Xiaomi’s ‘Mi Pad’ Trademark Blocked for Copying Apple’s iPad

Apple has successfully prevented Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from registering the name “Mi Pad” as a trademark in the European Union, according to a new report.

The General Court, the EU’s second-highest, ruled that Xiaomi could not trademark Mi Pad as the name for its lineup of tablets on account of it being too similar to Apple’s existing iPad device. The Court added that consumers were likely to be confused by the similarity between the two names, adding that the addition of the “letter ‘m’ at the beginning of ‘Mi Pad’” wasn’t a sufficient enough difference, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Xiaomi first filed the trademark application in 2014, a full four years after Apple first released the original iPad in 2010. Apple subsequently lodged a complaint with the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on the grounds that consumers would think Mi Pad was a variation of Apple’s own tablet. The EUIPO upheld Apple’s complaint in 2016.

The court agreed with the EUIPO decision, adding that English-speaking buyers were likely to read “Mi Pad” as “my pad” instead of the correct pronunciation of “me pad” — therefore pronouncing the “i” the same way as iPad.

Xiaomi is one of the largest smartphone makers in the world and has consistently stayed in the top 5 in its home region of Asia (typically behind Samsung, Huawei and Oppo). Currently, the company is in talks with investment banks about going public, with a proposed initial public offering (IPO) valuation of $ 50 billion, according to the Business Times.

The Chinese OEM also has long had a reputation for blatantly ripping off Apple’s devices, designs and aesthetics, from its flagship iPhone to its MacBook Air. Xiaomi even stole Apple’s famous “one more thing” for a keynote event in 2014.

From here, Xiaomi can appeal the General Court’s ruling at the highest court in the EU: the Court of Justice of the European Union. Whether it will remains to be seen — particularly with two legal decisions already levied against its case.

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Amazon Prime Video Finally Makes Its Debut on Apple TV

As promised, Apple on Wednesday began rolling out the highly anticipated Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV, which according to the official Prime Video for iOS release notes can be downloaded this morning as a standalone application for Apple’s third-generation TV or newer.

While it’s been available for some time on iOS, Apple’s move to finally begin rolling out Amazon Prime Video for tvOS ultimately makes good on its multiple previous promises — spanning as far as as the earlier this year — that the app would be “coming soon” to select Apple TV models.

In addition to its Prime Video app now on the tvOS App Store, today’s update includes iOS support for Prime Video using iPhone X’s native display resolution.

Not only will the new Amazon Prime Video app allow Apple TV users to access the e-commerce giant’s ever-expanding library of over 45,000 movies and TV shows, but its debut also marks a new chapter in Apple and Amazon’s historically rocky relationship.

Back in 2015, Amazon removed all traces of Apple TV from its virtual shelves amid a contentious dispute with the company over how to split revenue from Amazon’s Prime Video app for iOS. As a result, if you were to try and download a title from the Prime Video app on iOS today, instead of being given the standard App Store checkout prompt, you’d be directed to Amazon’s website to complete the purchase.

Of course, while the news of Prime Video coming to Apple TV is certain to bode well with content lovers and Prime members, alike, whether or not today’s move signifies a new chapter in the companies’ relationship remains to be seen.

How to Download Prime Video on Apple TV

As we mentioned, the Amazon Prime Video app is now available for third generation Apple TV boxes or newer. If it’s not available when searching for Amazon Prime Video in the tvOS App Store, find it by following the steps below

  1. Head to the tvOS App Store.
  2. Type ‘Amazon’ in the search field and click search.
  3. Select ‘Amazon Shopping’.
  4. Scroll down until you see the Prime Video app in the ‘More By This Developer’ section. Click download.

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New Evidence from Apple Supplier Reaffirms an AR Headset Is Coming

Evidence is continuing to mount that an Apple augmented reality (AR) headset is on the way, including new reports out of Apple’s supply chain.

New Information from Catcher

Taipei, Taiwan-based Catcher Technology, a device chassis maker and a long-time Apple supplier, said it will start supplying chassis for a brand new product line that’s outside of its existing three major categories (notebooks, smartphones and tablets). Catcher’s Chairman, Allen Horng, revealed the fact in a routine report of the company’s earnings and expected performance in 2018, DigiTimes reported on Wednesday.

While Catcher didn’t reveal any details about the new product line, market watchers are already speculating that it is related to augmented or virtual reality — particularly as rumors abound about Apple’s own augmented reality ambitions. Apple is one of Catcher’s biggest clients, and market insiders are already predicting that Catcher’s new products could be connected to the Cupertino-based tech giant.

Previous Catcher Reports

In a supply chain report in November, Catcher’s Horng revealed to Nikkei that the company was developing and building components for a currently unknown augmented reality device. Specifically, Horng told the publication that Catcher was already working to overcome certain obstacles and bottlenecks in the device’s development.

While Horng stopped short of naming the augmented reality device client, market watchers quickly speculated that it could be an upcoming Apple device — due to the company’s long-time partnership with Catcher.

There’s no guarantee that the unnamed product is, in fact, iGlass (aka Apple Glass). But combine the recent reports about Catcher with other rumors surrounding an upcoming Apple AR device, and there’s certainly a strong possibility that the two rumored products are one in the same.

What We Know About Apple Glass So Far

Apple, and specifically CEO Tim Cook, has been particularly outspoken about augmented reality’s future. The company’s recent unveiling of ARKit, as well as its recent patents and acquisitions, are just a few hints that Apple is taking a proactive stance toward the emergent technology.

According to a November Bloomberg report, Apple’s engineers are currently developing prototypes for an upcoming AR headset or spectacles. That includes developing a new AR-based operating system, internally dubbed “rOS,” as well as an App Store loaded with augmented reality applications. According to that report, the rOS device could be controlled through a mixture of hand and head gestures, Siri voice commands and touch controls.

Similarly, Apple supplier Quanta Computer is also rumored to have been tapped for the rOS device. Quanta Vice Chairman C.C. Leung told Nikkei that the company is working on a “significant AR device” that will be released in under two years. Like Catcher, Quanta does have other manufacturing clients, but Apple is by and far the largest and most high-profile.

In addition, Quanta recently struck a licensing deal with Israel-based AR tech company Lumus Ltd. to begin developing lenses that use Lumus’ proprietary AR display technology. According to reports, the device would be a “headset-like gadget” with a transparent display that would allow information to be overlayed over a user’s field-of-view — allowing users to interact unrestricted with their environment.

While a release timeline is still up in the air, sources indicate that Apple is likely to have the technology ready by 2019. As far as the actual device’s release, analysts have predicted that it could launch in 2019 or 2020.

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Personal Data of 31 Million Users Leaked from Popular Keyboard App

Security researchers have discovered that personal data belonging to over 31 million users of a popular keyboard app was leaked online, according to a new report.

The massive leak was first discovered by the Kromtech Security Center, who found that they were able to access a database containing the sensitive information of 31,293,959 users of keyboard app Ai.Type. Reportedly, the app’s developers failed to secure the database’s server with a password, allowing anyone to easily access the user records.

What Information Was Leaked?

The sensitive information included a user’s full name, email address, SMS number, device name and model, mobile network name, and IMEI number, as well as a user’s precise location and city and country of residence. The database also seemed to contain information from a user’s public social media profiles, including their birthdates and their profile pictures.

All in all, Kromtech’s researchers were able to unearth about 577 gigabytes of user records. Reportedly, the database seemed to have contained mostly information on the app’s Android users — though reports are conflicting.

Ai.Type is a customizable keyboard app for Android and iOS boasting about 40 million users worldwide. When installed on a device, the app asks for “Full Access” — which includes absolutely any information or keystrokes typed through the keyboard. According to ZDNet, there’s evidence that the company had also recorded and stored text entered into the keyboard — though to an unclear extent.

The app also seems to have recorded data stored locally on a user’s device — such as their contacts’ emails and phone numbers. According to Kromtech, researchers found that 6.4 million users had had their contacts data collected, which amounted to 10.7 million email addresses and 376.4 million phone numbers within the records.

Ai.Type, for its part, tells a slightly different narrative. The company’s CEO, Eitan Fitusi, told the BBC that the stolen information was a “secondary database,” that IMEI data was never collected, and that the location data wasn’t “accurate.” Ai.Type did not deny that the database was publicly available for a period of time, but added that it has since been secured.

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Consumer Reports Rates iPhone X Lower Than 8, 8 Plus in Testing

While the iPhone X is the most advanced flagship Apple has released, it’s not the best iPhone you can buy, at least according to product testing and research publication Consumer Reports.

The outlet published the results from its extensive iPhone X testing on Tuesday. And while the popular publication called the Apple OLED flagship an “innovative device with a fantastic camera and beautiful display,” the iPhone X also lost to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in a full comparison.

Interestingly, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus fared better in Consumer Reports’ comparison due to one possibly overlooked factor: durability. According to the publication, the iPhone 8 proved to be “hardier” when subjected to drops and damage.

“We tumbled three samples of the iPhone X. The first was fine after 50 drops, but the glass on the back was significantly cracked after 100,” the publication wrote. “The other two phones ended up with malfunctioning displays after 50 drops. Though the front glass didn’t break, several bright green bars stretched across the screens from top to bottom.”

That’s an interesting result, considering several other outlets have found that the iPhone X was actually more durable than the iPhone 8.

Other drop tests seem to indicate that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were more durable than competing Samsung Galaxy devices. The iPhone X performed about as well as the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in drop testing, CR said. Of course, as the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X are the first glass-constructed devices that Apple has produced since 2011, they’re all more prone to breakage than their predecessors with aluminum chassis.

In addition, Consumer Reports had some issues with the iPhone X’s battery life. In its testing, the outlet found that the iPhone X lasted an average of 19.5 hours, compared to 26 hours for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and 21 hours for the iPhone 8 Plus.

Still, the outlet noted that the iPhone X’s rear camera is the “highest-rated smartphone camera” it has ever tested. In addition, the publication praised the convenience of Face ID, as well as the iPhone X’s “beautiful OLED display.”

While the iPhone X easily made its way into Consumer Reports’ list of Top 10 Rated Smartphones, the publication concluded that “other phones are tougher and can operate longer on a charge.”

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ claimed the top two spots on CR’s top 10 list, with the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 taking third and fourth, respectively. The iPhone X, due to the aforementioned flaws, was ranked ninth overall. Although the publication notes that all of the devices in its top 10 list are only separated by a few points.

“If not for the damage in that durability test, the iPhone X would have come in ahead of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus,” said Richard Fisco, Consumer Reports’ head of smartphone testing.

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