Mac Headlines

‘Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft’ for iPad Now Available Worldwide [iOS Blog]

April 16th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Blizzard Entertainment’s digital card trading game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft for iPad is now available for download worldwide after soft-launching in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand in early April. The game initially launched for the Mac in March.

The free-to-play collectible card game is set in the Warcraft universe, allowing players to compete with Magic the Gathering-style decks in one-on-one fights via Battle.net or against the computer. The iPad version of the game is able to connect to a Battle.net account, syncing with the PC/Mac version.

 
JUMP RIGHT IN: Fun introductory missions bring you into the world of Hearthstone’s intuitive gameplay.

BUILD YOUR DECK: With hundreds of additional cards to win and craft - your collection grows with you.

HONE YOUR SKILLS: Play in practice matches against computer-controlled heroes of the Warcraft universe. Thrall, Uther, Gul’dan - they’re all here!

COLLECTION TRAVELS WITH YOU: Your card collection is linked to your Battle.net account - enabling you to switch your play between tablet and desktop with ease.

AND FIGHT FOR GLORY: When you’re ready, step into the Arena and duel other players for the chance to win awesome prizes!
Our sister site Touch Arcade has given Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft a five star review, calling the game "a ton of fun" and "super easy to pick up."
Hearthstone is not only an example of a free-to-play model done right, but it's a must-play for card game enthusiasts everywhere. It's incredibly easy to get into, the picturesque art is easy on the eyes, and best of all -- it plays perfectly on an iPad.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is also available for the Mac after launching in March and Blizzard has plans to bring it to the iPhone as well, later in the year.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft for the iPad can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]






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Google’s ‘Project Tango’ Smartphone Uses Apple’s PrimeSense Technology

April 16th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Earlier this year, Google unveiled "Project Tango," an experimental smartphone that incorporates 3D sensors to allow users to map indoor and outdoor environments.

Reports suggested that the smartphone's 3D capabilities were powered by the Movidius Myriad 1 3D-sensing chip, but as it turns out, Project Tango is also powered by Apple technology. Alongside two Myriad 1 vision co-processors, Project Tango utilizes a PrimeSense Capri PS1200 3D imaging system-on-a-chip [PDF], technology that Apple acquired when it purchased PrimeSense late last year.

primesensecaprips1200
The unexpected PrimeSense chip was discovered in a teardown of the Project Tango smartphone by iFixit that was posted this morning.
This appears to be PrimeSense's new Capri PS1200 SoC 3D imaging chip, unexpected for a couple of reasons:

Just last year, Apple bought PrimeSense, manufacturer of the Kinect's 3D vision hardware. Speculators assumed we would be seeing this hot new hardware in an upcoming iOS device, with intent of mapping 3D spaces. Looks like Tango beat Apple to the punch with their own tech?
Google's Project Tango smartphone is one of the first mobile devices to use the diminutive Capri 3D sensor and it offers a glimpse at what Apple could possibly do with the technology in the future.

Project Tango is essentially a mapping tool, capturing the world around each user to provide directions, dimensions, and environmental maps. Google also has plans to use the technology to create immersive augmented reality games and apps that merge the digital world with the real world.

According to iFixit, Project Tango works very similarly to the original Microsoft Kinect, which also used technology developed by PrimeSense. Tango displays a bright grid of dots that are captured by IR sensors to build a depth map.

tango
Along with the Capri 3D chip and the Myriad vision co-processors, Project Tango incorporates four separate cameras to capture its environment. Amazon is said to be working on a similar device that incorporates multiple cameras for 3D mapping and with Google and Amazon both working on 3D projects, it is reasonable to assume that Apple is also experimenting with the technology.

There have been no hints that Apple intends to incorporate PrimeSense technology in the upcoming iPhone 6, but motion control capabilities similar to the Kinect have been rumored for the next-generation Apple TV set-top box, so the first Apple device to use PrimeSense technology may very well be the Apple TV. Project Tango proves that PrimeSense's 3D chips are ready for mobile devices and it is likely that the company is continuing development on its Capri chips, improving the technology for possible inclusion in future iPads and iPhones.







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‘Anki Drive’ AI-Based Slot Car Racing Game Gains New Cars and Tracks [iOS Blog]

April 16th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Anki today announced the debut of two new cars and two new tracks for its iPhone-compatible Anki Drive slot car racing game. Joining the existing four cars are Hadion and Corax, new characters that focus on speed and weaponry, respectively.

ankicars
Designed by Anki and Hollywood legend Harald Belker, Corax and Hadion are the newest characters available for Anki DRIVE. Hadion is built for speed and is the only car that can access Turbo Boost, which enables you to fly incredibly fast down the track. Corax is the ultimate warrior, with the option to mount multiple weapons. Watch out, he's an aggressive one!
First introduced in 2013 during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Anki Drive is a unique racing game that Anki describes as a "video game in the real world." Similar to slot car racing, Anki Drive incorporates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and smartphone-based controls, allowing two players to shoot at one another while their cars autonomously race down a vinyl track.

Each of Anki's cars have their own unique name, personality, look, and statistics. While some of them offer greater acceleration speeds, others have more energy or better weaponry. The two released today expand on the abilities of the existing cars, offering Turbo Boost (Hadrion) and multiple mounted weapons (Corax).

Along with the new cars, Anki is also introducing two new tracks: Crossroads and Bottleneck. Crossroads offers hard corners and a challenging intersection that requires solid timing and maneuvering skills, while Bottleneck introduces a bottleneck shape that must be overcome.

crossroadstrack
There's also a brand new Race Mode in the Anki Drive app, which joins the existing Battle Mode. Weaponry is still available and the goal is to make it to the finish line first, beating out other players or AI-controlled cars.

Anki's new cars can both be purchased today from the Anki website for $69.99 each, and the new tracks will be available on May 6 for $99. The original Anki starter kit can also be purchased from the Anki website for $199.

The accompanying Anki Drive app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]






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Hyundai Bringing CarPlay to 2015 Sonata Models Later This Year

April 16th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Hyundai today announced that it will bring Apple's CarPlay technology to its Sonata automobile lineup starting next year. This introduction makes Hyundai the first volume automobile manufacturer to bring CarPlay to the market and leaves Honda as the only one of five brands featured by Apple as launching CarPlay support in 2014 yet to make a specific announcement.

hyundai_carplay
The first Hyundai automobiles to offer the voice-driven system will be the company's popular Sonata line. Models that are equipped with the CarPlay-compatible navigation systems will debut later in the 2015 model year.
Hyundai’s latest Audio Video Navigation (AVN) systems are already recognized for their beautiful, yet intuitive interface and advanced feature set. Our engineers took advantage of the vivid eight-inch touchscreen to integrate CarPlay for an experience that iPhone users will instantly recognize.
CarPlay allows an iPhone to integrate into the car's infotainment system, providing Siri voice-controlled access to messaging, voice calls, Maps and music. The technology initially debuted as a factory-installed option in new 2014 luxury models from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo and will be available as an aftermarket add-on via Pioneer and Alpine-branded receivers.






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Another Alleged iPhone 6 Case Surfaces with Cutouts for Moved Power Button, New Volume Controls

April 16th, 2014 by AppleInsider

New photos showing what appears to be another case for Apple's larger-screen iPhone 6 have been posted by Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate]. While details about the case's exact length are unknown, the images are said to have come from a Chinese accessory maker and show a case designed for the next-generation iPhone, similar to cases pictured last week and those on display at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair yesterday.

iphone_6_silicon_1
The case feature slightly rounded edges, similar to the design of the iPhone 5c and consistent with design drawings said to be for the iPhone 6. Like other cases and in line with a claim from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the case also includes a hole for a button along the upper right side of the device, which may be the new location of the power button. Rectangular volume control buttons similar to the fifth-generation iPod Touch are also notably present.

iphone_6_silicon_2_annotated
Rectangular volume (1) and right side power (2) cutouts (Annotated by Nowhereelse.fr)

Apple's iPhone 6 is expected to launch in two sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. The majority of leaks so far have depicted the 4.7-inch version, as it is reportedly on track for a release this fall. Apple is said to have been running into production issues with the 5.5-inch version, with that model likely seeing a release later this year or early next year.

Along with a larger screen, Apple's next-generation iPhone is expected to include a thinner profile, upgraded A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and an improved camera featuring optical image stabilization. A report earlier this week from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also claimed that Apple is negotiating with carriers to increase the price of the iPhone 6 by $100.






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Apple Launches 8 GB iPhone 5c in 16 New European Countries [Updated] [iOS Blog]

April 16th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Following a brief maintenance period worldwide, Apple's Online Stores in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, and the Czech Republic are now selling the 8 GB iPhone 5c. The device was spotted in these online stores by 9to5Mac.

8gb_iphone5c_6countries
The 8 GB version of the phone was launched last month in a few of Apple's Online Stores alongside the relaunched 16 GB iPad 4. Apple revealed in a statement to Re/code that its strategy with the 8 GB iPhone 5c is to offer a low-cost option that is compatible with the growing number of developing LTE networks in certain countries. The report also noted that Apple prefers not to sell the lower-cost model in the United States because of the popularity of subsidized phones.

The 8GB iPhone 5c is available now through select Apple Online Stores as well as through various Apple Retail locations.

Update 2:31 AM: As spotted by MacRumors readers, the 8 GB iPhone 5c is also now available through Apple's Online Stores in Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Hungary, and Luxembourg.






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Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D43 to Developers [Mac Blog]

April 15th, 2014 by AppleInsider

mavericks.pngApple today seeded build 13D43 of OS X 10.9.3 to developers, just under a week after releasing the sixth OS X beta, build 13D38, and a little over a month after the first 10.9.3 beta.

The beta is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store as well as through the Mac Dev Center.

Apple continues to ask developers to focus on Graphics Drivers, Audio, Mail, Contacts and Calendar sync over USB in iTunes, and Safari. As was discovered with the first beta, 10.9.3 adds new support for 4K displays, offering "Retina" resolutions that improve readability along with support for 60Hz output from the Retina MacBook Pro.






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Apple and Other Smartphone Makers Back Global Anti-Theft Measures

April 15th, 2014 by Jordan Golson

Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung have announced a voluntary agreement to include anti-theft technology on all smartphones beginning next year, according to a report by Re/code.

The pledge has device makers agreeing that all devices going on sale after July of 2015 will have capabilities to remotely wipe data and to prevent the device from being reactivated without the owner's permission.

ios7_activation_lock
A number of state and local lawmakers praised the agreement, though it was panned as inadequate by California state Sen. Mark Leno, who has proposed a mandatory kill-switch law.

“The wireless industry today has taken an incremental yet inadequate step to address the epidemic of smartphone theft,” Leno said in a statement. “Only weeks ago, they claimed that the approach they are taking today was infeasible and counterproductive. While I am encouraged they are moving off of that position so quickly, today’s ‘opt-in’ proposal misses the mark if the ultimate goal is to combat street crime and violent thefts involving smartphones and tablets.”
The senator pointed out that all smartphones must have similar kill switch features, or violent street crime and thefts will continue to occur as at least some of the device thefts will still be profitable.

A federal bill introduced earlier this year would mandate the inclusion of such a smartphone "kill switch" after California introduced a similar bill.

It is likely that Apple's Activation Lock, introduced alongside iOS 7, satisfies the requirements of the agreement already. Activation Lock effectively disables a stolen smartphone by preventing it from being wiped and reactivated without an Apple ID and password. Apple's Find My iPhone also allows for devices to be remotely wiped and locked.






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iPhone 6 Mockups and Case Designs on Display at Hong Kong Electronics Fair

April 15th, 2014 by AppleInsider

As we progress further into 2014, iPhone 6 rumors have begun to pick up, with case designs, schematics, molds, and alleged iPhone parts surfacing over the past few weeks to give hints at what Apple's larger iPhone might look like.

Today Japanese site Mac Otakara [Google Translation] (via 9to5Mac) has shared some additional images of iPhone 6 mockups and accessories being displayed in several different booths at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair.

One image shows a physical iPhone 6 mockup that has allegedly been used to create cases for the next version of the iPhone next to an iPhone case made using the dummy version.

iphone6dummy
While few details can be gleaned from the model, it does appear to be larger in size with rectangular volume buttons and a sleep/wake power button on the right hand side of the device, which is in line with some previous rumors. It also possesses a round camera flash, as was described in schematics that leaked in March.

iphone6dummy2
The site has also published a video displaying some lightning cables aimed at the iPhone 6 as well as a close-up look at the iPhone 6 mockup.


It is unclear whether the mockups and the cases are representative of the actual iPhone 6, but thus far, the iPhone 6 leaks coming out of Asia have all shared many of the same design similarities outlined above.

Apple's iPhone 6 is expected to come in two sizes, at 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. The majority of leaks we have seen so far have depicted the 4.7-inch version, as it is said to be in production for a September or October release. The 5.5 version has seen some production delays, which could see it being released later in 2014 or in early 2015.

In addition to two display sizes, the iPhone 6 is expected to include an upgraded A8 processor, camera improvements in the form of optical image stabilization, slimmer bezels, a thinner chassis, and Touch ID support.






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Microsoft Launches ‘Office 365 Personal’ Plan for One Mac and One iPad at $69/Year

April 15th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Microsoft today started selling its Office 365 Personal subscription, a less expensive version of Office 365 that targets individual users. The cloud-based subscription service provides access to online versions of Microsoft's Office productivity suite, online storage in OneDrive and a block of Skype calling minutes.

office-365-personalb
The new personal option allows subscribers to connect one PC or Mac desktop computer and one tablet, including the iPad, to the online service. It will cost $69 per year or $6.99 per month. Customers who require more connections can sign up for the Office 365 Home plan, which is geared towards families with support for up to five desktops and five tablets.

The new Office 365 Personal plan is available for purchase at Office365.com. It also is available at Microsoft Stores and through Microsoft’s online and retail partners. Microsoft also offers Office 365 business plans, which are priced by the number of users and are designed for real-time, online collaboration using the Office 365 suite.






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