Tech round-up for June 12: Sign in with Apple, cycle tracking, best video games at E3 2019

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, one of the best new things announced by Apple last week and cycle tracking is a feature in the new iOS and watchOS updates. But first, a look at some games shown at E3 this week to get excited about.

Use your Apple ID to create accounts for apps and websites

When you’re creating an account on a website or a new app, you’ve seen the option to “Sign in using Google” or “Sign in with Facebook”.

Apple wants you to sign in using your Apple ID instead. And the company is playing the privacy card to convince you.

The functionality comes with iOS 13, and what makes Apple’s offering different is that it will protect your privacy by automatically assigning a random email to create the new account.

And that Sign In with Apple data is not used to profile you or track you in any way.

Cycle tracking in iOS and watchOS

A new feature coming to Apple’s operating systems for mobile devices and the Apple Watch is the Cycle Tracking app, which allows females to track menstrual cycles.

This has been a key request, and given what Apple has put into its health tracking features, is a no-brainer.

Games shown at E3 to get excited about

The Electronic Entertainment Expo is underway. Here are some of the games being shown off and talked about that have piqued my interest. In alphabetical order, natch.

12 Minutes

Noamada, Anapurna Interactive
Windows, Xbox One

This game is played in 12-minute increments. You are a man stuck in a time loop trying to figure out why a police detective is trying to arrest your wife. Everything you learn in each 12-minute segment you carry forward into the next loop, and your actions will enable options and dialogue previously unavailable.

Cadence of Hyrule

Brace Yourself Games, Nintendo
June 2019
Nintendo Switch

This is a mashup of The Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the Necrodancer, a music rhythm game, being created by Vancouver studio Brace Yourself Games. You can play as either Link or Princess Zelda.

Deathloop

Arkane, Bethesda

Another time loop game, this one pitting two assassins against each other. One wants the loop to continue, while the other wants it to end.

FIFA 20

Electronic Arts
September 27, 2019
PS4, Switch, Windows, Xbox One

Volta Football is a new mode in which you play small-sided soccer in different settings around the world: streets, futsal pitches, and on repurposed basketball and tennis courts.

GhostWire: Tokyo

Tango Gameworks, Bethesda

Tango created two The Evil Within games that were so scary and malevolent that I couldn’t play them. This one seems to be creepy, but not horrific, and you get to play as a character who can fight back. That makes me feel better. The premise is that everyone in Tokyo suddenly disappears. You need to figure out what’s happened.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel

Nintendo
Nintendo Switch

No details. No timeline. Just this.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

TT Games, Warner Bros.
2020
PS4, Switch, Windows, Xbox One

This is an all new game that including the events of the nine films, including The Rise of Skywalker coming in December.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Next Level, Nintendo
2019
Nintendo Switch

In development at Vancouver’s Next Level Games, this stars Mario’s less popular brother. Set in a multi-storey hotel, it’s a Nintendo take on ghostbusting.

Marvel’s Avengers

Crystal Dynamics; Square Enix
May 15, 2020
PS4, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One

Development on this is supported by Eidos-Montreal. It tells the story of how the Avengers need to reassemble after a catastrophe causes the death of Captain America and the banning of superheroes.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Team Ninja; Nintendo
July 19, 2019
Nintendo Switch

This Switch exclusive is a throwback to the action RPGs from 2006 and 2009. Isometric adventures in which you would put together a team of four characters from the roster of heroes and villains that you unlock by playing the game. It also comes out next month.

The Outer Worlds

Obsidian, Private Division
PS4, Windows, Xbox One
2019

This first-person sci-fi shooter open world RPG feels like Fallout. There’s good reason for that, as the creative minds behind it, Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, created the Fallout series back in 1997. Private Division is a new label from Take-Two Interactive.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield

Nintendo
November 15, 2019
Nintendo Switch

The big release for Nintendo this fall are the new Pokémon games. One thing we learned at E3 is that if you have a Poké Ball controller, which came with Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee last fall, you can put a Sword or Shield character into the controller. If you take it around with you in the real world “something good might happen”.

The Sims 4: Island Living

Maxis, Electronic Arts
Windows, June 21
Console, July 16

There’s another expansion pack coming to the game that let’s you create entire societies. The Sims 4, first released in 2014, opens up tropical beaches with Island Living.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Respawn; Electronic Arts
November 15, 2019
PS4, Windows, Xbox One

Taking everything they’ve learned from Titanfall and Titanfall 2, Respawn slides it all into a Star Wars package and we get to benefit. Excellent traversal, solid combat mechanics, and a story set after Revenge of the Sith, when the jedi were all but obliterated.

Watch Dogs Legion

Ubisoft Toronto; Ubisoft
March 6, 2020
PS4, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One

This is the third game in the Watch Dogs franchise, which is all about the surveillance state and a citizen’s response.

But this is not going to be a typical sequel, because the creative director here is Clint Hocking, whose work on Far Cry 2 was an incredible experiment in game systems and narrative possibilities.

Legion is set in London and extrapolates out from Brexit, wondering what the world will be like when that episode is far enough in the past that it’s a historical footnote.

The distinguishing feature here is that you don’t play a single character. You can become any character in the game. Each Londoner is fully simulated. And death for these characters is permanent.

As Hocking said in his on-stage appearance at the Ubisoft press event: “However you want to play, whoever you want to be.”

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