Computers & Electronics – Michmutters

Microsoft Reveals Xbox One Console Sales Were Awful Compared to PS4

Microsoft’s attempts to finalize its Activision Blizzard acquisition have inadvertently revealed how poorly the Xbox One console in all its forms sold.

As Game Luster reports, Microsoft needs to get the sign-off for its $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition from competition authorities around the world. One of those is Brazil’s CADE competition authority.

An official court document (in Portuguese) submitted by Microsoft includes the claim that (Google translated), “Sony has surpassed Microsoft in terms of console sales and install base, having sold more than twice as many [than] Xbox in the last generation.”

Sony no longer reports PS4 console sales, but the last official total reported earlier this month was 117.2 million units. It means that Microsoft didn’t manage to sell more than 58 million Xbox One consoles over its lifetime. And if Ampere Analysis’ data is accurate, Microsoft sold a grand total of just 51 million consoles. For reference, the Xbox 360 achieved 85.8 million units over its lifetime.

Ampere also believes that Sony will have a substantial lead this generation by the time we reach 2024. PS5 console sales are expected to top 67.3 million, while Xbox Series X and Series S combined will manage 44.3 million.

Microsoft is taking a different approach this generation, with the emphasis shifting to hardware sales combined with subscription gaming through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. We won’t know how well that works until much later in this generation of hardware, and just as importantly, if it works even with a much smaller installed user base then your main competitor if Ampere’s predictions are to be believed.



How to Manage Medications With Your iPhone

Your iPhone offers a built-in Health app through which you’re able to track your health and fitness, monitor medical conditions, and access records from supported hospitals. Now, with iOS 16, you also have the ability to manage your medications.

Apple’s iOS 16 arrives in the fall, but early adopters can check it out now via the public beta. Download it and you’ll have the ability to add and track each of your medications, set reminders, and even learn about possible interactions between different medications that you take. Here’s how the new feature works.

Add Medications

Add a medication

In the Health app, swipe down the summary screen and tap Add a Medication under the Set Up Medications section. You can also click Browsethen select Medications under Health Categories and choose Add a Medication.

Select the name

Start typing the name of your medication. If you see a match, tap the appropriate listing. Make sure you select not just the name but the correct dosage, if listed. If the medication doesn’t appear among the results, tap the camera icon to take a picture of it.

Scan the medication

Tap the Get Started button and position the medication in the frame of the camera as instructed. If the medication is identified through the scan, tap the correct match. Again, be sure to select the correct name and dosage, if available.

Add the dosage

Some medications are available in multiple forms, so you may be asked to choose between a topical cream, tablet, oral solution, or capsule form. If the dosage was not included when you added the medication, the next screen will ask you to choose the medication strength. Select the correct dosage and tap Next.

Manually add a medication

Any standard, FDA-approved medications should be identified by a search or scan. However, if you can’t find your meds, you can also manually add the name. To do this, tap Search by Name to add the medication, then tap Next.

Add a liquid

If you manually add a medication because it can’t be identified by search or scan, you are asked to choose the medication type, such as capsule, liquid, cream, drops, or spray. You are then asked to choose the unit of measurement, eg, mg, g, or mL.

Set Frequency and Time

Add the interval

After you have entered a medication, you are then asked how often you take the medication and at what time of day. Tap Frequency and select the interval; At Regular Intervals, On Specific Days of the Week, As Needed. Then choose a start date and tap donate.

Select Add a time under Time of Day and enter the time that you take the medication. You can add more than one time if you take it more than once per day. Tap the 1 tablet link (assuming the medication is in tablet form) to change how many doses of the medication you take at each interval, then tap Next.

Confirm Shape and Color

Choose the shape

You will need to confirm the shape and color of the pill you take. Tap the shape that best matches how the medication looks, then tap Next. Select the color that best matches the medication.

Choose the color

You can also assign a specific background color for the medication, if you need to differentiate one medicine from another, or to simply better highlight the image. Tap Next when finished.

Finalize Medication

Add optional details

Confirm the name, dosage, and schedule for the medication. If you need to change any details, tap the Back arrow at the upper left until you reach each previous screen. Otherwise, you can add optional details at this summary screen. When done, tap Next.

View interactions

The next screen informs you of any potential interactions as you add more medications to the list. Select any of the displayed items that you use to see if there are any interactions between them and your medications. When finished, tap donate. You can then tap Add Medication if you need to add another medication.

Track Your Medications

View drug interactions

Once everything has been added, you can view all the medications you take from the Summary screen. Check the Log section to see when you need to take each medication. The Your Medications section will display the names, dosages, and frequencies of the medications you take. You can also check drug interactions from the Interactions section.

View details for a medication

Tap a specific medication to see its summary screen. If you need to change the schedule, tap the Edit link next to Schedule and enter a new interval and time. Swipe down further to see the details you entered. Tap Edit to modify any of these details.

Further down is the About section, which displays information about the medication. Tap side effects to read about any potential side effects for that medication.

Edit the list of medications

You can edit the list of medications to remove any or change their order. Tap the Edit link next to Your Medications, then select the trash can icon next to any you no longer take and wish to remove. That medication is then added to the archived list in case you need to add it back to the active list in the future.

To modify the order in which the medications are listed, press down on the hamburger icon next to a specific listing and then drag and drop it up or down.

Take your medications

When it’s time to take one of your scheduled medications, your iPhone will remind you with a visual notification and audio tone. Tap the notification to see the scheduled medications. Tap the Taken button to indicate that you took a medication or choose the skipped button to indicate that you skipped the dose for now.

The Logged section of the Summary screen will display any medications you have taken for the day and indicate the time you took them.



You Can Push the Google Pixel 6a’s Display to 90Hz

A modder has discovered a way to push the refresh rate of the Google Pixel 6a’s display to 90Hz.

Each of the entries in the Pixel 6 lineup features a unique display: the Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate; the Pixel 6 Pro has a 6.7-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate; and the Pixel 6a has a 6.1-inch display with a 60Hz refresh rate. But now it seems the Pixel 6a could be limited by software, not hardware.

A number of Pixel 6a owners—including 9to5Google contributor Max Weinbach and The Verge senior editor Sean Hollister—have confirmed that the mod supplied by “The Lunarixus” works on their devices. (I don’t have a Pixel 6a on-hand for testing.) But there are some important caveats that could stop most people from using the mod.

The first is that not everyone could get the mod to work on their device at first. Installing the mod is a fairly complex process, although The Verge reports that The Lunarixus is working on a custom ROM that will simplify installation, and even if the steps are followed correctly there’s no guarantee the refresh rate will increase.

The second is that some testers noticed a green tint on their displays after they installed the mod. Not everyone had this problem, but having a noticeable color accuracy problem will probably outweigh the benefits of increasing the Pixel 6a’s refresh rate by 30Hz, at least for people using the device as their primary smartphone.

The third is that it’s not clear what kind of impact this mod can have on a Pixel 6a. The Lunarixus says:

“With that being said,” The Lunarixus says“I’m not going to claim it causes 0 damage, as stated Google opted to run an s6e3fc3 controller at 60Hz and until a statement from Samsung Display or Google comes out we won’t know the reasoning behind the removal of the frequency. “

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

All of which leaves us with a mod that can make Google’s mid-range smartphone better than it comes out of the box… as long as it doesn’t result in a distracting green tint or damage the hardware in unexpected ways. This will be worth keeping an eye on as The Lunarixus improves the installation process and more people test the mod.



This Privacy Service Tries to Prevent Your Cell-Phone Carrier From Tracking You

Who’s tracking your cell phone? Probably more people than you’re comfortable with. Working in a Guatemalan refugee camp, Paul Schmitt noticed an “IMSI catcher” at the entrance, presumably so authorities could track the residents’ comings and going. These devices, also known as “Stingrays,” are used by governments around the world to track citizens.

“Commercial surveillance” is also now in the government’s crosshairs, as the FTC now seeks comment on “the business of collecting, analyzing, and profiting from information about people.”

The IMSI (international mobile subscriber identifier) ​​is the code attached to your SIM card that lets the network know you’re a subscriber in good standing. Thing is, that number lets your mobile provider track you, and it can give that data to partners or authorities if it wants. Even worse, third parties can set up Stingrays, and collect subscriber IDs and locations for their own purposes.

So along with ex-Googler Barath Raghavan, Schmitt founded Invisv, a startup dedicated to figuring out how to cloak its users’ IMSIs. Its new “pretty good phone privacy” product, available for Android phones that have eSIM capability, combines a virtual carrier (using AT&T’s network in the US) with special software that lets you churn your IMSI.

“We were hopeful this would be picked up by the [phone] companies. We approached the telecoms, and the response wasn’t what we hoped for,” Schmitt says. “We wanted to show this is actually possible.”

The company also offers a two-hop VPN service for Android that costs $5/month, to hide your internet traffic. (Apple’s iOS doesn’t offer third-party developers the APIs needed to do IMSI switching.)

So Invisv offers a mobile service, provided via eSIM, which has an app that cycles your IMSI. For $40/month, you get 9GB of data and eight IMSI changes per month; for $90/month, you get unlimited data and 30 IMSI changes. Essentially, you’d appear to the network as a different person each day.

The actual connectivity is provided through various physical networks. In the US right now that’s AT&T, with T-Mobile coming on board down the road. They make a deal with Invisv, and they never see your current subscriber information.

That’s paired with a two-hop VPN, also available as a $5 separate service. A two-hop VPN sends data to Invisv, which then hides your IP address and sends your data to VPN firm Fastly, which finally sends it to the target website. It then becomes very hard to connect your requests with any traffic heading to the destination.

“There’s mobile privacy, there’s internet privacy, and there’s app privacy,” Raghavan says. “We’re trying to solve the two [mobile and internet] which nobody has addressed.”


The app has a very simple interface.

5 Ways They Track You

There are a lot of ways carriers, platform providers, and application providers track your phone, and a lot of ways that data can be sold to brokers. Invisv’s premier product takes care of a particularly tricky one, and Schmitt walked me through some of the others.

1. MSISDN (Your Phone Number)

Along with your IMSI, every phone with a voice line has an MSISDN, otherwise known as a phone number. It’s easy enough for your carrier to track your phone by MSISDN even if you cycle your IMSI. Invisv’s data-only SIMs have no phone number. If you want to make calls or send texts, you sign up with a cloud-based provider such as Line2.

2.SS7 Attacks

There’s a massive flaw in 2G and 3G networks that lets well-resourced attackers—typically, spy agencies—intercept traffic. The newer Diameter protocol, introduced with 4G, closes that hole, but it can open up any time someone makes a call or sends a text (because those functions often use parts of the 2G or 3G system.) Schmitt says he avoids that by buying only 4G and 5G service; if there’s no 4G coverage, the phone shows no signal.

3.GSM(Google Mobile Services)

The core Google service on mainstream Android smartphones, GMS “fingerprints” your device so its own ad products, and clients’ ad products, can target you. The way to avoid this is by loading a “non Googled” Android OS on your phone. Schmitt says Invisv works on Graphene and Calyx. Raghavan says the app will be available through the F-Droid store and as a direct APK download, to avoid Google Play.

4. App-Based Tracking SDKs

Many third-party apps on your phone collect personal and location data, which the app makers then resell to brokers. (New York Times has a terrifying example of the kind of precise location data the brokers can provide.) The answer for this one is to say no when apps on your phone ask for your location. An even better solution would be to use a feature phone with no apps, but Schmitt says “there’s not a huge market” for feature phones.

5. Behavioral Fingerprinting

Unfortunately, this last one is very difficult to avoid. Even if you don’t give apps permission, they may be “fingerprinting” your behavior using data available through the platform APIs, combining that information into a unique identifier. In the wake of its location-data story, the Times Times recommended the app to block these trackers.

“We would suggest that in addition to using PGPP, privacy-conscious users should use better apps—such as Signal or Matrix for communication and a privacy-preserving mobile browser, etc. (But they won’t need the VPN service from such apps .) These are complementary privacy practices, as we see privacy as a layered problem,” Raghavan says.

Invisv’s plan is now available on the Google Play Store.



CPU Shipments, Especially Desktops, Take Historic Dive on Economic Downturn

Demand for PCs has cooled to the point that x86 CPU shipments saw a historic plunge in Q2, according to Mercury Research, which tracks component sales.

Mercury Research says desktop CPU shipments during the May to June period fell to their “lowest level in nearly three decades,” decreasing by more than 15% year over year.

The research firm didn’t provide exact shipment numbers, but Mercury Research President Dean McCarron said in an email: “I had to go back to the mid-1990s to find desktop CPU shipments in any given quarter lower than the number of units that shipped in Q2.”

In Q1, desktop CPU shipments also saw a historic quarter-on-quarter decline at 30%. “There has been a very long-term decline in desktop PC use in favor of notebooks that is the primary driver over the past decade or more. This was combined with the short-term inventory correction that has resulted in the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers ) slowing purchases of new CPUs,” McCarron added. “The combined result of both of these is the historic low.”

The research firm IDC also saw similar trends with desktop PC shipments in Q2. During this period, the desktop shipments reached just over 19 million, according to IDC analyst Ryan Reith. “While this isn’t the lowest quarter ever, it is close in terms of the last 12 years (since 2010),” he said in an email. “Early 2020 saw a quarter of 17M. The two main drivers for the slow 2Q22 are an overall sharp slowdown in PCs (the total market), as well as the continued shift towards notebook PCs.”

Mercury Research added that CPU shipments for laptops also dropped by over 30% year over year in Q2. When looking at total CPU shipments for x86 processors in the quarter, the numbers plunged 19% for the largest year-over-year decline in the 28-year history of Mercury Research’s tracking.

“While data is absent prior to 1994, the on-year decline in CPU shipments is probably the largest since 1984, when the nascent PC market experienced its first major downturn,” McCarron said.

The falling shipments are due to the current economic slowdown, which is causing PC makers to halt orders of new chips, McCarron said. Intel itself posted a rare financial loss in Q2 at $500 million, and blamed part of the problem on PC vendors slashing their product inventory levels. The plunging shipment numbers also occur a year after the COVID-19 pandemic caused PC demand to soar to levels not seen in close to a decade. Since then, demand has sagged amid high inflation and worries about an economic recession.

However, the economic downturn has been hitting Intel much harder than AMD. According to Mercury Research, Team Red experienced “positive unit growth” across all segments, including chips for laptops, desktops, and servers. This led AMD to achieve a 31.4% share across the x86 CPU market against Intel, a new high for the company.

Mercury Research numbersMercuryResearch

During Q2, the only area of ​​growth was in chips focused on IoT devices and semi-custom products, which include AMD processors for Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5. Mercury Research adds: “Intel appeared to be impacted by continued inventory corrections lowering shipments in the quarter; AMD’s business showed no significant inventory impacts and share was gained.”

However, AMD itself has made a more conservative projection about future PC demand. In an earnings call last week, CEO Lisa Su said her company expects PC shipments to decline year over year by the “mid-teens,” down to around 300 million shipments for 2022.

However, AMD and Intel are preparing to launch new CPUs and graphics cards in the coming months, which could spur some demand, despite the economic troubles facing consumers.



The Moto Razr 2022 Is Coming, But You Can’t Get It

Motorola just announced a brand-new Razr foldable smartphone. Unfortunately, it’s only coming to China for now, so US fans will have to stick with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or the older Motorola Razr for small folding devices. Of course, Motorola could decide to release it in the US later, and we’re hopeful that it does because it looks like a solid device.

The new Moto Razr 2022 features the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, so performance should be stellar. It’ll be available in configurations with 8BG RAM and 256GB of storage or 12GB RAM and 512GB of storage.

There’s also a 6.7-inch OLED display with a matte finish that looks attractive. On the outside of the phone is a 2.7-inch Quick View display that lets you see notifications and other information without opening the main display. Motorola also added a cool Flex View feature that enables you to fold the phone so it stands independently. This could be handy for taking photos or videos of yourself since the phone won’t fall over while you’re not directly interacting with it.

The Motorola Razr standing on its own

As for the camera, the new Moto Razr includes a 50MP instant focus camera with optical image stabilization (OIS).

Motorola didn’t announce a price for the Chinese version of the phone, though it did say that it would launch in China today, Aug. 11. Releases outside of China weren’t even mentioned, so we’ll have to see what the future holds in terms of getting our hands on the slick-looking device.



Meta’s Portal Smart Displays Can Now Serve as Second Screens for PCs

Meta is taking advantage of the burgeoning work-from-home culture to introduce two new features that turn its Portal smart displays into second screens for PCs and enhance the video-calling experience on Macs.

Duet Display for Portal+ and Portal Go

Most video-conferencing devices sit unused until it’s time for a weekly family catch-up or team meeting. But instead of gathering dust on the kitchen counter during off hours, the Portal+ and Portal Go can now do double duty as second displays.

Portal devices now support Duet Display, a third-party app that turns Android and Apple phones and tablets (and now Portals) into a second screen for a Mac or PC. Download it on your Portal from the app store and on the Mac or PC via It’s available for free in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the UK, and the US for Portal+ (Gen 2), and in Canada, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US for Portal Go .

“You can work on multiple apps, juggle complex tasks, and get things done faster—so you don’t need to take up desk space with a separate monitor,” according to Meta, which assumes your WFH setup already includes a Portal device in the vicinity.

Meta Portal Companion App on Mac

Meta Portal Companion App on Mac

Mac users with a touch-based Portal (Go, Plus, 10-inch, or the now-defunct Mini) can tap into the Companion app to share their computer screen while on a call. Available for free in the UK and US, the feature provides quick access to controls for raising your hand, muting yourself, and adjusting the volume. It also lets folks send meeting, video, or website links to view on a connected Portal.

“In today’s hybrid work environment, having a comfortable and convenient working space is more important than ever,” Meta says. “Meta Portal is now an even more useful productivity tool for your home office.”

Even before the pandemic popularized video calling, Meta (then still Facebook) was hawking smart displays to connect people virtually. The first Portals began shipping in late 2018, with more desktop and TV-friendly devices rolling out through 2021.

This summer, however, there were reports that Meta will end consumer sales of the Portal—selling them until it runs out of inventory—and instead focus on marketing it as an enterprise device. The existing lineup includes four models (all currently on sale): 10-inch Portal ($49), 14-inch Portal+ ($299), HDTV-compatible Portal TV ($49), and battery-powered Portal Go ($149).



How to Watch Samsung’s Z Flip, Fold 4 Unpacked Event

Samsung is holding a big fall event today, where we expect to see two folding phones—the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4—along with two Galaxy Watch 5 watches and new Galaxy Buds earbuds.

Super-leaker Evan Blass recently published a massive gallery of all the new devices on the Indian website he works with, 91Mobiles. He shows every device in an array of different colors. I encourage you to go to Evan’s story to see the full array.

The event will be virtual, held at 9 am ET on Aug. 10, and you can watch it on Samsung’s website or on YouTube (embedded below).

If you aren’t on ET, here are some other time zones for the Unpacked event:

  • 6 a.m. PT
  • 2pm BST
  • 3 p.m. CET
  • 7 p.m. in Mumbai
  • 9 p.m. in Taipei
  • 10 pm in Seoul
  • 11 p.m. in Sydney

Folks in New York City get a special surprise: A massive, mysterious Samsung pop-up space has appeared on 10th Avenue near the High Line in Manhattan (photo above), and the hours on the currently closed door say it will be open from Aug .11-31.

When Will These Products Be Available?

You can currently “reserve” the new Samsung products to get a special coupon, with no commitment necessary. They are anticipated to go on pre-sale shortly after the event ends, with a sale date of Aug. 26.

They will be available at all the major US carriers as well as Samsung, Best Buy, and Amazon. Samsung will almost certainly have aggressive trade-in deals for your old phones and watches.

pop up space

The new pop-up space takes up most of a block along Tenth Avenue.

How Much Will They Cost?

One of the big questions around the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 is how much they will cost in the US.

Samsung’s mobile head TM Roh says he’s aiming to make foldables “mainstream” this year, which may signal more affordable prices. The Galaxy Z Flip3 cost $999.99 and comprised 70% of last year’s Samsung foldable sales; the Galaxy Z Fold3, at $1799.99, was the other 30%.

A recent leak of a Dutch Amazon page for the Z Fold 4 claims that the phone will cost $10,374. I can say with 100% confidence that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will not cost more than $5,000.

Samsung Galaxy ZFlip 4

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 looks a lot like the Z Flip3, according to renders and leaks. The biggest immediate change is what looks like a less protruding hinge, which will make the whole device feel slightly smaller in your pocket.

A writer for 91Mobiles claims to have specifications for the phone. The most important is a bigger battery: 3,700mAh versus 3,300mAh in the Z Flip3. I cited the Z Flip3’s battery life as its biggest minus in my review. He also says the front screen is a touch bigger, going from 1.9 to 2.1 inches.

Samsung Galaxy ZFold 4

Reliable leaker Ice Universe showed a Fold 4 (right) next to a Fold3 (left) and calls it “a further optimized version of Fold3.” You can see in his comparison that the Fold 4 is slightly shorter and wider, giving the front display a more natural aspect ratio; the bezel also appears to be slimmer.

Ice also tweeted some other specs earlier this year, including a new camera system with 50MP, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP 3x zoom cameras. Maybe I just like Ice right now because it’s 90 degrees in my home office.

One Twitter leaker who I don’t know, has been endorsed by Ice Universe, a leaker I trust. He gives good news about some performance improvements with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, but points out that charging is still limited to 25 watts.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5

A French website, Dealabs, appears to give many of the details on the new watches, which go on sale on Aug. 26. The main Watch5, which replaces the basic Watch 4 model, will come in 40mm and 44mm sizes in Bluetooth and 4G models. The Galaxy Watch5 Pro, a more rugged device, will come in only a 45mm size.

The watches run Google’s Wear OS on Samsung Exynos W920 processors, according to the site, and are IP68 rated for waterproofing.


The new pop-up space will be open for two weeks after the product launch.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

German website WinFuture claims to have full information on Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds. According to the site, the buds will have eight hours of battery life per charge, with a total of 29 hours in their charging case.

The Buds will have 10mm main drivers and a 5.3mm high-frequency tweeter. They’ll offer a 33dB reduction in ambient sound with their active noise cancellation. They’ll be expensive, though: at $233 in Europe, they’re competing with Apple’s AirPods Pro.

We hope to have hands on with these new devices right after the launch event.



Intel’s Arc GPUs Will Also Get a Workstation-Focused Pro Series

Intel’s Arc GPUs won’t just be for PC gamers. The company is expanding the graphics line to also target professional users, such as 3D artists and architects.

The company is doing so through a new “Arc Pro A-series” range of GPUs, which Intel announced on Monday. They’re slated to arrive for both desktop and laptop workstations, which will put them head-to-head with rival GPUs from Nvidia and AMD.

To target laptops, Intel is preparing the Arc Pro A30M GPU. For desktops, the company is planning the A40, a single-slot graphics card, and the A50, a dual-slot card. Both will be meant for “small-form factor” PCs, suggesting they’ll operate as lower-end GPUs.

Intel’s announcement was mum on details, including specs, pricing, and an exact launch date. But the Pro series will feature “built-in ray tracing hardware, machine learning capabilities, and industry-first AV1 hardware encoding acceleration,” the company said.

Intel added that the first Arc Pro A-series GPUs will arrive sometime later this year through “leading mobile and desktop ecosystem partners.” So it sounds like the desktop Arc Pro graphics cards will only be available inside pre-built workstation PCs.

The current challenge facing Intel’s Arc series has been limited product availability. The company has been slow to launch the gaming-focused Arc GPUs outside Asia amid rumors of sagging support from third-party vendors. The other issue has been optimizing the Arc GPUs to play well with older PC games.

That said, Intel insists that the first Arc desktop GPUs will launch globally before the end of Q3. In the meantime, the company plans on demoing the first Arc Pro A-series GPUs later today during SIGGRAPH, the annual computers graphics conference, in Vancouver, Canada.

The company also noted that Intel Arc Pro GPUs are “targeting certifications with leading professional software applications within the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), and design and manufacturing (D&M) industries.”



Google Sues Sonos (Again) for Infringing on Speaker-Related Patents

Google is suing Sonos for allegedly infringing on patents covering smart speaker and voice-control technology.

The firms have been locked in a two-year legal dispute over wireless speaker patents, which started when a partnership between the two firms sourced and Sonos accused Google of stealing its IP to build Google-branded devices with Sonos tech.

This week’s suits, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, claim theft of seven more features—including hotword detection, wireless charging, and how a group of speakers determines which should respond to voice input, The Verge reports.

According to a Google spokesperson, the latest litigation aims to “defend our technology and challenge Sonos’ clear, continued infringement of our patents.” Sonos “started an aggressive and misleading campaign against our products, at the expense of our shared customers,” José Castañeda told The Verge. The tech giant plans to file similar lawsuits with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in hopes of banning imports of certain Sonos items.

The litigious spat began in 2020, when Sonos sued Google over multi-room speaker technology. Google quickly countered, claiming the consumer electronics maker also plagiarized some of its own patents. Sonos reciprocated with even more legal proceedings.

In January 2022, the ITC ruled in favor of Sonos, placing an import ban on Google Home/Nest speakers, Chromecast devices, and Pixel handsets. Google altered its products, changing their setup and Speaker Group functionality.

Even with modifications, Google’s merchandise “will still infringe many dozens of Sonos patents, its wrongdoing will persist, and the damages owed Sonos will continue to accrue,” Sonos said early this year. “Alternatively, Google can—as other companies have already done—pay a fair royalty for the technologies it has misappropriated.”