Apple aims to solve problems locating 911 calls for help

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A dispatcher works at a desk station with a variety of screens used by those who take 911 emergency calls in Roswell, Georgia (Lisa Marie Pane/AP)
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A supervisor shows one of the maps used by dispatchers at a 911 call center in Roswell, Georgia. (Lisa Marie Pane/AP)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Apple aims to solve problems locating 911 calls for help

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple is trying to drag the US’s antiquated system for handling 911 calls into the 21st century.
If it lives up to Apple’s promise, the next iPhone operating system coming out in September will automatically deliver quicker and more reliable information pinpointing the location of 911 calls to about 6,300 emergency response centers in the US
Apple is trying to solve a problem caused by the technological mismatch between a system built for landlines 50 years ago and today’s increasingly sophisticated smartphones that make most emergency calls in the US
The analog system often struggles to decipher the precise location of calls coming from digital devices, resulting in emergency responders sometimes being sent a mile or more from people pleading for help.


Google to charge Android partners up to $40 per device for apps

Updated 20 October 2018
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Google to charge Android partners up to $40 per device for apps

  • The new system should give Google’s rivals such as Microsoft Corp. more room to partner with hardware makers
  • The fee can be as low as $2.50 and rises depending on the country and device size

BRUSSELS/SAN FRANCISCO: Alphabet Inc’s Google will charge hardware firms up to $40 per device to use its apps under a new licensing system to replace one that the European Union this year deemed anti-competitive, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The new fee goes into effect on Oct. 29 for any new smartphone or tablet models launched in the European Economic Area and running Google’s Android operating system, the company announced on Tuesday.
The fee can be as low as $2.50 and rises depending on the country and device size, the person said. It is standard across manufacturers, with the majority likely to pay around $20, the person added.
Companies can offset the charge, which applies to a suite of apps including the Google Play app store, Gmail and Google Maps, by placing Google’s search and Chrome Internet browser in a prominent position. Under that arrangement, Google would give the device maker a portion of ad revenue it generates through search and Chrome.
Tech news outlet the Verge reported the pricing earlier on Friday, citing confidential documents.
The European Commission in July found Google abused its market dominance in mobile software to essentially force Android partners to pre-install search and Chrome on their gadgets. It levied a record $5-billion fine, which Google has appealed, and threatened additional penalties unless the company ended its illegal practices.
The new system should give Google’s rivals such as Microsoft Corp. more room to partner with hardware makers to become the default apps for search and browsing, analysts said.
Qwant, a small French search company that has been critical of Google, said in a statement on Friday that it was “satisfied that the European Commission’s action pushed Google to finally give manufacturers the possibility to offer such choices to consumers.”