Testing Google's New 'Stadia' Cloud Gaming Platform on a Mac

Google this week began rolling out its new cloud gaming service, known as Stadia, which is designed to let you play games wherever WiFi is available on smartphones, laptops, tablets, TVs, and more.

Google Stadia doesn't work on the iPhone at this time (though you can use the app to manage your account), but you can play games on the Mac so we thought we'd give it a try in our latest YouTube video.

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Right now, Stadia is available to those who ordered the Founders Edition bundle, which was priced at $129, but it will soon be available to everyone.

There are a few cloud-based gaming services on the market such as PlayStation Now and GeForce NOW, so Google Stadia isn't a new concept, but Google promises a simple hassle-free experience that works cross platform.

Basically, to use Google Stadia, you sign up for an account ($9.99 per month for 4K streaming and a selection of free games) and then you can access games on a Mac, Windows PC, Chromebook, or a TV using a Chromecast Ultra, with Stadia also available on Pixel 2, 3, and 4 smartphones running Android 10.

The $9.99 per month fee is to access the Stadia platform. You still need to purchase games separately, and major titles are going to cost anywhere from $30 to $60. There aren't a ton of games available right now, but you can play Red Dead Redemption 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat 11, and a handful of other popular games.

We tested Stadia on a new 16-inch MacBook Pro, and found it to be simple and straightforward to use. All of our games were available right away after logging in to Google Stadia via a web browser, with no downloading or installing required to play.

Because these are cloud-based games, you can pick up where you left off on any compatible device, so a game started on the Mac can later be picked up on the TV.

Setup was simple, but the gameplay experience was, well, average. In testing, there was quite a bit of lag and several drops in resolution. Gameplay would be stable for a bit, but we also ran into some stretches where the gameplay was terrible.

Game quality also depended on the game. With Destiny, for example, we saw some hiccups but it was mostly stable, but with NBA 2K20, the game refused to recognize certain button presses and it just didn't work well, suggesting not all games are quite as optimized as they should be. Google definitely has some bugs to work out.

The Stadia service works with any Bluetooth controller, but Google has designed its own Google Stadia controller that shipped with its Founders Edition bundle. We used the Stadia controller, which is pretty similar to an Xbox controller.

Using Google Stadia requires a solid internet connection, so it's not for people who have slow connection speeds. You need at least 35Mb/s for 4K gaming, but even with a connection 10 times that, we had the aforementioned lag issues.

As mentioned before, Stadia is priced at $9.99 per month, but Google is also working on a free tier next year that won't have a monthly fee and will be limited to 1080p quality.

The Founder bundle that we tested Stadia with is no longer available, but Google does have a similar "Premiere" bundle that includes the white Stadia controller (instead of the blue founder model), a Chromecast Ultra, and 3 months of "free" Stadia Pro service. After that, it will cost $9.99 per month.

Cloud gaming has been picking up in popularity over the course of the last few years, and now that Google has launched a cloud gaming service (Microsoft has one in the works too), it doesn't seem out fo the realm of possibility that Apple could launch something similar in the future as an expansion of Apple Arcade.

What do you think of Google's Stadia cloud gaming service? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Google
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Apple Pulls Reviews From Online Store Product Listings

Apple appears to have eliminated reviews from its online Apple Store, removing the options that customers previously had for both leaving reviews and viewing reviews.

Apple made the change over the weekend, and as of now, no products on the online store have reviews, so there's no way to tell how customers liked a given product.


Items like the Apple Pencil and the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack had hundreds of reviews at the time they were removed, as noted by AppleInsider. For example, a Wayback Machine archive of the original ‌Apple Pencil‌ from November 16 had more than 300 reviews, many of which were negative.

At the current time, product listings have no Ratings & Reviews section and it's not clear if Apple plans to return them, but it's looking like the change was made deliberately since it expands to the online store in multiple countries.

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Select Apple Stores Piloting Extended AppleCare+ Eligibility Beyond Usual 60 Days

A small number of Apple Stores in the United States and Canada are piloting a new program that allows customers to purchase AppleCare+ for devices beyond the usual limit of 60 days after the purchase date, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The pilot program began this week.


The pilot program allows customers to add AppleCare+ to a device between 61 days and one year after the device was purchased. To do so, a customer must book a Genius Bar appointment, during which a technician will run diagnostics on the device and perform a visual inspection to confirm eligibility.

We were initially told the extended eligibility was for up to two years, but another source said the period was shortened to one year.

The pilot program is rolling out to 50 or so Apple Stores in the United States, as well as all 29 locations in Canada, one of our sources said. It is unclear how long the program will remain available.

MacRumors contacted a participating Apple Store that confirmed existence of the pilot program. It applies to the iPhone for certain, and likely extends to the iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and other devices. We don't want anyone to be disappointed, so keep in mind that the pilot is subject to change.

AppleCare+ provides two or three years of extended hardware coverage and technical support depending on the type of device. This includes up to two incidents of accidental damage, each subject to a service fee.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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Apple and Intel Sue SoftBank-Owned Firm Over 'Endless, Meritless' Patent Lawsuits

Apple and Intel on Wednesday jointly filed a lawsuit against SoftBank-owned investment firm Fortress Investment Group, accusing the company of violating U.S. federal antitrust laws by pursuing "endless, meritless" patent litigation.

The complaint alleges that non-practicing patent assertion entities like Fortress aggressively pursue patent litigation against large companies like Apple and Intel, knowing that even if they lose several cases, they could eventually win a case with a large monetary reward that exceeds their losses.


Apple and Intel argue that Fortress-backed entities have "sought billions of dollars" from the two companies over the years, forcing both tech giants to spend "millions of dollars" on outside resources like counsel and expert witnesses to defend against Fortress-backed demands and assertions.

Fortress-backed entities like Uniloc, DSS Technology Management, and Seven Networks are also named in the lawsuit, first reported by Reuters. The complaint was filed in Northern California federal court.

Apple and Intel v. Fortress... by MacRumors on Scribd



Tags: lawsuit, Intel
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Apple Reportedly Overhauling Its Software Development Process Following Buggy Release of iOS 13

Apple is overhauling the way it develops and tests iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS in hopes that the new approach will improve the quality of each software platform over the long term, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


The report claims the new strategy is already being applied to development of iOS 14 ahead of its release next year. The shift comes after the buggy release of iOS 13, which has already received eight updates with bug fixes and delayed features in the last two months, which is more than usual over that time.

The new process will see Apple implement "flags," allowing the company's software engineers to selectively enable or disable unfinished or buggy features in an isolated way to ensure that overall stability is not jeopardized. Flags are already commonly used by other tech companies like Google and Microsoft.

Apple has also considered delaying some iOS 14 features until 2021, according to the report, as part of its efforts to ensure the update is more stable. Apple is believed to have taken a similar approach with iOS 12, delaying some features until ‌iOS 13‌, which contributed to iOS 12 being a rather stable update.

The changes were reportedly announced at a recent meeting with employees led by Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi.

In the meantime, Apple continues to test iOS 13.3, with a third beta released this week.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Apple CEO Tim Cook 'Proud' to Build New Mac Pro in Texas

Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump this afternoon visited the Texas facility where Apple plans to manufacture some new Mac Pro models, and during the visit, Cook spoke with ABC News about the factory and Apple's new campus opening up in Austin, Texas.

Cook said he's "proud" to build the new ‌Mac Pro‌ in the United States. Apple plans to assemble the new ‌Mac Pro‌ at its Austin facility, with the machines put together in Texas to be shipped "across the Americas." Apple also assembled the 2013 ‌Mac Pro‌ in Texas at the same facility.


"We are really proud to make the ‌Mac Pro‌ here," said Cook. "This computer is our most powerful computer we've ever made, by far."

When asked why the iPhone is still made in China, Cook said that he believes the "iPhone is made everywhere." Cook also confirmed that while the ‌Mac Pro‌ is being assembled in Texas, there are no plans to begin assembling iPhone models in the United States.
"If you look at the glass of the iPhone, which everybody touches all day long, that glass is made in Kentucky. If you were to take apart the iPhone you would see many of the silicone components that are made in the United States as well," he added. "The iPhone is the product of a global supply chain."
Cook declined to comment on how the next China tariffs could impact the iPhone, restating his hopes that the U.S. and China will come to an agreement.
"I'm so convinced that it's in the best interest of the U.S. and best interest of China, and so if you have two parties where there's a common best interest there has got to be some kind of path forward here. And I think that will happen."
Cook said that he has no concerns over Apple's relationship with China, though he prays for "everyone's safety" in Hong Kong," and more broadly for dialogue. "I think that good people coming together can decide ways forward," Cook said.

Apple has been facing criticism for pulling the HKLive app from the App Store, which was used by protestors in Hong Kong to share information on police movements. Cook said that despite the criticism, Apple acts the same in China as it does in the United States and Europe.

China, said Cook, has never asked Apple to unlock an iPhone, but the United States has. "And we stood up against that, and said we can't do it," Cook said. "Our privacy commitment is a worldwide one."

Of his efforts to communicate directly with President Donald Trump, Cook said that he doesn't believe in "having people talk on [his] behalf." Cook also said that he's focused on "policies and not politics" and has "full faith" in the American system.

Cook wrapped up the interview with some thoughts on Apple's future investments. "I don't have my eye on anything big," he said. "I have my eye on a lot of interesting small things."

Cook's full ABC News interview can be read over on the ABC News website.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Apple TV+ Movie 'The Banker' AFI Fest Premiere Canceled as Apple Investigates Film 'Concerns'

Upcoming Apple TV+ film "The Banker" was set to have its world premiere at the AFI Fest in Hollywood on Thursday, but its debut has been postponed by Apple, reports Deadline.

Apple is holding the show to investigate "recently uncovered and potentially damaging charges" surfaced by a family member of the late Bernard Garrett Sr, who the movie is based on.


In a statement, Apple said that "concerns" surrounding the film were brought to the company's attention, and its premiere has been delayed as Apple investigates.
We purchased The Banker earlier this year as we were moved by the film's entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy. Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps. In light of this, we are no longer premiering The Banker at AFI Fest.
"The Banker" is based on the true story of Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris, who devised a plan to help African Americans get access to real estate deals and bank loans during the 1960s.

The film stars Samuel L. Jackson as Joe Morris and Anthony Mackie as Bernard Garett, along with Nicholas Hoult and Nia Long.

Apple has already set a theatrical release date of December 6 for the movie, and it's not yet clear if it will still come out on that date. Following its theatrical debut, "The Banker" was set to come out on ‌Apple TV‌+.

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Apple Shares 'For All Mankind' Featurette on Creating the World for the Apple TV+ Show

Apple this afternoon shared a new featurette video that delves into the world creation for Apple TV+ show "For All Mankind."

"For All Mankind" imagines what the world might have been like had the global space race never ended and the space program remained a priority, telling the story through the lives of NASA astronauts, engineers, and their families.

From the lunar surface of the moon to the precise recreation of the original Mission Control, the level of authenticity and attention to detail that brought For All Mankind to life is astounding. Hear from the Executive Producers and crew members regarding the incredible care and craft that went into building the sets, finding the real-life props and designing the wardrobes for this nostalgic, alternate history drama.
Created by Ronald D. Moore, "For All Mankind" is one of the launch shows for ‌Apple TV‌+. Apple has thus far released five episodes, with a new episode set to come out on Friday.

The show stars Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Wrenn Schmidt, Shantel VanSanten, Sarah Jones, and Jodi Balfour.

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Apple Revamps Everyone Can Code Curriculum, Offers Coding Classes in Apple Stores in December

Apple today announced that it has overhauled its Everyone Can Code curriculum to bring it to more elementary and middle school students around the world.

The new curriculum includes more resources for teachers, a new guide for students, and updated Swift Coding Club materials. The refreshed materials build on existing interactive puzzles and activities to make coding more approachable and connected to students' every day lives.


Apple is adding Everyone Can Code Puzzles to the new student guide in Swift Playgrounds, and each chapter will let students build on core coding concepts and experiment with new techniques. The teacher guide will provide teachers with the tools necessary to bring coding into their classrooms.

The new curriculum includes the Everyone Can Create project guides, which Apple says will help students "express what they learn through drawing, music, videos and photos."

According to Apple, millions of students in more than 5,000 schools worldwide use the Everyone Can Code curriculum.

From December 1 to December 15, Apple is also offering free Today at Apple coding sessions that are set to be held at Apple Stores. The aim of the classes is to teach attendees to write their first lines of code in order to celebrate Computer Science Education Week.

Apple says that the sessions will provide opportunities for students of all skill levels. Those starting out will explore block-based coding with robots, while those with more experience will be able to use Swift Playgrounds to learn coding concepts or code an augmented reality experience.

Some Apple retail stores will also be offering special sessions designed for coders of all ages, including preschool-age kids, who will be able to learn pre-coding activities through the Coding Lab with "Helpsters," one of the Apple TV+ shows.

Apple is supporting Hour of Code this year with an Hour of Code Facilitator Guide that will help educators and parents host sessions using Swift Playgrounds and educational apps from the App Store.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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Apple Launches New Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

Apple today launched new battery cases for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, with the new cases available for $129.

This year's Smart Battery Cases are similar in style to the Battery Cases that were made available for the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, but with a square-shaped camera cutout to accommodate the dual and triple-lens camera setups.


The cases are made from silicone with a soft microfiber lining to protect the iPhone and a soft elastomer hinge design to make it easy to get the case on and to take it off. Apple is offering the cases in black, white, and pink sand, though the iPhone 11 version comes only in black or white.

New this year is a dedicated camera button on the case that is designed to launch the Camera app whether the iPhone is locked or unlocked. A press of the button takes a photo and a longer press captures QuickTake video. Apple says it also works with selfies.

As with last year's cases, the new Smart Battery Cases are compatible with Qi-based chargers so the case and the iPhone can be charged simultaneously. According to Apple, the cases are designed to provide up to 50 percent longer battery life to each iPhone when fully charged for longer talk time, internet use, and audio and video playback.

The Smart Battery Case is deeply integrated into iOS so you can see your battery status on the iPhone Lock screen and in the Notification Center, making it clear how much charge is left.

We've known that Smart Battery Cases were in the works since earlier this year, as we found signs of them in the iOS 13.2 update. This year's Smart Battery Cases are available ahead of the holiday season, while last year's didn't launch until January.

The cases are available to order now from the online Apple Store, with orders set to deliver on Monday, November 25.

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Apple Seeds Third Betas of iOS 13.3 and iPadOS 13.3 to Developers

Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.3 updates to developers, one week after seeding second betas and three weeks after the release of iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 with new emoji, Siri privacy controls, Deep Fusion, and more.

iOS and ‌‌‌iPadOS‌‌‌ 13.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been installed.


iOS 13.3 introduces Communication Limits for Screen Time, a feature that Apple promised would be coming in an iOS 13 update. Communication Limits allow parents to control who their children are able to contact both during downtime and during Screen Time.

Communication Limits include FaceTime, Phone, and Messages, along with iCloud contacts. Calls to emergency numbers are always allowed and will turn off communication limits for 24 hours when placed.

The update includes support for NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in Safari. That means physical security keys like the Lightning-equipped YubiKey can be used for more secure two-factor authentication in place of a software-based two-factor authentication option.

In the Keyboards section of the Settings app (under General), there's a new toggle that prevents Animoji and Memoji stickers from being displayed as an option on the Emoji Keyboard, and when editing a video, there's an option to save the edited version as a new clip rather than saving over the original.

Apple has also tweaked the Apple Watch app icon, changing the color of the Digital Crown from black to gray.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Apple Shares 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Apple today updated its website to introduce the 2019 holiday gift guide, something that the company debuts every year ahead of the winter holidays.

The gift guide is designed to recommend Apple products for people to purchase for friends and family this holiday season. This year's version focuses on bright colors and eye-catching circular designs that resemble snowflakes or holiday ornaments.


The iPhone 11, the Apple Watch Series 5, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the AirPods Pro are Apple's top gift recommendations for 2019. Apple also highlights the iPad Pro, seventh-generation iPad, and Apple Pencil, along with the HomePod and a selection of Macs like the MacBook Air and the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.


A small selection of accessories are included in the guide, like the Beats Solo Pro, Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad, PopSockets PopGrip, DJI Mavic Mini, the DJI Osmo 3 Gimbal, and an Xbox Wireless Controller.

Apple also suggests App Store gift cards, which can be put towards Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple TV+, or Apple Music.


Along with releasing the new gift guide, Apple today also confirmed that its annual holiday return period is active. Purchases made between November 15, 2019 and December 25, 2019 can be returned until January 8, 2020 in most countries.

Apple is offering two-day shipping on all purchases, and later in December the company is likely to offer faster shipping options for last minute shoppers.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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