Developer “Guarantees Nintendo NX Won’t Have Third-Party Support”

Nintendo’s upcoming console codenamed, ‘NX’ is shrouded in secrecy, and no-one really knows what the latest device will entail. There are various rumours stemmed from patents which suggest the product will be a hybrid mobile/home console unit and create a brand new experience. Unfortunately, Nintendo’s previous effort, the Wii U, fared quite badly due to poor marketing and a lack of third-party support.

The Wii U branding confused consumers and made them believe it was an accessory for the original Wii. Furthermore, the console’s lacklustre power and strange launch date before the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 alienated third-party developers. It didn’t take long for key publishers including Ubisoft to discount the system because of the small user-base and terrible sales. This has been a major problem in the past few generations for Nintendo, as they rely too much on first party titles. While their IPs are incredible, the company cannot ignore third-party support for a prolonged period.

Despite this, it appears Nintendo hasn’t learnt anything from their mistakes, and could struggle to entice third-party developers to support the platform according to The Ori and the Blind Forest director, Thomas Mahler:

“This is actually THE singlest most annoying thing for every dev out there. We also talked to Nintendo and got absolutely nothing – I’ll never understand that. And just to be clear, it’s not just Nintendo, every hardware manufacturer is treating their devkits and their unreleased consoles like they’re the second coming and are insanely secretive about it to a stupid degree in todays time. It’s not even that the hardware isn’t finished (duh), but you could at least give me the goddamn specs, so we’d know what to build s**t for!”

“What’s needed to sell hardware is goddamn good software. With Nintendo not having any devkits out there at this point and probably even wanting to sell it in 2016, I can already guarantee that they’ll just not have any software support, since nobody can just jumble games together in less than a year. I mean, you can, but it’ll be garbage.”

“The same is true for Engine Support – Get Unity and Epic to support these consoles WAAAAY ahead of release. By the time the console launches, it should be EASY for developers to develop games for these systems, things shouldn’t just only start at this point. I want the goddamn devkits or at least proper hardware specs ideally 2 years before release – Keep all the developers updated, start a forum where devs can chat and figure out all the problems everyone’s having, instead of everyone just having to deal with it. None of that’s happening anywhere and it’s just braindamaged.”

If this is the case, Nintendo really doesn’t understand the current market, and cannot rely on their first party games forever. There will be a point when dedicated Nintendo fans begrudge the lack of third-party games and need to purchase another console to access other titles. Clearly, this might not be true and an example of a developer venting frustrations online. However, it doesn’t look good, and raises questions about Nintendo’s management.

Microsoft Will Not “Force” Consumers to Upgrade to Windows 10… Or Will They?

Microsoft has been somewhat pushy concerning the adoption of Windows 10, from the many “forced upgrade” attempts, relentless hidden updates to the secretive file downloading system which launches an installer without explicit user acceptance, the tech giant has clearly overstepped its remit. Well, apparently no, no it has not, if a statement from the corporation is anything to go by.

“Windows Update is trusted for important updates through an official channel, while Windows 10 has been added in order to facilitate an easier way to find an upgrade to your system, you will receive a significant prompt before you choose to continue” said Microsoft.

Sounds reassuring, unfortunately, many users have found their systems being upgraded to Windows 10 without permission.  Microsoft has also found workarounds regarding third-party tools which aim to disable pop-up ads through the system tray, by automatically re-enabling any upgrade prompts. Furthermore, reports have been circulating concerning changes to the update system that will classify Windows 10 as a “recommended Update” from early 2016; this means users who think they will be installing a regular update will, in fact, be downloading the latest OS.

Then there is the latest scenario concerning the “Upgrade Now or Upgrade Tonight” prompt within Windows update for Win 7 and 8 users, but there does not seem to be an option to refuse the upgrade altogether.

I do think Microsoft have overstepped the mark concerning its relentless pursuit of upgrading every system to its latest OS, consumers have a right to decline any major updates if they wish to through a clear and transparent scheme.  Sticking by an older OS is perfectly legitimate for a variety of reasons, hopefully, I say that word without expectation, Microsoft will see sense and leave consumers be, if not, I can see a backlash to the point where many consumers have no other option but to ditch the brand before migrating to a different OS altogether, whether that be Mac or a variety of Linux distributions.

On a sidenote, I do think it seems slightly odd concerning Microsoft’s current upgrade policy, there seems to be an unprecedented push for all users to install the latest OS, Why? Is it purely marketing or is there something else, such as tracking, privacy, etc.

Intel Skylake K-Series Will Ship Without the Boxed Cooler

Intel has geared up and is almost ready with their latest desktop processors from the Skylake family and we know quite a bit about the processors already. The latest news on this front is for those who plan to buy one of the unlocked 14nm CPUs, namely the Core i5-6600K and Core i7-6700k, as they will be shipped without their own cooling solution.

Most enthusiasts and people who buy overclockable processors won’t be using the stock cooling solution anyway. While it isn’t bad, it’s just about enough for the processor. Third party aftermarket coolers are the solution and it is also what Intel recommends for these new Skylake processors.

Intel might be shipping these processors without a cooling solution and recommending a third-party cooler, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t offering one themselves, or actually two. There will be both an air cooler as well as an all-in-one liquid cooler, both with a TDW of 130W.

The new Skylake CPUs are expected to launch at the time of Gamescom 2015 according to DigiTimes, which starts on the 5th of August. Below is a chart of the expected lineup but it has to be noted that they’re also expected to support DDR3 memory and not just DDR4. Which you can use will depend on the motherboard you choose.

It is doubtful that the price reduction due to the boxed cooler will make up what you pay for a third-party solution or Intel’s own new coolers, but there will be savings and we can stop building forts with the stacks of unused Intel coolers.

Thank you WCCFtech for providing us with this information

Tumblr TV Is the Latest GIF Video Player on the Web

Tumblr just added a GIF search engine earlier this month and it now launched yet another GIF dedicated feature, namely Tumblr TV. From the looks of it, the feature aims to be a 9GAG.tv service, but for GIFs.

Unlike its GIF search engine, users don’t have to be logged into Tumblr to use the feature. Users will see that the player automatically starts in full-screen mode, but it’s not that great since GIFs tend to have a low resolution.

The feature is called ‘TV’ because it lets users pause, play and navigate to the previous and next GIF. With it, Tumblr says it wants to give users more ways of fiddling with its GIF feature. However, the social media platform doesn’t have integrated sharing options, which means that GIFs cannot be shared on your Twitter or Facebook accounts.

It’s a shame to see Tumblr miss out on further promoting its service through third-party sharing features, but Tumblr hopes this will attract more users to one of its popular ‘exclusive’ features, namely GIFs. The feature is now available on the web, but Tumblr hopes to bring it on the mobile version soon as well. You can view the feature and what it has to offer by clicking the following link.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Tumblr

Facebook Messenger Gets its First Game

Facebook seems to be thinking of allowing games on its Messenger platform in the near future. The first one spotted on the platform is said to be Doodle Draw Game and although it’s nothing fancy, it still is the first one to pave the way for developers eyeing the platform’s potential for game development.

Doodle Draw is not the first third-party app that can be found on Facebook’s Messenger platform. The company allowed other developers to add apps that allow users to share GIFs and sound effects in the past, but the game addition really opened the market for the platform.

This is not necessarily good news for everyone and Facebook should tread carefully here too. We all are familiar with how game developers tend to spread the word and promote their games with inviting spams and automatic wall posts for achievements or other in-game activities. I don’t think users will enjoy the same marketing strategy on their Messenger too.

Still, this marks the beginning of a whole new market to both Facebook and other game developers out there. Although Facebook is not currently taking anything out of what developers earn from their apps on Facebook Messenger, they may be able to start making a small fortune in the future out of it. Let’s just hope people will still be using their platform and not run away from all the pesky marketing ads.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Google Admits it is Scanning Android Phones For “The Right Reasons”

You may not be shocked that the search engine giant, Google, is scanning every single app on your phone, even if you downloaded it from third-parties and not from the Google Store. But is it really doing it for ‘the right reason’?

Google has confirmed in a security report that it is tracking applications through their Verify Apps feature. This system is said to ensure that Potentially Harmful Applications don’t find their way into your Android phones.

“Google’s systems use machine learning to see patterns and make connections that humans would not,” Google explained. “Google Play analyzes millions of data points, asset nodes, and relationship graphs to build a high-precision security-detection system.”

While Verify Apps has been active for a few years now, Google added the Safety Net feature in 2014, granting it the ability to scan and collect data from all apps on your phone. Google stated that full device scans run once a week and by the end of 2014, over 200 million devices were being scanned every day.

In terms of what is actually being collected from your phone and apps, Google stated that it “only collects data needed to provide and improve device security”. While the company claims it is not collecting sensitive data, should you feel like you do not want to be tracked, you can turn off the feature by navigating to the Settings->Security section and disabling the “Scan device for security threats” feature.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

OS X Yosemite Kills Third-Party SSD Support

The new OS X 10.10 Yosemite was received pretty well upon release, sure it had a few minor hiccups, but overall it was an improvement. But not everything is visible right away, especially not when it’s done in secret.

Apple has silently and without any warning killed support for third-party SSDs in this new OS X version, leaving anyone who uses such as a boot drive and has TRIM enabled with a Mac that won’t start. The cause for this is the new Kext Signing security-feature that checks if the system has been altered and has parts approved by Apple. In itself, this is a great feature and one that won’t effect the average Apple user, but professionals with customized high-end Mac’s might be left with a lot of trouble.

“Kext signing basically works by checking if all the drivers in the system are unaltered by a third party, or approved by Apple. If they have been modified, Yosemite will no longer load the driver. This is a means of enforcing security, but also a way for Apple to control what hardware that third-party developers can release OS X support for.”

The good news is that you can disable the Kext signing and the Trim Enabler tool has been updated to do just that. It however has the downside that none of your drives are protected by this feature as it’s a global setting and not per drive. The blog post about this issue by Cindori Software, the makers of Trim Enabler, also has a guide on how to get back into your system if the Yosemite update should have locked you out due to a 3rd party boot drive.

Thanks to Cindori for providing us with this information

Pebble’s App Store Is Reported To Launch This Monday

It appears that Pebble officially confirms its app store will be launching tomorrow on iOS devices with the Android version not too far behind. The Pebble app store will integrate with the Pebble smartphone app for iOS and Android devices for searching, browsing and downloading new Pebble apps on the smartwatch.

The app store lets you find the ideal apps for your smartwatch companion through easy-to-navigate categories including “daily living” and “sports fitness”. This is a major step forward for Pebble given customers have had to use third-party sites to find apps for their smartwatch until now.

“Putting finishing touches on the Pebble app store over the weekend—check us out on Monday! Looking good so far,” the company tweeted on Friday evening.

Apps expected to launch on Monday include Pandora, ESPN, Mercedes-Benz, Yelp, Foursquare, GoPro, and iControl. Smartwatch owners who have paired up their handset via Bluetooth will now be able to download and install apps without any problems.

However, Pebble states that the app store will be available to Android devices very soon, with a beta APK seeding to developers on Monday for testing.

Thank you T3 for providing us with this information

Moto G Notification LED Fix Released

Android Central reported that the newly launched Motorola Moto G’ notification LED doesn’t seem to work at all, and there’s no software switch for it anywhere in the Settings app. Emails, texts and missed calls all failed to trigger the flashing white LED.

Motorola responded with the following statement to the issue at hand:

“On some devices (such as Motorola Droid RAZR HD), a small number of users found that the notification light was disabled after logging into their google account if it was disabled previously on other devices with the same google account. This widget restores the ability to control the light on devices without an exposed setting.”

Motorola released a widget called “Notification Light Widget” which will enable the notification LED once again. It can be downloaded from here. After downloading it, simply put it on the Home Screen and tap on it, then the LED functionality will be restored. Afterwards the app can be deleted.

The glitch is a side effect of restoring from your Google account to the Moto G, which is part of the setup process for the phone. The feature downloads apps and settings from the cloud, which is usually a good thing. But in some instances it can tell the Moto G to restore the notification LED setting from another phone, leaving the light disabled with no way to re-enable it.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TruestedReviews

SwiftKey 4.3 Released And Available On The Google Play Store

SwiftKey has once again updated the third-party Android keyboard, releasing version 4.3 out onto the Play Store. Among the features in this update are a selection of three keyboard layouts, optimized for different screen and hand sizes. Particularly useful, I’ve found, is the Compact layout, which makes the entire length of the keyboard easier to reach with a thumb. This has proven invaluable when using larger devices like the Galaxy Note 3.

Canadian English language has also been added in this version according to the following press release “it understands local place names and personalities, for example, it understands Canadian users who type “Stephen” will be more likely than American English users to be talking about Prime Minister Stephen Harper than author Stephen King.” Very cool.

The “Living Layouts” update, which is what SwiftKey is calling version 4.3, combines the tablet and phone apps into a single version, meaning that users who paid for one or the other will get the second one free of charge.

SwiftKey is facing increasing competition in the Android keyboard market as well. Swype just updated its app and Google is rolling out a revised version of its own Android Keyboard with KitKat, bringing “swipe through space” functionality that debuted with SwiftKey. But choice is good, and Android users have a wealth of it. Anyone interested in the app can find it here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9Ukb6Migl0[/youtube]

Thank you mobilesyrup for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Google Play

iGoogle Has Been Shut Down As Planned

Google introduced a personalized web portal where users could create its own homepage with the most important information named iGoogle back in 2005. Although the service was promising at the beginning, plenty of things have changed since then. After Google issued a thirty-day warning to iGoogle users, the end of iGoogle has come. One of the main reason of this is Google’s focus on its own social network, the Google+.

“As we announced on the Official Google Blog nearly a year and a half ago, today we’re retiring iGoogle. Moving forward, iGoogle will redirect to www.google.com. If you’ve been using iGoogle gadgets to access information from Google products like Gmail and Finance, you can continue to do so via our new app launcher.
We know that many of you enjoyed your customized iGoogle experience, so if you’re looking for alternatives, there are some options that might fit your needs.

Anybody going to the iGoogle page will simply navigate back to Google’s homepage. The only thing left is the search listing for iGoogle, which will also go away.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information