Tag Archives: Carter

The Carter Crater – A Fond Farewell

The Carter Crater – A Fond Farewell

This is quite the bittersweet day, as my time at TouchArcade is coming to an end. It was a tough decision, but I’m leaving for a full-time job up in the Dallas suburbs. I hope y’all will keep track of what I’m doing, because I’ll still be out there playing and talking about mobile games, just not under the watchful eye of Eli Hodapp and co. I’ve been all around the mobile gaming journalism world, as I’ve probably contributed for every major site out there. While TouchArcade wasn’t the first site to pay me to write about mobile games, it was an integral part of my development as a writer. It felt so much more freeing in many ways, and I feel like I got to build up more of a unique voice than I had before.

I kind of fell into writing to begin with, at a time in my life when I felt directionless. I spent some time writing as a hobby. Then it turned into paying work with 148Apps, and other freelance outlets came along. And even during TA, I’ve contributed elsewhere. But TA always felt like home, and it was tough to write elsewhere because I enjoyed doing so under the TA banner. It was a tough decision to cease spending the majority of my time with 148Apps, because you never know how a new outlet you spend a lot of time working for is going to turn out. Are you going to mesh well with the editors? Will you get the support you need? I’ve made some people mad with some of my opinions here at TA, but I’m proud to say that Eli and the crew have had my back. And I have been thrown under the bus before.

Folks, please support TouchArcade. I know that myself, Eli, Jared, and everyone on staff has put in a lot of hard work, and have done things that we love. There were times we could have pulled punches, or done shameless clickbait. It’s funny to see how many weird haters TouchArcade tends to have, when behind the curtain I know that this is one of the most honest operations, working because we love mobile games, that I’ve had the privilege of working for. And it would be terrible if it ever went away due to the uneasy market that is internet advertising. So however it is you can support TA, please do so, because the mission of the site and the principles of the people running it deserve to be supported, and TA deserves to survive for a long time. I’ve only been here as a short part of TA’s history, but I’m proud of the mark I’ve left and that it’s left on me. As easy as taking a full-time writing job ? for mobile games, even! ? should be, it was a tougher decision to leave TA and the freelance life than you could imagine. Plus, I’m sure my new office will have a far stricter policy on pants than my home office does.

But this isn’t the end of TouchArcade or for me, this is just a splitting off point. I’m sure there’s some other rad contributors who can help to fill the void that I’m leaving. And this is just a new chapter beginning for me. Please follow me on Twitter as I start up my new line of work over at PVPLive, and help to spread the word of mobile games at new space. It’s makes me sad to be leaving TA, but I’m excited about the potential of what I can do with spreading the word about mobile games further out there in the gaming world.

Twitch Bits Donation

For folks who enjoyed my Twitch streams, I’m planning on doing some streaming once I get situated over on my personal Twitch channel someday, so follow me and keep an eye out. I have one more stream on the TA channel, here Friday night at 7pm central. Come on by and reminisce about the good times.

Thanks for all your support the past three years, folks. Thanks for reading, thanks for the comments both supportive and angry, thanks for watching my streams, thanks so much. It’s silly to say, but mobile games and being able to talk about the world around them has given a lot of meaning to my life. And it’s so rewarding to see people enjoy what I do. This isn’t the end, and I hope to be talking about mobile games for a long time in the future. It’s going to be elsewhere for now, but I’m proud of my time at TouchArcade, and will be a proud reader and supporter from here on out.

Thank you. It’s been a five-star time.

– Carter Dotson

The Carter Crater: The Human Cost of Apple’s App Store Decisions

The Carter Crater: The Human Cost of Apple’s App Store Decisions

Apple does a lot of baffling things in the way they run the App Store. It’s easy to just sit there and be frustrated with the way that Apple makes decisions and then cuts off any sort of alternative for users to counteract that. But I think we aren’t considering the human cost of what these decisions do. Perhaps the most extreme example is the case of I Am Level [$ 1.99]. This Metroidvania-style pinball game is an underappreciated gem, but it is set to disappear from the App Store in the upcoming 32-bit purge, where apps that haven’t been updated with 64-bit compatibility will either be removed from the App Store entirely, or just stop working on future versions of iOS entirely. This is a problem for I Am Level as its developer, Stew Hogarth, passed away in 2015. While the app looks to have been transferred to a relative, this means that one of Hogarth’s final significant works is will likely vanish from the App Store unless someone updates it. It’s unfair to ask a deceased person’s family to go in and update their old work, no? And considering there’s all sorts of new rules and dependencies with software, it’s likely not just a one button fix, either.

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Now, 32-bit app compatibility being removed in and of itself isn’t a grand evil. I can see where Apple wants to clear out a lot of old, ineffectual apps that shouldn’t be on the App Store any more, that aren’t going to be touched. Heck, one developer is happy about their app being removed. Plus, 64-bit processors are standard for iOS apps now, and Apple themselves have warned developers to compile for 64-bit for a while now. But, it’s not like other platforms haven’t found a way to keep 32-bit programs compatible with their operating systems, either. What if developers wanted to build emulators, like Windows has, to run 32-bit apps? I just made myself laugh at the idea that Apple would allow that. So many apps that work with no issues on iOS 10 are bound to be unavailable and nonfunctional soon because of Apple’s policies, and there’s nothing users can do about it even if they wanted to do something.

While there’s hopefully few cases like I Am Level‘s Stew Hogarth, there are plenty of reasons why an app might not be updated. The company that originally produced the app has been dissolved, and the rights situation may be complicated. The people who could fix the app might not have the ability to, legally. Partnerships between indie developers can dissolve as human drama plays a role. A developer who poured their blood, sweat, and tears into making something, perhaps to have it not live up to their expectations in some capacity might not have the desire emotionally to update their apps. And for many developers, updating their library content is not financially viable. There’s little incentive to do so. Plus, if it works fine, then why does it need to be updated? Surely, Apple, which made over $ 45 billion in profit in 2016, can find ways to ensure that decrepit, nonfunctional apps are removed while functional and significant titles remain on the App Store.

This affects the users, too. Obviously, products that people paid for will be no longer playable due to these policies. There’s the potential that a person with a disability might lose an app that helps them interact with the world if the developer has abandoned it, and there isn’t a suitable replacement. On a different scale of importance, Apple killing old apps will have terrible effects on history. Think about it: if you want to play a game from the formative era of gaming, such as Super Mario Bros or Pong, you can play it in some form. Heck, you can go get an original NES and play the original Super Mario Bros. if you wanted to. These games have been able to be preserved, though this is in part due to the physical nature of most of gaming’s history. What Apple is doing is making it incredibly difficult to preserve these games and allow later generations to revisit them. Not only are many games nonfunctional on current operating systems, but Apple makes it difficult even to play them in any kind of legitimate method. if you wanted to install an older operating system, even on iOS hardware that could run these apps, you can’t. Apple requires that all firmware upgrades be signed by their servers. So there’s a chance that if Apple ever goes defunct someday, this software will be unable to be installed even on still-working old devices. This was implemented in the days of iOS 4, specifically because jailbroken users were installing previous iOS versions to maintain their jailbreaks. The apps themselves require DRM removal, too. While this is admittedly trivial considering how much piracy goes on, it’s still a negative factor, and removing that DRM decades from now could prove to be difficult based on the state of computing.

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Imagine if you couldn’t listen to the music from your childhood. Or read a book that had a major influence on you. Sure, some works will be lost to history no matter what, and some media you will just have had to be there for. Apple, in a desire to control their platform in a way that is not user-friendly, is unnecessarily exacerbating the problem. There are kids for whom Rolando was their Super Mario Bros., and they won’t be able to revisit or share those experiences any more. It’s a nightmare entanglement where Apple continually cuts off any avenue that someone might have to help preserve some of the history of the platform. A significant era of gaming history will someday be lost because Apple wanted more control of their ecosystem because they could find ways to make more profit off of it. Sure, Android games are thankfully easier to archive ? piracy, it turns out, is good ? but a lot of iOS exclusives will be lost to history. Let’s not be wishy-washy here. Apple is going to cause some games to be abandoned and unplayable by future generations because of their obsessive nature to control the platform.

If Apple was applying these rules fairly, then I could understand it at even the basest possible level. But it turns out that the rich play by a different playbook! Take the case of Uber, which managed to spy on iPhone users, majorly breaking Apple policies. If a small developer had done it, no question their developer account would be nuked, and an Apple death squad sent for them. Uber, because they’ve got more investor money than God, and lawyers out the wazoo, was able to get away with a slap on the wrist. It has to sting for developers who often have to deal with asinine app rejections for dubious reasons.

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The problem isn’t just one of these elements, it’s all of them. It’s not just that Apple is killing 32-bit apps, it’s that they’re not allowing 32-bit app emulators to work on the App Store. It’s not just that they keep tight control of the App Store, it’s that they significantly misuse it and won’t keep abusers of their users in control with the power they have. Apple has created an environment on iOS that is often quite hostile to the users and developers who provide the revenue and content for them, and helped turn Apple into a global corporate behemoth.

It’s just sad because it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s App Store history that doesn’t have to be lost. People don’t have to lose useful tools just because Apple wants to remove 32-bit compatibility from their operating system, or do an automated sweep of old apps. Moving to Android isn’t that simple, and has its own drawbacks, though archiving mobile games will be easier thanks to the platform’s open nature. And while I can rant about Apple as an unfeeling megacorporation, there’s certainly a giant list of theses that can be nailed to the door of Google/Alphabet, too.

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All we can really do is raise awareness of this issue. Despite how this all affects people, many folks are unaware, or put these issues far below other factors. And I don’t have a good answer for what we can do as mobile gaming enthusiasts, as people who care about the platform even despite Apple making App Store gaming hard to love. The App Store, and mobile gaming, are great because of the great games and creators making those great games. Apple is a facilitator of that, and I think their failings have a deep human cost. We have to catalog it, and demand change. I believe our outcry can reach someone that’s listening and wants to do the right thing for the people that have helped make them what they are. And maybe we can remind Apple, and all the other mega-corporations out there, that the backbone of their platforms are the users and creators, and their decisions should come with as little cost to us as possible. And this 32-bit purge, along with many other questionable App Store decisions? The cost is too high.

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Monday Night with Carter]

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Monday Night with Carter]

mobcrush-logo-r225xWe’re streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There’s a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it’s really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you’re somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you’re on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you’ll get alerts when we’re streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you’ll need to register over on Mobcrush first.

If you missed the stream, we upload archive videos to our YouTube channel, so just head over there to see previous streams and our other random video content. Additionally, if you would like to stream on Mobcrush, it’s actually supremely easy and doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware and the software to do it is a quick (and free) download. Check out the Mobcrush FAQ for more information.

 

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Wednesday Night Carter]

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Wednesday Night Carter]

mobcrush-logo-r225xWe’re streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There’s a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it’s really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you’re somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you’re on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you’ll get alerts when we’re streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you’ll need to register over on Mobcrush first.

If you missed the stream, we upload archive videos to our YouTube channel, so just head over there to see previous streams and our other random video content. Additionally, if you would like to stream on Mobcrush, it’s actually supremely easy and doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware and the software to do it is a quick (and free) download. Check out the Mobcrush FAQ for more information.

 

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Fretz and Carter Back to Back]

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Fretz and Carter Back to Back]

mobcrush-logo-r225xWe’re streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There’s a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it’s really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you’re somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you’re on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you’ll get alerts when we’re streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you’ll need to register over on Mobcrush first.

If you missed the stream, we upload archive videos to our YouTube channel, so just head over there to see previous streams and our other random video content. Additionally, if you would like to stream on Mobcrush, it’s actually supremely easy and doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware and the software to do it is a quick (and free) download. Check out the Mobcrush FAQ for more information.

 

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Monday Night Carter]

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Monday Night Carter]

mobcrush-logo-r225xWe’re streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There’s a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it’s really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you’re somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you’re on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you’ll get alerts when we’re streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you’ll need to register over on Mobcrush first.

If you missed the stream, we upload archive videos to our YouTube channel, so just head over there to see previous streams and our other random video content. Additionally, if you would like to stream on Mobcrush, it’s actually supremely easy and doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware and the software to do it is a quick (and free) download. Check out the Mobcrush FAQ for more information.

 

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Golf Zero with Carter]

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Golf Zero with Carter]

mobcrush-logo-r225xWe’re streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There’s a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it’s really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you’re somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you’re on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you’ll get alerts when we’re streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you’ll need to register over on Mobcrush first.

If you missed the stream, we upload archive videos to our YouTube channel, so just head over there to see previous streams and our other random video content. Additionally, if you would like to stream on Mobcrush, it’s actually supremely easy and doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware and the software to do it is a quick (and free) download. Check out the Mobcrush FAQ for more information.

 

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Monday Night Carter]

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Monday Night Carter]

mobcrush-logo-r225xWe’re streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There’s a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it’s really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you’re somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you’re on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you’ll get alerts when we’re streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you’ll need to register over on Mobcrush first.

If you missed the stream, we upload archive videos to our YouTube channel, so just head over there to see previous streams and our other random video content. Additionally, if you would like to stream on Mobcrush, it’s actually supremely easy and doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware and the software to do it is a quick (and free) download. Check out the Mobcrush FAQ for more information.

 

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [New Games with Carter]

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [New Games with Carter]

mobcrush-logo-r225xWe’re streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There’s a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it’s really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you’re somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you’re on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you’ll get alerts when we’re streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you’ll need to register over on Mobcrush first.

If you missed the stream, we upload archive videos to our YouTube channel, so just head over there to see previous streams and our other random video content. Additionally, if you would like to stream on Mobcrush, it’s actually supremely easy and doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware and the software to do it is a quick (and free) download. Check out the Mobcrush FAQ for more information.

 

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Variety Stream with Carter]

We’re Streaming iOS Games Live on Mobcrush [Variety Stream with Carter]

mobcrush-logo-r225xWe’re streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There’s a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it’s really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you’re somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you’re on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you’ll get alerts when we’re streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you’ll need to register over on Mobcrush first.

If you missed the stream, we upload archive videos to our YouTube channel, so just head over there to see previous streams and our other random video content. Additionally, if you would like to stream on Mobcrush, it’s actually supremely easy and doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware and the software to do it is a quick (and free) download. Check out the Mobcrush FAQ for more information.