According to a new rumour from Chinese microblogging website Weibo, via AppleInsider, Apple will be launching the “Apple Pencil 2” this spring, complete with a new magnetic means of attaching it to an iPad, in similar fashion to the iPad Smart Cover. This means that you won’t have to worry about misplacing your Apple Pencil when you put it down after using it.

The Weibo source also says that the Apple Pencil 2 will have a clip, very much like a regular pen, so that you can attach it to your pocket, just like a regular pen.

With Apple expected to launch three new iPad Pro models this year, it looks like Apple is also stepping up its game when it comes to iPad accessories as well.

The current version of the Apple pencil costs $99 and has advanced sensors to determine tilt and pressure sensitivity, with the result being that it is more precise than a standard stylus.

Source: Rumor: Apple Pencil 2 coming this spring with magnets to attach to iPad, plus pocket clip

iDownload Blog reports on great news for Apple today, with Apple shares hitting $119.95 in intraday trading, which is the highest Apple stock price since the end of 2015.

This is a great turnaround from the 52-week low of $89.47 back in May 2016, and particularly good news following a period of what analyst Brian White referred to as “a never ending waterfall of ‘gloom and doom’” reporting about Apple in recent months, thanks to the company reporting three consecutive quarters of revenue decline, as well as the first-ever drop in iPhone sales.

While Apple stock has been steadily rising since its low last year, it’s not known what exactly led to today’s impressive figures, with some saying that it could be a result of a note distributed to clients today by Cowen and Company’s Timothy Arcuri, where he said that the iPhone 8 may well have a type of facial or gesture recognition feature when it’s released this year.

Source: Apple stock hits 14-month high, its highest price since 2015

AppleInsider reports that App Store prices have risen in several territories around the world, primarily due to currency fluctuations.

First off we have the UK, where prices of apps and in-app purchases have increased by around 25%. This means that a Tier 1 app previously costing £0.79 will now cost £0.99. The price hike was first reported on by The Guardian, after Apple sent a note to App Store developers informing them of the price rise. The price rise, which is double the price hike imposed by Apple in January 2016 in the UK App Store, has been blamed on the effect that Brexit has had on the pound in the UK.

“Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business,” said Apple in a statement on the matter. “These factors vary from region to region and over time.”

Elsewhere, App Store prices in India have also risen thanks to a 14% service tax rate and new 0.5 percent fees that the Indian government introduced last December. Prices have also increased in Romania and Russia, with both of those increases said to be due to tax rate increases and new sales taxes.

Source: Apple App Store prices increase 25% in UK, as result of 'Brexit' exchange rate drop

It seems that Apple is intent on taking Apple Music in new and exciting directions, with MacRumors reporting today on a new interview by Complex with Apple Music executives Larry Jackson, Bozoma Saint John, and Zane Lowe in which they set out Apple Music’s ambitious expansion plans.

“Every day something is changing or moving or evolving for people who love music and entertainment,” said Lowe. “We’re all still working it out, and even when you don’t have the answer, it’s still a privilege to be in the conversation.”

Saint John added that Apple Music is a “living, breathing brand.” She went on to say that Apple is “developing something very special.”

And while the trio don’t mention any specific plans in the interview for Apple Music’s expansion into other areas of entertainment, clearly something big is on the cards, with other recent reports stating that Apple Music will soon be creating its own movies and TV shows in similar fashion to Netflix.

Sources: Apple's Bozoma Saint John on Apple Music: 'We're Developing Something Very Special'

Apple's Stream Team: Zane Lowe, Bozoma Saint John And Larry Jackson Are Taking Music To The Future

9to5 Mac reports that a new Star Wars iOS game has arrived in the App Store, Star Wars: Force Arena. The free-to-play PvP game plays very similarly to other MOBA-type mobile games, writes 9to5 Mac.

You get to control a “powerful team of iconic Star Wars characters” as well as new characters from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You primarily control the game’s hero, as well as using a card deck to build your squad before heading into real-time PvP battles with other players.

You can either play solo, or invite your friends to join you in Guild mode as you attempt to defend your faction.

The game features more than 80 upgradeable characters, plus factions and deck customization including “powerful duos” such as Han Solo and Chewbacca, who together have unique advantages to bring to the fray.

Apple has already pinpointed this as one of its “New Games We Love” in the App Store, so what are you waiting for?!

Click here to download for free: Star Wars™: Force Arena on the App Store

Source: The new free-to-play PvP Star Wars Force Arena is available for download today on the App Store

Feral Interactive has announced that Rome: Total War—Barbarian Invasion will be coming to iPad in March. The standalone expansion pack for the critically acclaimed iPad game Rome: Total War was originally developed by Creative Assembly, with Feral Interactive handling the iPad version.

Barbarian Invasion offers players seamlessly integrated strategic and tactical gameplay during the spectacular battles, as well as diplomacy, subterfuge, and assassinations galore as you attempt to dominate the ancient world.

The campaign storyline is set in the last years of the Roman Empire, with players getting the chance to play either as a Barbarian commander or a Roman General.

The new iPad version boasts the entire original desktop game fully optimized for tablets, complete with intuitive touch controls, enhanced visuals, and mid-battle saves.
Rome: Total War—Barbarian Invasion will be available exclusively via the App Store for £3.99/$4.99/€4.99. As it's a standalone expansion you don’t have to have main Rome: Total War game in order to play it.

Source: Feral Interactive

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