Mittomo, Nintendo’s first app designed for iOS devices, hits US App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 31, 2016

As promised, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo today released its first app designed for iOS devices, Miitomo, in the App Store in the United States and elsewhere following a recent soft-launch in the Japanese App Store.

The free-to-play title lets you customize your Mii avatars by mixing and matching from various costumes and styles. You can share your Miis with friends on social media and discover things that you share in common by engaging in conversations. Read More

 

Miitomo, Nintendo’s first iOS game, launches in US and other countries this Thursday

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 29, 2016

Following its soft-launch in Japan, Nintendo’s first mobile game for iOS and Android, Miitomo, will be hitting the United States and other countries this coming Thursday, March 31, the Japanese gaming giant announced in a media release issued this morning. A free-to-start social experience, Miitomo lets users spark one-of-a-kind conversations with friends in a whole new way using Mii characters, which first appeared on Nintendo’s original Wii console.

The game was downloaded more than one million times in its first three days of availability in Japan, becoming the top free app on the Japanese App Store. Read More

 

Miitomo, Nintendo’s first smartphone game, soft-launches in the App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2016

As promised, Miitomo, Nintendo’s very first smartphone game, on Thursday released on the Japanese App Store ahead of its worldwide debut.

The freemium title, billed as “a friendly conversation starter,” is based on the Mii universe and invites gamers to customize their Mii avatars by mixing and matching from a bunch of costumes and styles to make it their own.

Your Mii characters created in the iOS app can then be easily shared with friends on social media. And by asking and answering questions, you can find out unknown aspects about your friends along with things that you share in common. “Your friends’ Mii characters will also visit you when you play,” said Nintendo. Read More

 

Apple Stores in Japan are now offering iPhone screen protector installation service

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2016

As first noted by MacOtakara, employees of Apple Stores in Japan have now received specialized Belkin tools to install screen protectors on iPhones in-store, though it’s unclear if this iPhone screen protector installation service might soon expand to other Apple Stores around the world.

Using Belkin’s TrueClear Pro device, store employees are able to apply a screen protector in a straightforward and easy manner. Prices range from 2,180 yen to 4,280 yen, depending on material and device size, which works out to about $19 to $37. Read More

 

Using Apple Music with a foreign Apple ID can open up a wealth of interesting new music

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 4, 2015

As many of you guys know, I have an interesting taste in music. I like old-school R&B, a smattering of rap, love some 90’s alternative, and am really into EDM. I grew up listening to the likes of Phil Collins, Olivia Newton John, The Police, Michael Jackson, Oasis, Run DMC, The Cranberries, The Fat Boys, Nirvana, and many others. Needless to say, my taste in music can be pretty random at times.

One of my guiltiest pleasures when it comes to music genres is without a doubt Japanese pop music. Actually, I no longer feel guilty about it at all, I downright love Japanese pop, or J-Pop as it’s better known as. I’ve been listening to J-Pop since the late 90’s, starting with the likes of Hikaru Utada, m-flo, Ayumi Hamasaki, and other, more obscure J-Pop artists.

One of the downsides to liking foreign music like J-Pop, is that it can be difficult to find. You’ll find a smattering of it on services like Spotify, but it’s usually music that has already been sold or localized for the States. Of course, one can always import a CD, but CDs are ridiculously expensive in Japan, so that’s not really an option for me. Plus, who wants CDs nowadays anyway?

Streaming music is where it’s at, and it presents the perfect opportunity for finding different types of music from other countries. I’ve found that Apple does a pretty good job with this already. I’ve been able to find music that I’ve never been able to find on other streaming services. That said, it’s still painfully obvious that a large divide exists, and J-Pop and other foreign music is more or less hard to come by.

The thing is, the music is already there, it’s just restricted to accounts for certain regions. But it is possible to get around these restrictions if you’re willing to make some compromises… Read More

 

Apple Maps Flyover coverage expands to new locales in France, Germany, Japan and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2015

Apple has added a bunch of new cities and landmarks around the world to its three-dimensional Flyover views in Maps. The new locales in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia, Mexico and the United States are now available in Apple Maps on both iOS and OS X platforms. Read More

 

Japanese manufacturers banding together to secure more iPhone orders

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 1, 2015

Though designed in California, the vast majority of Apple’s products are being assembled in China using parts predominantly provided by the vast network of suppliers from Taiwan.

But that may be changing now as Japanese manufacturers are reportedly making a concerted effort to secure more iPhone orders from Apple, according to DigiTimes on Monday.

Citing industry sources, the trade publication claims that Japan-based printed circuit board manufacturer Ibiden has bolstered up its manufacturing capacity as it hopes to solicit more orders from Apple. Read More

 

Apple-IBM partnership provides iPads to elderly via Japan Post Group tie-up

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 30, 2015

Apple on Thursday announced in a press release a move that will see the firm partner up with Japan Post Group to deliver iPads to the country’s growing population of elderly citizens over age 65.

Billed as a first-of-its-kind initiative, it’ll provide iPads to millions of senior citizens after Japan Post Group piloted iPads and apps custom developed for the elderly earlier this year.

These iPads come preloaded with IBM-developed apps and analytics to connect people with services, healthcare, community and their families. The staggered release will see between four and five million Japanese customers get their iPads by 2020. Read More

 

Apple building futuristic looking technology center in Yokohama, Japan

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2015

Apple is building a futuristic looking, large-scale technology development center in Yokohama, Japan, home to nearly four million people, reports the NHK News website. The city of Yokohama held a press conference today to announce the project.

City officials have even provided renderings depicting the scope of the project and Apple’s unusual design for a massive, environment friendly R&D building. Read More

 

Twitter to start selling ads outside of Twitter, starting with Flipboard and Yahoo Japan

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2015

Twitter, the popular micro-blogging platform, said on Tuesday that it will be pursuing ads outside of Twitter for the first time, with plans to sell Promoted Tweets on the popular news reader app Flipboard as well as on the Yahoo Japan website.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company will permit advertisers who are already buying ads on the service to start running Promoted Tweet ad units on other people’s apps and sites that display tweets, with undisclosed revenue sharing between Twitter and partner websites/apps. Read More

 

Here’s a look at Apple Japan’s 2015 ‘Lucky Bags’

By Jake Smith on Jan 1, 2015

Apple kicked off its 2015 annual “Lucky Bag” promotion in Japan on Thursday, giving customers big discounts on Apple products and accessories. A “Lucky Bag” is a Japanese New Year tradition, also known as a Fukubukuro, that offers a bag for a set price filled with unknown random items, sold for a discount. Read More

 

Apple Japan sets “Lucky Bag” New Year promotion for January 2nd

By Jake Smith on Dec 26, 2014

The Japan arm of Apple announced on Friday that it’s once again bringing back its “Lucky Bags” promotion on January 2nd, 2015. A “Lucky Bag” is a Japanese New Year tradition, and also known as a Fukubukuro. Read More

 

Apple building massive R&D center in Japan

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2014

In addition to its existing research and development centers in Israel, Taiwan and Shanghai, Apple is now looking to build another facility in Japan, Reuters reported Tuesday. The “cutting-edge” R&D center was confirmed by Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

The facility “will be formally announced soon,” he told local media, as confirmed by the Jiji and Kyodo News. Read More

 

Apple launches new ‘iTunes Pass’ service in Japan for refilling iTunes credit

By Cody Lee on Jul 15, 2014

Apple has launched a new service in Japan called iTunes Pass. The program is actually quite interesting, as it appears to allow customers to purchase iTunes Store credit from an Apple retail store, using Passbook instead of physical gift cards.

Users have long been able to store gift cards in Passbook, but we’ve never seen a direct-to-Passbook service like this, without the need to redeem a code. It almost looks like this could be a prequel to Apple’s oft-rumored mobile payment systemRead More

 

Disney iTunes sales briefly halted in Japan over licensing dispute

By Cody Lee on Jul 9, 2014

Folks in Japan may have noticed that newer Disney movies like Frozen and Thor: The Dark World have been unavailable for purchase in iTunes over the past few days. You could rent the titles, but the option to buy them had been removed.

Good news this morning though, as it looks like Disney has resumed iTunes sales in the country. Variety is reporting that the temporary halt was due to difficulties in negotiations over the renewal of the old contract between the two firmsRead More

 

Apple posts video showing off new Japan retail store

By Cody Lee on Jun 12, 2014

Last night, Apple posted a video to its official YouTube channel showing off its newest retail store in Japan. The store is located in Omotesando, Tokyo, and it includes a brushed aluminum staircase and other unique architectural features.

Photos of the outside of the store surfaced in May, showing what appeared to be a power-saving green curtain of foliage draped down one wall. But this new video from Apple takes you on a brief virtual tour of the entire multi-floor building… Read More

 

New Japan Apple Store features eco-friendly ‘green’ wall for climate control

By Cody Lee on May 30, 2014

Last week, Apple’s Lisa Jackson spoke at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference about the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. She noted that all of its data centers run on renewable energy, and it’s working toward a similar goal with its retail stores.

And today we get a glimpse of those efforts with photos of a new Apple Store in Tokyo, Japan. The store, which is expected to open next month, features an eco-friendly design with a curtain of thick vines on at least one wall that will help control the store’s climate… Read More

 

Apple launching iPads on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo next month

By Cody Lee on May 28, 2014

Apple just issued a press release, announcing that it will begin offering NTT DoCoMo versions of its iPad Air and Retina iPad mini in Japan next month. The carrier, which is the largest in the country, began offering the iPhone for the first time last fall.

The new iPads will be available for pre-order starting June 2, and will officially launch in retail stores a week later on June 10. Those interested in picking up one of the tablets can choose from a variety of purchase plans, some of which call for $0 down… Read More

 

iPhone now accounts for 36.6 percent of Japanese mobile phone market

By Cody Lee on May 14, 2014

According to a new report from Bloomberg, the iPhone now accounts for more than one-third of Japan’s mobile phone market. Citing data from MM Research Institute Ltd, the outlet says shipments for Apple’s smartphone jumped to 36.6% in the year-ended March.

That’s a sizable jump from the previous year, where the iPhone held some 25% of the market, and it’s all thanks to NTT Docomo. Last September, Apple inked a deal with the company—which is the largest carrier in Japan—to finally start officially offering its handset… Read More

 

iTunes Match now available in Japan

By Cody Lee on May 1, 2014

Apple continues its international expansion of iTunes services this afternoon, with the launch of iTunes Match in Japan. iOS users in the country can now access the service, which first launched in the United States back in 2011.

For those unfamiliar with the service, iTunes Match allows users to ‘mirror’ their music libraries to the cloud. This enables them to access their songs from any compatible device, without having to spend hours uploading them… Read More

 
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