Apple told me today that it will be extending AppleTV+ subscriptions that are set to end November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021 through their billing date in February of 2021.
The basic situation is that Apple gave away a free year of AppleTV+ to new device purchasers last year and those are all set to end in November. Apple knows everyone is still looking at a tough winter ahead filled with COVID-related restrictions so it’s bumping those subs out to February.
Monthly users whose subscription start date is before November 1st, 2020 also get a deal, with a $4.99 credit (the cost of an AppleTV+ subscription) appearing for November, December and January 2021. You do not have to do anything to receive the credit and users will be getting emails notifying them of these extensions/credits.
And, of course, if it gets to hold the total sub number steady through Q4 of a tough economic year so much the better, right?
AppleTV+ had a bit of a slow burn start, with a big sub onramp in the form of devices and some high profile launches that were tempered by early reviews of their marquee programming. But people warmed to the shows over time.
I believed at the time that it was a bit of natural sugar crash happening.
People love Apple . People seem to really like the morning show. Critics disliked the morning show. I think it’s absolutely correct to say it got a down draft because it was reviewed as a launch package.
Whether anyone should care when you complain is another thing https://t.co/l71GUQ2Ymt
— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) November 19, 2019
That proved out over time as The Morning Show ended up winning AppleTV+ its first Prime Time Emmy award.
Total award nominations for Apple
A couple years ago Amazon’s checkout-free Go store made worldwide headlines and ushered in a new shopping concept. Now, as was inevitable, there are signs that checkout-free technology is proliferating and will soon be a reality in a location near you.
The latest example comes to us by way of the University of Houston, where an on-campus convenience store will become the first retrofitted, completely touchless and cashierless retail experience.
The emphasis on the word retrofitted is important here. Amazon Go stores were build from the ground up to interact atop a touchless infrastructure. But for the concept to proliferate quickly, existing stores will need to be retrofitted with the same technologies without undergoing a major overhaul. Amazon is selling its Go technology to other retailers, but there are other companies competing in the same market. The company behind the University of Houston store, Standard, thinks that’s where it will carve out a major customer base for itself.
“Market Next is the first retail store in the world to be retrofitted for a 100 percent cashierless, checkout-free experience,” said Jordan Fisher, Co-Founder and CEO of Standard. “Our platform is the only system on the market proven to retrofit an entire retail experience. Innovative retailers like Chartwells use the AI-powered Standard platform to enable shoppers to grab any product they want and simply walk out, without waiting in line. We are excited to partner with Chartwells to deliver this groundbreaking technology to more locations around the country.”
Standard was early out of the gate in the autonomous checkout space. It was the first to open a cashierless store in San Francisco and was named “One of The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company. The company has raised $86M in funding.
The use of a college campus mirrors
Pikmin 3 Deluxe launches on Nintendo Switch later this month, but players will have a chance to sample it before then. During today’s Treehouse Live stream, Nintendo announced that a free Pikmin 3 Deluxe demo is coming to the eShop tonight. The demo is now live, and you’ll unlock some things in the full game for playing it.
If you can defeat the final boss at the end of the demo, you’ll unlock the Ultra-Spicy difficulty in the full version of Pikmin 3 Deluxe right from the outset. Ultra-Spicy is a brand-new difficulty option for Pikmin veterans that caps your Pikmin field limit at 60, making the experience more challenging.
A demo for #Pikmin 3 Deluxe will be available this evening on Nintendo #eShop! The demo version features save-data transfer with the full game! Completing it also gives immediate access to the Ultra-Spicy difficulty mode in the full game, and other perks! pic.twitter.com/rFs5iKSNmC
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) October 7, 2020
Additionally, Nintendo has confirmed that the Pikmin 3 Deluxe demo allows you to carry over your save data to the full game, so you’ll be able to pick up where you left off when it launches.
We learned a few other new details about Pikmin 3 Deluxe during the Treehouse Live stream. Nintendo confirmed that motion controls and pointer functionality will return as optional control methods. The company also showed off some new features being introduced in this Switch version, including the Piklopedia–which catalogues all the enemies you’ve defeated–and the new side story missions starring Olimar and Louie.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe launches on October 30. You can learn more about the game in our Pikmin 3 Deluxe preorder guide.
That wasn’t all that we saw during the Treehouse Live stream. As advertised, the company also showcased more of
A new month means a new round of free PlayStation Plus games. Starting later today, PS Plus subscribers can claim Vampyr and Need for Speed Payback. You still have a few days to add September’s free games to your library, so make sure to snag them if you haven’t already.
Developed by Dontnod Entertainment–the studio behind the Life is Strange series–Vampyr is an action-RPG that flew under the radar when it released in 2018. You play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, a man who took a hippocratic oath to help the citizens of London but now finds himself a newly turned vampire. This understandably creates a moral dilemma, and there’s also a widespread influenza outbreak that is threatening the population. Your choices in Vampyr truly matter, altering both the gameplay and the story. It earned a 7/10 in GameSpot’s Vampyr review.
Racing fans can pick up Need for Speed Payback, the 2017 entry in the long-running series developed by Ghost Games. Payback is set in an open-world environment based off of Las Vegas. Payback has both online multiplayer and a single-player story mode featuring three playable characters with differentiated skills. It has more than 70 vehicles to race with. While Payback is definitely one of the more underwhelming entries in the series–it earned a 5/10 in our Need for Speed Payback review–now you can check it out for free.
Ahead of the arrival of these titles, it looked as if we had gotten a bonus PS Plus game, Bloodborne, although it appears to have simply been an error and has now been removed.
For those who are planning on upgrading to the PS5, PlayStation Plus will soon have a new perk. Sony recently announced the Plus Collection, which will give
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Of course, Microsoft is using the course to illustrate to beginners what’s available in Azure artificial-intelligence services, such as Azure Cognitive Services and Azure