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, the next two mobile games from Nintendo will be 'free-to-start,' a Kickstarter campaign for a new Fear Effect game reaches its funding goal, and a report claims Microsoft could have potentially sold Lionhead, instead of shuttering the studio.
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.
Usually, when you think about searching and keyboards, it's when you're lifting one up to see where your pen has gone. That may be the only type of searching that Google can't help you with, though, and this new iPhone keyboard is the company's latest attempt to find you everything, everywhere. Gboard 1.0.0 lets you type Google searches whatever app you're in.
Although the two App Stores Apple operations -- one main one for iOS-based apps (including Apple TV), and one for Mac apps -- have been hugely successful, they have not been without complaints from developers over various aspects, including some back-end issues. One such issue -- unpredictable and sometimes-long review times for app submissions to be checked and approved before being published on the stores -- appears to be in the process of being resolved, with developers reporting dramatically-shorter approval times.
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. Old and unavailable deals have been removed from the growing list, with the additions for today featuring a KMASHI 10000mAh external battery power bank for $9, a 40-inch Sceptre HDTV for $200, and a Netgear N300 Wireless-N 4-port router for $20.
A camera that claims to make it as simple as possible for consumers to produce their own 360-degree videos is now available to pre-order. Initially announced at CES in January, HumanEyes' Vuze camera is a compact shooter measuring 4.8 inches across and 1.2 inches thick, which is capable of capturing video from all directions using a collection of eight cameras, allowing it to create stereoscopic 360-degree videos at a 4K resolution at 30fps with relative ease.
By this point, you've already heard all the hype over 3D printing, and I concur, it is exciting. It's a fantastic innovation that makes all kinds of things possible that weren't possible (or at the very least, plausible) a few years ago. And yes -- it's exciting because this technology is now available to the general public. However, there are still some severe limitations with 3D printing that keeps it out of reach for many people. That's why Mayku has Kickstarted the ultimate solution to that problem: The FormBox.
Your iPad is capable of doing so much more than browsing Facebook and playing cat videos on YouTube -- chances are you already know that. The problem, though, is that your iPad is also fairly defenseless and might need a little help in situations where it's expected to transcend its role of humble social media companion. That's where the Cling 2.0 comes in, an ultra-secure stand that helps keep your iPad right where you need it -- check our full review to see what we thought!
Apple is said to be close to securing a lease for the historic Tower Theater, located at 800 S. Broadway, LA. The 90-year-old theater sits in a corridor that has long been in limbo and rumors of Apple taking up residency for an Apple Store in the area has got the local real estate agents excited, reports the Los Angeles Business Journal. The site itself has 7,500 square feet of space in the main theater area, and another 7,500 square feet is in the basement could also be included as part of the lease arrangement. There is also space available for smaller retailers, though given that Apple is thought to be keen to make a statement with the store, that it may well look to secure the entire property as part of a long-term lease on the site.
If you follow the Kingdom Hearts series at all, you'd know that Kingdom Hearts III is getting a (though notably late) 2016 release -- just over a decade after Kingdom Hearts II had hit store shelves. As is the way with these things, you'd also know that developers are starting to release mobile games to help build excitement for the upcoming release. Kingdom Hearts Unchained X (pronounced "Unchained Chi") is another one of those games meant to fuel the hype-train.
Alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Considering that summer is not too far away, today's selections are all things that could come in useful if you're going on a vacation or a trip away from home, including items for charging your devices, keeping them safe, and even helping you get home safely from a bar or restaurant.
An analysis of US App Store revenue and download estimates between January 1 through March 31 of this year shows that only a tiny percentage of publishers are enjoying the lion's share of revenue. According to the data, 623 publishers who represent just one percent of all publishers on the App Store, reaped $1.34 billion in review of the estimated $1.43 billion in net revenue generated for the period. The remaining $85.8 million in revenue was split among the 61,677 publishers whose apps are paid or incorporate in-app purchases.
Apple has responded to a report claiming it is looking into giving up on offering music downloads from the iTunes Store, potentially within as few as two years if the rumor is to be believed. Reduced song download revenues are claimed to be behind the rumor, with Apple Music said to become the main revenue driver for Apple's music-related interests, but a representative has issued a curt denial of the report's contents.
Seemingly backing off on statements before Congress, FBI Director James Comey suggested that more court action seeking to circumvent smartphone encryption is likely coming. Speaking with reporters at the agency's Washington DC headquarters yesterday, Comey also claimed that the agency is trying to figure out how to re-utilize the tool that the agency used San Bernardino iPhone 5c in other cases.
The drop in iPhone sales over the March quarter is having a corresponding negative impact on the Taiwanese components supplier segment. This year could be the first time since the GFC in second half 2008 that the Taiwanese tech sector could experience an annual decline in revenue, reports the Nikkei Asian Review. The main losers are expected to be Apple's suppliers with nine of the Cupertino giant's major Taiwanese suppliers losing an average of 7 percent in year-over-year revenue for the period January to March. This was in contrast to an average 17 percent year-over-year increase in revenue for the same period in 2015.
If you are an aspiring web designer, YouTube creator, illustrator, or designer, you may want to take note of this giveaway from MacNN Deals. One lucky winner will get their hands on a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and its collection of utilities for content creation, with the prize giving them access to the service for five whole years, valued at $3,000.
There is a saying that nothing digital really exists unless it exists twice: if there isn't a copy of it somewhere, then the one original is in such danger of being lost that it might as well be gone already. However, this is a reason to make backups: it's not a reason to duplicate our files all over the place yet that is somehow what we do. You included. Very much you included: stop trying to look innocent. You have multiple copies of the same Word document and you've definitely got duplicated photos, admit it. Stage 1 of reclaiming space on your hard drive is admitting that you've got a problem. Stage 2 could be buying Gemini 2.0 for OS X.
For once, though, one of them actually convinces the other about something. We know: impossible. There's no such thing as proper conversation, certainly not on podcasts or the telly, there is just one person talking and the other waiting for them to shut up. In this case, though, minds and opinions are changed. See if you get turned around about Spotify's television plans too.
Amazon's collection of network-connected speakers with built-in virtual assistants may be getting some competition from Google, if a report about a potential product is found to be correct. The search giant is said to be working on hardware like the Amazon Echo, Tap, and Echo Dot devices that can allow for searches to be performed without needing to access a smartphone, with the project claimed to have the internal codename of "Chirp."
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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