This week ended on a negative note for Android in general and Samsung in particular. In the Apple v. Samsung case involving alleged patent infringement, the jury found heavily in favor of Apple, with the preliminary amount of damages totalling $1.05 billion. Since the jury found that Samsung willfully infringed, the court could increase the damages by triple. And Apple is seeking an injunction on the wide range of smartphones and tablets that were found to infringe Apple’s patents.
As widespread as an injunction could be against Samsung products, the case could affect Google’s Android platform in general. Why? Because of the patents themselves that Samsung were found to infringe upon; specifically, these touchscreen navigation actions: the “rubber banding” or bounce-back scrolling functionality, pinch-to-zoom, and tap-to-zoom.
I’ll be looking into the potential implications on this, but my early take is that Samsung won’t be the only handset maker found to infringe upon Apple’s patents as all Android devices use these features. I’m also concerned that current Samsung phones will be modified via a software update to address the patent infringements.
Apple’s patents — and recent court win — could lead to more suits, but not just for smartphones. The $15 Blurex Ultra Slim Case for my Nexus 7 tablet arrived this week and one of the features I like about it is a carryover from Apples’ iPad case and cover: Magnets in the case automatically wake or sleep the slate. I’m glad I bought this case now because I could envision an injunction against any similar cases that use this functionality.
Regardless of that, the case is great for protecting the Nexus 7 and consuming content thanks to the muliti-angle support in landscape mode. As you can see in my brief video overview, the case allows access to all of the ports and buttons on the Nexus 7, including the rear speaker. All in all, I’m happy with my purchase, but beware: Some buyers have reported that the magnet feature doesn’t work for them. I’ve recommenced they request an exchange since those particular cases are faulty.
Also new this week is a camera that runs Android 2.3: Nikon’s Coolpix S800c launched this week for $349. The capable point-and-shoot looks like a standard digital camera save for the 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen on the back. Here you can run a full version of Android. Why would you want to? This opens up the opportunity to run third-party imaging or social networking applications to edit or share photos with the integrated Wi-Fi. I like the idea, although I can’t speak yet to the implementation. I’d rather have a choice of software to use with my camera and photos as opposed to the software provided by the camera maker.