This story was originally published 2020/06/22
11:32am PDTon Jun 22, 2020 and last updated 2020/06/27
10:41am PDTon Jun 27, 2020.
While WWDC contained some truly blockbuster announcements this year, iOS still tends to be the biggest takeaway for consumers at Apple’s annual developer conference. And with iOS 14, we’re seeing Apple borrow more than ever from the biggest competitor to its mobile OS, Android. iOS 14 really does seem intent on reaching feature parity with Google’s platform, and while that’s no doubt driven by a desire to bring more features and functions to Apple’s smartphones—and keep people buying them—there’s also a real argument to be made that this is a good thing for Android, too. As the two platforms become more similar, Android will likely start to benefit from an increased awareness among ordinary consumers that their phones can do things like use homescreen widgets or set a different default browser. It may not sound like much, but I think these changes could lower the barrier to entry for customers looking to switch platforms down the road.
I’m not going to make a full list here of all of the iOS changes that came from Android — partly because it’s too much to discuss briefly in an editorial (you can find that list here), but primarily because Apple has already made it clear there are more numerous smaller changes it didn’t discuss during the WWDC keynote. Any list at this point would simply be incomplete, and I’ve already spotted a couple other features that were glossed over during the iPad segment. Apple is cramming more iOS features into other sections of the announcement as well, like a Digital Wellbeing-style Wind Down mode that was announced in the Apple Watch segment (and Apple even took the same name). Either way, lots of features familiar to Android users just got announced for iOS, though a few of them are particularly important.
An app drawer by any other name would smell as sweet.
Among the most noteworthy changes is a distinctly Android-like relaxation when it comes to default apps. Apple tends to rule iOS with an iron fist, and the company really doesn’t like the idea of third-party apps replacing its own experience anywhere. If Apple does a thing, Apple wants you using its version of that thing, and it will make your life harder if you don’t. Certain apps like Safari and the built-in email client get foisted on you in some circumstances no matter what you do, but Apple is changing that as of iOS 14 — or, at least, iPad OS 14. (The company wasn’t clear, though it sounds like it may be coming to both.) Like Android, you’ll soon be able to set third-party apps as email and browser defaults.
Android users are also familiar with the idea of home screen widgets and an app drawer that keeps their home screen from getting too cluttered. These changes are long overdue for iOS, which has otherwise stuck to 2007’s dump-everything-on-the-home-screen design. Other more minor changes like on-device processing for voice dictation, Siri’s Assistant-esque redesign, Apple’s Google Translate clone, and
Instant Apps App Clips are all very much Android inspired (or Android rips, depending on your cynicism).
App Clips or Instant Apps — the name doesn’t matter, it’s all about functionality.
Again, there’s nothing bad about this. Google’s taken plenty of features from Apple as well over the years, and smartphones are reaching a level of platform maturity that make changes like these inevitable. There are only so many ways of doing a specific workflow well, and we’ve mostly worked out the best ways to do them. Convergence is just the result of best practices, and it’s good for consumers. Frankly, as I see it, these changes could be the best thing that’s ever happened to Android.
Android as a platform has a slightly higher barrier to entry for use than iOS. A lot of the things it does are more complicated than iOS. Some folks see that as a benefit, others see it as a drawback. That’s up to your own judgment, but it’s unarguably a hurdle for some customers to clear. But the more of Android’s features that iOS adopts, the more Apple educates its customer base about those features, preparing them for the functionality and incrementally educating them on more complicated workflows. For example, the idea of replacing first-party apps with third-party apps and what that involves is a very different way of thinking for customers unfamiliar with it, and Apple has decided it’s time for folks to learn about that. The same goes for Apple’s new App Clips, the Assistant-like Siri redesign, an app drawer, and all the other changes that one can draw a line to Android with. The fact that Apple is going to take this next year to teach all its iPhone-using customers about these features is probably the best thing that could happen to Android.
Come 2021, most iPhone users picking up an Android device for the first time might feel a little more at home. It doesn’t matter for them whether or not Apple or Android did something first. By teaching them how to use these changes, Apple is making it easier for iPhone users to switch to Android, and that’s probably the biggest favor Apple could ever do for Google.
League of Legends Trailer Teases New Champion – ComicBook.com
Riot Games released a new League of Legends trailer on Wednesday giving us a stylish preview of a new champion coming to the game. The trailer shows a slain swordsman who “must decide if he will make peace with his past—or be consumed by it” as he struggles with his new place in the afterlife and the events that brought him there. This character shown is connected to the Spirit Blossom event and is the second of the two champions teased earlier in the year. July 22nd was mentioned in the trailer, so we can look forward to that date to see more about the champion and the event.
The Ionian swordsman in the trailer finds himself in the afterlife where he instinctively reaches for his blade only to find it’s not with him. After traveling for a while with a companion serving as his guide, he diverts to a more sinister location where he confronts his past.
If you’ve been keeping up with League of Legends leaks and rumors recently and have some understanding of different champions’ backstories, you likely already have an idea of who this character is. This champion is thought to be Yone, Yasuo’s half-brother. Yasuo’s lore said the two were close, but when Yasuo was framed for the death of a revered elder who Yasuo apprenticed under, Yone was honor-bound to challenge him. Yasuo won the duel and killed Yone.
Yone confronts this memory after deviating from the main path in the trailer when he finds his own body slain on the ground. After a fight with a demon, Yone is seemingly returned to the living world, though not exactly as he was before. Part of the afterlife – including the demon – seems to have come back with him, thus giving us the masked assassin who’s been teased numerous times in the past.
As for Yone’s abilities, we can only tell so much from the cinematic, but a blend of swordplay and otherworldly powers is expected. We know he’s indeed an assassin just like Yasuo is and that he’s not a Darkin despite what his appearance and weapon might indicate. There certainly looks like there’s an internal struggle still raging within him based on the trailer and past teasers that showed him with one red eye and one blue, but it’s unknown now how his two sides will manifest themselves on Summoner’s Rift.
League of Legends still has to release Lillia before we get to Yone, so look forward to that champ’s release first while we wait to learn more about the assassin.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.
Google Promises the EU It Won’t Use Fitbit Health Data to Target Ads – Barron's
Potentially softening the ground for its pending acquisition of Fitbit, Alphabet pledged late Monday not to use health data from the fitness tracking company to target ads.
stock (ticker: FIT) rose 3.2% to $6.84 Tuesday, trading below the $7.35 a share offer in the November acquisition bid from Google, which has come under pressure from regulators in Australia, Europe, and the U.S. amid antitrust concerns. Coupled with antitrust worries, regulators have outlined privacy concerns with combining the cache of Fitbit health data with Google’s much larger data set of its users.
Alphabet (GOOGL) said in a statement that it would work “with the European Commission on an approach that safeguards consumers’ expectations that Fitbit device data won’t be used for advertising.”
The European Commission extended its deadline for a decision about the acquisition to Aug. 4 from July 20 as a result of Google’s offer. Class A shares of
which runs Google, rose 0.6% to $1,520.86 Tuesday.
Barron’s last discussed Fitbit June 19, saying then that the stock looked cheap. Alphabet has agreed to pay $7.35 a share but in June the stock was trading at a steep 13% discount to its acquisition price—lower still when an Australian regulator began to make noise about the deal, too.
Since Barron’s published the story, shares have climbed about 6%, outperforming the indexes, though if the deal closes at $7.35, there is 8.6% of upside remaining. The
S&P 500 index
advanced 1.9% in the same period, as the
Nasdaq Composite index
has gained 4.9%.
Roy Behren of Westchester Capital Management told Barron’s Tuesday in a phone interview that the recent Fitbit stock move means the market is now implying there is roughly an 80% the deal will close, an increase from the 70% to 75% chance in June. “I think the market has become a little bit more comfortable with the regulatory review,” he said. “This increases the chances it will be cleared in a phase one review.”
Fitbit has captured roughly 3% of the wearables market, compared with
(AAPL), which has about 29% market share, according to IDC data.
The deal values Fitbit at $2.1 billion and the companies have until Nov. 1 to seal the deal—with a maximum extension date of May 1, 2021, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Write to Max A. Cherney at email@example.com
Ghost Of Tsushima And Paper Mario Will Be $10 Off On Release Day – GameSpot
Later this week, exciting new exclusives for Nintendo Switch and PS4 arrive. Paper Mario: The Origami King and Ghost of Tsushima both release on July 17, which means it could be an expensive day for video games if you own both platforms. If you’re looking to snag one or both, Walmart is once again offering a $10 discount at launch, so you can pick up Paper Mario: The Origami King and Ghost of Tsushima for $49.94 each.
While these are stellar deals, Walmart is only offering the discounted price for either game when shopping in store. You can enter your zip code on BrickSeek to make sure that your local Walmart is offering the discounts. If you look on Walmart’s website, you’ll see that both games are listed at $60 for online orders. Sometimes Amazon matches Walmart’s launch discounts, but that typically only happens when Walmart is also offering the discount on its site.
For those who don’t live near a Walmart store or don’t feel like heading out to pick up a video game, make sure to check out our pre-order guides for Paper Mario: The Origami King and Ghost of Tsushima for more details on where you can order these games. For instance, GameStop has an exclusive pin set for Paper Mario, and the PlayStation Store has a Digital Deluxe edition of Ghost of Tsushima that comes with a bunch of additional goodies.
Also, if you want to order online and get Paper Mario: The Origami King and/or Ghost of Tsushima on release day, Best Buy or Walmart is the way to go at this point. While other retailers are showing delivery dates that stretch into next week, you can still get free release date delivery for both titles at Walmart and Best Buy.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.
Mailbag: Is Media Access an Issue in Tennis? – Sports Illustrated
Maple Leafs framing camp as competition for playoff roster – Sportsnet.ca
1st Canadian human trial for coronavirus vaccine is underway. Here's what that means – thepeakfm.com
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019 – report – MINING.com
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Richmond BBQ spot speaks out about coronavirus rumours Vancouver Is Awesome
- Real eState11 hours ago
Prince Edward County real-estate boom signals a fundamental change – The Globe and Mail
- Science21 hours ago
Comet NEOWISE offers rare nighttime sky show – Ottawa Citizen
- Science18 hours ago
Calgary photographers capture Comet NEOWISE with the aurora – Calgary Herald
- Media5 hours ago
ARHT Media Signs 4 City Network Deal in the Asia-Pacific Region Capture and Display Locations Will Generate Upfront and Recurring Revenues
- Politics5 hours ago
Gangster’s tale sheds light on India’s gritty grassroots politics
- Tech24 hours ago
These Pixel 4a vs Pixel 5G size renders aim to bring order into the Google Pixel 2020 chaos – PhoneArena
- Health10 hours ago
India's Zydus begins human trials for potential COVID-19 vaccine – TheChronicleHerald.ca
- Tech5 hours ago
OnePlus Nord pre-orders are open again for 24 hours — here's how to get yours – Tom's Guide