Apple’s rumored game service wouldn’t include ‘freemium’ titles


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It’s now a little clearer how Apple’s rumored game subscription service might work — including what you wouldn’t get. Bloomberg sources claim the service will bundle paid games (most likely the more popular ones) for a flat monthly rate, and would likely exclude “freemium” games where you need to make an in-app purchase to unlock everything. Don’t expect to get a Fortnite Battle Pass or Super Mario Run, then.

Source: Bloomberg

Apple’s new AirPods offer longer battery life and wireless charging case


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Apple’s hardware trojan horse continues to gallop a week ahead of its “show time” event next Monday. We’ve seen two new iPads and an iMac update, and now its increasingly ubiquitous AirPods are up. The rumors have been around for a while as to what was next for the AirPods. Noise cancellation? All kinds of wireless charging? Always-on Siri? How about some, but not all, of the above?

‘Angry Birds AR’ on iOS lets you fling fowl in the real world


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Angry Birds has already made the leap from smartphones to augmented reality and VR. But now, Rovio is bringing some of those lessons back to the iPhone. With Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs, the latest game in the blockbuster franchise, you’ll be able to take down evil swine in your living room — or anywhere else you can find a flat surface. It uses Apple’s ARKit to construct virtual stages atop the real world, while you use your phone as a slingshot to topple them with irate birds. Isle of Pigs is available for pre-order today on iOS devices, and it’ll officially launch as a free app later this spring (you can bet there will be a plethora of micro-transactions).

Google’s iOS keyboard can translate text into more than 100 languages


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If you use Google’s iOS keyboard Gboard, you can now translate to and from all languages supported by Google Translate — that’s currently 103. This means you can effectively type and translate in any supported language, in any app on your iPhone. The feature is a welcome addition, but it’s a bit overdue. Gboard has supported translation on Android since 2017.

Via: The Verge

Source: App Store

Apple says Spotify wants ‘the benefits of a free app without being free’


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Apple is firing back in response to Spotify’s European Commission (EC) complaint. In a newsroom release, the company said that Spotify “seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem … without making any contributions to that marketplace.” It added that the App Store has generated $120 billion for developers while offering users a secure platform, and that Spotify is seeking to side to sidestep the rules that every other app follows.

“Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are,” the company wrote.

Source: Apple

Apple’s latest iPhone ad promises privacy matters


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In a follow-up to its trolly CES banner ads, Apple just debuted a new commercial that again centers the iPhone as a more privacy-conscious option than the competition. Titled “Privacy on iPhone — Private Side,” it focuses on how much we all value privacy, whether you’re a wiseguy in a diner or a kid passing notes in class. It’s tied up with the tagline “If privacy matters in your life, it should matter to the phone your life is on.”

Source: Apple (YouTube)

The best games for your smartphone


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Sorry, but mobile gaming is the biggest player in the video game market. In 2018, it made almost half of the industry’s global revenue. Smartphone games once existed separately from console and PC titles, but in the wake of titles like Fortnite, it’s all got a little blurry. You’ll find several games in our selection that are also available on your home consoles and PCs, but most of them sing on your smartphone, and the fact that you can play them absolutely anywhere makes up for any other pitfalls. Whether it’s Android or iOS, here’s some crucial games to start with.

Sony finally brings PS4 Remote Play to iPhone and iPad


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The latest update to the PlayStation 4 operating system has a feature that some users have craved for years. From today, the console will now properly sync with iOS devices, giving iPhone and iPad users the ability to game with the PS4 Remote Play app. Given that Sony first launched remote play (for its Xperia Z3) in October 2014, it’s certainly been a long time coming.

Source: App Store (UK), App Store (US), App Store (AU)

Apple will add 1,200 jobs in Qualcomm’s hometown


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Tim Apple may have a new way to challenge Qualcomm outside of the courtroom: by luring some of the rival company’s employees. The company has unveiled plans to add 1,200 jobs in Qualcomm’s hometown of San Diego over the next three years, a 20 percent increase over previously mentioned numbers. The city will become a “principle engineering hub” for the company, with people focusing on “specialty” hardware and software projects.

Via: CNBC

Source: City of San Diego, Tim Cook (Twitter)

Google declines to pull controversial Saudi government app


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App store curators frequently have to walk a fine line when deciding what to ban, and Google is proof positive of this. The internet giant told California Rep. Jackie Speier that it wouldn’t ban Saudi Arabia’s Absher app from Google Play despite calls from Speier and other members of Congress to remove it. The mobile software lets Saudi men control and track travel permissions for women and migrant workers, leading to an outcry that Google and Apple were promoting “sixteenth century tyranny.” However, Google determined that Absher didn’t violate its agreements and could remain on the store.

Source: Business Insider

Phone-hacking device used by police sells on eBay for $100


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A phone-hacking device that law enforcement officials use to extract data from phones is popping up on eBay for as little as $100. Federal agencies in the US and elsewhere, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, typically spend up to $15,000 on current models of Cellebrite’s Universal Forensic Extraction Device, though older versions are available on the secondary market.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Forbes

Comparing the Galaxy S10+ and the Xperia 1 to the iPhone XS Max


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Folding phones aren’t the only big displays you’ll see at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Plenty of traditional, non-bendy devices have graced the show floor this year, with screens far past six inches — we’re long past the days when handsets like the Galaxy Note were anomalies. This year’s S10+ is certainly a contender in size, but Sony won’t be left behind thanks to its super tall Xperia 1. These two flagships are entering a race that the iPhone XS Max is already in thanks to its 6.5-inch screen, though the addition of triple rear cameras will certainly help the newcomers’ chances. For the full skinny on how this competition will shake out, you’ll have to wait for our reviews of the new Samsung and Sony handsets in the coming weeks, but for now check out our handy spec table to see how the early numbers stack up.

Apple opens in-app subscription discounts to existing users


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In a ploy to keep people paying for apps, Apple will let developers offer discounted subscriptions to current and recent subscribers. Until now, developers could only offer freebies and introductory discounts to new users, which means that they couldn’t easily incentivize lapsed subscribers to re-join. As more apps turn to subscription models over one-time purchases, this change will likely go over well with developers and users alike.

Via: MacRumors

Source: Apple

Intel’s 5G modems won’t be in phones until 2020


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Intel has said that while it will send out sample versions of its 5G modems to its clients this year, the chips won’t be in phones before 2020. Apple uses Intel modems in its iPhones, so the timeline suggests we might not see a 5G iPhone until next year, which falls in line with previous reports.

Source: Reuters

Apple hopes interest-free iPhones will boost slow Chinese sales


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As smartphones get more expensive, and the innovation in new devices gets less grand, there’s less reason to upgrade your device every two years. It’s a problem for all device manufacturers which rely upon handset sales to grease the wheels of their business, but Apple thinks it has a solution. The company has teamed up with a number of Chinese banks to offer interest free credit on a number of new iPhone purchases.

Your Apple Watch is going to be your credit card


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As I anticipated in 2018, Apple is indeed teaming up with Goldman Sachs  and will introduce a joint credit card this spring that will provide truly mobile money services to iPhone users.

Apple Watch came too

Of course, support for 21stCentury challenger bank features on an iPhone should be a shoe-in.

We can also predict some of the kinds of features we might see in such a card – just take a look at the superb Revolut service for some of these.

It offers smart account management, cash withdrawals, fair foreign exchange fees, money sharing and claiming and a range of other useful digital tools. You get complete account management through your iPhone.

It’s a smart system

And it’s the kind of system banks all around the world are struggling to emulate.

Most names in banking are prepared to work with switched on digital services to bring

An image of a special Activity prize
Adults In The Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment

Continue reading “Your Apple Watch is going to be your credit card”

Galaxy S10+ vs. the competition: The cameras are just the beginning


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The S10+ isn’t pushing any boundaries with the size of its 6.4-inch display: However, it is the company’s first dynamic AMOLED screen. And it really stands out with its new triple rear camera setup. However, that’s not all that distinguishes Samsung’s new large handset in 2019. Check out the table below to see how the S10+ stands up against its closest competition like the Pixel 3XL and iPhone XS Max. And don’t forget to check back in a few weeks for our full review of the S10 and S10+, when we’ll look at more than just the numbers.

Galaxy S10 vs. the competition: Three is the magic number


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Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is here and it sits in a rather odd place — it’s actually in the middle of four siblings announced today. But it still boasts the same three-camera setup as the larger S10+ and S10 5G. With a 6.1-inch screen it cuts an imposing figure next to other flagships, and that’s not the only place where it seems to pull ahead. Check out the table below to see how Samsung’s newest release stacks up against the stellar Pixel 3 and iPhone XS, and check back in a few weeks for our full review.

Apple’s iOS-to-Mac efforts will reportedly start this June


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Google isn’t the only one with a sweet tooth for cross-platform apps. Apple’s own gestating app merger — code-named “Marzipan” — is set to launch at WWDC in June, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. Apple will reportedly start by giving devs the ability to port iPad apps to Mac. It will apparently expand the software to include iPhone apps next year. And by 2021, Apple’s grand plan to let developers merge Phone, iPad, and Mac applications into one app will be complete — meaning they’ll no longer have to re-write the underlying code for their software, nor will they have to submit their work to different Apple App Stores.

Source: Bloomberg