Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, a Chinese cracking forum founder admits anti-piracy measures are getting tough to beat after failing to pirate Just Cause 3, Sony attempts but fails to register 'Let's Play' as a trademark, and another parent suffers when a child spends excessive amounts on in-game microtransactions.
The year 2015 was not good for most of the PC industry, but new figures from Gartner and IDC suggest that one company -- Apple -- was able to buck an overall industry dip that saw worldwide computer shipment drop below 300 million for the first time since 2008. While it is the fourth consecutive year of dropping PC shipments, the two leading industry analyst firms disagree on the extent of the issue, with Gartner claiming an 8.3 percent decline while IDC says the drop is 10.6 percent, the largest in the technology sector's history.
With a large portion of the US dealing with nasty weather today and tonight, stay home! Take advantage of your Amazon Prime subscription, or just your itch for new stuff with MacNN's Daily Deals column. Today, like every day, the MacNN crew scours the online tech deals to see what we can find so you, our faithful reader, can save a bit of money. Today's highlights include a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD for $290, a Brother color laser all-in-one wireless printer for $260, and a UE Boom speaker for $100.
App development has taken off in the last few years, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of all the latest versions. To help all of you out, we here at MacNN are dedicated to sorting through new update releases, and highlighting some of the important ones, as well as showcasing apps that we find to be interesting. Today, we showcase MacUpdate's current deal on PageMeUp, and also detail recent updates to iOS file manager iMazing, e-book manager Calibre, Internet security tool TunnelBear, phone backup utility PhoneCopy, file manage Together, and OCR software Prizmo.
VLC, the media playback app that is popular on mobile devices and desktops alike, has arrived on the Apple TV, VideoLAN has confirmed. The tvOS app, which can be used to play a large number of different video and audio formats effortlessly, with VLC for Apple TV now providing the option of searching for playable files located on the local network, playing them directly from the source without converting the files to make them viewable.
If you've ever sworn that you never want to go through filling out tax forms ever again, you should probably have spent that time swearing a little bit at QuickBooks as you try to work out which version is right for you. If you're self-employed then there's a good chance that the answer is QuickBooks Online 4.3.4 for iOS and QuickBooks 2.3.1 for OS X.
Twitter is bringing streams from Periscope directly into the feeds of its users within the main Twitter app, starting with the iOS version. Previously needing users to enter the dedicated Periscope app in order to view, the update will allow Twitter users to view live streams from within the Twitter app itself without switching apps, much like Vine videos, making it easier for anyone to watch any live broadcasts from the Twitter-owned streaming service.
Over the course of the holiday season, we have been telling you about a giveaway over on MacNN Deals to win a one-year subscription to Apple Music, as well as the Beats Solo2 Over-Ear Headphones and Beats Pill+ Bluetooth Speaker to listen to the music through. This is a warning that you haven't got much time left to enter as the competition ends tomorrow night, so you'd better act quick if you want a chance at winning the prize bundle.
Welcome to the first MacNN Podcast of 2016! We hope we didn't break our New Year resolutions already by getting this out a day late, but you know Bowie died, right? Though it happened after our recording sessions, you have to take time to grieve, you know? The man was a living legend. Anyway, we're back and talking about the CES show in Las Vegas, where all the things you will and won't be buying people for Christmas next year debut. This year there were some themes: we assess them, and throw in some other news as well!
A supposed jailbreak for iOS 9.3 has been shown, a few hours after Apple released its first beta of the operating system. Developer Luca Tedesco has posted a video on YouTube that claims to show a jailbreak for iOS 9.3 working on an iPhone 6, allowing the user to access Cydia and other items typically possible after jailbreaking, with the suggestion that the jailbreaking community may come up with a publicly-usable jailbreak when iOS 9.3 is formally released for all users.
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's collection is a group of accessories to help improve the way you play games on mobile devices, including a joystick that attaches to the screen of tablets and a trio of Bluetooth-equipped controllers.
Apple could be planning a new flagship store in Paris, France, with a report claiming apple has secured a lease for a building in the French capital. A seven-story building at 114 Avenue des Champs-Elysees is claimed to be a potential venue for an Apple Store, with a twelve-year lease for the building allegedly already signed by Apple late last year, though initial reports suggest the venue's size could indicate it as being used for more than just retail.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE