The new BMW 4-Series Coupe was officially presented on Tuesday and one of the main topics of conversation was the polarizing vertical kidney grille. Like it or not, this feature is here to stay, and it’s part of the company’s strategic move to make each and every model stand out.
Defending the massive kidney grille was design chief Domagoj Dukec, who strongly believes that the automaker has taken the right decision to go ahead with this design, despite receiving a lot of negative input ever since they presented the Concept 4 last year.
“It should be in the core of BMW to have a product which makes a strong statement. It’s unmistakably BMW, unmistakably 4-Series. It’s not just logical, it has a very strong character that’s unique to our brand”, Dukec told Autocar. “The twin-kidney grille is the most prominent design icon we have. It’s the biggest difference we have from any other car out there. We’ve used the kidney in a variety of ways to give our cars a certain presence: the 3-Series has a very horizontal one because it’s a more rational, serious car. A coupe like the 4-Series should express the exotic part of BMW.”
Dukec explained that in this business, it’s important to know which voices to listen to. “You can’t listen to social media reactions. It won’t help you. Design is something that is so emotional, and everybody has an opinion and different states. There’s no right or wrong. When you do something like this, 50 percent of people might love it and 50 percent will hate it, and that won’t change. Anything you do, there will be people who like it and people who don’t – but this is not the criteria.”
So, what are the criteria for design? According to the BMW official, it is “to create something, unique, daring, to make a statement”. “Although it’s polarizing in the beginning, it’s at the heart of BMW and a brand-shaper for us.”
Leading the new 4-Series pack is the Coupe, which will go on sale globally in October, with the Convertible and four-door Gran Coupe to follow. All of them are based on the brand’s CLAR architecture, which translates into a bigger footprint and a more spacious interior.
Until the new M4 arrives, likely within the next six months, the M440i xDrive will sit at the top of the range, with a 369 HP 3.0-liter turbo-six, for a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph (250 km/h). U.S. customers will be able to order it for $59,495, while the 430i and 430i xDrive, which pack a 258 HP 2.0-liter four-pot, will launch from $46,595 and $48,595 respectively.
In Europe, the new-gen 4-Series will become available in 420i and 420d specs as well, with their 2.0-liter petrol and diesel engine making 184 and 190 HP respectively, plus the 286 HP 3.0-liter 430d and M440d xDrive 340 HP diesels, which will launch next spring.
Google-backed groups criticise Apple's new warnings on user tracking – CNA
SAN FRANCISCO: A group of European digital advertising associations on Friday (Jul 3) criticised Apple’s plans to require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites.
Apple last week disclosed features in its forthcoming operating system for iPhones and iPads that will require apps to show a pop-up screen before they enable a form of tracking commonly needed to show personalized ads.
Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook and Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.
Facebook and Google are the largest among thousands of companies that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests and serve them relevant ads.
Apple said the new feature was aimed at giving users greater transparency over how their information is being used. In training sessions at a developer conference last week, Apple showed that developers can present any number of additional screens beforehand to explain why permission is needed before triggering its pop-up.
The pop-up says an app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies” and gives the app developer several lines below the main text to explain why the permission is sought. It is not required until an app seeks access to a numeric identifier that can be used for tracking, and apps only need to secure permission once.
The group of European marketing firms said the pop-up warning and the limited ability to customize it still carries “a high risk of user refusal.”
Apple engineers also said last week the company will bolster a free Apple-made tool that uses anonymous, aggregated data to measure whether advertising campaigns are working and that will not trigger the pop-up.
“Because it’s engineered to not track users, there’s no need to request permission to track,” Brandon Van Ryswyk, an Apple privacy engineer, said in a video session explaining the measurement tool to developers.
Here's How the iPhone 6s Runs on iOS 14 [VIDEO] – iPhone in Canada
Brandon Butch on YouTube has released a video showing how Apple’s iPhone 6s (2015) runs iOS 14 beta.
Apple’s iPhone 6s is the oldest iPhone to support iOS 14 and Butch goes through how the device handles new widgets, picture in picture video, new messages features, camera controls, Safari tracking, performance, battery life and more.
The iPhone 6s running a fresh install of iOS 14 beta looks relatively smooth when it comes to widgets and accessing the App Library. Picture in picture does take up a lot of real estate on the smaller iPhone 6s display, but the demo shows it does handle it fine.
Apps open up fairly quickly in iOS 14, which Butch says is “pretty impressive”. But performance is “not bad” and the only lag is related to some apps hanging and the keyboard lagging in Messages, as Apple’s A9 chip and 2GB of RAM struggle to keep up.
As for battery life in iOS 14, it’s pretty bad due to widgets using background data. Of course, iOS betas have been known to have less than stellar battery life. Usually, battery life does include in the later betas.
Overall, it’s impressive Apple is still supporting iOS 14 for an iPhone that’s five years old. Android devices that are five years old are unable to get the latest version of its own software.
Tencent launches new U.S. game studio for global appeal – Reuters
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest social media and video game company, launched a new California-based studio this week, as it looks to further expand its presence overseas.
FILE PHOTO: A Tencent sign is seen at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, Oct. 20, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
The new studio, LightSpeed LA, will be led by former Rockstar veteran Steve Martin and will focus on the development and publishing of AAA titles, Tencent Games’ LightSpeed and Quantum Studios said in a statement to Reuters.
“We’re ushering in a new era of game culture by combining world-class development with a stress-free work environment,” Martin said in the statement.
Tencent is trying to build an array of studios overseas with the goal of creating content with original intellectual property that has global appeal.
The launch is also the firm’s latest move in a strategy to derive half its games revenue from overseas, a category that accounted for about 23% of its fourth-quarter online game sales.
The company has most recently hired Halo 4 lead designer Scott Warner to head another newly-minted new studio grouped under TiMi Studios, the maker of Arena of Valor and Call of Duty: Mobile.
Tencent is also the owner of League of Legends creator Riot Games, and has majority control of Clash of Clans maker Supercell.
The new studio in Orange County has hired creative talent from Rockstar Games, Sony VASG, Respawn Entertainment, 2K Games, and Insomniac.
Last week, Tencent unveiled plans for more than 40 game products, from a release of Mobile Dungeon & Fighter to an unnamed Metal Slug mobile game in partnership with SNK Corp.
It also announced a cross-platform Pokemon team battling game running on Nintendo Co Ltd’s Switch console and on mobile.
Shares of Tencent Holdings soared more than 8% this week to a historic high of HK$521 after the announcement of the new games.
Reporting by Pei Li; Editing by Clarence Fernandez
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