Latest salvo of legal filings from geolocation firm accused Brin of misconduct
Documents in Skyhook's third legal action against Google have surfaced, accusing Google co-founder Sergey Brin of disparaging the company in discussions with Apple in the early days of geolocation on Apple's iPhone. Skyhook believes that Brin "had discussions with Apple representatives about Apple's announcement regarding Skyhook's location technology and Google's displeasure with it."
Google rebuffs Skyhook claims in lawsuit
Google in a court filing late last week denied doing anything illegal as a response to Skyhook's lawsuit. Lawyers argued that the decision to force Skyhook out of Android were just a "lawful exercise of legitimate rights." The Android creator rebuffed ideas that it had damaged Skyhook's finances at all but said that any impact would have been the mobile location tracker's own fault.
Skyhook suit shows early Android fragment scrap
An extensive breakdown of the newly published e-mails in the Skyhook lawsuit has revealed Google being actively aware of and trying to fight fragmentation on Android well before this year. After Motorola pulled Skyhook's location services from the Droid X at the last minute and complaining that Google was limiting its "ability to compete," Google tried to reassure Motorola that the issue was one of controlling fragmentation. A copy of the response at This is My Next showed that Google was trying to use Apple's language of a consistent platform while trying to preserve Android's openness.
Skyhook lawsuit docs show Google pressure
A set of newly unsealed messages from the ongoing Skyhook lawsuit against Google may have supported Skyhook's claims that Google was abusing its control over Android to shut out competing services. After a brief test that it believed proved Google's own geolocation was better than Skyhook's, Android product manager Steve Lee and others concluded that Skyhook's then-new deal with Motorola was dangerous for Google's business. The company was worried that it would cut off the improvement of Android's location database accuracy and looked like it began seeding concerns about compatibility primarily in a bid to get Skyhook's competition out.
FTC talking to firms in possible Google antitrust
The Federal Trade Commission is gathering information from technology firms for an investigation into Google's control of the search industry, possibly including in mobile, a trio of contacts claimed Saturday. Deliberately waiting on the Google-ITA deal, the agency was described as sending out civil investigative demands to unnamed companies that would legally require information. What that information was didn't come out of Bloomberg's sources but presumably centered on whether or not they were hurt by Google's terms.
Skyhook believes Android harvesting worse than iOS
Skyhook chief Ted Morgan in a discussion Wednesday accused Google of having much worse privacy in Android than Apple does in iOS. He argued that Android was quietly collecting data much more frequently, "1,000 times a day," and was sending background pings to Google on its own instead of just explicit location requests. Google's claims that location tracking was strictly opt-in and anonymized didn't hold up, Morgan explained to SAI, since it was not only a much more complete and traceable record than what an iPhone obtained but was being passed on to Google's servers.
Skyhook says Google geolocation anti-competitive
Skyhook on Wednesday sued Google for allegedly abusing its control over Android to exclude competitors for geolocation services. A Boston-based lawsuit accused Google of preventing Android phone makers from using Skyhook's positioning, such as its Wi-Fi triangulation, and instead requiring them to use Google's own. Motorola was supposedly forced to pull Skyhook from its devices to pass Google's compliance tests and wasn't even given the option of tuning the Skyhook software to meet the guidelines.
Ditches Google, Skyhook
Apple has actually been using its own location databases for iOS since April, the company's general counsel confirms. Bruce Sewell notes that for v1.1.3 of the OS through to v3.1, the company relied -- and in fact still relies -- on Google and Skyhook Wireless to handle location-based services. When v3.2 was released for the iPad in April, Apple from then on began using its own location technology.
Dell Mini 10 to get GPS
Dell on Tuesday announced it will add mapping features to its Inspiron Mini 10 netbooks starting next week. The Wireless 700 add-on combines both an internal GPS card from Broadcom and Wi-Fi triangulation technology from Skyhook Wireless to find its own location, which allows it to operate both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, Wi-Fi access points are used to determine the location via their respective and mapped hardware addresses. Outdoors, or when the line of sight to a satellite is available, it reverts to the assisted GPS chipset for a more accurate, network-independent view.
iPhone Trumps in GPS Apps
Location-aware iPhone apps not only outnumber their BlackBerry counterparts by 40 to 1 but are less expensive as well, Skyhook Wireless said Wednesday. Best known for the Wi-Fi positioning used to help the iPhone, the company notes that there were 2,300 iPhone apps with location-finding as a major feature and just 57 in BlackBerry App World. By contrast, Android Market had more still at 300. The difference comes in spite of BlackBerry devices having GPS and third-party app support for longer than the iPhone has supported either.
iPhone moves location tech
The iPhone is pushing the demand for location-based services, claims Skyhook Wireless. The company produces software which unites GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular information in order to deliver location data; the technology is integrated into the iPhone, which it notes is amassing a dramatically escalating number of location-based apps. Whereas only a few dozen existed in August of last year, there are now over 2,000 as of April, and it is predicted that 2010 could see five times that number. Some 200 million location queries are served by Skyhook each day, the company comments.
Skyhook XPS 2 Tracking
Skyhook Wireless on Monday launched a new map positioning system that will potentially solve many of the problems associated with GPS navigation today. While the company has already designed a system that can alternate between real GPS and rough triangulation using cellular towers and Wi-Fi, a new method nicknamed XPS 2.0 can combine multiple services at once to find a position even in poor conditions.
Eye-Fi Home and Explore
Eye-Fi this morning rolled out two new SD camera cards that alternately expand and curb the limit of their wireless technology. The Eye-Fi Explore builds in support for map positioning using Skyhook's triangulation of Wi-Fi hotspots and will automatically geotag photos saved to the camera wherever the card can identify its location; it also gets free access for one year with Wayport-owned wireless access points, including all McDonald's restaurants. The 2GB card works with any SD-compatible camera and ships on June 6th for $129.