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Apple Says Cloud Gaming Services Like Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud Violate App Store Guidelines

Cloud gaming is the next step in mobile gaming, with services like Microsoft project xCloud aiming to bring AAA titles right to your mobile phone. Microsoft has already been testing its xCloud application on Android and iOS devices for some time, and the application was supposed to launch sometime in September. However, it seems like Microsoft is only going to serve the customers on Android, as Apple says that these types of applications violate App Store guidelines. This doesn't only apply to xCloud, but also Google's Stadia gaming platform. When developer uploads application to App Store for iOS, the application goes through a review by Apple, for security reason and for Apple to check if it meets its guidelines.

Being that xCloud and Stadia are types of applications which offer a way to access many more applications (games in this case), this is against Apple's policy as they can't control the applications these services offer.

SteelSeries Launches Apple Exclusive Nimbus+ Wireless Gamepad Controller

SteelSeries, the worldwide leader in gaming and esports peripherals, today announces the Nimbus+ Wireless Gamepad Controller for Apple devices. The Nimbus+ builds on the wildly popular original Nimbus controller, adding a bevy of new features, including clickable joysticks, new Hall effect triggers, and a new 50-hour battery. Purchase of Nimbus+ also includes the new Nimbus+ iPhone Mount which allows users to attach their iPhone directly onto the controller, allowing them to play games more comfortably.

Designed specifically for gaming on Apple devices, the Nimbus+ brings console-quality game controls to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Apple TV. With an ergonomic design, ultra-responsive triggers and buttons, and a range of Apple connectivity options, Nimbus+ is the best solution to help bring gaming on Apple devices to the next level.

Apple ARM Based MacBooks and iMacs to come in 2021

Apple has been working on replacing Intel CPUs in its lineup of products for a while now, and the first batch of products to feature the new Arm-based CPUs should be coming soon. Having a completely custom CPU inside it's MacBook or an iMac device will allow Apple to overtake control of the performance and security of those devices, just like they did with their iPhone models. Apple has proved that its custom-built CPUs based on Arm Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) can be very powerful and match Intel's best offerings, all while being much more efficient with a TDP of only a few Watts.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has started an "aggressive processor replacement strategy", which should give some results by the end of 2020, around Q4, or the beginning of 2021 when the first quarter arrives. According to Kuo, the approach of doing in-house design will result in not only tighter control of the system, but rather a financial benefit, as the custom processor will be 40% to 60% cheaper compared to current Intel CPU prices.
Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple Moves its WWDC Event Online Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Apple today announced it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Now in its 31st year, WWDC 2020 will take on an entirely new online format packed with content for consumers, press and developers alike. The online event will be an opportunity for millions of creative and innovative developers to get early access to the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, and engage with Apple engineers as they work to build app experiences that enrich the lives of Apple customers around the globe.

"We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead."
apple wwdc

Get POWERED Up with Logitech's Family of Wireless Chargers

Today Logitech unveils a line of beautifully-crafted wireless chargers to make your charging experience simple and effortless. Introducing the Logitech POWERED family of wireless chargers - Logitech POWERED 3-in-1 Dock, Logitech POWERED Stand and Logitech POWERED Pad. These wireless chargers are designed to be simple, reliable and look great in any room, whether it be your bedroom, kitchen, office or living room.
logitech qi wireless charger

Apple Agrees to Front $500M to Settle iPhone Slowdown Class-Action Lawsuit

Apple late last week agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing it of slowing down iPhones without the knowledge or consent of users, motivating them to upgrade their devices or batteries. The settlement amount is marked at USD $500 million or $25 per member of the class (which could be adjusted depending on how many iPhones from the class are found eligible). The lawsuit is being heard by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, and its settlement offer by Apple is subject to his approval.

In the settlement offer papers by Apple, the company reportedly denies wrongdoing, and seeks to avoid the burdens and costs of litigation. Eligible members of the class are U.S. owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus or SE that ran the iOS 10.2.1 or later operating system. It also covers U.S. owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017. Initial outcry after discovery of Apple's secret CPU throttling cause the company to apologize for the practice, promise transparency in the future, and introduce the "Battery Health" feature in iOS that informs users of the decay of their device's lithium ion battery (ability to hold charge), and give performance throttling control to end-users.

Apple to Launch Arm-Powered MacBook in the next 18 Months

Apple is currently designing a custom series of CPUs, for its Macbook laptop lineup, based on the Arm Instruction Set Architecture. Having designed some of the most powerful mobile processors that are inside the iPhone series of devices, Apple is preparing to make a jump to an even more powerful device lineup by bringing custom CPUs for MacBook. Tired of the speed by which Intel replaces and upgrades its Core lineup of CPUs, Apple decided to take the matter in its own hands and rumors about the switch to a custom solution have been going on for a while. However, we now have some information about when to expect the first wave of Arm-powered Macs.

According to the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is a well-known insider in the Apple industry, we can expect the first wave of the Arm-powered Macbook in the next 18 months, precisely in the first half of 2021. Supposedly, the first chips for these new Macs are going to be manufactured on a 5 nm manufacturing process, possibly over at TSMC since Apple had a long-lasting history of manufacturing its chips at TSMC foundries. In the meantime, we can expect to see Apple providing developers with tools to transition their x86-64 software to the new Arm ISA. Without a software ecosystem, the hardware platform is essentially worthless. And Apple knows this. We will see how they plan to play it and will report as soon as there is more information.

The Case is Patent: Apple, Broadcom Ordered to Pay $1.1 billion to CalTech

There is a lot to say regarding patent applications and their defense, and the devious ways these can be used as a way to both stifle innovation, competition, and to leech other companies' funds with what is usually described as "patent troll" behavior. Being a seat of technological innovation, The California Institute of Technology (CalTech) registers patents as results of their attachés' work - some of these see the light of day as actual products, but more often than not, the patent rights are used as a way for the institute to receive funds from those that would license their intellectual property.

After entering a legal battle with Apple and Broadcom back in 2016, CalTech has now had its accusation of patent infringement against both companies come to a close, with the jury deciding in favor of the university. The accusation was of both companies deploying WiFi chips which were based on Caltech's patent designs - WiFi chips that were then shipped within millions of iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. As a result, both Apple and Broadcom were ordered to pay a total of $1.1 billion in compensation, with Apple taking the brunt of the decision ($837.8 million) and Broadcom coming in with a thinner slice at $270.2.

Chinese Government Closes Foxconn and Samsung Factories Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Some of the recent news from China is the stuff of science fiction, with the Central Government there locking down entire cities to contain the deadly Coronavirus outbreak there. When cities with 10+ million populations are under lock-down, it's only natural for factories to run out of workforce. According to a ZeroHedge report, the government has reportedly shut down factories owned or operated by big names in the technology and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industries.

Among these are the ubiquitous Foxconn, which has manufacturing contracts with the biggest silicon valley tech firms for contract-manufacturing their hard-product - including the Apple iPhone; and Samsung Electronics, which makes consumer electronics, home appliances, and certain semiconductor products in China. A third big name in the report is the FMCG and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. The closure of factories could wreck tech stocks in the coming trading sessions, not to mention possible impact on prices of electronics. As of now, the closure is stipulated for the next 1-2 weeks.

New Exemptions To The DMCA Allow Users To Hack And Repair Their Phones (And Their Tractors, too)

You know that iPhone you bought? Or that home appliance? Or that tractor? They're not yours. Not completely, I mean, because if something breaks, you'll have to repair them through the official repair services of the hardware maker. You can try to repair them by yourself, but you'll probably have a lot of trouble doing it or even getting an unofficial technical service to do it. Oh, and until now it even wasn't legal for you to try. Companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Samsung or John Deere have turned repair control into an art form. The DRM they impose on their products is becoming more and more complex, and there are lots of devices that are very complicated to open to try to repair.

Agencies like EFF have long been fighting for the so-called "right to repair" movement to try to fight these kinds of strategies, and these days those efforts have paid off. The Librarian of Congress and US Copyright Office have adopted "exemptions to the to the provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") that prohibits circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works". This means that from now on, users will be able to hack the software and fix the hardware on (some of) their devices in order to repair or maintain them. The new rules apply to smartphones, "home appliances" and "home systems", but they go beyond there and will allow users to repair cars, tractors and other motorized land vehicles (no boats or planes, though) by modifying their firmware.

TSMC Fabs Offline, Hit by a Virus, Production Impacts Confirmed

TSMC is the most popular semiconductor foundry, has been called the "savior of fabless chipmakers," and is also one of Taiwan's most valuable companies. It's also the principal foundry for chipmakers such as NVIDIA and AMD (GPUs). Its most valuable production, however, is that of Apple's A-series application processors that drive the main breadwinners of the company - iPhones. Imagine the cataclysm unleashed if a virus were to spread in the company that contract-manufactures extremely complex chip designs. According to Reuters, that cataclysm is upon TSMC.

According to DigiTimes, a WannaCry-variant ransomware infected not just workstations at TSMC, but also certain fab machines (which are driven by computers). The infection has caused a shutdown of several of TSMC's fabs, including its high-volume 12-inch ones. These machines apparently run on unpatched Windows 7, probably because they're connected to a private network instead of the Internet. TSMC has tasked all of its human resources to disinfect the affected machines. The company hopes to have its fabs fully operational by Monday (13th August), but not before the downtime affects the supply-chains Apple and other high-value clients. An estimated $179 million is wiped from TSMC's Q3 revenues due to this downtime. Although it could affect shipments of APs to Apple, impact on the inventories of Apple products could be minimal, according to market analysts. It remains to be seen if TSMC's other clients see similarly minimal impact; or if TSMC is prioritizing a trillion-dollar client.

Kingston to Showcase Upcoming SSD Solutions and More

Kingston Digital Europe Co LLP, an affiliate of Kingston Technology Company Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, is set to share its latest and upcoming products at CES. Kingston will have demonstrations highlighting the capabilities of their family of solid-state drives and encrypted USB Flash drives, as well as additions in the consumer lifestyle space with mobile and embedded solutions.

"We are excited to share what's to come from Kingston in 2018. CES week provides a great opportunity to showcase the many quality technology solutions that make up the Kingston family," said Robert Allen, Director Marketing and Technical Services -EMEA, Kingston. "From enterprise SSDs, encrypted USBs, consumer mobile products to embedded solutions, we continue to offer customers rock-solid reliability, ultimate security and maximum performance. When guests visit our suite, they will fully understand Kingston's commitment to offering the most complete family of performance solutions."

Qi Charging Pads Dominate CES

Wireless charging smartphones aren't new, with devices supporting the Qi wireless charging standard dating all the way back to 2012. The standard could finally hit critical mass with Apple's decision to implement it into iPhone. The latest iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X support Qi, along with other Apple devices such as Watch and Air Pods. A slew of Qi charging pads pepper 2018 CES, below is a small compilation of pads from Belkin. Qi has already become standard equipment of several of today's cars, and could soon be part of "smart furniture" (office desks). An interesting contraption seen at CES is portable chargers featuring Qi surfaces.

Razer Adds Two New Members to Their Hammerhead Gaming Earphone Family

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, has announced two new additions to the Razer Hammerhead in-ear headset family. The new earphones feature a digital connection regardless of Android or iOS - no 3.5 mm connection, a highly durable aluminum chassis, flat cables and bi-flange ear tips for passive noise isolation. They also come with inline remotes to provide quick control for audio fidelity from the 10 mm dynamic drivers. The Razer Hammerhead USB-C is the perfect companion for the Razer Phone and other devices without 3.5 mm audio jacks, while the Razer Hammerhead for iOS Mercury Edition blends with iPhone colors.

Logitech Tells Harmony Link Owners to Bid Their Devices Goodbye (Updated)

The Harmony Link, a device that made its introduction back in 2011, basically turns your iPad, iPhone, or Android smartphone into a remote control. With the help of the corresponding Logitech app, users can control up to eight different home theater devices scattered around the house. Harmony Link owners probably woke up today to some very disgusting news. In a short email sent by Logitech to their customers, the company announced its plan to drop support for the device completely in March 16, 2018. This is outright wrong considering customers bought the Harmony Link as a device and not a subscription service.

There's no other way around it though. Many Harmony Link devices are likely to end up in the garbage bin come March of next year. Logitech is currently offering a 35% discount on the new Harmony Hub to soften the blow. However, we doubt their customers will return given the mistreatment. Besides, there's no guarantee that this won't happen again when the company decides to replace the Harmony Hub with the next best thing.

Broadcom Looks to Buy Qualcomm for $100B, Creating a Silicon Monster

Broadcom, makers of networking equipment, is exploring a deal to acquire mobile technology giant Qualcomm in a USD $100 billion deal, which could be the largest ever acquisition value of a chip-maker. The resulting company could be the world's largest chipmaker, combining Broadcom's IP with networking PHYs and IoT infrastructure, and Qualcomm's SoCs powering IoT devices besides smartphones, tablets, and ultra-portable notebooks. Broadcom is looking to raise a cash+stock bid consisting of shares valued at $70/share. Besides networking infrastructure equipment, Broadcom made its fortunes on the back of Apple iPhone's success, as it supplies its networking chips.

No Relief for DRAM and NAND Shortages in Sight; Considerable Supply Only in 2018

DRAM prices have been high for quite some time now, due to a general increased demand over a slowly improving supply capability from manufacturers. Pricing of DRAM has been increasing (to the tune that if I wanted to double my memory capacity, I would have to pay double of what I paid a mere 11 months ago.) NAND pricing has been affected as well, with newer technologies such as 3D NAND not having a relevant impact on end user pricing as was expected, since tight supply and growing demand means process-level savings are dwarfed by the increasing prices on the balance of supply and demand.

Most of our woes can be traced back to high-end smartphones, which make use of up to 6 GB of RAM and have copious amounts of NAND memory. Now, reports are coming in that due to the iPhone 8's impending launch, supply is even tighter, with several firms being either unable to secure the amount of Ram they are looking for, or having to order in significant advance (futures speculation anyone?) Reuters is reporting that some clients have moved to 6-month supply agreements for their DRAM and NAND purchases, accepting higher prices than the customary quarterly or monthly deals, to make sure they get enough memory chips for their products.

Jailbreaking American Tractors with Ukrainian Firmware

Tractors are some of the most beloved and benign pieces of automotive technology, and some of the very first applications of the internal combustion engine, after cars. Tinkering with the classic free-breathing (natural aspiration) engines of old tractors is something arguably every mechanical engineer has ever done. Over the ages however, tractors and other farm equipment have gotten increasingly complex. The engines became smaller (and hence more fuel-efficient), and technologies such as turbochargers and electronic fuel injection shored power and torque back up to the levels of larger free-breathing engines. Running the engine is now handled by a small embedded computer called the ECU (engine control unit). Likewise, running the various ancillaries on farming equipment such as harvesters have been governed by electronics. The more there's electronics, the less there is that a spanner can fix, and that has become a big problem in America.

Some popular farm equipment manufacturers such as John Deere have taken greed cleverly disguised as "quality assurance" to the same levels as the Apple iPhone. On the iPhone, you can't just install third-party software that hasn't been vetted by Apple and distributed through the App Store. Free software activists have criticized this for stiffing innovation, because Apple's software doesn't give users unrestricted access to the hardware that they've paid for. John Deere and some of its competitors are in the same league. They've outfitted their tractors and farm equipment with electronics that make it practically impossible to perform "unauthorized" repair. If your crop is up for harvest and your harvester is throwing a fit, you have no option but to take it back to a John Deere service center, or other repair shops "authorized" by the company. If you've replaced a part yourself, a guy with a laptop has to come over to your farm, and "activate" that part. American farmers aren't taking kindly to this, and help is coming from the most unlikely of places.

Presenting the New TechPowerUp iOS App

TechPowerUp today announced its new app for iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. Developed masterfully by Mugur Moscaliuc, the app gets you all of our content at your fingertips, with a clean, streamlined user interface that's highly responsive. The app presents our reviews and news in a format that's best suited for small screens. It also gets you a fully functional version of TechPowerUp Forums, our rich and vibrant community of PC enthusiasts.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp App (App Store)

ADATA Releases the i-Memory UE710 Rose Gold Apple OTGFlash Drive

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched the i-Memory UE710 Rose Gold Flash drive.Designed to match the look of popular Apple devices such as iPhone 6s/6s plus,the UE710 Rose Gold joins previous i-Memory series offerings in catering to the storage expansion needs of mobile device users. Available in up to 128GB, the Apple-certified drive includes Lightning and USB connectivity for easy data portability and sharing. It provides users with high speed performance up to 30 MB/s read (Lightning),and is accompanied by the latest version of the free i-Memory app with support for Apple Live Photos back up function.

Until today the UE710 was available in White and Black color schemes. The Rose Gold version adds an attractive option, crafted to better suit iPhone 6s/6s plus.The rose gold color scheme has become one of the most popular choices for iPhone, iPad, and other mobile device buyers. The UE710 Rose Gold therefore offers a stylish and consistent color option, making it a chic match when paired with iPhones, iPads, and others.

Team Group Announces MoStash iOS Flash Drive

Team Group Inc., the world's leading memory brand, today announced the launch of MoStash- The world's first flash drive for iPhone that can also transform into a mobile viewing stand. Team MoStash is using Lightning/USB 3.0 dual connector and has the world's first patented smart stand as cover structure. MoStash is able to transform into a phone stand through interlocking its smart cover. It is an external storage device for iPhone/iPad, and it can improve user's multimedia entertainment experience as well. With careful and thoughtful design, it's not only a flash drive, but also a must-have mobile accessory that helps users to enjoy multimedia entertainment.

Team MoStash is made from combination of metal and rubber material. It not only brings out the perfect visual art, but also improves its protection. The "Double Arc" design of the body and the cap is making MoStash easier for mobile storage usage and also symbolize that your wonderful memories are perfectly well stored. If you interlock the body and the cap of MoStash, it can transform into an iPhone stand, which saves you the trouble of holding the phone and allow you to fully enjoy your multimedia collection without experiencing the hand soreness even after you finish a whole movie. Instead of an unrealistic creation, the elegant design is also highly functional.

PQI Announces iConnect mini Flash Drive

PQI, the world's leading brand of peripheral storage accessories for portable devices, announces the availability of the revolutionary iConnect Mini Lightning flash drive for Apple devices. The iConnect mini features an incredibly large storage space for its small size and is very accessible with its main features available via a single button press. The iConnect mini will be available to buy soon on Amazon.

The iConnect Mini measures at an astoundingly small size of only 44.6mm x 12.6mm x 8mm, (approx. 1 ½" x ½" x ¼"), or roughly equivalent to the size of an average person's thumb. Yet, the iConnect Mini still offers storage capacity up to 128GB, which is made possible through PQI's exclusive COB 3.0 technology.

Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 first quarter ended December 26, 2015. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $75.9 billion and record quarterly net income of $18.4 billion, or $3.28 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $74.6 billion and net income of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.1 percent compared to 39.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter's revenue.

"Our team delivered Apple's biggest quarter ever, thanks to the world's most innovative products and all-time record sales of iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "The growth of our Services business accelerated during the quarter to produce record results, and our installed base recently crossed a major milestone of one billion active devices."

Creative Announces the iRoar Smart Speaker

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the Creative iRoar Intelligent Portable Bluetooth Speaker System. This compact multipurpose iRoar represents the next step in the evolution of portable speakers -- with its audio performance, expandability, intelligent audio processing, personalization and a collaborative open platform that allows for value-added third-party add-ons. And, it is twice as powerful as the original Sound Blaster Roar and has a huge 20-hour battery life. The Creative iRoar has been named a CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree product in the Home Audio/Video Components and Accessories category. The speaker will be showcased at CES 2016 -- the world's largest consumer electronics show.

At the heart of the Creative iRoar's intelligence is the powerful, flexible and programmable multi-core floating point SB-Axx1 processor. It is responsible for all the audio and voice enhancement, and proprietary effect processing, as well as an open platform that allows users to customize the behaviour of the speaker. The built-in processor also allows the iRoar to function as a high-end sound card.

ADATA Releases the Lightning Card Reader

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched the Lightning Card Reader for Apple iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Fully MFi certified, the accessory connects to Apple devices using the Lightning interface and brings users convenient interconnectivity and storage expansion with SD and microSD cards. It is the first peripheral in its segment with two-way data transfer, meaning read and write, and the first to combine SD and microSD on one reader. The Lightning Card Reader uses durable materials and a flexible cable to ensure long-lasting and reliable operation, and arrives bundled with a free data management app.

While existing Lightning card readers support one way data movement to import files from cards to devices, ADATA technology supports file import and export so users can freely move content to and from the reader to iPhone, iPad, and iPod. The Lightning Card Reader has SD and microSD slots, so it offers universal compatibility with one of the most popular storage mediums in the world. By comparison, other products in its segment feature either SD or microSD, but not both. This enables simple storage expansion for iOS devices which is also very cost-effective, as users can employ existing cards rather than having to purchase proprietary expansion cards or additional hardware.
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