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Posts tagged ‘iPad’

9
Dec

‘Super Mario Run’ won’t work offline due to piracy concerns


Super Mario Run doesn’t arrive for another few days, but when it does, you’ll need a constant internet connection to play the game. In an interview with Mashable, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that due to piracy concerns, the latest installment of Mario doesn’t have an offline mode. The company is worried about piracy because the game will be available in 150 countries on devices that it doesn’t have direct control over.

“For us, we view our software as being a very important asset for us,” Miyamoto explained to Mashable. “And also for consumers who are purchasing the game, we want to make sure that we’re able to offer it to them in a way that the software is secure, and that they’re able to play it in a stable environment.”

The constant network connection will not only be used to save progress, but it will also sync that saved info across devices. Nintendo apparently wanted to make the World Tour available offline, but the technical hurdles to doing so and having it still play nice with the Toad Rally and Kingdom modes proved problematic.

“We wanted to be able to leverage that network connection with all three of the modes to keep all of the modes functioning together and offering the game in a way that keeps the software secure,” Miyamoto continued. “This is something that we want to continue to work on as we continue to develop the game.”

In a statement to Engadget, Nintendo said that Super Mario Run’s online connection allows it to “enhance the play experience.” An internet connection provides access to scores from other players’ Toad Rally challenges and handles new in-game events while you’re playing. The company also reiterated that being constantly connected lets users to link to a Nintendo Account so that saved progress can sync across all of their iOS devices. You know, if you need to switch from your iPad to your iPhone for some reason.

Super Mario Run arrives for iPhone and iPad on December 15th. While the game is free to download, you’ll need to hand over $10 to unlock all of its levels. Of course, with no offline mode, you won’t be able to play during your next flight or on a commute that takes you underground. Here’s Nintendo’s full statement on the matter:

Online connectivity allows us to offer a variety of features and services that enhance the play experience. Super Mario Run is not a static experience, but rather one that players can continue to return to again and again to enjoy something new and unexpected. For example, online connectivity can offer the following:

  • Access to other users’ play data and scores for automatically generated Toad Rally challenges.
  • In-game events that will offer players new challenges and rewards for a limited time.
  • Linkage to Nintendo Account to access save data from multiple devices. For example, if players have Super Mario Run on their iPhone and iPad, they can share one save file across the different devices. However, this save data cannot be used with different devices at the same time.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Mashable

8
Dec

Spotify Won’t Be Purchasing SoundCloud After All


Rumors last month suggested Apple Music rival Spotify was in advanced talks to acquire audio distribution platform SoundCloud, but it appears discussions have ended after Spotify pulled out of the deal.

According to TechCrunch, though months of talks took place, Spotify ultimately decided not to purchase SoundCloud because of worries the acquisition would negatively impact its impending IPO.

Spotify hasn’t officially said it will go public in 2017, but there has been plenty of speculation, including a funding round with incentives tied to a listing. The source said Spotify went cold on SoundCloud because “it doesn’t need an additional licensing headache in a potential IPO year.”

SoundCloud, which allows users to upload, promote, and share audio recordings, would have allowed Spotify to add user-created content to its own music catalog, but Spotify would have needed to deal with licensing issues, something it did not want to do ahead of an IPO.

SoundCloud has upwards of 175 million total listeners a month, while Spotify has 40 million paying subscribers. Apple Music, Spotify’s main competitor, has been gaining subscribers steadily and as of December 2016, boasts 20 million subscribers.
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8
Dec

Apple’s AI Team Working on LiDAR, Smaller Neural Networks, Image Processing and More


At an exclusive invitation-only lunch at an AI conference in Barcelona, Spain that took place on December 6, Apple head of machine learning Russ Salakhutdinov and other Apple employees talked about their work on artificial intelligence.

Quartz has obtained some of the slides that Salakhutdinov used during the presentation, giving us a glimpse at the advancements Apple is making in AI and machine learning.

Based on one of the slides, topics at the lunch were wide-ranging, including health and vital signs, volumetric detection of LiDAR, prediction with structured outputs, image processing and colorization, intelligent assistant and language modeling, and activity recognition.

One of the slides, related to Apple’s LiDAR work, featured a picture of two cars, but Apple engineers did not mention cars or any automotive research, such as self-driving vehicles. Another slide focused on Apple’s image recognition algorithms, which are able to process 3,000 images per second, twice as fast as Google’s capabilities. Apple’s work on smaller neural networks that can run directly on devices was also covered.

Another slide focused on Apple’s ability to build neural networks that are 4.5 times smaller than the originals with no loss in accuracy, and twice the speed. The technique, not unknown in AI research, uses a larger, more robust neural network to teach another network the decisions it would make in a variety of situations. The “student” network then has a streamlined version of the “teacher” network’s knowledge. In essence, it predicts the larger network’s predictions about a given photo or audio sample.

The discussion also covered some of Apple’s research focus areas:

– Deep generative models
– Model compression
– Holistic scene understanding
– Model reliability
– Deep reinforcement learning
– Unsupervised learning, transfer learning, one-shot learning
– Reasoning, attention & memory
– Efficient training on distributed computing

Going forward, Apple plans to allow its AI and machine learning researchers to start publishing papers, marking its willingness to contribute to the research community. Apple has always been notoriously secretive, but allowing researchers to publish could attract top talent that would not otherwise want to join the company.

A full rundown of the slides from Apple’s presentation can be seen over at Quartz.
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7
Dec

Apple’s Single Sign-On Service Now Live


Apple today officially launched Single Sign-on, the service designed to allow cable subscribers to sign in once with their cable credentials to gain access to all cable-restricted content in iOS and tvOS apps.

Single Sign-on is limited to the United States, and according to a support document, is available for the following providers: CenturyLink Prism, DirecTV, Dish, GVTC, GTA, Hawaiian Telecom, Hotwire, MetroCast, and Sling.

While Single Sign-on was introduced and tested in the tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 betas, the feature was remotely released today to all iOS 10 and tvOS 10 devices. Using Single Sign-on does not require one of the betas, and is instead immediately available to all iPhone and Apple TV users running iOS 10 or tvOS 10.

With Single Sign-on, customers with a supported provider will use the Settings options in iOS or tvOS to sign in with their cable credentials. From then on, when accessing a supported app that requires a cable subscription, the app will ask to use the saved sign-on credentials.

To get to Single Sign-on on iOS devices, open the Settings app and scroll down to “TV Providers.” The process is the same on the Apple TV – open the Settings app and choose the TV Providers option to sign in.

Most cable channels and content providers offer individual apps on the Apple TV and iOS devices, but still require cable authentication before users can access content. Prior to Single Sign-on, customers were required to enter their credentials in each individual app, a frustrating and time-consuming process.

Single Sign-on will play a key part in the upcoming “TV” app that’s set to debut in iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1. The TV app serves as sort of an Apple-designed television guide that lets customers find new content and keep track of what they were watching across multiple devices.

At the current time, Single Sign-on is available to a limited number of customers, but its availability will expand as Apple signs the necessary deals with cable providers. Single Sign-on also requires apps to implement support for the feature, and many apps have not yet introduced Single Sign-on support.
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7
Dec

Apple’s Support Site Now Lets Customers Schedule Repairs at Apple Authorized Providers


Apple recently made a quiet update to its Apple Support site, introducing a new feature that allows customers to find and schedule repairs for iPhones, Macs, and iPads from Apple Authorized Service Providers.

When troubleshooting a product, choosing “Bring in for Repair” after going through Apple’s support prompts now brings up all repair centers near a customer, including Apple’s own retail stores and retail locations where customers can get repairs from Apple Authorized Service Providers.

In addition to including all nearby Apple Authorized Service Providers, the new repair site also lists availability, so customers can find the fastest repairs and get same-day service in many locations. There’s even an option to book a repair right from the site.

applerepairsappointment
Most of the time, getting a repair appointment at an Apple Store’s Genius Bar requires a wait of several days to a week, while Apple Authorized Service Providers have much more open availability.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, local Apple Stores do not have repair appointments until next week, but third-party repair shops like Best Buy, Clickaway, Mobile Kangaroo, and Computercare have appointments today or tomorrow.

Apple Authorized Service Providers have been officially authorized by Apple to perform repairs on Apple devices. Both AppleCare repairs and out-of-warranty repair services are available, but many customers may not be aware of local options outside of an Apple Store.

Apple’s new focus on third-party service providers may provide some much-needed relief for Apple retail stores that are unable to keep up with repair requests and it will ensure customers are able to get faster service.
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3
Dec

Apple Store App for iOS Updated With Rich Notifications, One-Tap Apple Watch Purchases


Apple today updated its Apple Store app for iOS to version 4.1, adding support for rich notifications and expanding the functionality of the Apple Store app on the Apple Watch.

Rich notifications, available in iOS 10, deliver more information than a standard notification and in many cases, are interactive, so you can do more without having to unlock your phone.

In addition to supporting iOS 10’s new notification system, the Apple Store app for Apple Watch has been updated with a new feature that allows customers to make one-tap purchases from their “Favorites” list.

Items added to the Favorites list on iOS or the web will be visible on the Apple Watch and can be purchased by tapping on them on the Apple Watch. Apple Pay is used to make the purchase, so a device with Apple Pay and an available credit or debit card is required.

According to Apple’s release notes, today’s update also includes unspecified improvements and performance enhancements.

The Apple Store app can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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2
Dec

Apple’s Profit Downturn and Negative Customer Opinions Threaten ‘Decade-Long Malaise’ for Company


Analysts at financial firm Oppenheimer today added to the pile of criticisms aimed at Apple and its current, and future, state of innovation within the technology industry. In a recently published note (via Business Insider), the firm addressed a few “strategic issues” it currently has with Apple, as well as concern for the future trajectory of the company.

In the near-future, Oppenheimer believes that iPhone sales will peak, specifically in 2018, and that “the company lacks the ability to raise prices across its iPhones, iPads and Mac products,” which is hurting its growth. The firm also described a disharmony between “Apple’s primary role as ‘the hardware platform’ … with its secondary role as ‘the software and service provider.’”

“We believe Apple lacks the courage to lead the next generation of innovation (AI, cloud-based services, messaging); instead will become more reliant than ever on the iPhone … We believe Apple is about to embark on a decade-long malaise. The risks to the company have never been greater.”

While the “Apple is doomed” mindset has been prevalent for much of the company’s lifespan, the “universe of negativity” surrounding the company became more noticeable throughout 2016. In April, Apple reported its first year-over-year decline in iPhone sales and quarterly revenue since 2003, and although initial shipments of the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro models were reported as strong, subsequent user experiences have largely varied between positive and negative opinions.

In October, Apple forecasted a return to growth for the last half of 2016 thanks to the holiday shopping season, potentially putting an end to the company’s downturn after its first annual revenue decline since 2001 and three consecutive quarters of negative growth. The constant bright spots in Apple’s revenue remain its services category, including the App Store, iCloud, and Apple Music.

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2
Dec

99 Percent of Fake Apple Chargers Sold Online Fail Safety Tests


New research conducted by a global independent safety firm has revealed that 99 percent of fake Apple chargers sold online fail a basic safety test (via BBC).

The tests were commissioned by the U.K.’s Trading Standards and undertaken by Illinois-based global safety specialists UL. The insulation tests applied a high voltage to the chargers, which were bought online from eight different countries, including the U.S., China, and Australia.

According to the results, only three out of 400 counterfeit chargers were found to have adequate insulation to ensure protection against electric shocks. Leon Livermore, the chief executive of Chartered Trading Standards Institute, described the counterfeit chargers sold online as an “unknown entity” and urged shoppers to buy electrical goods only from trusted suppliers.

“It might cost a few pounds more, but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one,” he said.

Earlier this week, Amazon acknowledged a worsening counterfeit problem on its site and said it had made fighting the fake products a “major goal” going forward. The announcement followed a lawsuit filed by Apple last month against a company it accused of selling fake power adapters and cables on Amazon. Apple conducted its own tests and said it found that almost 90 percent of so-called genuine Apple products and accessories it had purchased from Amazon over the last nine months were actually counterfeit.

“Counterfeit electrical goods are likely to be poor quality and in the worst cases unsafe,” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of the U.K.’s Citizens Advice. “Look out for tell-tale signs of counterfeiting such as mistakes in brand names or logos, and check plugs for safety marks – all genuine electrical items made in the EU should have a CE mark on them.”

Trading Standards included guidelines in its press release to help consumers in the EU spot a fake charger, advising them to check pin size, look for regulation markings, warnings and instructions. In addition, Citizens Advice urged consumers not to overcharge appliances and to never cover devices when charging or use a charger with a cracked case or frayed cable.
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2
Dec

Apple Retail Stores Sporting Red Logos for World AIDS Day


Over 400 Apple retail stores around the world have red logos today, in recognition of World AIDS Day. The logos, which Apple has put up at its stores for the last several years on December 1, are meant to raise awareness for the global fight against AIDS.

Earlier this week, Apple announced plans to donate $1 to partner charity (RED) for every Apple Pay purchase made at an Apple Store, on Apple.com, or through the Apple Store app as part of a World AIDS Day campaign. Apple has pledged to donate up to $1 million during the event, which will last until December 6.

Bank of America is also making a donation for every Apple Pay transaction made using its cards from December 1 to December 7, with plans to donate up to $1 million.

In addition to its Apple Pay promotion, Apple has released several new PRODUCT(RED) items over the course of the last month, including an iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, an iPhone SE case, a Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, and Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones. Throughout the year, a portion of the proceeds from PRODUCT(RED) sales goes to The Global Fund to put a stop to AIDS.

Several App Store apps are also offering limited-edition custom (RED) content for World AIDS Day, and all in-app purchase proceeds will be donated. Participating apps include popular titles like Best Fiends, Boom Beach, Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Jelly Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator, Hay Day, Plants vs. Zombies Heroes, and more.

Apple Stores around the world are @RED today for #WorldAIDSDay. Together we can #endAIDS. pic.twitter.com/yFrLua7IoR

— (RED) (@RED) December 1, 2016

The (RED) initiative has raised more than $365 million to date to stop AIDS in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zambia. Funds raised by (RED) are donated to The Global Fund, a group that works to end AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria as epidemics.

Apple is one of (RED)’s biggest contributors and has donated nearly $120 million over the last 10 years.
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1
Dec

Apple Working to Put a Stop to iCloud Calendar Spam


Over the course of the last week, many iCloud users have been the target of spam that’s delivered in the form of an unsolicited Calendar event invitation, and now Apple is working on a way to stop it.

In a statement given to iMore’s Rene Ritchie, an Apple spokesperson said the company working to block spam invites.

We are sorry that some of our users are receiving spam calendar invitations. We are actively working to address this issue by identifying and blocking suspicious senders and spam in the invites being sent.

iCloud calendar spam isn’t new, but there’s been a serious uptick in calendar spam since last week. Because iCloud calendar invites are sent to an iCloud calendar automatically by default and there’s no easy way to ignore them, there’s no clear way to stop the spam.

Image via OS X Daily
Declining, accepting, or choosing “Maybe” on an incoming iCloud invite lets an iCloud email address is valid, so until Apple can put a stop to the spam, there are two fixes. First, by logging in to iCloud via a web browser and accessing the Calendar settings (Click the cog, go to Preferences, then choose Advanced), you can choose to receive all event invitations as email. Emails can be more easily ignored and deleted.

Second, you can create a new Calendar, name it Spam, move the spam invitation to the Spam calendar, and then delete the Calendar entirely. This method does not inform spammers that an event has been declined and does not verify an iCloud account’s validity. For more detailed instructions, make sure to check out our how to.

Both iOS users that use the default Calendar app and those who use third-party calendar apps like Fantastical are affected by the spam issue, which appears to be fairly widespread.
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