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, Nintendo explains its reasoning behind its next mobile game selections, Oculus will perform a retail launch despite still having unfulfilled pre-orders, and Blizzard pulls a mode out of Overwatch for retooling, and expects to complete work after the game launches.
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.
A pair of new reports illustrate the complexity of guessing Apple's relative health going forward: while forecasters at Stern Agee CRT believe that the entire Chinese smartphone market will continue to sag to an overall 15 percent drop across 2016, demand for the four-inch iPhone SE -- which is also said to be flourishing in China -- has allegedly caused Apple to increase orders of the budget-priced device. The drop in demand for smartphones generally in China will have an impact on all manufacturers, not just Apple.
Adobe has shipped updates to two of its image-editing apps for iOS, with each including a large number of minor changes. Both Photoshop Fix and Mix introduce a new intelligent space management system to minimize the amount of space projects take up, while a cap that prevented 2,000x2,000-resolution images from Lightroom being imported has been lifted, with recently-added photos also gaining their own section to make things clearer.
This is not exactly going to take a long time to describe. However, that's both because what it does is simple, and so is what we recommend. Quitter 1.0 is the first Mac app by iOS developer Marco Arment, and it should be your next download.
This is not going to be the rave that I was expecting, but it's pretty close to one. After some years of writing in whatever app seemed to be nearest, I've moved almost exclusively to just one. Practically everything I write now, I write in Ulysses 2.5 for OS X and iOS. What's more, I had to look this up: the day I reviewed this app for MacNN was March 15 this year, and that is the same day I moved over completely. It was such an instant and total change that it's hard to believe I've not always written everything in this way.
One of the bright spots for Apple iPhone sales in recent times is the relative success of the iPhone SE. Although it wasn't included in Apple's "disappointing" March quarter results for iPhone sales, it has been selling gangbusters. As we pointed out in our review of the iPhone SE, it is the best value for money iPhone ever, and that probably has a lot to do with its desirability. Its success also suggests that the four-inch form factor still has market appeal, even though the overall consumer trend is towards smartphones with larger displays. Given the success of the iPhone SE, and the fact that Apple is facing the combined challenges of "currency headwinds," due to a strong US dollar, and a flat global market for smartphones, it needs to give serious consideration to introducing a flagship four-inch "iPhone 7."
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers to find offers, discounts, bargains, and sales for our readers to enjoy. Expired deals from yesterday's list have been removed for today, while the new batch includes a Polaroid Snap instant digital camera for $100, a PlayStation 4 with Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Battleborn for $350, and the Jackery Titan 20,100mAh portable charger for $28.
[Updated: public-tester versions of OS X 10.11.5 and iOS 9.3.2 have now been issued] One week after the previous releases, Apple on Tuesday released developer versions of the fourth betas for iOS 9.3.2, OS X 10.11.5, and tvOS 9.2.1. A new release of the developer-only watchOS 2.2 is still missing from the lineup, and no third beta for the wearable's OS version appeared last week either. It is possible that Apple has opted to bring the watchOS beta in-house again in order to prevent leaks of any notable changes, or it could signal that the minor 2.2 update is imminent.
The iPhone has topped the list of the 50 "Most Influential Gadgets of All Time," as compiled by Time magazine. The list, which highlights gadgets that made an impact in the technology world, contains both commercial successes and failed-but-influential products, with Apple products taking up a tenth of the entire list, three of which were important enough to be listed in the top ten spots of the chart.
Let's just cut straight to it: this is $100. Considering that you do not actually need it, or indeed anything remotely like it, that feels like a lot at the point of sale -- but then you can say exactly the same of your iPad Pro, and you'd be just as wrong. The Logitech Base for iPad Pro is a really fine piece of work. It's a charging stand for either model of the iPad Pro, which uses Apple's new Smart Connector.
On Tuesday, Apple updated its partner page for Apple Pay, adding another 26 US banks and credit unions to a list that now extends to at least 1,240 financial institutions (not including two "loyalty card" issuers, BJ's Wholesale and Kohl's). Along with the new banks, a new prepaid "digital MasterCard" program has launched in the UK with Apple Pay support from a company called Wirecard, with the service known as "boon." Users will be able to transfer money into a prepaid account, and then use the digital card with merchants who support various virtual wallet technologies.
Alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today, we are encouraging you to turn your Mac or iPhone into a potential moneymaker, with a selection of four pay-what-you-want coding bundles that will teach you what you need to produce your own apps and games, as well as developing for the web. For all listed bundles, ten percent of proceeds will be going to charity.
A future version of the Apple Pencil could offer up new features for users, if a recently-discovered patent filing can be believed. Initially published in 2012 but only recently being granted by the USPTO this week, the patent for the "Intelligent Stylus" (number 9,329,703) indicates a way for a stylus to provide more options for a user's interaction with a display, by adding sensors within the nib of the stylus itself.
Long-term followers of giveaways on MacNN will notice a trend, with some prizes on offer being a $1,000 gift card for some sort of online store. Today, we're continuing the trend, as following after gift cards for the Apple Store, iTunes, and Steam, MacNN Deals is now giving you the opportunity to win a $1,000 gift card to spend however you want at Newegg.
It can be argued that we're always on the cutting edge of technology -- every day there are new advances, and new techniques developed to do legacy tasks some other way. Likewise, hardly a day goes by without a new lawsuit from an entrenched company, claiming that this new way somehow infringes upon, or unfairly penalizes, an old-guard way of doing business. Lately, this has expanded to law enforcement trying to use the courts as an ad hoc tool to do end-runs around thorny Constitutional questions. Through bad rulings and bad legislative proposals, the inability of our judicial and legislative leaders to keep in step is increasingly making the existing problems even worse.
Apple is making good progress on the construction of its Campus 2 project, according to a flyover of the construction site by a camera-equipped drone. The latest look at the work underway at the future home of the company shows the last major section of the main ring-shaped building is being worked on, as well as some of the important infrastructure that Apple will use to its advantage, and an overview of the entire building site.
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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