One of my favorite Android apps, City Caller ID, is no more today. The simple app displayed the city and state of the incoming phone number when you receive a call. Apparently the technology for displaying this information is patented by Cequint who has sued the developer of the free app. At first the developer was asking for help with donations and legal advice, but as of Saturday night, he has given up.
I can’t believe something like this can even be patented! From a programming perspective, it’s a fairly simple app. All of the area code data can be found on a site like http://www.bennetyee.org/ucsd-pages/area.html. When you get a call on your phone, a program can pull the first 3 digits and do a simple lookup for what state the phone number is issued in. It looks like no one will have the chance to download the app now, but I wonder what will happen to those lucky few like me who have already downloaded it?
I don’t think this will be the last Android city/state app for incoming calls as a Cequint employee introduced himself on an Android forum. Something must be up.