Nokia Possibly Holding Back Android Development by Owning Patent for Multiple Users on Phones.

| October 30, 2012 | 57 Replies

Yesterday among the hubhub of the Windows Phone event, Google held an event of their own, in which besides announcing the latest Nexus device (the Nexus 4 at a crazy unlocked price of $300) also announced JellyBean 4.2 for Android. Which carries among a set of new features the ability to have multiple user accounts on tablets; allowing each “user” to have his own account (like on PC’s) each account would have their own set of individually installed apps and settings.

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The catch is that this feature is only available for tablets (which admittedly is where it’s more useful); Cnet have speculated that the reason phones have been left out is due to a patent held by Nokia under the name “multi-user mobile telephone”.

yet there has been no official word if the feature has been left out due to patent disputes or simply because it wouldn’t be as useful on phones.

Source Thanks for the tip @dkm1101

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Category: Android, Concept, Nokia

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • Rat Kutti

    awesome, nokia’s most valuable possession is patents i’d say.

  • PLeX™

    I think it would be better phrased to say the Google is holding back Android, not Nokia. Google can probably just license the technology. Google is holding back the feature if they don’t want to license the patent.

    • DesR85

      I agree. Probably shows how either Tech Crunch or CNet or both are biased towards Android when they point fingers at Nokia instead of Google themselves.

      No surprise why I avoided a lot of the local mobile phone blogs in Malaysia and the international ones as well.

  • gokul

    literally idea is not allowed to patent so you can not not patent this kind of things .you can have proprietary code to handle the idea but others can implement the same with different code

    • Bloob

      That’s how it should be, but unfortunately isn’t, especially in the US.

      • Adsc

        True, unfortunately. Whatsmore Obama has signed act which says that when “something” is well known and in use by A even for a long, but B would patent it in US patent office the B will have patent ownership. Example: if John X would go and patent the aspirin in USPO then US would “defend his rights” even when Bayer produce aspirin from decades. This will not work as Bayer has patent and cash to defend, but small inventor can be so easy robbered by making application. Nice?

        • Rinslowe

          If you have A for so long, and it would assumed due diligence to explore patenting A. And then there is no opportunity for B to capitalise in first place.

          Kinda like ensuring your door is locked before leaving the house…

      • gokul

        even in US also idea is not allowed to patent for example if you had one screen key board in widows Linux also had on screen key board.
        you can not get patent for touch screen

  • gigan

    Maybe they should play nice w/ Android in the event that Win8 does not pan out … kinda late to dust off Symbian or Meego.

  • Pawlee

    Starting to get pretty sick hearing about patents all the time *yawn*

  • nn

    Well, patent trolling is Nokia’s new business, so it wouldn’t suprise me.

    It is quite interesting matter, because some people still think that recovery is possible, only if the WP madness is stopped and Nokia starts work on Android phones. But the questions about how the patent deal with MS and the other trolls are structured plus the open attempts at intimidation of Google my be yet another reason why Android plan B is impossible even if Elop and the board are fired. (Of course, they don’t have time nor the money to for another two years of switching anyway.)

    • nabkawe

      Wp isn’t madness android is.don’t assume people prefer hype over sample

      • nn

        I’m not assuming anything, it’s straight out of the history and numbers department.

      • swain

        No, Android isn’t. Google is delivering and delivering fast.
        At Google, today’s ideas are tomorrows user friendly applications.

        • twig

          Google is beings investigated by the eu and us for customer and web data manipulation. Google leads the way in malware and recently received an FBI warning with using their android system. So much for customer friendly.

          • DesR85

            “Google is beings investigated by the eu and us for customer and web data manipulation.”

            It’s funny that the EU haven’t taken any action against Google yet considering the above and privacy issues. After all, they did fine Microsoft for ‘not giving the user an option to choose other internet browsers aside from IE’ (I still regard this as dumb up till today).

            • Tom

              May be you don’t understand monopoly and antitrust law. brush up your knowledge.

              • DesR85

                Then explain why the above case happen instead of asking me to brush up on my knowledge if you know about monopoly and anti-trust laws.

                Regardless if I know it or not, I still find it dumb forcing Microsoft to remove IE from Windows and include an option to choose browsers when the user can download them by themselves without any problems.

    • GordonH

      “And it’s true. No other platforms let you build your own app store or music store or book store; Android eschews ecosystem lock-in in favor of something else. Users can download MP3s and applications from Amazon, or books from Barnes & Noble. Google has a totally different model, which Rubin embraces wholeheartedly. He was vocal about it in a way I’d never heard, actually.”
      The Verge
      I point is someone lied to the media about Google not allowing Nokia to differentiate on the Android platform.

  • swain

    I would say it’s unfortunate if Nokia’s patent is the reason why google left phones while implementing the multiple user functionality.
    It will be a commendable job if Nokia itself invalidate all these patents and invite google to implement them.
    As we all know Nokia is now just another OEM of WP. So it doesn’t make any sense to hold these patents.

    • twig

      The better solution is for Nokia to use them, not your Google.

      • swain

        I wish Nokia can use them. But the question is: HOW ???
        The idea of multiple user telephone was invented by a symbian employee in 2005 or before that. Nokia had time and resource(Meego/Symbian/Maemo) but they preferred not to implement it.
        Now, Nokia doesn’t have a smartphone OS of it’s own to implement such a functionality. Any chance of implementation was possible with Symbian/Meego but they are dead already.
        Google is a great organization. They are dynamic, fast and responsive.
        At Google, ideas are really transformed into real life applications. They just don’t stay in patent applications or papers.
        Do you understand the term “Survival of the fittest” coined by Herbert Spencer.

        • viktor von d.

          i think they did use it with wp-kid’s corner, but it can be named anyway you like from what i seen so it’s not only for kids.but yeah, i even think google added this feature to jellybean after the wp leaks that showed kids corner. they are adapting very fast

        • ivo

          Ever used a Nokia E71? It has the personal & work profiles. Same idea.

    • Dave

      Dude take Google’s dick out of your ass, WTF every article you are here talking Android. News flash, Nexii phones have never been big sellers, and newsflash, Android in tablet is soon wiped out by Windows.

      Google can just (assuming all of this is even true) LICENSE THE FREAKING PATENT instead of stealing everything. Everything they do is based on other people’s content and ideas. Fsck Google.

      Google are huge patent assholes as well (look up their shenanigans with H264 motorola FRAND patents)

      • Tom

        News flash.. Everyone who is making WP phones losing lots of money, in Nokia’s case, they are bleeding billions of dollar.

        • KeiZka

          Troll harder, that was a poor try.

          • GordonH

            Nokia losing so much to push the competition’s ecosystem and KeiZka thinks a witty answer is the best arguement ;-)

      • swain

        Cool down mate. Using vulgar words won’t put anything to your credit.
        I am not saying that I am a Nokia fan or anything like that.
        The credit goes where it’s due. Nokia are slow and damn too slow.
        We have seen so many awesome concepts and ideas at Nokia.
        But, how many of them are implemented into real world applications ??
        See, inception of this concept happened way back in 2004 but not yet implemented in any of their OSes. This is just an example for sure.
        There was a time when it was perfectly acceptable but now it’s not.
        It’s up to people to stay as a blind fan and see this great organization die or turn into a critic and help them to make things straight.
        Sometimes I prefer to be a critic and hope someone from Nokia may see my comments. This way at least I can contribute a little to save this beautiful organization and use many more of their awesome products.

    • truetrue

      Go troll Android blogs. If you’re not a Nokia fan you shouldn’t be here.

      • swain

        you need to understand the true meaning of FAN.
        I am not saying that I am a Nokia fan or anything like that.
        The credit goes where it’s due. Nokia are slow and damn too slow.
        We have seen so many awesome concepts and ideas at Nokia.
        But, how many of them are implemented into real world applications ??
        See, inception of this concept happened way back in 2004 but not yet implemented in any of their OSes. This is just an example for sure.
        There was a time when it was perfectly acceptable but now it’s not.
        It’s up to people to stay as a blind fan and see this great organization die or turn into a critic and help them to make things straight.
        Sometimes I prefer to be a critic and hope someone from Nokia may see my comments. This way at least I can contribute a little to save this beautiful organization and use many more of their awesome products.

        • correct

          I think you need to understand the true philosophy and perspective of Nokia as a company. That other poster is correct. They will never go Android. If you like Android, then just get an Android. Stop wasting your time trying to sway opinion on making WP more like Android.

          • GordonH

            “I think you need to understand the true philosophy and perspective of Nokia”
            Meego was and should have been the Nokia way. Now Nokia is just an MS bitch. And anyone complaining about the a great EU company going down the drain should stop and be an MS bitch.

            • Bassman

              Yawn….

            • JD!

              +1

  • viktor von d.

    i don’t understand something. both microsoft and nokia said that nokia has the right to change more about the os to personalize it. then nokia said it won’t do that cause it doesn’t want to ruin the way the os feels and acts.

    – but why can’t they just add a notification center like they did in meego? just swype to the left and boom. they could even make it optional,each person can decide if they want to activate it or not,cause there some who only rely on the tile notifications,even if you can’t see the notifications from apps that aren’t on the homescreen

    -or why can’t they introduce the same layout of cards in the multitasking.i mean still accesible via the back arrow but now in different view, with a X to close each app or option to close all running apps

    -or modify the lockscreen so that in addition to the live apps, your notifications look different with strips that show you missed calls,messagesmemails and so on and you can skype the strip to the left and go directly in the application

    -or a pull down panel in the homescreen to have quick access to profiles,connectivity features.

    -a tile like the one htc has with clock (alarm clock,multiple timezones,countdown clock), weather that can be linked up tot he lockscreen

    even if microsoft can be blamed that they didn’t added more useful day to day features, what the hell is nokia doing with their right to customize the os. all these changes i propose are taken directly from meego,and they wouldn’t change the way the os operates, but make it better and more feature rich. people reject this vision when they see that past traditional nokia features aren’t found anymore. if htc was able to add their hub and audio personalization,what the hell is stopping nokia to continue bringing the same features id had for ages in the new os?.

    AND NO I DON’T BELIEVE THE NEW VERSION OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM IS LIMITED,just nokia ****ing up again

  • viktor von d.

    i don’t understand something. both microsoft and nokia said that nokia has the right to change more about the os to personalize it. then nokia said it won’t do that cause it doesn’t want to ruin the way the os feels and acts.

    – but why can’t they just add a notification center like they did in meego? just swype to the left and boom. they could even make it optional,each person can decide if they want to activate it or not,cause there some who only rely on the tile notifications,even if you can’t see the notifications from apps that aren’t on the homescreen

    -or why can’t they introduce the same layout of cards in the multitasking.i mean still accesible via the back arrow but now in different view, with a X to close each app or option to close all running apps

    -or modify the lockscreen so that in addition to the live apps, your notifications look different with strips that show you missed calls,messagesmemails and so on and you can skype the strip to the left and go directly in the application

    -or a pull down panel in the homescreen to have quick access to profiles,connectivity features.

    -a tile like the one htc has with clock (alarm clock,multiple timezones,countdown clock), weather that can be linked up tot he lockscreen

    even if microsoft can be blamed that they didn’t added more useful day to day features, what the hell is nokia doing with their right to customize the os. all these changes i propose are taken directly from meego,and they wouldn’t change the way the os operates, but make it better and more feature rich. people reject this vision when they see that past traditional nokia features aren’t found anymore. if htc was able to add their hub and audio personalization,what the hell is stopping nokia to continue bringing the same features id had for ages in the new os?.

    AND NO I DON’T BELIEVE THE NEW VERSION OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM IS LIMITED,just nokia frakiing up again

    • bharat

      what if they tried changing too much and it comes out like in n97? Swipe left or right or even look at it funny, it restarts!

    • GordonH

      Google allows own app. store while MS doesn’t.
      Google allows own skin while MS doesn’t.
      Google allows own music store while MS doesn’t.
      So what’s this Eflop blabbering on about being “extra close” to MS? Maps only? I certain there’s no stopping Nokia from putting their Maps on Android. As from what we are seeing in the the market today, Android allows for more “differentiation” then WP.

    • Toni

      In Nokia’s innovation competition a notification center and multi-tasking akin to MeeGo was suggested and I think that it did reasonable well. It is something that they are thinking of, for certain, but it might be that they haven’t had the time as of yet to make it as good as they would like to. Just think how many years they did work with MeeGo and how, e.g., laggy it still is at times and how it does not update, say, your facebook stream correctly.

      I don’t think it has anything to do with the operating system, true, but everything to do with “new” Nokia trying to actually make things work rather than stuck in dozens of features that are “almost” right when still causing major frustration to end-users.

  • http://www.mycellife.net Bradley

    Big question is; why hasn’t it been implemented as yet in their devices?

  • Bob1

    The patent is abandoned since 2009. Read the comments.

    arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/10/nokia-patent-may-be-keeping-multiple-accounts-off-of-android-4-2-phones/

  • indigo

    Google didn’t held an event. It was cancelled due to Sandy storm.

  • Stuart

    Isn’t this multiple users per phone currently implemented on some or their dual sim phones where it holds the sim as the user and remembers preferences for up to 5 different users. I know this is not smartphone material but when a family shares a phone and swaps sims it is useful and I think only Nokia does that. I would love multiple accounts for a phone so you could share a smartphone and not have to worry about sharing contacts or messages or perhaps if you have split personalities you can have a different profile for each personality.

    • zymesh

      the multi user thing is available on my x1-01. It remembers multiple simcards and shows contacts on phone memory for the sim card. I have not tried it yet though

  • zymo

    Multiple Users on a phone? doesn’t make sense. Tablets are another story.

    • Reonhato

      This. A phone is too personal to have multiple users.

      • swain

        true.

  • ms.nokia

    license it, more royalties for nokia,

    • swain

      As Bob1 mentioned above, the patent was already abandoned in 2009.
      But yeah, good idea.

  • Adsc

    Nokia used to be creator of innovative ideas and better tomorrow for users. Nokia as a patent troll would be pathetic.

    • truetrue

      Google as a company that steals everything is pathetic. Nokia continues to innovate, and they are simply aggressively protecting their innovations and ideas.

  • aalb

    Well…one looging-account for me, and the other one for thieve!

    • krishna6233

      :D

  • Grendell

    Maybe Nokia could pair this feature with NFC and use the phone to unlock an individuals settings on a pad. Fingers crossed though…

  • weirdfisher

    most ppl wont give a shit about this

  • http://symbian-freak.com christexaport

    In all actuality, an Android tablet is, in effect, a telephone. When connected to a Wifi connection, through its official Google Voice app and Groove Lite IP, a VOIP app, you can make free calls and text messages to all mobiles and domestic landlines. I use my Nexus 7 this way today.

    I think Nokia should challenge that a tablet is also a phone, and seek a license fee for their IP usage in tablets as well as phones. Google needs to be responsible and pay, or come up with an alternative. Using it on tablets is a cop out, because they know the line has been erased.

    A phone is a network connected communication device. If the network is a short/local network that allows access to a global network, I see no difference. Were I financially able, I could build a national wifi network, and use Skype as the backbone, or maybe Google Voice. Isn’t that now a phone??