Tag - Game Center
[Update: added detail to iOS 9.3.2 beta] On Wednesday, Apple issued the second developer beta for OS X 10.11.5, iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, and tvOS 9.2.1, all coming two weeks after the previous betas. The updates are all bereft of any immediately-obvious changes, though some notable tweaks may be discovered later by testers. As with this entire update cycle, the focus with the releases has been on bug fixes and performance and stability improvements. One significant improvement in the iOS 9.3.2 is a possible fix for a long-standing Game Center bug that sometimes results in a blank screen, preventing users from playing the games involved.
To think that some people object that you can't remove Apple's own apps from iPhones and iPads. Actually, everybody objects to that. Still, you can chuck them all in a folder and never think of them again – unless they're Game Center. If you're a fan then we do agree: it's a well-done system that means you can play games against other people anywhere across the internet. Er, so long as they're also on Apple devices. Only, call us curmudgeonly, but when we fire up chess to while away a few minutes in private defeat and misery, we don't always want to share that with the world. You try shutting up Game Center, though.
Following a series of short but widespread iCloud and online storefront-related outages, Apple's Game Center has been down since early Tuesday afternoon (Pacific TIme), and as of late Tuesday has still not yet been resolved. According to the company's system status page, every area of Apple's online services saw some level of outage on Tuesday, with a morning disruption of Siri, Apple Pay, storefront, and iCloud services followed by a second disruption of the online stores in the early evening.
Customers trying to use the App Store are currently experiencing a variety of problems, according to complaints. Some are seeing vague error messages, while others are simply unable to finish downloads; many users are unaffected. For those who are impacted, the trouble can interfere with both the iOS and Mac App Stores, and any version of iOS or OS X.
On top of new apps, Apple is also considering a number of improvements to existing apps and under-the-hood technologies, sources claim. An example of the latter is Notification Center, where Apple is allegedly interested in simplifying panels from "Today," "All," and "Missed" to just "Today" and "Notifications."
Apple has updated Game Center in order to cope with cheaters, according to a notice issued to developers. "You can now view and manage the top 100 scores and usernames for all of your Game Center leaderboards," the company writes. "Protect your legitimate players by signing in to iTunes Connect to delete fake scores or block players that post fake scores. You can also restore scores and players within the same time period," the memo continues.
Several of Apple's online services were briefly impacted by outages earlier today, according to Apple's System Status page. The worst affected the iTunes Store, the iBookstore, and the Mac and iOS App Stores between 1:28 and 2:57PM Eastern time, preventing some people from making any purchases. During the same time period, people may have been unable to use iTunes in the Cloud or iTunes Match, or restore purchases from an iCloud backup.
iOS 7 is codenamed "Innsbruck," and will use a "very, very flat" design, sources for 9to5Mac claim. The OS is reportedly jettisoning any signs of gloss or skeuomorphism, making it flat on a level nearing the look of the Metro interface used in Windows Phone and Windows 8. Apple has sometimes been criticized for using unnecessary real-world analogies in the look of iOS and OS X, for instance by making its Calendar apps resemble leather daybooks.
Apple's online services are again suffering outages, their official system status page indicates. Between 7:20 and 9:32AM Eastern, some people may have been unable to access the iTunes Store or make purchases there. Still ongoing however are problems preventing people from creating Apple IDs or signing into Game Center, as well as authentication errors when trying to use iCloud. The latter may also prevent people from setting up a new iCloud account.
Apple has reported some brief but widespread slowdowns and unavailability of Game Center -- starting in the wee hours of Thursday and again later that morning -- coupled with a prolonged mail issue that only affected a fraction of one percent of users on iCloud.com for half a day over Thursday and Friday. The disruption comes on the heels of scattered reports of brief iTunes Store outages and a more serious iMessage and FaceTime problem ten days ago, the latter of which lasted over five hours. All services are back to normal operation now.
Now AAPL Stock: 92.04 ( -1.36 )
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
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT