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What the Apple-Samsung verdict means for your apps

Molly Wood Aug 28, 2012

What the Apple-Samsung verdict means for your apps

Molly Wood Aug 28, 2012

There’s a flood of new smartphones and tablets coming on the market. Microsoft, Amazon, Nokia, Samsung, Apple are all reportedly gearing up for fall releases. Part of deciding which one to buy is about who has the better apps. 

Turns out Apple’s patent win over Samsung could affect the answer to that question.

Ron Adner is a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the author of “The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation.” “It’s not clear that it’s going to affect the apps you’re currently using, but it is going to affect the way in which developers are going to be thinking about future apps.”

Adner says Android app developers aren’t cheering the ruling.

Adner: The best case scenario is that this is going to sew fear and delays and uncertainty and the worst case scenario is that this is actually preclude people from developing things they want to develop.

Hill: What are the questions developers are asking right now?

Adner: I think the question is: What’s actually impacted? What does this mean not just for our ability to deploy apps on Android, but for the attractiveness of the Android platform? If the design elements that Samsung and presumably every other Android developer are being precluded from using, if they’re really a material part of using these phones and they can no longer do that, then just the Android platform becomes less attractive. You might see developers devoting relatively less time to the Android platform because of this uncertainty than they otherwise would.

Which might make phones that run on Apple’s or Microsoft’s operating systems more appealing.


The file sharing service Dropbox is doing the two-step:

MICHAEL THOMAS: Quick, quick, slow, slow. Quick, quick, slow, slow.

Nope. Not that one.

The company has added the option of two-step authentication to its accounts.

Chester Wizsienwski is a security expert from Sophos. He says, “The idea is you have to put these two things together in order to validate your identity, so you want to go log into Dropbox, you go, you type in your username, “Chet”, your password, hopefully not password, but you type your password and it goes and sends you a text on your cell phone. And then you have to enter in whatever it texted you on your cell phone as an additional kind of password that’s a one-time use thing. So every time you log in, it will send you a different secret message to your cell phone that you have to enter in addition to your regular password.”

Dropbox isn’t the only service offering the extra layers of security — you might also be doing this with your bank, you could do it to your Google accounts.

Wizniewski says it is safer. It could deter your everyday, run of the mill hackers. But he says, the technology isn’t perfect.

Wizniewski: So if you lose the second factor, in this case your cell phone or the token perhaps, these companies usually fall back to the old method of recovering your account, the questions about your mother’s maiden name, where you grew up and where you went to school and all this kind of stuff, so unfortunately, that’s still a reasonable hole. I haven’t looked into what Dropbox specifically is doing, but if it’s easy to remove this thing from your account, then it does sort of defeat the purpose.

Hill: Is this where we’re headed in the near term with digital security?

Wizniewski: Yeah I think it is. I think we realize that passwords are kind of a 20th century concept and are not serving us very well. But, much more complicated authentication schemes where you have government issued IDs or smart cards and all these other technologies are a little to complicated for most people, so something like this where you simply need a cell phone and it adds another layer of security, I think a lot more organizations are going to start using technology like this.

Sounds like it’s a dance we could all get comfortable doing. Password, password, phone, phone. Password, password, phone, phone.

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