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Cellphones Google Upgrades Wireless Networking

Nexus One Update Fixes 3G, Adds Multitouch 174

Posted by timothy
from the incremental-is-not-a-bad-word dept.
snydeq writes "Google is pushing out an update for the Nexus One that will fix a 3G connectivity problem and add limited support for multitouch. After receiving over 1,500 messages in a support forum from people complaining about trouble connecting to 3G, Google said it has identified the problem and has started delivering the fix. In addition to fixing 3G, the update adds the first applications to support multitouch. While the recent versions of the Android OS include multitouch capability, no phone in the US has supported it."
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Nexus One Update Fixes 3G, Adds Multitouch

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  • by goldaryn (834427) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @06:39PM (#31016082) Homepage
    I'm still waiting for the port of IE6..
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Parent is making a joke guys. They are actually stepping up the IE6 hunt at the moment, look at this email I got yesterday

      Dear Google Apps admin,​

      In order to continue to improve our products and deliver more sophisticated features and performance, we are harnessing some of the latest improvements in web browser technology. This includes faster JavaScript processing and new standards like HTML5. As a result, over the course of 2010, we will be phasing out support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6

  • multitouch and Apple (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sourcerror (1718066)

    I've heard rumors, that the zooming gesture won't be officially supported, because it would violate Apple patents. Does anyone know anything about that?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ViViDboarder (1473973)
      Rumors only so far. Apple hasn't sued Palm for it.
      • by tacroy (813477) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @06:53PM (#31016276)
        Mainly because Apple is violating tons of Palms patents and they don't want to wake that (IP) giant. http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/28/apple-vs-palm-the-in-depth-analysis/ [engadget.com]
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by dangitman (862676)

          Mainly because Apple is violating tons of Palms patents and they don't want to wake that (IP) giant.

          And your evidence of that is... what?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by R3d M3rcury (871886)

            Let's see...

            Palm has US Patent #7,268,775 [google.com] for dymanic screen brightness and #7,231,208 [google.com] for managing a phone call. Those are from the article that tacroy mentioned.

            But also, remember that Palm has been making mobile devices since 1992. I'm sure they've got patents on quite a few things that Apple is using.

        • by Ohrion (814105)
          How much do patents weigh? I'm trying to figure out how many patents are in a ton.
          • It depends on the patent. I believe the heaviest patent was the first software patent, applied for some time in the '60s, which included a copy of the code on punch cards. This came in a stack of boxes and probably weighed a good 200KG. This would make the lower limit for the number of patents in a ton around 5. The upper limit is a lot higher - patents like Microsoft's is-not-identical-to-object operator only way a gram or two.
      • by unix1 (1667411) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @08:15PM (#31017144)

        That's because they know they'll lose.

        Here's Apple's "multi-touch" patent [uspto.gov].
        Date filed: July 3, 2006

        Here's Jeff Han demonstrating multi-touch interface [ted.com] in Feb. 2006 that he had been working on. Pinch and zoom? Gestures? Multiple fingers/hands? It's all there. You can tell he didn't come up with that overnight.

        Looks like someone at Apple noticed his or similar technology/research and said - hey, this hasn't been patented yet!

        Give props to the USPTO and the patent system, as usual.

        • Note that the USA has a first-to-invent system and allows patents to be filed up to a year after the first public disclosure (which completely destroys the point of a patent system, namely to encourage disclosure), so it's possible for a patent filed in July 2006 to be valid even with prior art from Feb 2006, as long as the prior art is from the same people who filed the patent. In this case, however, Jeff Han is not on the list of inventors. In cases like TI Vs Intel, however, there is some precedent for
      • by jmac1492 (1036880)
        Microsoft uses the same zoom gesture in the Zune HD.
    • by rm999 (775449)

      I have heard something similar, but I think it's more complex than a single court case (which is peanuts to these 100+ billion dollar companies; Google could drag that case out and retaliate with their own lawsuits). Worst-case scenario - things go back to the way they were. What's the harm in trying? I believe it was more like Apple saying "if you guys infringe on our multitouch patents it will permanently hurt our relationship". At this point, Google's relationship with Apple is already strained; they now

    • by initialE (758110)

      I don't think Apple owns the patent on "zooming". It is prominently featured on the Microsoft Surface, HP coffee table, and an early concept multitouch screen.

      • by initialE (758110)

        Here we are, all the way from 2006 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPwaUp4gepU [youtube.com]
        You might notice that nearly every feature they conceived was picked up by the major vendors and implemented as though it was their own idea.

    • by Meski (774546) * <meski DOT oz AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @08:28PM (#31017252)
      They're using this gesture, in response to Apple patents. http://media.photobucket.com/image/middle%20finger/munbk/middle_finger.jpg?o=1 [photobucket.com]
    • by Aranykai (1053846)

      Its a rumor. HTC android devices support it on our apps and web browser. The only app that doesn't support it is google maps. /HTC Hero owner

  • Whoops! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    All the iPhone fanboys based all their criticism on the lack of multitouch. Now they've got nothing to stand on.
  • 3G (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @06:46PM (#31016170) Homepage Journal

    The good news is, Google has fixed the 3G problems. The bad news is, the fix is going out via the 3G network.

    • Re:3G (Score:5, Interesting)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @06:56PM (#31016318) Homepage Journal

      I worked at a place that had an automated system that sent out an email when the email went down.
      I shit you not. They paid 50K for that system.
      When the email system ent down, as they alld o from time to time, the executive called me out on the rug in front of his peers and asked me:

      "Why shouldn't I fire you for the system alert failure?"
      To which I said:
      "You were the person that bought a system to alert us via email when the email system failed. Maybe you should be fired?"
      Later he came to my office and fired me. After he smugly said I was fired, I asked him to wait a minute. I picked up the phone, made one phone call, and had a new job. I got up, took my check and left. Everyone else in the office was just laughing.
      I later heard that the executive was released to look into other opportunities.

      1999 was a good year.
      Crazy days

      • I have a similar tale: some 13-14 years ago I was working for this small system integrator. We had a frame-relay connection to the 'net. Then one day we didn't. People were upset and the burden of fixing the problem fell on engineering (me and my colleague). After mucking around our Cirsco router we concluded that there's something wrong downstream, and called the provider. After navigating the famous support maze, we finally were told that a lightning has knocked off one of their major nodes. To "And when

        • by geekoid (135745)

          heh. Yeah, I love when support for a down system relies on the system. I do emergency response, and I see people wanting to do that all the time.

      • phone rings, I answer.
        Idiot: We lost internet access.
        Me: Plug the DSL equipment back in.
        Idiot: Ok .... It's working now!
        ...
        facepalm
        Happened more than once.
  • HTC Hero (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kotoku (1531373)
    My Sprint HTC Hero phone uses multi-touch in the browser. Same pinch gestures the iPod Touch had me accustomed to. :)
    • by Aranykai (1053846)

      Yep, thanks to HTC we got that. The only app we don't have it on is Google Maps.

      • by dargaud (518470)
        Huh? I got Google Maps on my HTC hero from the get go. Just go and download it !
        • by Aranykai (1053846)

          Mean to say the only app we don't have pinch to zoom is Google maps. You are correct, it comes installed.

  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @07:06PM (#31016420)
    doesn't support multitouch? Should I stop doing it then?
    • by diamondsw (685967) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @07:13PM (#31016484)

      Your Droid doesn't do multitouch in any of the Google-provided applications. This is especially evident in the web browser, maps, and keyboard. Third party apps have been able to provide multitouch for some time.

      I thought the whole thing was silly. Patenting pinch-to-zoom and similar gestures fails the "non-obvious" requirement for a patent. Multitouch enhancing a keyboard I could perhaps see as valid.

      • by Liquidrage (640463) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @07:19PM (#31016554)
        I know very well what it does. The problem is when poorly written summaries or articles that imply that the phone doesn't support it. Saying, "the default browser will now support it" is a much better, and accurate, way to phrase it.
      • Multitouch enhancing a keyboard I could perhaps see as valid.

        That's where Apple got the technology from.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FingerWorks [wikipedia.org]

        I would have loved to have bought one, but IIRC, the cost was around US$370, and that was well out of my price range.

      • I would not call those gestures "obvious" at all. Until people were making a big deal about the lack of those gestures during the Droid's launch, I had no idea that it was supported in iPhone OS, despite having owned an iPod Touch for almost a year at that point (I had been double-tapping to zoom, and cursing my inability to conveniently zoom out). The problem is that Apple clearly didn't invent the gestures, not that they're obvious. They're very non-obvious (or were, when first made).
      • by geekoid (135745)

        My G1 does..of course I have my own android branch.

  • It really did help. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mark19960 (539856) <Mark@freeq[ ]t.net ['ues' in gap]> on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @07:09PM (#31016458) Homepage Journal

    I don't care for the multitouch thing..... I liked the old way and will use the old way..
    As far as 3G it's much more stable on 3G and on EDGE as well.
    I only get EDGE at home because I am at the end of 3G coverage and EDGE is actually much faster than it was.
    So, whatever they changed in the radio firmware improved both.
    Everything seems to move a little faster as well, so no complaints.
    I got my OTA update last night.

  • by MBoffin (259181) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @07:28PM (#31016652) Homepage

    No surprise, but the summary is wrong. True, there has been multitouch capability in recent versions of Android, but not true that no phones in the US support it. Even my HTC Hero (running Android 1.5) has multitouch built into the basic system apps like the browser and the gallery. Additionally there are apps on the marketplace that make use of multitouch, such as the Dolphin browser.

    The summary should indicate that no other phones have previously had multitouch built into the system apps that Google ships with the stock OS.

    • by atari2600 (545988)
      You are right. Even the G1 has multitouch capability that doesn't have software support. I've been using the Dolphin Browser (Free!) on my Nexus one and I 3 it.
  • Not interested.
    I can't stand Telstra but they do unfortunately have the best network. I believe this is due to some kind of lack of 850mhz or something option on the phone.
    The vast majority of business's use Telstra in this country too.

    • I'm on 3 in Australia and got my Nexus One yesterday. Loving it - just gotta make sure you disable data while roaming (which is an option luckily) because 3 are evil bastards and charge you 50c/mb while roaming which just happens often due to 3 being crap.

      I haven't RTFA but maybe this update will improve the 3g....

      • by mjwx (966435)

        I'm on 3 in Australia and got my Nexus One yesterday. Loving it - just gotta make sure you disable data while roaming (which is an option luckily) because 3 are evil bastards and charge you 50c/mb while roaming which just happens often due to 3 being crap.

        3 aren't evil bastards, well no more evil then being a phone company. 3 charge for 2G and Roaming data access because it costs 3, with the merger with Vodafone you can now roam onto Vodafones 2G networks and get data for free. I almost never roam with th

  • So when's 2.1 and this multitouch goodness going to trickle down to my Moto Droid?

One man's constant is another man's variable. -- A.J. Perlis

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