Samsung outranks Apple where it really hurts… in the patent department

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In an effort to prevent rivals from stealing its ideas, Apple patents everything it invents — from the iPhone and the iPad, to app icons and even “magic” tactile gloves. But compared to its biggest competitors, Apple’s patent portfolio from 2015 looks surprisingly bare.

Microsoft, Sony, Google, and LG have all outrank Apple in the patent department this year, while arch rival Samsung has absolutely crushed it.

ICYMI: Why Jony Ive’s big promotion is great for Apple

Get the scoop on Ive's new promotion and much more!
Get the scoop on Ive's new promotion and much more!
Photo: Stephen Smith

Why is Jony Ive’s big promotion so great for Apple? Find out what Leander thinks in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine. In addition, meet the men filling the design guru’s shoes, see how Apple Watch apps will get a speed boost, learn how to beat the Unicode of Death and a ton more iPhone and Apple Watch tips, and see just how Google is challenging Apple on its own turf.

All this, and much more, in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine.

Meet Ingress, your new augmented reality obsession

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Hack alien portals in your own neighborhood.
Hack alien portals in your own neighborhood.
Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I went outside for the first time today. Working at home is an easy way to get a bad case of couchlock, so I like to try and get out for little 15 minute breaks when I can.

Today was a bit different. I downloaded and installed a game some buddies of mine are raving about on Facebook: Ingress.

I launched the app, followed the instructions, and was hooked. What started as a 15 minute walk to try out a new mobile game became a 45-minute obsession as I roamed my neighborhood, looking for portals to hack, collecting XMP particles to power my technological takeover, and finding a little feature of my ‘hood I’d never known about before.

Want to get obsessed about a new game? Want to maybe get in a little better shape? Be sure to download Ingress and see what everyone’s talking about.

Apple is once again named the world’s most valuable brand

Yep, Apple's pretty darn valuable.
Yep, Apple's pretty darn valuable.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The phenomenal success of the iPhone 6 has catapulted Apple back to the spot of “world’s most valuable brand” in the 2015 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list, after it temporarily lost the title to Google last year.

According to organizers Millward Brown, Apple increased its brand value by a whopping 67 percent to $247 billion in the last year, compared to 2014’s winner Google, which achieved “only” a 9 percent value increase during that same time.