Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look back at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, the Exploding Kittens card game launches as a multiplayer title on iOS, a Marvel playset for Disney Infinity 3.0 is dated, Introversion prepares Prison Architect for consoles, and a Five Nights at Freddy's RPG ships.
On Thursday, Adobe updated its Adobe Voice storytelling app to version 2.0, making it available for the iPhone for the first time. The app is designed to compete with other journal/storytelling apps like Medium, allowing users to combine voiceovers, text, photos, videos, and other images into a web-friendly "project" that can be kept private or shared on social media and the web. The new version includes syncing between Adobe Voice on the iPad, so projects begun there can be continued on the iPhone and vice-versa.
On Thursday, Apple updated its iOS App Store to offer a special sale on productivity apps, taking 50 percent off highly-rated programs such as to-do list Clear, package tracker Deliveries, and a utility that turns an iPad into a wired second monitor for a Mac called Duet Display. Corresponding Mac versions of the apps are on sale as well, such as task manager Things. The sale, which is expected to last for a week, is a repeat of an earlier promotion along similar lines called "Get Productive."
In new remarks the head of AT&T has said that encryption standards for personal data privacy should be left up to Congress rather than tech companies. CEO Randall Stephenson -- who's own company has been widely accused of assisting the NSA and other agencies mass-harvest telecommunications data on Americans not under any form of suspicion -- told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn't think "it is Silicon Valley's decision to make about whether encryption is the right thing to do."
There were intelligent assistants on iPhone before Siri, and there are now many of them on every phone, but Siri is the Hoover or Coca-Cola of them. It is the one you're talking about when you refer to speaking to your phone and getting sarky comments back. It's the one that has gone the further to making this Star Trek-like technology mainstream.
Foreshadowing a possible rise in iPad sales and shipments thanks in part to the new iPad Pro, a new report from analysts Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) has found that the iPad mini range -- consisting of the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 4, both of which are currently sold by Apple -- now account for nearly half (47 percent) of all iPad sales. The survey found that the latest iPad Pro already accounted for 12 percent of sales, while the iPad Air 2 remains the single best-selling model.
The weather outside is too cold to go shopping, so why not stay warm and do it from home instead? Daily Deals is the post where the MacNN crew search for great offers on gadgets, hardware, software, and accessories for you to buy. Today's highlights include a refurbished GoPro Hero3 White action camera for $159, the Beats by Dre Mixr DJ headphones for $95, and the Epson EX7230 Pro WXGA projector for $400.
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 a current offer on organization tool IconBox, as well as detail recent updates to Instagram uploader Up, file extractor File Juicer, slideshow builder FotoMagico, audio mixer Audacity, password manager LastPass, note utility Ghostnote, and idea software Microsoft OneNote.
Luxury camera manufacturer Leica has produced its first shooter that lends itself to photographing outdoors or for leisure activities. The X-U (Typ 113) is a device capable of surviving drops, dirt, dust, and submergence at a depth of 49 feet for up to 60 minutes at a time, with the protective sealed aluminum body with TPE armor housing a 16.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor paired with the Summilux 23mm F/1.7 ASPH lens.
U.S. Bank, the fifth largest American bank by deposits, on Thursday announced it had added support for Apple Pay to its FlexPerks American Express (Amex) credit cards. Users of the FlexPerks Reserve Amex card, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Amex card, and the FlexPerks Select+ card can immediately add their cards to the iOS Wallet program to gain Apple Pay functionality for online transactions, or retail store buying with an iPhone 6 or later, or an iPhone 5s paired with an Apple Watch.
Apple is going to open its first iOS App Development Center in Europe, in an attempt to teach more potential developers how to create apps for the mobile operating system. The initial facility will be created with an unnamed partner institution in Naples, Italy, complete with support teachers and a specialized curriculum to prepare "thousands of future developers to be part of Apple's thriving developer community.
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's selection are all audio accessories to help get the most out of your music, including a way to convert some wired headphones into Bluetooth versions, some Bluetooth speakers, and some in-ear headphones made from wood.
Frequent Apple assembly partner Foxconn has offered $5.3 billion to buy electronics company, and iPhone display manufacturer, Sharp. The offering reportedly not only exceeds all others from a purely monetary standpoint, it also includes the proviso that Foxconn assume all of Sharp's debt.
Verizon Communications today reported its fourth-quarter 2015 earnings, as well as its annual report. For the quarter, the company posted earnings of $1.32 per share, as compared to a $0.54 loss in the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full year, Verizon reported $4.37 in earnings per share in 2015, compared with $2.42 in 2014. Perhaps more importantly for the company, its wireless customer base continues to grow, with 1.5 million customers added in the last quarter alone
Apple is preparing to expand its research and development efforts yet again, by opening a new facility in Canada in the future, according to a report. It is claimed Apple has leased a large suite at the Kanata Research Park in Ottawa, the same place where Blackberry's automotive-based QNX Software Systems is operating, with several report sources suggesting the new location will be focused purely on research for Apple products.
Mac-centric upgrade company OWC yesterday announced the all-new Mercury Electra MAX 6G 2.0TB SSD, the highest capacity 2.5-inch solid state drive ever offered by OWC. The SATA 3.0 drive utilizes global wear algorithms, as well as seven percent over-provisioning to help drive longevity and reliability.
Star Trek is a massive franchise that just about everyone is familiar with, so we were excited when we heard that there was going to be a new Star Trek game that featured all of our favorite characters. We're talking about Star Trek Timelines, of course, the newest Star Trek game out there.
Forget editor Charles Martin, forget managing editor Mike Wuerthele, he's back: Malcolm Owen returns to One More Thing with a song in his heart – and a bugbear on his mind. It's to do with his enforced month-long absence and you'll hear about that in the Thingies of the Week which for once gets a bit political and a bit musical. It's complicated.
Every so often, MacNN finds a deal that is too good to go into our usual deal lists, and is deserving enough to be highlighted in its own Big Deals post. Since it usually doesn't hurt to add more security to your computing devices, today's featured item is the Max Total Security with Anti-Virus for Mac, which is currently 45 percent off in the MacNN Deals store.
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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