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Yes, Amazon Luna dodges Apple’s cloud gaming rules — when will Nvidia and Google? – The Verge

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You might be wondering: “Did Amazon just break Apple’s App Store guidelines by bringing a cloud gaming service to iPhone?” And I can understand why, given that I told you just last week how Apple doesn’t permit Google Stadia in anything close to its current form, and Amazon’s just-announced Luna is a lot like Stadia. Wouldn’t the same rules apply?

But the truth is that Amazon has a simple way to get around Apple’s App Store rules entirely — and it’s making me wonder how long it’ll be before Google, Nvidia, Microsoft and others follow suit.

The short version: Amazon Luna on iOS is not a traditional app. It’ll never appear in the App Store, and it doesn’t need to. As Engadget reports, it’s a progressive web app (PWA), which is mostly a fancy name for a website that you can launch and run separately from the rest of your web browser. Engadget says it can even appear as an icon on your home screen, making it look like a normal app before you tap it.

Being a web app makes it exempt from Apple’s App Store rules, a fact that Apple itself is well aware of — because two weeks ago, Apple actually mentioned this idea in its updated rules. I’ve bolded the important part:

4.9 Streaming games

Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.

Amazon making use of the workaround? Not so surprising. What’s surprising is that Google, Nvidia, Microsoft and others have waited this long.

We’ve known for a decade that you can play a top-shelf game in a web browser. If I’m exaggerating, it’s only by three months: in December 2010, I wrote about streaming Mass Effect 2 in the web browser on an original Atom-powered netbook, using the service that would later morph into Sony’s PlayStation Now.

And Google has known for eight of those past ten years that a web browser can natively stream those games, too: before he graduated to run the whole company, Sundar Pichai was the one to demonstrate that exact thing on a Google stage. Stadia launched with support for Chromebooks and the Chrome web browser, too — but also launched with an app on Android, and an app that can’t play games on iOS.

Meanwhile, Nvidia’s GeForce Now recently made the leap to Chromebooks by creating a WebRTC version of its app, which potentially opened the door to a web browser version on top of its apps for Mac, Windows and Android — a door so wide that it apparently already works if you really try. Some Redditors have recently reported that Stadia, too, works on iOS if you can trick it into thinking you’re using a supported web browser:

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There were questions about how well these services ran on the web, of course, particularly around controller support. And sure, perhaps Google, Nvidia, and Microsoft could optimize performance and quality if they had a native app instead of relying on web standards — and, in the case of iOS, relying on the WebKit browser engine Apple requires all iOS browsers to be based on. (That’s also part of the App Store rules, too; see 2.5.6.)

But run it does — well enough, apparently, that Amazon is willing to hang part of the success of its new Luna platform on iOS web browsers.

With Apple unwilling to budge and Amazon showing a way forward, perhaps it’s only a matter of time before others do the same. Though I’m not quite sure about Microsoft… I’ll explain why in a future story.

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Astro’s Playroom is the perfect showcase for the PS5’s wild DualSense controller – The Verge

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As far as pack-in games go, Astro’s Playroom may not seem all that exciting at first. It’s not an instant classic like a bundled Super Mario., nor something with the obvious appeal of Wii Sports. But Sony made a smart decision in giving Astro away to every PS5 owner: it might just be the ideal showcase for the console’s new DualSense controller.

The game itself is a fairly simple 3D platformer, but one that exudes charm. Everything is bright and colorful, and there are lots of fun little animations. If you leave Astro alone for too long, he’ll pull out a PSVR and start playing games on his own. (If the adorable robotic character looks familiar, it’s because it also starred in the PSVR title Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, another game designed to showcase new hardware.)

Everything takes place in a retrofuturistic world divided into several levels, though for this preview I’ll only be discussing the first, called “Cooling Springs.”

Cute as everything is, initially it seems generic. You start out at a beach collecting coins, jumping around, and smacking enemies with your little robot fists. It’s all very peaceful and charming; mechanical dolphins swim through the water, and you can knock around beach balls. Later, you’ll move on to other themed areas like a robot hotel and a frozen arctic region. It’s not particularly hard, but there’s a really playful tone. You’ll spend time sliding down icy ramps, jumping off of diving boards, and figure skating around enemies. Littered around the level are all kinds of classic PlayStation Easter eggs (which I won’t spoil for you right now).

But the most interesting thing about Astro’s Playroom isn’t how it plays — it’s how it feels. Sony’s new DualSense controller is its biggest gamepad redesign since it introduced twin sticks midway through the original PlayStation’s life. And two of the showcase features are all about feel: there are triggers on the back with haptic feedback and variable tension, and the controller has much more subtle vibrations. Both are on display in Astro’s first stage.

The vibrations are noticeable almost immediately, and the variety is pretty incredible. You can feel bits of sand crunching when Astro is walking on a beach, there’s a heavy plop when you jump into the water, and a satisfying tension when you pull on an elastic band. I especially loved the colder region where you can actually feel Astro shiver. What’s remarkable is how distinct they all feel. Each sensation is accompanied by a sound effect from the DualSense’s built-in speaker, and when you combine the physical and audio sensations, the experience becomes that much more immersive.

Astro’s Playroom

The same goes for the new haptic triggers. Normally, the R2 and L2 buttons perform like regular buttons, but during certain sequences, they offer feedback in the form of tension. Essentially, there are two states to the button press; you can easily press down halfway, but a full press requires a bit more force. As an example, in the opening level of Astro, there are side-scrolling sequences where the bot jumps around in a spring-powered mech suit. (Don’t ask.) In order to do a short jump, you pull the trigger halfway, but to launch across the screen, you need to pull it all the way down. It makes big leaps that much more satisfying since you have to add the extra force.

The level also makes use of other controller features. You can blow into the mic to spin a fan, use the touchpad to move a zipper, and there are the prerequisite motion controls. None of these are new like the vibration and haptic triggers, but it’s actually pretty impressive how many things Sony crammed into this gamepad.

Of course, it’s impossible to know how things will play out for the DualSense. Astro’s Playroom is an adorable little game made all the more charming thanks to these new features. But it was also designed explicitly to take advantage of them. Wii Sports was amazing, but only a few Wii games made motion controls anywhere near as compelling.

Right now, it’s not clear whether other games and developers will take advantage of the DualSense in the same way. Like HD Rumble on the Nintendo Switch, they could end up being a forgotten gimmick. But in the case of Astro’s Playroom, it’s at least an incredibly fun gimmick — and one that should make new PS5 owners plenty happy when the console launches on November 12th.

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iPhone 12 Pro has killer hidden performance — what you need to know – Tom's Guide

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Thanks to its new A14 Bionic chip, the iPhone 12 is much faster than any Android phone based on the iPhone 12 benchmarks we’ve run, but in real-world use it’s a multitasking powerhouse and wipes the floor with older iPhones. 

In a video by EverythingApplePro, the Apple-centric YouTuber compared the iPhone 12 Pro against the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Xs, carrying out a variety of tasks. The 12 Pro blew the older models away — and it’s not just because of the A14.

EverythingApplePro showed how the iPhone 12 Pro could bounce between a whole load of apps open at the same time. And even after carrying out a video rendering tasks, the YouTuber was able to open up a load of apps in mere seconds. 

That’s thanks to the extra 2GB of RAM the iPhone 12 Pro has over its predecessor, allowing for a lot of apps to be stored ‘in-memory.” That means the apps are loaded from the iPhone 12’s RAM rather than its pool of storage. 

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This allows for much faster multitasking, something iPhones have struggled with in the past, unlike some Android phones with large amounts of RAM. 

Apple never revealed how much RAM its iPhones have, but it’s believed the iPhone 12 Pro has 6GB. Comparatively, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has 12GB. But EverythingApplePro noted that the IPhone 12 Pro shows how a well-optimized chip means there’s no need to have vast amounts of RAM in a smartphone. Given Apple designs its chips in-house, it has greater control over how the silicon plays with iOS and the rest of the IPhone. 

In short, the iPhone 12 Pro is not only a powerhouse on the benchmark sheets, but also a multitasking machine in the streets. That alone arguably makes it a compelling upgrade over the iPhone 11 Pro, before you even consider the new design and upgraded cameras. 

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Cyberpunk 2077 Launch Delayed: Game Will Now Release on December 10 to Allow for Optimisations for Across… – Gadgets 360

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Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed once again, this time for 21 days with the new release date being December 10. This time, the developers have cited optimising the game for nine platforms as the reason behind the delay. The CD Projekt Red team took to Twitter to share the news, apologising to the fans that have been eagerly waiting for the game. Cyberpunk 2077 was originally scheduled for an April 2020 release, which was then postponed to September 17, and then to November 19.

CD Projekt Red shared a post on Twitter, just like the last time the game got delayed, explaining why the team decided to push the release by 21 days. Cyberpunk 2077 was scheduled to release on November 19 after several delays and the developers had assured that the game was ready for that release date. They earlier announced that the game went “gold” meaning all the content and gameplay was ready for the final retail version. However, it seems like there is still some work to be done, particularly preparing nine versions of the game for the different platforms it will release on.

“The biggest challenge for us right now is shipping the game on current-gen, next-gen, and PC at the same time, which requires us to prepare and test 9 versions of it (Xbox One/X, compatibility on Xbox Series S/X, PS4/Pro, compatibility on PS5, PC, Stadia)… while working from home,” the post on Twitter by head of studio Adam Badowski and joint CEO Marcin Iwinski stated.

The post also explains why this delay came to be after announcing the game has “gone gold.” The post states that while ‘going gold’ means the “game is ready, can be completed, and has all content in it,” it doesn’t mean that the developers will stop raising the quality bar. Several improvements are being made to Cyberpunk 2077 that will be pushed via a Day 0 patch and the time period for these improvements was what the team “undercalculated.”

Cyberpunk 2077 was first scheduled for an April 2020 release, which was then delayed by five months to September 17 to “finish playtesting, fixing, and polishing.” Then, it was pushed to November 19 so that the team could “balance game mechanics and fix a lot of bugs.”


Are iPhone 12 mini, HomePod mini the Perfect Apple Devices for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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