AWT News Update: October 11, 2016

US Supreme Court Building. Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain)

US Supreme Court Building. Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain)

Apple and Samsung argue in front of the Supremes, Dropbox adds tons of features for iOS users, and we find out what a Phish and an iPhone have in common:

  • The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments today on the long-running Apple vs. Samsung patent infringement case
  • Dropbox updates its iOS app, including a Messages app for including documents and files in chats and improved multitasking support for iPads
  • A track on the latest album by Phish was recorded on an iPhone

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 11, 2016. This week our sponsor is Pagico 8, a powerful, cross-platform data and task management application that will keep you or your business running smoothly. Find out more about Pagico 8 for Mac, Windows and Ubuntu Linux, as well as Pagico Plus for iOS and Android by visiting our website at the link found in the show notes.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing Samsung’s appeal of its long-running patent infringement battle with Apple. Now it’s been decided already that Samsung was guilty as heck of infringing on Apple’s patents, so the Justices will be determining how damages in patent design cases should be calculated. This could simply lead to another lower court hearing for Apple and Samsung. The Supreme Court’s ruling won’t actually come until June 2017, so this doesn’t mean we’ll be hearing anything today other than what each company argued in court. If Apple wins the case, the current damages of $548 million that Apple received from Samsung will stay in Apple’s banks and the calculations used to determine the damages (originally $900 million) are validated. On the other hand, if Samsung is victorious, the damages value will need to be recalculated once again and the case will go back to the lower Federal courts. Apple would most likely have to pay back some of the damages it has been paid, and a precedent would be set for calculation of damages in other design-related patent infringement cases. Whatever the decision, it may mean an end to this case that’s been filling the courtrooms since 2010.

Users of Dropbox can rejoice today. Later this afternoon, the company is releasing a major update to iOS with a new Messages app, a new widget and improved multitasking support on iPads. In the Messages app, Dropbox files can be shared with people in a conversation by dropping the content into the chat. The widget supplies actions from the iOS lock screen including creating, browsing and uploading files, as well as scanning paper documents for storage in Dropbox. The main app will also add the ability for PDF signing as well as notifications whenever an update is made to a file that a user is currently viewing. With the tap of a reload button, the file that has been changed will be refreshed with the changes. Finally, picture-in-picture can will be supported for videos being watched. Dropbox hasn’t yet added Split View support; that’s coming soon.

Jam band Phish just released a new album called Big Boat, and there’s a nice little track on there titled “Things People Do”. It’s a folk song that is notable for its playful sound as well as having a very “un-produced” quality. It turns out that the version of the song that finally made it onto the album was the original demo by band member and keyboardist Page McConnell. That demo was recorded in its entirety on an iPhone that was sitting on top of a piano in McConnell’s living room. I wonder when we’ll have the first full album by a major group that’s recorded on an iPhone or iPad, or if that’s already happened.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.