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Apple seeds watchOS 8 beta 8 to all developers [U] – 9to5Mac



Update: watchOS 8 beta 8 is now available to public beta testers as well.

As we near the final release of watchOS 8, Apple is seeding today watchOS 8 beta 8 to all developers. Here’s everything new with the upcoming Apple Watch operating system.

Today’s build is 19R5342a. Public beta testers will have to wait a bit longer until beta 8 is available to them as well. watchOS 8 beta test program started on June 30 with beta 2.

The company is also seeding iOS 15 beta 8, tvOS 15 beta 8, HomePod 15 beta 8 as well to all developers. Recently, the company also release macOS Monterey beta 6.

With watchOS 8 beta 5, Apple introduced a new Weather icon, which is also available in today’s beta.

With watchOS 8 beta 2, Apple brought the new ‘Portraits’ Watch Face, which is one of the many features available in the upcoming Apple Watch operating system. With beta 3, on the other hand, Apple only fixed bugs and provided a better experience overall.

watchOS 8 includes, for example, new built-in applications that take advantage of the always-on display used on the Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch Series 6. There is also a new way for developers to tap into the always-on display.

With watchOS 8 coming this fall, here’s what else is new in this version:

  • There’s a new version of the Breathe app, now called Mindfulness;
  • Respiratory rate is now measured during sleep tracking;
  • Photos app overhauled with featured highlights and memories;
  • Photos can now be shared from the watch with Messages and Mail on watchOS 8;
  • Scribble now lets you include emoji in handwritten messages;
  • App shelf in iMessage includes image search and quick access to photos;
  • Find My now includes items (including AirTags);
  • Weather includes next hour precipitation;
  • Apple Watch can do multiple timers for the first time;
  • Tips is now available on the Apple Watch;
  • Music can be shared from Apple Watch over Messages.

About a month ago, Apple released watchOS 7.6.1 to all users with ‘important security updates’ for Apple Watch.

If you want to learn how to install the beta version of watchOS 8, click here. You can find our full roundup on the upcoming Apple Watch operating system here.

Did you find anything new in watchOS 8 beta 8? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, @9to5Mac.

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Blizzard seemingly removes a reference to Jeff Kaplan in Overwatch 2 – Dot Esports



Fans on Reddit have noticed that a reference to former Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has been removed from the upcoming sequel’s New York City map. Players spotted that the Sept. 25 Bastion Rework announcement video for Overwatch 2 shows the pizza shop formerly called Jeph’s Corner Pizza is just Corner Pizza.

Fans can see the change for themselves around the 1-minute mark in Bastion’s announcement video, which shows the hero’s new ultimate and the pizza shop in the background. The nod to Kaplan doesn’t seem to be on the shop’s sign, however.

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

The measure is likely a part of Blizzard Entertainment’s push to remove in-game references to its employees in the wake of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.

Since the lawsuit’s filing, the company revealed it would rename Overwatch‘s McCree, named after a Diablo 4 lead game designer. A statement from the World of Warcraft team said the staff would “remove references that are not appropriate” for Azeroth—presumably referring to easter eggs involving Alex Afrasiabi, a former senior creative director for the game who was directly named in the lawsuit.

In April, Blizzard announced that Kaplan was leaving the company. He was replaced by Aaron Keller, a prominent member of the Overwatch team who helped design the beloved King’s Row map. Kaplan’s departure came before the wave of lawsuits filed against Activision Blizzard. 

In the official news release, Blizzard said Kaplan “has decided to leave the company after a long and storied career.” At the bottom of the release, Blizzard included a “personal note” from Kaplan, where he says, “It was truly the honor of a lifetime.” Kaplan’s reason for leaving Blizzard remains unclear.

Now, as Blizzard continues to grapple with multiple lawsuits, the company has begun to erase numerous employee-related Easter eggs and references that appear in Blizzard games. The removal of “Jeph” comes as Blizzard makes changes to company policy.

In August, a Blizzard rep told Kotaku that “[Blizzard] will be reviewing the real-world references currently used in our games and making decisions based on how they best represent core values for our games.” That month, the company announced it would change McCree’s name.

Jeph’s Corner Pizza wasn’t the only reference to Kaplan, however. Reddit users also spotted a coffee cup saying “Jeph” in Overwatch 2, a nod to a picture in which Kaplan holds a cup of coffee with a misspelled version of his name. The cup stands on a copy of a book called “The Green Hills of Stranglethorn,” a quest from World of Warcraft also designed by Kaplan, as spotted by a user. It’s unclear if that reference will also remain in the sequel.

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Apple to Fix Issue Preventing iPhone 13 Users From Unlocking With Apple Watch in Upcoming Software Update – MacRumors



Apple today said an issue preventing some iPhone 13 users from using the Unlock with Apple Watch feature will be fixed in an upcoming software update.

In a support document, Apple said affected users can turn off Unlock with Apple Watch and use their passcode to unlock their iPhone 13 until the software update is released. The feature, which is designed to let you unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask or ski goggles, can be toggled off in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode.

Apple did not specify which software update will include a fix, nor did it provide a timeframe. The first beta of iOS 15.1 was released five days ago, but Apple could also choose to release a minor iOS 15.0.1 update with bug fixes.

As we reported, affected users might see an “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch” error message if they try to unlock their iPhone 13 while wearing a face mask, or they might not be able to set up Unlock with Apple Watch.

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‘Overwatch 2’ Sure Feels Like ‘Overwatch Patch v2.0’ So Far – Forbes



Blizzard is starting to announce more than just cosmetic changes to its heroes for Overwatch 2, which will start rolling out this spring in competitive play in OWL, using an early build. Yesterday, major reworks of heroes Sombra and Bastion were featured, including changes that make Sombra sound OP on paper, and let Bastion roll around in Sentry mode now, equally terrifying in its own right.

But the more I hear about Overwatch 2 the more it keeps sounding like what is essentially the world’s biggest balance patch, changing the meta with structural changes, like a smaller team size, and then these grand reworks to heroes to make them…better? I mean they’re different, that’s clear, but how much of this is change for its own sake?

While sure, I’ll give these multiplayer changes a chance, it’s not like the decision to make this a full-on “Overwatch 2” has not cost the game or series anything. To do this, they have essentially stopped development on the current game completely, something that is very, very risky in this genre as all other games keep pumping out new content. We haven’t had a new Overwatch hero since April 2020’s Echo. And before that it was August 2019’s Sigma. Development has slowed and then ultimately stopped, and while we’re supposed to get at least one new hero, Sojourn, if not more when OW2 launches, it’s important to remember we still don’t have anything approaching an actual release date for the game, so Overwatch will have taken a “hero break” for a full two years, at minimum, by the time this is over.

Of course, the X-factor in all this is what’s going to happen with single player content. This is the new “paid” part of Overwatch 2, while the multiplayer changes will be free to those who own Overwatch 1. But we’ve heard incredibly little about single player and seen almost nothing from it. There’s something about running story missions on repeat to level up your heroes with PvE only upgrades. Overwatch isn’t getting an open world or loot or anything like that. What I’m hearing sounds kind of like…Battleborn, weirdly? At least a blend of Battleborn, Destiny strikes and the single player content we already see from the game. But that’s just a guess because we only have the barest outlines of how single player or co-op PvE content will work in Overwatch 2. Everything has been focused on these character reworks, and redesigns that I don’t even understand, given that all your skins will carry over from the last game, and players won’t really care that Bastion has a new hat now.

Diablo 4 may be a troubled Blizzard project as well, especially in the wake of all the harassment issues and resignations, but at least I understand that game at baseline. Overwatch 2 remains deeply perplexing, a bunch of massive meta changes for their own sake, a giant mega-patch attached to bunch of PvE content in a series known almost exclusively for PvP. As ever, it feels mainly like Activision wanted to slap a “2” on something, even if it sounds as ridiculous in theory as League of Legends 2 or Fortnite 2, games that are clearly never going to get or need full sequels.

I remain deeply confused about what the end result of Overwatch 2 will look like, or when it will get here. For now, we’ll just keep getting these rework patch note drops, and seeing how things will change.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series, and The Earthborn Trilogy, which is also on audiobook.

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