Sunday, May 9, 2021

Yakuza Combat Will Forward Be Turn-Based Going

Following the reveal of Lost Judgment, an interview with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio director Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Kazuki Hosokawa has surfaced on IGN. Lost Judgment brings Ryu Ga Gotoku back to its action-combat roots, leaving many fans to wonder if that meant the Yakuza series would also return to that style following last year's Yakuza: Like a Dragon.Speaking to IGN, Nagoshi and Hosokawa confirmed that the Judgment series will carry on the studio's action style of gameplay, while Yakuza will continue to evolve as a turn-based RPG. "The Yakuza series has been transformed into a turn-based RPG," they told IGN. "On the other hand, over the years, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has accumulated resources and know-how of making flashy and exhilarating action games that are effortless to enjoy. We decided that we should let our signature action gameplay live on through Lost Judgment." Yakuza: Like a Dragon's turn-based combat Romain Mahut of GameBlog was in attendance at a virtual "Judgment Day" event that followed the Lost Judgment reveal and asked if the studio considered using turn-based combat similar to that of Yakuza: Like a Dragon for Lost Judgment. "For Yakuza: Like a Dragon, we changed the game's battle system from action into a turn-based RPG," Nagoshi said in response. "This was a huge challenge for us, but it was well-received, which we were thrilled to hear. We did discuss the possibility of developing that battle system further for our next title, and while we may pursue the turn-based system even outside the Yakuza series, the conclusion we ended up at was that because this is a different series, the best approach would be to keep them separate and refine what makes each series great. It's my hope that our customers feel the same way we do. That's why we chose 'action' as an important keyword for the Judgment series.  Nagoshi also said on the Judgment Day video he believes that, when possible, a simultaneous global launch is "the right way to go" and that the team has "determined to make every effort to support this for all [its] games moving forward." This is significant as the Yakuza series has a long tradition of Western versions releasing years after the Japanese version. Following the success of Yakuza 0 in the West, the release windows have narrowed, but Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which debuted last year, still had a 10-month gap between the Japanese and worldwide releases. Lost Judgment's action-oriented combat Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, while Lost Judgment comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 24. For more on what we thought about Yakuza: Like a Dragon, check out our review here. For more on the history of the Yakuza series, read our retrospective featuring interviews with Nagoshi and other members of the team here. For more information on Nagoshi's career, you can read our profile on him here. [Source: IGN, Sega of America on YouTube]
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    Twitter tests full-size images previews in your prey on Android and iOS

    The next time you’re browsing through your Twitter timeline on your phone, you may notice a small but impactful change to how the service handles images. With a small subset of iOS and Android users, Twitter has started testing full-sized picture previews, allowing users to see timeline images in their original aspect ratio. Before starting today’s test, Twitter cropped all non-16:9 images to maintain uniformity on your timeline. Provided a tweet only includes one image and it’s in a relatively standard aspect ratio, the change will make it so that you don’t have to tap on an image to see it in its entirety. In theory, that should make the experience of browsing through your timeline more streamlined. Additionally, the company announced that it’s also testing a feature that allows people to upload 4K-quality images from their iPhone or Android device. In the “Data usage” section of the settings menu, you’ll see a toggle to enable high-quality image uploads. It might seem like a small thing for Twitter to change how it displays images, but it’s a significant one all the same. Over the years, there have been a lot of complaints about how the service handles images. Those came to a head last year when people found that Twitter’s image-cropping algorithm was focusing on white faces over black ones. “With this test, we hope to learn if this new approach is better and what changes we need to make to provide a ‘what you see is what you get’ experience for tweets with images,” said Twitter Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis of the test. Twitter hasn’t said when the cropping change could make its way to all users. As with any test, the company could decide to keep things the way they are.

    These Shortcuts will help you remove your iPad or iPhone

    “Spring cleaning” usually conjures up images of tedious housework, but it’s worth thinking about tidying up your smartphone and tablet, too — and I don’t mean physically, though that might also be a good idea. If you’re anything like us, your devices are full of old photos, files and apps taking up valuable storage space. Now is as good a time as any to start cleaning things out. And if you’re an iPhone or an iPad user, Apple’s Shortcuts feature just might be able to help. What are Shortcuts? In a nutshell, Shortcuts let you quickly perform a specific task, or a more complex sequence of tasks, with a single tap or voice command. This idea isn’t unique to Apple — if you’re a geek of a certain age, you probably know these as strings of actions better as “macros.” Building your first Shortcut can seem daunting at first, but relax: You don’t need to be a coder to create a truly useful setup. All it really takes is a little time to put all the pieces together. More than anything, I’ve come to think of these things as little logic puzzles. You know the result you’re looking for — it’s just a matter of thinking through the steps and finding the right sequence of actions to get you there. There are, of course, limits to what Apple will let you do. Let’s say you’re like me, and you’re just awful at remembering to clear out your notifications regularly. I would love to create a Shortcut that would automatically dismiss notifications generated more than a day or two ago, but Apple doesn’t make information about a notification’s age available to Shortcuts. Similarly, there doesn’t appear to be a way — for now, at least — to figure out the last time you used certain apps, so there’s no way to build a Shortcut that highlights apps you could delete without missing them. As you’ll see later, Apple also has a fairly limited set of tools for interacting with files stored directly on your iOS device. Granted, there are a handful of third-party apps, like Toolbox Pro, Data Jar and JellyCuts, that dramatically expand on the Shortcut tools that ship in iOS, but the thing to remember is that there are some tasks you can’t pull off with Shortcuts yet. Oh, and for the sake of your sanity, it’s best to start piecing together Shortcuts on as big a screen as possible. Since there’s no Shortcuts functionality available on Apple’s Macs — even the new ones running the iPhone-inspired M1 chipset — that means use an iPad if you have one. Don’t worry: As long as your iPad and iPhone are signed into the same Apple ID, any Shortcut you create on one will be visible in the other. How to create a Shortcut Piecing together complex actions to help clean out our devices involves a lot of trial and error at first, so let’s work through a basic example. Meet BackupNotes: It’s the first half-decent Shortcut I ever made, and as the name implies, it’s meant to help you quickly save your old notes in the cloud before you go through and start cleaning house. The logic here is pretty straightforward. First, we check today’s date and dial it back 30 days to make sure nothing relatively new and necessary gets caught in the net. And right off the bat, you have a few different ways to pull this off. At first, I actually created a separate shortcut called “MonthAgo” that takes the current date and subtracts 30 days from it. From there, I could add an instruction to the BackNotes workflow to run the MonthAgo shortcut first, then pass that adjusted date into the Find Notes action. Turns out, that whole rigmarole wasn’t actually necessary. After a little Googling, I could just define the date and adjust it directly inside this shortcut. This new approach is a whole lot cleaner, but I’m still grateful I took the long way around first since it opened my eyes to the possibility of linking multiple shortcuts together. It’s pretty much smooth sailing from there. Searching for actions related to the Notes app in the Shortcuts sidebar reveals a handful of options, including just the one we need to select notes older than the date we defined earlier. Then, just add an action for compressing those notes into a single ZIP file — you can’t see it in the image above, but there’s also a text field to give the new compressed file a name — and cap things off with a save action. I should note that while those last few steps sound like the easiest, they took a little more time to figure out than I care to admit. Originally, I had wanted my iOS devices to open the share sheet so you could more easily get that new ZIP file to contacts, or into the cloud storage app of your choice. You can do that, but there’s a caveat. If you use a Shortcut to give a file a name and try to send it via the share sheet, the name doesn’t actually stick; it winds up with whatever generic name Gmail or Telegram or Google Drive decides to give it. Naturally, the Shortcuts apps’ flexibility means there’s a fairly easy workaround, if you’re game. It just takes a couple extra steps right at the end. You could, for instance, close things out with an action to send that same file via the share sheet, plus one more to delete it after you’ve moved it where you want it. It’s functional when run, but it requires one final tap to confirm you want to delete the ZIP file, which feels a little inelegant. Thankfully, the solution I landed on does just fine for my purposes. By saving the notes backup through iCloud Drive, you can manually choose a third-party storage service (Google Drive, in my case) that you’ve already connected to the iOS Files app. Tweaking the formula Now that your notes are all safely stored elsewhere, you can now scrub through them all and delete as needed. But what could we do if we put a twist on that basic formula? Well, how about this: Let’s back up other files you’ve stored on your iOS device before you go on a cleaning spree. As you can see, the last two steps here are the same as in the previous example, but the lead-in is a little different. Because I want to be able to choose the backup’s file name rather than just tag it with the date as we did before, things start with an “Ask for text” action. The user then punches in whatever file name they want, which gets saved as a variable in the following step. (Pro tip: Once you find actions you suspect you’ll use frequently, you can save them as favorites for easy access.) With the beginning and the end sorted, it’s all a matter of getting to the files we need. That’s easier than it sounds. Rather than use the “Find Notes” action from last time, “Get File” is what we need to dig into your iOS device’s file structure. Once that action is in place, it’s important to make sure the options for showing the document picker and selecting multiple files are ticked. That way, once you actually run the Shortcut, you’ll be able to navigate through the folders on your device and pick the ones you’d like to package up and offload in the final two actions. Once again, you can store that new compressed file in almost any cloud storage service that’s connected to your Files app. (I say “almost” because Dropbox can be added to your Files app, but you can’t navigate to it when it’s time to save the file. If your life lives in Dropbox, you have to use a different, similarly straightforward action to store your backup in there.) As useful as this Shortcut can be, Apple’s limitations mean it’s not as automated as one might prefer. There’s no way that I know of to use the “Get File” action to collect all files in a specific folder, like the one all your Safari file downloads get saved to. Being able to automatically select those files, bundle them up and save them somewhere would be really helpful, but the app just doesn’t offer that kind of granularity. Adding more actions I don’t know about you, but the screenshots album on my phone is a disaster — it’s all fleetingly funny tweets, images of my homescreen I captured by accident and a screen grab of this beautiful nightmare. If your iOS device is starting to run low on storage, clearing up every little bit can help, so let’s take a stab at a Shortcut that automatically deletes some of those old images. Right off the bat, there are two new actions to dig into. The first does exactly what it says on the tin — feed it a snippet of text and the Shortcut will read it aloud. (This obviously isn’t necessary, but what’s life if you can’t goof around a little?) The second, meanwhile, is one you’ll probably find yourself returning to pretty frequently. It gives you the ability to define and display multiple options in a notification that slides down from the top of the screen. In this case, we want to be able to delete screenshots we consider old, or delete all screenshots in one fell swoop. It also introduces us to the idea of carrying out multiple tasks in a single Shortcut. This will definitely come in handy as you continue to build your own. Granted, these are pretty simple tasks — one of them does the now very familiar date adjustment trick, and uses the Find Photos action to select all of the screenshots created more than a month ago. (You can tweak this pretty easily if you’d rather, say, select screenshots that were last modified before a specific date.) Once that action applies those criteria to find the right images, it’s just a matter of adding a Delete Photos action to get rid of them. By default, you’re prompted to confirm you want to erase those files, so there’s always a chance to back out if you think better of it. As for the next task, deleting all screenshots instead of a selection of them? That's easy: Just recreate the previous task, but without specifying how old the screenshots should be. As with the other examples we’ve worked through, there’s plenty of room for experimentation and customization depending on exactly how you’d like things to work, but for now, we have a dead-simple tool for clearing out some of your old, unneeded files What next? So, we’ve created a few helpful Shortcuts — now what? Well, you should probably try them out. All the Shortcuts you make are accessible from inside the app, but there are situations where you might need quicker access to them. For those cases, you can put the appropriate Shortcuts right on your home screen, and as usual, there are a few ways to do this. The simplest way to go is by adding a Shortcut widget. On an iPhone, long-press an app icon and tap the plus sign that appears in the top-left corner. From there, you can pick out exactly the widget layout that feels right, and plop it in the middle of all your apps. If that looks a little too big for your liking, you can also create app icons on your home screen that directly execute your Shortcut of choice: Engadget Alternatively, you could always just use Siri — it can recognize all of your Shortcuts by name, and executes them (almost) the same way as if you had just poked at your screen. The only real difference is that if any of your Shortcuts require text input, like the file name prompts we built above, you’ll have to respond out loud rather than punch text in manually. This is just a crash course for Shortcut creation. If you’re interested in learning more about crafting these clever utilities, there’s no shortage of places to turn — I’ve mostly relied on the excellent r/Shortcuts subreddit and Chris Lawley’s YouTube channel to get a sense of what was and wasn’t possible early on. But, the best way to figure out how to make better Shortcuts is by pulling some apart. Pop into your iOS device’s settings and allow “untrusted” shortcuts. This allows you to install shortcuts created by other people, and looking at how their logic unfolds can be extremely informative. Just make sure you take a few moments to look at how those third-party shortcuts actually work before you run them!

    Apple releases 14 iOS.4.1 and 11 macOS.2.3 to handle a WebKit vulnerability

    Apple has released a set of updates it recommends all iPhone, iPad and Mac users download as soon as possible. No, iOS 14.5 and Big Sur 11.3 aren’t out yet. Instead, what we have are iOS 14.4.1 and macOS 11.2.3.  When you download them on your devices, all you’ll get is a terse explanation from Apple saying that they’re “important.” However, the support pages spotted by 9to5Mac provide more information. Both updates address a memory corruption issue within WebKit, the engine that powers Apple’s Safari browser. The vulnerability, which was discovered by security researchers from Google and Microsoft, may have allowed bad actors to execute code on your devices using “maliciously crafted” web content. On iOS, you can manually download an update to your iPhone or iPad by opening the Settings app, and then tapping “General” followed by “Software Update.” Meanwhile, on macOS, open the System Preferences menu and click on “Software Update.”

    Google updates Gmail along with other iOS apps for the very first time in months

    Google has updated the Gmail iOS app for the first time in months, along with Meet, Sheets, Docs, Calendar and Tasks. Aside from Tasks now supporting widgets on iOS 14, these are minor updates centered around bug fixes and performance improvements. It's the first time Google has rolled out new versions of these apps since Apple started forcing third-party developers to submit privacy nutrition labels. It updated several YouTube apps in February. Some other major Google iOS apps are still on ice, however. The company hasn't made any changes to the Chrome app since November. Google rolled out the most recent version of the Drive iOS app on December 7th, the day before Apple made the privacy labels mandatory. The Drive App Store page now includes a privacy label, but Chrome's does not.

    Amazon adds Mac Minis to its cloud to assist Apple developers

    AWS Amazon is bringing the Mac Mini to the cloud for developers who want cloud-based build and test machines for any Apple device app. The new “EC2 Mac instances” use physical Mac Minis with Intel i7 six-core chips and 32GB of RAM. However, AWS plans to roll out M1 Mac Minis as well within the first half of 2021, the company told TechCrunch. “Powered by Mac Mini hardware and the AWS Nitro System, you can use Amazon EC2 Mac instances to build, test, package, and sign Xcode applications for the Apple platform including macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari,” wrote Amazon evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post. [embedded content] The EC2 Mac instances use unmodified Mac Minis installed into racks on service sleds. You’ll also get full access to your own machine that’s not shared with any other users, rather than just a virtualized instance. “We wanted to make sure that we support the Mac Mini that you would get if you went to the Apple store and you bought a Mac Mini,” said AWS VP David Brown. You’ll pay for that privilege. It costs $1.083 per hour with a minimum 24 hours to get started, with billing done by the second thereafter. That’s considerably more than other Mac Mini cloud providers, as TechCrunch noted, though Amazon is promising all the benefits of a regular AWS server, including speed, security and granular controls. The company can also deliver different machine images for past and upcoming macOS versions. “You can literally launch these machines in minutes and have a working machine available to you,” said Brown. “If you decide you want 100 of them, 500 of them, you just ask us for that and we’ll make them available.” The Mac instances are now available for testing in the various regions in the US, Europe and Asia, with others to follow later. In this article: iOS, AWS, Amazon, iPADOS, EC2 Mac Instances, macOS, developers, Mac Mini, news, gear All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

    Facebook wants users in order to set Messenger because the default on iOS

    Sponsored Links NurPhoto via Getty Images Facebook wants you to be able to choose Messenger as the default messaging app on iOS, The Information reports. Apparently, Facebook has been trying to convince Apple to let users swap the default messaging app to Messenger for years. Now that iOS 14 lets users select alternative web browser and email apps, Facebook is renewing its Messenger push.  “We feel people should be able to choose different messaging apps and the default on their phone,” Stan Chudnovsky, a Facebook VP, told The Information. “Generally, everything is moving this direction anyway.” Messenger probably isn’t the greatest option for your main messaging app, but being able to reset the default could let you choose apps that offer a better experience than Messenger or Apple’s Messages. Android’s mobile OS already lets users choose their preferred messaging app. Sadly, Apple is probably not going to give users that choice. Apple’s Messages app is still one reason that people buy Apple hardware, and Apple uses the encrypted messages to brag about its privacy practices.  But not allowing users to choose their default messaging app could add to the argument that Apple practices “monopolist behaviors.” The company is facing increased criticism over its App Store fees, and it is the target of multiple antitrust investigations. Today, Epic Games, Spotify and others announced the Coalition for App Fairness, an alliance to pressure both Apple and Google to change their app store rules and other restrictive policies.  In this article: facebook, messenger, messaging, app, default, ios, apple, antitrust, monopoly, news, gear All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Comments 330 Shares Share Tweet Share

    iOS doesn’t have to be similar to Android, it requires more Google just

    Apple’s iOS 14 has taken some heat for copying Android features. The most obvious example being the new customizable widgets (iOS had widgets before, but it was limited to the left-most screen of the main menu). Another big change is the introduction of the App Library, a decluttered app screen that’s suspiciously similar to Android’s app drawer. There are other changes, too, such as a discreet view for Siri that won’t take over your whole display, and a new picture-in-picture mode. And yes, these are features that we’ve seen on Android as well. But for me, the real star of iOS 14 is not quite so obvious (It’s so low-key that Apple didn’t mention it at its WWDC keynote). It’s the fact that, at long last, iOS now lets you pick your own default email and browser apps. This one feature, more than any other, is what I feel is a key factor in preventing me from switching to Android. That’s because, as an iOS user, it is not Android that I find attractive -- it’s Google. Even though I’ve used several Android handsets over the years, I’ve always stuck with an iPhone. For one thing, I’m so invested in the ecosystem at this point (I’ve purchased many apps, several of which are iOS-only) that switching to another platform would be too painful.  But the main reason that I still have an iPhone, despite the many advantages of Android, is simply force of habit. Its interface, design language and keyboard feel so much like second nature that I can’t get used to anything else. This is a huge reason why Android’s widgets and home screens simply don’t appeal to me: I just never saw the need for them. Even now, after I’ve installed iOS 14, I haven’t bothered adding a widget or cleaning up my home screen, because I just like it the way it is. I suspect many other iOS users feel the same.  Chesnot via Getty Images For me, the main benefit that Android has over iOS has never been its design or its interface or anything like that. The main advantages with Android, in my view, are the features. Specifically, its compatibility with Google’s apps and services. That’s because, as much as I like iOS, Google is the world in which I live. I use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Photos and Chrome literally every day. I find Google services easier and more pleasant to use, and I like that it all syncs together. The fact that Android comes with Gmail, Chrome and all the usual Google services by default, working seamlessly with a single sign-on, is great. That hasn’t been the case with iOS, and one can certainly understand why. Apple obviously wants you to use its own apps and services over the competition. Sure, third-party apps like Gmail and Chrome have been around for a few years now but there were always certain restrictions. The biggest hassle is that tapping on an email link in an app or in Safari would often kick me over the default Apple Mail app rather than Gmail (If you tapped on an email link in the Chrome app, it does let you go to Gmail however). Now, thanks to iOS 14, this is no longer a problem.  Of course, it’s likely that Apple isn't allowing this in iOS 14 out of the goodness of its heart. Instead, it could be a tactical move. The company is already facing serious antitrust scrutiny as well as accusations that it holds an App Store monopoly, partially due to the 30 percent commission it charges developers (This is the basis of Epic’s recent legal battle with Apple). Perhaps, by ceding ground on default iOS apps, Apple could be heading off concerns that it holds a monopoly over that at the very least. It is not unlike when Microsoft was forced to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows in 2009 due to European regulations.  Be that as it may, this could be a sign of greater things to come. It’s given me a glimmer of hope that other Google apps, like Calendar and Maps for example, could be given the default treatment too. Of course, there are many things that Android still does better than iOS, such as managing notifications, app permission handling, Live Transcribe, the ability to sideload apps not from an App Store, and more. But if all I get is greater access to Google’s apps and services while still keeping the phone I like, I’d be happy. In this article: Gmail, ios, iOS 14, Android, widgets, news, gear All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Comments 382 Shares Share Tweet Share

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