Two games standout among Apple’s App Store Best of 2020 winners

It’s awards season for the video game industry, and one of the first announcements out of the gate comes from Apple, which unveiled its App Store Best of 2020 winners. The honors highlight coders who have created programs that have “proved to be essential for making life, easier, healthier and more connected” in a year that’s been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

The iPhone Game of the Year was “Genshin Impact,” a console-quality title that happens to play well on mobile devices. The Chinese developer, miHoYo, read the tea leaves early and realized that the devices in players’ pockets would soon be able to push out visuals and gameplay equal to what they see on their living room televisions. As point of fact, “Genshin Impact” also released on PlayStation 4 and PC, showing that the hardware gap between the two devices is closing. The game can also be played across

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Roku Hires Apple’s Chief Siri Architect For Software Role

(Bloomberg) — Roku Inc. has hired a Siri executive at Apple Inc. to lead advanced technology development.



Roku streaming stick


© Photographer: Monica Schipper/Getty Images North America
Roku streaming stick

Brian Pinkerton has joined the San Jose, California-based maker of TV set-top-boxes and software where he will focus on “technical innovation and strategic software development across the platform,” the company said on Tuesday. His work will be broader than voice control, which was his specialty at Apple, where he was the chief architect of Siri until November, according to his LinkedIn page. Pinkerton was also previously chief technology officer for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

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Roku sells several streaming video players to access video content as well as sound bars, but the company has increasingly focused on expanding its software platform and the Roku Channel streaming service. It has also been pushing for its software to be built into lower-end TVs, ceding

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Roku Hires Apple’s Former Chief Siri Architect for Software Role

(Bloomberg) — Roku Inc. has hired a senior manager for Siri at Apple Inc. to lead advanced technology development.



Roku streaming stick


© Photographer: Monica Schipper/Getty Images North America
Roku streaming stick

Brian Pinkerton has joined the Los Gatos, California-based maker of TV set-top-boxes and software where he will focus on “technical innovation and strategic software development across the platform,” the company said on Tuesday. His work will be broader than voice control, which was his specialty at Apple, where he was the chief architect of Siri until November, according to his LinkedIn page. Pinkerton was also previously chief technology officer for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

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Roku sells several streaming video players to access video content as well as sound bars, but the company has increasingly focused on expanding its software platform and the Roku Channel streaming service. It has also been pushing for its software to be built into lower-end

Read More

Save up to $100 on Apple’s M1 Mac mini: is this your next music production computer?

While Apple’s new M1-powered MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro have hogged a lot of the limelight since their launch, it’s worth sparing a thought for the new M1 Mac mini, which has the potential to be a great little music computer at a great price.

This is particularly true this Cyber Monday, because the M1 Mac mini is currently available at a tidy discount courtesy of B&H Photo. 

Apple M1 Mac mini 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD: $699 $639 at B&H
Get the cheapest version of the new M1 Mac mini for a super-low price and with a $60 saving. You can save even more if you add more RAM and/or storage.

8GB RAM, 512GB SSD: $899 $829| 8GB RAM, 1TB SSD: $1,099 $1,029 | 8GB RAM, 2TB SSD: $1,499 $1,399 | 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD: $899 $849 | 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD: $1,099 $1,049 | 16GB RAM,

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Highlights of Apple’s Black Friday Week

During Black Friday week, Apple stock moved 1% lower. Here are some highlights of the Apple Maven’s coverage over the past four trading days.

What moved Apple’s stock 3% lower on Monday

On Monday, November 23, Apple shares had their worst day of the past three weeks. A shift away from large-cap growth stocks and some tough love from Wall Street may help to explain the decline in share price. 

  • Commission waiver: Apple extended its App Store commission discount to providers of digital classes and events from December 2020 to June 2021.
  • A bad apple: Apple chief security officer was accused of offering to donate 200 iPads to the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office in exchange for four concealed carry permits.
  • A bit of tough love from one Wall Street expert. Credit Suisse’s Matthew Cabral, who has a “hold” rating on the stock, released a research note on Monday.
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Flash deals: save $250 on Apple’s Intel Core i7 Mac mini

There isn’t a better time to pick up an Intel Mac mini, with $250 knocked off two Core i7 models of the pint-sized Mac for 24 hours only ahead of the holidays.

Intel Mac mini deal

While the M1-equipped Mac mini is getting all of the attention, there are still good reasons to acquire the Intel-based models. At this early stage in the processor transition, sticking with Intel will ensure you will immediately be able to run the apps you want, without worrying if it will be affected by Rosetta 2 translation or won’t be ported over by the developer at all.

There’s also a few other benefits, such as being able to run Windows straight away, or having the option to run three monitors from the Mac mini, instead of just two on the M1 version (without the use of special adapters).

A promotion through

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Apple’s own 5G ‘iPhone 13’ modem may be used in iPad Pro

Supply chain sources suggest Apple’s plans to make its own mmWave 5G modem for the next iPhone, are sufficiently advanced that it may also use them in a 2021 iPad Pro.

Following recent rumors that Apple will release an OLED iPad Pro in the second half of 2021, new reports suggest that the device may gain 5G. Specifically, two separate reports claim that 5G systems are expected, and that Apple’s may use its own 5G modem in the iPad Pro.

A 5G iPad Pro has previously been rumored, with reports that its production was pushed back to early 2021 because of coronavirus delays. Now the claim is that whether or not that model arrives, Apple is planning an iPad Pro that will feature its own design of 5G modem.

According to one report in Digitimes, the supply chain is expecting to see an increase in demand for 5Gmm Wave

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What Moved Apple’s Stock This Week

At the midpoint of the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple shares moved lower during this week. Here is a recap of the recent events that could have driven the stock lower.

Where Wall Street currently stands

Much has happened in the markets lately, but one thing has not changed: consensus bullishness towards Apple. Here is what Wall Street analysts have been saying about the company and its shares.

  • From the bear side, Goldman Sachs’ Rod Hall believes that Apple “expects just single digit growth for iPhone in Q1, which he said would be below the high 20s percentage growth needed to keep up with last year’s Q4 plus Q1 cycle”. He continues to believe in the “weaker 5G iPhone cycle rather than the ‘Super Cycle’ expected by consensus”.
  • From the bull side, Andrew Uerkwitz seems excited about the M1 chip that powers the couple of Mac models that Apple has
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Apple’s New App Store Move Changes the Game for Indie App Developers

Apple’s reduced commission rates for small businesses could unleash a new wave of creativity in its app marketplace, according to developers, who predict the new revenue will allow independent apps to add new features or hire new employees. 

The tech giant this week announced that it would slash its App Store commission by half, to 15 percent from 30 percent, for iOS developers who qualified for a new program on small businesses. Those eligible include any developer new to the App Store, as well as developers who made up to $1 million in annual sales in 2020 for all their apps. 

The move a “huge deal” for small developers, says Charlie Chapman, an iOS developer who created the Dark Noise app. The change could allow those behind emerging apps to work on them full-time, as opposed to a side venture, according to Chapman and other independent developers. Traditionally, many independent

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Apple’s App Store Concession Will Hardly Affect Its Bottom Line

20201119_App_Store_Program_IBT Estimated share of developers eligible for Apple’s reduced commission and their share of total App Store revenue Photo: Statista/IBT

In its ongoing battle with app makers over App Store commissions, Apple extended an olive branch to the developing community on Wednesday. The company announced the App Store Small Business Program, which will reduce the disputed commission Apple charges on paid apps and in-app purchases from 30 to 15 percent for developers earning less than $1 million a year.

Having long defended its commission policy as industry-standard, Apple appears to have found a way to appease the vast majority of its developer base without making concessions to those pushing hardest for change, namely Fortnite maker Epic Games, Spotify, and other app publishers certainly too big to qualify for the cut.

At the same time, what sounds like a big concession to make on Apple’s part will likely have a very limited

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