Google to Oracle: Your $9.3bn Android Java damages claim is mad


Google has filed a rebuttal to Oracle’s claim that it’s due $9.3bn in damages for unlicensed use of Java code in Android.

Google says its own damages expert “strongly disagrees” with the financial relief Oracle has demanded, ahead of the companies’ May district court retrial over claims that 37 Java SE application protocol interfaces in Android infringed Oracle’s copyright.

Oracle has argued that the Java APIs were necessary to get app developers on board with Android early, which helped Google net billions in profits through app sales and mobile advertising.

Oracle’s damages expert estimated that Google has made $8.8bn in “profits apportioned to infringed Java copyrights” and that those profits should be recovered from Google. Together with actual damages of $475m, the expert thinks Google should pay Oracle a total of $9.3bn.

Just a few months after Apple released Swift for iOS, the language has become one of the most popular for developers.

Unsurprisingly, Google’s own damages expert thinks Oracle isn’t entitled to the enormous sum because most of Android’s code base is Google’s own.

The company points out in a filing obtained by Business Insider that the 37 Java SE APIs amount to 0.8 percent of over 15 million lines of non-infringing code in Android.

The search firm has asked the court to strike from the record portions of an assessment by Dr James R Kearl, who was appointed by the court to respond to the damages experts put forward by Oracle and Google and assess the appropriate sum for “disgorgement of profits”.

Google objected to three methods that Kearl offered to calculate the disgorgement sums and wants them struck from the record because the jury might consider them plausible.

First, Google says Kearl wrongly bought Oracle’s argument that Java allowed Google to attract developers, which then brought users and profits to Android.

Second, Google says it was wrong to assume that companies such as Facebook and Uber would have avoided developing Android apps if Google had not copied the Java APIs.

The final idea that Google wants expunged is that there would be no Android were it not for the Java APIs, an idea Kearl entertained in one “alternate reality” scenario that could give a basis for the jury to award the whole $8.8bn to Oracle.

Separate filings by Oracle suggest Google is angling to limit damages to $100m.

Oracle originally filed its claim against Google in 2010. In 2014, the US Court of Appeals overturned a 2012 district court ruling that the Java APIs were not copyrightable, but that Google may be covered by “fair use”.

The Supreme Court last year knocked back Google’s request for it to review the decision, so the matter is headed back to the district court to decide on Google’s fair use defense.

iOS 9.3 most stable release from Apple, more stable than Android 6.0

According to a new report by app analytics firm Apteligent, Apple’s latest iOS 9.3 build is the most stable new release by the Cupertino-based company in years. The report revealed a 2.2% crash rate for iOS 9.3 in the past eight days.

Other major releases, including iOS 8, 9, and 9.2, had their crash rate cross the 3.2% mark in the same time-period. In addition, the report revealed that iOS 9.3’s rate of crash was also better than that of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which saw a crash rate of 2.6%.

It’s worth mentioning that iOS 9.3 has also had its own share of problems – it’s roll-out wastemporarily put on hold for some older models due to an issue with the update procedure.

Apple releases iOS 9.3.1 to fix crashes caused by tapping links

iOS 9.3 was released to the public on March 21, the same day as Apple’s big event where it unveiled the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7 (both of which are now available, by the way). Yet here we are just 10 days later and the company has deemed it necessary to already issue an emergency update for its mobile operating system.

iOS 9.3.1 is now rolling out to supported iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch units across the world. Its only function is to fix a very nasty bug that somehow made the cut to the final version of iOS 9.3. This bug will render your Apple device useless after tapping on links in Safari and other apps.

Thankfully, after you update your device to iOS 9.3.1, the crashing and unresponsiveness associated with tapping on links in certain circumstances will happen no more. So clearly this is one update that you should apply as soon as possible, especially if you have been affected by this bug.

Nothing else is included in this iOS release, so you don’t get any new features or anything like that. Then again, iOS 9.3 itself comes with plenty of those, and it’s only been out for everyone since last week, so that makes perfect sense.

iOS 9.3 problems: Here’s how to fix the most common issues

iOS 9.3 problems: Here's how to fix the most common issues

Some people are experiencing a problem with iOS 9.3 that bricks their iPad 2, and we’ve got a solution to help bring it back to life.

Apple has now launched iOS 9.3, its latest update to the iOS 9 software that runs on most of the world’s iPhones and iPads. While the free update should go smoothly, you may find you’re encountering some problems with iOS 9.3 after (or even during) the update.

We’ve put together this guide covering the most common issues with iOS 9.3, and how to fix them, so if your iPhone or iPad isn’t behaving properly after the iOS 9.3 update, check out our list of issues below to see if there’s a solution.

If you’re experiencing a problem in iOS 9.3 that we haven’t solved, let us know in the comments and we’ll look into it.

iOS 9.3 problems: Here's how to fix the most common issues

No iOS 9.3 update is available

Apple has made iOS 9.3 available for free for devices running iOS 9, and the update should be waiting for you when you go to Settings > General > Software Update.

However, what can you do if the iOS 9.3 update isn’t showing on your device? The first thing is try updating it via iTunes on your Mac or PC.

Begin by making sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed, then connect your device to your Windows PC or Mac. Next, open up iTunes, select your device and click ‘Summary’ then ‘Check for Update’. The iOS 9.3 update should then display, enabling you to update through iTunes.

If you can’t get to a computer with iTunes you could visit an Apple Store and ask someone there to connect your device. It may also be worth waiting a few days for Apple’s servers to calm down after the initial rush of people downloading the update.

Also make sure your device has plenty of charge left in its battery, and that you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network before you attempt to download and install the iOS 9.3 update wirelessly.

Device freezes while updating

If your device stops responding while you’re updating to iOS 9.3, try resetting your device by holding the power and home buttons down at the same time for around 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

If that doesn’t work, plug your device into a power socket and let it charge for around 15 minutes. After it’s charged, reset the device again and hopefully it’ll return to a working state.

If that doesn’t work, plug your device into a PC or Mac running iTunes, click the iPhone or iPad icon and select either Restore iPhone or Restore iPad in the Summary section.

You’ll be given the option to back up your settings before restoring, which is advisable. Then, click Restore and iTunes will restore your device to a previous backup that you’ve saved either in iTunes or in iCloud.

Cannot install iOS 9.3

If you encounter problems while trying to install iOS 9.3 try the following. First make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your PC or Mac. Also make sure that whichever operating system you’re using is up to date.

Antivirus software running in the background may be causing problems, so temporarily pause or disable your security software – if you do this, make sure you remember to turn it back on once you’ve successfully updated to iOS 9.3.

Unplug any additional USB devices that are connected to your computer, leaving just your iOS device, and keyboard and mouse, attached.

Reboot both your computer and your iOS device. Now try updating to iOS 9.3 through iTunes.

Cannot activate iPhone or iPad

If you’re having trouble activating your device after upgrading to iOS 9.3, you’re not alone. Owners of older iPads, specifically the iPad 2, have reported iOS 9.3 authentication problems.

First, restart your device by pressing and holding the power and home buttons for 10 seconds, until the screen displays the Apple logo.

If after your device has restarted you still can’t activate, connect your device to a PC or Mac running iTunes and try updating.

Another way to activate your device is to first turn it off, then log in to the iCloud websitewith your Apple ID and password. Click on Find iPhone, then All Devices. Select the device you’re having trouble activating and click Remove.

Do not click Erase or Mark as ‘Lost’. Now turn on your device and try to activate it again. Hopefully that should work, and if it does, go into Settings and turn on Find My iPhone.

If you then see the ‘Cannot activate because the activation server is temporarily not available’ message, try again later, as it might be that Apple’s activation server has shut down due to high demand.

Reduced battery life

If you find that the battery life of your iPhone or iPad has noticeably reduced since upgrading to iOS 9.3, try resetting the device by pressing and holding the power and home buttons for around 10 seconds, until the Apple logo appears.

For more advice on improving the battery life of your phone, check out our comprehensive guide on how to improve iPhone battery life.

My iPad 2 has stopped working after updating to iOS 9.3

Many people with the iPad 2 have been complaining that their devices have stopped working after updating to iOS 9.3.

The issues have been serious – and numerous – enough for Apple to release a brand new build for iOS 9.3, known as 13E236.

This update should be rolling out to iPad 2 owners now, so check for the new update. If your iPad 2 is unresponsive – also known as bricked – then you can download the new build of iOS 9.3 by plugging your device into a PC and updating via iTunes.

BMW and Microsoft partner up for Google Now-like functions

BMW and Microsoft partner up for Google Now-like functions

BMW used Build 2016 to launch its new BMW Connected North America app for iOS users, which brings a Google Now personal assistant to its cars. The platform is powered by the Microsoft Azure-based Open Mobility Cloud.

The idea is to leverage your cloud-based data, like your calendar, messages, contacts, commute times, real-time traffic data and driving habits, to predict travel times and provide a reminder, at first.

If this sounds a lot like what Google Now does, you’re right, because most of those features are available on Android phones, which can connect to your car via Android Auto. But, BMW plans to integrate smart home features, so it predicts when you’ll be home and turn on smart lights or increase the thermostat temperature – features available with Google Now and Nest.

Positively, the BMW Connected North America app integrates with the ConnectedDrive app to let you access vehicle functions remotely, which is not something Google Now supports. However, unlike Google Now, which can easily transfer to any Android phone, BMW’s cloud is only beneficial to its vehicles.

As an Android user, I don’t find value in this feature and would rather have Android Auto integration, which BMW plans on supporting in future models. But for those that have an iPhone and a recent BMW that works with the previous Connected app, the new cloud-based features are a nice gesture that brings predictive driving features to existing cars.

Google+ iOS 5.2.0 Brings it Closer on Par with Android App

G+ iOS users get some of those goodies that recently made their way to the Android app.

Though the Google+ mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices, it seems like the former gets more of the attention, in turn receiving the most recent updates first. (The same can’t be said of Hangouts, however.) After the Android app got bumped up to v7.1.0 a few weeks ago, those on iOS can now rejoice as this latest 5.2.0 update brings it closer on par with its counterpart.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the bottom bar now gets out of the way when scrolling, making the overall UI less cluttered and saving on precious screen real estate. Also, tapping the Home button when going through your stream brings you right back to the top, just like on the latest G+ Android version.

Before, there was no way to go through a specific stream in the app which meant using the mobile website version to do so. Now, you can now access your circles (aka “Circle Streams”) via the left navigation menu by enabling this in Settings > Advanced Settings.

One feature that was introduced in iOS 9 is universal links, where you can directly go to an app on your device after tapping a link instead of Safari. Starting in 5.2.0, the G+ app comes with universal link support, making the transition from the web to the app both seamless and effortless. If you’re stuck on iOS 8 though, you’re gonna have to miss out on this one, unfortunately.

Other new features include the ability to log in using a page that you manage, native playback for uploaded videos, and view Collections of people you’re following.

And no update is complete without the usual round of bug fixes and the addressing of various accessibility issues.

For those whose devices meet the minimum requirements, the 5.2.0 update should’ve made it by now.

Google Photos for iOS Updated with Live Photos Support

Google Photos on iOS now supports auto-backup of Live Photos and receives a few smaller updates.

With the latest version of iOS, released about 6 months ago, Apple added Live Photos to the list of features for it’s smartphones. Live Photos captures a photo with sound and video before and after the moment the picture was taken to make your moments “living memories”.

Of course, since Live Photos includes video and sound as a part of the file, it takes up more space than traditional pictures. This means that users will run out of space on their devices and in the 5GB of iCloud storage that Apple gives users. However, now that Google Photos supports the moving images, Apple users can feel free to turn on the feature and no longer worry about running out of space for their pictures.

In addition to the Live Photos support, Google Photos users on iPad will be able to use the app in Split View. That means that you can now use Google Photos side-by-side with other apps supporting Split View on iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro. Also, the app now fully supports iPad Pro. Previously, the app would scale up to the iPad Pro’s 12.5 inch screen without displaying in full resolution.

The updates don’t stop there! The Google Photos app on iOS now features faster navigation. The app will now rely less on fewer hamburger menus, meaning that it will take fewer clicks to complete actions. Finally, in order to help with memory usage, the app will reduce the usage of cache when your iPhone or iPad is running low on storage.

Two-Column Stream, Quick Access to Google Apps on Google+ iOS v5.4

The iOS version of the Google+ app receives a number of new features under its belt.

Coming on the heels of Apple’s announcements a day earlier, the team at Google+ made an announcement of their own with the release of version 5.4 for iOS.

Two-Column Stream

If you’re using the Google+ app on an iPad in landscape mode, you’ll be ecstatic to know that version 5.4.0 finally supports two-column stream browsing. Now you can enjoy more content from your favourite Circles without wasting precious screen real estate!

Google Apps Quick Access

There are times when you want to switch over to another Google app as quickly and as hassle-free as possible, and using the App Switcher just isn’t fast enough. Not to worry, as this update brings quick access shortcuts to Google Photos, Hangouts and Google Search, available in the left navigation drawer.

Notification Filters

You might receive a ton of notifications everyday, whether they be from circles you get notified of every time a new post arrives, comments on posts that you previously made, or people adding you to their circles. With Notification Filters (which first made a brief appearance on the G+ Android app) now on iOS v5.4.0, you can now sift through them all by All, Unread or Other. This will save you lots of time and effort endlessly swiping to read more important notifications.

Other features that made it in this release are inline commenting on posts and the now-dismissible “Notifications disabled” banner.

And, like with every other update, numerous bugs were found and fixed; this time 11 met their demise, in addition to two accessibility issues getting addressed.

Smarter Albums arrive on Google Photos

Albums become even more intelligent on Google Photos, thanks to this latest update.

We all love taking photos when on holiday, especially in places we’ve never been to before. But sorting through all of those captures after coming home isn’t a lot of fun, to say the least, especially if you’re the happy snapper-sort of photographer.

Fortunately, the team at Google Photos has come up with a solution to solve your woes by automatically creating an album of your trip with your best memories, saving you the time and hassle of going through the laborious process yourself. Plus, maps and location pins are included so that you’ll know exactly which places you visited.

You can edit the selection of photos and videos (if you’re not satisfied with the ones Photos chose), as well as add captions to them, then just share the album once you’re done. Don’t forget that you can turn on collaboration in your newly-created album, so that your family and friends can add some of their own captures from that unforgettable holiday.

And, since this is a server-side update, these smarter albums will already be available the next time you open up Photos on Android, iOS, or desktop.

So the next time you set out on your next epic vacation, you can rest assured that Google Photos will have all the highlights from your trip covered.

Google+ for iOS v5.3.0 Brings 3D Touch Support

A number of new updates have made their way to the latest version of the Google+ iOS app, including the implementation of 3D Touch

While a lot of the focus has been on the Google+ Android app and its weekly version number bump, its iOS counterpart has also been receiving its share of the update goodies. Let’s find out what’s in store this time round.

3D Touch Quick Actions

One of the most interesting features of last year’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus was 3D Touch. This detects the amount of pressure being applied to the screen, responding to it with haptic feedback. For example, long-pressing an icon on the home screen will bring up a number of shortcuts – called Quick Actions – which can be selected simply by holding and dragging your finger to the desired action.

Version 5.3.0 brings support to 3D Touch – whenever you tap and hold on the G+ icon, three Quick Actions will pop-up:Create a Poll, Share Photos/Videos, and Create new Post.

Very useful and handy, especially if you don’t have the time to open the full G+ app.

Other Updates

As mentioned above, you can create polls in the iOS version (which is making Android users like me kinda jealous…). Let’s hope the Google+ team can bring back this feature to Android in the near future. Additionally, creating a new Community is now possible, thanks to WebView, and the problem when replying to YouTube videos has been resolved.

Lastly, as part of the continuous user experience improvement of the Google+ iOS app, this update fixes 35 bugs and addresses 9 accessibility issues.