Apple aims to keep your iPhone juiced based on your behavior

How often does your smartphone conk out before the day is even done? Apple has proposed a couple of ideas to keep the juice flowing.

Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent called "Inferring user intent from battery usage level and charging trends" suggests a way to preserve battery power by determining how and when you use your smartphone.

The technology envisioned would keep track of when you use and don't use your smartphone, when you charge it, and for how long you charge it. The phone could then have the smarts to … Read more

Google to launch SDK for Android wearables in two weeks

Google plans to release a software development kit in the next two weeks that will allow third-party developers to create Android software for use on wearable computing devices

The announcement was made Sunday by Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android, Apps, and Chrome, during a panel discussion with John Battelle at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

"In two weeks we are launching the first developer SDK for Android," Pichai said. "That will lay out the vision for developers in how we see this market working."

Likening the evolution of wearable … Read more

What Google really means when it calls Android 'open'

The gooey center of Google's pitch to developers to make apps and services for Android is a series of terms easily misunderstood, but central to Android's flexibility and success.

Every once in a while, Android terminology discussions flare up like a stomach ulcer for Google. They center on Android's nature as a development platform, which in turn affects the variety and breadth of Android apps -- from Minecraft to Pandora to the latest Flappy Bird copycats -- that you can download, and how up-to-date they are. Is Android truly open-source? Can you "fork" Android? What … Read more

Sony said to be talking to Apple about camera for 'new' iPhone

Sony is in negotiations with Apple for supply of sensors for a "new iPhone," according to a Japan-based report.

The talks call for Sony to double the supply of camera components for a "new iPhone slated to roll out as early as next year," according to a Wednesday report in Nikkei, Japan's largest business daily.

Sony is a supplier of CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors for the iPhone 5S' rear-mounted cameras, as teardowns have shown. Nikkei states that "nearly all" rear-mounted CMOS sensors for "current iPhone models" are supplied by Sony. … Read more

Apple hit by a patent suit over A7 chip

Apple is no stranger to patent suits, but the latest one alleges legal issues with the brains behind the new iPhone and iPad.

Filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) on behalf of the University of Wisconsin, the suit claims that Apple's A7 chip violated its 5,781,752 patent known as "Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer," PatentlyApple reported on Monday.

The patented technology is described as follows:

A predictor circuit permits advanced execution of instructions depending for their data on previous instructions by predicting such dependencies based on previous mis-speculations detected … Read more

Lenovo-Motorola deal puts more pressure on Apple -- analyst

Lenovo's decision to buy Motorola's handset division will shake up other smartphone vendors. And Apple could be among those shaken the hardest, says JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz.

Announced Wednesday, the $2.91 billion agreement will see Motorola's mobile phone business and associated patents switch parent from Google to Lenovo. The deal will boost Lenovo's smartphone presence from its home base of China to other major markets around the world. So how might such a force affect Apple?

In an investors note published Thursday, Moskowitz said that the move will futher consolidate the fragmented Android smartphone … Read more

Apple can now fix your cracked iPhone 5C screen in the store

Your local Apple store may now be able to replace a cracked iPhone 5C screen while you wait.

The $149 in-store repair option for the lower-cost iPhone reportedly debuted on Monday, according to CNNMoney. Up till now, Apple had to ship iPhone 5C units with cracked screens to a repair center, saddling owners with a $229 fee.

A rep at a local Apple store told CNET that the 5C is eligible for screen repairs or replacement. But she said the service depends on the amount of damage. Screens with scratches or minor cracks could be treated in-store, while those with … Read more

Mozilla: In 2014, all your hardware belongs to us

Soon, you'll be able to get your hands on a Firefox OS tablet -- but only if you promise to develop for the fledgling operating system.

Launched last year on three smartphone models in 14 countries on major carriers such as Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom, Mozilla has partnered with hardware maker Foxconn to build tablets for Firefox OS developers in 2014, the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday.

The unnamed developers' tablet is "not intended" for the average tablet owner, said Andreas Gal, Mozilla's vice president of mobile.

"The … Read more

Google gives thumbs-up to first Cyanogen phone

Come Christmas Eve, CyanogenMod will be the first third-party version of Android to ship on a phone out of the box.

Noted CyanogenMod and Android developer Koushik Datta revealed that Google has approved of a CyanogenMod version of the Oppo N1 to ship on December 24. No other details were revealed in the post, although the currently available version of the N1 costs $599 and is carrier-independent. Cyanogen has produced a commercial for the phone, embedded below, in which the phone is called the Oppo N1 CM Edition. It will run the Google Apps suite out of the box, as … Read more

CyanogenMod raises $23 million

Cyanogen and its customized version of the Android operating system just might be onto something, if Silicon Valley investment is your preferred benchmark.

The company announced Thursday that it has closed its Series B funding with Andreessen Horowitz and Tencent, to the tune of $23 million.

The funds will be used to expand the current team of 25 to hire more engineers for nearly all aspects of CyanogenMod development: the core software, user interface and design, and product development. The board of directors will be joined by A16Z's Peter Levine as well.

Cyanogen didn't immediately respond to a … Read more