Apple has announced an expansion for its subscription gaming service Apple Arcade. In addition to exclusive game releases, the company is adding two new categories — Timeless Classics and App Store Greats.
In the “App Store Greats” category, you can find some well-known iPhone games that have been released over the past decade, such as Threes+, Mini Metro+, Monument Valley+, Fruit Ninja Classic+, Cut the Rope Remastered and Badland+.
This is an interesting move, as Apple has focused on exclusive titles so far. Arguably, some Apple Arcade games are sequels of popular App Store games — I’d put Mini Motorways and Rayman Mini in this category, for instance.
But Apple is changing its stance and essentially buying a back catalog of App Store games. Some of them are still available on the App Store, while others have become incompatible with modern iOS versions due to framework and hardware updates. 64-bit processors have rendered many games incompatible for instance.
As always, Apple isn’t just putting free games behind a paywall. These are brand new downloads on the App Store. You get the full game without any ad or in-app purchase.
In addition to old school App Store games, Apple is also adding “Timeless Classics” games. It’s a selection of board games and classic puzzle games that are included in your subscription. Games include Backgammon+, Chess Play & Learn+, Good Sudoku+, Tiny Crossword+, etc.
Those games should definitely help when it comes to reducing churn. Some people just like playing chess over and over again. They might start subscribing to play some chess and pay an Apple Arcade subscription just to keep using the same app.
Overall, Apple is dropping 32 games today, and Apple Arcade has more than 180 games in its catalog. Apple originally launched the service in September 2019. You can download Apple Arcade games for $4.99 per month and there’s no additional in-app purchases. Games are available on the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple TV and macOS. Up to six family members can play with a single Apple Arcade subscription and you can also access Apple Arcade with an Apple One subscription.
Apple has been betting heavily on subscription services, such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+ and Apple News+. While some of those services have been very successful, such as Apple Music, the company is still adding more and more content to other services to prove that you should subscribe over the long haul. And today’s Apple Arcade update should definitely help for its game subscription service.
Image Credits: Apple
Atos reports drop in revenue, to conduct U.S. accounting review
By Bartosz Dabrowski and Juliette Portala
(Reuters) -French IT consulting group Atos reported a drop in first-quarter revenue on Tuesday, putting further pressure on its share price which has been hit by an accounting issue in the United States.
The company, which develops solutions in hybrid cloud, big data, business applications and digital workplace, disclosed earlier this month that auditors had found accounting errors at two U.S. units, sending its shares diving 18% at the time.
On Tuesday the company said it had decided to conduct a full accounting review of the two U.S. units and would give a status update when it releases first-half results on July 28.
Atos also has a big contract to provide solutions for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and said that it was prepared for all scenarios, including a further postponement or complete cancellation of the event.
“For us, there will be no cancellation of the contract even if the Olympics were to be postponed,” head of investor relations Gilles Arditti said in a conference call.
Atos shares were down by more than 5% after the company said its revenue for January-March dropped 3.9% organically from a year earlier to 2.69 billion euros ($3.24 billion).
The company, however, maintained its full-year guidance.
“The results today are a meaningful miss (on market expectations) and likely to weigh further on sentiment,” Barclays said in a note, adding that the U.S. accounting situation was a bigger concern.
Year to date, Atos’ shares have now declined by nearly a quarter.
The company also said on Tuesday that it had acquired Canada-based Processia, UK-based Ipsotek and German firm cryptovision, as it continues with bolt-on acquisitions in a bid to boost revenue from digital, cloud, security and decarbonisation business over the medium term. It gave no financial details of the transactions.
($1 = 0.8292 euros)
(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski and Juliette Portala in Gdansk ; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Susan Fenton)
Rogers wireless service back for majority of users following outage
(Reuters) –Rogers Communications Inc said late on Monday its services had been restored for most of its users, following intermittent interruptions to wireless voice and data services for several hours.
“Wireless calls, SMS and data services are now restored for the vast majority of our customers”, the company said on Twitter. (https://bit.ly/32rx8HL)
The company said earlier on Monday that its residential and business wireline internet services were not impacted. (https://bit.ly/3sAqs4B)
About 11,000 users in Canada reported issues with the wireless service provider, as of 1900 GMT on Monday, according to outage monitoring website Downdetector.ca.
Downdetector tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform. The outage could have affected a larger number of users.
(Reporting by Nivedita Balu, Rithika Krishna and Nandakumar D in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Shounak Dasgupta)
Canada’s Telesat takes on Musk and Bezos in space race to provide fast broadband
By Steve Scherer
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s Telesat is racing to launch a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation to provide high-speed global broadband from space, pitting the satellite communications firm founded in 1969 against two trailblazing billionaires, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
Musk, the Tesla Inc CEO who was only a year old when Telesat launched its first satellite, is putting the so-called Starlink LEO into orbit with his company SpaceX, and Amazon.com Inc, which Bezos founded, is planning a LEO called Project Kuiper. Bezos also owns Blue Origin, which builds rockets.
Despite the competition, Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s chief executive officer, voices confidence when he calls Telesat’s LEO constellation “the Holy Grail” for his shareholders – “a sustainable competitive advantage in global broadband delivery.”
Telesat’s LEO has a much lighter price tag than SpaceX and Amazon’s, and the company has been in satellite services decades longer. In addition, instead of focusing on the consumer market like SpaceX and Amazon, Telesat seeks deep-pocketed business clients.
Goldberg said he was literally losing sleep six years ago when he realized the company’s business model was in peril as Netflix and video streaming took off and fiber optics guaranteed lightning-fast internet connectivity.
Telesat’s 15 geostationary (GEO) satellites provide services mainly to TV broadcasters, internet service providers and government networks, all of whom were growing increasingly worried about the latency, or time delay, of bouncing signals off orbiters more than 35,000 km (22,200 miles) above earth.
Then in 2015 on a flight home from a Paris industry conference where latency was a constant theme, Goldberg wrote down his initial ideas for a LEO constellation on an Air Canada napkin.
Those ideas eventually led to Telesat’s LEO constellation, dubbed Lightspeed, which will orbit about 35 times closer to earth than GEO satellites, and will provide internet connectivity at a speed akin to fiber optics.
Telesat’s first launch is planned in early 2023, while there are already some 1,200 of Musk’s Starlink satellites in orbit.
“Starlink is going to be in service much sooner … and that gives SpaceX the opportunity to win customers,” said Caleb Henry, a senior analyst at Quilty Analytics.
Starlink’s “first mover” advantage is at most 24 months and “no one’s going to lock this whole market up in that amount of time,” Goldberg said.
Telesat in 2019 signed a launch deal with Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin. Discussions are ongoing with three others, said David Wendling, Telesat’s chief technical officer.
They are Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Europe’s ArianeGroup , and Musk’s SpaceX, which launches the Starlink satellites. Wendling said a decision would be taken in a matter of months.
Telesat aims to launch its first batch of 298 satellites being built by Thales Alenia Space in early 2023, with partial service in higher latitudes later that same year, and full global service in 2024.
The Lightspeed constellation is estimated to cost half as much as the $10 billion SpaceX and Amazon projects.
“We think we’re in the sweet spot,” Goldberg said. “When we look at some of these other constellations, we don’t get it.”
Analyst Henry said Telesat’s focus on business clients is the right one.
“You have two heavyweight players, SpaceX and Amazon, that are already pledging to spend $10 billion on satellite constellations optimized for the consumer market,” he said. “If Telesat can spend half that amount creating a high-performance system for businesses, then yeah, they stand to be very competitive.”
Telesat’s industry experience may also provide an edge.
“We’ve worked with many of these customers for decades … That’s going to give us a real advantage,” Goldberg said.
Telesat “is a satellite operator, has been a satellite operator, and has both the advantage of expertise and experience in that business,” said Carissa Christensen, chief executive officer of the research firm BryceTech, adding, however, that she sees only two to three LEO constellations surviving.
Telesat is nailing down financing – one-third equity and two-thirds debt – and will become publicly traded on the Nasdaq sometime this summer, and it could also list on the Toronto exchange after that. Currently, Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc are the company’s main shareholders.
France and Canada’s export credit agencies, BPI and EDC respectively, are expected to be the main lenders, Goldberg said. Quebec’s provincial government is lending C$400 million ($317 million), and Canada’s federal government has promised C$600 million to be a preferred customer. The company also posted C$246 million in net income in 2020.
Executing the LEO plan is what keeps Goldberg up at night now, he said.
“When we decided to go down this path, the two richest people in the universe weren’t focused on their own LEO constellations.”
($1 = 1.2622 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)
Australians living with disability have been 'abandoned' in vaccine rollout: Butler – Sky News Australia
Specified front-line workers in Manitoba a little more at ease after prioritization for COVID-19 vaccine – CBC.ca
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