Tomek Kondrat · Mar 19, 2014 at 12:30 am

What to Do When You’re a Young Developer? Read All the Patents

Over the year, we’ve talked about both good and bad OEMs with regards to developer support. We are now well aware that Samsung is no longer the developer friendly brand it once was, and HTC is seemingly fighting against everyone. But not all OEMs want to be the bad guys, as Sony releases device trees and blobs for some devices, Oppo has always been developer friendly, and Motorola simply likes the spirit of open source.

XDA is a place for hackers and developers—those who do some amazing things crossing the limits set forth by companies focused on getting every last cent out of your pocket. OEMs often cease supporting their devices because fewer updates means more money—but they’re more than happy to sell you a new device with faster everything and more features. And to add these new features, they must start inventing things and registering new patents. For the unaware, Microsoft indirectly receives $2 Billion every year from Android because of patents. And let’s not even get into all the patent legislation drama.

Luckily, XDA is full of great developers capable of developing some really amazing things from scratch. We also try to look out for our developers whenever possible, and that’s why it hurts us when one of our developers receives a threatening letter from a large corporation. Recently, we were informed that one of the good guys, Motorola, asked a 17-year-old developer to remove a few features from one of his applications due to patents. Wait, what?! A kid? Yes, A 17-year-old kid. Motorola could have taken many other possible routes, including purchasing rights to the application to improve their own Active Display implementation, or even giving the developer an internship opportunity. Many of these young developers are the future leaders of such companies, and treating them badly will result in negative stigma towards the brand. On the bright side, at least Motorola has thus far allowed the application to remain in the Play Store, as they have not yet filed a DMCA take down request.

So, what must a new developer with a good idea do? He or she must check the Internet to find if he’s violating any patents and copyrights. After careful investigation, said developer must make something that is worse than anything else similar. That would reduce the chance of being threatened. Otherwise, a young developer who makes an innovative application may be forced to remove his work from the Internet because a large OEM finds him or her to be a worthy contender. Obviously we’re being facetious, but it would be nice to see a more friendly attitude taken towards independent developers—especially those who cannot yet legally vote.


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Mario Tomás Serrafero · Feb 27, 2015 at 03:52 pm · 1 comment

PhotoMath: A Math Beginner’s Dream App

To me, applications like this one are really important for school students. I bought my first significant Android the same year I began my Physics degree at my university, and immediately I realised how tremendously helpful it was. From accurate graphing applications to TI emulators (don't judge me, the real thing costs crazy amounts here!), passing through giants like Wolfram and MATLAB Mobile, there were a lot of tools for one to excel with. In fact, I'd say that without Android I wouldn't have chosen...

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Mario Tomás Serrafero · Feb 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm · 1 comment

Leaked Galaxy S6 Apps Hit the Forums

XDA Recognized Contributor Albe95 has shared with us what looks to be Galaxy S6 applications. The ones he's provided are the GearManager, the Optical Reader, GeoNews and Kids Mode. The applications are available for download through the links in the opening post, but keep in mind it is likely that they might not be compatible with your device. There's also new information about more applications and system interface features revealed in the same thread:     The alleged S6 statusbar and panel are ported to the...

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Emil Kako · Feb 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm · 1 comment

Which App for iPhone Do You Wish Was on Android?

Only a few years ago, it was normal for a major app release to be available for iOS but come months later to Android. That seems to no longer be the case, as Android has advanced tremendously with Google putting a huge effort into its Play Store and ecosystem. However, while the majority of major app releases are now made available for both platforms at the same time, there are a few iOS exclusives that some of us wish were on our favorite mobile OS (Hyperlapse comes to mind). Let us know which apps for the iPhone you wish were on Android.

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