Tag - London
Welcome to the Game Replay, a thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, London launches a new program to encourage game development, New features for the Xbox One are revealed, Zelda players may have to buy an Amiibo to play all available content in an upcoming remake, and Iron Maiden makes a move into mobile gaming.
The NFL will host three exhibition games in London in 2016 -- a country that associates the world "football" with something quite different -- and the league plans to stream on the web, and technology companies -- including Apple, Google, Amazon, and presumably the firm that streamed last year's sole exhibition match, Yahoo -- are in talks with the NFL to buy the rights to the streaming. Live-streaming of sports events is seen as key to encouraging more people to "cut the cord" of traditional cable TV, which would benefit companies that can bridge the gap in sports coverage.
Apple Pay users with MasterCard-based credit cards will be able to travel across the London Underground at no charge on certain dates, as part of a new initiative. The "Fare Free Mondays" promotion will refund fares for the transportation network across the UK capital every Monday from today until December 14, but only for daily fares paid for with credit cards that use MasterCard via Apple's mobile payments platform.
Calling the current Regent Street Apple Store's interior "tired and outdated," the City of Westminster has granted Apple authorization to make significant changes to the store, including a rare granting of permission to make some exterior modifications. The renovations are thought to be intended to bring the London store more in line with the latest design template, which has recently been showcased with a new Apple Store in Brussels. The company expects, according to plans put forth last May to remove double the size of the entrance, remove the front portion of the mezzanine, and change the current staircase from one into two, among other changes.
[Updated with Tim Cook spotting] At least three of Apple's executive team, and its co-founder, have been spotted at various Apple Stores as part of the celebrations surrounding the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus around the world on Friday. Apple's retail chief, Dame Angela Ahrendts was at the Covent Garden store in London, while CEO Tim Cook was spotted in Georgetown, and VP of iPhone Marketing Greg Joswiak appeared at the icon "glass cube" Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The day also marked the debut of new gray t-shirts for the worldwide retail team. Steve Wozniak, as is his custom, stood in line with fans in Santa Clara to get his new iPhone.
It's been available for a few weeks now, but today we used Apple Pay on the Tube, London's Underground train network. We did it using our Apple Watches, and we will never do it any other way again. Well, not until the next previously-unimaginable technology comes along. For now, though, that's it: try it once, and never go back. It is as simple and as obvious as that.
In a follow-up to a story run earlier today about Apple expanding the number of third-party resellers of the Apple Watch, Selfridges department store in London has created an elaborate display of manmade flowers that emulate the various face options on the Apple Watch. The store has actually been one of only a handful of select resellers that have carried the Apple Watch since its April debut.
Google has taken inspiration from the retail efforts of other tech companies, including Microsoft and Samsung, in opening its first "store within a store" under the Google brand. Called "The Google Shop," the store is located inside a branch of national retailer Currys PC World on Tottenham Court Road in London, and will be used to showcase a selection of Android devices, Chromebooks, and the Chromecast.
Drones have been banned from being flown in eight Royal Parks of London. Signs advising of the ban "by order of the Secretary of State" have appeared in the parks, reports the Daily Mail, predominantly near to important buildings such as Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace. While there is apparently speculation that it is an anti-terrorism measure, a Royal Parks spokesperson advises that the drones "can have a very negative impact on the wildlife in the parks and interfere with the safety and comfort of park visitors."
We truly do not appreciate how good apps are -- until we hit a problem. You join us now live as we head in to London by train, and have had to go hunting for new apps. We've ended up buying Tube Map Pro to help us get around, and we're very happy with it -- but there is a yin and a yang with apps.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
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
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R