Super Smash Bros. community rounds up 1.1.3 patch notes


Super Smash Bros. community rounds up 1.1.3 patch notes

Today’s been an exciting day for Super Smash Bros. for both Wii U and 3DS. While there are big changes coming down the line, today saw the addition of Cloud to the Smash Bros. roster and along with him came the newest patch for the game.

But of course, Nintendo is the model of consistency and, once again, there are no patch notes issued to spell out the character balance tweaks. So once again, we turn to the gaming heroes at the Smashboards forums to lend a helping hand.

Last updated: 12/16 12:20PM PT

Bowser

  • Up throw angle, damage, hitbox modifiers changed
  • Flying Slam (Side + B) and Dash Slam (Side + B – Custom 1) post-grab and jump animations are faster. Invincibility frames added during post-grab and flip.
  • Up + B (normal and all customs) can now grab ledges from behind

Charizard

  • Dash attack (running side attack) hitbox angles shortened
  • Up Smash hitbox tweaked
  • Down Smash hitbox adjusted

Dark Pit

  • Electroshock Arm (Side + B) damage increased to 12.0 from 11.5; angle reduced, knockback growth increased, base knockback reduced
  • Electrocut Arm (Side + B – Custom 1) angle reduced, knockback growth increased, base knockback reduced

Ganondorf

  • Down Smash second hit angle reduced to 50 from 130
  • Neutral Air completely overhauled with new hitboxes, with second hit strengthened significantly.
  • Down Air hitbox moved up two units
  • Warlock Punch (B) super armor frames extended. Super armor frames also added on turnaround Warlock Punch.
  • Warlock Blade (B – Custom 1) super armor frames added from frames 11 through 54 on turnaround version
  • Flame Choke/Flame Wave (Side + B, normal and Custom 1) grab parameter extended
  • Dark Dive (Up + B) shock damage increased to 1.2 from 1.0 and throw damage increased to 9.0 from 7.0

Greninja

  • Forward Smash knockback growth increased to 101 from 99
  • Up Smash second hit sweetspot knockback growth increased to 104 from 103
  • Down Smash knockback growth increased to 92 from 90
  • Knockback growth on all side specials increased

King Dedede

  • Small timing tweak on Inhale (B) and Taste Test (B – Custom 2)
  • Facing Restriction added to descent and landing hitboxes of all Up Specials

Kirby

  • Forward Smash knockback growth on early and late hits increased
  • Up Smash early, middle, and late hit knockback growths increased
  • Down Smash knockback growth increased to 109 from 108
  • Forward Air third hit knockback growth increased and hitlag modifier adjusted to 1.2x from 1.0x
  • Back Air early and late hit knockback growth increased
  • Up Throw knockback growth increased to 74 from 63
  • Hammer Flip (Side + B) partial charge and aerial max charge knockback growth and aerial hitboxes increased; both sets of hitboxes active for 2.0 frames
  • Hammer Bash (Side + B – Custom 1) partial charge and aerial max charge knockback growth and aerial hitboxes increased; both sets of hitboxes active for 2.0 frames
  • Giant Hammer (Side + B – Custom 2) partial charge and aerial max charge knockback growth and aerial hitboxes increased

Link

  • Forward Smash knockback growth increased to 89 from 85
  • Down Smash angle and base knockback increased, knockback growth reduced
  • Forward Air hit one damage increased to 11.0 from 8.0, knockback growth reduced to 130 from 132, and base knockback increased to 20 from 10; hit two damage increased to 13.0 from 10.0 and knockback growth reduced to 100 from 105
  • Down Air spike hitbox is now aerial target only, with ground-only hitbox at angle 55 and knockback growth/base knockback of 40/25
  • Spin Attack (Up + B) and Shocking Spin (Up + B – Custom 1) hitboxes adjusted

Lucario

  • All Specials (B – normal, Custom 1, and Custom 2) angles adjusted to 83 from 80, knockback growth reduced to 93 from 100, and hitlag modifiers adjusted. Mega Lucario base knockback adjusted to 12 from 10.

Lucas

  • Forward-tilt hitbox size and duration increased
  • Neutral air looping hits damage increased to 2.0 from 1.0
  • PSI Magnet (Down + B) heals significantly less when used with teammate attacks

Lucina

  • Dancing Blade (Side + B) hitbox knockback growth reduced, third hit damage increased

Marth

  • Dancing Blade (Side + B) hitbox knockback growth reduced, third hit damage increased

Mewtwo

  • Forward Smash hitbox 0 damage increased to 16.0 from 15.0, size increased to 3.0 from 2.0
  • Forward Air hits on frame reduced to 6 from 7
  • Back Air hitbox 0 position adjusted
  • Up Air hitbox 1 damage increased to 10.0 from 9.0, hitbox 2 damage increased to 9.0 from 7.5; knockback growth, base knockback, and sizes all increased
  • Down Air hitboxes moved down one unit, duration increased to 4 frames from 2
  • Confusion (Side + B) unknown grab box parameters increased
  • Down Throw angle increased to 74 from 69

Mii Gunner

  • Down Smash second hit angle reduced to 50 from 130, facing restriction set to 4

Mr. Game & Watch

  • All Down + B specials do significantly less damage when used with teammate attacks

Ness

  • PSI Magnet (Down + B) and Forward PSI Magnet (Down + B – Custom 2) heal significantly less when used with teammate attacks

Robin

  • Foward Tilt size increased to 5.0 from 4.0, position tweaked
  • Neutral Air hitbox 0/1 sizes increased to 5.0 from 4.0 and position tweaked; hitbox 2 size increased to 5.0 from 3.0
  • Forward Air late hitbox size increased to 2.5 from 1.5 and position tweaked
  • Down Air earlier damage increased to 11 from 10, hitbox 1 angle reduced to 70 from 80, both hitbox sizes increased to 4.5 from 4.0, transition from early to middle hitboxes after 1-2 frames; late hit damage increased to 8.0 from 5.0

Shulk

  • Dash Attack damage increased to 11.5 from 11.0
  • Forward Tilt damage increased to 13.5/12.0 from 13.0/11.5
  • Up Tilt early hit damage increased to 8.5 from 8.0; late hit damage increased to 7.5 from 7.0
  • Down Tilt damage increased to 9.5/7.5 from 9.0/7.0
  • Neutral Air damage increased to 7.5/8.5 from 7.0/8.0
  • Forward Air damage increased to 8.0/6.5 from 7.5/6.0
  • Back Air damage increased to 12.5/8.5 from 12.0/8.0
  • Up Air first hit damage increased to 5.5 from 5.0;second hit damage increased to 10.5/8.0 from 10.0/7.5
  • Down Air first hit damage increased to 6.0/7.5 from 5.0/7.5; second hit damage increased to 11.5/10.5 from 11.0/10.0

Villager

  • All B special variations do significantly less damage when used with teammate attacks

We will continue updating these numbers as they come in. Once again, all credit goes to the hard-working people at Smashboards.

New tool patches security hole in DNS


New tool patches security hole in DNS

A new, free tool from OpenDNS promises to make domain name system (DNS) lookups–the conversion of a plain-English domain name into a numeric Internet address–more secure. DNSCrypt prevents third parties from intercepting your DNS requests and rewriting them to point your browser, email client, or other software to malicious or fake sites. That may sound like a tedious bit of Internet plumbing, but it profoundly improves your security.

The software addresses a significant flaw in the way that software clients decide which Internet servers to trust. As I explained recently, a client (like a Web browser) and server create an encrypted connection with one another by relying on third parties, known as certificate authorities (CAs), to assure the client of the server’s identity.

These CAs provide digital documents to a site operator that are bound to a domain name (macworld.co.uk) or a specific host-domain combination (www.macworld.co.uk). A client can validate a server’s documents by checking their digital signatures against a list of trusted CAs. Those lists are built into operating systems (Mac OS X’s can be viewed via Keychain Access) and some browsers (Firefox being the primary example).

Unfortunately, there’s a flaw in the system: One step in the validation process isn’t protected cryptographically. The CAs hand out a certificate with just the text of the server or domain name. They do so to give site operators the flexibility to move servers to different domains or to have multiple IP addresses respond to the same domain name. Software clients that want to make Net connections must request those names in a plain text query that isn’t protected against tampering. That creates a gap that can be exploited by substituting “poisoned” values for legitimate ones in DNS requests. So when your computer says it wants to go to www.example.com, for which the DNS server should return an IP address of 1.2.3.4, a poisoned value of 5.6.7.8 could come back instead.

How it works

As you might guess from the name, DNSCrypt encrypts this stage of the DNS client-server negotiation, so it’s impervious to that sort of chicanery. This protects you from spoofing of servers that are protected by SSL as well as servers that aren’t so well protected. If client software is connecting to a normal website, unprotected email server, or other Internet service, DNSCrypt keeps that lookup accurate as well, defeating efforts by so-called evil twins and other hotspot and networking spoofing techniques.

When a software client makes a DNS request, your computer consults a DNS resolver in the operating system, which then passes that query on to one of the DNS servers listed in its TCP/IP settings. (In OS X, they’re found in the Network preference pane for each adapter.) That DNS server in turn passes the request up a chain of higher-level servers (to the .com root, for instance), which then finally hands off to the DNS server that manages information for a given domain. The results are sent back to the resolver. (Whew.) DNSCrypt forces DNS look-ups to go through OpenDNS instead of DNS servers operated by your own or a coffeeshop’s Internet service provider (ISP). (You can set your system to always point to OpenDNS or another service, like Wi-Fi, but otherwise the server addresses are provided when the network router assigns a local address to your computer or device.)

OpenDNS came into being because the DNS servers at so many ISPs were slow and unreliable; it was (and is) a free and more efficient alternative to other DNS servers. But over the last few years those ISPs have improved their operations; in response, OpenDNS added more services to entice users, some free (like anti-phishing filtering), and some paid (like filtering and usage reporting). It automatically fixes common typos, changing .cmo to .com, for example. (Some security experts are critical of the company’s policy of redirecting invalid domain-name entries to a Google search page from which it derives advertising revenue; curiously, Google, which also offers a free alternative DNS service, does not.)

While DNSCrypt works with OpenDNS’s service alone, the company has released the specification and software as open source. That means the system could be adopted elsewhere, turned into plug-ins (like a Firefox add-on), or built directly into client software. (DNSCrypt works with OpenDNS’s free and paid services, and is free to use.)

How to use it

When you install DNSCrypt, it creates a new pane in System Preferences. (The software is currently at version 0.7, but should be stable to use.) There, you check the Enable OpenDNS box, which switches your network’s DNS server to one run by OpenDNS. Next, check Enable DNSCrypt. If you’re on a network that, for some reason (perhaps due a government authority’s actions or a misguided Wi-Fi hotspot firewall) blocks this encrypted connection, you can select the DNSCrypt over TCP/443 option. That can add a short delay to DNS lookups, but they will be disguised as normal secure Web traffic and should work anywhere.

Once you’ve enabled the software’s encryption option, its status changes to Protected and a green dot shows up in its menubar icon. If you can’t get a secure connection, that’s a good sign that something is rotten in the state of fill-in-the-blank.

DNSCrypt pairs neatly with a Firefox plug-in we wrote about in the above-mentioned September article: Perspectives. Perspectives ties into a certificate notary service that constantly checks the SSL/TLS certificates fed out by servers all over the Internet, and tracks whether they change over time. With DNSCrypt to protect the integrity of domain name lookup and Perspectives warning about suspicious certificates, you should avoid current traps into which you’d otherwise fall.

Closing this security gap will require cooperation among multiple parties, many of them with competing interests. Until that happens, DNSCrypt looks like a good intermediate measure.

Dragon Age: Inquisition delayed to November 18


Dragon Age: Inquisition delayed to November 18

October was rapidly becoming a crowded month, which meant that something had to inevitably take a backseat. That something turned out to be Dragon Age: Inquisition. Publisher Electronic Arts announced that BioWare’s upcoming RPG would be delayed by about six weeks and is now set to release on November 18.

Executive producer Mark Darrah made the announcement on the Dragon Age: Inquisition website (via Polygon), stating that the final weeks of development would be focused on creating a more polished experience.

Given what we saw from the game at E3, the wait may just be worth it. The game is still slated to arrive on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3.

Evil Geniuses wins first Halo X Games Aspen Invitational


Evil Geniuses wins first Halo X Games Aspen Invitational

This past weekend was a big one for competitive gaming, with major tournaments taking place for games like Killer Instinct, Hearthstone, Pokken Tournament, and Super Smash Bros., among others. But while there were high stakes involved there, the world of Halo got into a different kind of competitive event. Halo 5: Guardians just wrapped up its first X Games Aspen Invitational, as part of the Halo World Championship Tour.

Eight of the world’s top Halo teams flew from around the world to convene in Colorado for this event. The action kicked off on Thursday, with ESPN keeping tabs on everything going down. The Worldwide Leader cut to the Halo event at various points over the weekend, televising a number of the weekend’s biggest matches. The final day of competition saw Team Allegiance sweep the Los Angeles Renegades team for the bronze medal, despite a strong performance from Braedon ‘StelluR’ Boettcher.

That led to the Gold medal match between Evil Geniuses and Counter Logic Gaming. Evil Geniuses had its backs to the wall, on the brink of elimination. However, CLG couldn’t ward off the EG comeback and Evil Geniuses was able to take the final two sets on Plaza Strongholds and Regret Slayer to win its share of the $30,000 prize pool.

While this weekend’s event did not influence the Halo World Championship Tour standings, it did offer an indicator on teams to look out for in the future. In particular, Evil Geniuses now has a target on its back, having cemented itself as one of the best Halo teams in the world. It was also an interesting event from a spectator’s standpoint, as it further showed ESPN’s seriousness towards pushing into the realm of eSports.

PlayStation 4 has Voice Recognition


PlayStation 4 has Voice Recognition

The PlayStation 4 camera will include voice recognition as well as facial. What do you think? Will it measure up to the Kinect? We’re sure to get more details as the release November 29th draws closer!

Today, Sony has confirmed that the PS4 will indeed include voice recognition. But of course, it all has to do with the PlayStation camera that has to be attached. Sort of reminds me of the Kinect for the Xbox.

Some features with the Camera

The camera is very much like that of the Kinect, because it’s also said to track your body movements, as well as facial recognition. This should definitely improve the system navigation, and make it faster to use.

It was discussed a bit at the GameStop 2013 Expo by Sean Coleman. Not only does this video show off the great camera abilities with motion and face recognition, it also shows some cool specs about the PlayStation 4. Keep in mind, the camera will be sold separately from the system and also attaches onto the PS4.

Hopefully we can find out more information as we get closer to the PlayStation 4’s release on November 15th (29th for EU). Know that the PlayStation 4 itself costs $399 and the camera will be another $59. A heavy price to pay for amazing technology, but I think it’ll be worth it!

What do you guys think? Will the PlayStation 4 camera measure up to the Xbox’s Kinect? I haven’t had much usage with the Kinect but from my own experience, it was a bit difficult to manuever and I would love to know your opinion!

Euro PC sales ‘strong’


Euro PC sales ‘strong’

Computer sales were strong in Europe in the second quarter 2004, analyst firm IDC has confirmed.

According to preliminary data for the quarter, computer sales saw a 20.3 per cent growth in the period when compared to the same quarter last year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

This has been driven by continued strong consumer demand and a rebound in corporate spending. Consumers also began renewing their desktop machines.

“Desktop sales have been a major driver this quarter, boosted by an increasing number of corporate refreshes across the region and driven by the need for hardware replacement and OS migration,” said IDC.

Demand for notebooks remained robust with over 29 per cent growth year-on-year; the rate of growth in demand for notebooks has fallen compared to last year, when notebook demand grew 40 per cent.

“While the market remains a major vendor battlefield and prices are under pressure, with a large share of low-entry systems price erosion has slowed slightly this quarter as many vendors opted for healthier revenue and margin results,” the analysts said.

There is no space for industry complacency, IDC warned: Karine Paoli, research director for its EMEA personal computing group, said: “However, economic growth expectations remain patchy across the region and may affect spending behaviour in the commercial and consumer spaces in some countries – and will therefore force the industry to maintain aggressive pricing to keep demand afloat in the second half of the year”.

Opinion: Samsung Galaxy Tab faces challenges


Opinion: Samsung Galaxy Tab faces challenges

The Samsung Galaxy Tab–officially unveiled at the IFA show in Berlin this week–looks like the first tablet worthy of challenging the Apple iPad. However, there are still some obstacles and unknowns that could get in the way of the success of Samsung’s Android tablet.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab looks impressive both on paper, and in initial hands-on reviews. The Galaxy Tab has most–if not all–of the features that many wanted to see on the Apple iPad like front and rear-facing cameras, expandable memory through an SD memory card slot, and a multitasking OS. That said, there are a couple intangibles which could still make the Galaxy Tab fizzle.

One of the primary factors contributing to the skyrocketing success of Android as a mobile platform is that it is available on a variety of smartphones, built by a variety of manufacturers, and offered through a variety of wireless providers. A diverse array of smartphone options available from every major wireless carrier offers a significantly larger pool of users to pull from than targeting one wireless carrier with one smartphone as Apple does with the iPhone–at least in the US.

That diversity can cut both ways, though. Developers working on iOS apps know that the app will be used on an iPhone (or iPod Touch), or on an iPad. They know up front what the display dimensions and resolution will be, and they can optimize the apps accordingly. Android development is more complex due to the variety of Android smartphone hardware.

Samsung Galaxy TabSamsung Galaxy Tab

To be fair, the concept of variable screen size and resolution is not new. As the Android Guys pointed out earlier this year, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux developers have been plagued by the same issue for decades, yet manage to create applications capable of adjusting on the fly to fit the limitations of a given display just fine.

But, that is only the case if developers make it so. Apps that are written with a smartphone in mind may not transition well to a tablet-sized display. iPhone apps will technically work on an iPad, but the app only occupies an iPhone-sized rectangle in the middle of the display and it doesn’t re-orient if you rotate the iPad. You can enlarge it to fit the iPad display, but the result is a fuzzy, pixelated version of the iPhone app. Some Android apps could face similar handicaps, complicated further by the various sizes of Android tablets that will be on the market.

The other challenges that could hinder the success of the Samsung Galaxy Tab will be cost and contracts. Yes, the tablet looks worthy of competing with the iPad, but will users line up to buy it if it costs the same or more than the Apple iPad? Samsung may be able to sell its Android tablet, but perhaps not without undercutting the iPad price.

One way Samsung can bring the price down is through wireless carrier subsidies. Rumor has it that Verizon will offer the Galaxy Tab when it comes to the US (although there is also a rumor that Samsung may use all major wireless providers as it does with the Galaxy S series smartphones). However, those subsidies usually come with contracts and early termination fees that iPad users don’t have to deal with.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab appears formidable enough, but it–and the slew of Android tablets that will follow–will have to overcome these challenges to offer any serious competition for the iPad.

5 weird iOS keyboards for expressing your wacky self


5 weird iOS keyboards for expressing your wacky self

Are you getting bored of using the same emoji over and over again on your iPhone, and looking for new ways to express yourself? (Come on, there’s only so many times you can use the hair-flip, hands-up, and twinning girls.) We’ve found five iOS keyboards that will have you laughing out loud, as you send your friends some of the weirdest messages ever conceived by an iPhone user. 

Whether you are a Trekkie or a Lil’ Wayne fan, we hope you get a kick out of these wacky third-party keyboards for iOS. They include:

  • HangKeys (Free)
  • Klingon SwipeKeys ($1)
  • Lil Weezy Keyboard (Free)
  • Bitmoji Keyboard (Free)
  • Flirt Keyboard ($1)

And if these aren’t weird enough to keep you entertained, share your favorite bizarre keyboards with us in the comments below.

Super Smash Bros. Online Modes Revealed | Super Smash Bros. for Wii u | Super Smash Bros. for 3DS


Super Smash Bros. Online Modes Revealed | Super Smash Bros. for Wii u | Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

Nintendo want to create a pleasurable online experience for all with the new Super Smash Bros. online modes.

Nintendo released their Nintendo Direct video today and they detailed some important features of the upcoming Super Smash Bros.

Online Features

Super Smash Bros. for WiiU and 3DS will allow you to play against anyone online. You can not only play with friends but people around the world. While playing friends online through the recommended fast wireless access point you can play any way you want! 

While playing with people around the world you have two options to choose from, For Fun and For Glory. 

uploads/allpics/btnzyquscif57922.png

In For Fun mode, stages are selected at random (although no Final Destination for this mode), you can use all items available, and wins will only be recorded. If you are playing For Glory, all battles are on Final Destination, you get NO extra items, you will play 1-on-1 battles, and both wins and losses are both recorded. 

Nintendo also made it impossible to play a match anonymously, therefore making bans for misconduct much more likely. Director Masahiro Sakurai stated that he hopes they “can create an online environment where everyone can enjoy themselves.”

Super Smash Bros. is looking to be an exciting release with the 3DS version coming in Summer of 2014 and the WiiU version later this year. Are you looking forward to the game and its online modes?

Apple’s storage strategy: Clear, not cloudy


Apple’s storage strategy: Clear, not cloudy

Apple has no plan to broadly compete in the online storage market, its recently-unveiled iCloud enhancements and new features notwithstanding, an analyst argued today.

Instead, the moves — long called for by pundits and advanced users — are simply more of the same in Apple’s long-standing strategy to build a better experience on its own devices so it sells more hardware, said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research.

“[The idea] is to add value to their own ecosystem,” said Dawson.

Others agreed. “Everything Apple does is about selling more devices,” Benedict Arnold, an analyst with venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, echoed on his blog last week about Apple’s WWDC announcements, particularly those related to iCloud.

Those opinions were contrary to how others saw last week’s announcements of iCloud Drive, price cuts to additional iCloud storage and access to files on both iOS and OS X.

During the June 2 keynote at its annual developers conference, Apple said that iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite — both slated for a fall launch — would be accompanied by significant changes to iCloud for end users and developers alike.

iCloud Drive received much of the follow-up attention. Seen by some as a return of iDisk, the online file hosting service discontinued in mid-2012, iCloud Drive will let iOS 8 and Yosemite users store files in the ether; allow system-wide access to documents on iOS, liberating those once held in app-specific silos; and store all photographs and videos automatically for sharing and access from any Apple device.

iCloud will also serve as the synchronization backend for “Handoff,” one of the elements in the new “Continuity” initiative that also features text and phone call forwarding between the iPhone one on hand, and the iPad and Mac on the other.

Many observers couched the iCloud Drive revelations as Apple finally “getting” the cloud, and a sign that Apple would go head-to-head with the likes of Dropbox and Box, Google, Amazon and Microsoft in storage. But even as they staked out those positions, they bemoaned iCloud Drive’s lack of cross-platform support — particularly its shunning of Android — citing that as another example of Cupertino’s lack of online smarts because without said support its effort is doomed to be an also-ran.

Dawson saw similar complaints about Apple’s messaging strategy in much the same way: As missing the point. “Apple has never been about creating cross-platform services,” Dawson wrote in a post-WWDC blog Thursday. “[iTunes and iMessage are] both products … [that] Apple developed to add more value to its hardware products, and should not be seen as products in their own right.”

Ditto with iCloud Drive.

What’s thrown off some analyses is iCloud Drive’s support for Windows. But rather than view that as a step toward cross-platform, it should be seen as a concession to Windows dominance in the enterprise, a market Apple has explicitly targeted.

“The only difference in [the iCloud Drive strategy] is that in the business market Apple is a bit more of a realist,” said Dawson in an interview. “In the business environment, the vast majority of customers have Windows devices. To collaborate on documents within the enterprise, iCloud Drive had to support Windows.”

During the WWDC keynote, Craig Federighi, the Apple executive who dominated stage time, talked about the iPhone, Apple and the enterprise, touching on new iOS 8 features for business rather than taking the company’s usual tack of limiting itself to rattling off statistics about Fortune 500 penetration. That was a signal, Dawson said, just as was iCloud Drive’s Windows support, of an Apple push to take the iPhone and iPad to the next level in business.

Calling the iPhone Apple’s “spearhead” into the enterprise, Dawson argued that while Apple has been slowly adding business-centric features to iOS, it saw the need to do more. “[iCloud Drive] is not the same as if they launched a native version of iWork for Windows,” which he said Apple would not do, “and it’s not something that they’ll advertise. But what they’re doing is with the enterprise in mind.”

The significant price reductions in additional iCloud storage, which Apple announced last week but may not implement until this fall, are also part of the same umbrella strategy: Make Apple devices more appealing. Those prices are neither the lowest nor the highest of rival services.

Not surprisingly, it’s not Apple’s intent to compete with the lowest-priced alternatives. It will not cut customers a deal and bundle larger free allowances with its devices, much less give unlimited storage away for free, as some have suggested.

Nor will it expect iCloud Drive to create a major new revenue stream. “I don’t think it’s about making money at all,” said Dawson. Instead, Apple will charge for iCloud Drive beyond the 5GB free allotment to create what he called a “mental commitment” to the service. “It’s more a psychological effect. Think of Amazon Prime. Because I’m already paying for it, I may as well buy from Amazon because I get free shipping. So I commit to it emotionally.”

The changes to iCloud seem aimed at advanced users, those who are typically the most vocal, online and off, but who do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of a majority of Apple’s customers. “iCloud has really felt more for the casual rather than power user, and Apple has been beaten up because of that. It’s always seemed sort of a ‘lite’ version of what it should be,” Dawson observed.

But to gauge Apple’s success in the cloud with a check box comparison against competitors is simply wrong thinking, according to Dawson.

“To suggest that Apple needs to make … any product cross-platform in order to succeed is to get things exactly backwards,” Dawson wrote last week on his blog. “Apple doesn’t make hardware to be successful in [say] messaging; it makes a messaging product to be successful in hardware. Apple isn’t fighting the messaging [or cloud] war. To the extent it’s fighting a war at all, it’s fighting an ecosystem war, and so far it’s winning.”

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg’s RSS feed. His email address is [email protected].

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

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