Facebook today unveiled what CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the "next version" of the social networking site. Facebook Home is a new UI for Android devices that transforms a user's smartphone or tablet into a central hub for Facebook. When asked if Home will also be available for iOS devices Zuckerberg replied, “Apple is a very controlled environment". Meaning you will probably never see Home on your iPhone or iPad.
The Home interface is just too invasive for Apple's closed ecosystem. When installed, it takes over a device's lock screen, home screen and even notifications. This is something Apple would never allow. Zuckerberg said, Facebook has "great relationship with Apple", but that doesn't mean they will welcome a UI that overrides iOS. It's just not the way Apple does things.
Apple was named with T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, HTC, Samsung and Motorola in a class action lawsuit on Monday. Sianni & Straite of Wilmington of Delaware and two other law firms from New Jersey (Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy of Edison and Keefe Bartels of Red Bank) filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in the District of Delaware. The lawsuit alleges Apple and other companies committed an "unprecedented breach of the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users.”
The class action lawsuit is in response to the Carrier IQ software installed in various cell phones that logs the keystrokes, texts and geographic data of its users. Apple admitted using the diagnostics tool in the past, but said they never recorded "personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.” Apple also promised to remove the software from all their devices in a future firmware update.
25-year-old Trevor Eckhart discovered a "rootkit" hidden in various Android handsets that logs information like text messages, location and encrypted web searches. The company behind the software, Carrier IQ, claims their technology is an innocent diagnostics tool that doesn't record keystrokes or illegally track users. However, Eckhart's YouTube video below seems to suggest otherwise. On Thursday, Apple joined several other carriers and manufacturers in coming clean about using the software. Here is their statement in full (via All Things D):
“We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update. With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.”
I never get the memos on what's hot or not, and I definitely didn't get the memo about the iPhone not being hip anymore. I'm not going to debate if the iPhone is "cool," but I have a feeling a lot of college kids are not carrying them because of the price, not because their dad owns one.
The acting president of HTC America had some interesting things to say at the Mobile Future Forward conference in downtown Seattle. Martin Fichter talked about Google buying Motorola, patent disputes and why his daughter thinks the iPhone is lame. You can read excerpts from the talk here, and read his quote about the uncool iPhone below!
Apple filed another round of complaints with the International Trade Commission to try and block the sale of HTC devices which they claim infringe on their patent rights. The complaint is similar to the lawsuit Apple filed claiming Samsung's Galaxy products “slavishly” copied iPad and iPhone technologies.
HTC general counsel Grace Lei said HTC is "disappointed at Apple’s constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market. HTC strongly denies all infringement claims raised by Apple in the past and present and reiterates our determination and commitment to protect our intellectual property rights.”
This is not the first time Apple has gone after HTC. In March, the company sued HTC over 20 patents mainly targeting their Android Devices.
GetJar CMO Patrick Mork issued a harsher reply to Apple's cease and desist over the name the "App Store:"