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, gaming luminary Peter Molyneux becomes the victim of a retirement hoax following a Twitter account hack, the CEO of Bungie is replaced just one week after a report claimed there were internal issues at the Destiny developer, GOG takes on Steam by offering early access sales for games still in development, and Sony's attempts to register "Let's Play" as a trademark has been blocked yet again.
Every so often, people browse the Internet and the Mac App Store to try and find useful things to add to their app arsenal, but sometimes it's hard to find discounted apps that you really want to get. For App Deals for OS X, the MacNN staff has compiled a list of apps for your Mac that are either a great bargain, or even free for a short while. Today's list of Mac apps includes a sale on Company of Heroes 2, Image EXIF editor, and image clarity tool Super Denoising.
The App Store is a constantly-changing place, with new apps joining the catalog, while others adjust their prices to encourage some new sales. App Deals for iOS aims to point you in the direction of apps for your iPhone or iPad that have been reduced in price, making them an essential purchase, or in some cases, even free. Highlights from today's list include Weather Now and Guitar Suite going free, and a sale on Ticket to Ride.
Apple has apparently taken advantage of its sizable cash pile and a fortuitous opportunity to acquire an 86-acre site in northern San Jose for future development purposes, though it does not presently have firm plans for the location. In a deal with the city, Apple has up to 15 years to figure out what to do with the 4.15 million square feet of space. A likely option is that Apple will eventually build a third campus and office complex to house its growing workforce, which is currently spread out among many leased or rented spaces in the region.
Over the last few weeks we've been documenting the evolution of the rumors involving Apple's plans for spring and the period leading up to the Worldwide Developers Conference, not because they are silly -- though a few have given us a good office chuckle -- but because people tend to remember only the bits of guessing or insider info that people got right, rather than how much was flat-out wrong. This week, the focus of Rumortown is about the alleged iPad Air 3 coming in March ... or April ... and the iPhone 5se? That's so last week.
Microsoft has announced its quarterly results for the company's second quarter of its fiscal year. The company posted revenue of $23.8 billion, with operating income of $6.0 billion. Microsoft reported net income coming in at $5.0 billion, a significant drop from $5.86 billion in the year-ago quarter. Regardless of the drop, the company posted $0.78 earnings per share, topping analysts' expectation of $0.70 per share.
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 bring you a limited offer on iOS mirroring software X-Mirage, and also cover recent updates to blog editor MarsEdit, collage builder Posterino, audio organizer Tagr, eBook creator Vellum, text cleaner TextSoap, and research tool Papers.
It's late on Thursday, which means it's close to Friday, and only one working shift until the weekend for most people. If you want a new toy to play around with over the weekend, have a look through Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN scour the Internet for bargains on hardware and software. Today's new additions include a Sony Action Camera for $248, a third-generation Apple TV for $49, and the start of OWC's Garage Sale.
T-Mobile has added more services to its Binge On feature of its price plans, increasing the number of supported apps and services to more than 40. The carrier's service, which allows users of video streaming services to view content without it affecting their data allowance, has added support for Amazon Video, Fox News, Univision NOW, and WWE Network, with T-Mobile also making it easier for its customers to turn off the service completely.
Apple has issued notice for a voluntary recall of some AC adapters used outside the United States, for safety concerns. AC wall plug adapters designed for use in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, continental Europe, New Zealand, and South Korea are said by the company to, in "very rare cases," break and "create a risk of electrical shock if touched," with Apple offering a newer, redesigned wall plug in exchange for faulty versions.
There is one thing we haven't mentioned in this entire project: we're here to make a Job Book database that records our commissions, but it is only useful if we can actually use it. All the planning we did, and then all of yesterday's detail work about fields and records -- what we want to note about the work we do -- is for nothing if we don't use the database. Full disclosure: sometimes we haven't. So, in this chapter, we're making the database not just usable, but pleasant to use, reducing the excuses to not use it.
In part because of the pressure exerted by browser developers, Java curator Oracle has announced that it is going to deprecate the Java browser plug-in. The initiative will start with the forthcoming JDK 9, with removal from the Oracle JDK and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) in future releases.
Ready to have your reflexes tested? What about your memory? What about both at the same time? That's exactly what will happen when you check out Rolling Sky, the newest game we've been addicted to.
Samsung Electronics announced financial results for the fourth quarter that ended December 31, 2015. Samsung posted 53.32 trillion won ($44.4 billion) in consolidated revenue, seeing profits from the quarter fall to 6.14 trillion won ($5.1 billion) from the previous quarter's 7.39 trillion won ($6.2 billion). The company pins global economic headwinds, a sharp fall in oil prices, and "softer demand" for PCs for the fourth quarter's lowered earnings from the previous quarter.
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's quartet of offers are all accessories for your smartphones and tablets that can be used to stand them up, making them easier to see at your desk, in your car, or while out and about.
Software is deeply personal and we form a connection with the tools that come to matter the most to us –– even if it's a $1 app. Every developer we're speaking to for this MacNN series has been chosen because we rate their products and because their software hasn't just got users, it has fans. It has evangelists. We're interested in how that bond forms, how developers create apps that matter, and how they then survive in a harsh market. Plus, each developer has been around for long enough that they've seen the changes in the software market, so they can give us their perspective on this rollercoaster business. This week, Keith Blount from Scrivener talked with us about the past, present, and future of app development, including some new details about Scrivener for iOS.
The Apple Store has ended its year with the highest employee retention rate the company has ever seen, advises retail head Angela Ahrendts. In an interview, Ahrendts reveals the store achieved a retention rate of 81 percent, with a strong company culture and a connection between employees and the company said to underpin the success of the retail business, with Ahrendts also claiming to look at store staff as if they were "executives."
Is Tim Cook happy? If you listen to analysts and financial experts then no, as Apple is doomed, but in One More Thing's simple, homespun way, we think he might be. There is the small matter of Apple making some excellent products that we all love: it's got to be nice being the ones to make them. Then there's also the tiny matter of the extraordinary amount of profit and the sheer number of iPhones that have been sold since you started reading this.
You probably already know this, but we love perspective puzzle games. We'd recently talked about Monument Valley, but today we're here to talk about a stripped-down, simple game called Hocus that is designed to give your brain a workout in a relaxing setting.
As a technologically-minded person, you may be aware of a new film in a little-known movie franchise called Star Wars currently playing in theaters. If you're new to the saga or simply want to relive the entire series from the very beginning, why not enter the latest MacNN Deals giveaway of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, as well as your very own BB-8 droid.
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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