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Interview: Jan Wagner of Cliffhanger Productions

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AErena: Clash of Champions (freeby Cliffhanger Productions, has been receiving a lot of attention lately from the gaming press. The game was listed as one of the best strategy games of 2014 by PC Gamer magazine and it was a huge hit with the throngs of enthusiastic game fans at the ESL international gaming convention known as Gamescom held last month in Cologne, Germany. After speaking with the managing director of Cliffhanger Productions, Mr. Jan Wagner, I'm excited to see what the future holds, both for this clever team of developers as well as for the increasingly popular platform of mobile gaming in general.


Apple News: More of Everything

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The key word in Apple's invitation to Tuesday's announcement was "more" and it appears Apple is making good on that, if the New York Times is to be believed. Instead of just one iPhone with more screen real estate (4.7 inches) we may indeed get two, with a 5.5-inch model expected as well. I've written that Apple could go with iPhone Air and iPhone Pro, but we will have to see what they announce.



Rumors: iWatch to Have 8GB Memory, Two Sizes; No Sapphire for iPhone 6; Gold Color for iPad Air

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According to 9To5Mac, market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has recently offered up a bunch of details about the iWatch, though it's hard to tell where inside information ends and speculation begins. He says that although we won't see an iWatch until 2015, Apple will be announcing it on Tuesday in order to encourage developers to create apps for it. And he believes it will come with 8 GB of storage and 512 MB RAM, as well as two different rectangular display sizes: 1.3 and 1.5 inches. He also suggests there will be a gold colored iWatch to match the gold colored iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. Of course he expects it to have a range of health and fitness sensors. I'm certainly hoping Apple announces it Tuesday.



Samsung Serves up a Supersized Screen with a Side Dish

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Apple may be announcing their biggest iPhone yet, next week, but Samsung is determined to steal their thunder today by introducing the Galaxy Note Edge. Apple may announce a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model on Tuesday, but Samsung hopes to trump them both with a 5.6-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display and a resolution of 2560x1440. What really sets the new Samsung apart is the screen overlaps the edge of the phone, thanks to flexible OLED technology, so you can see a small bit from the sides!



Purchasing an iPhone 6? Sell Your iPhone 5s for as Much as $394, iPhone 5 for $255

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The resale value of earlier-generation iPhones remains high, with a wide variety of companies competing to give you the best price. A great article on MarketWatch gives a brief overview of the prices being offered. If you're willing to sell your phone in return for a gift card, Amazon may have the best deal, offering $394 for a 16GB iPhone 5s and $255 for an iPhone 5. If you want cash, Gazelle will give you up to $300 for your iPhone 5s, while both Gazelle and NextWorth offer $185 for your iPhone 5. Apple will give you a $255 gift card for an iPhone 5. WalMart also offers a pretty good deal: $275 for an iPhone 5s and $166 for an iPhone 5.



More… Battery Life? Bigger Battery on the Way

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Apple's invitation for their September 9 event is brief but ends with the word "more." Obviously more can refer to the larger screen of the next iPhone, presumably 4.7-inch. But a 5.5-inch model has also been seen in the wild, and while it may not be as far along as the 4.7-inch model, iPhone lovers are hoping it will be announced next week along with its smaller brother.



Apple News: What Will the iWatch Look Like?

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We're all (patiently?) waiting for the next iPhone to be announced, and the rumor mills go back and forth on whether an iWatch will be announced at the same time. Such a watch might not look like a traditional watch, or like other smart watches from Samsung, Motorola and others. Instead, according to sources like the Motley Fool investment site, the finished product might look more like the Nike Fuelband. Instead of a full-featured touchscreen display that looks like a miniature iPhone, we might get something more minimalistic, with a small display, and interaction may be done through voice more than touch.



Sept. 9 Event: No iWatch, But HomeKit Accessories from Elgato and Others Likely

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Of course, everyone is wondering what else Apple will introduce on Sept. 9 in addition to the iPhone 6. And according to the latest rumor, we won't see an iWatch. DigitTimes, which gets their information from Apple's suppliers and which isn't always accurate, is reporting that the iWatch is still in the experimental verification testing phase, meaning that Apple is still tinkering with the design. Once the design is settled, then comes the production verification testing phase, in which Apple does some production runs to see if the device can be mass produced with relatively few devices rejected for defects. So even though some suppliers are allegedly already making components for the iWatch, DigiTimes says it's unlikely Apple will announce it on Sept. 9 and that we probably won't see it until 2015. But that doesn't necessarily imply we won't see a wearable from Apple or from someone else. After all, HealthKit should be compatible with a variety of third-party devices, so maybe we'll be introduced to one or more.



Bloomberg Reports Mobile Payment System/NFC Chip; Videos Surface of Forthcoming Phones

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Rumors, reports, and videos are a-poppin' as we head toward the September 9 announcement, with Bloomberg reporting that the iPhone 6 will have an NFC chip and a new mobile payment system. Plus, a new video shows an assembled 4.7-inch iPhone, and another video shows the rear shell of the forthcoming 5.5-inch iPhone. 



Apple to announce… "More"

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Apple's invitation is out, the date has been saved, and everyone is checking their upgrade eligibility. So what exactly is Apple announcing? Apple likes to use clues in their invitation. Last year, the invitation stated "This should brighten everyone's day" and included colorful circles, representative of the iPhone 5c, and a hollow circle that signaled the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.



Apple's September Event: Looking at the "Big" Picture.

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I love Apple's invite to their special media event on September 9. It is both elegant and evocative, conveying a sense of grandness and excitement. One of the first things that struck me about the image used in the invite was that it was an enlargement of Apple's logo, and how apropos consider the anticipated nature of the upcoming event.



It's Official! Apple Announces Sept 9 Event; iPhones, iWatch Expected

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Apple sent out invitations today to an event to be held September 9, as was rumored. Not only is everyone expecting Apple to announce the iPhone 6, but also, according to the well-connected website Re/code, they will be introducing a wearable device. The invitation simply gives the date and, as usual, is very cryptic, saying only "Wish we could say more." If Apple follows their typical schedule, the new iPhone 6 will go on sale September 19. The event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, which is three times larger and closer to Apple's headquarters than the usual venue at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. Not only that, but according to iMore, Apple is constructing a large, three-storey building next the Flint Center in advance of the event. And everyone is tight-lipped about what purpose it will serve.

All of this is exciting — that the date is finally official, and that Apple seems to be planning something big.



Game Centered: Awesome Breaking News For Mobile eSports Enthusiasts

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. This week we have some awesome news on the mobile gaming front. First, popular game streaming site, Twitch TV, was bought out by Amazon. Hot on the heels of that development is news that we are going to be treated to a first of its kind, Twitch supported iOS game from mobile game developer Gameloft. Finally, if you've embraced the mobile gaming platform and are wondering when it's really going to take off as a competitive level eSport platform, take heart! Reputable research firm, Juniper, just released a report projecting absolutely amazing growth for the mobile gaming industry, and predicts that mobile games, more than ever, are the games of the future.



Bloomberg Reports 12.9-inch iPad Coming Early 2015

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Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Apple is already preparing to manufacture a 12.9-inch iPad that's slated to come out in early 2015. Production will begin in the first quarter. The report says that Apple has been working with their suppliers for at least a year on a range of larger touch-screen devices. This new iPad would give the line three different sizes: 7.9 inches, 9.7 inches, and 12.9 inches. 



A Sapphire-Screened Smartphone... from Somebody other than Apple

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There have been many conflicting rumors about whether the iPhone 6 will have a sapphire screen or not, but if you want a smartphone with a sapphire screen, you don't have to wait for Apple. I attended the Huawei press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and their CEO made no secret that they were trying to distinguish themselves among the Android vendors. Huawai is trying to go big in the smartphone market, and now, they have joined the sapphire craze.



Zen and the Art of Apple Watching

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"Patience, my son." That's the best advice for Apple watchers. Earlier this weekend I noticed a posting on another site raising a panic about iPhone delays due to display issues. It didn't seem worthy of coverage. Today, that same site carried a post saying not to worry and that even those delays are "baked in" and won't effect availability.



Apple to Change Its Charger?

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That charging cube we've all come to know and love might be getting some "love handles." A photo out of China shows a wider charging brick with indentations on the side to make it easier to grip. This could all be speculation, but it would make sense. Apple already has a different charging adapter for the iPad, because it uses more power, and the expectation is that the upcoming larger iPhone will use a battery that is almost 50 percent bigger than the iPhone 5s. It's understandable that it might need a more powerful charger than the current model.



Android vs. Android: Fragmentation is NOT a Figment of your Imagination

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As a developer for iOS, Mac OS, Android, Amazon Fire, Windows Phone, and even Samsung Bada, I have enough platforms to support. Apple makes it relatively easy and even though the next iPhone is likely to have a new screen resolution, it should be straightforward to accommodate. Android, however, is another story. This chart from Open Signal, via Gizmodo shows just how fragmented the Android market is.



Rumors: First Photo of 5.5-inch iPhone; 2 GB RAM in iPad Air; iWatch 512 RAM, 8 GB Storage

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While we've seen a lot of images online of parts purported to be for the 4.7-inch iPhone, there haven't been any glimpses of the 5.5-inch phone—until now. Posted on the website Evasion Jailbreak, the images show the back shell of the forthcoming 5.5-inch phone compared to a similar part from the 4.7-inch phone.



Walmart Now Offering iPhone 5c for $27 and iPhone 5s for $127

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Today Walmart began offering a dicount on the iPhone 5s and 5c, likely intended to clear out inventory in advance of the anticipated September 9 announcement of the iPhone 6.



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