Thurrott Daily: Out of Africa

Posted on January 31, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games, iOS, Mobile with 41 Comments

Thurrott Daily: Out of Africa

And … we are not going to Africa

As you may have heard, Brad and I were scheduled to fly to Nairobi, Kenya starting tonight. Unfortunately, Brad has suddenly become ill and needed to go to the doctor today. I will let him communicate the issue, but it’s possible it’s a side-effect of the yellow fever vaccine we needed for this trip. In any event, we should be able to make a future event, and possibly even in Africa, later this year. Obviously, the big concern here is that Brad is OK. —Paul

Anyway, on to…

Tech tidbits from around the web.

1/31/2017 3:15:39 PM

Microsoft releases two more custom Xbox Wireless Controllers

Another week, another set of new custom Xbox Wireless Controllers from Microsoft.

Team Xbox knows choice is important, and we’re excited to announce two new Xbox One controller designs coming to retailers worldwide February 7. Both the Xbox Wireless Controller – Ocean Shadow Special Edition and Xbox Wireless Controller – Winter Forces Special Edition will pair seamlessly with any Xbox One.

The Xbox Wireless Controller – Ocean Shadow Special Edition is the next evolution of the Shadow controller series we introduced last year. This controller features a sleek, matte black top case and sides that fade to a light blue metallic finish. The buttons, triggers and D-pad have a glossy black finish with light blue highlights on the ABXY and menu buttons. The controller will be available for $69.99 USD at select retailers worldwide starting February 7.

The Xbox Wireless Controller – Winter Forces Special Edition is the newest of our Forces series controllers and is inspired by the popularity of our previous Armed Forces, Covert Forces, and Midnight Forces controllers. It has a modern, arctic camo pattern with light and dark grey accents, giving it a striking look alongside your Xbox One S console. This new controller will also be available for $69.99 USD at select retailers worldwide starting February 7.

The future of iOS is 64-bit only

Macworld reports that Apple is taking iOS to 64-bit only in the near future.

Apple has updated the pop-up warning in the iOS 10.3 beta to say that the 32-bit app you’re running “will not work with future versions of iOS.” The warning goes on to say that the “developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility.”

In October 2014, Apple announced to developers that all new apps created after February 1, 2015 must have 64-bit support. Shortly after, Apple announced that all updates to apps must also be 64-bit compatible. Any 32-bit apps submitted to Apple after June 2015 are rejected. Last September, Apple announced that it was going to remove any apps from the App Store that did not “function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.” Presumably, this would include apps that did not meet the 64-bit requirement.

Apple does not state which version of iOS will be 64-bit only, but since this is a major development, you can probably assume that this will happen in iOS 11. An announcement will likely be made during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference this summer.

“Don’t judge Apple purely on iPhone sales”

Yeah, the iPhone is only 70 percent of Apple’s revenues.

Yes, Super Mario Run is a smash hit … But Nintendo wanted more

I’ve been kind of surprised by all the negative reports about Super Mario Run, given its high quality. But it turns out the naysayers are wrong: This game is a smash hit. The WSJ reports:

Nintendo said its smartphone game “Super Mario Run” has brought in more than $50 million since going on sale in December, a performance analysts said was better than expected, although Nintendo’s chief executive wasn’t satisfied.

Initial results released Tuesday show the Mario game has been far more successful than the typical smartphone game but still may not bring in enough revenue by itself to significantly boost Nintendo’s bottom line.

“Super Mario Run” for Apple iOS devices has generated more than 78 million downloads globally, Nintendo said. More than 5% of those have paid the $10 charge required to unlock the game’s full content, bringing in more than $53 million in revenue so far, it said.

“For a game that charges this much, the performance is pretty amazing,” said Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based mobile game consultant.


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Comments (41)

41 responses to “Thurrott Daily: Out of Africa”

  1. 3272

    Best wishes to Brad. Hope he recovers quickly.

  2. 165

    hope you had cancellation insurance...

  3. 661

    Now you can focus on getting ready for your Superbowl party!

    Go PATS!

  4. 774

    Get well quickly and easily, Brad. To quote a get well card I saw in the 1960s:

    Outside: The gang at the office wishes you a speedy recovery.

    Inside: The vote was 12 to 9.

    And Paul, at least you've had the shots that make it safe for you to visit Dorchester.

  5. 7209

    Bummer about the Africa trip. Hope brad recovers quickly! I was looking forward to your coverage of the event...

  6. 8850

    Sorry to hear that you had to cancel your trip and hope that Brad is ok. 

  7. 120

    Get well soon Brad!

  8. 6691

    Just a little thing - Africa is not a country. You are going to Nairobi, Kenya, in East Africa. There is the North, South, Central, West; it makes a difference to us Africans if you take time to be a bit more precise. I hope Brad gets well soon.

  9. 302

    Get well soon Brad.

  10. 125

    Speedy recovery Brad! Ironic in the sense that you end up in a hospital taking something that was supposed to keep you out of the hospital.

  11. 5234

    I guess you won't be saying 'hi' to Bill Gates' mosquito army.

  12. 1292

    Making it iOS exclusive for a time was probably a hit to the bottom line. These new games that go viral need to be everywhere to maximize sales while the hype is hot. Notice the article doesn't say how much they made from Apple for the exclusivity window. 

  13. 3882

    Get better Brad!  We will be praying for you.

  14. 383

    Have no interest in going to Africa for that exact reason. Get better Brad.

  15. 4686

    Brad, I hope you get well soon! Kind regards from The Netherlands.

  16. 9927

    Best wishes to Brad for a speedy recovery..the young recover quickly from most everything.  I hate them all.


  17. 426

    Hope brad gets better quickly!

  18. 442

    Of course SMR was a big hit.  It's Mario.  That said, the game really does suck.

    Something I noticed with iOS 10.3 is that updates are almost forced on the user, kind of like Windows 10.  Hmmm...

  19. 5539

    Guess phones are different than PCs. Tons of 32 bit apps running on 64 bit OSs. Got to wonder if MS apps for iOS are 32 or 64 bit. Even desktop Office is 32 bit normally, though you can get 64 if you think you need it. MS says most don't.

    • 313

      In reply to SvenJ:

      They have to be 64 bit on iOS because you can only submit 64 bit code to the app store now.  You cannot submit 32 bit code.


      The main/primary reason to get 32bit office on desktop windows is because a lot of office plugins, especially older ones, don't run in 64 bit office.  If you don't use/need plugins, there's no specific reason to run 32 bit office.  There's also no specific reason to run 64-bit office.  except for that one scenario is basically doesn't matter.

  20. 699

    So sorry to hear about Brad! Thanks for the updates Paul, and keep us in the loop! Many prayers and well wishes to Brad and his family...

  21. 214

    Sorry to hear Brad's under the weather; Wish him a speedy recovery from,  we your (mostly) loyal fans.

  22. 157

    Maybe you and Brad's gimbal can make the trip. Seriously though, sorry to learn of Brad's illness and hope for a swift recovery.

  23. 2394

    Wishing you well, Brad. Sorry to hear you couldn't go there, even if no one seemed too jazzed to do it.

  24. 5501

    Hope you're okay Brad!

  25. 5592

    So Apple developers get less than three years backward compatibility from "You must support this API in your code" to "Any code not using this API will not run"?

    Guess nobody had better have legacy code they actually rely on.

    And their fans wonder why they never managed to get in business...

    • 4039

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      In reply to MikeGalos:
      Yes, this will be a huge deal for me.  After years of using iPhone, I finally got an iPad Air 2 two years ago.  I had lots of iOS games and apps that I had purchased (for family sharing) over the years and was looking forward to using them on iPad.  Then I discovered that open secret that nobody talks about.  There may be a billion apps, but you can't necessarily run older apps on current iOS devices.  And, as this is iOS, forget running a "DOSBox" equivalent that will let you run old apps.

      Luckily, I have had iOS devices in the family for so long that I used to have all of my apps backed up on iTunes on my PC.  I have a LOT of games backed up that way - lots and lots of them will still run on a current iPad, but you cannot actually DOWNLOAD them from the iTunes store any longer (even through the "Purchases" section).  I AM able to sync with iTunes and copy them over that way.

      Anyway... I still have a quite a few apps (mostly games) that have not been updated by the provider in years, and will certainly never get a 64-bit update.  I can expect basically ALL of these apps to become non-usable with iOS11.

      Kind of defeats the purpose of having a platform with such an extensive app library.

      Clearly, while iOS has been around long enough to have a "legacy" status, it clearly does not have the same kind of compatibility with "legacy" apps that the Windows platform does....

      • 5592

        In reply to bsd107:

        Exactly. And even more the case for departmental apps where the dev no longer works for the company and did it as a fun side project.

      • 6171

        In reply to bsd107:
        The secret to Microsoft's success, primarily, is Windows' backwards compatibility with software and hardware.  Apple sells a very fixed, limited set of hardware with each new device and each new iteration of an old device--so there's never much concern at Apple for backwards compatibility in terms of hardware and software support--you might say Apple is like the old GM of the 70's--it builds obsolescence in as a part of the product...;)  I consider Apple like AOL--as AOL is the "training wheels" to get some people familiar with Internet and how it works, so is Apple with computer tech.  Once you are no longer a n00b you can discard AOL, and Apple, too.  You appear to be moving out of the n00b category as you can identify what's wrong with the Apple model--the more you learn about systems outside of Apple the more hobbled and limited Apple computing products will appear to you.  I have never owned an Apple product since I started computing in the mid '80's, and I never will, for the reasons you cite and many more.  Cell phones just don't do much for my interest level, I'm afraid.  But for all intents and purposes, Apple hasn't been a computer company since Jobs removed the word "Computer" from the company name years ago--today it's strictly a cell-phone company, imo. "Apple Computer" has been dead for years--since Jobs killed it off, imo.


    • 7191

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      I'm willing to guess that there is not a ton of legacy code in apps written for a platform that's barely 10 years olf. All the popular iOS apps are regularly updated. Also, in modern times and for most apps, moving from 32-bit to 64-bit is just a matter of checking a box in your IDE.

    • 10158

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      It is what Apple has always done. PowerPC got a clean break as well. It's bad in that legacy apps may go unnecessarily obsolete, but it also means that the OS can stay lean and modern without legacy cruft. What helps Apple succeed on iOS is what holds MS back on mobile. UWP has such poor adoption because there's little incentive to move away from Win32. 

    • 313

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      mobile OS's are quite different than desktop ones.  And in the vast majority of cases making the switch to 64bit is literally checking the box to say compile in 64 bit.

      • 5592

        In reply to wunderbar:

        Which only happens if the company (or department) is still around to recompile it and cares to. Got any apps installed that haven't been the developer's focus or revenue source for a while? Or that they don't feel like hassling with when it made them a few hundred dollars a few years ago and then cost them many hours of support time from users who think support should be free for their $1.99 "investment"? Or that never made money at all but counted on "ad revenue" that worked out to maybe paying for a dinner once a year?


  26. 265

    Speedy and full recovery for Brad and thanks for the update.  

  27. 5234

    ...hope you had cancellation insurance.

  28. 5234

    Maybe they just need to make a Super Donkey Kong Run, and a Super Zelda Run, and then they could triple their profits....right?

  29. 5577

    So really what this says is that Apple is going to shift fully to 64 bit way before Microsft is finished.

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