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, Disney gives up on Disney Infinity and closes an internal studio, Paradox Interactive sees record day-one revenue from Stellaris at launch, the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise may arrive on consoles, and EA's financial results reveals some information about major game launches.
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.
Currently the rumor world is focused on the iPhone 7, the "not very attractive" (says Ming-Chi Kuo) next-generation flagship iPhone expected this fall, which he has already declared a flop that won't sell well. And why should it -- all the schematics, mock-ups, and scuttlebutt we've gotten from the usual suspects suggest that it will be very much like an iPhone 6s, except for relocated antenna bands, no headphone jack, and possible new camera (or dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus). The rumormongers are so bored with this, in fact, that they've taken to quibbling on details, and mocking up iTunes 12.4 just for fun.
Non-practicing entity, and the holder of defunct Digifonica's patent portfolio, VoIP-Pal has resumed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple originally filed in February, seeking $2.8 billion in iPhone, iPad, and Mac profits over a "caller attribute classification and routing product design" patent originally created by Digifonica -- a patent similar to the feature used in Apple's Messages app that determines if texts should be delivered through Apple's own servers (seen as blue-colored texts) or routed through normal cellular-provider SMS networks.
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the writing team of MacNN scours online retailers to find discounts, bargains, offers, and promotions for our readers to enjoy. Yesterday's list has been scrubbed of inactive deals, while the new batch includes a fantastic offer on a refurbished Retina MacBook Pro, and quite a few discounted Logitech peripherals.
Apple has updated some of its non-OS software today, and it is expected that the company will release either new betas or final releases of several system updates later today as well. The iWork suite of apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) for iOS and OS X have received extremely minor "stability improvements and bug fixes" version updates, while Apple News has made a few small changes for the benefit of news publishers, such as allowing a customized thumbnail icon and improving archival post linking.
Negotiations between Apple and some Australian banks over Apple Pay have recommenced, prompted by the first bank to enable the payment platform's apparent success. ANZ Banking Group started offering payments via Apple Pay from late last month, but the customer response and a sudden surge in applications for bank accounts and credit cards has apparently forced competing financial institutions to reconsider whether or not to accept Apple Pay transactions.
Today, Extensis released Suitcase Fusion 7, the professional font manager that helps designers store, maintain, manage and search font collections. Additionally, the company also revealed Suitcase TeamSync, a new cloud-based font management solution that extends the power of Suitcase Fusion to collaborative design teams.
For the first time ever, we're splitting a review into two completely different parts, and this is the one for you if you already use this software. Existing users know what it does, you just need to know whether it's worth your time and money upgrading to the latest one. Consequently, we can do this pretty quickly: with certain small exceptions, the answer is yes. Upgrade to FileMaker Pro 15.
This may be a first for us: we're examining a new software release in not one, but two separate reviews. It's not because this is going too long, either. It's because this software is FileMaker Pro 15 and it's less an app, more a whole world. If you are an existing user, then you probably love it -- but you also know that any upgrade has to earn its keep, so you'll be looking for details of what's new. Yet if you've never touched it before, the differences between this and the previous version 14 won't really tell you whether it's worth your time and money. So do this for us, please: if you have never tried FileMaker Pro, carry on reading this; if you're an old hand, read the other review -- that one's for you.
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 accessories you can use with your Apple Watch while it's charging, including a portable battery pack specifically for the wearable device, and a collection of stands that you can leave the Apple Watch in a useful position as it regains power.
Amazon today announced an enhancement to Amazon Video. The company has supplemented its Prime-only streaming service with the introduction of Amazon Video Direct (AVD), a new self-service program for creators and storytellers to make their video content available to Amazon customers.
We love calming puzzle games. We love games that work out our gray matter without stressing us out with arbitrary time requirements or high scores. That's why we were instantly attracted to Kami, a beautiful puzzle game that is as pleasing to the eye as it is challenging to the brain.
Foxconn is said to be close to finalizing a deal to build a new iPhone manufacturing plant in India, reports The Economic Times of India. A close partner of Apple, Foxconn has been interested in opening a plant in the region for at least 12 months and has narrowed its search for suitable site in the state of Maharahstra. Once the deal is finalized, Foxconn will pour in $10 billion to build the plant, a process which will take a further 18 months after the signatures have dried on the deal.
Microsoft and Twitch's feedback portal supplier UserVoice has suffered a data breach. In late April, the UserVoice security team learned that an unauthorized party illegally accessed one of the backend reporting systems and was able to view user data on a small subset of users.
Owners of iPhones in Canada are no longer restricted to using American Express cards for contactless payments via Apple Pay, after Apple has made agreements with major banks in the country to use the mobile payment platform in stores. Six months after the American Express deal that brought Apple Pay to Canada, two of the five major banks in the country has enabled support today, with others set to join the roster in the coming months.
Today FileMaker announced the latest release of its custom app and database platform, FileMaker 15. This upgraded platform improves upon the fundamentals of custom app development with new mobility, automation, integration, ease of use, and security features alongside performance enhancements across the entire product line.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook and its Chief Design Officer Jony Ive have been included in a list of the ten most influential people in automotive technology. Complied by Time magazine's automotive blog, Cook and Ive join a list that includes, among others, Elon Musk and Uri Levine, the founder of Waze. Although the rumoured Apple electric car was mentioned, the pair made to the list for current technological and design approaches.
Being in the circus might sound like all glitz and glamor, but it's not. We learned this from Slinky, an aspiring acrobat. You can help, though, by guiding Slinky through the physics-based arcade game CarneyVale: Showtime, as he reaches for the stars.
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, take some time to find out how your favorite web services operate, or even consider a change of career into software development, with the Complete 2016 Learn to Code Bundle from MacNN Deals.
Viv Labs has demonstrated its attempt at a virtual assistant that could beat Siri in a multitude of tasks. Named Viv, the demonstration on Monday at TechCrunch Disrupt showed off what the assistant was capable of doing, just as previously suggested in an earlier report, with co-founder Dag Kittlaus also taking time to reveal some of the back-end workings of the software, and how developers could use it to their advantage.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) have partnered to investigate concerns about how devices are patched. Both the FCC and FTC have issued orders to eight mobile device manufacturers, with Samsung, BlackBerry, LG, HTC, Microsoft and Motorola joining Apple and Google on the list. In particular, the FCC and FTC want to know the details about each company's policies and processes for identifying and addressing security threats for devices that they have sold on the US market since 2013. The aim of the exercise is purportedly to improve the protections of consumers from malware and other hacking methods that pose an ongoing threat to consumers, many of whom use devices no longer supported by makers.
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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