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<div><span style="font-size: small;">It has been a busy year for Apple, although one could argue it has been more of a busy few months. The yearly updates for most of Apple's products now occur in September and October, and as a result we've seen the release of a number of new products and services in a very short period of time. On the hardware side we have the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the iPad Air 2 and Mini 3, the iMac with Retina 5K display, and a preview of the upcoming Apple Watch. The software side has arguably been even more exciting with the release of iOS 8 and its first major update iOS 8.1, OS X Yosemite, and Apple Pay.&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">The theme this year appears to be integration and the power of a software and hardware ecosystem. Apple has always had some level of integration between iOS and OS X. As time went on, both operating systems began to share a core set of applications like Reminders, Calendar, and Notes. The iPad extended this even further by bringing the iWork and iLife suites to mobile. iCloud also played a key role in integrating both systems, by synchronizing documents and photos between all of a user's devices. However, the launch of iOS 7 with its visual and functional enhancements left many of the shared features and applications on OS X feeling left behind.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">OS X Yosemite brings with it a massive visual overhaul, on a scale even greater than what we saw with iOS 7. This makes sense, as OS X is an operating system for desktops and laptops which makes it inherently more expansive and complex than iOS. Although OS X is not nearly as popular as iOS in terms of user base, the fact that the redesign changes some visual elements that have existed for over 14 years makes it quite a monumental moment in Apple's history. These changes finally unify the visual styles of both operating systems, which were once united but split with the launch of iOS 7.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">The integration of these two operating systems goes far beyond a common type of visual design. OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1 also include new features that allow them to work together in unprecedented ways. Features like Handoff blur the borders between the iPhone, the Mac, and the iPad by allowing you to continue work you began on one device on another. SMS and call forwarding takes communication abilities that were typically reserved for the iPhone and brings them to every device.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://anandtech.com/show/8629/looking-at-os-x-yosemite-and-ios-81" target="_blank">Read more...</a></span></div>

06 Oct 2013 - The iOS 7 Review

There’s no doubt about it, this iOS update is one of the largest in Apple’s history. In the wake of the iPhone 5 launch, there was a considerable amount of criticism that iOS’ visual design was beginning to get stale. The core of the interface hadn’t really changed in either visual appearance or function. With iOS 7, those pundits get their wishes granted, as almost every part of the OS gets some kind of change.

The new UI is a dramatic reimagining of the core of Apple’s mobile operating system for iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads. The most obvious superficial change is a completely new visual appearance with a new emphasis on minimalism and simplicity. At the same time, iOS 7 is always in motion, with transitions and other effects almost everywhere you look in the OS. It’s a change that’s bound to be jarring and solicit mixed reactions initially like all redesigns are, but our thoughts have solidified since running the earliest betas up until the latest GM.

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<p><span style="font-size: small; ">Blizzard&rsquo;s latest iteration of their hack &lsquo;n slash Diablo series is making plenty of news, and we managed to get a copy for testing purposes. If you haven&rsquo;t read much about Diablo III, the short skinny is that it&rsquo;s not particularly demanding when it comes to desktop hardware. Laptops on the other hand, that&rsquo;s a different matter. We&rsquo;ve had some requests to show how the various IGPs and mainstream mobile GPUs handle the game, and with hardware and software in hand we&rsquo;ve run some tests to provide answers. Just how much GPU do you need to take on the forces of hell while untethered ?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: small; "><a href="http://www.anandtech.com/show/5865/laptop-graphics-face-off-diablo-iii-performance" target="_blank">Read more...</a></span></p>
<p><span style="font-size: small;">Let's draw a distinction between a &ldquo;sequel to a game&rdquo; and an &ldquo;installment in a franchise.&rdquo; In a sequel, the developers examine what made the original game work and then expand on those ideas. Sometimes that work produces stark differences. The near-decade between <em>Fallout II</em> and <em>Fallout III</em>, for example, saw that game switch the perspective from isometric to first-person, the combat change from turn-based to real-time with pauses, and the setting move from California to Washington, DC. In other cases, a decade of work results in an installment that is much more about incremental refinement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;">The original 1996 <em>Diablo</em> was a successful, simple title&mdash;a real-time, single-player role-playing game with randomly generated dungeons and loot along with minimal plot and character development. You clicked on things to kill them while delving deeper into a dungeon until you arrived at the very gates of Hell and found the titular villain Diablo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;">The 2000 sequel, <em>Diablo II</em>, made everything about its source material bigger and better. The core concept of clicking on bad guys until they died remained intact, but very little else stayed the same. Instead of a single setting, the town of Tristram, <em>Diablo II</em> took players across its world both above and below ground, from the European-like forests and fortresses of the first act to Arabian-style deserts in the second, etc. The plot was detailed in a series of cutscenes, where a witness to the game&rsquo;s events recounted the key moments from an insane asylum.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;">Perhaps most importantly, the game&rsquo;s class and skill system added a huge amount of variety to each style of character. The Paladin, with his auras and different attacks, was roughly as complex as the Sorceress, with her spells of different elements. This wasn&rsquo;t true of their equivalents in the first game, where Sorcerers had different spells to pick from, but Warriors could only attack and occasionally heal themselves. <em>Diablo II</em> marked a major change in the way that RPGs were played, and it proved tremendously influential on the massively multiplayer role-playing games that followed (specifically <em>World Of Warcraft)</em>, which then fed back into single-player games like <em>Dragon Age</em>.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;">Such genre-defining changes aren&rsquo;t found in <em>Diablo III</em>, which is clearly an installment in what has become the hugely successful <em>Diablo</em> franchise. Most every aspect of <em>Diablo III</em> is either identical to <em>Diablo II</em> or comes with a slight tweak of that formula. This isn&rsquo;t a bad thing. <em>Diablo II</em> was a Hall of Fame-worthy game, and an updated, graphically enhanced version of its mechanics can hardly be a bad thing, even 12 years later. Those looking for more dramatic changes may feel a bit of disappointment at seeing the series settle into a comfortable middle age. On the other hand, the mistakes and passions of youth can be exhausting; Blizzard's developers have clearly learned what works and are determined to refine it here.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><a target="_blank" href="http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/05/diablo-iii-demon-cleaving-refined/">Read more...</a><br /> </span></p>

The world economy may still be in recession but the fall of 2011 has every chance to become one of the hottest seasons in the history of the gaming industry. Despite the fact that a lot of highly anticipated projects have been postponed, battlefield 3 is out. How resource-demanding is the game that is destined to become a fave of millions in just a few weeks ?

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This legendary sequel has undergone a number of modifications and reincarnations, but one thing remains the same: everyone is impatiently looking forward to the new round of this strategy game. This year we will be enjoying Might & Magic Heroes VI and, trust me, you will need a good graphics card for that.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution has finally traded in the title of the longest-anticipated game for the title of the best AAA game of the year and maybe even an entire decade. Almost ten years after the launch of the first version, Deus Ex came back and is ready to win the hearts of many gamers all over the world. Let’s take a closer look at the technological progress that this game is going to bring to our lives.

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<p><span style="font-size: small;">Connecting multiple displays to one computer is nothing groundbreaking or new. Military, medical as well as mining industries have long been using a cloud of monitors for their respected mission-crucial tasks. Today we have two approaches to setting up a triple-monitor gaming rig. Let&rsquo;s learn more about the solutions offered by AMD and Nvidia for this matter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/amd-eyefinity-nvidia-surround.html">Read more...</a><br /> </span></p>

Textures with highest level of detail, complex shaders, surface tessellation, soft shadows with variable penumbra, super-complex antialiasing algorithms – all these things determine the visual appeal and commercial success of a contemporary 3D game. Therefore, we were very anxious to see Crysis 2 blockbuster from Electronic Arts to finally receive DirectX 11 support.

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<p><span style="font-size: small;">Fear. Different marketing strategies and promotion campaigns all over the world bet on happiness, joy, success, wealth and health. But there is one developer, who for the first time puts fear at the top of the food chain. Please meet the new gaming title &ndash; F.E.A.R 3 !</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/fear-3.html">Read more...</a><br /> </span></p>
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