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Will the Apple Watch launch another mobile gaming frenzy?

Patrick O’Rourke

March 28, 2015 6:35pm

While Apple still hasn t released all of the details surrounding the first generation of Apple Watch apps (other than this list1), we know WatchKit-developed launch applications will primarily be notification focused, and that all first-generation apps will likely require being tethered to the wearer s iPhone to some extent.

Many major app developers have also refrained from discussing specific plans for the Apple Watch (likely due to Apple embargoes), but some Canadian-developed apps such as Montreal s Transit App2 an application that gives users at-a-glance access to public transportation route arrival times and Tab Payments3 an app created by a Toronto-based developer that allows users to pay for meals at select restaurants with only their iPhone (and soon the Apple Watch), are perfect examples of the interesting and inventive apps coming to the company s first wearable.

But what about gaming? Video games were one of the main driving forces behind the iPhone s ascent to mainstream popularity, and since the smartphone s release back in 2007, iOS has steadily become one of the video game industry s premiere development platforms, eclipsing Nintendo s dedicated handheld, the 3DS, as well as Sony s powerful PlayStation Vita.

Playing games on your wrist will likely be restrictive given the wearer will only be able to use one hand to play, but even with this limitation the Apple Watch could be home to a number of established video game genres.

Video games weren t mentioned at all during Apple s big Watch reveal event4 last month there weren t even any icons pictured on the giant Apple Watch looming on the screen behind Tim Cooke that looked remotely gaming related.

But games are comings just don t expect to be able to play Infinity Blade5 on your Apple Watch any time soon. There are already simple Android Wear games like TetroCrate6, 20487 and even Pebble games like Asteroids and Pebloid, and there s no reason Apple s wearable won t be gamified as well.

In terms of already announced titles; Letterpad8 comes from NimbleBit9, the studio behind Tiny Tower.

The game seems to be a simple letter-based puzzle title, and is also an extension of the already-released iPhone version of the game.

Letterpad will be released at some point in 2015 for the Apple Watch. The popular iOS trivia game Elemental10 is also getting a similar Apple Watch extended version in 2015.

Then there s the Tamogotchi-like title Hatchi11, which is set to receive an update extending its virtual pet to the Apple Watch, allowing you to check in on how your creature is doing by glancing at the watch.

As far as announced Apple Watch games go, the above titles are all that have been revealed so far, but that doesn t mean more games aren t on the way. The platform is suited to simple, one-touch apps, which could result in a number of popular retro games landing on Apple s upcoming wearable.

Iconic old school games like Pong and Pac-Man could take advantage of the Apple Watch s Digital Crown for control purposes.

A game like Tetris would also work well on the platform, requiring the user to tap the Apple Watch s screen to rearrange pieces. Even the Angry Birds franchise, a series that has become synonymous with mobile games, would fit perfectly on the one-touch Apple Watch. Also, don t forget about the Apple Watch s built-in accelerometer, a factor that could help developers come up with inventive control schemes for games.

Near Field Technology (NFC) could also be used to interact with other Apple Watch users in a way that s similar to the 3DS Streetpass feature, allowing strangers to collect points or exchange simple messages between one another.

This concept could be adapted further to create an RPG-like game where the player s character levels up or evolves based on the number of other Apple Watch users they encounter.

While details regarding Apple Watch games, and even apps in general, are still scarce right now, although information is slowly trickling out12 of the company s Cupertino headquarters, gaming will almost certainly be part of the Apple Watch.

References

  1. ^ this list (mobilesyrup.com)
  2. ^ Transit App (medium.com)
  3. ^ Tab Payments (tabpayments.co)
  4. ^ Apple s big Watch reveal event (mobilesyrup.com)
  5. ^ Infinity Blade (infinityblade.com)
  6. ^ TetroCrate (play.google.com)
  7. ^ 2048 (play.google.com)
  8. ^ Letterpad (toucharcade.com)
  9. ^ NimbleBit (www.nimblebit.com)
  10. ^ Elemental (www.youtube.com)
  11. ^ Hatchi (itunes.apple.com)
  12. ^ information is slowly trickling out (mobilesyrup.com)

Parking Meter Smart Phone App Coming To Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - The way we ll pay for parking in Minneapolis is about to change. In fact, you won t need to have change or any money on you at all.

Four years ago, the city switched from the traditional coin-only meters to new pay stations and electronic meters. But you still have to pay those with quarters or credit cards.

Next week, the Minneapolis City Council is expected to approve a new mobile meter, allowing drivers to pay for their parking via cell phone app.

Parkmobile is already used in more than 600 cities across the U.S.

Drivers pre-load their credit card information or set up an account with the app.

Once at a parking spot, you punch in the spot s code, select the time limit and walk away. The app will send text message reminders when the meter is about to expire. You can add more time from wherever you are.

It ll be great, Brandie Bass said.

Especially in the middle of winter when it s freezing cold, you don t want to run a couple spots down. It ll be nice to sit in your car and type it in.

City Councilmember Kevin Reich said the Parkmobile app isn t about making money for the city, but adding convenience for businesses and their customers.

Parking is a major asset, not only for the constituents or drivers, he said. It s real important for merchants and restaurants who depend on that on-street parking.

Since the city installed credit card meters four years ago, 40 percent fewer tickets have been issued.

Reich expects that number to continue dropping with the mobile app.

Think about if you re out at dinner, with the convenience of your phone, when you re debating, Should I get that dessert or glass of wine? It s no problem! Punch it in your phone and you re done.

Traditional meters will stay up for those who don t want the app, so don t kick your change to the curb just yet.

The city says Parkmobile will charge a small fee, between 10 and 25 cents, for when you first pay the meter.

And it gives discounted rates to users who set up a pre-paid wallet account with them.

The pay-by-app spaces will be tested at 500 parking spots in Minneapolis this May.

The entire city is expected to be set up on the mobile payment method by the fall.

T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 edge to receive OTA …

Let’s look into the future. Its April 10th and you just picked up your T-Mobile branded Samsung Galaxy S61 or Samsung Galaxy S6 edge2. Hands trembling with anticipation, you turn on the phone and…are immediately hit with an OTA update.

Weighing in at 179MB, the update offers stability and performance improvements, new and enhanced features, and bug fixes according to the rather bland changelist. The new build number will be UVU1AOCG.

T-Mobile and Samsung are updating the phone the first time it is turned on as a way to prevent issues from popping up right out of the box. So while you might be mildly annoyed that you won’t be able to use your pricey new handset for a few minutes while the updating process takes place, keep in mind that the update is making your phone run better.

So far, the update appears limited to T-Mobile’s version of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Pre-orders are being accepted for both devices with the Galaxy S6 priced at $679.92 (32GB), $759.99 (64GB), and $859.99 (128GB). Well-qualified subscribers can buy the 32GB version for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $28.33.

The 64 and 128GB models can be purchased for 24 monthly installments of $27.50 after a $99.99 down payment is made for the 64GB model and a $199.99 upfront payment is made for the 128GB model. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge will cost you $779.76, $859.83 and $959.83 for the 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variants, respectively. The 32GB Galaxy S6 edge is priced at $0 down for well-qualified buyers, with 24 monthly installments of $32.49.

The 64GB model is $99.99 with 24 monthly installments of $31.66.

The 128GB version of the Galaxy S6 edge will cost you $199.99 upfront with 24 monthly payments of $31.66.

source: AndroidCentral
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References

  1. ^ Samsung Galaxy S6 (www.phonearena.com)
  2. ^ Samsung Galaxy S6 edge (www.phonearena.com)
  3. ^ AndroidCentral (www.androidcentral.com)
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