Last year we reported that Microsoft-Nokia deal is in the second-phase of anti-trust investigation in China, as Chinese OEMs and regulators fear that Nokia’s patent fees for the China’s domestic handset vendors might go up after this deal gets over. Bloomberg then reported that local Chinese OEMs have asked regulators to make sure Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business doesn’t result in higher patent fees on wireless technology.
Today, Bloomberg today reported that Google and Samsung have joined the Chinese OEM in expressing their concern about Microsoft-Nokia deal. They want to make sure this deal doesn’t result in higher fees on wireless technology patents that will remain with Nokia. The report also claimed that Google and Samsung fear that Microsoft will gain more power over the smartphone market and may abuse its patents.
Contrary to Samsung and Google’s concerns, Microsoft is always open to license their patents to other smartphone vendors under very reasonable terms. In fact, they have signed patent licensing deals with more than 20 Android OEMs and ODMs so far.
China’s Ministry of Commerce is conducting an anti-monopoly review and is likely to approve the deal, the officials said. The question is whether the ministry will demand the companies guarantee that the agreement doesn’t result in higher patent fees, the officials said.
Samsung has pushed out a minor update for their Video Trimmer app for their Windows Phone 8 handsets.
The app has been updated to version 184.108.40.206, which likely indicates only minor bug fixes and performance improvements. No changelog has been provided.
The updated app, now (but not previously it seems) exclusive to Samsung owners, can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
The Galaxy S5 claimed to be the first phone with a heart rate sensor when it was announced. However, this may be only true in terms of hardware, since every phone with a LED flash and a camera can measure your heart rate, too.
The LED lights through your finger and the camera detects you heart rate – simple as that. In the Windows Phone store there are apps for this too. One of them is Instant Heart Rate.
There are only a few things to say about it: It works, it works quickly, and it looks great. That is everything. There is a free trial available and if you want to buy it, you have to pay 1.99$, which is quite much for such an app, but not totally unfair.
Otherwise, if you want a free app, which works the same, only is a little slower and doesn’t look that good, you can check out Heart Rate.
Not so innovative anymore, what, Samesung?
Samsung has released a new photo organizing app for Windows Phone.
The app, which is exclusive to ATIV owners, allows users to organize their photos by event or time, present it with various themes and add captions and other text.
The app description reads:
Create albums of your daily events. Keep your special moments in one place using your timeline. Your treasured memories will always be with you.
The free app can be downloaded by ATIV owners here.
At Mobile World Congress, Samsung yesterday announced their next flagship device Galaxy S5. Samsung’s main competitors Nokia and HTC mocked Samsung’s announcement on Twitter.
HTC’s Twitter account tweeted: “Buyer’s remorse: Coming soon to S5 owners. March 25.” pointing to HTC’s upcoming flagship announcement next month.
Nokia on its part tweeted, “Stand out from the crowd! #MWC14 #UNPACKED. NOT THE SAMESUNG ;)” pointing to the Lumia/Windows Phone differentiation among the crowd.
Even though both these are pretty decent attempts in making fun on Galaxy S5, I liked something else. Find it out after the break.
For the usage of Play Store and Android, Google signs the Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) with OEMs like Samsung, HTC, LG, etc,. We have known very little about this agreement Google signs with OEMs. Today, Google’s Mobile Application Distribution Agreement with HTC got leaked on the internet and it reveals lots of strict policies that Google demand from OEMs. For example, you need to install all Google apps, Google Search should be the default search provider, Google’s Network Location Provider service must be installed by default and more.
To distribute Google’s mobile applications—Google Search, Maps, YouTube, Calendar, Gmail, Talk, the Play app store, and more—a phone manufacturer needs a license from Google, called a Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA). Key provisions of the MADA:
“Devices may only be distributed if all Google Applications [listed elsewhere in the agreement] … are pre-installed on the Device.” See MADA section 2.1.
The phone manufacturer must “preload all Google Applications approved in the applicable Territory … on each device.” See MADA section 3.4(1).
The phone manufacturer must place “Google’s Search and the Android Market Client icon [Google Play] … at least on the panel immediately adjacent to the Default Home Screen,” with “all other Google Applications … no more than one level below the Phone Top.” See MADA Section 3.4(2)-(3).
The phone manufacturer must set “Google Search … as the default search provider for all Web search access points.” See MADA Section 3.4(4).
Google’s Network Location Provider service must be preloaded and the default. See MADA Section 3.8(c).
EC is ending its investigation on Google’s unfair search practices in the coming months. I guess Google’s Android practices may be the next one for European Commission to investigate. Read more about it from the link below.
Yesterday, @evleaks confirmed that Samsung is releasing a Windows Phone device on Verizon codenamed Huron. This Samsung SM-W750V device will have a 4.3-inch full HD display running Windows Phone 8.1. Today, @evleaks posted a rendering of the device which you can see above. The design of the device is not surprising given the recent Android devices from Samsung.
The other important thing to notice from the render is the lack of back and search hardware buttons. Windows Phone 8.1 will include a new UX for back button functionality? Or we will have onscreen buttons as seen in Android device? We will come to know at Build conference in April this year.
Samsung has updated their ATIV Beam NFC-sharing app to version 0.8.6.1.
No changelog accompany the update, but it presumably brings performance and bug fixes.
The app is designed to allow Windows Phone users to easily share media with Android-using friends and by all accounts works pretty well.
Samsung users can find the update in the Windows Phone Store here.
In the past few months, there were reports that Samsung is planning to release yet another Windows Phone device. Today, @evleaks confirmed that Samsung is releasing a Windows Phone device on Verizon codenamed Huron. The Samsung SM-W750V device will have a 4.3-inch full HD display running Windows Phone 8.1. Also, @evleaks commented that it looks very similar to a late model Galaxy S.
The device was first revealed by AdDuplex report published last week.
Well before Nokia’s App Folder App Samsung produced their own version of the software, with much the same features, ie allowing users to create a tile which will link to a folder containing a collection of tiles of apps. Their version even looks a bit more Metro, unlike Nokia’s, which presents users with a list of apps in the folders instead.
Samsung Windows Phone owners can now update to the latest version of the software, version 220.127.116.11, which adds the ability to “select the title page.”
Not having a Samsung handset I can not quite be sure what that means, but I am sure our ATIV-totting readers can help us out in the comments below.
Find Samsung’s App Folders in the Windows Phone Store here.
Samsung has updated their ATIV Beam NFC-sharing app to version 0.8.5.0. This follows an earlier update on the 8th January which addressed compatability with GDR3.
As before no changelog accompany the update, but given that users continued to complain in the app reviews of the inability to use the app due to the app requesting users update their handset software, it is likely to fix compatability issues once again.
It is of note that the app is pretty powerful, allowing users to browse their files and share virtually all the contents on their handsets, likely a consequence of Samsung’s increase access to the platform as an OEM.
Samsung users can find the update in the Windows Phone Store here.
At CES, Samsung announced four new Android tablets which will include new UX Samsung has built on top of Android. The Magazine UX is basically a tweaked version of Windows 8 Start experience. You will have large Live Tiles for different apps which you can arrange on your home screen similar to what Windows 8.1 provides to users now. Today @evleaks posted a screenshot of Samsung’s Magazine UX for Galaxy devices. Yes, Samsung is bringing the Live Tiles experience to Android devices. As you can see in the above screenshot, you will have information overlayed on images similar to Live Tiles and you can rearrange them on your home screen.
Do you think Samsung is crossing the line between inspiration and copying with this Magazine UX? Should Microsoft defend their Live Tiles implementation from Samsung?
Microsoft usually share a significant amount of money with OEMs for marketing Windows based PCs. And they are following the same policy for Windows Phone devices ecosystem too. It was revealed recently that Microsoft was paying marketing funds for Nokia more than what Nokia will pay for Windows Phone license to Microsoft. Similarly, Microsoft will also pay other Windows Phone OEMs for marketing the devices. Eldar Murtazin today tweeted that Microsoft is paying $1.2 billion for Samsing, $0.5 billion for Sony, $0.6 billion for Huawei and $0.3 billion for other OEMs as support for developing one Windows Phone device from each of them.
Windows phone 8 in 2014 – Samsung 1.2 bln USD, Sony 0.5 bln, Huawei 0.6 bln, others – 0.3 bln. Thats “support” from MS to develop one (1!)hs
I’m not surprised by the fact that Microsoft is paying OEMs for developing Windows Phone devices, but I doubt the amount of money Eldar said today. I don’t think Microsoft will spend nearly $2 billion for getting a single Windows Phone device from all these OEMs out in the market. Instead, Microsoft can spend that money on Nokia by significantly increasing marketing, lowering device price for consumers, etc, which I think will work more positively for Windows Phone platform.
What do you think?