They'd be wise to let this go
it's not exactly great publicity, and by the time they're done they'll have spent more on lawyers than on any monetary gains derived from this sort of activity.
The infamous "bounce-back" Apple patent has been mostly rejected by the US Patent Office, a decision that will have a major impact on the fruity firm's legal battles with Samsung. Sammy was quick to point out the ruling on the patent to the court, as the jury in the recent billion-dollar Californian case ruled that 21 accused …
Apple don't actually need to win and they know it. If they can keep this dragging long enough that Samsung invest time and effort into developing alternate, possibly less effective, alternatives (which it would appear they already have done) then the lawsuit has had a favourable outcome for Apple even if they lose. It's the game of lawyers.
Please point out something that Apple did FIRST and then maybe they will get some sympathy if someone copies it. Everything they have ever done has been copied from somewhere else, they just claim they did it first and then try to sue the arse off anybody who does something vaguely similar.
The suggestion that prior art trumps Apple's claims suggest that Apple not only didn't have "their stuff copied", but that they in fact copied someone else, who'd already done it. To then sue Samsung on the basis that "they own the idea" (effectively) is hypocritical to say the least.
Apple are the ones crying like babies. The problem is that they are not the ones that had their stuff copied. In fact, the opposite.
Unfortunately El Reg doesn't delve into the prior art claims or Apple's rebuttal to them.
There are only two claims of prior art--products that I hadn't heard of until now (a DiamondTouch tabletop computer by Mitsubishi and a TableCloth app, very hard to find information about what that even is or does) and in the case of the DiamondTouch, cross examination proved that it didn't even have the bounce back feature when it was demo'ed to Apple.
So I think it's extremely likely that Apple didn't copy the idea, it's just possible that they didn't invent it first.
I'm not so arrogant or so far up myself I consider anything I've done to be utterly unique and inventive and not in some way derivative of work that has gone before.
Mind you that's why I'm G E and you're anonymous. And a coward.
15:37 - And yes, I just corrected the typo in 'arrogant'
"@AC - To quote, Steve Jobs who quoted Picasso - "Good artists copy, great artists steal""
So even his quotes have prior art, how very fitting.
I honestly cant believe that trivial, obvious things like bounceback can be patented in the first place. I really hope Apple get hammered over all this, then maybe companies will think twice before trying to pull the same, innovation killing trick in the future.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery. However, if the one being imitated goes around and whines about being imitated or that no one is paying the attention to the smartest kid in school, the one that comes up with all the good ideas, then everyone starts to get a funny feeling about the person they are copying, rather than being truly impressed by that person's (hopefully) wonderful/practical/useful/genius/etc idea. If you hog ideas, you stifle your ability to generate more.
...and put it towards designing some NEW products...instead of warming over what is already OLD merchandise...then they might just see their stock price head in the opposite direction from where it is going currently...which is DOWN.
"the USPTO has rendered a dispositive decision"
For a horrible moment I thought this was an ugly bit of lawyer-euphemism for "negative". Thankfully it's an ugly piece of lawyer jargon instead, being an adjective form of "disposition". Phew!
(Where's the icon for <wipes-pedantic-brow>?)
It would seem that in US law nothing is final until you run out of money. Or die. Is that why inmates spend so many years on Death Row? So the lawyers keep getting fees from all those appeals?
Relevance: if what we're being told about iOS 7 is true (that it will imitate Windows 8 which is visually flat and non-skeuomorphic) then (a) Apple is indeed running out of ideas and (b) these are beginning to look a bit like Death Row appeals for Apple.
Currently their only real hope seems to be war on the Korean peninsula and a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
No its not for the lawyers. I recall hearing years ago that the reason for so many appeals when it comes to the death penalty is to allow those condemned that sliver of hope that in the case they truly are innocent to be freed.
Could be wrong but that came to mind as soon as I saw your question
On a side note I'm all for death penalties so long as they is irrefutable proof of guilt.
The USPTO decided that prior art anticipated the bounce-back patent that gets documents or photos to bounce when you try to scroll beyond their end on a touchscreen
The USPTO should have decided that the patent was based on a stupid animation that doesn't rise to level of an invention, let alone an original one.
"A 'final' office action does not signal the end of reexamination at the USPTO, much less the end of consideration of the patentability of the claims under reexamination. Rather, 'finality' is primarily a procedural construct that limits the right to amend claims and introduce evidence as a matter of right in reexamination."
Da Fuq did I just read?
Do they have The Architect from the Matrix working for them?
If so, I'm taking both pills... and grabbing some popcorn.
Am I the only one who is getting sick and tired of companies that are supposed to be innovating in their chosen field, but instead choose to find out the next best way to sue their immediate competition?
This is not just aimed at Apple (as Samsung has filed a few counter complaints, and everyone sues everyone these days. I just want something actually new to come out of one of these companies, rather than mild re-hashes to pay for their ever ongoing legal battles.
I hope they end up suing themselves into oblivion (actually, that means the only people who win are the scumbag lawyers!)
Really, is Apple "supposed to" innovate? According to whom? The Bible? Your mom?
Apple can do as they damn well please. There is no requirement for them to innovate anything. Jesus, they invent the modern mobile phone and the modern tablet computer and now everybody expects them to revolutionize the industry on an annual basis.
Why doesn't anybody expect Samsung to innovate anything? All they've been doing year after year is putting a faster processor and a bigger screen in their phones. Oh wait, the S 4 has a thermometer too. Miracle of innovative miracles.
We can play this game as much as you want... you think Samsung invented transistors? (Nope, Bell Labs, 1948.) The ARM processor cores that they use? (Nope, ARM, UK company.) LCD screens? (Nope, RCA, ~1968.) Digital cameras? (Nope, again Bell Labs, ~60s.)
As much as you would love your little narrative that Samsung invents all the technology in iPhones the fact is that they are merely acting as a manufacturing arm for Apple... in almost all cases they are not the sole supplier of any given component, or even the preferred supplier.
None the less, Apple did not invent either the modern mobile phone nor the modern tablet (ok, maybe if you count the Newton, which was developed while Jobs was off running NEXT and Pixar and which he unceremoniously axed upon his return). All that could really be said for them is that they came up with the idea that someone might want to use a finger instead of a stylus on a touchscreen, which, frankly, was coming down the pike anyway.
"None the less, Apple did not invent either the modern mobile phone nor the modern tablet ... All that could really be said for them is that they came up with the idea that someone might want to use a finger instead of a stylus on a touchscreen, which, frankly, was coming down the pike anyway."
Sure, the Prada and the F700 were being developed concurrently with the iPhone. But check out some YouTube videos of their software. It's frankly garbage compared to iOS. No pinch to zoom, no tap to zoom, no QWERTY onscreen keyboard, I'm pretty sure they don't let you swipe to scroll anything, there's no generalized idea of apps, obviously no bounce effect...
All this stuff that Apple patented and people are now saying is obvious and essential... well, literally none of it was obvious or essential to either Samsung or LG when they were designing their own capacitive touchscreen phones.
"Sure, the Prada and the F700 were being developed concurrently with the iPhone. But check out some YouTube videos of their software. It's frankly garbage compared to iOS. No pinch to zoom, no tap to zoom, no QWERTY onscreen keyboard, I'm pretty sure they don't let you swipe to scroll anything, there's no generalized idea of apps, obviously no bounce effect..."
Most of what you describe comes from the PDA world (if you can remember when that didn't stand for "public display of affection"). Apple basicly took a PDA, stuck a cell radio in it, optimized the UI for fingers and called it revolutionary. Handspring did most of that years before. Once capacitive screens came down in price, eliminating the stylus was bound to happen.
...and, yes, I, too, used my fingernail on many a PDA instead of dragging out the stylus.
Yes, I do dismiss it lightly as much of it follows rather directly from the base idea of using your finger or, as a matter of fact, multiple fingers. Most consumer grade touchscreens prior to the iPhone were resistive, single-touch affairs where the "innovations" of the IOS UI would have been difficult or impossible to implement.
"Most of what you describe comes from the PDA world (if you can remember when that didn't stand for "public display of affection"). Apple basicly took a PDA, stuck a cell radio in it, optimized the UI for fingers and called it revolutionary."
What PDA had swipe-to-scroll? That's entirely possible without a capacitive multitouch display. Put the stylus anywhere on the screen and drag it up or down to scroll. But that's not how they worked, is it? And frankly I bet half your interactions with your phone now rely on that gesture.
This is true. I was amazed to discover quite recently that the phone capability of the most basic BlackBerry is actually better than that of an iPhone. (This is not an advert; I suspect that the same is true of many lower cost phones that people actually use for making calls a lot).
However, a cheap Casio digital watch tells the time more accurately than most of those expensive mechanical things.
Once you get into the field of Designer (with a capital D) products, the desire to possess shiny object seems often to outweigh the "what am I actually going to do with it?" factor. What Apple has done, that is very clever indeed, is basically this: they have created an apparently affordable Designer object (apparently because the cost is largely hidden in mobile contracts) and then persuaded millions and millions of people that they will simultaneously (a) stand out from the crowd and (b) conform to desirable social mores - just by having one.
I'm not saying the basic product isn't good - it is - but they have basically found the trick of selling Mondeos on the basis that they are Porsches. Now that is worthy of a patent.
Meanwhile Samsung develops a truly extraordinary piece of technology - the S4 - which is ridiculously light for what it does. That's quite an achievement - but the reviewers (who obviously have never priced sailplanes or dinghys) announce it feels "cheap".
In short, Apple v Samsung is fought over trivial bits of UI, while the real product differentiators get ignored or aren't understood.
Forgive me for being naive, but how can a company sue for infringement of some intellectual 'property' that hasn't even been established yet? How could any judge presiding this case not be embarrassed for their justice system is beyond me.
Is it not like sentencing a suspect, imprisoning them, then waiting to see the outcome of the police investigation to see if a crime was actually committed?
Is it not like sentencing a suspect, imprisoning them, then waiting to see the outcome of the police investigation to see if a crime was actually committed?
At least in that situation they could be released at the end of the investigation. It's not as bad as punishing somebody for a crime they did not commit and have been found innocent as a result of official proceedings.
After all, no civilised nation would put somebody on trial and then treat them as guilty regardless of the outcome would they?
<looks at current press regulation proposals>
The Grauniad contact this Florian geezer when they need info on software/IT patent issues and, presumably, he replies. They consult, he replies, he's a consultant.
Can't attest to his accuracy etc. but, by definition, he's really is a consultant.
You OTOH, by presuming that The Guardian actually has "technical credibiity" in the first place, fail at the first hurdle.
When are Apple going to notice that suddenly the competition they're suing has moved on technologically by leaps and bounds and left them behind?
Of course, when Apple do realise I'm sure they'll try and sue them again for something else!
Apple just keep patenting any ideas and graphic effects they can, then sitting back and waiting for some company to make something vaguely similar and setting their scumbag lawyers on them. Great business model and a great way to alienate their customers!
The patents do nothing to sway one person or the next to either buy Apple or go with Android.
At the end of the day.....it's pretty clear......irrespective of a 'snap' or 'bounce' of a screen.
It goes deeper than round corners also.
Apple needs to grow up and focus on the real issues IMO.
The idea that "focus on the real issues" is in some way not possible because Apple have a legal department doing their job is illogical and therefore your opinion not much use either.
Reality check: The "real issue" for Apple's legal department is to defend Apple's patented intellectual property.
Unless the legal team (or,more likely, one of dozens of teams) either employed by or on retainer to Apple to deal with various aspects of the law double as designers, coders, managers, directors etc then it's pretty safe to say Apple chucking hideous amounts of money at them to work Legal Magic doesn't prevent afore mentioned staff doing their jobs.
Or, as you put it, focusing on the bigger issues.
I should, at this point, say I don't own any Apple devices. No foamy-mouthed brand loyalty here. But telling a company sat on $ALL_THE_MONEY to "grow up" or assuming that any lawsuit ever has any effect on them designing, developing or producing anything is a bit daft.
In short they have made that much cash they have plenty to spare throwing plenty of lawsuits at the wall. A few sticking could de serious harm to the odd competitor. Not defending the behaviour, but that hardly sounds like the outcome of a string of stupid decisions now does it?
For those talking about the word "final". The process is that the USPTO makes a decision, then the parties respond back, then they make another decision, another response, then a "final" decision. From that point the company still gets two more reviews.
But, if they can get a court to order it, then that's just as enforceable. I've been watching a completely unrelated case but with similar issues. In that case the judge has thrown out the "final" decision and ruled that the products are protected. It's a bit surreal.
Regardless, ignore words like "final". Lawyers have a tendency to redefine things contrary to how they are normally used.
"Regardless, ignore words like "final". Lawyers have a tendency to redefine things contrary to how they are normally used."
Or your mum...
'Look, for the last time will you stop doing that....'
'Ok, this is your final warning - do it again and you'll get a smack...'
'Right, that's enough - just wait until your dad gets home'
> Apple only wants to prolong them
Here's the point that pretty much all commentards are missing: Apple knows that most of these patents are worthless. However, they do want to send a message: if you compete with us, you'll to compete with our product in the marketplace, but you'll also need to compete with our legal team supported by an enormous cash pile and frivolous patents covering everything imaginable. Samsung may win, but all you small fry don't have a chance, so you may as well not bother trying.
Its like rhino poachers killing rhinos which have been de-horned. The message is that de-horning doesn't protect the rhino, so there's no point doing it.
...do the legal costs outweigh the financial rewards?
I've not been keeping track, but I can't quite shake the feeling that Apple going are going to end up paying it's legal team more than it makes in court, even if they do eventually win. By which time, of course, we'll be on the iPhone 10, GS XIV and Windows Codename Chartreuse.
/Paris, 'cause she's just as scrupulous as them lawyers are...
If this patent is for a stupid, pointless piece of eye candy that exists only to trick idiots and old people into buying iPhones, then why do you guys even care?
And why did Samsung copy it? (And is there anybody who really thinks they didn't copy it? If it's such an obvious thing to do, why wasn't it in the F700 or the Prada?)
Because right now all this complaining is coming off a bit like, hey, Apple is a bunch of jerks for trying to prevent us from owning devices that look and work like iPhones. If you secretly want an iPhone so bad, just go buy one.
"So what, Apple should sit back and do nothing while Samsung copies their patented stuff?"
Step one - justify the patents. Then we can see what direction this is going to go in.
It seems to me that a patent is a document invented by lawyers to provide lucrative work for other lawyers (that bit about needing to protect the patent is really very clever). The process or "thingy" described therein does not have to be original, groundbreaking, or in some cases even logical. It just needs to exist so it can be used as a stick to brandish against competitors as the older methods were considered "anticompetitive", so this is a different beast. This is a thingy that, before being validated gives the holder legal lean to ask for competitor products to be removed from sale. The act of disproving the patent can cost obscene amounts (thus meaning smaller companies will bend over and take it rather than get involved in that quagmire).
Essentially, this is a horrible piece of fuckwittery that is making large amounts of money for some skanky-assed lawyers (how else can you describe somebody that chooses to get involved in such a game?) bleeding off the tech giants involved and passing the costs on to the consumer while doing untold amounts of damage to the industry with the arbitrary restrictions and the nobbling and all the rest.
This is nothing to do with Apple protecting their "inventions" or who did what first. This is lawyers with their snouts in the trough, and they'll drag it on for as long as it can go.
Apple products are pretty competitively priced compared to their competition (Galaxy phones, "ultrabooks").
And they are not spending a huge amount on lawyers, relatively speaking. They are sitting on a pile of cash that's so big that their investors are furious that they aren't spending more of it.
""Really, is Apple "supposed to" innovate? According to whom? The Bible? Your mom?
Apple can do as they damn well please. There is no requirement for them to innovate anything. ""
According to themselves. They shout loudly enough about innovation in their adverts and in their stores. Its probably in their corporate charter. They are shouting about their innovation in this court case, and to the USPTO.
Well, they don't *have* to innovate... but then they would be lying hypocrite asses , wouldn't they?
"Well, they don't *have* to innovate... but then they would be lying hypocrite asses , wouldn't they?"
Oh come on, what company doesn't spew that BS about how innovative their products are? It's a requirement for marketing and for investors.
Are you admitting that your BS detector is so poor that you can't see this marketing-speak for what it is? In a way, I'm jealous. Your days must be full of childlike wonderment.
"Its not a question of BS detector (its just fine, thanks). Its a question of honesty. I refuse to do business when the dishonesty rises above a certain level."
Interesting. Can I ask what brand of phone you use? It must not be a Samsung then. I've seen those launch events and they're just as "bad" as Apple, endless droning on about how they're redefining experiences and inspired by nature and other marketing drivel. So I'm curious, which company do you support that doesn't do this?
"Do they pay you for this asttroturfing? Just curious."
Nope, I happily volunteer to defend Apple from idiots and ingrates.
I loved cell phones and smart phones ever since the early 2000s and owned one from every major platform, or at least used one for an extended period of time: Symbian, Window Mobile, Blackberry, Palm, and probably one or two I'm forgetting. I bought a Motorola ROKR 2 because it had a 3.5mm audio jack and one of the first Sony handsets with a 2MP camera (which was unfortunately crap). I was also traveling in Japan and Hong Kong in 2006-2007 and Samsung and LG were heavily advertising their capacitive touchscreen phones which looked similar to the iPhone--the only reason I didn't get one is because they weren't quite released and/or they were too expensive at the time.
Then the iPhone came out and people clearly don't remember how revolutionary it was. Swipe to scroll, pinch to zoom for web pages, photos, etc. Amazing. When was the first time you saw anything like that? The Prada and F700 certainly didn't have that. Now everybody says it's obvious. Of course it's obvious now that Apple invented it (never mind if other people invented it before; it's unclear if Apple was aware of those efforts). QWERTY touchscreen keyboard. (Prada had a virtual number pad.) One of the very first phones with a hardware 3-D accelerator and certainly the first one to use it for UI composition, so basically the first phone with high frame rate UI animations. And yes, it was the first time I'd ever seen inertial scrolling and the bounce animation.
Now there are a bunch of spoiled brat Android users who think it's their god given right to buy an off-brand iPhone from Google and Samsung and badmouth Apple on forums like this. Ridiculous. Have a little respect. I wish I could make you all use LG Pradas, which you invariably claim were basically the same as iPhones.
> I was also traveling in Japan and Hong Kong in 2006-2007 and Samsung and LG
In Japan at least selling phones other than the iPhone under the original makers brand is a recent development so I'm not sure I buy what you're trying to say.
Maybe people don't remember how "innovative" the iPhone was because they weren't obsessed with features like pinch to zoom which are more of a product of display technology than anything else. I remember my N95 with Symbian being a lot more useful than the initial release of the iPhone and iOS.
"In Japan at least selling phones other than the iPhone under the original makers brand is a recent development so I'm not sure I buy what you're trying to say."
Sorry, while I was in Japan I did a quick trip to Korea for a week. I must be remembering the subways there flooded with ads for touchscreen cell phones. In Japan there were definitely cell phones being sold with their own branding but it was rare, and only in the electronics shops. I believe I saw a fair number of advertisements and displays for a... Panasonic?... Windows Mobile phone with a 1GHz processor. Or it might not have been 1GHz but it seemed impressively and unnecessarily high.
"Maybe people don't remember how "innovative" the iPhone was because they weren't obsessed with features like pinch to zoom which are more of a product of display technology than anything else. I remember my N95 with Symbian being a lot more useful than the initial release of the iPhone and iOS."
Sorry but again, I don't think pinch to zoom is a product of the display technology at all. The Prada had a capacitive display and did not have pinch to zoom. Maybe you think of it has a gimmick or convenience feature but it basically enables viewing normal web pages on a phone, which is a pretty integral part of modern smartphones these days.
I understand that the iPhone lost most feature-by-feature comparisons against other smartphones, but the UI was clearly innovative. Android phone UI is dramatically closer to iOS than anything else, e.g., Prada or F700.
>Sorry, while I was in Japan I did a quick trip to Korea for a week.
>I must be remembering the subways there flooded with ads for touchscreen cell phones.
If your memory on where you've been is that foggy I think we might need to consider your memory on Apple's innovations vs the world might just be a bit rose tinted..
>In Japan there were definitely cell phones being sold with their own branding but it was rare
Up until the iPhone I think all phones were sold under the carriers brand. I don't think you would have ever seen one model of phone on sale at multiple carriers.. I think the iPhone/Android generation of phones is when the carriers that didn't use sims switched too.. You may have seen Shiro rom (unbranded basically) handsets sold as <panasonic/sharp/...> xyz in electronics markets but that hardly represents the market.
It's only since all of the carriers have replaced all of the Japanese made phones with some home grown but mostly Korean Android "sumaho" that you will see the original makers logos visible on the front of the handset. My current phone is one of the first generation of Android handsets released in Japan and it has no branding at all. This phone is Korean made but my sister-in-law's phone from the same range was made by Sharp (only written in the battery compartment).
>Sorry but again, I don't think pinch to zoom is a product of the display technology at all.
Features like pinch to zoom go hand in hand with having touch screen technology that can track multiple pointers sanely. I'm sure someone can dig up some 80's or 90's films that have a scene with a holographic display that an actor interacts with via pinch to zoom like gestures.
>basically enables viewing normal web pages on a phone
That's nice and all but the issue at hand is "Did Apple really invent xyz, and do they have the right to stop others using it.".
"If your memory on where you've been is that foggy I think we might need to consider your memory on Apple's innovations vs the world might just be a bit rose tinted.."
Attacking the messenger and not the message? I probably traveled to 20+ different countries that year, you're right that I forgot that I went to Korea that particular year too, but exactly what is your point?
Do you think I'm misremembering history, and that when the iPhone was released there were already a bunch of other phones that had swipe to scroll, pinch to zoom, intertial scrolling, and the bounce effect in question? That should be easy enough to prove, just give us some model numbers. Oh, you can't? I see.
(BTW, re: Japan: you're exactly right that I saw these phones advertised in the electronics markets, and I never said, implied, or desired to imply that it was representative of the Japanese phone market. What's your point? My point was that I was keenly aware of the state of cell phone technology around the world at the time in question, not that I can perfectly remember travel itineraries or that I give a s*** about the Japanese phone market.)
>Attacking the messenger and not the message?
>I probably traveled to 20+ different countries that year, you're right that
>I forgot that I went to Korea that particular year too, but exactly what is your point?
You attempted to use adverts you saw in Japan and HK to make a point.. but it's doubtful you saw any such thing in Japan.. but yes please feel free to keep backpedalling but if someone comes along and says "you wouldn't have seen that in Korea either*" what will you do then?
>that when the iPhone was released there were already
>a bunch of other phones that had swipe to scroll, pinch to zoom,
Well, there must have been some phones or something that had these features otherwise the patents wouldn't be getting reconsidered based on prior art. Just because you don't remember something or just because you consider basic UI interactions as innovations doesn't make it so I'm afraid.
>(BTW, re: Japan: you're exactly right that I saw these phones advertised in the electronics markets,
You wouldn't see shiro rom phones advertised anywhere. If you went to somewhere like Akihabara you might have seen on of the electronics outlets trying to sell AU, Docomo or SoftBank handsets .. but going back to what I said before you wouldn't have seen them under the LG etc brand.
>My point was that I was keenly aware of the state of cell phone technology around the world at the time
Did you get to play with every single feature phone on the market in all of the 20 countries you went to? You might not "give a shit" about the Japanese phone market but you brought it up. You would be surprised at some of the features even really old Japanese feature phones had.
"The Prada had a capacitive display and did not have pinch to zoom. Maybe you think of it has a gimmick or convenience feature but it basically enables viewing normal web pages on a phone, which is a pretty integral part of modern smartphones these days."
I did viewing web pages fine on my single-touch Nokia 5800, and even now on multitouch, I still use double-click most the time for zoom.
What is it that some people (particularly iphone users) are now saying about the large Android phones? "I can't use it with one hand". Okay - so how do I use pinch-zoom when holding a phone with one hand?
When it comes to using a phone one-handed, multitouch is a far bigger problem than the phone size. So whilst multitouch occasionally is of use, you want UIs to be designed for one-handed operation too, and it's a minor feature compared to having touch at all. The zoom in/out method developed by Google in Google Maps, which works with one finger, is a far better method - I only wish they'd enable this as a standard gesture throughout Android, rather than just in maps.
"I understand that the iPhone lost most feature-by-feature comparisons against other smartphones, but the UI was clearly innovative."
Lots of phones have introduced innovative things. For every iphone one, there are plenty introduced by companies like Nokia. We're not saying the original iphone was awful, just that it was ridiculously overhyped, when there were plenty of other good phones too.
You can't handwave the missing features of the original iphone as being unimportant, whilst claiming the one missing feature of the Prada is of significant importance.
"Android phone UI is dramatically closer to iOS than anything else, e.g., Prada or F700."
Not really, I see plenty in common with Symbian, as well as plenty of other platforms, even common "feature" phones. You see an icon or UI element, you click on it. Multitouch gestures/swipes are icing on the cake, that have been introduced by various platforms.
You seem to think it was Apple's god-given right to rip off Xerox PARC's "gui with a mouse" idea for computing. Notice that Xerox didn't sue, for whatever reason. The rest of the world (those of us who actually remember history) have been gracious enough not to call Apple out so far.
My position is, I don't care who invented what, its a case of the pot calling the kettle black and Apple should therefore shut up. Oh and FWIW, I don't even *own* a mobile phone, never have and I don't intend to start. I have no use for them. My phone sits on a table and was made in 1974, still works just fine.
@pete 22: Apple's failing with respect to PARC was not that they adopted the ideas (which they did, but they PAID FOR IT by giving Xerox stock), but that they then claimed some kind of ownership of the ideas.
What Apple vs Microsoft taught Apple was that you can't "copyright" a look-and-feel. But you can _patent_ it, in some circumstances (which many think are being interpreted far too loosely). So Apple patented everything they could think of, regardless of where it came from. There's even evidence in the legal record of Apple engineers being reluctant to propose features for patenting because they (the engineers) knew that the idea wasn't patentable because they (the engineers) had just implemented something they'd seen elsewhere (i.e. prior art) or that it was too obvious.
Pete: Repeating the lie that Apple "stole" from Xerox will never make it true. Xerox were compensated and Apple went on the develop what they paid for.
So, the rest of the world haven't called Apple out, as you suggest they could, because there is nothing to call on.
The internet is forever, and there is plenty of documentation that puts your rant in the trashcan where it belongs
@AC The iPhone was really "revolutionary", it was just the best implementation out there _for a while_. The vast majority of individual features had already been used/shown/played with elsewhere, and what Apple did was bring together a complete use experience that coupled "best of breed" implementations with a level of consistency that was (and is) rare.
Apple made a great product with the iPhone, and with the iPad. But what they did was assemble, rather than invent.
It's like cars: Henry Ford didn't invent the assembly line method of build cars, and the Model T wasn't terribly remarkable... but the two together, coupled with Ford's distribution network, resulted in a lot of people mistakenly thinking that (a) Ford invented assembly lines, which he clearly didn't, and (b) the Model T was the first mass produced car, which it clearly wasn't [because Olds patented his a dozen years earlier]. Neither of those truths devalue the significance of Ford's assembly line and Model T... but they were not "innovative" so much as "done better".
It is, though, ironic that those who defend Apple so often fail to acknowledge others (Nokia and BlackBerry, in particular) and totally fail to recognize other people doing now what Apple did then: Samsung, for example, has done some really great things with a Wacom-based tablet phone (the Note & Note 2); I think an arbitary other company could do it better, but they haven't yet, so... Samsung holds that crown (for now).
"Then the iPhone came out and people clearly don't remember how revolutionary it was." - no, I don't. Remind me.
"Swipe to scroll, pinch to zoom for web pages, photos, etc. Amazing." - big deal. I have that on a touchpad on a laptop so old it is "Designed for Windows 98". That's like a decade before the iPhone and I've been able to pinch and poke. The big difference? Somebody thought to do it on a phone. Using a capacitive sensor capable of working with multiple fingers (as opposed to older resistive ones that needed a stylus, pen, fingernail, etc). Older touchscreens worked with a single point, so it wasn't so much a matter of nobody taking the innovation so much as the hardware just not being capable.
"When was the first time you saw anything like that?" - on a phone? Don't know. Might have been the iPhone, might not have been. The basic concept? Ages ago, laptop touchpads. Is it really an innovation to take something that existed in one form and apply it to another?
"Now everybody says it's obvious. Of course it's obvious now that Apple invented it" - the question that comes to mind is how much hardware inventing does Apple actually do? For instance, if they did not invent the capacitive touch screen, then yes - I'd say this development would be inevitable and incremental. You give the market a device capable of responding to multiple pieces of flesh being dragged over it, then this will find its way into user interfaces. This isn't worthy of a patent any more than giving a child a box of Lego and waiting to see what she'll build. If all the pieces are in the right place at the right time, they will come together, one way or another. But, note, building on examples from the past.
"QWERTY touchscreen keyboard." - my crappy little no-name PDA-lite had this. You had to poke microscopically tiny box-sized areas on the screen. You could choose an ABC layout, a QWERTY layout, shift for symbols, or shift some more for accents and stuff. It also "recognised" handwriting if the keyboard was too fiddly, but it was hardwired for American writing (which has some differences to British).
"One of the very first phones with a hardware 3-D accelerator and certainly the first one to use it for UI composition, so basically the first phone with high frame rate UI animations. And yes, it was the first time I'd ever seen inertial scrolling and the bounce animation." - to quote Wikipedia: "Touch-screens often use inertial scrolling, in which the scrolling motion of an object continues in a decaying fashion after release of the touch, simulating the appearance of an object with inertia. An early implementation of such behavior was in the "Star7" PDA of Sun Microsystems ca. 1991–1992." and the link (the ) is to a YouTube video, at offset 4m29s. If you want to be well and truly owned, watch 5m33s as well.
Dunno exactly what you mean by "bounce animation". But, you know, there's a lot more to a phone than visual bling. Mine has a purple wavy thing that wibbles gently and gets shaken up when you flip through the home screens. Cool to look at, but so not a seller. Can it play HD video? Is the display a good resolution / brightness? Can I use WiFi when in "airplane mode"? [deal breaker, that] Will it lock into a weak 3G signal or revert to snail-speed EDGE at the first sign of a hiccup? Can I run my preferred apps on it? How many MP3s can I stuff in the thing? Does it have an alarm clock that will sound when it is in "speaker off" mode? [Xperia Mini Pro, I'm looking at YOU, ya jackass!] What class of WiFi does it offer? Can it "sync" to stuff I already have set up? How is the browser? My first phone-based browser was on a Nokia 6210 (IIRC) and it was a tragedy. I installed OperaMini and that was better, but not much. Now my Android phone does most of the stuff that a desktop machine can do; so much so that when I'm at home I tend to switch it into airplane mode and enable WiFi and use it as a mini tablet.
I noticed the browser has inertial scrolling. I noticed a fancy animation as the thing boots up. I noticed the swipe-to-unlock (and Sony's useful swipe-to-go-read-your-email addition). I did notice, but I wouldn't say any of the visual fluff made it a better phone; any more than a bunch of bouncing LEDs on a late '80s graphic equaliser made it a better bit of kit. Sure, it might look really pretty, but those nice LEDs aren't going to make it sound better. Same with a phone. Functionality is not always the same as looking nice. It's one of the reasons I still kick around the RISC OS scene. The GUI is so retro it is in danger of being fashionably retro, yet it offers a bunch of things that we still don't see elsewhere a quarter century down the line. That's enough time that even McNulty would be bored.
I guess what I'm trying to say is... why are you an Apple fan? Because you respect the hardware, or because you are a sheep? For it seems the things you laud are not really undeniable things to have in a phone. High frame rate UI animations? Seriously?
BTW, if you're going to reply, try NOT using the Anonymous option. You'll notice most of us are happy to stand by the things we write. For you? Finding your posts is almost as easy as looking for the anon icon. Are you really a shill? Paid to come here and stir things up a little to try to defend the Apple you seem to love so much? If you are a genuine fan and truly think and feel what you write, then why not unmask yourself? Or do you have something to hide?
"Interesting. Can I ask what brand of phone you use? It must not be a Samsung then. I've seen those launch events and they're just as "bad" as Apple, endless droning on about how they're redefining experiences and inspired by nature and other marketing drivel. So I'm curious, which company do you support that doesn't do this?"
My phone was made in 1975 by Western Electric on behalf of Bell Telephone. Its a desk model in the generic office beige color. I don't own a mobile phone, nor do I have any plans to. There simply isn't any need for one.
It wasn't until after the breakup of Ma Bell and the Eternal September (AOL) that advertising started to become truly obnoxious. During that time frame I noticed that Answering machines began to become popular and common. At the same time, telemarketing and spamming became epic for some reason... I think that all these events are correlated.
The mere fact that "bounce back" has any bearing on anything in the world at all is depressing, that it affects litigation from one of the world's biggest tech companies against it's rivals is pathetic.
I remember reading books as a kid about "tomorrow's technology", and none of them mentioned any of this useless litigious crap.
I'm simply tired of hearing about Apples legal woes and blatant failure to recognize when they should give up and simply die with some thread of dignity left.
Some companies/people just refuse to see what is in plain site for many others.
Apple needs to move on and focus on trying to resemble an innovative company once again.
btw. I'm waiting for the DOJ and EU to slap an anticompetitive suit against Apple for thier closed ecosystem. It will come....just have to be patient.
"I'm waiting for the DOJ and EU to slap an anticompetitive suit against Apple for thier closed ecosystem. It will come....just have to be patient."
Not trolling, but I would really like to know what legislation you think Apple breach by having a "closed ecosystem" and your reasoning.
I am guessing you can't do this because you are clueless.
Apple's marketing style (what they are trying to patent) is Designer/Artistic.
They took animated cartoons conventions, where hard unsquashable solid things squash and deform when they hit, applied then to UI elements. Similar had been done in Gnome, KDE and probably Mac desktop machines with suitable graphics cards. Apple have heritage in this, but are not unique, some PC computer games had similar features of simulated inertia, Black & White and Startopia come to mind.
NeXT obviously invested a huge amount in the NEXTSTEP user-interface guides/standards, many of them which make a lot of sense, but have been copied without knowing why (cargo-cult), but quite frankly some of these standards are not very usable, I don't believe they tested them on real people. The two finger rotate and zoom is hard to use or bewildering in many cases. Page up/down with the scroll bar was a nightmare, after Windows, and many word-processors showed the section/chapter title as you grab the scroll handle and drag it quickly up and down.
The iPhone camera had that elaborate camera shutter/iris effect while the slow processor compressed the image just taken, other phones and cameras would show a progress bar or work fast enough not to need it. One of the Nokia smartphones could rotate its UI in a blink of an eye, Nokia did not see a need to animate the rotation, but from Apple's point of view it is like smooth scrolling versa jump scrolling, sorry fluid scrolling.
Apple were good, but they could not break the backwards compatibility trap of things users have learnt but are no longer needed - why on earth does an iPhone need iTunes? Apple (and Microsoft) have held back the desktop computer for 30 years, we still have to do unnecessary things in their user-interfaces.
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