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, Epic Games changes focus away from major big-budget titles for the foreseeable future, Fixaris announces an XCOM 2 DLC pack shipping next week, Valve updates how Steam handles user reviews, and Uncharted arrives on mobile devices as a free puzzle game.
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.
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.
Do you always feel like you come up short in conversation? Struggle to find the right words to say in emails, texts, or on social media? We've got a solution for you: Wittify, a keyboard with quotes for almost any situation. It's a custom keyboard that gives you an absolute ton of quotes for just about any situation.
A new study by e-commerce analytics firm Slice has shown that most early adopters of the Apple Watch were men, but that women have now come close to closing the gap, with the split now about 60-40 in favor of male buyers compared to the 80-20 split during most of the device's first year. By contrast, the only wearable product that outsells the Apple Watch -- the various Fitbit models of fitness band -- was predominantly and still is more popular with female buyers, with the percentage of women buyers growing.
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers to find sales, offers, discounts, and bargains for our readers to enjoy. Dead deals have been exorcised from the list, while the new batch of offers includes a 5TB Seagate Expansion desktop external drive for $108, a 120GB SanDisk SSD for $35, and a Lenovo 23-inch IPS 1080p monitor for $90.
Apple has entered into a partnership with SAP, which aims to "revolutionize the mobile work experience" for enterprise customers, and increase the use of iPhones and iPads in business. As part of the enterprise, which will focus on creating native iOS apps using the SAP HANA platform, the two companies announced they will also supply an iOS software development kit and training academy, to help developers and customers in producing the apps.
I'm back again with another Crowdfunding Critic, this time with a topic very near and dear to my heart: "smart" products. I've tested more smart devices than I can count at this point, and now there's a company out there that is ready to make all my efforts worth it: the Klug Home, a device of "context."
We don't like being predictable, but usually -- we'll admit this -- if we look at a third-party on-screen keyboard for iOS, we tend to go down the same route every time. They're mildly fiddly to switch over to, and they rarely offer any benefits. Only, we're admitting to our predictability because this time, we're different. For this Word Flow Keyboard from Microsoft Garage could well be the best non-Apple alternative keyboard for iPhone that we've seen. It's got issues, but it's the first time we could imagine you switching permanently to one.
Apple is "disappointed" in a recent Beijing Higher People's Court ruling that allowed Xintong Tiandi Technology to use an all-caps "IPHONE" trademark on a line of leather goods, and will appeal the cas to the country's highest court. While the court's ruling only concerned the trademark with regards to "imitation leather, leather, wallets, purses, leather thread, leather passport wallets, leather key cases, leather straps and leather trimmings for furniture," the ruling has effectively weakened Apple's trademark on the term "iPhone" for any other use.
Alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's items are all implements for drawing on your tablet or smartphone, including two simple pen-like tools, a multi-purpose stylus, and a pair of accessories from Adobe meant for those who have more extensive artistic or design requirements.
Cupertino Mayor Barry Chang claims that he was once forcibly escorted out of Apple's headquarters and "surrounded" by a security team when he apparently dropped by spontaneously to seek a meeting about traffic congestion in the city three years ago, when he was a councilman. Now mayor of the city, Chang is getting a lot of heat -- including a recall effort from citizens -- over his seeming inability to fund the upgrade of the city's aging infrastructure, and in particular deal with the growing traffic problem.
Er, so there's this keyboard, right, and it's an on-screen iPhone one, except it doesn't entirely let you type anything. Plus, what it wants you to type is an emoji that says coffee is quite nice. The kindest thing we could say is that if you are the sort of person who would enjoy Starbucks Keyboard 1.0, then you already know it and are possibly employed by the company.
It has been revealed that some areas of law enforcement in the United States were able to get into a locked iPhone as part of a murder investigation, during the public disagreement between the FBI and Apple over the San Bernardino encrypted iPhone took place. According to a report, investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department managed to get into a locked iPhone 5s, without requiring Apple to unlock it for them.
LiveCode 8 has been launched after a successfully-funded $750,000 Kickstarter project. The new version has taken three years to develop, after being rewritten from the ground up with over 1,000 bugs fixed. It ships with nine pre-made widgets, along with 46 new extensions. A new LiveCode Builder language is available for the first time, allowing users to build and add their own widgets and extensions, without having to work with C++ or Objective C. The revised low-level string and binary implementations makes LiveCode 8 approximately 3.5x faster to code in than previously.
In a recent survey of consumers, consumers appear to be more interested in the yet to be revealed iPhone 7 than before of the launch of the iPhone 6s in both the US and China. However, consumer interest in the so-called iPhone 7 is not at the same levels of interest ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6. Of the 6,336 smartphone users surveyed in total, which also included consumers from the UK, Germany and Japan, around half are holding off on their next iPhone purchase until the next iPhone arrives in September.
According to a recent traffic and sales analysis, Samsung has regained the top spot as the leading smartphone vendor in the US market with a 28.8 percent share on the strength of the new Samsung flagship phone. After eleven months at the top, Apple slipped to second place with a 23 percent share for the month of March. LG picked up third place with a 17.1 percent share, while Chinese makers like Huawei and ZTE were well off the pace.
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 is your reminder that there are four days left to get the MacUpdate Spring Bundle, a collection of ten productivity and creative apps for your Mac, that also ships with an extra bonus app for those buying the package early.
Bausch + Lomb, and IBM today announced a collaboration to develop the first app of its kind for iPhone and iPad for surgeons who perform cataract surgery. The innovative app will help surgeons streamline their workflow by delivering patient information and clinical insights as well as intraocular lens (IOL) options on a single, digital platform at the point of care.
[Update 5:00 PM ET: Apple claims that the problem has been resolved] The App Stores currently suffering from an issue with the search functionality, which is making it extremely difficult for users to find specific apps they want to acquire by name in some instances. Searches performed in both the iOS App Store and the Mac App Store are apparently failing to show up listings for some major apps in its search results, instead directing users to other apps in the store that may not be as useful as the intended app.
Confirming previous rumors, Apple has started selling accessibility devices online. The new category is aimed at the disabled and caretakers, and carries a range of products across three categories: vision, physical and motor skills, and learning and literacy.
A company co-founded by former Apple employees credited with the creation of Siri will be demonstrating what could be the next generation of virtual assistant. Viv Labs will be showing off "Viv" on Monday at TechCrunch Disrupt, with the digital assistant said to provide more of a service to its users, such as performing an entire order for pizza and completing the transaction, without requiring users to enter the store's app or entering details on a web page.
In an unexpected plot twist, co-hosts William Gallagher and Malcolm Owen this week agree on something. They've still got very different opinions on games, PCs and, this time, also hammers for some reason. Yet there is a moment of humanity that's only taken 37 episodes to appear. It's about a keyboard.
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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