Google is starting to back down on its threat to leave the Australian market. In a blog post today, the company extended an olive branch, highlighting Australian publishers that would be joining the News Showcase program, which pays publishers as part of a licensing program to refer traffic to their stories. Read More
Google threatened to leave the Australian market if the local government pulls through with a law that would require search engines to pay publishers for linking to news articles. The threat hasn't gone down well, and in a turn of events that shouldn't surprise anyone, smaller competitors are ready to step in should Google pull through with its decision if the law is passed. Microsoft is ready to agree and work with the Australian government going forward, just like DuckDuckGo. Read More
With great power comes great responsibility, and also great scrutiny — just ask Google. The world's leading search engine may have to pay publishers in Australia if new legislation is passed by the government. In response, Google has threatened to disable Search in the country if the new code is passed, and the threat has understandably not gone down well down under. Read More
For a while now, Facebook has been trying to figure out what to do with video, both in its app and on the site. The social network has been testing various UI changes, such as a live streaming tab and a suggested video FAB. In the States, there has been a video tab in place of friend requests for some time, for many users at least. Since the company gave up on pushing live video quite so hard, this has been home to video notifications and suggested videos as well. Facebook has reimagined this space once again, and it will now be home to a new video platform called Watch. Read More
Google Contributor was a very interesting proposition for those of us in the web publishing industry. It allowed sites like Android Police to offer readers an option to pay a little bit of money per month to remove some ads and thus have a better experience reading us while also helping us stay in business. It was launched in August of 2015 and has thus far stayed limited to users in the US. Today though, Contributor is being discontinued.
Users are receiving an email that explains that there's a new and improved version of Contributor that will launch "early next year" and that, in the meantime, the current Contributor will be discontinued. Read More
It seems like all hands are on deck to get Google's apps to conform on the new workmark. In all of the rush, a minor snafu occurred yesterday. A dogfood version (generally intended for internal testing) of the News & Weather app was uploaded to the Play Store, adorned with the cute little paw print badge. Well, the accident has been cleaned up and the proper version has been uploaded to the Play Store today. Let's just hope nobody had their noses rubbed anywhere.
Left: Old launcher icon. Center: Dogfood icon. Right: New launcher icon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
If you owned a game console at any point in the last thirty years, you've probably at least heard of Konami, Squaresoft, and Enix. If you consider yourself a gamer, you probably know their major franchises by heart. Castlevania. Final Fantasy. Dragon Warrior. Metal Gear. Konami and Square Enix are giants of gaming, at one point standing toe-to-toe with companies like EA and Nintendo, dominating the console landscape and releasing some of the most beloved video games of all time.
The times, they are a changing.
Earlier this week, Konami president Hideki Hayakawa told an interviewer from Nikkei Trendy Net that his company would "pursue mobile games aggressively... Read More
It's been a few days, but Google just posted the changelog to Newsstand 3.4, and it looks like a lot of algorithm changes.
Free-to-play is a divisive topic in the games industry right now. Some developers and publishers, especially in the mobile gaming world, love it - free games get downloaded more, and they have the potential to bring in more revenue. Gamers used to the "pay once, pay forever" model of games and software in general over the last 30 years think it's changing the industry and damaging both the economics and the mechanics of gaming itself.
But at the end of the day, the decision of how to make a game, how to monetize it, and whether or not to adopt that tempting, lucrative, and divisive "pay to win" model should rest with the people actually making the game. Read More
Yesterday social gaming giant Zynga purchased NaturalMotion, developers of notable mobile games including the CSR Racing series, Backbreaker Football, and the official Jenga game for iOS and Android. TechCrunch reports that the $527 million purchase includes $391 million in cash and 39.8 million shares of Zynga stock. NaturalMotion operates offices in London, Oxford, Brighton, and San Francisco.
Zynga has plenty of apps for iOS and Android, notably Words With Friends and the official sequel to Draw Something (which Zynga got from another acquisition, OMGPop). But the company's stock price has been lagging below the $5 mark for over a year, about a third of their post-IPO high. Read More