In today’s mobile news roundup: Google and Dish to launch wireless service; Apple granted patent for page turn animation; and AT&T announced new global packages.
Google and Dish to launch wireless service
According to sources, Google and satellite TV provider Dish are in talks to launch their own wireless service that would directly compete with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other network carriers. Though this might be good news for consumers, I advise you to not get too excited about it as the talks are not in advanced stages. It might not even happen at all. If it does happen, it may take years to reach consumers.
But why would Google be interested in entering the wireless service scene? According to Walter Piecyk, a wireless-industry analyst at research firm BTIG, Google wants people to use their services, like YouTube, for longer periods on their mobile devices, but that is being restricted by network service providers.
“From Google’s perspective, it wants people to watch 10 hours of YouTube a day on their devices, and what hurts them is [wireless carriers] restricting capacity,” said Piecyk.
In other Google news, the search giant is said to be in its final stages of releasing an iOS app of their Maps. The search giant has allegedly distributed a test version of their maps app for iOS to some people outside of the company and are working on the finishing touches of the app before they submit it to Apple. The app would feature turn-by-turn navigation so users could use it as a GPS.
Apple declined to comment on the rumor stating that they do not discuss apps that haven’t been submitted to them. Read our initial coverage here.
Apple granted patent for “page turn” animation
Anyone who’s fond of reading from Apple’s iBooks has surely noticed the realistic page turning animation. With one swipe, the page turns just like when you turn a page on a real book. This animation had been available to other book apps on iOS and Android but now, Apple has been granted the patent for it. Patent number D670,713 titled “Display screen or portion thereof with animated graphical user interface,” was granted to Apple.
The patent includes animation that responds to a simple swiping motion with a finger, turning the page over just as it happens on a paper book; a different swiping motion will flip the pages quickly; and a vertical finger movement will flip the page just enough to reveal what’s on the next page.
This probably means the lawsuits are soon to follow. As I’ve mentioned earlier, there are already other apps that feature some of the the things the patent described. App developers better watch their backs.
In other Apple news, the LTE versions of the iPad mini and the 4th generation iPad are now available at Sprint stores. Meanwhile AT&T, Verizon and even Apple itself hasn’t announced when they’ll start carrying the LTE devices in retail stores. That’s odd, you’d think that Apple would be the first to release the LTE version of the devices, right?
AT&T announced new global packages
AT&T announced new packages to suit global travelers the Travel Minutes Calling Packages, the Global Messaging 600 Package and the Wi-Fi Capabilities for Select Data Global Add-On Packages. These are discounted roaming packages for calling, texting and WiFi.
Travel Minutes Calling is ideal for those who are travelling abroad for a short period of time and are more into placing or receiving calls, while the Global Messaging Package is for those who are more fond of sending text messages, video messages or even photos, as it allows you to send 600 text, picture and video messages abroad for $60/month from more than 140 countries. See here for more details.