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, Blizzard announces when gamers will be able to play with expansions for two of its titles, the upgraded PlayStation 4 rumors resurface, and Telltale Games prepares to complete its The Walking Dead miniseries next week.
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.
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.
During today's congressional hearing before the House of Representatives' Energy & Commerce committee, one of the few bits of new information uncovered in the otherwise-helpful discussion between members of the committee and various members of both the law-enforcement community and a bank of various security experts (including Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell) was a flat denial from Apple that it had ever complied with requests for data from Chinese authorities.
Yahoo is continuing to find life difficult, reporting weak earnings in its first quarter results while being scrutinized for a possible acquisition by a number of parties. The former web giant's CEO Marissa Mayer claims the quarterly financials are "in line with our expectations," despite the company managing to endure a net loss of $99 million, a year-on-year swing of $122 million from the same quarter last year.
Following the earlier announcement that Apple, again working exclusively through American Express, had debuted Apple Pay in its sixth country with its arrival in Singapore on Tuesday, the website for Apple's US financial partners that offer credit or debit cards that work with the company's mobile wallet technology has added another 61 members, two weeks after it topped 1,153 US institutions. The update allows customers of the banks or credit unions listed below to begin adding their cards to the Wallet application on the iPhone 6 or later, as well as the Apple Watch and new iPhone SE.
Resource-management games aren't new by a long shot, but became popular when Cookie Clicker had burst onto the scene a few years ago. Today we checked out Oil Capitalist, a resource-management game, to see how it held up to some of our favorites.
A change in watchOS 2 has disabled a "secret" repair port that is located inside the band attachment slot in the Apple Watch, which has also killed off the business model of Reserve Strap, which offered a "battery pack" watch strap that could extend the battery life of the Watch by taking advantage of the port. The company has suspended shipments of the strap to customers who have upgraded, but is urging fans to encourage Apple to license such uses that take advantage of the port in a future MFi Apple Watch program.
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN search online retailers to find deals, bargains, offers, and discounts for our readers. Yesterday's list has been pruned of dead deals, with the new batch including 15 percent discounts on the Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap, an Asus RT-N66U dual-band wireless router for $98, and a HGST 4TB Deskstar NAS drive for $140.
Apple has agreed to settle a patent lawsuit concerning technology used in its virtual assistant, Siri. Marathon Patent Group and licensee Dynamic Advances sued Apple in October 2012 over Siri for allegedly infringing a patent for a "Natural language interface using constrained dictionary of results," with the two sides agreeing to terminate proceedings with a settlement payment from Apple worth $24.9 million.
If you don't know what an Apple product does, then the odds are that you don't need it -- and if you're curious, then you can certainly just ask in an Apple Store. Maybe you can debate whether you need a MacBook or an iPad Pro, but you know what they each are, and you can try them both out in a shop with someone from Apple genuinely helping instead of just trying to sell you something. Except for the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.
While lower-level swaps of employees between Tesla and Apple are not uncommon, it is rare that a senior executive from the popular electric automaker jumps ship to join Apple. In the wake of reports that the alleged former head of the mysterious Apple automobile project, Steve Zadesky, left Apple earlier this year, the iPhone maker may have recently lined up his replacement for what is sometimes referred to as "Project Titan:" former Tesla Vice President of Vehicle Engineering (and also form Aston Martin chief engineer) Chris Porritt, who appears to have joined Apple to work on "special projects."
By the time you read this, I will have given away my Apple Wireless Keyboard, and hopefully won't be regretting it. For some many months ago now, I swapped to the Magic Keyboard and I loved it, I love it still, I abandoned the old Wireless Keyboard, and forgot about it until this week. Earlier this week, though, I offered to give it to someone to solve a problem for them and they said yes, thank you. That meant I had to find it -- and when I found the keyboard, I also found that I really like it.
Alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all things you could make use of when going out at night, including a way to find where you parked your car, making sure you can still drive as the designated driver, keeping track of your valuables -- and in remote locations, bringing the party with you.
HP is targeting Mac power users by allowing them to tap into its high-end Z Workstations remotely using its new Remote Graphics Software for OS X. Previously only available for PC and Linux users, the new version 7.1 has been ported to the Mac platform. The host HP Z workstation uses a "sender" plugin that connects with Receiver for OS X on a Mac, allowing both machines to share screen and apps. The announcement has been timed to coincide with the launch of the new third-gen HP Z workstations, including a new AIO model, that can feature up to 44 CPU cores and Nvidia's latest high-end Quadro GPUs.
Apple was the recipient of over 32,000 requests for information about accounts and devices in the second half of last year, the company has revealed. The latest transparency report on Government Information Requests advises Apple received a total of 30,687 requests from law enforcement officials around the world relating to devices, while another 1,813 requests concerned data from user accounts on Apple's services, including iTunes and iCloud accounts.
Apple has given media access to members of its software security engineering team to take questions on its approach to software security, reports Tech Crunch. Although currently at loggerheads with the US government over the provision of 'backdoors' for law enforcement, Apple's engineers said that the company's primary focus is on protecting users from hackers, not the government. According to Apple's engineers, it is in a much better position to protect users from hackers than the competition, as it controls both the hardware and software allowing to create multiple layers of protection.
Apple today updated the 12-inch MacBook with the latest Intel processors, improved graphics performance, faster flash storage and an additional hour of battery life. The updated MacBook features sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors up to 1.3 GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, and faster 1866 MHz memory. Apple claims that Intel HD Graphics 515 standard in the new model delivers up to 25 percent faster graphics performance.
Samsung has been trying to knock Apple off its perch as the gold standard-bearer for smartphones for many years now. The Galaxy S7 range is, you guessed it, the seventh year running that it has been gunning for Apple's crown. The Galaxy S7 Edge is the larger of the two S7 models, and with its 5.5-inch display is pitched directly at the 5.5-inch Apple iPhone 6s Plus. Despite its profit going backwards in recent quarters as it struggles to compete with Apple in the high-end smartphone market, Samsung has recently announced that better-than-expected Galaxy S7 sales could boost profit for the next quarter by 10 percent -- so it must have done something right with the Galaxy S7 range. Is it enough to give Apple cold sweats though?
Promise Technology is giving customers a sneak peak at its upcoming Thunderbolt 3 NAS devices for creative professionals at the 2016 NAB trade show. The new Pegasus 3 Series with Thunderbolt 3 will be available in 4-, 6-, and 8-bay configurations with transfer speeds up to 40Gbps. Also on display at the show will be Promise Technology's forthcoming 16G Fiber Channel Enterprise Storage System.
Alongside our regular MacNN Deals and Daily Deals posts, the writers of MacNN occasionally find offers that are interesting or major enough to warrant their own Big Deals post. Today, we are pointing you in the direction of the latest collection from BundleHunt, which is offering you the ability to create your own custom Mac app bundle, one that will cost $20 regardless of what apps you select.
Apple has revamped its App Store Developer website to coincide with its official WWDC 2016 announcement. Its center piece is the four distinct platforms that developers can create apps for, including iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS. In highlighting the ability for developers to monetize their apps by choosing to develop for Apple's platforms, Apple notes that there have now been in excess of 100 billion apps downloaded from the App Store, with $40 billion paid out to developers.
Apple Pay has expanded into Singapore, bringing the mobile payment platform to its second market in Asia, but in a limited fashion. The expansion is being performed as part of a deal with American Express, which means that only owners of American Express credit cards will be able to use Apple Pay with contactless payment terminals in the country, in a similar fashion to how Apple Pay arrived in Canada and Australia.
Sometimes the best apps are the ones that don't serve any real purpose. We love apps that are designed to just fuss with; to enjoy while we relax at the end of the day. If you're looking for a relaxing app to unwind with, we think you might want to check out Atomus.
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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