Niantic and Warner Brothers released a new trailer for their upcoming augmented reality game, Harry Potter Wizards Unite. I am super stoked about this game, as long-time listeners and readers will know, and this new trailer offers hints about what the game play might look like. The theme of the trailer is that magic has been intruding into the muggle world, risking exposure of the magically-secret wizarding world. The imagery and voiceover suggest that the job of players will be to handle these intrusions. But there’s also a good-wizard versus dark-wizard element to the game, too, which is even more enticing. That said—and as I noted in Monday’s Daily Observations—what the crap is wrong with someone choosing to play as a dark wizard! SMH…Anyhoo, the trailer is amazing, and it has me very excited. And I am now hoping even more that there will be a wand accessory players can use to cast spells. Come on Niantic! Don’t let us down! You can sign up for updates at the game’s website. Unfortunately, someone involved in this franchise made the unfortunate choice to allow pre-registration for the game itself to Android, a weird choice considering Apple’s lead in AR. Hopefully the kickback money was worth it, hey?
Apple once made a music video mocking Windows 95. It was shown internally at Apple in the fall of 1995 when the software was released. Cult of Mac dug it out, and it is amazing. Called Winsongs 95, it features parody musical hits such as U Can’t Use This, Killing Me Softly With Windows, and I Want a Mac. The whole video shows just how bitter the war between the two firms was at its peak.
Dutch bank ING revealed earlier this month that Apple Pay Netherlands is launching soon. Debit card service Maestro has entered beta status for Apple Pay.
The Netherlands is one of the most populous countries in Europe that is still awaiting Apple Pay.
The Eurovision song contest is taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Saturday. The annual competition features a variety of musical entries from across Europe and…err…Australia. Obviously. The official Eurovision app has a variety of features, including a shop to buy the music, a live stream of the contest, and profiles of the contestants. Most importantly, viewers can use the app to cast their vote for the winner, which is decided by a combination of professional judges and public vote. Remember though, you can’t vote for your own country’s entry! The app is free and available on iOS from the App Store.
Valve’s Steam Link is back on the App Store, this time maybe for good. The Android app launched in May 2018, but when Valve submitted it to the App Store, Apple rejected it, citing business conflicts. The Steam Link app brings desktop gaming to your iPhone or iPad. Just pair an MFI or Steam controller to your device, connect to a computer running Steam on the same local network, and start playing your existing Steam games. Requirements: iPhone or iPad using iOS 10 or higher Computer running Steam – Windows, Mac, or Linux. * iOS device must be on the same local network as the computer running Steam. For best performance: Connect your computer using Ethernet to your 5Ghz WiFi router Connect your iOS device to the 5GHz band of your WiFi network. * Keep your iOS device within a reasonable range of your router. App Store: Free
The ProShot camera app is on sale for US$0.99. It has plenty of features for photographers comfortable with manual controls, although there are auto controls as well. Other features include manual, semi-manual, or automatic control over exposure, flash, focus, ISO, shutter speed, torch intensity, and white balance; shoot RAW (DNG), shoot full resolution in 16:9, 4:3, and 1:1; full-res Burst and Timelapse modes, all with full manual controls; Light Painting mode with two submodes; Portrait Mode support; Zero-lag bracket exposure up to ±3, in 1/3 stop increments; Auto MAX ISO and Shutter options; manual focus assist; front-facing camera with full manual controls; zoom with just one finger, up to 10X; fully featured Camera Roll with EXIF metadata, support for video playback, media sharing, and delete; grid overlay; customizable accent color, and more. App Store: US$0.99
Soon after launching bands for the Apple Watch, UAG is also coming out with iPad Pro cases called UAG Scout Series. Most importantly, it works with Apple’s Smart Keyboard. The Scout series case secures both the device and accessory without interfering with the folio’s multiple viewing/typing positions to seamlessly move with the device. When not in use, the case securely holds the folio closed to maintain 360-degree protection, so you’re prepared for any adventure. Designed for dependability, Scout’s rugged clip provides added security to hold the Apple Pencil in place when charging/pairing with the device. In addition, UAG’s Scout series features feather-light construction, impact resistant core and easy access to all buttons and ports providing a smooth experience for all users. Price: US$49.95–US$59.95
I’ve been using Nike Training Club for a year now, and it’s a great fitness app. Version 6.0.0 brings a premium training subscription. You’ll get workouts hosted by Nike Master Trainers in 4-6 week programs, with expert nutrition advice, wellness guidance including mindset, recovery, and sleep. The app brings new workout formats like on-demand classes and whiteboard workouts for gym-style training. Apple Watch support for the premium program is coming in the future. Finally, workout reminders help you says motivated to continue your routine. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases).
Drone videographer Duncan Sinfield uploaded his latest footage of Apple Park Wednesday. Most noticeable is a new rainbow stage right in the heart of the company headquarters. I wonder if Apple plans to host gigs or events there? The stunning 4K video also gives you a sense of the sheer scale of the location. Mr. Sinfield started filming Apple Campus 2 in August 2015, when construction was still ongoing.
Semiosis by Sue Burke has an interesting premise: When you land on another planet, what if instead of worrying about alien life forms or animals, you had to keep an eye on the plants? It’s a wholly unique book that I had fun reading. Instead of following the same characters, we’re presented with a new cast in every chapter. We start with the original colonists as they land on Pax, then follow each subsequent generation as they have to deal with the land, the flora, and the actions of the previous generation. Will the children of the Parents adhere to the rules, or will they rebel? I thought the book was great, and look forward to the second book coming later this year. Apple Books: US$9.99 | Kindle: US$9.99