and Apple Fail

In a move for which no level of facepalm can suffice, the USPTO granted Apple a patent for a rectangle with rounded corners last week. Regardless of how ridiculous it may sound, sadly it’s true. According to patent no. D670,286, design rights for a “portable display device” with an external shape that is a rectangle with rounded corners are now owned by Apple.

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Cloud-Lock

There are always inherent risks when you root your device, though voiding your warranty in and of itself is not one of them, unlike what manufacturers would have you believe. Instead, the real risks are those things like having your /data partition readable by any app in the /system partition, as XDA Recognized Developer and Forum Moderator graffixnyc found out recently.

While browsing his AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 on a lazy Saturday afternoon, graffixnyc opened the Samsung S-Memo SQLite files and found something shocking: S-Memo stored his Google account password in clear text. After posting his findings in the thread, fellow XDA Recognized Developer ViViDboarder reminded graffixnyc that since he was rooted he was able to view the contents of the SQLite files. And while this is true, graffixnyc pointed out that even though the only users affected by this are root users, the records themselves should have been encrypted.

Let this be a warning to you that if you find yourself with root on your device, be careful.  Some developers don’t take proper precautions when creating an application. They can’t be trusted to protect your credentials; only you can.

 

Back to Kill for Android

Custom Android ROMs are great because they often bring bonus features that let us make the most of our smartphones. While some may be perfectly happy with their current ROM, many will find themselves longing for more once they see it in another build.

If you find yourself bringing up a task manager app or going into settings to manually kill misbehaving apps, CyanogenMod and AOKP (as well as a few other ROMs) allow you to long-press the back button to kill the currently active app. Thanks to XDA Senior Member Mirko ddd, you can now get this feature right away on your device without having to flash a different ROM, provided it’s running a TouchWiz-based ROM.

The developer also offers a complete how-to guide for implementing this feature in any TouchWiz-based ROM, as well as a flashable zip file for salesale’s neat ROM. If you can’t implement it for your TouchWiz ROM yourself, the developer offers help with that as well. More information and the link to complete instructions can be found at the forum thread.

3746933268_apologize_xlarge

Last week, we told you about Apple’s creative “apology.” We expressed our opinion that Apple failed at following the order from the UK Court of Appeals. The court felt the same way, and has ordered Apple to correct their statement within 48 hours. It must be in at least 11-point font instead of the small text used by Apple and ON the front page rather than a linked page as Apple attempted to do. They called the statement Apple posted as “untrue” and “incorrect” and were, to put it lightly, quite displeased. Judge Robin Jacob had this to say about Apple:

“I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this. That is a plain breach of the order.”

Apple’s lawyers said that it would take at least 14 days to comply with the order and requested that timeframe, to which the Court denied and had this to say in response:

“I would like to see the head of Apple make an affidavit setting out the technical difficulties which means Apple can’t put this on” their website, Jacob said. “I just can’t believe the instructions you’ve been given. This is Apple. They cannot put something on their website?”

What also appears to be missing are the newspaper adverts that Apple was ordered to place, but no mention of them were made by the Court. We’ll have to stay tuned to see what else turns up in this now mind-boggling case.

Source: BloombergGuardian

An “Apology” Like No Other

October 27, 2012   By:

Screen Shot 2012-10-26 at 8.57.09 PM

My wife and I thoroughly enjoy the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance. One of our favorite scenes is the following exchange between the two principal characters, Adele (played by Charlize Theron) and Rannulph (Matt Damon):

Rannulph: There something you wanted to tell me?

Adele: Well, I’m trying to think of how to say it, Junuh.

There is a purpose to this visit…

…and that’s to apologize.

I’m not an apologetic woman, it takes me longer to organize my thoughts.

I want to seem properly contrite for having gotten you into this match…

…but not seem what I did was ill-intentioned, since it wasn’t.

Rannulph: What exactly are you apologizing for?

Adele: For publicly humiliating you.

Rannulph: That’d be a good thing to apologize for.

Adele: However, I think that…

Basically, what I’m trying to say is…

…that I’m sorry.

But it’s not my fault.

You’re the one to blame.

Rannulph: That’s one hell of an apology, Adele.

While it’s not often that you see something from the silver screen play out in real life, that little exchange is essentially what happened. If you remember back in July, we told you about a judge in the UK telling Apple that they needed to publicly apologize to Samsung in newspapers and the Apple EU websites, stating that Samsung did in fact not copy the iPad. The judge clearly stated that the notice should provide details about the ruling that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets don’t infringe on Apple’s registered designs. Apple appealed the decision, but lost. They were then ordered to follow through with the judgement. Fast forward almost four months, and Apple has indeed published a notice. First off, let’s just post the full statement made by Apple on their UK website:

Samsung / Apple UK judgment

On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic(UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do notinfringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the Highcourt is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.

In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:

“The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design.”

“The informed user’s overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool.”

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.

However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple’s design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad.

Now I don’t know about you, but this is about the worst example of following a judge’s orders I have seen in a long time. Here’s exactly what the judge told Apple to do [bold is mine]:

Within seven days of the date of this Order the Defendant shall, at its own expense, (a) post in a font size no small than Arial 14 pt the notice specified in Schedule 1 to this Order on the home pages of its EU websites (“the Defendant’s Websites”), as specified in Schedule 1 to this order, together with a hyperlink to the judgment of HHJ Birss QC dated 09 July 2012, said notice and hyperlink to remain displayed on the Defendant’s Websites for a period of one year from the date of this Order or until further order of the Court (b) publish in a font size no small than Arial 14 pt the notice specified in Schedule 1 to this Order on a page earlier than page 6 in The Financial Times, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, Mobile Magazine and T3 magazine.

The following notice shall be posted and displayed upon the Defendant’s Websites….

“On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design 000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available via the following link [insert hyperlink].”

The defendant shall arrange for the following notice to be published in The Financial Times; the Daily Mail; The Guardian; Mobile Magazine; and T3 magazine:

“On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design 000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available via the following link [insert hyperlink].”

Now one could argue that Apple complied with the judge’s order because they do in fact include the text from the judge. However, they then proceed to completely invalidate his statement by essentially stating that he was misinformed because other courts have found that Samsung does in fact copy Apple. Of course they neglect to mention anything about what the Court of Appeals had to say in their rejection of Apple’s appeal (emphasis is mine):

Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about. It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple’s iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law. Whether or not Apple could have sued in England and Wales for copying is utterly irrelevant to this case. If they could, they did not. Likewise there is no issue about infringement of any patent for an invention.

So this case is all about, and only about, Apple’s registered design and the Samsung products. The registered design is not the same as the design of the iPad. It is quite a lot different. For instance the iPad is a lot thinner, and has noticeably different curves on its sides. There may be other differences – even though I own one, I have not made a detailed comparison. Whether the iPad would fall within the scope of protection of the registered design is completely irrelevant. We are not deciding that one way or the other. This case must be decided as if the iPad never existed.

What we have here is a blatant attempt by Apple to continue Steve Jobs’s legacy of a “reality distortion field” in how they view the world. The Court of Appeals went further to speak out against Apple’s attempts within the EU to go around the UK judge’s orders in sections 78-88 of the appeal ruling, stating that in order to make sure there was no doubt as to what the UK courts had ruled,

“Apple itself must (having created the confusion) make the position clear: that it acknowledges that the court has decided that these Samsung products do not infringe its registered design. The acknowledgement must come from the horse’s mouth. Nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely.”

I fully expect the UK Court of Appeals to come down hard on Apple with this notice, given that they did not make things clear. Instead they spent more time attempting to discredit the judgments and trying to save face. This could very well be grounds for the UK Court to hold Apple in contempt and impose heavy fines, so we shall see what the next few weeks brings.

I purposely left out the last bit of the exchange between Rannulph and Adele.

Adele: So, you want my apology or not?

Rannulph: No.

Does this seem fitting? Let’s see how Samsung responds.

The Weekly Apple FAIL Update

October 23, 2012   By:

KAF-3165-Denied-image-02_r2

OK. This isn’t exactly a weekly update, but the battle that seemed to be over just a little over a month and change ago is still seeing some remnants of action. 10/11/12 was a fantastic day for Android enthusiasts as well as Samsung and Google since the patent-based ruling over the Global Search feature on Android was overturned by an Appeals Court in the US. When this happened, we all saw a faint ray of light coming in through the iCloud and hoped that it was only the beginning of something good. As it turns out, over the last week and a half, we can say with confidence that the iClouds are clearing a little, and more hope is coming through. In other words, people are beginning to realize that the entire ruling was absolutely off-base, inaccurate at best, and overall preposterous.

This is the first instance of sanity that we have seen since the Nexus was freed to be imported into the US, and it comes in the shape of a lost appeal courtesy of our friends on the other side of the pond (UK). This is sort of interesting, as it is the second time around that we see this news coming from the UK. The first time around, a UK court had ordered Apple to display ads essentially apologizing to Samsung and stating, in writing, that Korean giant did not infringe their patents. Such a thing must be done for 6 months. The ruling coming from the judge was dripping with sarcasm, as the main statement was that people could not possibly confuse the iPad with the Galaxy Tab due to the latter “not being cool enough.” Quite honestly, this writer is officially confused, as I am not sure if the judge was being serious or simply sarcastic. In any case, the ruling was appealed by Apple and just like it was ruled, the judges preceding the appeal process (all three of them) deemed that the original ruling was valid and will stand. Still, the punishment being imposed on Apple falls short in comparison to the one imparted against Samsung in the US by the country’s High Court. But wait! Don’t go away just yet, because there’s more!

Crossing back the Atlantic over to the US, we have yet witnessed a second sign that the entire thing was poorly handled from the start. The reason for this statement is very simple. If a patent is indeed valid and ruled as such, there should be no “back and forth” on the verdicts. No, with this I do not mean that people cannot appeal to a decision, but the patent is a black and white document that explicitly depicts the design, use(s), and considerations taken when a product is patented. As such, there is VERY little room for interpretation by the law, as the writing is not done in a subjective way that gives room for interpretation, but rather it is a set of solid facts. The first overturned patent, as stated before, was the ’604 patent. Today, we received news that a second patent has been overturned.

Patent number 7,469,381 is being deemed as invalid by by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). This patent deals essentially with the “bouncing scroll” feature that we all love so much. As it turns out, re-investigations on these are revealing that this is not exactly an original feature and as such, the claims on this patent may end up going overboard and invalidated. This would also be fantastic news for HTC who is also being slapped for the same. According to the source, there will be a preliminary ruling on HTC’s case as well towards the end of November (right in time for Black Friday). Now, this is far from being final, as this is just now being investigated by the USPTO. It then needs to make its way to the court, the appeals court, go through the entire process of appealing (which I can only assume is already underway), and finally a ruling can be made based on the evidence. Everything and anything can happen in between, but as stated earlier, it is a ray of hope.

So, where do we go from here? There is the distinct possibility that our beloved justice system will cast the veil from their faces (and their heads from their rear ends), and start looking at evidence with both qualified and objective people, unlike their selection of jury from the past “main event.” Just think about this for a second: The UK justice system is not exactly new (they’ve been around for quite a little longer than its US counterpart), but yet they can see the rather obvious differences between two products, including the fact that one of them has an Apple logo in the back, whereas the other does not. The ruling of “confusing one with the other” is the intellectual equivalent of saying that you bought a Toyota instead of a Ford because it had wheels.

Well, we sincerely hope that the second set of good news amounts to something, and that US courts realize that 1 billion dollars is a lot of money to make someone pay, particularly when you do not even have your facts straight or use common sense while shelling out the sentence.

You can find more information in the original article from DailyMail and in the FOSS Patent website.

Thanks for reading.

 

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

exynos

There has been a lot of discussion recently about Samsung and their lack of open source code for the Exynos processor on the Galaxy S2 i9100 and Galaxy S3 i9300. XDA-Developers is at the Big Android BBQ in Dallas, TX this weekend, and Samsung Developers is hosting a Q&A. We’ll be updating this LIVE, as often as we can and as the overloaded WiFi network allows. They have also let us know that they will be sharing news on Exynos and source code.

You can join in and view the event by visiting the live Google+ Hangout!


Post-Session Q&A

QUESTION: It’s great that you are releasing this development board, which is much like what NVIDIA does with their dev boards, but we’re wanting to know about phones like the i9100 and i9300. What is being done about those devices and Exynos source?
AGARWAL: From a SoC point of view, a lot of the code for the SoC (baseboard, the drivers, GPU, media binaries) remain common across the devices and the boards, and we are making an effort to make the code available for developers to enable them to run the Exynos, to enable them to get access to the GPU binaries. How OEM’s modify that and implement that is something that I will hand over to Hod to address.
HOD: [From the Android perspective] It’s a funny thing, and I don’t know if people understand, but when dealing with the Mobile side and the Hardware side, we’re almost like a customer of theirs….. Everybody that is here from Samsung is here because we feel it’s important and want to be a part of the community. There are obstacles, and we’re trying to do what we can to work on them. This is a great step, and we’ve been talking about other things we can work together with LSI and HQ and other channels and fighting as much as we can.

QUESTION: How much of S-Voice was pushed upstream for Google to use in Google Now?
LUDDON: It’s always up to Google to integrate what we’ve done, so I really can’t say. It’s up to the OS provider to choose which features make it back into the source upstream.

QUESTION: Will Samsung integrate the S-Pen SDK into AOSP?
LUDDON: Can’t comment on future plans, but the plan is to always integrate as much as we can with the platforms we are using.

QUESTION: Limited version of the SDK for phones which do not have an S-Pen?
LUDDON: Some of that functionality already exists so that you’re able to use those features.

QUESTION: Entropy512 asks why Samsung is using a proprietary S-Pen SDK when Android now has a built-in API for ICS and JB?
HOD: Samsung has put together a way of using hooks that allow you to use hooks that are already available in the SDK and created something before Google put something together in the Android source.

_________________________

2:26 PM – Samsung says they will provide Git server access starting in November 2012 at http://git.insignal.co.kr, and will have a dedicated site for the origenboard.org at www.origenboard.org

2:25 PM – NOTE: Working with origenboard has issues for what XDA-Developers would love to see since it has no RIL support or audio support.

2:17 PM – Michael Luddon is announcing Akshay Agarwal, Director, Samsung LSI’s Exynos Division who flew in specifically for this discussion.

2:15 PM – Mr. Agarwal is discussing an Exynos Developer Board (origenboard) that will be released with source code for the board to enable development for the Exynos platform. They are working with Insignal, Inc. to provide Proprietary binaries to enable complete system development on Exynos. Open Source for the Kernel and Platform (HAL, OMX, Framework Patches). The source code will be released under GPLv2 and Apache 2.0. Samsung will provide MALI GPU developer support as well.

 

2:10 PM – Hod Greeley is discussing the S-Pen SDK

 

2:03 PM – Samsung is talking about upcoming conferences they will be attending.

2:00 PM – As you all may be aware there have been some relative uproars about the lack of important Exynos sources for JB on the i9100 and 9300. Samsung knows there is a pending issue, and Michael Luddon (Marketing Manager from Samsung Developers US) is telling everyone to be nice and constructive and they will do what they can to answer.

 

 

Triangle Away

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know what Triangle Away is. If you don’t, Triangle Away is a way to reset the flash counter on Samsung devices. That’s right. In their infinite wisdom, Samsung decided to keep track of the number of times you flash custom firmware to your device. Obstinately, this is to allow them to deny warranties and blame the hardware issues on unauthorized firmware. The logic seems flawed with the solid firmware available on XDA.

Recently XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire released an update to his Triangle Away application, ticking the version number to v2.05. This latest update adds support for the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE GT-I9305 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE GT-N7100. Chainfire says that this update should work on various Qualcomm-based Samsung devices. Chainfire could use your help to determine which of the Qualcomm-based Samsung devices this works on that haven’t been identified.

On October 9th the new 5.5 inch screen wielding Samsung Galaxy Note 2 GT-N7100 was added to the supported devices list. Since our last Triangle Away article support has also been added for the Samsung Galaxy S3 SHV-E210K, Samsung Galaxy S3 SHV-E210S, Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N8000 10.1″ 3G and Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N801x 10.1″ Wi-Fi.

Check out the application thread for more information and to help Chainfire find out what devices this latest update works on.

aintnobodygottimeforthat

The USB jig for Samsung devices can be immensely useful. When used properly, they force a Samsung device into download mode so you can flash firmware over Odin and restore it to working order. It is especially useful when you’ve broken pretty much everything and need a fresh start. Additionally, it completely resets your flash counter. There is an application that can do this called TriangeAway by XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire, but it’s always good to have additional options.

If you find yourself wanting to enter download mode easily, you can build your own USB jigs. While making your own is nothing new, there is now a thread posted with a step-by-step photo guide to creating your own jig. It isn’t overly difficult, but does require some soldering. So if you do attempt it, be sure to read all the instructions first to make sure you know what you need to do. You can find the thread here.

Of course, whether you buy one or make one, you should also know how to use one. XDA Senior Member mattcfk has released a very generalized FAQ to help you use the USB jig to do anything from removing the yellow triangle to restoring a bricked device. You can find the full FAQ and support thread here.

Of course, if all else fails, there may be a forum member in your area that’ll let you borrow their jig for a one-time use. XDA Senior Member saywhatt has compiled a list of users around the world who have a USB jig that would be willing to meet up and let you use it. Of course, as with any meeting with a stranger, be cautious. If you’re looking for someone in your area, you can find that thread here.

Whether you build it, buy it, or borrow it, these USB jigs can mean the difference between a paperweight that you have to return and a fully functioning phone. If you own a Samsung device and don’t have one, you should look into it. They’re definitely useful little tools.

exynos

Those who have followed the Samsung development community recently have no doubt noticed the current difficulties caused by a lack of proper documentation for the Exynos SoC. While Samsung has traditionally acted favorably towards the community, the lack of documentation is hampering aftermarket development efforts.

Because lack of proper documentation makes it much more difficult (or impossible) for the developers to work with the devices, several high profile devs have expressed their distaste with the situation. In fact, XDA Elite Recognized Developer codeworkx of Team Hacksung and the CyanogenMod team has shared his difficulties, and stated his plans to drop support for Exynos devices such as the Galaxy S III and develop for Sony devices.

Thankfully as noted by codeworkx, Samsung has “heard” the concerns that have been voiced, and is discussing them with their team:

All is not well, however. While Samsung stated in a later Tweet that they are “working to resolve the situation,” they have not yet provided any additional documentation, nor have they detailed what exactly they plan on sharing.

In fact, XDA Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512 has publicly expressed his skepticism on Twitter, given their track record in the BrickBug issue:

 

At this point, you may be wondering what you can do to help the cause. Since the petition thread by XDA Senior Member AntonLiv92 has at least alerted Samsung that there is in fact a problem, we suggest continuing to let them know that this issue is important to you. However, the waiting game now begins, as we prepare for Samsung’s response.

To stay apprised with the latest news regarding the lacking Exynos documentation, be sure to visit the petition thread, as well as follow Entropy512 (Google+), codeworkx (Google+), and SamsungExynos.

[Thanks to XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire for the tip!]

Erica Screens

On today’s XDA Developer TV, Mad Scientist Erica presents us another short documentary video. Today’s topic is screen display technologies, or more specifically mobile device display technologies. With a bevy of devices sporting differing screen display technologies, Erica delves into this topic showing the strengths and weaknesses of each product.

In this video Erica talks about what LCD and AMOLED screens are, how they are made, and the science behind them. Then, she talks about some common misconceptions of display technologies.  Finally, Erica engages in some real world, side-by-side comparison tests. So check out this video, and learn some important information about screen technologies.

 

READ ON »

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