AWT News Update: February 8, 2016

Fresh off of a Super Bowl 50 victory by the Denver Broncos, it's the AWT News Update from the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. Today's stories include:

  • A new tvOS beta allows users to dictate names and passwords using Siri dictation
  • Instagram app now allows multiple user accounts
  • Apple has filed a motion for a mistrial in that lawsuit that awarded $625 million to a patent troll

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Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for February 8, 2016. Our sponsor this week is Winning WordPress, a powerful online resource for everyone who runs a WordPress site or is thinking about it. Check it out on the AWT website today, or click the link found in today’s show notes.

Apple today released the third beta version of tvOS 9.2 to developers, meaning that by Wednesday it should make it into the hands of those who are part of the Apple public beta program. One of the more interesting additions to the third beta is support for dictation. In countries where Siri is available, text entry onscreen can be done via dictation. Upon installing the beta OS, users are prompted to enable or disable dictation. Dictation will allow Apple TV users to dictate text and spell user names and password instead of typing them. When enabled, the tvOS search bar flips between a blank search field and an option to hold the Siri button for dictation. It’s quite a nice addition. Apple also released the third betas of OS X 10.11.4, iOS 9.3, and watchOS 2.2.

Photo sharing app Instagram today announced that users can log into its mobile app with multiple user accounts. This is quite useful for anyone who needs to manage more than one account for company social media, or just likes to have multiple accounts in order to flood the internet with photos. The feature has been slowly rolling out to users, so not everyone has access to it. Once it’s available to all users, accounts can be added via profile settings and switching between accounts is as simple as tapping the username at the top of the profile.

Remember the post on Apple World Today last week about patent troll VirnetX winning $625 million from Apple based on alleged patent infringements? Well, Apple has filed a motion for a mistrial in the case. VirnetX’s win came during a retrial after the company won $368 million back in 2012 and the appeals court said that damages had been calculated incorrectly. According to the Texas Lawyer website, VirnetX misrepresented what Apple’s witnesses said during closing statements, and arguments were presented that were outside of the realm of evidence shown in the case. If Apple is correct, then VirnetX’s legal team violated procedure and a mistrial would be warranted. This is the third time the case has been tried in Federal District Court of Eastern Texas, not counting appeals. The original damage verdict was tossed, resulting in a new ruling that led to the finding that improperly calculated damages, and then the third trial resulted in the new award and Apple’s motion. It should be noted that this particular federal court district is popular with patent trolls because patent suits can go from filing to trial in less than a year, and speedy litigation often favors plaintiffs. In addition, judges in the district don’t want to decide cases on summary judgement, often sending complex patent cases to juries to rule on. That raises the cost and risk for defendants.

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.