As dusk begins to set on this week's news cycle, we here at Shacknews once again get the chance to reflect over some of the newest developments in the ever-evolving mobile hardware and software market. Over the past few days, we've heard new information regarding upcoming Apple-licensed technology and accessories, plus official statements from both Nyko and Nintendo regarding issues plaguing players with third-party Switch docks. We also get a chance to look over some new video game releases and learn more about Snap Inc.'s push into the entertainment software market.
A Dock You Can Trust
Nintendo Switch owners long ago found that the popular hybrid hardware doesn't always want to play nice with third-party accessories, particularly off-branded docks from companies like Nyko. While some users seem to have had problems with such accessories from the very beginning, many started experiencing major problems, including the potential for a completely bricked system, starting with the recent release of Nintendo Switch firmware version 5.0.0.
For the past few weeks, players have been unofficially advised to stick with their default Nintendo-branded Switch dock for the time being. However, this past week we heard official statements from both Nyko and Nintendo regarding issues with bricked Switches. Nyko is still looking into the exact root of the problem, where Nintendo's advice is as simple as might be expected — if a Nintendo Switch dock isn't officially-endorsed, it's probably best to avoid using it.
You Can't Play This
Even if the company's stock and reputation aren't doing as well as shareholders might hope, Snap Inc. continues to move forward with new and often intriguing business goals. In particular, mobile users will note that Snap Inc. has recently acquired VR startup PlayCanvas, a British software development studio that specializes in browser-based video game engines. We don't yet know just what Snap is expecting to produce through this new alliance, but if Tencent's recent claim of a 12% stake in the company is any indication, it seems Snap Inc. is ready to make a push into the video game market.
Apples and Crayons
Ever a company to stay at the forefront of user interest, Apple held a new Let's Take A Field Trip presentation this week that focused on the future of Apple products as they relate to the potential for education. Among other reveals, the company showed off an all-new 9.7-inch iPad with full Apple Pencil support, plus some promising looks at how augmented reality technology could change the face of learning.
Apple also took this opportunity to reveal the new Crayon stylus. Produced in conjunction with popular PC accessory manufacturer Logitech, the Crayon is a low-cost alternative to the Apple Pencil that's aimed directly at the education market. Its $49 price tag is sure to please those who feel that the $99 Apple Pencil is overpriced, but its pared-down design and education-oriented focus may leave some fans feeling left out of the loop.
A Fun-Sized Grab Bag
The mobile games market is ever one for scattered stories, and this week has been no exception. Modojo @ Shacknews had an opportunity earlier this week to spell out details on how to connect Apple's wireless AirPod earbuds to the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, which will hopefully help sort things out for consumers more familiar with typical wired headsets. We also got a look at the latest Pokemon Go update, the likes of which includes new quests, storylines, and the long-awaited appearance of Mew.
Stoic mobile shieldmaiden Brittany Vincent has once again braved the depths of new Nintendo 3DS releases, this time diving into the charming world of The Alliance Alive in her new review. We've also learned that indie developer Chainsawesome Games' upcoming asymmetrical shooter Aftercharge will be coming to Nintendo Switch complete with cross-platform play, and players interested in learning more about the fight between invisible robots and invicible humans would do well to check out Ozzie's hands-on Aftercharge preview from GDC 2018.