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Apr 24 2014 12:59AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

GameStop, the popular video game retailer and reseller, is apparently getting into the Mac business in a big way. And not just for games; as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (via MacRumors), the company's looking to expand the operations of "Simply Mac" stores across the United States to provide Apple products to (increasingly few) locations that still don't have access to an Apple retail store.

GameStop has owned a 49.9 stake in the company since 2012, but the company extended that to full ownership in November of 2013. Currently Simply Mac only has 23 locations scattered throughout the western United States, but GameStop would like for that number to grow much larger. Indeed, the expansion comes hand-in-hand with a new focus on AT&T's mobile services in the wake of GameStop's acquisition of Spring Mobile.

Source: GJMole

According to the article, "GameStop’s confidence in rapid growth at the small chains, acquired for about $110 million last year, is buoyed by their strong ties to industry leaders AT&T and Apple. Steve Bain and Jason Ellis, the executives who built Simply Mac and Spring Mobile, continue to run the operations for GameStop and see strong growth opportunities. After opening 23 stores this year, Bain said, the company plans to open 50 more Simply Mac stores in 2015."

Such a total would bring the total to 73 stores, which marks a substantial leap over Apple's own domestic retail growth. The shift comes as the gaming retailer is in the process of closing down 130 of its 6,400 GameStop locations, and as the company attempts to diversify its offerings. CEO Paul Raines wants the GameSpot brand to be seen as "the family of specialty retailers that make your favorite technologies affordable and simple," and believes that the new Apple stores could represent 10 percent of the company's revenue by 2016.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Apr 24 2014 12:33AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Today marked the delivery of Apple's latest quarterly earnings results, as well as the latest time that the Cupertino company has exceeded Wall Street expectations. Most analyst predictions forecast that the iPhone maker would bring in only $43 billion during Q2 2014, but Apple beat those expectations with earnings of $45.6 billion. That represents $10.6 billion in profits.

As per usual, the iPhone brought in the lion's share of the wealth with the sale of 43.7 million units. That's a substantial increase over the 37.4 million sold during the same quarter last year. The iPad followed the lead with 16.35 million units (down a bit from last year's 19.5 million, and the Mac rounded off the report with 4.1 million units. In contrast most downward-tending desktop trends, the Mac sales number represents a modest increase over last year's 4 million during the same period.

Source: MacRumors

Apple also took the opportunity to announce that it will split its stock 7-for-1 beginning June 9 in order to allow newer investors to get in on some of those earnings. For existing shareholders, that means you'll receive six additional shares as of June, which will be worth 1/17 of the share's normal price.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also announced that Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of British high-end fashion brand Burberry, will be taking over as Apple's retail chief. Ahrendts' arrival marks the first time that the position has been filled since John Browett, Apple's previous retail chief, left the company in 2012.

The stock market responded to the news favorably, resulting in an after-hours stock surge of 7.89 percent. You can watch the conference call in its entirety here.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Apr 23 2014 11:48PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
​These three apps will help you clear the receipt clutter off your desk, and keep you from struggling to read many of them next tax season.






Apr 23 2014 11:11PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The next hacker playground: the open seas - and the oil tankers and container vessels that ship 90 percent of the goods moved around the planet.

Apr 23 2014 10:07PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's financial targets.

Apr 23 2014 9:35PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
If you want to transform an older Kindle into a full-blown Android tablet, all it takes is a few taps and $20.






Apr 23 2014 9:25PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge denied a bid by Apple Inc on Wednesday to hold off a trial in a case brought by state attorneys general accusing the company of conspiring with five major publishers to fix e-book prices.

Apr 23 2014 9:11PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors.

Apr 23 2014 8:48PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc just bought itself some much-needed time.

Apr 23 2014 8:24PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are expected to vote on May 15 on a new set of so-called "net neutrality" rules aimed at making certain that broadband providers do not slow down or block consumers' access to legal Internet content.

Apr 23 2014 7:11PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Zynga Inc co-founder Mark Pincus is relinquishing the last of his operational duties at the social gaming company starting on Wednesday and retreating to an advisory role as Chief Executive Officer Don Mattrick pushes through a restructuring plan.

Apr 23 2014 6:52PM EST | Source: Geek.com
OnePlus One back
Is it the titan killer? The flagship stopper? The king slayer? We don't know yet, but after spending a little time with the OnePlus One, there's one thing we know for sure: this is one heck of a smartphone.

Apr 23 2014 6:36PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors.

Apr 23 2014 6:16PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Chipmaker Xilinx Inc forecast current-quarter revenue largely below analysts' average estimate, saying it expects sales from its aerospace, defense and wired telecom customers to be flat.

Apr 23 2014 6:03PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Zynga Inc co-founder Mark Pincus is relinquishing the last of his operational duties at the social gaming company starting on Wednesday and retreating to an advisory role as Chief Executive Officer Don Mattrick pushes through a restructuring plan.

Apr 23 2014 5:53PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc on Wednesday posted its smallest quarterly revenue increase since 2010 as it wrestles with a smartphone market that is losing steam and shifting to China, sending its shares lower.

Apr 23 2014 5:42PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors.

Apr 23 2014 5:40PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's financial targets.

Apr 23 2014 5:34PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The next hacker playground: the open seas - and the oil tankers and container vessels that ship 90 percent of the goods moved around the planet.

Apr 23 2014 5:10PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

“Stealth board game” isn’t exactly a common genre, but it’s the best way to describe Hitman GO, the debut project from Square Enix’s new Montreal studio. It strips down and repurposes classic stealth mechanics from the popular console and computer assassination game series, and the result is a novel experience that’s perfectly suited for the App Store.

Hitman GO takes place on a series of game boards with a grid overlay, populated by security guards, night watchmen, and unwitting police officers. The iconically chrome-domed Agent 47 must sneak his way through each diorama, one space at a time, while completing objectives and avoiding detection by the patrolling enemies. If need be, Agent 47 can “kill” other pieces by occupying their space on the board. In keeping with the series’ tradition, 47 also has a few tricks at his disposal: a well-thrown rock can distract a wandering guard, for example, but a color-coded disguise can fool him altogether.

These goodies add extra layers of complexity to the puzzles on offer, but they build on a solid foundation of stealth gameplay: line of sight, pattern recognition, and timing are just as important to Hitman GO as they are in its more freeform predecessors. Hitman GO is to professional assassinations as chess is to medieval warfare, and the result is a more cerebral and pensive take on the series. Stubborn brute force won’t get Agent 47 very far.

Hitman GO’s larger structure is common for iOS puzzlers: you can earn up to three stars for each level, and earning these stars unlocks the later portions of the game. You might earn a star for dispatching a certain number of guards, for example, or completing objectives quickly or non-violently. These optional objectives are a nod to Hitman’s openness, but they also work well to illustrate the range of options provided by an ostensibly limited set of mechanics. 

The bottom line. Hitman GO is a clever and stylish work of alchemy, bringing elegant stealth mechanics to a new platform and a fresh genre.

Review Synopsis

Product: 

Company: 

Square Enix

Contact: 

Price: 

$4.99

Requirements: 

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later

Positives: 

Clever mix of stealth and board game mechanics. Puzzle design offers a broad range of goals and solutions. Captures the feel and atmosphere of its console cousins.

Negatives: 

Being spotted means starting over, which is a real pain for complicated, multi-step puzzles. Hitman Go also chews up battery life.

Score: 
4.5 Excellent

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