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It was quite a big weekend for smartphone makers and their carriers in the courtroom, with two such tales making headlines in our weekend recap this time around. Thankfully, at least one of them is a happy ending for two hardware manufacturers who were going after each other's throats over patents -- a turn of events that we'd sure like to see more of down the road.
What is the color of victory? Apparently that would be magenta, as a federal court in Texas has slapped AT&T on the wrist for infringing on T-Mobile's "distinctive magenta trademark" for its prepaid subsidiary, Aio Wireless. "The court agreed with us that Aio can't continue infringing T-Mobile's magenta mark by using large blocks of what it has called 'plum,' and told Aio to stop using magenta or similar colors in all of its marketing and advertising, including stores, web sites and social media," the press release explains. The verdict was handed down after a relatively swift three-day hearing, which seems likely to force AT&T to come up with a whole other color scheme for Aio -- assuming they don't just fold up the subsidiary completely, as has been rumored in recent weeks.
FireCore kicked off the weekend with the release of Infuse 2.2 on Friday, a significant update that finally allows movie and TV lovers to download their content from network shares and take it with them on any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch where the app is installed -- even playing it when offline. Infuse also now delivers a more eye-pleasing library view for remote files as well as a list view for those less caught up in eye candy. Infuse 2.2 also added an option to disable metadata fetching for home movies, a new volume boost setting and a whole lot of improvements around streaming speed and reliability, network device detection and overall stability. The app is available free from the App Store, with an in-app purchase option available for playback of more file formats.
Verizon Wireless may not be willing to compete with rivals AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint on price, but they're certainly not afraid to test the waters by ditching activation fees for customers who want to trade-in their old smartphones -- but only for a limited time. Between now and March 31, the Verizon Device Recycling Program will make it easier to ditch that old handset for something new, with a gift card of at least $100 ($300 maximum) in addition to free activation (a $35 value) for new, two-year activations. The website specifically mentions iPhone 4 through the current iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s models, assuming you've deactivated Find my iPhone first, of course.
Nokia announced Friday that its ongoing patent disputes with HTC have finally been resolved thanks to a settlement between the two handset makers, who have "entered into a patent and technology collaboration agreement." As part of the deal, HTC will fork over payments to Nokia, who will also have access to the former's LTE patent portfolio. Probably not so coincidentally, Reuters reported Monday that HTC will attempt to reverse course on its plummeting sales by introducing "mid-tier" smartphones in the $150 to $300 range in addition to the flagship handsets like the HTC One, which cost upwards of $600. "The two cylinders are going to be fired together," HTC Chief Financial Officer Chialin Chang commented.
Users of Edovia's Screens for iOS or Mac who frequently need to connect to Windows PCs will finally be able to do it as easily as they can from OS X now that the company has released Screens Connect 3.0 for Windows. This free software allows any Windows PC to have its VNC capabilities broadcast to Screens clients over Bonjour, and includes one-click installation for the required TightVNC server for users who don't already have one installed. After installation, the Windows PC will magically appear in the list of Nearby and Remote Computers and can be added to Screens with a mere tap or click. Be sure to update to the latest 3.0.4 version after installing, the earlier versions had problems with Bonjour that have since been squashed.
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