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Microsoft Bringing Xbox Games, Game Pass To All The Platforms It Can Reach

Xbox Game Pass is a relatively new service which MIcrosoft has been having some success with, allowing Xbox One owners unlimited play on a large selection of game titles for one low monthly price. On top of your Xbox Live Gold low monthly price. And of course you'll also have to spring for the Xbox to make this all work.

That last requirement may not be valid much longer, as Microsoft looks to bring the service to more users. To do that it will extend the reach of the pass to new platforms.

Making it available for Windows PC users seems like a no brainer; but news that Microsoft will bring it to the Nintendo Switch too has been leaking all week. That suggests MIcrosoft and Nintendo will be working together not only to make this happen but also to bring more games to the Switch. Presumably at least some of them from Microsoft's own studios.

Why would Microsoft do this?

It's the same play that Microsoft has been making in the business apps market. Making Office available on…

Apple No Longer Open For Business In Eastern Texas

Apple has confirmed that it will be closing all of its stores within the limits of Eastern Texas in response to the district court's reputation as being a happy hunting ground for patent trolls.

By no longer carrying on a business within the court's jurisdiction, Apple will no longer have to face cases in this notoriously troll friendly location.

At the same time, Apple is reported to be asking for a review of the $400m judgement against it in favour of VirnetX. The review has been requested at the US Federal Court and looks to have a re-examination of a highly suspect damages award issued in... you guessed it, the Eastern District Texas court.

Huawei Might Just Render The Galaxy Fold Obsolete Before It's Even On Sale

An image posted to Twitter showing posters being setup for the launch of the Huawei Mate X show a phone which looks to be generation ahead of Samsung's newly announced Galaxy Fold.
The image which can be found here and shows a phone with a display which wraps around the outside of the phone and looks much more like a modern phone when closed as a result. Presumably it also allows for a single high quality camera array to serve both for selfie and normal photography.
Not that the Mate X is going to be an automatic winner. Creating a case which protects that screen in your pocket or on your table is going to be challenging, whilst it's going to require an enormous car mount.
Other than being a crowd pleaser I'm not yet convinced of the value of folding phones. The additional screen real estate when unfolded doesn't quite balance the problems inherent in building a folding phone today.

I Don’t Know How To Say This, But Using A Phone As A Wireless Charger Is Just Absurd

Samsung has a new feature on the Galaxy S10 which allows you to charge others devices wirelessly, just by placing them on the back of the phone. Apple is strongly rumoured to be offering the same feature on the 2019 iPhone.

Now, I love wireless charging, it's one of the greatest recent innovations in the smartphone arena. But charging something on the back of your phone makes no sense at all.

Strike one - your phone is mostly in your pocket, so making use of the wireless charging capability is virtually impossible here, unless you use elastic bands to hold the two devices together. When the phone is on your desk it's generally going to be face up so unless you want to balance it on top of whatever you're going to be charging, which doesn't seem to be something which will work very well at all. And what happens when a call comes in?

No, it's not a great idea at all. Gimmicky and not useful. Unless Apple comes up with something out of left field, the better option wi…

Basecamp Takes User Care To The Next Level

What does good customer service look like? Web service Basecamp showed one vision this month, when it took proactive action to protect its customers from leaks occurring on other websites.
In blog post Jeremy Baer detailed how the company went out of its way to protect customers from that most foolhardy of errors, re-using passwords across websites.
Basecamp ended up having to force reset the passwords of 5% of its user base after identifying them as being compromised in one of this year's password mega hacks.
If more companies took this same action the internet would be a substantially better place.
Oh, and just in case you haven't picked up the key message here, don't reuse passwords.

Sent from my iPad

Samsung's Galaxy Fold Is Going To Be A Pocket Buster

Would you carry two phones in your pocket? Large ones at that. The Samsung Galaxy Fold is all that and more. Ignore the pictures which are carefully stage managed to hide the most difficult feature of the phone. The gap between the two screens required to house the hinge mechanism.

Side views (which were rare) show that the Fold has a triangular projection with the two screens not sitting parallel. To the point where at its deepest point the Fold looks to be as deep as three regular phones. A similar profile to the Surface Book for example.

That's going to require some compromise on the part of Fold customers. A deep, chunky phone with an awkward profile and a gap for things to get stuck in. Not to mention that disproportionately sized front screen.

All balanced by a jaw dropping ability to unfold into a mini-tablet.

Tough choice.

Apple To Launch Credit Card In US

The Wall Street Journal says that Apple is imminently launching its own credit card, in association with Goldman Sachs. The Mastercard offering will integrate closely into the Apple Wallet app and possibly include some financial health gamification, similar to the Apple Health fitness rings.

I've long wondered why Apple hasn't moved into the financial world beyond Apple Pay partnerships. The company has the sort of capitalisation most banks could only dream of and around 380m Apple Pay users, many of whom I'm sure would jump at the chance to further their financial ties to Apple.

The financial market is ripe for disruption, and whilst fintech has had some successes and many banks are changing their operating models furiously in order to defend against the new challenge; Apple has the power and opportunity to massively profit from the fees which banks leverage to drive profitability.

Adding a financial arm to the Apple Store allows Apple to get as deep into financial servic…