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Why Apple Denied the Google Latitude App 308

awyeah writes "A recently revealed Apple patent looks remarkably similar to the functionality of Google Latitude, which Apple relegated to WebApp status earlier this year. Obviously if Apple is working on their own version of Google Latitude (or owns the IP rights to this functionality), they'd be hesitant to put an app with the same functionality on their devices from another company."
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Why Apple Denied the Google Latitude App

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  • single good thing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @01:27PM (#30623798)
    Has there been a single good thing to come out of software patents? It seems like every single day there is a story posted about a patent that has clear prior art or is trivial and doesn't innovate or invent anything. The US needs to stop software patents if they want to let technology innovate.
  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @01:39PM (#30623926) Homepage
    Looking at the actual patent language (not just the abstract) I cannot find one little bit where a) it's not obvious and b) there is any real creativity or difficulty in the overall concept. The hardware and programming end of it of course can be difficult but that is not what is covered here.

    How did this stinker end up as a patent rather than having the actual implementation of said obvious idea?
  • Not everybody (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @01:42PM (#30623962)

    There are many of us who view this stuff poorly. I have not, do not, and will not own any Apple products. I simply do not like their closed platforms and anti-competitive nature, and I certainly won't pay more for the privilege of being restricted. Yes they have some nice hardware, but that in itself cannot overcome their approach to doing business.

  • by Strange Attractor ( 18957 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:04PM (#30624250) Homepage

    Right! The last Apple product that i bought was an early Mac. Writing code for it was unnecessarily difficult because Apple was protecting the secrets of the "OS". I used SUN products for a while after that, but since really open systems became available I've used them exclusively. I will do the same thing with phones.

  • by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:14PM (#30624338)

    That's my biggest beef with most software patents - the whole idea of the patent is to lay down HOW to do some revolutionary new idea. That's supposed to be the cost of getting your limited monopoly. Software patents usually only give you the what, not the how, and in my opinion should be null. How can I be violating his patent if he never describes how he does it? Or, if it's so simple that they did not need to describe how it is done, how the hell did they get a patent in the first place?

    These patents should be loaded with pseudo-code to achieve the stated goals, and if someone comes along who can significantly improve the design of the pseudo-code then they should get a patent too, just like with physical inventions.

    That's my opinion. I wouldn't mind software patents if they were treated the same as hardware patents, but they aren't.

  • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:19PM (#30624394)
    yes. Many people just don't know this about Apple. In the mid to late 80's Apple was well known for being extremely obtuse about low level programming information and tools for the Mac. Not only did they refuse to give out development tools for free, but they also refused to allow others to have enough information to develop their own .. at any price.

    Apple has been asshats since the first Mac, but somehow in the 90's they managed to turn popular opinion around while remaining asshats.
  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:14PM (#30624908)

    >I have an iPhone, and it's a wonderful device, but as soon as my contract runs out (maybe sooner), I'll be moving to a different platform, and this is exactly why.

    Same here. Im leaning towards an android phone bought without subsidy and getting on T-mobile's non-subsidized plan for 59.99 unlimited text/data and 500 minutes. Thats about 30 dollars less a month than the equivalent plan on ATT and Im only going to pay an extra 200 dollars down, which pays for itself in less than one year.

    >They give a good song and dance about how closed the device is being about the "user experience," but the simple truth is that they don't want competition from other sources.

    Turns out history was right: There's no such thing as a benevolent dictator. Turns out centralization from an unaccountable group leads to abuse. Apple is just a thug in the market and with its controlled devices, its helping no one but its bottom line.

  • wrong diagnosis (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pydev ( 1683904 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:06PM (#30625476)

    Actually, you've got it exactly backwards. Apple nearly went out of business because they went more open and allowed Mac clones. Now that they are (arguably) more closed in that respect, they are extremely successful.

    Apple's woes had nothing to do with allowing clones; Apple nearly went out of business because MacOS was a bad, proprietary platform and because Apple was bleeding money at an enormous rate.

    Apple is successful now because they have been piggy-backing on open source technologies (Mach, gcc, tons of libraries) and therefore been saving development costs and delivering a better product, and because they are tightly controlling expenses (including R&D expenses).

  • Re:Times change (Score:3, Interesting)

    by negRo_slim ( 636783 ) <mils_orgen@hotmail.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:06PM (#30625478) Homepage

    it's WAY better than the pre-Apple cell phone world

    Personally I preferred when phones were just phones.

  • by pydev ( 1683904 ) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:14PM (#30625552)

    Steve Jobs doesn't "hate" using open source. For example, he tried to keep the Objective-C extensions to GCC closed source in violation of the GPL; it took a lot of legal saber rattling by GNU to get him to comply.

    Apple is somewhat better now than they were 20 years ago, but they are still taking much more from the open source community than they are giving back. Without FOSS, Apple would be out of business; but even if all of Apple's contributions to FOSS disappeared overnight, people would hardly notice.

  • by Mr2001 ( 90979 ) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @01:41PM (#30632708) Homepage Journal

    By the way, how many suits has Apple launched against jailbreakers?

    They may not have filed any lawsuits yet, but they have [eff.org] petitioned the DMCA rulemaking committee to declare it illegal [crunchgear.com].

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger