iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:57:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 iOS 9 takes on challenging these 5 thriving app store categories Sun, 14 Jun 2015 12:12:03 +0000 Read More]]> iOS 9 preview during WWDC 2015 gave us a sneak preview of the upcoming software update for Apple’s mobile devices. The next major update for iOS offers many new features and performance enhancement.

On the other hand, iOS 9 and iOS 8.4 also take on challenging third-party developers who currently offer apps in 5 thriving app store categories. Many developers behind the apps in these categories are venture-backed and now Apple has become their competitor.

Here are the 5 categories that will be deeply impacted by iOS 9 and iOS 8.4.


Apple Music will be available on June 30 as a part of iOS 8.4 update. The revamped music app on iOS will feature Apple’s latest music streaming service. There are three parts to the new service from Apple.

The service will be priced at $9.99 per month and $14.99 per month for family plan.

Apple Music will directly compete with streaming giants like Spotify, SoundCloud, Rdio, iHeart Radio, Pandora Radio, TuneIn Radio, and even Vevo to name a few.


iOS 9 will replace Newsstand with all new Apple News app. It allows publishers to create unique experiences by providing engaging content with brilliant typography, animated objects, transitions and more.

Users will be able to find articles and stories relevant to their interest, bookmark and view recommended content. The new app will support iAd advertising for publishers.

News app in iOS 9 will directly compete with Flipboard.


In iOS 9 Apple is going after productivity apps that let you take rich notes with the all new Notes app.

The updated app allows you to add photos, scribble on your note, insert checklists, embed links and maps. It also has a new Attachments Browser that “organizes all the items attached to your notes in one simple view, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.”

It will also support a share extension so that you can take notes within apps like Safari, Maps, and many more.

Notes in iOS 9 will compete with Evernote, Google News, Feedly, and many more.


Apple has been working on transit direction for iOS since a long time. The company is now ready to launch its own transit directions in iOS 9 Maps app. It will feature public transit information with routes and directions.

Since the Maps app works on both iOS and OS X, you’ll be able to plan your trip on the Mac and follow in on the way on your iPhone or iPad. It’s worth noting that Transit will be available only in select cities in the US for the time being,

The new Maps app in iOS 9 with transit information will compete with Moovit.

Health & Fitness

Apple announced its Health app as a part of iOS 8 last year. In iOS 9 the Health is receiving an update to track “Sexual Activity”. In the updated Health app users will be able to record the date and time you had sex and whether you used contraception or not.

With a special focus on women, the Health app will now be able to track menstrual cycles and help in monitoring physical changes.

This update will now put many third-party apps on alert. Some of the apps that help in tracking mensural cycles include Glow, Ovia Fertility, Clue and many more.

{via CB Insights}

]]> 0 Apple Music on-demand streaming service available on June 30 Thu, 11 Jun 2015 18:00:56 +0000 Read More]]> At this years’ WWDC keynote event Apple CEO, Tim Cook, used Steve Jobs’ famous “one more thing” phrase to announce Apple Music. The company had long been rumored to be working on a music streaming service after acquiring Beats Music for $3 billion.

Just like most Apple products, Apple Music isn’t the first of its kind in the market. Apps like Pandora, Spotify, iHeart Radio and many more have been dominating the music streaming market.

Jimmy Iovine took the stage for the first time as an Apple employee during the WWDC keynote event and shared details about Apple’s upcoming music streaming service. Apple Music will allow users to stream unlimited music, offer 24×7 global radio station and include social media integration for artists to connect with their fans.

Apple Music will recommend songs based on the music you own and offer hand-picked playlists that match your taste in music. This will allow users to discover great tracks that otherwise could go undiscovered.

Beats 1 will be integrated into the default Music app on iOS 9 and will mark Apple’s entry into the world of radio stations as it will offer a global 24×7 channel for the latest music, interviews and culture.

Another feature as a part of the new music streaming service is Connect. It’s where artists will be able to share unreleased demo tracks, acoustic version of the latest hit, video shot in the studio and much more.

Apple Music will be publicly available on June 30 on iOS and Android. The service will offer a generous three-month trial and post that it will cost $9.99 a month for an individual user and $14.99 a month for family plan.

]]> 0 New Report Confirms iRadio Launch at WWDC 2013 Keynote Event and iOS 7 Design Mon, 10 Jun 2013 15:33:42 +0000 Read More]]> WWDC2013

Apple will unveil the new music streaming service rumored to be called iRadio at WWDC 2013 keynote event according to a new report published by The Wall Street Journal.

Apple has been long rumoured to enter the music streaming business, since they acquired an online music company, LaLa in 2010.  iRadio is expected to be a free to use service supported by iAds that will display image ads and stream audio ads. The music streaming service will support options to buy tracks that users wish to download from the iTunes music store.

The service will launch for customers in the US. Details about international rollout remain unclear at this point. Offering a free streaming service as opposed to offering a paid subscription is quite interesting since Apple has always refrained from the ad supported model.

The company has taken quite long to enter the music streaming business even as other services that began by offering apps on the App Store have become hugely popular. Many believe that establishing deals with the record labels was the biggest hurdle in rolling out the service and the company waited until the terms were favorable. Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet and Software services, is believed to have played a major role in getting all major record labels. One of the major points of differences in negotiating the deal had been been compensation for songs skipped by users, according to the report.

The highly anticipated new service—expected to be available only in the U.S.—will allow users to stream a radio-like channel of music based on their interests. It will be supported by text and audio ads from Apple’s iAd service, people familiar with the matter said. It will feature “Buy” buttons to drive downloads, they added.

The WSJ also reported on sources confirming the rumors about iOS 7 redesign featuring a new “flat” look. Apple is also looking at introducing new ways to share photos and videos.

The new iOS will also include new ways to share photos and videos with other iPhone users and other enhancements, these people said.

WWDC 2013 keynote event goes live today at 10 AM (Pacific Time) where the Cupertino, Calif. based company will unveil the future of software for iOS and OS X.

]]> 0 Twitter Launches Music App, #music, For iOS and Web Tue, 23 Apr 2013 15:48:38 +0000 Read More]]> Twitter music

On Thursday, Twitter launched the music app that was nothing but a rumor for the past several weeks. Twitter released the app early Thursday, and called it Twitter #music, with a hashtag in the title to reflect the popular feature from the social networking site. The app integrates a number of other music streaming services such as Rdio and Spotify and also shows previews from iTunes.

All of the music in the app will give users a preview until they log into their Spotify Premium or Rdio account. Twitter also introduced the service on the web for users who stream music on their computers and for those who use Spotify or Rdio on the web on a regular basis. Twitter #music uses Twitter as its main source of music and aggregates the most popular emerging artists and songs and also utilizes a user’s follow lists to recommend other music that the user may like.

Twitter #music is very similar to something such as Apple’s Genius suggestions in iTunes, but uses other music streaming services and Twitter to aggregate and recommend new music. ABC News released more specific details on the Twitter #music app:

The Popular page shows you new music that’s trending across Twitter while the Emerging tab shows “hidden talent found in tweets.” While those two parts feed you information about what the collective Twitterverse is jamming to, the last two focus on who you follow and your personal music taste.

The Suggested tab shows artists you might like based on the artists you follow on the service and who they follow. And finally the #NowPlaying tab shows songs your friends are listening to or tweeting about. For instance, if your friend tweets that they are listening to a song by Justin Bieber, that song will show up on that page.

Twitter #music is now available as a free download on the App Store {Direct Link} and on the web.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Inc. (AAPL) to launch ‘iRadio’ As Early As This Summer? Tue, 02 Apr 2013 18:53:47 +0000 Read More]]> Apple iRadio service

Rumors about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launching a music streaming service, similar to Pandora have been around for several months now. However, these reports have become more solid in recent weeks, as more sources begin to back claims that the service may be arriving as early as this summer. According to a report from The Verge, negotiations between AAPL and record companies are moving forward, allowing for the company to begin shaping its new ‘iRadio’ music service.

Much has been written about Apple’s plan to launch a Pandora-esque service this year. Now multiple music industry insiders have told The Verge that significant progress has been made in the talks with two of the top labels: Universal and Warner. One of the sources said “iRadio is coming. There’s no doubt about it anymore.” Apple is pushing hard for a summertime launch.

Earlier in March, Apple was reportedly trying to compete with other services by offering half the royalty rate paid by Pandora. While Apple would normally control all aspects of the service, in this case, they need the record companies to allow them to use music.

If it weren’t for the record companies, Apple could have possibly launched the service much earlier, perhaps even at the end of last year. The two record companies that are reportedly making the most progress with negotiations are Warner and Universal. Apple is expected to launch new iPhone 5S / 6 this summer, so it is possible that both will launch in the same event, especially if the iPhone 5S refresh is incremental and not a major redesign.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 1 Twitter to Introduce Standalone ‘Twitter Music’ App Bringing Music Streaming to iOS Users Sat, 16 Mar 2013 06:58:07 +0000 Read More]]> Twitter

According to a report from Bloomberg, popular social networking and microblogging service, Twitter is planning to introduce a standalone music app, being called ‘Twitter Music’. The app will bring streaming music capabilities to iOS users, similar to other services such as Pandora and Spotify.

The report does note, however, that streaming will rely on Berlin, Germany based SoundCloud. SoundCloud allows for artists to upload their music via a web URL, which can then be embedded on blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users can then leave comments on the music and interact with one another, which is likely what is attracting Twitter to creating such a service.

News of Twitter’s new venture has been relatively recent, with music labels hearing about it earlier this week and a report from CNet noting that Twitter had acquired music discovery service, We Are Hunted last year. We Are Hunted is a San Francisco based company that allows users to discover music from blogs, social networks, and BitTorrents and organizes them in a tile-based format for easy access.

With the new ‘Twitter Music’ app, Twitter would be competing with other social networks such as Facebook and Instagram which have been making a number of changes to their services. This includes Facebook’s new Graph Search feature and News Feed. Twitter appears to be targeting iOS specifically, having also introduced video sharing app, Vine to the platform.

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 1 Hidden Radio Icons in iOS 6.1 Suggest Music Streaming Service from Apple Coming Soon Tue, 05 Feb 2013 20:05:19 +0000 Read More]]> ipad radio icon

Apple has been widely rumored to be working on subscription based music streaming service for iOS devices. When Apple purchased LaLa, many believed that the company would introduce a streaming service. However, the purchase turned out to be to acquire talent to develop iTunes Match service.

Evad3rs released their ‘evasi0n’ unthethered jailbreak for iPhone5 on Tuesday and now 9to5Mac points us to hidden radio icons in iOS 6.1 release. Jailbreaking the iPad with evasi0n and then going through the files in revealed references to “radio button” with icons bearing resemblance to radio streaming icon in iTunes. Further, it was found that the button files are labeled with “buy” in the filename.

Many news publications like Bloomberg and WSJ previously reported on rumors about Apple working on Pandora competitor and cited music label licensing deals as being one of the hurdles being faced by the company. If those rumors are to be believed and with the hidden radio icons being revealed in iOS 6.1 is any indication then we could be seeing Apple announcing a new music subscription service soon.

Apple could be looking at allowing users to stream music tailored to their taste using the genius data and then integrating it with the iTunes store to allow purchase of favourite tracks. iTunes music store was recently made available in 56 new countries and the Cupertino, Calif. based company could now be looking at launching a music streaming service.

]]> 1 Beats CEO and Interscope Chairman, Jimmy Iovine Once Pitched A Music Subscription Service to Steve Jobs Fri, 18 Jan 2013 15:51:01 +0000 Read More]]> Jimmy Iovine

Online music streaming services such as Spotify, rdio, and Pandora are dominating streaming music space, Apple has been rumored to be working on its own radio service similar to Pandora’s, now being called “iRadio” for lack of a better name. These rumors have been circulating around the web for some weeks now. Now in an interview with AllThingsD, Beats CEO and Interscope Chairman, Jimmy Iovine revealed that he had pitched the idea of a music subscription service to Steve Jobs in 2003.

Iovine was close friends with Jobs, having worked with him on multiple products and promotions with artists such as 50 Cent, Bono of U2, Mick Jagger, and even launching a special iPod for U2. Iovine says he is currently working on a music subscription service, not revealing any specific details about the project or what it is going to consist of.

In 2002, 2003, Doug [Morris, former Universal Music head] asked me to go up to Apple and see Steve. So I met him and we hit it off right away. We were really close. We did some great marketing stuff together: 50 Cent, Bono, Jagger, stuff for the iPod — we did a lot of stuff together.

But I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn’t keen on it right away. [Beats co-founder] Luke Wood and I spent about three years trying to talk him into it. He was there, not there … he didn’t want to pay the record companies enough. He felt that they would come down, eventually.

I don’t know what [Apple media head] Eddy Cue would say — I’m seeing him soon — but I think in the end Steve was feeling it, but the economics…he wanted to pay the labels [for subscriptions], but [the fees were] not going to be acceptable to them.

Iovine did reveal that his service would be similar to Pandora, in that it would not provide users access to entire albums and artists as Spotify does and would aggregate music based on user’s preferences. Apple’s “iRadio” is expected to be similar to Iovine’s approach, although it could be possible that Iovine is working with Apple to help create the company’s music subscription service as the two have worked together in the past. Iovine was mentioned several times in Job’s biography, “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson in which Jobs himself talks about his friendship with the Beats Electronics chief.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Reportedly Working on Music Service Similar to Pandora Tue, 11 Sep 2012 19:34:47 +0000 Read More]]> Pandora Apple iOS 7

Pandora, the popular music recommendation service, may soon have a competing service from Apple Inc. (AAPL) new report claims. On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that AAPL is looking to introduce its own music streaming service, similar to Pandora, adding on to the iTunes structure in both OS X and iOS.

WSJ claims that “people familiar with the matter” suggest that the service would be integrated into Macs, the iPhone and the iPad and perhaps Windows PCs. This would give Apple continuing dominance in the music distribution industry and would help boost iTunes music sales.

Apple only recently initiated licensing negotiations with record labels for its putative service, and even if it does complete deals, it could be a matter of months when such a service might launch, according to these people.

The company has in the past contemplated and abandoned other interactive features, including a Spotify-like service that would have let users rent unlimited amounts of music for a fixed monthly fee. But people familiar with the current talks say they appear to be more serious than those previous tentative inquiries.

As on Pandora, the music would be interspersed with ads, in this case carried by Apple’s iAd platform, which syndicates ads to iPhone and iPad apps.

As with all of Apple’s deals with record labels and movie studios, the Cupertino company would be negotiating all licensing deals with the record labels. According to the report, Apple is still negotiating and likely won’t be unveiling the new service at the iPhone 5 media media event. Following WSJs report on the music service, the NYTimes also published its own report suggesting that there is, in fact, a music service for Apple in the works.

Apple’s service would likely take the form of a pre-installed app on Apple’s devices like iPhones and iPads and might be able to connect to a user’s iTunes account to judge his or her tastes.

A music service tailored specifically to iOS users, and one capable of obtaining a user’s preferences from their music libraries could potentially affect Pandora’s influence in the music market. With a music service, two powerful OS’ and the millions of iOS and Mac products out on the market, this could turn out to be a huge success for Apple.

{via MacRumors, Image Credit:}

]]> 1 Spotify Releases iPad App for its Streaming Service Tue, 08 May 2012 20:44:09 +0000 Read More]]>

Music streaming service, Spotify, gained popularity in Europe before debuting in the United States last July, allowing users to stream music from major music labels on their Macs, PC’s, and portable devices. Spotify is one of the first streaming services to combine users music libraries, as well as online streaming and allow them to sync their devices.

Today we’re extremely proud to present our native iPad app in all its green-hued glory. Features include:

– Retina graphics for iPad – dazzling display, razor sharp images, richer colors
– Even easier to browse and explore Spotify’s entire 18 million* song catalogue
– New ‘Now Playing’ full-screen view with high-definition cover art
– Search for playlists, users and music – all from the same view
– Check out what’s hot and find trending playlists & songs amongst your friends
– Inbox grouped by user for easy searching
– Gapless playback and crossfade
– AirPlay integration

Spotify has long been available on the iPhone since its release, operating on a pricing model, as opposed to the free model on the desktop computer. On Tuesday, Spotify announced that their new iPad application is now available in the App Store, utilizing the iPad’s 9.7 inch screen. The app is available via an upgrade to the existing app, which will be downloadable as both an iPad and iPhone app.

Spotify Premium is currently offering a free 48-hour trial for new users , allowing them to extend for up to 30 days if they sign up on the website. Premium users who use the service on the iPad, iPhone, and other mobile devices are the option to sign up for a subscription for $9.99 per month.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Spotify Debuts in U.S With Paid Plans and Invite-Only Free Service Thu, 14 Jul 2011 18:43:05 +0000 Read More]]> Spotify United States Plans

One of the largest music streaming giants, Spotify, announced today that they would be debuting their services in the United States. The launch is currently in beat phase and is available as an invite only Free service along-with two paid versions: Unlimited at $4.99/month and Premium at $9.99/month.

Spotify has also released an iPhone app in the App Store for users to take advantage of Spotify’s offerings on their iOS device. However, mobile users must be subscribed to the Premium service in order to use the iPhone app.

During our invite-only beta phase, we’ll be offering three great services – from absolutely free to paid subscriptions. The services we’re launching today are:

– Spotify Free – the unsurpassed free music service. With an invite, enjoy on-demand, buffer-free access to over 15 million songs on your computer and great social features. Manage your own music files through Spotify, and sync with your cellphone or iPod. Features occasional advertising.

– Spotify Unlimited – all the special features of our free service, but with uninterrupted, ad-free access to Spotify on your computer. All for only $4.99 a month.

– Spotify Premium – the top-of-the-range Spotify experience. Premium gives you access to all the music, all the time. Listen online or offline, on your computer, your cellphone and a whole heap of other devices. Enjoy enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions and special offers. Premium costs just $9.99 a month. (That’s the equivalent of a couple of fancy coffees.)

Spotify’s debut in the United States is backed by ad partners including Coca-Cola/Sprite, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok and Sonos who are developing specific ads for the service. Spotify has seen much success in Europe and is going to get the chance to establish itself in the US and possibly compete with other music giants such as Napster, iTunes, and Pandora.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Signs Universal Music for Upcoming Cloud Based Service [iCloud] Thu, 02 Jun 2011 22:17:00 +0000 Read More]]> Apple Universal iCloud Deal

Apple has cut a licensing deal with Universal Music Group according to the latest report published by CNET. This will enable Apple’s iCloud music store to offer songs from the largest of the four top record companies. It is widely believed that Apple has now signed deals with all the top four record companies as well as major music publishers, giving Apple’s iCloud streaming service a major head start.

The Cupertino outfit on Tuesday announced that it would unveil the highly anticipated cloud based service called iCloud on June 6 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. However, Apple did not mention whether iCloud will have any music streaming features or any aspects of the rumored TV shows and movies.

Sources at CNET have reported that revenue from iCloud song sales will be split, where the labels will get 58 percent, and publishers will receive 12 percent. Apple will take 30 percent as they do with all other services they currently offer. The sources also reported that streaming will not be available on Monday but will be offered soon and that the Apple digital locker will store only music purchased from iTunes in the beginning.

Apple is said to have plans to store songs purchased from outside iTunes sometime in the future, perhaps after Apple solidifies it’s servers and expands the North Carolina data center.

]]> 0 Apple’s ‘iCloud’ Icon Revealed Ahead of WWDC Keynote Event Thu, 02 Jun 2011 21:07:06 +0000 Read More]]> iCloud icon revealed

Apple has started decorating the Moscone West conference center in San Francisco as it does before every event, and even went a step further by setting up a banner of the “iCloud” service in clear daylight. The picture above, which appears to have been taken by someone looking into the conference center, shows the words ‘iCloud’ in Apple’s classic font, and what appears to be the iCloud logo.

Apple has announced that it will be discussing iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion and iCloud at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs will be making an appearance in order to deliver the keynote presentation on Monday, June 6th at 10AM PST.

Apple has been wrapping up deals with music labels and publishers to allow users to stream purchased music to their computers and other devices through the service, which will likely be integrated into iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion. Apple is all about integration, taking one service and assimilating it into all of their products (eg. iBooks). AppleInsider released a clearer shot of the banner (seen below), highlighting iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion.

WWDC 2011 iCloud Photo

It’s increasingly becoming clear that iPhone 5 / 4S won’t be a part of this years conference. However, if Apple restricts iOS 5 to just iPhone 4 and drops support for iPhone 3GS then we can be sure that fifth gen iPhone could be available in September during the annual music event.

[via MacRumors] ]]> 0 Apple Takes Ownership of Thu, 02 Jun 2011 16:48:13 +0000 Read More]]> Apple iCloud Domain Transfer Complete

Apple on Wednesday took ownership of the domain “”. The domain name was earlier believed to be obtained by Apple Inc., however, now Apple has already confirmed that they will be announcing their upcoming cloud based services during WWDC keynote presentation. was rumoured to have been sold to the Cupertino outfit for $4.5 million.

This change in ownership now gives Apple complete control over the domain name and will be able to redirect it to and other internal pages. Currently, redirects to Xcerion’s own service that has been renamed to Apple is now listed as admin contact for as well, possibly claiming any domains related to their streaming service, so as not to cause any diluting of it’s brand and service prior to trademark which is already underway.

Apple has already confirmed that its cloud based services called “iCloud” will be introduced at WWDC 2011, alongside a preview for Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5. Apple is expected to reveal iCloud as a subscription based service integrated into it’s mobile and desktop software, which could be the reason behind the announcement being made during an event where Apple will discussing only software related updates. Until Apple’s WWDC announcements on Monday, stay tuned, we’ll keep you in the loop.

[Via MacRumors] ]]> 4 Apple Applies for “iCloud” Trademark in Europe Thu, 02 Jun 2011 14:14:52 +0000 Read More]]> Apple iCloud Cloud Services

We have been discussing Apple’s upcoming cloud services called “iCloud” for a while and now just before the WWDC keynote event its showing all signs of coming to life. Patently Apple recently reported that Apple Inc. has applied for “iCloud” trademark in Europe under “12 distinct international classes” which cover a wide range of services the company could offer. In its application Apple mentions services like delivering digital music by telecommunications, electronic storage, online social networking services, multimedia content for a fee or pre-paid subscription, computer software, electronic books and magazines, entertainment, photographic services, business management and advertising services, games, headgear and digital devices/computers.

Google and Amazon already have a head start over Apple in cloud based services however, only Apple is believed to have secured license deals with major music labels which include Sony, Warner Music and EMI. This will give Apple an edge over its competitors. iCloud could simply scan the computer and automatically sync songs, movies and TV shows to the cloud giving access to the content you own anytime and anywhere.

iCloud trademark Apple

Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off with a keynote event by Steve Jobs and other Apple executives. Unlike, previous WWDC this year the primary focus will be software where the “next generation software” will be unveiled. Mac OS X Lion is believed to have reached final stages of testing and could be made available after the event on June 06. The latest developer build of Snow Leopard updates Mac App Store so that your Mac is ready for the upgrade.

With a constant flow of news and reports Apple certainly has been successful in building up the excitement as the event is now just 4 days away. On Tuesday, iWork suite of productivity apps were updated to a universal binary which means that now you can install Pages, Keynote and Numbers on your iPhone or iPod touch.

Are you excited about iCloud and iOS 5? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

]]> 2 New Details About Apple’s iCloud Music Locker Service Emerge Sat, 28 May 2011 21:49:12 +0000 Read More]]> Apple’s iTunes truly revolutionized the digital music industry and now it seems that they are ready to take it to the next level with ‘iCloud’ music streaming service.

We recently reported that Apple has closed licensing deals with three out of the four major music labels for their soon to be announced digital music locker service. This gives Apple great advantage over its competitors, Google and Amazon, who launched similar service without the license deals.

Music labels are always looking for new revenue streams and it’s possible that Apple probably had to pay a huge amount in-order to secure the rights for its new music streaming service. Apple’s iCloud service is widely believed to be tied to MobileMe ($99/year) which already allows users to keep their Mail, Safari Bookmarks, Documents etc. on their Macs and iOS devices in Sync.

BusinessWeek recently published a report in which they detailed Apple’s iCloud service:

Apple will be able to scan customers’ digital music libraries in iTunes and quickly mirror their collections on its own servers, say three people briefed on the talks. If the sound quality of a particular song on a user’s hard drive isn’t good enough, Apple will be able to replace it with a higher-quality version. Users of the service will then be able to stream, whenever they want, their songs and albums directly to PCs, iPhones, iPads, and perhaps one day even cars.

A patent application recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also revealed some features about iCloud service which the Cupertino Calif. based company could be looking into. The patent basically explains that any song you want to access from the cloud would require your device to store a minimum of 30 seconds preview. This would allow the user to skip songs without any lag as the preview could be used for the first 30 seconds while the track stored on the cloud can buffer and offer seamless experience.

During WWDC 2011 Apple is expected to share details about the future of iOS and preview Mac OS X Lion. iOS 5 is believed to finally introduce cloud based services which Apple has been preparing for since a long time.

]]> 4 Apple Patent Reveals iCloud User Interface with ‘Partial Song Syncing’ Thu, 19 May 2011 17:22:39 +0000 Read More]]> Apple iCloud patent

A new patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office could reveal the user interface for Apple’s upcoming iCloud service, in addition to a feature for “partial song syncing.” Entitled “Local Storage of a Portion of Streamed Media Items,” the application depicts an iTunes-like user interface and describes a feature that would store a sample of each of your songs locally on your device to ensure you get a seamless iCloud experience.

The idea behind a cloud-based music service is that you store your songs in a ‘digital locker’ online to save precious storage space on your device, and then access them from internet-connected devices such as the iPhone or iPad. So, surely storing previews of all of your songs locally defeats the object? Well, it does a little bit, but it will take up significantly less space than storing complete tracks and will ensure you get the smoothest possible experience.

The idea is that by storing a sample of each song on your device, when you skip between songs your device will begin by playing the preview while the rest of the song buffers in the background. This means that if you change the track and iCloud isn’t expecting it, you won’t have to wait a few seconds in between tracks for each song to load.

It’s a simple idea that I’m sure will make a huge difference to our user experience, and will be one the little details that makes iCloud better than its rivals from Amazon and Google.

Apple’s patent application describes the problem with these rival services:

When the electronic device is unaware of the next media item to play back, the electronic device can require undesired pauses between media items. Similarly, when a user skips to a different media item for playback, the electronic device can require a long pause during which no media item is played back as the new media item is streamed to the device.

I think you’ll agree that this sounds like another one of Apple’s simple but fantastic ideas. The only thing that I think does need work is that user interface. I know that it’s only a black & white patent image, but it looks like it needs a bit of work.

[via AppleInsider] ]]> 1 Apple Orders 12,000 Terabytes of Storage for iTunes Video Content Wed, 06 Apr 2011 22:51:42 +0000 Read More]]> According to a recent report from, Apple has ordered 12,000 terabytes (12 petabyes) of storage from Isilon Systems for hosting video content on the iTunes Store. The deal was said to “probably” make Apple Isulon’s largest customer, and could indicate that plans for a digital locker service to store media and content in the cloud is coming together nicely, as rumors have suggested.

The information in the report is said to come from an “inside source” at EMC – a company which intended to buy Isilon in late 2010 for $2.25 billion – and planned to use the storage infrastructure technology to support cloud computing services.

Although the report made no mention of cloud services, the 12 petabytes of storage could well be just what Apple needs to launch a cloud-based streaming service, allowing users to access their movies, music, and photos on their iOS device from a digital storage locker. Reports have been speculating for some time that the Cupertino company would launch a service to compete with music streaming services like Spotify, Rhapsody, and the new Amazon Cloud Player.

In 2009 Apple acquired a company called Lala which previously provided a similar service. Lala subscribers could buy music downloads, listen to online content, and upload their own music library to the cloud for remote playback on various devices. However, Apple closed the company soon after its purchase sparking rumors that it would build the Lala model into iTunes and relaunch the service, but we’re yet to see that happen.

[via AppleInsider] ]]> 0 iPad 3 is Device to Get Excited About, MobileMe Being Revamped, says Apple Employee Tue, 01 Mar 2011 22:12:49 +0000 Read More]]> An Apple staffer, who has given details to Cult of Mac regarding the company’s upcoming iPad 3, believes that the second-generation tablet will be nothing to get too excited over, but instead the iPad 3 is the “one to make a song and dance about.” Although the iPad 2 is expected to be thinner, lighter, and faster than the current device, CoM’s source wouldn’t give any more details about the device, but did spill some beans on how Apple is revamping MobileMe.

The new MobileMe service will apparently allow you to store music, TV shows, and movies purchased from the iTunes Store in the cloud, allowing you to then stream this content to your iOS device saving that valuable storage space for apps, games, photos, and everything else. Whether or not this will be a free service is yet to be confirmed.

This new streaming service sounds very similar to the one offered by LaLa before Apple purchased and then closed the company back in 2009. It enabled users to upload music to an online locker and then stream that content to a device of their choice. Since Apple purchased the company, there has understandably been speculation that it would one day become a part of iTunes and continue to offer a streaming service, however, we’re yet to see anything take shape.

Content streaming to iOS devices is certainly something I think we can expect to see from Apple soon, whether it’s integrated into MobileMe or part of iTunes. As a leader in the digital music industry and a company famous for being at the forefront of incredible new products and services, I’m quite surprised they haven’t already made a streaming service available.

]]> 3 Sony Has “No Intention of Withdrawing from iTunes” Thu, 17 Feb 2011 22:57:01 +0000 Read More]]> Recent rumors regarding Sony’s displeasure with Apple and suggestions that the company could soon pull its content from iTunes have been dismissed by Sony’s Chief Operating Officer Shawn Layden. According to Silicon Valley Insider, Layden referred to a previous comment from Sony’s Chief Executive, who told an Australian newspaper that he hoped the company could would not need to sell through iTunes in the future:

Sony Music as I understand it has no intention of withdrawing from iTunes. They’re one of our biggest partners in the digital domain. I think those words were either taken out of context or the person who spoke them was unclear on the circumstances.

Despite Layden’s justification of these comments, and of Sony’s intentions, the launch of the company’s “Music Unlimited” streaming service this week has only fuelled speculation that Sony is looking for an alternative to iTunes. The service provides users with access to a catalog of millions of songs from major record labels when they sign up to one of two music plans.

The ‘basic’ plan starts at $3.99 USD and allows users to listen to a ad-free radio stations based on genre, era, and mood. While the $9.99 USD ‘premium’ plan enables a user to listen to any song on demand as well as 100 channels featuring the latest hits. Music Unlimited will initially launch in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand before the service rolls out worldwide, and it will be available through numerous internet-connected Sony devices including the PlayStation 3, Bravia TVs, and the Vaio line of computers.

Sony’s president of Networked Products & Services Group, Kazuo Hirai, said:

“As we expand ‘Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity’ around the globe, it signifies a paradigm shift which redefines the existing music listening experience by revolutionizing music access, discovery, integration and personalization. Through Sony’s high quality network-enabled devices, we are focused on delivering dynamic services ‘powered by Qriocity’ to offer global customers with compelling digital entertainment propositions.”

It seems unlikely that Sony will ever withdraw its products from iTunes and end its partnership with Apple, no matter how successful Music Unlimited proves to be. For that to happen, the company would have to make Music Unlimited available to Macs and iOS devices, the latter of which I’m sure Apple would make incredibly difficult. With the ever increasing popularity of Apple’s products and services, I think Sony would be shooting itself in the foot if it was to pull out now.

{via AppleInsider}

]]> 1 Apple Quietly Launches the iTunes Cloud.. Kind of… Thu, 05 Aug 2010 02:42:14 +0000 Read More]]> If you are a member of MobileMe you may have noticed that you can now upload mp3 files to your iDisk and play them from there.

Apple updated their MobileMe app in early July, and included in the update was a revision to the MobileMe service which adds the ability to “Play audio from your iDisk while using another app”.

The feature is very basic at the moment, as it doesn’t allow traditional iTunes syncing, cover art or playlists. But if you stop and think for a minute it kind of gives us a hint to Apple’s future plans.

It also kind of means that MobileMe is not going to be free anytime soon…

Have you tried playing music from your iDisk? Let us know about it in the comments…

[Computer World] ]]> 0 WWDC 2010 Live Keynote Coverage. New iPhone 4G / HD, OS 4 and more Mon, 07 Jun 2010 14:17:21 +0000 Read More]]> Apple WWDC 2010

WWDC 2010 Live Keynote Coverage

You don’t need to refresh this page! Live updates will appear below:

Steve Jobs will kick off the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2010 on Monday, June 7th at 10 am Pacific with a live keynote presentation.

Apple is widely rumored to unveil the new iPhone 4G, provide iPhone OS 4 update, announce Safari 5 and introduce new cloud based music streaming and storage services.

We will bring you the all-in-one live feed from all popular news sources (Engadget, CNET, MacRumors, ArsTechnica, Wired, GDGT and more) and update you with the latest information. We will be updating you with the latest images and features of new iPhone (4G / HD), iPhone OS 4.0 and all other announcements. Live audio/video feed is unlikely to be available however, we will update this page if we find one.

We will also allow live comments and our team will be live a bit early to discuss the event. As soon as the download link to the WWDC 2010 keynote event is available we will update this page.

Don’t miss this event, bookmark and share this page today!

Check your time zone:

07:00AM – Hawaii
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris

]]> 25 Google Music Logo Revealed. Where is this going? Fri, 04 Jun 2010 18:39:43 +0000 Read More]]> There often seems to be a bizarre synergy between some of the things that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) do these days. Sometimes those synergies can be positive and complimentary. Yesterday we reported that Google had now made its mobile search results link up with Apple’s iTunes App Store. A couple of days before that Steve Jobs had confirmed that Google would not be replaced as the main search engine in iPhone OS.

Sometimes those synergies are less positive, with respect to the two companies relationships. If you cast your mind back to Apple’s attempted purchase of AdMob, and Google’s tactical move to snap it up from under them you should see what I mean.

At Google’s own developer conference, called Google I/O, they recently announced a music service of sorts, which allowed users to stream their music content from their desktop computer to any Android device. This service seemed to include iTunes as a source for DRM free music.

This service basically allows you to share any copyright free music from any desktop client, on any personal computer, with any Android device. All you have to do is install a small piece of software to enable this.

Google’s purchase of Simplify Media is what has given them the technology to do this. Simplify Media has had this message on their website since March :

We are unable to share our future plans at this time but hope to be able to announce the re-launch of the technology soon. In the meantime, we will continue to operate the existing service for at least the next 3 months. Many thanks to those of you who have supported us and helped us improve Simplify over the last few years! We hope you will enjoy its future incarnations as well.

In some ways the state of Simplify Media is somewhat similar to that of LaLa. A streaming music service that Apple bought, and has now effectively shut down, just prior to their own developer conference WWDC. This has sparked any number of rumors and counter rumors from bloggers and tech sites about Apple’s plans for a music service in some way based in the cloud.

Today Google revealed the logo for their “music service”. It’s certainly a Google logo!

Google Music

I wonder how much that cost them? Or how long it took to design?

At the moment the Google Music service is set to take on iTunes in the US only. And basically it functions in a fairly similar fashion to that of iTunes. You can buy a piece of music in the Android Market, download it to your device, and then play it.

When coupled with Google streaming service you will then presumably be able to stream from your desktop machine also, over the internet to anywhere you have a connection on your Android phone, or tablet.

One has to wonder what Apple’s reply will be to this. For me it lends more credence to the rumors that Apple will perhaps be announcing something along these lines at WWDC next week. Or perhaps at a special event booked roughly a week after WWDC 2010.

What are you thoughts on Google Music, Apple’s iTunes, and the possibility of a streaming audio service from Apple?
Let us know in the comments.

Google Music at Google I/O :

]]> 1 LaLa service discontinued. Is iTunes streaming coming soon? Tue, 01 Jun 2010 23:27:09 +0000 Read More]]> Apple acquired the popular music streaming service as they were interested in their experience with cloud-based music services. Recent news reports and patent filings indicate that Apple is all set to launch its cloud-based music streaming service.

Last month we reported that LaLa would be shutting down their service and today the service was finally discontinued. This has lead to further speculation that Apple might introduce its new music subscription service during WWDC 2010. Millions of users already use iTunes to purchase music which makes it very easy for Apple to market their subscription based service.

Apple could also be looking at improving the iTunes experience by allowing users to stream the full song and then decide if they would like to buy it. The new iTunes music streaming service could also use the data from genius playlist and recommendations and stream music from an endless collection of artists you like.

The DOJ is currently investigating Apple’s music services but we could still see a demo of this new streaming service during the WWDC keynote.

]]> 1 Apple Gets Aggressive with Acquisitions Tue, 04 May 2010 19:27:18 +0000 Read More]]> Apple (AAPL) has traditionally been a very conservative player in the often very cowboy world of Silicon Valley acquisitions. Perhaps it was the lack of dominance in the market or a business philosophy but up until very recently Apple was cautious and calculated. The past 12 months has marked a drastic change of pace. Apple has purchased mobile marketing company Quattro Wireless after being stymied by Google (GOOG) in an attempt to buy AdMob, music streaming service LaLa, microprocessor design company Intrinsity, and mobile search company Siri. The torrid pace with which Apple has been buying companies has almost outpaced traditional start-up buyer Google.

But what does this all mean? Why, as Apple news site AppleInsider reports, has Apple engaged a Goldman Sachs investment banker to help in its mergers and acquisitions work? The types and rate of acquisitions point to three areas.

AppleInsider notes one of the main reasons Apple has gone on such a purchasing spree is to engage in a type of arms race with Google. Apple understands its main competition is not Microsoft any more, it’s Google. With Google aggressively moving into the mobile space with Android, the Nexus One, and a rumored upcoming tablet; Apple understands they are quickly coming into direct conflict with a company that has the money and will to compete with it on any field of battle. Apple also understands that passing on a company they might only be mildly interested in would leave them open to purchase by Google. Better to buy a company, acquire its human resources and intellectual property, and let it go fallow then leave it open to development by Google. It’s conventional wisdom that Apple bought LaLa to develop an “iTunes in the cloud” type of product. It’s equally as probably they just bought to deny Google the property.

The second reason for the recent acquisition spree centers around money and Apple’s ability to spend it. It’s widely regarded the two companies in Silicon Valley with the largest war chests are Google and Apple. The twin factors of Apple’s previously cautious nature and the wild success of their iTunes-iPhone ecosystem has left them with a large pile of cash to play with. It has been reported Apple has a portfolio of liquid investments worth approximately $41 billion USD. At no other point in its corporate history has Apple had the raw ability to buy companies that enhance its product lines. No longer relegated to picking and choosing who it acquires, Apple now has the cash to quickly expand and capitalize on its success. Apple finds itself in the enviable position of having cash and a popular product line that is ripe for expansion and market dominance.

And that leads to the last point. Apple has never had the need to quickly acquire companies before now. All of the internal moves Apple has made since the 2007 introduction of the iPhone have led to this moment. Now that Apple has built their move into mobile into the twin pronged success of the iPhone and iPad, they’re moving quickly to cement that move into long term success. That means taking over the means of hardware design and production (Intrinsity), developing in-house applications that replace the competitors on your platform (Placebase), and further extending your current ecosystem into new spaces without drastically changing its profit model (LaLa). It will be interesting to see what further acquisitions Apple has up its sleeve. While they may not indicate immediate changes to what Apple is doing, they certainly indicate a future direction.

What do you think of Apple’s recent acquisition spree? Are they buying companies to expand and increase their reach or simply to deny Google? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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