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Apple is holding the Unreal Engine hostage, Epic says in new motion – The Verge



Apple is threatening an entire ecosystem of game developers in response to the Fortnite lawsuit, Epic alleged in a new filing on Sunday.

The motion centers on iOS support for the Unreal Engine, which Apple has threatened to revoke as part of Epic’s broader loss of developer privileges. Epic has asked the court to restrain Apple from revoking that access while the case is ongoing. Apple responded to the request on Friday, emphasizing that it was enforcing previously stated policies, but not denying that iOS support was at risk.

Epic says removing support would be unnecessarily punitive, affecting developers who have built on Epic’s engine but have no direct interest in the case. “The breadth of Apple’s retaliation is itself an unlawful effort to maintain its monopoly and chill any action by others who might dare oppose Apple,” the motion reads.

The filing came alongside a new declaration from Microsoft in support of Epic’s motion, emphasizing how disastrous it would be to revoke Epic’s access to Apple’s developer tools. Any developer using the engine would be unable to patch security flaws or fix bugs once the access was revoked, effectively halting support for a wide range of games including Microsoft’s Forza.

“Denying Epic access to Apple’s SDK and other development tools will prevent Epic from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS,” said Kevin Gammill, Microsoft’s general manager for third-party developers on the Xbox, “and will place Unreal Engine and those game creators that have built, are building, and may build games on it at a substantial disadvantage.”

The conflict between Epic and Apple began on August 13th, when Epic announced a new in-app payment system for Fortnite that skirted Apple’s 30 percent fee — dubbed the Fortnite “mega drop.” Apple removed Fortnite from its App Store, citing its long-standing rules for in-app purchases. Epic responded with an antitrust lawsuit seeking to establish the App Store as a monopoly.

Apple responded to Epic Games suit on Friday, asking a court to deny Epic’s motion. Apple claims Epic created a false “emergency” by accepting direct payments through Fortnite in violation of Apple’s rules. Epic, the court filing states, asked for a special deal that Apple said would “fundamentally change the way in which Epic offers apps on Apple’s iOS platform.”

“Developers who work to deceive Apple, as Epic has done here, are terminated,” the court filing states, adding that when developers find ways to avoid its digital checkout, as Epic did, “it is the same as if a customer leaves an Apple retail store without paying for shoplifted product: Apple does not get paid.”

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Xbox Game Pass now has over 15 million subscribers – MobileSyrup



Xbox Game Pass is by far the best deal in gaming.

Hidden within Microsoft’s reveal that it’s purchasing ZeniMax, the parent company of developers Bethesda, id Software and Arkane Studios, for roughly $7.5 billion USD (about $9.9 billion CAD), the tech giant confirmed that Xbox Game Pass now has more than 15 million subscribers.

In April, Game Pass was confirmed to have reached 10 million subscribers. This means that over the last five months of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Xbox Game Pass managed to add roughly five million new subscribers.

While Game Pass was already a great deal, given how it offers access to all Microsoft’s first-party developed games plus numerous third-party titles, the company recently bolstered the subscription service’s offerings. EA Play titles will soon be coming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at no additional charge, and Xbox game streaming (formerly called xCloud) is also now available on Android through the highest tier of the service at no extra cost.

Now, Microsoft is set to add Bethesda titles to the mix, including, presumably, games like Fallout 3, Doom Eternal and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Even future titles from Bethesda like Starfield are slated to come to the subscription service day and date on Xbox or PC as well. Bethesda titles Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 76 are currently on Game Pass.

Microsoft recently confirmed that Xbox All Access, its financing option for the $379 Xbox Series S and $499 Xbox Series X that also includes a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, is coming to Canada. Pricing for the service remains unclear, though in the U.S., it costs $24.99 USD (roughly $32.99 CAD) per month for 24 months for the Series S, or $34.99 USD (about $46 CAD) per month for 24 months for the Series X.

On its own, Game Pass Ultimate costs $16.99 per month. The base-level Game Pass service costs $11.99 per month on both Xbox One and PC.

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Xbox Series X And Series S Pre-Order Guide: Where To Get Microsoft’s Next-Gen Consoles – Forbes



We’ve had two pretty messed up video game pre-order snafus in the last week or so, with both the PlayStation 5 and RTX 3080 selling out in minutes, leaving many gamers upset and empty-handed—while resellers chortled about how many units they were able to scoop up.

Hopefully tomorrow’s Xbox Series X|S pre-orders will go better. In an effort to help you, dear readers, get your hands on a new next-gen system tomorrow morning when pre-orders go live tomorrow, I’ve written out this buying guide.

It includes links to various retailers’ pages for the Xbox Series X and Series S, though some retailers don’t have links available yet, and others appear to be placeholders. Some have pages for the Series X but not the Series S.

I’ll update the links section of this post as more become available, so stay tuned.

Below the list of retailers I’ve also written out some helpful tips for anyone looking to pre-order. Since you’ll be competing against bots—and potentially overwhelmed servers—being prepared is essential. That means getting up early if you’re out on the West Coast.

Here’s where to find an Xbox Series X|S tomorrow morning when pre-orders go live:

Here are the retailers in various regions offering the All Access program (see below for details):

  • United States (8AM PT): Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Store, and Walmart
  • Australia (8AM AEST): Telstra
  • New Zealand (8AM NZST): Spark
  • UK (8AM BST): GAME and Smyths Toys
  • Denmark (9AM CEST): Elgiganten
  • Finland (9AM CEST): Gigantti
  • Norway (9AM CEST): Elkjøp
  • Sweden (9AM CEST): Elgiganten

Pre-Order Tips

There is no guarantee these days that you’ll be able to get your hands on any shiny new piece of tech when it comes out, let alone snap up a pre-order. This was proved in no uncertain terms by the disastrous pre-order opening salvos for both the RTX 3080 graphics card from Nvidia and Sony’s PlayStation 5. But there are a few ways you can better prepare yourself so that you’re ready to go, especially since we know that pre-orders will go live at 8 am PDT / 11 am EDT on September 22nd.

There is, of course, the chance that a retailer will break embargo (though Microsoft has warned of retribution if they do) so if you want to be extra sure to get an Xbox Series X|S console, make sure to login earlier and start scouring the internet. One Twitter account you should follow for gaming deals is Wario64. If and when pre-orders go live any earlier than advertised, this account will almost certainly let you know. Tuning back into this post can also be helpful, as I’ll be updating it Tuesday morning with any new information, links and so forth.

If you have an account with any of these retailers, make sure you’re already logged into it before pre-orders go live. Have your payment info saved and/or make sure you’re logged into PayPal if that’s your preferred method of payment. Some people say that you should use store pickup if it’s available at brick-and-mortar stores also, as this is potentially more reliable. The only downside to that option is having to go to an actual store, something many people are trying to avoid these days thanks to COVID-19.

Make sure you’re on the fastest machine you own also. I generally think online shops are more reliable on computers than on phones (and it’s often easier and faster to type with a keyboard than a touch-screen) but if your phone is your most reliable device, use that. Sites will almost certainly be crashing or slowed down and you want every advantage you can get (including a fast internet connection).

After that, it’s all luck. The PS5 was selling out within minutes (or faster) at some retailers. This is largely thanks to resellers who use bots to snag up as many consoles as possible and then sell them at outrageous prices on eBay and elsewhere. Purchasing via Microsoft’s All Access program could be one work-around here. It’s also an excellent deal. Through All Access you can get the Series X for $34.99/month and the Series S for $24.99/month with 0% APR financing. This price includes an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription (bundling Game Pass and Xbox Live With Gold) for two years, and is normally $14.99/month.

Still, there are no guarantees you’ll be able to pre-order an Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X Tuesday or prior to their November 10th launch. If that’s the case, you’ll simply need to buy later—and frankly, the best advice I can give to most gamers who don’t absolutely need the shiniest, newest gear is to wait. Certainly don’t buy from price-gougers. There simply won’t be that many launch titles that justify a next-gen console in 2020. Waiting until 2021 (or later) is a totally reasonable option.

See my case for buying the Xbox Series S instead of an Xbox Series X right here.

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iOS 14 basics: how to add widgets to your iPhone’s home screen – The Verge



One of the more prominent changes introduced in iOS 14, and one that is generating a lot of interest, is the addition of widgets that can be added to any page. There are all sorts of weird and useful things you can do with them (especially if you’re willing to play around with apps such as Shortcuts and Widgetsmith). To begin, here’s how to add an existing widget to your home screen:

  • Touch and hold an empty area on your screen until your apps jiggle and show minus symbols
  • Tap the plus sign in the upper-left corner, and you’ll bring up a menu of existing widgets

Touch and hold your screen and tap the plus sign.

You’ll get a selection of widgets to choose from.

  • Tap on the widget you want to add. Swipe left and right to choose the widget’s size and shape.
  • Tap “Add Widget”
  • Once you’ve added the widget, tap anywhere on the home screen to go out of edit mode

Swipe left and right to choose the size and shape you want.

Long press on a widget to remove it.

Note that the first time you tap the new widget, you may be asked to adjust its features (for example, to tell a weather widget what you want it to report).

To move the widget around the screen or to another screen, just long-press it until it starts to shake and then move it where you want it. If you want to get rid of the widget, long-press to bring up a remove option.

But wait — there’s more:

Create a widget stack

You can create a stack of widgets if you want to save space or if there’s one widget you’ll only want to use occasionally.

To create a stack:

  • Select a widget for your home screen as described above and place it where you want it. Select the next widget you want to stack (you can stack as many as 10) and save it to your home screen
  • Long press the widget so that you can move it around the screen, and place it on top of the first. Note that the widget must be the same size and shape; you can’t, say, place a small widget on a medium-sized one.

To see each widget in your stack, swipe up or down on the top widget and the next one will be revealed.

You can stack your widgets (notice the dots at the right side of the stack)

Long press on a stack to edit it.

If you want to change the position of or remove any of the apps in the stack:

  • Long press the stack and select “Edit Stack”
  • Press the three lines to the side of each app to change its position in the stack
  • To remove the app, swipe it to the left

Create a Smart Stack

Apple has also created a feature it calls a “Smart Stack,” which will automatically choose which widget should be on top depending on your location, what time it is, or what you most often look at.

iOS 14 comes with a pre-built Smart Stack made up of a group of selected apps. You add that stack the same way you’d add any widget:

  • Long press on your home screen and tap the plus icon in the upper-left corner
  • Scroll down until you see the widget called “Smart Stack”
  • As with the other widgets, scroll sideways to choose the size you want, and then tap “Add Widget”

You can stack your widgets (notice the dots at the right side of the stack)

“Smart Rotate” turns almost any stack into a Smart Stack.

Once you’ve added it, you can change the order of the included apps or remove the ones you don’t want, the same way you’d remove any stacked apps. Or if you want to start from scratch, you can create your own Smart Stack:

  • Long press any stack you’ve created and select “Edit Stack”
  • Toggle “Smart Rotate” on

Use widgets on iPads

You can also use widgets (and widget stacks) on iPads — however, they can only be placed in the Today view on the left side of the left-most screen. Otherwise, the process for adding and stacking widgets is the same as on the iPhone — as is the process for creating Smart Stacks.

If you want to keep your widgets in view no matter which screen you’re on, you can.

  • Press and hold an empty area in the Today View
  • When you see “Keep On Home Screen,” toggle it on

Meanwhile, if you want to start creating your own widgets or find out what you can do with the new App Library, check out these articles:

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