MacRumors reports that Apple has launched a new iPad Smart Keyboard repair scheme. According to an internal memo that was sent out to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers last week, Apple has decreed that Smart Keyboards that have certain “functional issues” such as a defective Smart Connector or sticking or unresponsive keys can be serviced free of charge by Apple within 3 years of the original purchase date.

If your Smart Keyboard is affected by any such issues then call your local Apple Store and make a Genius Bar appointment or take the keyboard to an Apple Authorized Service Provider and book it in for a repair. You can also phone or contact Apple support online.

As MacRumors notes, with this being a newly launched policy, it’s possible that not all Apple support employees are aware of it yet, so if you have any trouble getting your free repair then be sure to get in touch with AppleCare management.

Source: Apple Offering Free Smart Keyboard Repairs Under New 3-Year Policy

Pocket Gamer reports that Nexon has announced that it is currently working on a real-time strategy game for iOS and Android called Titanfall: Assault. This will be the first mobile game set in the Titanfall universe, after the ill-fated Titanfall: Frontline CC strategy game, also from Nexon, which was announced last September before being cancelled shortly after.

Hopefully, Nexon’s Titanfall: Assault will fare better than Frontline. A real-time PvP mobile strategy game, Titanfall: Assault’s gameplay involves assembling the ultimate deck of Pilots and Titans paired into heroic duos. Players can collect and upgrade dozens of cards, such as tactical Burn Cards, which support your team on the battlefield as you attempt to lead your forces to victory in The Frontier.

Here are some of the game’s key features:
There’s no word about a release date as yet, but you can pre-register on the official website to find out more about the game as and when more details are released.

Sources: Respawn announces the real-time strategy game Titanfall: Assault, coming to iOS and Android

Titanfall Assault

Niantic is celebrating the arrival of spring this weekend with a special “Worldwide Bloom” event. Lasting until Monday, May 8, the event should see Grass-type Pokémon appearing more frequently in the wild, until they return to their usual habitats after the weekend. For the duration of the event, Lures will last for 6 hours.

As Forbes’ Paul Tassi notes in his piece on the event, this actually appears to be a new approach from Niantic, a “micro-event” that is very different from all the previous special events that Niantic has hosted for Pokémon Go.

There are several ways in which the Worldwide Bloom event differs from all previous Pokémon Go events: it’s shorter, with no XP, candy, or stardust bonuses to earn; there are no sale items available; there are no new Pokémon or gameplay elements; and it is not tied in to any real-world holiday, such as Christmas or Halloween. Tassi thinks this new approach could be Niantic testing the waters as to whether or not smaller, more frequent events will get Trainers more involved in the game.

Tassi also thinks that Niantic could have a much more significant update planned for June, such as the first Legendary spawns, or a new gym system, in a bid to recapture those magical summer days of Pokémon Go for the second year running.

Source: Worldwide bloom this weekend! - Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO's Worldwide Bloom Is Its First True Micro-Event, And A Sign Of Things To Come

According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, via AppleInsider, Apple has just overtaken Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor for the first quarter of 2017.

The latest figures from Strategy Analytics show that Apple sold an estimated 3.5 million Apple Watch units in the quarter ending in March, an increase of 59% from the 2.2 million units sold in the year-ago quarter. This gave Apple 16% of the worldwide market.

Apple’s surge to the top spot was also facilitated by Fitbit’s big decline, year-over-year, with its shipments for the quarter ending in March falling to 2.9 million units from 4.5 million units in the year-ago quarter. Fitbit sales are said to have been affected by a trend towards smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and similar products from Samsung.

“Fitbit has lost its wearables leadership to Apple, due to slowing demand for its fitnessbands and a late entry to the emerging smartwatch market,” said Cliff Raskind, Strategy Analytics director. “Fitbit’s shipments, revenue, pricing and profit are all shrinking at the moment and the company has a major fight on its hands to recover this year.”

Source: Apple overtakes Fitbit to become world's largest wearables vendor, study says

9to5 Mac reports that while Apple this week reported lower iPad sales of 8.92 million, compared with 10.2 million in the year-ago quarter, new figures from TrendForce show that the iPad is still very much the dominant force out of the top five tablets, with worldwide tablet sales falling 9.3% year-over-year. TrendForce also thinks that Apple is about to enjoy a much more successful quarter thanks to the newly launched $329 9.7-inch iPad and rumours of a high-end iPad 10.5-inch iPad also on the way. In fact, TrendForce is so confident of this that it estimates that iPad shipments in the second quarter will increase by more than 15% compared with the first quarter.

While there have been plenty of rumours that the 10.5-inch iPad could be released as soon as this quarter, this is now looking less and less likely as time goes on, and a late fall release is now looking much more likely.

Source: Apple remains top tablet brand globally despite shrinking iPad sales

AppleInsider reports that it looks as though Snap is going down a similar route to Twitter in starting to show TV programs on Snapchat. According to The Wall Street Journal, Snap has already inked deals with NBCUniversal, A&E, and the NFL, and is set to announce a deal with HGTV and Scripps Interactive, home of the Food Network, later today, with talks also underway with CBS and Fox.

Where Snap differs from Twitter’s approach, however, is that Snapchat will be showing pre-recorded shows rather than live shows, and aiming to complement current broadcast and cable content rather than replacing it. Also, the Snapchat TV shows will only be from 3 to 5 minutes long, whilst some shows on Twitter will run much longer, even up to 3 hours, or, in the case of Bloomberg, 24 hours.

Snap executives are thought to be currently in talks with studio executives, where they are advising them how to create shorter videos for the Snapchat audience, in a similar vein to Snapchat Stories.

Source: Snap signs major network deals for Snapchat TV shows

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