Digitimes: iWatch circuit board samples being delivered to Apple in preparation for September reveal

Concept: jivaldi.com

Concept: jivaldi.com

On Tuesday we reported that Apple was planning to reveal its entry into the wearable market in August or September. Now a new Digitimes report corroborates that timeframe. According to the new report, three different firms have supplied Apple with samples of flexible circuit boards that will be integrated into the iWatch for a fall release.

The companies involved are Flexium Interconnect, Career Technology, and Zhen Ding Technology Holding, according to Digitimes. Zhen Ding Technology Holding is currently Apple’s largest supplier of such parts and is reportedly planning to increase production in order to meet increased demand for iPhone and iPad circuitry.

As with all Digitimes reports, it’s probably best to take this with a grain of salt given their less-than-stellar track record. Read more

iOS 8: Apple considers Notification Center + Messages tweaks, removing Game Center app

iOS 8 App Tweaks

Besides adding new Maps, Healthbook, and iTunes Radio applications, Apple plans to enhance and refine the functionality of some of its current pre-bundled applications and features for iOS 8. Here is a list, provided by sources, of some of the refinements Apple is considering for select applications and system functions in iOS 8:

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Introduced at iPhone 5s event, M7-integrated Nike+ Move fitness app launches

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.30.59 PM

Introduced by Apple at the September 10 iPhone 5s event, Nike has launched its Nike+ Move application for the iPhone 5s. The app was originally scheduled to arrive on November 6th alongside the new FuelBand SE hardware, but it appears that Nike unleashed the program a bit early.

The application requires an iPhone 5s as it is completely based off of the new iPhone’s M7 motion co-processor chipset. The M7 chip, which Apple plans to integrate with its own mapping software next year, works with the iPhone’s motion sensors (like the compass and accelerometer) to provide by reliable data while simultaneously improving the phone battery’s overall efficiency.

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From beta 1 to release: how each major iOS version has transformed

Beta

Following its introduction earlier this month, Apple’s newest operating system has fallen under criticism and scrutiny from both designers and casual users alike. Due to both the tight development timetable and the new design direction under Jony Ive, following the removal of former iOS SVP Scott Forstall last fall, iOS 7 is, understandably, the most controversial and intriguing iOS version yet.

In response to much of the negative criticism directed towards iOS 7, some have suggested that iOS 7 will change substantially before it is released to the general public. Looking back at previous versions of iOS reveals a long trend of subtle refinements to the operating system during beta periods, not dramatic changes. Let’s take a look at how each version of iOS has transformed:

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This could be one of the first Apple authorized iPhone gaming controllers

logitech-iphone-controller-game

We already know that Apple has added support for game controllers in iOS7, but it appears that these plans are further along than first thought.  According to Kotaku, the above image shows an early  iOS gaming controller prototype made specifically for the iPhone 5 by gaming giant Logitech. While they weren’t forthcoming with details of where the device was seen or who showed it to them, Kotaku is standing firm that they believe this photo to be absolutely authentic.  The decision to support integrated gaming accessories is in stark contrast to Steve Jobs’ stance that such products would ruin the “elegance” of Apple devices (even though he got his start at Atari).

A reader reached out with this image from one of Apple’s WWDC sessions, which appears to show the same Logitech controller.

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Bluetooth gaming devices have existed for iOS devices for quite some time but most have had limited compatibility and fragmented compatibility.  An integrated, Apple authorized (MFi) gaming controller is going to be a welcomed addition for the iOS gaming community.

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 8.13.24 AM3rd party gaming accessories like the iCade Mobile (Above) have existed for years

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Apple clamping down on cheaters & adding new features for gamers in iOS 7

Sprite-Kit-WWDC-Adventure

Apple is making some big improvements for gamers in the coming releases of iOS and OS X, and not just the new standardized gaming controllers we told you about previously. Not only is Apple introducing enhanced leaderboards, improved challenge modes, and new turn-based gaming features, it is also providing developers with tools to combat and prevent cheating.

Head below for details on everything Apple is doing in iOS 7 to improve the gaming experience… Read more

Aspyr Media talks porting games to OS X, Mac App Store & the future of Mac gaming (+ Borderlands 2 giveaway!)

Aspyr-Borderlands2-Interview

The introduction of the Mac App Store, at least for the Mac’s biggest game publisher Aspyr Media, hasn’t been entirely smooth. Aspyr recently outlined some issues with bringing multiplayer to Mac games due to Game Center and sandboxing restrictions of the Mac App Store, and developing separate versions of games for Steam and the Mac App Store continues to be a hurdle. An example is Borderlands 2. It took Aspyr just two months to ship the Mac version, but the Game Center multiplayer won’t arrive until sometime early this year. However, executives at the company promise Apple’s enthusiasm toward gaming on Mac is stronger than ever thanks to the Mac App Store. Aspyr also said it has much planned for 2013 in Apple’s store and remains platform agnostic, despite running its own competitive GameAgent store.

9to5Mac recently had the chance to speak with Aspyr Vice President of Publishing Elizabeth Howard, with input from CEO Michael Rogers and other execs, about the process of porting games to the Mac App Store, the company’s relationship with Apple and publishers, and the possibility of bringing iOS titles to OS X.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Aspyr is one of the biggest Mac game publishers bringing PC and console titles to OS X. It regularly leads many of the top paid and grossing charts on the Mac App Store thanks to high-profile releases such as Borderlands 2, RAGE, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and much more. Go below for the full interview and a chance to win Borderlands 2 for Mac. Read more

Apple seeds OS X 10.8.3 build 12D43 to developers

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 4.12.52 PMShortly after releasing iOS 6.0.2 to the masses this afternoon, Apple seeded build 12D43 of OS X 10.8.3 to developers. The folks in Cupertino have not listed any new features or known issues, but they asked developers to focus on AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, Graphics Drivers, and Safari. The last pre-release build was released on Dec. 5. You can check today’s release out on the developer center, while the full release note is below:

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Carmageddon, Steam, Fring, Angry Birds Star Wars, Sonic Jump, more

Carmageddon: Thanks to a Kickstarter project, Carmageddon makes its return today as a universal iOS app with iPhone 5 support and most of the features of the original Mac and PC title. In case you’re unfamiliar, the game was banned in many countries for its gory vehicular combat gameplay (by 1997 standards anyway). The game clearly still has a cult following and the iOS version comes with a few enhancements over the original including Game Center support, leaderboards, and customizable controls. Carmageddon is free today only to celebrate the launch and will soon increase to $2.

Steam version 1.1.0: With the latest update to Steam’s iOS app we finally get native iPhone 5 support. However, the biggest addition is the announcement all Steam account users worldwide can now access the app. Also included in version 1.1.0 is support for 25 new languages and a few fixes:

* Access via the Steam mobile app is now available to all Steam account holders
* Native support for iPhone5
* Increased robustness of Chat in unreliable network conditions
* Fixed issues with global menu rendering, notably the inability to select “Settings” after device rotation
* Support for 25 langauges
* Improved general stability

Fring version 6.0: The popular Fring messaging, calling, and video calling app gets an improved UI, better fringOut rates, iOS 6 support and 4-way group calls:

* Phone number only registration (no username/password login)
* Improved look and feel
* Even better fringOut rates
* Group calls with up to 4 users
* Improved security
* iOS 6 compatible

Sonic Jump: SEGA is releasing a new Doodle Jump-style Sonic title today. The game features familiar Sonic stages and characters, boss battles, and other elements of Sonic games, but switches to an all vertical gameplay style made popular on iOS by Doodle Jump. It’s already available in New Zealand and will hit all App Stores by midnight tonight.

Checkmark 1.1: We recently had good things to say about this new take on Apple’s Reminders app in our review. Today it gets a number of new features including recurring and snooze reminders, map improvements, and iOS 6/iPhone 5 support:

• Recurring reminders (NEW FEATURE)
• Snooze reminders (NEW FEATURE)
• Support for iOS 6 and iPhone 5
• Map improvements (Satellite/Hybrid views, Drop a pin anywhere)
• Improved radius control for locations (larger radius options, new slider UI to choose radius)

Angry Birds Star Wars lands on November 8th and Rovio just posted another teaser: Read more

Screenshots of what running apps on a taller iPhone screen may look like

Earlier this week, we broke the news that Apple’s upcoming iOS 6 software for the iPhone is fully aware and capable of running on taller iPhone displays. It just so happens that the latest iOS 6 builds are optimized to express a tweaked, properly displayed new interface when running at a resolution of 640 x 1136. This happens to be the exact resolution that our sources reported Apple is testing for upcoming iOS devices.

iOS specialist Sonny Dickson decided to create some screenshots of what running native applications may be like on the next-generation iPhone – if Apple chooses to roll with the taller, 640 x 1136 screen. Dickson installed some applications into the tweaked iPhone simulator, and the results are interesting. Apps that are already included and optimized for the iOS 6 simulator appear to have tweaked interfaces that fit the taller display. Several more screenshots and all the details are after the break:

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OS X Game Center launches with few, yet notable, game titles

One of the big new features in OS X Mountain Lion is the Game Center. This Game Center is cross platform between OS X and iOS. Unfortunately, only a few compatible titles have made their way into Mac App Store for today’s launch. However, some of them are very notable. Some of our favorites include Real Racing 2, Sky Gamblers, and Cut the Rope.

Oh, and don’t forget about… Chess!

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