• News / Splatfest: SpringFest is taking place on the 20th of April!

    The has been officially confirmed now for April 20th!

    From April 20th at 1am BST to April 22nd at 1am BST, splat it out for one of these teams:

    Baby Chicks, Li’l Bunnies or Bear Cubs.

    Also, be sure to be on your lookout for SpringFest gear via the News app on your Switch. Nintendo has started distributing gear for it in Japan, not sure about other regions yet.

    @[email protected]

    — Splatoon Unofficial :inkling: (@[email protected])2024-04-05T10:47:58.195Z

    Splatoon 3’s latest Splatfest will see Baby Chicks, Li’l Bunnies, and Bear Cubs facing off to see which one’s the (cutest) fan favourite. Japan will be participating this time round, so the Splatfest will be taking place globally once more.

  • Last night, Oman (Repflez) and I got together to answer the rverse community’s questions on our recent rebranding, the service’s future, and more. You can watch the two hour (I’m so sorry) Q&A on YouTube!


  • As I wrote on our official Discord server:

    Tomorrow, April 5th, 2024, at a time yet to-be-determined, Oman and Slade will be doing a live streamed Q&A on our recent rebrand, our direction following Nintendo Network’s closure, among other things. If you have questions for us, please drop them here so we know what’s going to come up — You may ask as many as you’d like for now, and we’ll answer a few of the most popular ones from this form on stream tomorrow, but of course, you’ll be able to ask follow ups from us live as well!

    [By submitting a question, you consent to having your question asked and answered live on stream. This form will be disabled on Friday about three hours prior to the stream, and responses will be fully destroyed on Monday, April 8th, 2024.]

    Please click/tap here (or the linklog entry on the SladeWatkins.net site) to ask a question. I will share out the stream tomorrow when it starts.


  • So, I’m actually also curious: is this even allowed? Maybe we’ll find out, but in my quick Google search–I can’t find any APIs that make this happen. I’m almost definitely missing something here, so take that with a grain of salt, but this feels like it might be against Terms of Service, even if it is a really great (and clever) marketing tactic!!

  • Callum Booth from The Verge writes:

    Fundamentally, in their current state, third-party iOS app stores like AltStore will only be attractive to power users, groups of enthusiasts who are desperate to solve niche issues or have particular interests in something they can’t get on the App Store, like a fully functioning clipboard manager or game emulator.

    I don’t know if I necessarily agree with the “ONLY” argument there, given the sentiment online — however I don’t think Booth is entirely wrong either. Apple’s malicious compliance (with the Core Technology Fee) is also a big issue, and I have a feeling the EU isn’t done with the company on that front.

    Only time will tell. Check out their hands on at the link here or above.

  • Google has a problem: despite being the literal parent of Android, they can’t get Android updates (or substantial Feature Drops) to their products in a timely manner. Yeah, Google, despite your huge media marketing campaigns to the contrary, I noticed the last two Feature Drops have been very… small. Updates have either been consistently late, or never appear at all on their old (or even new) premium phones as they promise to. I think I’ve maybe gotten two new features on Pixel 6 in the last four Feature Drops? That phone isn’t that old, and it was the first Tensor Pixel!

    There’s no excuse.

    I don’t know how Google has managed to fail so spectacularly at literally anything they do. The fact that Samsung is way ahead of Google on Android updates and feature releases that lay underneath One UI is a kick in the balls for Google. Samsung are a third-party that builds on top of Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code, they have no reason to be so far ahead of Google. I cannot understate how bad this is for Google as a company.

    They have no credibility. They consistently shut down services with no recourse and little notice. If they want to fix this problem, I think they need to get aggressive and do the following two things:

    1. Google must match software and hardware support for the Pixel 6 and 7 series, as well as the Fold and Tablet, to that of the Pixel 8. 7 years total, across the board, from the original launch date. They need to prove their commitment to their Tensor hardware and software experiences, this is how they do that. I’m not saying they need to bring every feature (that’s certainly not feasible), but if some Pixel 8 features can run on Pixel 7, there’s no reason they can’t run on Pixel Tablet or even Pixel 6 depending on complexity.
      • Pixel 6 has barely received any new features besides OS updates since launching in October 2021. It is planned to be barred from feature updates in October 2024. That is unacceptable.
    2. With Android 15, non-Tensor Pixel devices will be unsupported on Google’s own flavor of Android (“stock” as it’s commonly called). This is the perfect opportunity to reimagine feature drops. Put more in there for those on older devices! Keep them alive and kicking. Not forever, but at least until the end of their limited shelf life. Less e-waste is a great thing for the environment, you know!

    Google has a bit of a reputation problem. I don’t know if they have a team in charge of killing services or something, but it seems to happen a lot, and there’s a graveyard dedicated to them at this point.

    I hold Rick Osterloh and Dave Burke, who essentially lead Pixel and Android respectively, in high regard. They’re awesome to the Android community and always have been! But, they need to get on their A-game if they want to restore their reputation. Articles like this one from Android Authority, which accuses Google of breaking their promises, shouldn’t be cropping up. It’s time to take control and do right by their consumers and community.

  • Pixel Fold Gets “Circle to Search”

    After I initially got it wrong on reddit, Google is in fact rolling out “Circle to Search” to Pixel Fold users right now (via 9to5Google). Why they’ve waited so long to give features to their most premium flagship phone will always be beyond me. Point is, this feature is becoming available in supported markets now.

  • It has been approximately 84 years since Google redesigned their status bar icons. Historically, Android has used unsegmented and very accessibility unfriendly indicators for Wi-Fi and cellular signal strength on Android since version 5.0 Lollipop in 2015. However, according to Mishaal Rahman, it seems like they may finally be returning to the better looking segmented indicator icons used in 4.4 KitKat and earlier.

    Honestly, they look pretty good, although the battery icon needs some love (it doesn’t look amazing.) They’re not enabled by default, but Mishaal was able to get them enabled manually for his article.

    I wish I could enable them now, honestly… I strongly prefer segmented icons, and I feel that’s a place where Apple and Samsung have always done it better.

  • It should come as no surprise that I don’t like Microsoft. I grew up on Ubuntu Linux, but was forced to use Windows when my parents got married. We had XP on the family computer, and then I eventually got my own computer that had Windows 8.1 (later downgraded to 7 literally for Aero Glass) on it.

    In 2016, I switched to Mac and haven’t returned to using Windows as my primary OS ever since. macOS and I have become very well acquainted over the years. That said, I have always kept a Windows computer around, mainly just for games. The two Windows computers I have now still run Windows 10. There are good things about 11 (the design is actually really pretty) but I think the performance is a significant downgrade from 10 and 7. I have fast computers so that they go fast. 11 is not a “fast” version of Windows.

    I also hate how they shove Edge down your throat, disrespect your defaults, collect your data and advertise to you (despite the fact that the OS is literally paid), among other things. I worry about the implications of that fact…

    Until 2022, I used a 2014 Mac mini and 2011 MacBook Pro (the latter with patches to get it relatively up to date) in combination with each other for a while. Both had SSDs, and I kept everything synced over iCloud so it was easy to drop a project on one computer and pick it up on another. AirDrop was indispensable to me in high school, and having my Mac be able to interact (without setup!) with my iPad and other devices was super helpful.

    In 2022, I switched to Apple silicon — M2, specifically. My tiny 13-inch MacBook Pro absolutely obliterates both of my other x86_64 based computers running Windows 10. Combined. And the Windows 11 VM I have in Parallels also leaves those computers in the dust, too. ARM certainly isn’t a new thing — Linux enthusiasts like me have enjoyed the benefits of it for years now — but Apple has absolutely found their way here.

    Apple isn’t free from criticism. No one is. But they have an advantage here, and they deserve to be applauded for making decent software. (Even if the new System Settings app introduced in macOS 13 is a joke.)

  • It’s official, Apple has shuttered Epic Games’ ability to create an “alternative app marketplace” on iOS–shutting down their Swedish developer account on the 6th of March. It seems that Tweets critical of the company by Epic Games‘ CEO recently may have sparked the response. Despite Epic Games trying to operate in good faith with Apple, the multi-trillion dollar company chose a path of bad faith: shuttering the competition before they even stood a chance. It’s sad to see–I’ve spent several years now as an Apple customer, even recently switching back to using their devices primarily, but now I can’t trust them on mobile.

    The biggest reason is that developers are going to stop trusting them soon enough. Frankly, Apple is becoming the very thing they sought to destroy almost forty some-odd years ago. The fact that they’re becoming more and more litigious is enough evidence, to be honest.

    The company is simply on a power trip, fueled by a hunger for control and dominance over every industry in which they take part, even if that means costing themselves a significant amount of goodwill among their vast community of developers and enthusiasts. At least Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer understood that developers mean everything to a thriving platform. That said, Ballmer was controversial as a CEO, and most of that reputation is his own fault.

    Every move the company has made, from RCS support and beyond (especially recently), has been done in a way that is nothing short of malicious compliance. Developers from across the industry, including several third-party developer alums, have come together and spoken out against these moves. Whether it’s independently, or through the Coalition for App Fairness, or through some other alliance.

    Spotify, for example, is a member of the Coalition whose CEO was incredibly vocal against the proposed DMA rules set forth by Apple. They released another letter to the European Commission on Apple’s “lack of DMA compliance” just last week. Apple responded, with an incredibly anger-filled press release on Monday:

    “Today, Spotify has a 56 percent share of Europe’s music streaming market — more than double their closest competitor’s — and pays Apple nothing for the services that have helped make them one of the most recognizable brands in the world. A large part of their success is due to the App Store, along with all the tools and technology that Spotify uses to build, update, and share their app with Apple users around the world.”

    Keep in mind, the EU recently fined them €1.84 billion EURO ($2 billion USD) as a result of the anti-trust litigation between them, Spotify, and this is just a result of their distaste in their loss. The fact of the matter is–the Apple beast has become too powerful. We, the consumers, have given them this power–and we’re the only ones who can seize it once more.

    Google isn’t exactly a saint either, to be clear. They’ve had their own myriad of bullshit and muddy bodies of antitrust and litigation of all sorts that would take ages to wade through. However–Android has, and will continue to be, an open platform in both source and user choice for as long as the Android Open Source Project exists and smartphone manufacturers (who aren’t Apple) continue making phones.

    For Apple to succeed in interfacing with developers in the long-term–beyond their evangelists and most dedicated users who have zero understanding of how Android, Windows, or Linux works–they must stop alienating them and being so disrespectful when given constructive feedback. I’m not sure why their knee-jerk reaction is to play the victim card so much, especially when I’m sure they have a million other cards to play, but they continue to choose it.

    For sympathy? Probably.

    I believe it’s time for us iOS users to rebel in the only way Apple has given us the ability to do: take our business elsewhere. The grass is certainly greener on the other side of the wall. Even DHH, a well-known lover AND critic of Apple (being an Apple evangelist for a long ass time–perhaps 99% of my life–will do that), has switched to Android and Windows and has no reason to leave for a while.

    Wild that we’ve gotten here. I’m doing the same thing, too–plotting my course out of the “ecosystem.” Perhaps it is that time. If Apple has a sincere change of heart, sure, but I don’t think developers are going to stick around for long with their attitude lately. Without developers, a platform is nothing. Without COMPETITION, a developer is nothing. If Apple truly is seeking to destroy both, iOS may as well be deemed irrelevant now.

    Unless you want to eventually be stuck without any third-party apps in the future… I’d start looking at your options and plotting your exit plan. Samsung Galaxy S is probably the closest choice, but Google Pixel has a great line, too. That’s my take.