Apple is pushing music downloading apps out of the App Store

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Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014, 08:38
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iTunes Music Store, iTunes Radio, music

music-download-appIn what appears to be an aggressive move to promote iTunes purchases and iTunes Radio, and possibly a Beats-related subscription service, Apple has been systematically removing any music downloading apps from the App Store according to MacRumors. Any search previously for “music download” in the App Store would show a number of apps that could download music and audio files from websites such as Soundcloud and YouTube, obviously taking a bite out of iTunes sales. Now the same search displays a message inviting users to try out iTunes Radio, with the first few results for apps include those for streaming services such as Spotify and other music-based apps that lack downloading capabilities. Apple has also asked developers to remove audio downloading functionalities from their apps. 

 

 

Doctor sets the bar for Apple’s Health app

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Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014, 08:24
Category: Apple, Apps, Features, Health, iOS, Software

482887779JS023_APPLE_HOSTS_Do a search for “health tracker” in the App Store and you’ll get a list of 500 apps before the search truncates the list. Health apps are a dime a dozen. The apps track everything from diet (calories, weight) to activities (running, biking) to vital body readings (blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate), some integrated with hardware such as Withings Blood Pressure Monitor. When Apple finally releases its Health app, what will make it any different or more valuable than the other 500 apps? Well, according to Dr. Thomas J. Morrow who holds the position of Chief Medical Officer at Next IT, developers of virtual assistant technology for healthcare, Apple needs to include 3 vital functions if the Health app is to set itself apart from the crowd.

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PayPal is eager to integrate Touch ID

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Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 08:07
Category: Apple, Finance, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, retail, security, Services, Software

touch-id_PaypalLittle was said about Touch ID in the WWDC keynote except that the API would be opened to third-party developers for use in iOS 8. Craig Federighi did show a nice pie chart claiming that since the introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, 83% of users now use passcodes, up from the 49% that used their iPhone’s security previously. Just days after this announcement, PayPal is reportedly dipping their toes into the Touch ID API with hopes of incorporating fingerprint recognition into their iOS app’s authentication system. This isn’t really surprising as it has already done this on Android with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Hopefully the process will be more hacker-proof on iOS.

PayPal may just be the first of several companies including other mobile payment services, banks, and even large retail chains, to take advantage of access to Apple’s fingerprint scanner. Getting users familiar with using Touch ID for purchases may be just the first step in Apple’s own long rumored plans to get into the mobile payments game, using it in tandem with their Passbook software. Apple is expected to start building Touch ID sensors into all of its mobile hardware soon. Here’s hoping the technology becomes more reliable than many users’ past experiences or people may get frustrated with the process and just not use it.

 

 

Your next Apple headphones may have a Lightning connector

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 5th, 2014, 08:50
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, Lightning, music

iPhone5-lightningAccording to 9to5Mac, Apple has quietly introduced a new specification in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program that allows headphones that connect to iOS devices use a Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. The ability to use such hardware doesn’t exist on iDevices yet, but a software update sometime in the future will likely enable this function. The advantage of using a Lightning connection would be to create “smarter” headphones.

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Apple introduces new programming language at WWDC

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Date: Thursday, June 5th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Announcement, Apple, conference, Developer, Software, WWDC

Swift_app_iconOne of the more unexpected announcements at WWDC, given the audiences reaction, was that Apple would be introducing a new programming language called Swift. Craig Federighi commented on how Objective-C had been the backbone of Mac and iOS development for 20 years, and with the phrase, “What it would be like if we had Objective-C without the baggage of C…?”, the developer crowd seemed to express its stunned approval in ooooooo’s and ahhhh’s until finally erupting in applause. According to Federighi, “It totally rules!”.

Continue if you are nerdy and excited by this sort of thing.

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Apple drops support for iPhone 4 in iOS 8

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Date: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014, 08:36
Category: Android, Apple, conference, iOS, iPhone, Software, WWDC

iOS8_supported-devices

He barely glazed over it in the WWDC Keynote on Monday, but Craig Federighi pointed to a list of iOS 8 supported devices, and it didn’t include the iPhone 4. Towards the end of the keynote, in particular after highlighting the many features that will be available to developers in the coming months, Federighi revealed that the beta of iOS 8 would be available by the end of Monday for all developers, and that the public would see iOS 8 in all its glory sometime in the Fall. Trailing behind that was a brief flash of the list of devices that the new OS would run on. Noticeably missing was the iPhone 4. Of course, this shouldn’t be much of surprise as older device models continuously get shaved off as iOS improves and the demands of features increases. Fortunately, it is only the one model that falls off the list as the rest of the devices seems to be the same as the one for iOS 7.

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Was this a peek at the iPhone 6?! (Update: not so much)

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Date: Monday, June 2nd, 2014, 16:20
Category: Announcement, Apple, conference, Developer, Hardware, iPhone, Sighting, WWDC

Update:

Weeeelll nope. Sorry, jumped the gun there. After closer inspection of my own iPhone 5s without it’s case, and the recognition that the top and bottom of the image are cropped, it now appears that this is in fact a white iPhone 5s. I’ve been taking a closer look at the video and the demo presenters definitely seem to be using a iPhone 5s. I guess the rumor of a leaked video showing a supposed iPhone 6 got me a little too excited at the prospect that Apple was giving us a subtle peek. It was exciting for a few hours eh?

After watching the live WWDC Keynote, my head is swimming with info and feature announcements for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, however, there was one thing I didn’t catch until I was reviewing part of the keynote to find some information I missed. See if you can spot it in this photo (even though I kind of gave it away in the title). iPhone6_sneakpeek The first thing I saw were the buttons. My immediate reaction, “that doesn’t look like the 5s buttons…”. iPhone6_sneakpeek hilight Then I looked at the whole thing and thought, “waaaaaaait a minute…that doesn’t look like any iPhone I’ve seen!”. Apple isn’t one to simply create some kind of random, generic phone design to show in their presentations, so this seems like a pretty good bet that this is a peek at the new iPhone 6 design, and if it wasn’t ready for a release this year, I doubt they’d be showing it off. I can’t tell what device they were using in the on-stage demos, but maybe some developers on site will post some close-up images.

What do you think? Is this the new iPhone or is this a red herring? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

Moscone readies for WWDC

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Date: Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 08:10
Category: Apple, conference, Developer, iOS, OS X, WWDC

wwdc14 crop2WWDC is only 4 days away and San Francisco’s Moscone Center is already dressing up the place in preparation. Given that I’m downtown all the time, I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t remember to swing by and take my own pictures, but the web site RazorianFly is on top of it and has a bunch showing numerous banners already going up on interior walls of the convention center. Actually, it would seem that RazorianFly has some kind of insider arrangement, since I can’t imagine any other way one could get these kinds of photos inside the building. Typically the first signs are…well, “signs” going up on the outside of Moscone Center. Anyway, here’s a couple from the site, and maybe I’ll get some myself to add later.

Apple announced Wednesday that they will be streaming this year’s WWDC keynote on June 2 at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET). Several insiders say there will be no hardware announced or discussed, but that Apple will instead concentrate on software including iOS 8, Mac OS X 10.10, and possibly some of the software planned for the iWatch such as HealthBook.

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And the Beats go on, but now at Apple

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Date: Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 08:04
Category: Announcement, Apple, Hardware, iTunes Radio, Retail Store, Services

Pardon the Sonny & Cher pun, but it had to be done. Yesterday, Apple confirmed that it has, amidst much rumor, hints, and speculation, acquired both Beats Electronics and Beats Music. The cost of getting the maker of the popular headphones, speakers, and audio software, as well as the streaming subscription music service, turns out to be about $3 billion total. That amount consists of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time according to the Apple press release. The deal is expected to close in fiscal Q4, subject to regulatory approval.

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Apple Stores moving towards becoming 100% Green

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Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 08:21
Category: Apple, Environment, News, Retail Store

apple_chrome_logo_leafIn a recent Fortune interview, as part of the Brainstorm Green conference, Apple’s VP of Environmental Initiatives spoke about Apple’s continued drive towards using 100% renewable energy. During the interview, Jackson touched upon Apple’s use of renewable energy for their data centers (100%), their corporate facilities (94%), and plans for the new “spaceship” Apple campus. Jackson said that Apple’s next big challenge is to convert the hundreds of Apple retail stores around the country to 100% renewable energy, something that is likely to be a little more complicated as she explains;

“In some places they’re in a mall … literally a shopping center. In some cases, they’re standalone stores. But where they are in the grid and where they are in the world, the access to clean energy may or may not be a trivial exercise.”

Jackson’s previous role as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, makes her a good choice as their top environmental advisor, which she began in May 2013. For the entire video of the interview, hit the jump…

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