Apple-No Metaverse for Headsets; Take-Two Buys Zynga; Tesla ‘Full Self-Driving’ has Assertive Mode; Google Rants About iMessage ‘Blue Bubbles’

Sorry, Meta (Facebook), but it looks like Apple isn’t too interested in joining your vaporware party. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple has rejected the idea of an all-virtual world (metaverse) for their AR/VR goggles and glasses. Cupertino plans to focus on short bursts of communication, content viewing, and gaming instead. The Apple headset, as we have reported previously, should bow this year, and most estimate it will sell for a princely $3000! (Ming-Chi Kuo disagrees with this, saying instead of 2 8k screens and a less intense one for side views, the Apple goggles will use only 4k displays and 6 or 8 cameras…and will be less costly.) Apple does seem to be focusing more on the practical augmented reality use in the ‘real universe,’ as opposed to Meta’s emphasis on the virtual world they dub the metaverse. 

Take-Two Interactive has announced it is snapping up mobile gaming firm Zynga for $12.7 billion. According to appleinsider.com, the cash and stock deal will close Q1 of 2023, and it will make Take-Two Interactive one of the biggest publishers of mobile games. Take-Two is most famous for Grand Theft Auto, and also makes BioShock and Red Dead. Zynga is known for Words with Friends, Farm Heroes, and Zynga Poker, but first burst into gaming on Facebook with their signature game FarmVille. 

Here’s something we all (don’t) need: the latest beta of Tesla ‘Full Self-Driving’ mode has an ‘Assertive’ mode…which allows rolling stops (known everywhere in the country except California as ‘California stops!’ Engadget.com says the update originally hit in October as v. 10.3, but was pulled in 2 days due to a bug that affected traffic light left turns, unexpected stopping, and other issues. It had 3 modes…’Chill,’ ‘Average,’ and ‘Assertive.’ Well now it’s back. The notes indicate “in this profile, your Model X will have a smaller follow distance, perform more frequent speed lane changes, will not exit passing lanes and may perform rolling stops.” Apparently, the rolling stops also happens in ‘Average’ mode, too. What will it set you back to get this illegal feature? A couple grand more than last week. Elon Musk announced that Tesla is jacking up the price of ‘Full Self-Driving’ from $10,000 to $12,0000! As has been pointed out, neither this mode nor Tesla’s Autopilot is rally self-driving….Level 4. Both are still just Level 2 advanced driver assistance.

In a new rant about one of Apple’s ‘walled garden’ with regard to iMessage. 9to5google.com reports that Google Senior VP of Platforms and Ecosystems Hiroshi Lockheimer has blasted the lock in Apple builds into iMessage. As Apple users know, when you get a message from another Apple user, it appears in a blue bubble. Anything from Android or other systems gets a green bubble. Lockheimer complains that Apple’s non-support of Rich Communications Services locks teens and ‘tweens into the Apple system. It’s a status thing for them to have the ‘blue bubble’ in their texts. If Apple supported the RCS, it would modernize SMS/MMS with iMessage type features, too…like typing indicators with read receipts, higher-quality photos, ability to send over Wi-Fi/mobile data, and Business Messaging. Google accuses Apple of bullying in the messaging world. It seems unlikely that Apple will give up their advantage to ‘poor, little Google’ anytime soon!



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