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.
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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