As Apple and Epic Games continue to duke it out over the iPhone maker’s 30 percent cut of in-app purchases, Google has released a plan to appease all parties on its platform, but it doesn’t go far enough.
To start, Android has always allowed people to download apps from third-party sources like the broader internet and Samsung’s App Gallery. However, beginning with Android 12 next year, Google plans to make it easier for Android users to add more app stores to their phones.
The company didn’t say much more than that, however. This tactic is the opposite of Apple’s approach, which only allows developers to use its own App Store.
The Google Play Store is about to become more like the App Store.
Beyond this announcement, Google has also reaffirmed its commitment to taking a 30 percent cut from app and in-app sales in the Google Play Store.
This means that apps in the main Android app market should be safer since everything in the store will be Google-approved and use the tech giant’s payment method.
Previously, Google was pretty loose with its in-app payment rules, so many developers could use their payment systems to avoid Google’s app tax from within the Play Store. Now, Google says it’s going to enforce all developers who wish to remain in the Play Store to use its payment platform.
Google suspended the 30 percent Play Store tax during the COVID-19 pandemic to help out developers. Still, on September 30th, 2021, it’s returning in full force, and all apps within the platform are expected to use Google’s approved payment method.
This is pretty much exactly like Apple’s current approach with the App Store.
What does this mean for Android users?
The key difference is that Google also allows people to download and sell apps from third-party sources, so if a company like Epic doesn’t want to pay the tech giant’s fee, it can create its own game store and release Fortnite that way.
On the surface, Google’s implementation seems like a fair alternative, but it really just gives established companies a Play Store fee evasion strategy. Smaller independent apps and games without an established fanbase are stuck using the Play Store since they might not have the branding or the money needed to convince users to leave Google’s walled-garden to download their game.
That’s not to say that developers can’t make money from within Apple and Google’s app ecosystems, but this new implementation isn’t as good as the search giant makes it seem. Google wants to be perceived as the good guy compared to Apple in the Epic Games battle, and chances are, it made the video game publisher happy with this move.
Overall, this changes nothing except resulting in the Play Store being more restricted with the trade-off that sometime in the fall of 2021, there will be improvements regarding how Android interacts with third-party app stores.
Initial reports on the PlayStation 5 appear to confirm that the DualSense controller supports Android.
This means you’ll be able to connect the controller to your phone via Bluetooth for gaming.
This lines up with earlier rumors that the DualSense is very similar to the DualShock 4.
Twitter was inundated today with reports from reviewers who received their PlayStation 5 review units. One of those reviewers, Austin Evans, posted a video on YouTube talking about what he’s allowed to talk about so far.
In an unboxing video for the DualSense controller that will come with PS5 consoles, Evans confirms something we suspected: the DualSense will support Android out of the box.
In the video, Evans actually uses the controller to play a game through Microsoft’s xCloud service (oh, the irony). You can see the video mirrored below.
DualSense Android support is real!
If all you’re interested in is the Android support, fast forward to 6:50.
Although this is exciting news for Android gamers, it isn’t totally unexpected. Not too long ago, we heard that the innards of the DualSense controller strongly align with those in the DualShock 4, the PlayStation 4’s controller. As such, it makes perfect sense that the DualSense would also support Android.
Still, it is exciting to know that your shiny new PlayStation 5 controller can double as a shiny new Android controller whenever you wish!
The Sony PlayStation 5 will hit store shelves on November 12. However, good luck getting one as pre-orders have been selling out in minutes. The DualSense controller, though, should be relatively easy to get.
Happy launch day! The new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are arriving to pre-order customers as of today and are hitting stores worldwide. We picked up a Pacific Blue iPhone 12 Pro and thought we’d share our first impressions for MacRumors readers still deciding on a purchase or waiting for their own iPhones to arrive.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This year’s iPhones include no EarPods or power adapter in the box, so there’s a new, more environmentally friendly box that’s slimmer than the prior boxes. There’s the phone itself, a Lightning to USB-C cable, a few small regulatory booklets, an Apple sticker, and a SIM ejection tool.
The squared-off edges of the new iPhone design are a major departure from the rounded edges we’ve had since the iPhone 6, so the feel of the flatter edge will take some getting used to. It can be a bit more uncomfortable to hold in the hand when you’re unaccustomed to it, but it does feel secure and easy to hold on to, even though it’s thinner than the iPhone 11 models.
Design wise, the new iPhone 12 Pro looks similar to the iPad Pro or something like the iPhone 5, so if you love that flat edged look, this is the phone for you. We think it looks great, and it’s a refreshing change from rounded edges. There have already been complaints about those shiny stainless steel edges on the Pro models, and we can confirm, that glossy material is a fingerprint magnet. The Pacific Blue color is unique, but it doesn’t do much in terms of hiding fingerprints.
The iPhone 12 Pro is 6.1 inches, which is about the same size as the iPhone 11 before. Last year’s Pro model was 5.8 inches, so expect a bit of a size increase, but overall, the sizes aren’t hugely different.
Apple added a new Ceramic Shield display that offers 4x stronger drop protection, but we’re not going to test that claim and ruin a perfectly good iPhone. Drop tests will be coming, though, and note that Apple makes no claims when it comes to protection against scratches and dings. Our iPhone is new enough that it’s in perfect condition, but there have been early reports that the screen is easier to scratch than normal, which is something to keep an eye on.
We covered MagSafe cases and chargers earlier this week before we had a new iPhone and were curious if the magnetic connection is stronger with an actual iPhone 12 in hand, and it does seem like there’s a small difference. It’s still not as magnetic as we might have expected, and while we don’t have a Wallet accessory on hand to test yet, there’s a good chance it’s not going to be the best accessory to slap onto the back of the phone.
All of the new iPhone 12 models support 5G, but we can’t give feedback on connection speeds because it’s just too early. That’s something we’ll follow up on in another video, but for the fastest mmWave 5G, you need to be in specific parts of specific cities to use it, so most people won’t be experiencing it.
Most people will connect to slower Sub-6GHz networks. We have a T-Mobile iPhone 12 Pro, and so far, the speeds seem to be a bit faster than on LTE, but for Verizon, LTE was faster. We’ll also need to come back to the A14 chip after we’ve had some time to test it out, but it is unsurprisingly the fastest chip in an iPhone yet.
The iPhone 12 Pro has a middle-tier camera that’s better than the iPhone 12 camera but not quite as good as the camera setup in the Pro Max, launching in November. There are three lenses along with a LiDAR Scanner, which brings some neat features like Night Mode portraits, Night Mode for the Ultra Wide lens, and improved low-light performance.
Ultra Wide lens comparison The LiDAR Scanner works by sending out light and measuring the time it takes to reflect back from objects, mapping out the entire space around you. In addition to photography features, it also has some AR applications, but developers need to incorporate the new technology into apps before we can see what it can really do.
Portrait mode comparison As for the camera quality, we’ll have a deep dive, but early photos are promising. The 7-element Wide camera has an f/1.6 aperture that lets in 27 percent more light, and there’s an improved optical image stabilization system that makes 5000 adjustments per second. The iPhone 12 Pro is also capable of shooting 4K HDR and Dolby Vision video, which we’ll show off more in-depth in a future video.
Telephoto comparison Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors because we’re going to have a lot more iPhone coverage coming, including those aforementioned deep dives into 5G connectivity and camera technology. When November rolls around, we’ll also be able to see the real differences between the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max camera systems.
An art installation years in the making that promises to amplify Calgary’s nighttime skyline will officially debut on Saturday night.
Northern Lights, a light show installed on two sides of the Telus Sky building, was created by artist and author Douglas Coupland. It features 2.2 kilometres of LED lighting, 600 custom bulbs and 89,000 pixels of light.
The lights — which wrap most of the windows on the building in an inverted L shape — combine to depict the aurora borealis in motion, along with a myriad of other patterns. The show will be visible on both the north and south facing sides of Telus Sky, a 59-storey skyscraper at 685 Centre St. South.
Calgarians have been seeing test runs of the show periodically for months, but Saturday night will be the official launch of the full show.
At 160,000 square feet, Northern Lights will be the largest art installation in Calgary.
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After the Saturday night premiere, Northern Lights will run every night year-round, starting about one hour before sunset to 11 p.m.
Telus is recommending people watch the show from the ground from Centre Street and Stephen Avenue or Centre Street and 9 Avenue.
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