AppleInsider reports that sources in Japan are saying that Apple Pay could be coming to that country on October 25, as part of the release of iOS 10. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that maintenance downtimes for Japanese mobile carrier Docomo’s iD payment system and JR East’s Suica transit card are both also on October 25. Coincidence? Most likely not, as both services will be adopting Apple Pay when it launches.

All iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2 models available in Japan support the FeliCa Type-F NFC technology.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in all things Apple Pay, AppleInsider also reports that 24 more banks and credit unions in the US now offer support for Apple Pay, and British Airways also now offers some Apple Pay features in its iOS app for those who want to use the Apple payment system to book and pay for flights with the airline. It’s only available to customers that are based in the UK, however, and you must pay with either Visa or MasterCard, although British Airways says that more card types will be added in future.

Sources: Apple Pay to reportedly go live in Japan on Oct. 25, hints at iOS 10.1 release, Apple Pay picks up 24 more US banks & credit unions plus British Airways bookings

Touch Arcade has great news if you’re someone that has been wanting to play Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode but didn’t want to pay the $6.99 per episode asking price, as Telltale has just made the first installment, “The Order of the Stone,” available as a free download from the App Store.

There’s no indication from Telltale as to whether the episode will be permanently available as a free download, but it’s fair to say that with the series having been launched a little over one year ago today, this is the sort of time period when Telltale usually does start giving away free episodes for its series.

Of course there’s method in Telltale’s madness, as they’re hoping that you’ll be hooked once you get to play the free instalment, and then you won’t be able to resist downloading the complete eight-episode game pack complete with Adventure Pass for $24.99. The Season Pass on its own, complete with the first five episodes, costs $14.99, and the Adventure Pass costs $11.99 to buy on its own.

Click here to download for free: Minecraft: Story Mode on the App Store

Source: Telltale's 'Minecraft: Story Mode' First Episode Now Free

9to5 Mac reports that Sprint is offering iPad users a new $20-per-month unlimited data deal. And while that sounds like great deal, there are a couple of conditions that you need to be aware of.

First of all, you will have to buy the cellular iPad from Sprint, of course, and have at least one phone line with Sprint, and then enrol in AutoPay for automatic billing.

And, as so often happens with these “unlimited” data offers, it isn’t in fact totally unlimited, as there are limits to video playback, music streaming, and online gaming resolution and speed. You can choose to pay a further $20 per month to increase the limits, but even then those extended limits will be capped.

If you’re happy with those terms and intend to sign up for Sprint’s deal for a separate iPad data plan, make sure that you’re not already covered via your current carrier’s mobile sharing plan.

Source: Sprint wants to give your iPad unlimited data for $20/month (and a few strings attached)

If you’re one of the Pokémon Go players that have been using the Pokémon Go Plus accessory to help you catch Pokémon, Niantic has just updated the software for the device with some improvements.

Firstly, Trainers will now be able to choose from multiple notification modes. By default, your Pokémon Go Plus will still scan for PokéStops or Pokémon simultaneously, but now with the update you will be able to individually enable or disable each of the notifications as you prefer.

Also, when you are out walking with your Buddy Pokémon, you can select not to receive notifications at all and simply record how far you walk.

Pokemon Go Plus gets update.JPG

Finally, the Pokémon Go Plus accessory will still remain paired with the Pokémon Go app if you are using the app when interacting with Pokémon or Gyms.

The Pokémon Go Plus accessory is still in very short supply, and is currently out of stock in the UK Nintendo online store.

Source: Niantic Labs - Pokémon GO

CNBC reports that Sony has announced that it is to launch at least five smartphone/tablet games in the year ending March 2018 in a bid to compete with console rival Nintendo, which is about to launch several iOS games, including the highly anticipated Super Mario Run.

The games will be released by Sony’s ForwardWorks subsidiary, which was launched earlier this year as Sony’s mobile games wing.

Sony’s home country of Japan, as well as other Asian countries, will get the games before any other territories, in contrast with Nintendo, which is releasing Super Mario Run worldwide.

Mobile gaming is making massive revenues in Japan currently, and console makers are suffering because of it, unlike in other major gaming territories around the world.
There’s no mention of which titles Sony might be bringing to iOS, but it would be great to think that Uncharted hero Nathan Drake might soon be appearing in an iOS game, especially as Sony has already released a very successful Uncharted game, Golden Abyss (pictured), for its PS Vita handheld console. Drake being one of Sony’s few exclusive characters, and a very popular one at that, would be another unique selling point for an iOS version of the smash hit series.

Source: Sony PlayStation is launching mobile games on Android and iOS to take on Nintendo

Touch Arcade reports that world-famous ticked-off kitty Grumpy Cat (real cat name, Tardar Sauce) is to feature in her own iOS game, Grumpy Cat—Ready, Set, NO, based around madcap WarioWare-style gameplay.

Developed by Lucky Kat Studios, the game features over 60 “awful” mini-games featuring Grumpy Cat in pixel art style doing all sorts of un-catlike stuff such as catching falling glasses, flipping burgers, and performing magic tricks.

Lucky Kat Studios unashamedly cites WarioWare as being one of its main inspirations for the free-to-play game, which is due to launch in December. However, this is clearly much more than just a WarioWare clone, as Grumpy Cat’s famously miserable persona is always in evidence. Lucky Kat promises, in suitably grumpy fashion, that this will be “the worst mobile game you will ever play.”

If you’re interested in getting involved in beta testing for the game, you can sign up here: Grumpy Cat - Ready, Set, NO [Beta Testing]

Source: 'Grumpy Cat - Ready, Set, NO' Takes the Minigames From WarioWare and Adds Furious Felines, Coming Soon

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