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2021-10-21 19:43:38| Engadget

Innersloth has been promisingfor months that it will bring Among Us to Xbox and PlayStation sometime this year. Sure enough, the Mafia-style social deduction game is coming to PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on December 14th.Just like on PC, Among Us will be included with Xbox Game Pass on consoles. Those on PlayStation, meanwhile, will get an exclusive Ratchet & Clank cosmetic at a later date. Among Us has crossplay support, so you'll be able to play with friends across PC, Nintendo Switch and mobile.Innersloth also revealed details about the physical editions of Among Us for PlayStation, Xbox and Switch. Along with the base game and all of the DLC, the $30 Crewmate Edition includes a poster of the Skeld map, stickers and a holographic card. That version will hit Europe on December 14, Japan and South Korea two days later, and then the US, Canada and Latin America on January 11th.The $50 Impostor Edition includes the same gear as the Crewmate package, along with a purple crewmate plush, an enamel pin and a lanyard. The $90 Ejected Edition comes with even more goodies, including a steelbook case, a beanie and, best of all, a fleece blanket. Both of those editions will ship in spring 2022.Among Usexploded in popularity in 2020, two years after its debut, as Twitch streamers and YouTubers started playing it en masse. People were also looking for ways to connect with their friends during COVID-19 lockdowns and, for many, lying to their buds about what they were doing in Among Us' med bay fit the bill perfectly. It's coming to Xbox and PlayStation just in time for more people to play and argue with their loved ones over the holiday season.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-10-21 19:35:41| Engadget

Google plans to bring Androids work profile feature to more devices. If youre not familiar with the tool, it separates your work and personal apps from one another and adds a toggle to your phone you can use to disable the former when you need to disconnect.When you flip the switch, any work-related apps you have installed on your device cant send you notifications and access your location. It also silos the data from your personal apps, ensuring that your companys IT department cant access your personal information.At the moment, the tool is only available to enterprise customers, but starting in 2022 Google will begin rolling it out to Workspace users. It then plans to make it available to other identity providers. This will eventually allow anyone using Android for business purposes to separate work and personal apps in one interface and pause all work-related apps in one click, the company said. The features expansion should be of great help to business owners and freelancers but nearly anyone can benefit from having a better work-life balance.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-10-21 19:20:41| Engadget

Twitter is willing to spend to bolster direct messaging. CNBCnotes Twitter has acquired the chat app Sphere for an unspecified amount. Engineering VP Nick Caldwell said the move would speed up development for DMs, Communities and Creators. There were no specific clues as to what was coming next, but Sphere said was "winding down" its app in November. You won't see a repurposed Sphere app, then.Sphere is notable not just for its features (it focuses on "essential" messages and clearing out clutter), but on the tech industry star power surrounding the app. The company is the product of Nick D'Aloisio, a serial entrepreneur who caught attention even as a teen he sold Summly to Yahoo (now Engadget's parent company) when he was 17. His latest venture has high-profile investors, including co-founders from Airbnb and Tinder. While Sphere isn't particularly large with just 20 staffers headed to Twitter, there were clearly high hopes before the acquisition.The purchase is a fitting one. Twitter has poured much of its recent energy into DMs and helping creators form communities. Twitter could weave Sphere's focused community features throughout its social network and better compete against Instagram and other rivals that thrive on private messaging and influential figures.The Sphere teams expertise and leaderships passion for finding ways to help people connect will help accelerate our Communities, DM, and Creators roadmaps. Nick Caldwell (@nickcald) October 20, 2021

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-10-21 19:09:08| Engadget

Google is cutting Play Store service fees for more developers. The company currently charges a 30 percent commission for the first 12 months of a recurring subscription, which drops to 15 percent after the first year. Starting on January 1st, Google will lower the service fee to 15 percent from day one. The company said it's making the change because developers say "customer churn makes it challenging for subscription businesses to benefit from that reduced rate."Elsewhere, fees for music streaming apps and e-books will be as low as 10 percent. "The new rates recognize industry economics of media content verticals and make Google Play work better for developers and the communities of artists, musicians and authors they represent," Sameer Samat, vice president of product management for Android and Google Play, wrote in a blog post. The service fees for apps "primarily offering video, audio or books in which users pay to consume content" will be between 10 and 15 percent if they meet certain conditions as part of the Play Media Experience Program.Earlier this year, Google reduced its Play Store fees from 30 percent to 15 percent for the first $1 million in annual income that an app generates. The company said that move would cut the fees that 99 percent of Android developers pay the company by half.Apple has also slashed App Store fees in certain cases over the last two years. Apps that make under $1 million in annual revenue, news organizations who use Apple News and some streaming video services give Apple 15 percent of payments rather than the standard 30 percent. However, as CNBC notes, Apple still takes a 30 percent slice of subscriptions for the first year before lowering its cut to 15 percent, so Google's making its move before Apple this time around.Google and Apple have been facing more intense antitrust scrutiny over their app stores in recent times. Dozens of state attorneys general filed suit against Google in July, in which they accused the company of maintaining a monopoly over Android app distribution.Both companies are tangled up in litigation with Epic Games as well. Apple largely won its case against Epic, though it asked for a stay in the sole ruling in Epic's favor: a requirement to let App Store developers direct users to alternate forms of making payments. Google, meanwhile, countersued Epic this month for bypassing fees on in-app purchases and allegedly violating the Play Store developer agreement.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2021-10-21 19:00:49| Engadget

At I/O 2021, Google reiterated its commitment to Matter with a handful of smart home-related Nest and Android updates. If you need a refresher, Matter was known as Project CHIP, or Connected Home over IP, before a rebranding this past May. Its a pact between some of the biggest companies in tech, including Google, Amazon and Apple, that aims to bring standardization to the fragmented smart home space. When it launches in the first half of 2022, it will support a variety of voice assistants and networking protocols, including Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri as well as WiFi, Thread and Bluetooth LE.At its simplest, the promise of Matter is that youll be able to buy a new device and it will simply work with your existing smart home setup. To support that vision, Google is introducing new tools to help developers build and integrate Matter devices into its wider smart home ecosystem. It starts with a new but familiar name for the companys smart home devices and developer platform: Google Home. By bringing our platform and tools under the same roof, it gives us a simpler way to show you why and how integrating your devices with Google Home makes them more accessible and helpful across the Google ecosystem, the company said.As part of the rebranding, will launch a redesigned Developer Center early next year. It says the dashboard will include everything developers need to build devices and applications that work with the wider Google Home ecosystem. It will support Matter at launch and Google will release two software development kits. The first of those is a Google Home Device SDK. The company says it will be one of the fastest ways to create Matter devices. Google also plans to update Nest and Android devices to support the protocol, a move it says will enable the seamless setup of Matter devices on those platforms. Once it rolls out the update, Google claims the process of adding a new smart home will be as easy as connecting a new set of headphones. One of the other ways the company hopes to support developers is by allowing them to create their own suggested routines.For Google, the motive for doing all of this is straightforward. The easier it can make it for third-party developers to integrate their devices and applications with Google Home, the better experience consumers will find. In turn, theyll be more likely to invest in the companys ecosystem.

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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