One of the most hyped PC games of the latter half of 2013 enters open beta today. It's called Starbound, and if you haven't heard of it, you've not been keeping up on your gaming news. It's a 2D adventure sandbox game where you play as a lost, space-faring citizen who has just crashed on a mysterious planet. It's up to you to explore, adapt and, most importantly, survive.
The neat thing about Starbound is that you can do essentially whatever you want and there's no right or wrong way to play it. If you want to dig a hole in the ground and scavenge only the supplies you need to survive day-to-day, you can do it. If you want to craft weapons and become a murderous assassin, you can do it. Or if you want to simply explore the infinite number of procedurally generated worlds, you can do that too.
Since the game isn't in full release mode yet, there are a few different tiers of support that will get you into the game's beta and eventually the retail version, the cheapest of which starts at US$15. That's a pretty stellar deal considering the wealth of content, not to mention the fact that the Mac release is getting the same treatment as the Windows and Linux versions. Hooray for gaming equality!
Epic celestial adventure game Starbound enters open beta today originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
If your daily routine involves waking to the beep of your iPhone alarm, this short film called "Skew" is going to hit close to home. Using a massive iPhone mockup and physical objects to mimic the smartphone's on-screen icons, it's a bit of a reverse take on traditional skeuomorphism (hence the "Skew" title).
In less than a minute, we're treated to a full day's worth of typical iPhone tasks including catching up on some morning reading and venturing to work with some GPS guidance. Once you've enjoyed the final product above, you can check out how it was made thanks to creator Doug Hindson's making-of video below.
Fantastic short film presents a day in the life of an iPhone originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Last year, Lionel Messi and Kobe Bryant faced off in an ad for Turkish Airlines, competing for a young fan’s attention. The ad, “Legends on Board,” became a gigantic viral success, now with over 105 million views on YouTube.
For better or for worse (definitely for worse), 2013 might as well be the “Year of the Selfie.” The ubiquitous word found its way into the vocabulary of everyone from grade schoolers to their grandparents and was even named Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year. If you’re sick of hearing people jump at every opportunity to use this word, we’re with you. At any rate, it’s undeniable that the selfie has won itself a lasting position in our culture.
In an attempt to recapture the success of last year’s “Legends on Board” spot, CP+B has brought back the Bryant Vs. Messi formula, this time positioning the two in a “Selfie Shootout” in which each attempts to one-up the other with self-shot photos in exotic locations. The spot is the first ad CP+B put together for Turkish Airlines since winning ad duties for the airline back in September, and it’s a fine first effort. Without giving too much away I can say that Bryant and Messi both jump through hoops to one-up each other, and their photos get more and more exotic and over-the-top as the minute long spot progresses. CP+B manage to work something of a surprise ending into “The Selfie Shootout,” incorporating another Internet photo phenomenon.
Can “The Selfie Shootout” hope to match the success of “Legends on Board”? We would say yes. The entertaining ad incorporates the selfie phenomenon, has a much larger production budget than Alametifarika’s work last year, and is designed to jumpstart conversation. “The Selfie Shootout,” which was uploaded to YouTube yesterday, has already surpassed the 5 million view mark, and is certainly not showing any signs of slowing down. Its combination of star power, humor, and topical references make it just about unstoppable. Make no mistake, people will be talking about this one for some time. Our reservations about the overuse of “selfie” aside, we can’t blame them. “The Selfie Shootout” is just plain fun. Credits after the jump. continued…
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If you're like most TUAW readers, you're not only good-looking, but you're also very smart. So smart, in fact, that you decided to skip both the insanity of Black Friday and the online spending spree of Cyber Monday. You decided to wait until today to find out what ideas the TUAW TV Live gang has for your holiday gift buying!
We'll have some pretty cool ideas for you, along with links on where to buy the products for your family and friends. Some are incredibly unique, while all will be useful and well worth seeing.
To join in to watch the live feed and participate in the chat, just click here. You'll join us on the AOL On Network. If you can't watch the entire show today, come back to this page within 24 hours to see the latest video below. Past shows are also available on the TUAW YouTube channel.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Historically, Apple has never been, nor has it ever wanted to be, an enterprise driven company. Indeed, Steve Jobs never preoccupied himself with selling to the enterprise, and stories abound regarding his distaste for CIOs.
Nonetheless, both Apple's iPhone and iPad have made tremendous inroads into the enterprise world over the past few years. Looking ahead, this trend is likely to become even more pronounced now that BlackBerry, despite all attempts to revive the once great company, appears to be circling the drain.
As it stands now, nearly 94% of Fortune 500 companies are either using or testing iPads.
For a product so young, that's impressive enterprise penetration. And it should become more so in the year ahead. This according to Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair, who said he has seen big gains for the iPad in business over the last few months. The reasons? BlackBerry's collapse and Android's failure to gain meaningful traction in the enterprise space.
Blair theorizes that BlackBerry's ill-starred attempt to sell itself inflamed concerns about the future viability of the company's platform, and gave corporations good reason to migrate their employees to other devices. That opened up a significant opportunity for Apple - particularly since Android continues to struggle for gains in enterprise.
Blair explains that while Android may be more popular than iOS on a marketshare basis, IT managers are, by and large, still more likely to choose iOS. Blair also adds that he has seen "tremendous momentum for iPad in the enterprise over the last few months."
On a related note, and in yet another example illustrating this changing of the enterprise guard, we recently reported that Pfizer's 90,000-strong workforce will soon be transitioning away from BlackBerry in favor of iOS and Android devices.
With BlackBerry floundering, iPad is there to pick up the enterprise pieces originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
It's really starting to look like Tim Cook's prediction of an "iPad Christmas" was right on the money. With the busiest holiday shopping weekend of the year now behind us, new data reveals that the iPad Air sold exceedingly well.
According to data compiled by Localytics, the number of iPad Air activations increased by 50 percent during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday window.
Localytics examined the weekly growth during the Black Friday weekend, as compared to the previous weekend. According to Localytics' data, a whopping 51% more new iPad Air devices were seen than the previous week. This is due to a combination of factors, including Apple's promotion of giving gift cards with purchases of the iPad Air and iPad Mini (but not iPad Mini 2nd gen) devices. This, combined with a smaller base of iPad Air devices and the novelty of the iPad Air (released on November 1st) resulted in the iPad Air dominating on Black Friday weekend. Apple's older iPad Mini model finished second, and the iPhone 5c took third.
Indeed, some of the iPad deals seen this weekend were some of the best I remember seeing on new Apple devices in some time. Target, for instance, was giving away US$100 gift cards with each iPad Air purchase.
As to the increase in activations, Localytics' data might be a little bit more telling if it were compared to data from another weekend. In other words, it stands to reason that iPad Air activations during the weekend before Black Friday would be unusually low as folks likely held off on purchases in order to take advantage of Black Friday promotions.
Nonetheless, this is all good news for Apple as the number of new iPad Air activations easily eclipsed new activations from competing tablets from the likes of Amazon and Samsung.
iPad Air activations jump 51% over Black Friday weekend originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
How excited Skullcandy must have been.
In the battle of headphone brands, competing with the insanely popular Beats By Dre product line must have seemed like an impossible task. Marketshare was decreasing rapidly. What they needed was a miracle, the kind of great idea that can rocket their brand back into the competition. What they needed was a celebrity endorser big enough to compete with Dr. Dre but cheap enough that it didn’t totally break the bank. But who could that be? How can you get someone who’s universally respect and beloved at a reasonable price tag?
And then it became clear. Derrick Rose, Bulls star point guard and Chicago’s most cherished native son, was on his way back from an entire year spent cheering from courtside after sustaining a devastating knee injury. The narrative was already being written by Adidas: Rose was back, and better than ever. The story was one of redemption; an opportunity to tell off the critics who felt he was sitting on the bench when he was well enough to be back on the court. “The Return” is what Adidas called it. Rose had the charisma, the talent, the credibility and, much to Skullcandy’s delight, a relatively reasonable price tag due to his year spent in street clothes. It must have sounded almost too perfect to Skullcandy’s marketing team. As preseason rumors spread this fall about Rose adding four inches to his vertical jump, fives must have been highed, glasses must have been clinked, and the familiar feeling of optimism must have crept its way back inside the Skullcandy offices.
I wonder who was watching the game, a late November Friday night as the Bulls faced the Portland Trailblazers. Who saw Rose pivot awkwardly on his knee while fighting for the ball, and limp gingerly toward the sidelines? Who had to make the mournful phone call when it was reported the star needed emergency knee surgery? Who first gasped when news broke on Twitter that, oh God, not again. Who remembers the studio, Gentleman Scholar, who wanted to use the above spot as their showpiece? Who can see a billboard on the Kennedy Expressway and thinks “Skullcandy!” instead of feeling a toxic mixture or sadness and frustration brought the reminder that another cold winter in Chicago would go bye without seeing #1 on the court?
Man, sucks to be them, huh? By the way, the song that plays in the background is “Back to Ballin’” by Wale. HA! Credits after the jump.
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Here's another brilliant use of the iBeacons technology that arrived with iOS 7: making Newsstand publications available for free when a user is within a specific area. London-based Exact Editions, a digital publishing startup, is using iBeacons as part of its ByPlace program, which allows publishers to specify locations where magazines can appear without the need for a subscription fee.
TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington points out how this could be useful to businesses. A coffee shop "could subscribe and enable access to full magazines to patrons who come in." I'd personally like my dentist to use the service to provide access to magazines other than ancient issues of People and Highlights for Kids...
Exact Editions' Daniel Hodgkin says that the first showcase for iBeacons will be Bar Kick in Shoreditch, London. Patrons of the bar can pick up a soccer magazine -- When Saturday Comes -- and fashion and culture magazine Dazed and Confused.
For publishers, the benefits are that they sell subscriptions to businesses that then expose the publication to customers. Some of those customers might then subscribe to the publication themselves. For those businesses, offering the publication is a way to add value and provide an incentive for customers to walk in the door.
This use of iBeacons demonstrates one more way that the technology will be used to benefit both businesses and consumers.
iBeacons will deliver location-based access to Newsstand publications originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
It's the TUAW Daily Update, your source for Apple news in a convenient audio format. You'll get all the top Apple stories of the day in three to five minutes for a quick review of what's happening in the Apple world.
You can listen to today's Apple stories by clicking the inline player (requires Flash) or the non-Flash link below. To subscribe to the podcast for daily listening through iTunes, click here.
No Flash? Click here to listen.Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Infuse takes your iPad and turns it into the ultimate video player. It plays almost anything you throw at it and even streams the content to an Apple TV via AirPlay. After using it, you'll never want to go back to the old video app in iOS. The app has familiar roots, as it is developed by FireCore, the same group that makes the popular aTV Flash for the Apple TV.
Infuse's strong point is its support of a wide variety of video file formats including MP4, M4V, MKV, AVI, WMV, FLV, OGM, OGV, ASF, 3GP, DVR-MS, WebM and WTV. This is huge as it means you can play back almost every file in your library without wasting time and processor power doing conversions. AirPlay is also supported, allowing you to stream these files to your Apple TV.
Infuse was updated this week to version 2.0 and it's a major overhaul of the app. The UI has been refreshed for iOS 7 and now includes network streaming. The network-streaming option appears along with the other file-retrieval methods like browser transfer, iTunes Sync, FTP and more. These other methods are used to transfer media to your iPad for playback. Only the network-share option supports streaming. To access a network share, just select the drive or device in the app, add your username and password and hit save. The NAS will show up in Infuse's video library and will automatically connect when you tap on it again.
I tested the network streaming with my ReadyNas, and it works wonderfully. It took just a few minutes to setup the app and stream over WiFi. I was able to access my entire video library and play any file without worrying about its format. I have a diverse library spanning almost 10 years with a lot of content from a SageTV-powered HomeTheatre PC. It was exciting to be able access this content with such ease.
Infuse also has a handful of smaller features like support for subtitles, automatic import of video artwork and metadata from TMDb and TheTVDB and integration with Trakt.tv. There's also a handy Dropbox feature that'll allow you to access videos uploaded to your Dropbox account.
As part of its 2.0 update, Infuse also changed its pricing structure. The basic app is now free and allows you to watch videos that are transferred to your device. Premium features like subtitles, AirPlay and network streaming cost US$4.99. As with most freemium apps like this, plan on paying the upgrade fee to get the most out of the app. You can download and check out Infuse for free from the iOS App Store.
Daily iPad App: Infuse brings your video library to your iPad and supercharges it originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Lordy, we’ve been inundated with tips that Deutsch has lost Microsoft, copy so blaring that it makes us want to revisit Newsies. But anyhow, here’s what we’ve heard so far that might clarify things. Remember, this is what our sources familiar with the matter tell us, and what they say is that the Redmond, WA giant has altered its marketing model to a project assignment basis, utilizing all their roster agencies, which still does include Deutsch as part of a Consumer Business a few months ago courtesy of MSFT EVP/advertising and strategy Mark Penn.
From what our sources tell us, the current campaign running for the table (we’re assuming for Surface) was created by L.A.-based shop Omelet and CP&B remains a roster agency for consumer biz. Along with Deutsch, fellow AOR Y&R will be producing the next b-to-b campaign and moving forward, all of of MSFTs roster agencies will be assigned work on a project by project basis. Phew.
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If you're a pro photographer or just an enthusiast who is still waiting to bite the bullet on Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, you have a few days left to take advantage of a pretty sweet deal from Adobe. Originally, the holiday promotion on Adobe's Photoshop Photography Program was set to expire on December 2, but now, thanks to popular demand, the company has decided to extend it until this Sunday, December 8 at 9 PM PST.
The Adobe Photoshop Photography Program offers access to the latest versions of Adobe's professional photography apps -- Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 -- in addition to updates and upgrades as they are available, 20 GB of cloud storage and the Behance ProSite, for only US$9.99 a month as an annual subscription.
After December 8, the Photoshop Photography Program will continue to be available for $9.99 a month (annual subscription) until December 31. However, in order to qualify for the promotion after December 8, you'll need to be an existing owner of Photoshop or Photoshop Extended, version CS3 or later (CS3.x, CS4, CS5.x or CS6), as a standalone product or as part of a suite edition to qualify.
If you want to take advantage of this deal, click on over to Adobe.com to join up.
Adobe extends holiday deal on Photoshop Photography Program until Dec. 8th originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Like Counter Pro -- available today on the App Store -- has one purpose: to help retailers boast about their number of Facebook likes. It does this by running a live "Like" counter on one or more iPads placed inside the store itself.
I can't be the only one that thinks that this will lead to a few stolen tablets, right? I don't exactly live in a high-crime area, but I can't imagine an iPad sitting on a random store shelf lasting more than a day before someone just carries it out with them. Maybe I'm not giving humanity enough credit, or maybe the iPad in the promotional image is being secured by some sort of unbreakable superglue bond, but it sure looks like a lonely, vulnerable tablet to me.
Like Counter Pro is totally probably going to lead to people stealing iPads originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Last month, we brought you news of Rather, the revamped version of the brilliant and much-needed unbaby.me, co-created by Chris Baker. Rather is a great tool that lets you replace things you don’t want to see in your social media feeds — be it babies, sports, religion or the Kardashians — with things you do want to see, like cats. Because everyone wants to see pictures of cats. Baker was also responsible for “Charity Bribes” and a welcome attempt to send M. Night Shyamalan back to film school. Now, Baker has a new project, dubbed Hate With Friends.
Created in partnership with Mike Lacher and Tiger Wang, Hate With Friends allows you to select which of your Facebook friends you hate. According to the parties involved, “Seemed surprising that the internet hadn’t shelled out the opposite version of bangwithfriends, so we did.” Anyway, if they also hate you, both parties will be notified. You can kind of think of it as the opposite of Bang With Friends (apparently now renamed Down), although I suppose there are some circumstances where it’s not the opposite.
We’re not sure how useful Hate With Friends will be for people, or what happens once both parties have confirmed that they hate each other. A simple unfriending? Words With Friends grudge match? A duel at sundown? A titty twister? I imagine it will mostly be used as a joke, amongst friends who do not hate each other, although I’m sure there’s plenty of mutual hate going around on Facebook, seeing as how Facebook has all but destroyed the meaning of the term “friend.” If you’d like to find out if you have any Facebook frenemies, head on over to Hate With Friends. Let us know how it goes in the comments section.
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The Incase Compact Backpack (US$79.95) has been a surprisingly pleasant and functional addition to my commuting around the city with my 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Unfortunately, my MacBook Pro doesn't fit in my beloved Jost leather satchel. So, previously, I'd sling the satchel over my shoulder and put my MacBook Pro in a padded sleeve for my odd excursions out of the house with it (clutching it tightly to my chest with both arms, shielding it from the potential harms of public transport in London).
More recently, my work has required that I'm out and about a whole lot more, and with a few near drops and knocks, I quickly resolved to get a decent backpack.
Specs and performance
The Incase Compact Backpack is designed to be slim and, well ... compact. But it's in no way small. In fact, to me it's the ideal size. Small enough not to be overbearing, yet big enough to fit everything you need on a day trip.
In terms of the exterior, the bag is made from durable nylon. The external dimensions are 18.5" x 11.75" x 4.3". The back and adjustable shoulder straps are well padded. They're also covered with a breathable mesh, making wearing the back really comfortable and easy to adjust.
The front of the backpack has a zippered exterior pocket for small accessories, like a small notebook, keys, pens or headphones, etc. There's also a smaller zippered pocket down the right side of the backpack, near where the strap begins. It's perfect for keys or small items you may need to get at quickly. At the top of the bag, just ahead of the padded top-loading handle, is a dedicated zippered pouch with faux-fur lining for an iPhone or iPod, or something small that needs protection.
Within the bag is a faux-fur lined laptop compartment with breathable side panels. It snugly fits my 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. The faux-fur is only on the back side of the backpack, while the front side of the laptop compartment is made of a padded nylon. It would have been nice if the faux-fur was on both sides of the compartment, but still, I feel confident my MacBook Pro is safe from bumps and drops.
Attached to the front side of the laptop compartment is a further nylon pocket to house an iPad or even an iPad mini. It's not as snug a fit, and there's no faux-fur protection or padding against things within the bag, which is a little disappointing -- especially if you don't have a protective sleeve or case for your iPad -- but I guess most people will already have some kind of protection for their iPad, be it a sleeve, case or one of Apple's magnetic covers. Still, it's nice to have a dedicated place to slip my iPad into.
On the front side of the inside of the backpack are three nylon pockets, one large and two smaller ones. These are more for cables, a power supply, SD cards, USB sticks, etc. The main pocket is big enough to fit my Mac's power supply or a bunch of smaller items.The smaller two pockets are perfect for SD cards, USB cables and the like. There are two dedicated pen holders, but they're not very deep, so maybe they're actually for USB sticks. Finally, there's an additional mesh pocket with an elastic rim. Once more, perfect for SD cards, USB sticks, or tiny accessories.
The interior compartment of the bag is really quite spacious -- more deep than wide -- but even once I loaded my MacBook Pro and iPad in, and my accessories stuffed into the internal pockets, I could still easily fit my coat into the bottom, a bulky hard drive on top of that, and I had room to spare on top of that.
I really like the Incase Compact Backpack. While it doesn't have many frills (and is quite understated in appearances), it's solidly built and is very comfortable to wear. It's easy to use, too, and provides fantastic protection for my MacBook Pro and iPad (though I'd recommend an iPad sleeve, cover or case just to be on the safe side). There's ample additional storage for most day-to-day requirements, with practical pockets within as well as on the exterior of the bag. To top it all off, I found the $79.95 price tag to be very reasonable.
If you're looking for a solid backpack for your MacBook Pro, I'd start by looking at the Incase Compact Backpack. It may be the only one you look at.
Incase Compact Backpack: Perfect for daily life with a 15-inch MacBook Pro originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
To get you in the spirit of the holidays, Apple is giving away a free Holiday Playlist album to anyone who uses the Apple Store app for iPhone. Recently Apple has started giving away a weekly app inside its Apple Store app, but this marks the first time the company is giving away an album. The album also appears to be available for longer than the usual one week that free app downloads get in the Apple Store app -- it's available until December 31.
Holiday Playlist features eight tracks of contemporary and classic holiday tunes from artists such as Nick Lowe, Mary J. Blige, Marvin Sapp, Kelly Clarkson and more. To get the album, open the Apple Store app on your iPhone, scroll down to where it says "Holiday Cheer" and then tap the "Download now for free button." You'll be taken to the iTunes Store app, where a download code will be generated in the Redeem field. Tap "Redeem" and the songs begin downloading.
The free Holiday Playlist album offer is only available via the Apple Store app for iPhone and not via the new Apple Store app for iPad. Also, for now it appears this deal is only available for US iTunes Store users. But those of you in other countries shouldn't feel left out for long. Apple typically launches a 12 Days of Christmas promotion featuring free downloads for many countries in Europe at the end of December.
Apple is giving away a Holiday Playlist album full of holiday hits originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
This summer, 72andSunny debuted a design for “Eat Like You Mean it” boxers for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. CKE Restaurants fell in love with the design, and they decided to ask fans of the brand on Facebook if they would buy the boxers, given the opportunity. Fan response was enthusiastic enough that 72andSunny has made them available for sale, in a limited launch of 2,000 boxers for the holiday season. Having never enjoyed the pleasures of Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s (one of the negatives of living in the northeast), I can’t truly understand the need to represent the fast food franchise. But this does seem like a funny gift for the burger lover in your life (although a bit expensive for a pair of boxers at $20). It’s also interesting that the brand used Facebook as a litmus test to see if their fans would be interested in the item. Seems like a smart move.
Since being released, the boxers have made a big splash on the company’s Facebook page, as well as on Instagram. If you’re interested in purchasing “Eat Like You Mean It” boxers, you can do so here for a limited time.
So far, there are no plans to release the phrase on women’s underwear, where it would be given a significantly more suggestive connotation.
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As you may have already read, Apple is none too thrilled with Michael Bromwich, the court-appointed monitor Judge Denise Cote chose to keep an eye on Apple's antitrust compliance measures.
This past Monday, Cote issued an order addressing Apple's many complaints.
In short, the order relays that if Apple has problems with either Bromwich or Cote herself, Apple knows what protocols it has to follow. One thing worth noting is that Cote denies that there has been any ex parte communication between her and Bromwich, while also indicating that there won't be any such meetings in the future.
The order reads in part:
Through its November 27 submission, Apple offers other objections as well. It objects to the Monitor's performance of his duties to date and to his fees. On September 5, the Court set forth specific procedures designed to resolve any concerns about the monitoring. The procedures are as follows: within ten calendar days of any action giving rise to an objection, Apple was directed to write to the Department of Justice and Plaintiff States setting forth its objections.
And so, the legal song-and-dance continues.
While Apple could have avoided the entire headache this saga has created by simply settling with the Justice Department, Tim Cook said during this year's AllThingsD conference that Apple, as a matter of principle, would rather take the antitrust battle to court than admit to doing something it didn't do.
[via Roger Parloff]
Judge Denise Cote responds to Apple's concerns over court-appointed monitor originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
We received a few tips about this today, so let’s just clarify things for a sec. Sources familiar with the matter tell us that Hill Holliday has had to cut a few staffers, specifically in the creative department. From what we’ve been told, the cuts affect less than two percent of staff at the Boston-based, IPG-owned agency. Sources say that the reductions were made as part of a strategic restructuring reshuffling of talent at Hill Holliday, which of course has taken the lead on Cadillac creative but is also in the midst of the Liberty Mutual review. Regarding the latter, word from sources is that a decision is expected to be made by month’s end/early January. Hill Holliday, which also works with clients including Dunkin Donuts, has handled the Liberty Mutual account since 2005.
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Teemu Mäki-Patola, COO of Frogmind Games and developer of the award-winning title Badland for iOS (which reached the #1 spot in over 80 countries), has published an enlightening advice piece on GamesIndustry International focusing on how to make a new game a success.
Since publishing Badland in April of 2013, the game has shifted from US$3.99 to $1.99 to $3.99 to free to $3.99 to $1.99 to $3.99 to 99 cents and finally back up to $3.99, so there's been plenty of experimentation happening. So what has Mäki-Patola learned about the App Store thus far? Make your game look professional, push it into the light whenever you can, and pray that Apple decides to feature it.
"Discoverability for new releases is horrendous on all mobile platforms, so like it or not, the owners of the mobile world's very few storefronts are also its gatekeepers," he says. "Getting featured makes all the difference. Instead of battling with the F2P goliaths to top the charts, focus on making your premium game catch the eyes of the very enthusiastic gamers at Apple who decide which titles to highlight. If your game has a distinct personality and is well-made, this is a battle you just might be able to win."
Badland, for its part, is an absolutely gorgeous title with very few equals, so another piece of advice might be to make a ridiculously amazing game to begin with. You can check out Mäki-Patola's full account on GI International.
Top App Store game dev says Apple is the gatekeeper to success originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.