Apple vs. Epic Games in Epic Battle Over App Store Agreement

 

In a statement Apple has said it terminated the account of app developer Epic Games, the account which they use to publish and update App Store games.

This means the Epic games like, such as its Battle Breakers mobile RPG, won’t be available for download or updates any longer at the iOS App Store. These games sharing the same result Fortnite has faced for some weeks now. Like with defunct titles such as Infinity Blade the games cannot be redownloaded nor can users make sure of previously available in-app purchases.

Updates to Epic’s iOS apps has also ended. This means iOS Fortnite players cannot access the recent Marvel Comics themed content that Epic recently added to Fornite. Players of Fornite also cannot access crossplay, a feature that allowed them to play across phone platforms.

In there statement Apple again cited their complaint that Epic Games attempted to bisect the standard iOS payment platform in Fortnite and this is why they have terminated their account.

Apple’s decision to end Epic Game’s App Store account theoretically shouldn’t affect the development of their Unreal Engine for iOS. It is under development by Epic International and is separate account governed by a separate agreement. The account was also protected by a federal judge’s restraining order in anticipation of Apple’s “retaliation” against Epic Games.

 

Apple’s New Singapore Location “Floats”

Apple is planning to open a new Singapore store that appears to float on the water.

Located in a giant orb that looks like it is from the future (it lights up at night), the new store will be located on the waterfront of the city-state. The new store will be called Apple Marina Bay Sands—its name sake coming from the hotel complex it will be included in.

Apple hasn’t provided any official information except a brief marketing copy on its website. No opening date, no groundbreaking, no square footage info. Apple has two stores in Singapore already. One in Changi Airport another on Orchard Road.

Apple totes hundreds of stores worldwide where devotees buy and trouble shoot the companies wildly popular products: iPhone; iPad; Apple Watches; Mac computers and others.

Recently Apple became the first company from the United States to reach a $2 trillion valuation. Despite the pandemic their most recent quarterly report boasts an 11% increase.

 

Apple News, News+ Adding Audio and More

Apple has announced that will being to create its own daily news overview podcats, Apple News Today. Former WNYC hosts Durate Geraldino and Shumita Basu have been hired been hired as co-hosts. Apple News Today will run Mondays-Fridays in the morning and will be filed in Apple’s News and Podcast apps. The 10-minute podcast will attempt to brief listeners on the day’s news.

The company is also going to be creating audio versions of print stories. These will be available in Apple News+, Apple’s subscription service that gives users access to top magazines and newspapers.

Apple’s writers and editors will create about 20 audio stories a week, according to Apple. These will be narrated by professional voice actors, though there is no word on them hiring “names you would know.” This service will only be available through the Apple News+ subscription.

Apple will also add an Audio tab to its News app. This is where users will find the Apple News Today podcast and the new audio stories. Apple’s new audio features will also be available on their CarPlay system.

Apple also announced that users will have more access to local news through both Apple News and News+. The areas will include Houston, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

News+ subscribers will also have access to seven local papers: The Idaho Statesman, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, the Miami Herald, The News & Observer, the State and The Sacramento Bee.

Will Apple Finally Use its Own Processors in All Products? If So, What Does That Mean?

Apple may soon announce what has long been rumor—switching from Intel processors in their Mac computers, iMacs and Macbooks, to their own Apple chip sets, which are already used in iPhones and iPads. This could happen as soon as 2021. Analysists say despite a transition period the end result would be beneficial not only to the company but its product users.

Some analysists believe that single product lines will switch over at a time instead of their entire stable of computers all at once.

Whatever devices end up with Apple’s own CPU chips users can expect better battery life and thinner, less heavy devices. This is made possible because the chips were specifically designed to be used in smartphones which already required good battery life and sleeker designs. Additionally, this might even mean the end of fans in a Mac computer.

Another huge benefit would be an even more standardized experience between tablets, phones and computers from the Apple lineup—a huge selling feature already built into their products. This then would allow app developers to create a more standard user experience across devices.

And even though Apple has made no mention of it, this could open up the possibility that Mac computers be equipped with cellular connectivity.
Apple may also be able to offer lower prices or promise performance upgrades with each generation of device since it wouldn’t be reliant on Intel to improve performance.

Apple iPhone 11

You probably already know from the Apple announcement event last week that they have already announced the upcoming iPhone series 11. There is the 11 and the 11 Pro.

So what makes the new phone different? Let’s delve into the new features.

iPhone 11: The iPhone 11 has a new dual-camera system – this gives you the option of wide or ultra-wide shots. The iPhone 11 will handle up to 17 hours of video playback. The iPhone 11 has the same 6.1″ Liquid Retina HD display as previous models. It is made from aerospace-grade aluminum. It comes in light purple, yellow, mint green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED.

iPhone 11 Pro: The iPhone 11 Pro will have a third camera for telephoto shots in addition to the wide and ultra-wide cameras. The Pro version will handle up to 20 hours of video playback. The iPhone 11 Pro comes in two sizes featuring 5.8″ or 6.5″ Super Retina XDR display. It is made from stainless steel. The colors are midnight green, silver, space gray, or gold.

Find out more here: https://www.apple.com/iphone/

Here is a video from The Verge highlighting the event:



More about Apple iOS 13

iOS 13 is coming out in the fall. But it is made for your iPhone. The iPad will be getting its own OS. So what will be different?

There will be “light mode” and “dark mode”. You can time when you want to use dark or light mode as well.

They are updating their “Apple Maps” app in hopes people will start using it. They hope the map is actually fixed. Also they are adding a street view. You can set favorites and collections so easily get to them in a list.

iOS will have more privacy by allowing you to grant access to apps just one time. You can even have the app ask each time so they can’t track you.

Reminders will have more sort features. You can tag people to your reminders so you can easily remember if someone else needs to be contacted.

More integration with health app to your Apple Watch.

You can Find My … device or… friend.

More photo editing options.

Apps should launch faster, and other speed improvements.

Better volume control.

Swipe on the keyboard – type one-handed without taking your finger off keyboard.

More emojis that are customizeable.

You can download the beta now but it is recommended to wait until the final version comes out.



News from Apple

As you may have heard last week, Apple will be discontinuing iTunes. When they release macOS Catalina, they will have three new apps to take the place of iTunes: music, TV, podcasts. No longer will you be able to use all three in one app. You will still be able to access everything you have in iTunes via these apps. iCloud will still sync everything across devices as well.

Apple music will also be able stream music on your Mac through the music app. The TV app will have movies, shows, and premium channels. They also say Apple TV+ is coming soon. You will be able to listen to your podcasts with the podcast app. Since it can sync across your devices, you can start on one device and finish on another.

Other things new that will be coming with the new OS is a rebuilt Reminders app. You will be able to add attachments to reminders. The start page will have an update and will add Siri Suggestions. There will something called Sidecar that allows you to use your iPad as an extended screen. You can work on one and display on the other or mirror the screens. Also with Sidecar, you will able to use the Apple Pencil to work on supported apps. Screen Time is also going to be available on Mac. There will also be enhanced security on the Mac. There are accessibility enhancements such as Voice Control, omm the second display, Hover Text to make some text larger and more readable.

Find out more: https://www.apple.com/macos/catalina-preview/
https://www.apple.com/macos/catalina-preview/features/

Watch the WWDC 2019 Keynote from Apple:



Rare Apple-1 Computer up for auction this month

This is your chance to own an original Apple-1 computer from 1976. It was restored in June and is up for auction. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak made 200 of these computers.

The auction will be held by RR Auction where you can register to bid on this item. The auction begins September 25, 2018 at 1:00 PM ET. You can bid by phone or online at https://www.invaluable.com/



Keyboard fixes for MacBook and MacBook Pro

A few weeks ago, Apple announced it is finally offering to repair MacBook keyboards … for free. The problems they say they will cover are:
when letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
when letters or characters don’t appear
or when keys feel sticky and do not respond consistently

After examining the keyboard, the service type will be determined and they may replace a key, keys, or the entire keyboard.

Eligible models are MacBook 12-inch 2015, 2016, and 2017; MacBook Pro 13-inch 2016, 2017 with two Thunderbolt 3 ports; MacBook Pro 13-inch 2016, 2017 with four Thunderbolt 3 ports; MacBook Pro 15-inch 2016, 2017. No other MacBooks are part of this service program.

If you have this problem, you can find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store, or mail your device to the Apple Repair Center. Be sure to back up all your data before you take any of these steps.

If you have previously paid to have this problem fixed and want a refund, you can contact Apple for a refund.

Here is a funny video about the problem:



App Updates Stuck?

So the Victor crew had an interesting problem. The update in the App Store on one of the apps got stuck. It kept spinning and spinning. For days. Tried closing the app in the app manager. Tried closing the App Store app in the app manager. Opened up the app store again. Still spinning.

Of course we “Googled” the problem to see if anyone else had this problem. Some suggestions were to stop the automatic updates in the settings but that didn’t help. Some were to delete the app and redownload or remove the app data. We chose a different way. We rebooted the iPad. That did the trick. So the age-old fix for just about anything is reboot it.

iOS 11

The Victor crew just updated their new iPad to iOS 11. Here are some first findings and reactions.

After the initial update, if you had fingerprint access enabled, you will still have to use your signin to get in. You will then need to enter your iCloud password.

You can have the dock hidden but pop it up from the bottom at any time.

You swipe the dock up from the bottom and continue the swipe to show the App Switcher. The App Switcher has a new design as well and shows all open apps in a grid pattern rather than having to scroll through to find open apps. You can still swipe an app in this grid pattern to hard close or reset an app.

The dock has a folder that shows recently opened documents. It also allows you to browse documents. You can add your iCloud, and if you have the apps – Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and any other file managers you may have downloaded within this folder area. Once you enable these drives, you may need to log into them again to access them there. You can also tag files with colors.

The dock has a separator bar. To the right of the bar it shows the recently opened apps and to the left of it, your permanently set apps. If you move an app from the right to the left, it seems to permanently disappear from the home screen.

The App Store has a new design.

Another change is the keyboard. Usually you click on the 123 to access numbers and some symbols. Now you can just pull down on the key that shows the numbers or symbols to access without changing the keyboard.

If you go to settings, you will see you can choose some apps to show up in the control center all the time.

How do you listen to your tunes?

There are a lot of ways these days to listen to music these days. There are many streaming services these days. Most people stream or use their mp3 players. There are also home devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, or coming soon, the Apple HomePod.

The Victor crew even knows someone who still orders CDs to play in their car? But what will happen when he buys a newer car? Many newer cars are starting to abandon them. It has been predicted that up to 46% of new cars will not have CD players by 2021.

You can use a lot of data if you stream from your car (if you don’t have a Wi-Fi service) so you’ll have to rely on your mp3 player, satellite radio, or built-in radio. If you insist on a CD player, you can purchase a portable one that could plug in with your auxilliary cable. Perhaps you can purchase a new car kit with a CD player.

We sure have come a long way from just AM radio. Next came FM. Remember the 8-track players of the 70s? Then they went away to make way for the cassette. Then the piles of cassettes were replaced by piles of plastic discs. Life is getting simpler where you don’t have to store all the discs, cassettes, or 8-tracks anymore.

New iPad – Flat-out Fun.

For those of us waiting for a new iPad, last week Apple announced the new iPad. It wasn’t really given a name and it isn’t an iPad Air. It has a 9.7-inch Retina display with an A9 processor. It comes in just 2 sizes: 32GB and 128GB. (We really wanted a 64GB but had to get the 128GB.) It has iOS 10.3 and Touch ID. It comes in silver, gold, or space gray and costs $29 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model and $459 for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. For the 128GB model it’s $100 more each respectively.

Ordering began March 24 and shipping begins on March 31. Read more here. Don’t forget to back up your old device through the cloud or iTunes so you will get back all your apps!

So you want a new iPad, iPhone, or iPod

You’ve had your device for a while and it has all your favorite apps, your information, etc. What do you do? Well, if you haven’t already, you back it up to either iCloud or through iTunes.

To back up to iCloud, go into Settings then click on Backup and turn on iCloud Backup. Tap Back Up Now. You can see the information (how big your back up space is) if you look at Storage. You are only allowed 5GB of free space so if you need more, you will have to purchase it from Apple for about $0.99/month for 50GB.

The other alternative is to back up through iTunes. You will need to have a Mac or PC with iTunes running on it. Connect your device to your computer. You can still back it up this way to your iCloud or to your computer. Most likely you are doing it this way because of lack of iCloud space. Find out more here.

To restore a device from a backup, you must have all content erased from a device. Follow the onscreen setup until you reach Apps & Data screen and tap Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from iTunes Backup. Sign in with your Apple ID if you are restoring from iCloud. Find out more here.

The Victor Crew

Ever think about cutting the cord?

Cord-cutting refers to abandoning cable TV for streaming services. There are so many different avenues to go with this, the Victor crew thought we’d do some exploring into what was available.

One thing you can get is a Roku that you can stream many different channels from. It handles Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus for example. Netflix and Amazon have some crossovers, but Hulu Plus will bring you many current TV shows. Another streaming channel to consider is Sling TV for television shows. You might consider Apple TV instead of Roku. Another streaming device is Amazon Fire TV. There’s also Google’s Chromecast. You may want to find reviews on these devices and make your decision.

Another thing to consider is your Internet connection. How strong is it during peak hours? You can test it at speedtest.net or testmy.net. Do several throughout the day and evening to see how much you can handle. You may need to get an HD antenna to get the major networks in full HD.

You can find more information here.

Start Coding Early

Google has a way to teach kids how to code. Not with a computer but with blocks. Called Project Bloks, it allows kids to learn some skills they need for programming.

They us a brain board based on Raspberry Pi to provide connection to the program and each individual “puck” can be the instructions that go to the brain board to move it. Toys can take any form. Check out the video:



Apple has a way to teach coding in Swift using an app on their iPad. Solve puzzles to learn the basics of Swift. Find out more here: https://www.apple.com/swift/playgrounds/

Not to be outdone, Microsoft also has a way to teach concepts using Minecraft Education Edition. You can find out about it here: http://education.minecraft.net/



We’re sure if you’re an adult you won’t get demerits for trying this out.

The Victor crew

WayBack Machine

Ever wonder what websites used to look like? There has been an Internet archive around for years called the WayBack Machine Internet archive. They have saved 472 billion pages over time. You can even save a page now so you will have what it looks like before making a change. The only thing is the site has to allow web crawlers to access the site. That may be why you are not seeing a site you want to see the archive of. Also it won’t be able to crawl past the protected content on passworded sites.

In their blog, they tell us about a grant they received last October to rebuild the site. It won’t be completed until 2017. They have pages going back 19 years!

Here are pictures of Apple.com and Google.com from 1998:

Apple.com May 8, 1998


Google.com December 2, 1998

Apple iPad Pro

Apple announced the coming of the iPad Pro on September 9. It’s due to come out in November. What makes this one so different? Let’s explore …

Here are some things the Victor crew found out about it:

First of all, it’s bigger!
The display size is 12.9 inches
Higher resolution (2732×2048)
It has almost double the CPU performance of the iPad Air 2
It has 78% more screen area
Refresh rates are double
It has 4 speakers
It weighs 1.57 pounds and is 6.9 mm thin
Smart keyboard is available
H=12″ W=8.68″ D=0.27″
Comes with iOS 9
Also available will be the Apple Pencil

Starts at $799 (32GB Wi-Fi). The 128GB Wi-Fi model is $949. The 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular will run you $1079.

Learn more here.

Are Smartphones taking too much from us?

Recently in the news, the Victor Crew have seen a few articles that should cause concern over the way we let smartphones take over our lives.

The first is that a university in Utah have gone so far as to make a separate lane on the stairs and halls just for those texting while walking. Utah Valley University actually has three lanes, one for walking, one for running, and one for texting. While they say the students don’t actually follow the lines, it has stirred up a lot of buzz across the internet. http://blogs.uvu.edu/newsroom/2015/06/17/uvu-photograph-goes-viral/

Another articles tells about a security flaw in Apple’s iOS and OS X systems, found by six university researchers, that allows malicious apps to gain access to anything saved in the Keychain. The apps containing the malware were uploaded to Apple’s App Store without triggering alarms. When installed, it can raid the Keychain and steal passwords as well as those saved in Google Chrome browser, as well as password vaults. The Google Chromium team has responded by removing Keychain integration for Chrome. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/17/apple_hosed_boffins_drop_0day_mac_ios_research_blitzkrieg/



The third and most startling article is about a teenager in Canada that had his life taken over a stolen smartphone. Jeremy Cook lost his phone in a taxi and tracked to a strip mall through his tracking app. He went to approach the car where he believed his phone to be and confronted the the people in the car. As they started to drive away, he held onto the handles of the car and was shot to death in the parking lot. They later found the phone in the car, crashed and abandoned.

If something happens, sure you can use your tracking app to try to find it, but call the police before attempting to retrieve it. Use your app to lock it and wipe the data as well.

iOS 9 Preview

With iOS 9 due out later this year, Apple has already been creating a buzz about it. They promise enhancements to some of the built-in apps that come with it.

A new News app will be added to your homescreen to collect all the stories you want to read, based on topics of your interests.

The Notes app will have more features where you can a photo, map, or URL to a note. You can even sketch with your finger. Lists can become checklists.

Maps enhancements will make it easier to plan your trip with restaurant stops along the way. It will have a Transit view to make it easier to plan your route with public transportation. You’ll be able to see what stores are nearby.

Wallet will allow you to use Apple Pay or your store cards. You can add your reward cards as well to your Wallet app.

CarPlay app will allow you to play audio messages as long as your car supports wireless connection to iPhone.

For iPad users there are other enhancements.

You can do a slide over (slide one app over another to do a quick browse), split view (have 2 apps open and active side by side), and picture in picture (Watch a video or use FaceTime while working on another app) for multitasking.

The shortcut bar will allow you to cut, copy, paste easier. It adds keyboard shortcuts and easy text selection as well.

Siri has had some additions as well making it easier to search for items on your device. You can even do math conversion in search.

Based on previous use, you may get recommendations of what apps to use based on the time of day.

Other enhancements: longer battery life, smaller more convenient updates, faster and more responsive, enhanced security with six-digit passcodes or two-factor authentication.

One last item: They have made it easier than ever to migrate from Android to iOS 9. With the introduction of a new app called “Move to iOS”, you can move your contacts, message history, camera phots and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, wallpaper, and DRM-free songs and books. It can also help you rebuild your app library by suggesting free apps. Your paid apps are added to your wishlist in the App Store.

Apple Watches are too easy to steal and other news

What makes the Apple Watch so easy to steal? It doesn’t come with enough security. If a pick-pocket were to grab it, he can easily reset it and you’re dumb out of luck. There is no activation lock to keep someone from a major reset and taking it over.

Other News:

There were also reports of people easily drawing funds from bank accounts through refillable Starbucks accounts. Starbucks claims they weren’t hacked but rather hackers figured out users credentials and got into their accounts that way. Just another reason not to use public wi-fi.

If you are a Chrome user, there is a new plugin you can add to help you gain some more of your memory. In your browser that is. It is called The Great Suspender. I twill automatically suspend unused tabs. How many times do you have a bunch of tabs open? You can only look at one at a time. You can configure when it will suspend a tab or do it manually. All you have to do is click to reload a suspended tab. It’s worth checking out.

What do you do when you think you lost your phone?

There is nothing more discouraging than to think you’ve lost your smart phone. All your personal information could be out there! So what to do?

Safeguarding yourself:

Android:
Make sure you have installed the Device Manager app from the Play Store. It’s not enough to just download it. You need to make sure it is connected to your Google account and that your phone is verified through it. If you stil have trouble, you may need to check your location settings. They must be turned on. You must also go into your Google settings app and turn on the settings there to find your device. When I tested mine it found it and said “Right here in your hand,” so we know this will work.
Make sure you have some sort of security in place for the lock screen. Yes it’s a hassle but it’s worth it. You may have capabilities for fingerprint reading as well.
Don’t keep files with lists of passwords in your cloud drives.

iPhone:
Download and install the Find iPhone app from the App store. Make sure you do everything to set it up. Also you will need your location services on. You should be able to find your devices from your other Apple devices or from icloud.com.
Use whatever lock methods are available to lock your iPhone.
Don’t keep lists of sensitive data available.

In the case of loss or theft:

See if your carrier allows you to suspend service (with or without billing) temporarily so you can try to locate your phone.
Log into Google or iCloud.com and you should be able to either ring your device or erase the data.
Remember, even if you suspend the data plan, it can still be used through wi-fi to wipe it to factory condition and a new number installed.

Hopefully this won’t happen to you.

Jody Victor

Apple has a new kind of game

There’s a new section under “Featured” in the Apple Store for you iOS device. It is called PLAY ONCE & PLAY. For the fee the game is offered at, you download the game and never see an in-app purchase. In-app purchases serve to unlock levels, add enhancements, remove advertising, or expand the app’s features. Some games may add lives for example. Some of the games cost a little more than they normally would but you’ll never have to pay to get any further in a game. Imagine if Candy Crush Saga were to offer their game in this model.

This doesn’t mean everyone will follow. An interesting point is if you go to “Top Charts” and then look at “Top Grossing” you will see the top grossing apps – the top 15 top grossing apps are actually free to download. So they are earning quite a bit from in-app purchases.

They break down the PAY ONCE & PLAY area into three sections: Recent Releases, Blockbuster Games, App Store Originals. It will be interesting to see where this model goes and if it catches on.

All Things Apple

Last week was a big week for all things Apple. They rolled out the iOS 8 upgrade, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. They also are giving the new U2 album to iTunes users for free. There was also talk about the Apple Watch. Over ten million iPhones have been purchased already since they went on sale Friday!

The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for 16GB and goes to $399 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 and goes to $499 for 128GB. All quoted prices are with a carrier. You can get one contract-free with T-Mobile starting at $649. The Apple Watch won’t be available until 2015.

It was hard for people to get iOS 8 right away when it came out because of so many people trying to download it at one time. You also need to make sure you have around 5GB available on your device to download and install it. It adds a Health App to your homescreen where you can record your vital statistics (height, weight, blood pressure, body measurements, nutrition, etc.)

Jody Victor

Apple has just announced the release of iOS 8 for this fall

So let’s look at what’s new with iOS 8:

Every photo you take can be seen, edited and organized on every device (through your iCloud library).
You can add your voice to a text message.
There will be shortcuts to the people you talk to most.
Mail time-saving features.
Contextual words will pop up to help complete your sentences.
Up to six people in your family can share iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases (parents can approve or deny children’s purchases.)
You will be able to find other family member’s devices.
Find all your files on all devices through iCloud.
Health and fitness apps can communicate with each other, your trainer, your doctor.
Developers will have deeper access and more tools.
There will be new keyboard options.
New uses for iCloud and Touch ID.

Jody Victor