Apple launches a U.S.-only music video station, Apple Music TV

Apple is expanding its investment in music with today’s launch of “Apple Music TV.” The new music video station offers a free, 24-hour livestream of popular music videos and other music content, including, exclusive video premieres, curated music video blocks, live shows, fan events, chart countdowns and guest appearances.

The service doesn’t have its own dedicated app, but is instead offered as a new feature within two of Apple’s existing entertainment apps. At launch, you can watch Apple Music TV from within the Browse tab of either the Apple Music app or the Apple TV app. (Accessible via apple.co/AppleMusicTV).

While Apple Music is a paid subscription service, Apple Music TV will be free to users in the U.S., the company says.

To kick off its launch, Apple Music TV today began with a countdown of the top 100 most-streamed songs ever across all of Apple Music, based on U.S. data.,

During brief tests of the new service, we found it to be a fairly basic (if uncensored) experience. The video stream only offered artist and song details at the beginning, instead of as the music played. It also didn’t take advantage of the integration with Apple Music to offer additional features to paying subscribers — like being able to favorite the song or add it to a playlist, for instance.

The stream would stop when the Apple Music app was closed, as it didn’t support background play.

Image Credits: Apple

There also weren’t any on-screen tools to share what you were watching via a social media post. You had to dig to find the “share” button under the three-dot, “more” menu. This would give you a link to tweet, but wouldn’t pre-fill it with text or hashtags, like the artist name or song.

While listening, you could stop the livestream and then return after a short pause. But after a bit, the stream would disconnect and the thumbnail of the paused music video reverts to the placeholder Apple Music TV image. When live, the text and icons will be shown in red. They revert to white when you’ve disconnected, as a visual cue.

Despite its simplicity, Apple Music TV gives Apple an immediate new home for its music-related original content, which over the years has included exclusive interviews, concert films, and more. It also provides Apple with another advantage with it goes to negotiate with artists for their premieres, as it introduces additional platform for reaching an artist’s fans — not only with the premiere itself, but by offering artists blocks of airtime leading up to their next debut that they can use to promote their releases.

The new station can also leverage content produced for the Apple Music 1 (formerly Beats 1) radio station, as it goes about running these promotions.

For example, on Thursday, October 22, Apple Music TV will promote the upcoming release of Bruce Springsteen’s “Letter to You” with music video blocks featuring his greatest videos, plus as exclusive interview with Zane Lowe, and a special livestream fan event.

Fridays, meanwhile, will focus on new music. This Friday, October 23, at 9 AM PT Apple Music TV will showcase two new exclusive video premieres – Joji’s “777” and SAINt JHN’s “Gorgeous.”

Apple Music TV’s biggest advantage, of course, is the fact that it’s freely accessible to millions of Apple device owners.

But it may struggle for traction as it lacks the features that make other livestream fan events or premieres engaging — like group chats or direct interactions with creators.

Instead, it’s more like a traditional TV broadcast — even MTV-like — compared with other online destinations where artists today connect with fans and promote their albums, like YouTube, VEVO, or more recently, Facebook, which just this year launched music videos.

Apple didn’t say if it planned to expand the new station outside the U.S.

#apple-inc, #apple-music, #apple-tv, #apps, #ios, #media, #mobile, #music, #streaming-video

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This Week in Apps: Apple’s big event, lidar comes to iPhone, Android gets a new IDE

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Top Story

Apple introduces four new iPhones (and more)

Apple hosted its iPhone event this week, where it introduced the new iPhone 12… and the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max — effectively plugging all the holes in the market. With the release of the four new iPhones, app developers will have a range of devices to build for, from small to very large — the 12 Pro Max, for example, introduces the iPhone’s biggest-ever screen and the highest resolution, at nearly 3.5M pixels.

It also, of course, includes serious camera improvements, from a redesign of the three-lens system to including a new deeper telephoto camera, now a 65 mm-equivalent instead of 52 mm, as on previous models. There’s also an improved wide-angle lens, larger sensor, the addition of sensor-level image stabilization and a revamped Night Mode. Photographers will appreciate the new Apple ProRAW format, as well. (More on that here).

The iPhone 12 mini, meanwhile, aims to serve the customer base that prefers a smaller phone, like the iPhone SE, but without sacrificing functionality.

All the devices share some key features, including 5G connectivity, the new MagSafe connector for wireless charging and snap-on magnetic accessories, OLED displays and the A14 chip. They also have a more classic look, with straight edges that allow for additional antennas, providing next-gen wireless connectivity.

One of the bigger differences, however, between the Pro models and the regular iPhone 12 is the addition of the LiDAR Scanner, which is also found in the latest iPad Pro. The scanner measures how long it takes for light to reach an object and reflect back. The new depth-sensing technology has big implications for AR, as it allows augmented reality objects to interact with objects in the real world. AR apps will be more user-friendly, too, as they won’t need to first scan the room to place the AR object in the real world. It can be placed instantly.

Apple is leveraging the sensor for the iPhone 12 Pro camera to offer up to 6x faster focus in low-light conditions. Developers, meanwhile, can leverage lidar for use cases like AR-enabled games that work in the real world, social media (like Snapchat’s new lidar-powered Lens), home design and improvement apps involving room scans, spatial layout planning (like JigSpace), better AR shopping experiences and more.

The company also announced an affordable version of its HomePod smart speaker, the $99 HomePod Mini. The item works best for those fully locked inside the Apple universe, as it will stream a handful of music services, but not one of the most popular — Spotify. However, Apple also introduced a nifty feature for the HomePod devices, Intercom, which lets you send announcements across the speakers. While Apple and Google have offered a similar feature for their smart speakers, Intercom also works across other Apple devices, including iPhone, iPod, AirPods and even CarPlay. (What, no Mac?)

If Apple isn’t too late to capture smart speaker market share, the new speaker could see more users adopting smart home devices they can voice control through the HomePod Mini.

During the event, Apple also subtly snubbed its nose at Epic’s Fortnite with the announcement that
League of Legends: Wild Rift would be coming to iPhone 12 to take advantage of its new 5G capabilities and A14 Bionic chip.

Weekly News Round-Up

Platforms

  • Lidar comes to iPhone 12 Pro. Developers can now build AR experiences that interact with real-world objects, and AR apps can now instantly place AR objects in the real world without scanning the room. The update will mean a huge increase in the usability of AR apps but is limited to the Pro model of iPhone for now. Snapchat is already using it.
  • Apple developers can now make their apps available for pre-order even earlier — up to 180 days before release on the App Store.
  • Android Studio 4.1 launches. The new, stable version of the IDE for building Android apps introduces better TensorFlow Lite support and a new database inspector. The team also fixed a whopping 2,370 bugs during this release cycle and closed 275 public issues.
  • Google introduces the Android for Cars library. The library, now in open beta, gives developers tools to design, develop and test new navigation, parking or charging apps for Android Auto. The Google Play Store will be enabled for publishing beta apps in the “coming months.”
  • Google stops selling music. The company no longer sells tracks and albums on its Play Store, shifting all its focus to YouTube Music. The latter also just launched on Apple Watch this week.

Trends

  • Shopping apps forecast. U.S. consumers were expected to spend 60M hours in Android shopping apps during Prime Day week, (which just wrapped) according to one forecast from App Annie.
  • Prime Day downloads grow. Sensor Tower estimates global installs of the Amazon app grew 23% year-over-year, to 684K, as Prime Day neared. Installs on Wednesday were up 33% to 750K. However, U.S. installs were down by 22% 10/13-10/14. Apptopia noted that app sessions, however, were up 27% year-over-year.
  • Shopping, Food & Drink app launches up more than 50% year-over-year. Shopping apps grew 52% while Food & Drink apps grew 60%, due to COVID-19 impacts, according to Sensor Tower.
  • Subscriptions. U.S. consumers spend $20.78 per month on app subscriptions, Adjust study says.
  • TikTok sale impact on ad industry. 73% of marketers said a TikTok sale in the U.S. would impact their 2021 advertising plans. 41% also believed the deal could allow Walmart to overtake Amazon in e-commerce.
  • Amazon expands AR experimentation to its boxes. The retailer launched a new AR application that works with QR codes on the company’s shipping boxes to create “interactive, shareable” AR experiences, like a pumpkin that comes to life.

Security

  • Robinhood said a “limited number” of its users’ accounts were hacked. The service itself was not hacked, but around 2,000 customers had accounts compromised by cybercriminals who first compromised users’ personal emails outside the trading app.

Other News

  • Zoom’s new events platform brings apps to video conferencing calls.
  • Messenger update brings new features, including cross-app communication with Instagram. The app gets fun features like chat themes, custom reactions and, soon, selfie stickers and vanish mode. But the bigger news is the (potentially anti-competitive) merging of Facebook’s chat platforms.
  • Life360 leverages TikTok teens’ complaints to start a dialogue and invent a new feature, “Bubbles,” which allows teens (or anyone) to share a generalized location instead of an exact one. The feature gives teens a bit more freedom to roam and make choices without so much parental oversight. Parents, meanwhile, can still be sure their teen is OK, as features like emergency SOS and crash alerts remain functional.
  • Must-read: The MacStories iOS and iPadOS 14 Review. Federico Viticci offers a 23-page deep dive into the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

Funding and M&A

    • Future raises $24M Series B for its $150/mo workout coaching app amid at-home fitness boom. The app pairs users with real-life fitness coaching for personal training at home. The round was led by Trustbridge Partners with Caffeinated Capital and Series A investors Kleiner Perkins participating.
    • River raises $10.4M for its app offering news, events and other happenings from around the web, ranging from news stories from top publishers to sports to even notable tweets. The app presents the information in a real-time stream, browsed vertically. There’s also a “For You” page, similar to TikTok.
    • Roblox confidentially filed with the SEC to go public. This cross-platform gaming platform has boomed during coronavirus lockdowns. According to reports, the listing could double Robox’s $4B valuation.
    • Robo Adviser Wealthsimple raises $87M. The funding for the investing app with comparisons to Robinhood was led by Menlo Park-based Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), valuing the business at $1B.
    • Fitness platform Playbook raises $9.3M. The company offers tools for personal trainers who want to make their own videos, which consumers then browse in Playbook’s mobile app. Backers include E.ventures, Michael Ovitz, Abstract, Algae Ventures, Porsche Ventures and FJ Labs.
    • Live streaming app Moment House raises $1.5M seed. The startup aims to recreate live events in a digital format. LA area investors invested, including Scooter Braun, Troy Carter, Kygo’s Palm Tree Crew and Jared Leto. Patreon chief executive Jack Conte and Sequoia Capital partner Jess Lee also participated.
    • Twilio acquires Segment for $3.2B to help developers build data-fueled apps.
    • E-learning platform Kahoot raises $215M from SoftBank. The Norwegian startup claims to have hosted 1.3 billion “participating players” in the last 12 months. The company’s gamified e-learning platform is used both in schools and in enterprise environments.

Downloads

Mycons

Mycons is a new app that makes it easier for users, including non-designers, to create and buy custom icons for their iOS home screen makeovers. In the app’s “Icon Studio,” users can create icons by swapping out the background, choosing a symbol and placing it on the icon accordingly. You can also create a whole set of icons in a batch export. If you don’t feel like designing your own, you can opt to purchase premade packs instead.

The app is a free download with a one-time, in-app purchase to unlock the fully functionality of the icon designer. The icon packs, which include different variations and matching wallpaper, range from $7.99-$9.99.

Spotify’s new iOS 14 widget

Image Credits: TechCrunch screenshot of Spotify widget

It’s here! The widget a number of people have waited for since the launch of the new version of iOS has arrived. 

The widget, which arrives in the latest version of the Spotify iOS app, comes in two sizes. The smaller widget will display just your most recently listened to item, while the medium-sized widget will instead show the five most recent items — four in a horizontal row and the most recent at the top. In that case, you can actually tap on the small thumbnail for which of the five you want to now stream to be taken directly to that page in the Spotify app. The widget also automatically updates its background color to match the thumbnail photo.

#android, #android-studio, #app-store, #apple, #apple-inc, #apps, #ar, #google-play-store, #homepod, #ios, #ios-14, #ipad, #iphone, #iphone-12, #league-of-legends, #mobile-app, #operating-system, #operating-systems, #play-store, #smartphones, #tc, #this-week-in-apps

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Future raises $24M Series B for its $150/mo workout coaching app amid at-home fitness boom

With thousands of gyms across the country forced to close down during the pandemic, there’s been an unprecedented opportunity for fitness companies pitching an at-home solution. This moment has propelled public companies like Peloton to stratospheric highs — its market cap is about to eclipse $40 billion — but it has also pushed venture capitalists towards plenty of deals in the fitness space.

Future launched with a bold sell for consumers, a $150 per month subscription app that virtually teamed users up with a real life fitness coach. Leaning on the health-tracking capabilities of the Apple Watch, the startup has been aiming to build a platform that teams motivation, accountability and fitness insights.

via Future

Close to 18 months after announcing a Series A led by Kleiner Perkins, the startup tells TechCrunch they’ve closed a $24 million Series B led by Trustbridge Partners with Caffeinated Capital and Kleiner Perkins participating again.

Amid the at-home fitness boom, Future has seen major growth of its own. CEO Rishi Mandal says that the company’s growth rate has tripled in recent months as thousands of gyms closed their doors. He says shelter-in-place has merely accelerated an ongoing shift towards tech-forward fitness services that can help busy users find time during their day to exercise.

The operating thesis of the company is that modern life is inherently crazy not just during pandemic times but in normal times,” Mandal says. “The idea of having a set routine is a complete fallacy.”

At $149 per month, Future isn’t aiming for mass market appeal the same way other digital fitness programs being produced by Peloton, Fitbit or Apple are. It seems to be more squarely aimed at users that could be a candidate for getting a personal trainer but might bot be ready to make the investment or don’t need the guided instruction so much as they need general guidelines and some accountability.

As the startup closes on more funding, the team has big goals to expand its network. Mandal aims to have 1,000 coaches on the Future platform by this time next year. Reaching new scales could give the service a chance to tackle new challenges. Mandal sees opportunities for Future to expand its coaching services beyond fitness as it grows, “there’s a real opportunity to help people with all aspects of their health.”

#apple, #apple-inc, #caffeinated-capital, #ceo, #companies, #fitbit, #fitness, #industries, #kleiner-perkins, #peloton, #rishi-mandal, #tc, #trustbridge-partners

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PopSockets is working on MagSafe-compatible iPhone accessories

PopSockets will support Apple’s MagSafe technology, TechCrunch has confirmed — meaning you’ll soon be able to pop on and off these ubiquitous iPhone accessories without worrying about the sticker on the back losing its adhesiveness over time and needing a rinse.

MagSafe, Apple’s charging brand, is now the company’s new system for iPhone wireless charging and easy-to-attach accessories, introduced today at Apple’s iPhone event.

Thanks to the new array of magnets positioned around the wireless charging coil, the iPhone will be better aligned when connected with Apple’s MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger — designed for wirelessly charging the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 plus Apple Watch, respectively.

But the system also enables a range of MagSafe accessories that work with iPhone 12.

Apple is introducing its own accessories, with new silicone, leather and clear cases that easily snap on the back of the iPhone 12 models, as well as an attachable iPhone wallet. The company also said on Tuesday that consumers should expect a range of MagSafe accessories from third-party manufacturers.

I’ll admit, my mind was on PopSockets for some reason before the Apple event. Which is why when MagSafe was introduced, my first thought was oh, PopSockets! 

I’m probably not alone.

The company has sold over 165 million PopSockets Grips since launching in 2014, and has since expanded its grippy-things-on-the-back-of-your-phone product line to include all sorts of variations — like PopSockets with mirrors or lip gloss, tiny versions, PopSockets with wallets, Otter + PopSockets phone cases, and even PopSockets that match your nails. (Oh, and they’ve got face masks to match your PopSockets now, too.)

PopSockets Grips can be removed a number of times, but they can lose their stickiness over time. The company says the solution is to give the little dongle a rinse and let it air dry for about 10 minutes, then stick it back on the iPhone and let it set for a couple of hours.

This can be a bit of a tedious process, which is why the company introduced PopSockets Grips with interchangeable covers, aka PopTops.

However, a line of MagSafe-compatible PopSockets line would mean you wouldn’t have to worry about the product’s stickiness wearing off. As a result, users might be included to buy more of these iPhone dongles — perhaps even accumulating a collection they can swap out at will, to match their outfits or mood.

It also means that users could forgo having to use a case with their iPhone — as iPhone 11 owners currently have to — in order to take advantage of PopSockets Grips.

Conversely, it could open PopSockets up to more competition in the accessories market, as companies won’t have to out-engineer the Grips and their patent-protected technology. Instead, rivals could simply expand their existing product lines with MagSafe-compatible items for an upcharge and increase their revenues.

PopSockets says it has MagSafe products in development, but isn’t announcing details at this time.

Note: Image does not show MagSafe-compatible products. 

#apple, #apple-inc, #apple-iphone-event-2020, #iphone, #magsafe, #popsockets, #smartphones, #tc

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Manhattan Emptied Out During the Pandemic. But Big Tech Is Moving In.

The four companies known as Big Tech — Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — now have more than 22,000 employees in the city, with thousands added just this year.

#amazon-com-inc, #apple-inc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #e-commerce, #facebook-inc, #google-inc, #labor-and-jobs, #mongodb-inc, #new-york-city, #real-estate-commercial, #renting-and-leasing-real-estate

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Apple reveals the $99 HomePod Mini

Today, during its iPhone hardware event, Apple unveiled the $99 HomePod Mini.

The HomePod Mini is clearly a reach for a broader swath of new users. The original HomePod managed to impress audiophiles but its high price served as a high barrier of entry to new users looking for a new smart speaker. Complicating that “smart speaker” designation is the face that Siri was and is several years behind the intelligence of both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, leaving the speaker as a more compromised choice for users who might have been hoping to embrace the fully smart home ecosystem.

The new device starts shipping the week of November 16. The device comes in white and space grey colors.

The HomePod Mini ditches the trashcan Mac Pro design of its bigger relative and is much more spherical in shape, still covered in a mesh fabric. It boasts the same onboard screen that allows users to summon Siri and adjust volume, while giving the device a more interesting visual look than smart devices from other companies. Also differentiating the device is Apple’s S5 chip which the company says helps the HomePod Mini bring users its “computational audio.”

Like with the original HomePod, users can arrange a stereo pair of two of the HomePod Minis and will also be able to utilize multiple HomePod devices in a home to operate a new “Intercom” experience.

Image Credits: Apple

#amazon, #amazon-alexa, #apple, #apple-inc, #apple-iphone-event-2020, #assistant, #computing, #google, #homekit, #homepod, #ios, #iphone, #iphone-4, #iphone-5s, #s5, #siri, #smart-devices, #smart-speaker, #smart-speakers, #software, #speaker, #tc

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When to Buy a New Phone. Or Not.

If you’re wondering if you should buy a new smartphone, ask yourself these questions first.

#apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #smartphones, #social-media

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Live from Apple’s virtual 2020 iPhone event

Apple’s big iPhone event is finally here – virtual, which is to be expected these day. This is already the second virtual event Apple has hosted this fall, following one in September at which it revealed the Apple Watch Series 6 and a new iPad Air. This time around, we’re going to see what the iPhone 12 looks like, as well as how many colors and sizes it comes in.

There’s also supposed to be plenty of other news, including a new smaller HomePod mini, maybe an updated Apple TV, possibly a number of different headphone products and more. Will we get our first glance at the first shipping ARM-based Mac to use Apple’s in-house processors? Probably not, but maybe!

We’re going to be following along live and offering commentary below, and you can also tune in live to the video stream right here. Everything gets underway at 10 AM PT/ 1 PM ET.

#apple, #apple-inc, #apple-iphone-event-2020, #computing, #gadgets, #hardware, #ios, #ipad, #iphone, #itunes, #mobile-phones, #portable-media-players, #steve-jobs, #tablet-computers, #tc

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Apple Does Not Need to Return Fortnite to App Store, Judge Rules

Fortnite’s parent company, Epic Games, had broken its contract with Apple, a federal judge found. The case goes to trial next year.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #computer-and-video-games, #decisions-and-verdicts, #epic-games, #fortnite-video-game, #gonzalez-rogers-yvonne-1965, #mobile-applications, #suits-and-litigation-civil

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Judge denies Epic’s request to force Apple to bring Fortnite back to App Store

The California judge in the legal skirmish between Epic Games and Apple has denied Epic’s request that Apple be forced to reinstate Fortnite in the App Store, but did affirm that Apple can not take action against the Epic Games developer accounts used to bring Unreal Engine developers access to Apple devices.

The court’s decision re-affirmed their proclamation from late August in a court hearing where Epic Games’ lawyers sought to obtain a temporary restraining order after Apple informed the Fortnite developer that they would be kicking the company off the App Store and terminating all of their company accounts.

The judge noted that “[p]reliminary injunctive relief is an extraordinary measure rarely granted,” and detailed that they were granting in part and denying in part Epic’s request, noting that “Epic Games bears the burden in asking for such extraordinary relief.”

From the filing:

Epic Games has strong arguments regarding Apple’s exclusive distribution through the iOS App Store, and the in-app purchase (“IAP”) system through which Apple takes 30% of certain IAP payments. However, given the limited record, Epic Games has not sufficiently addressed Apple’s counter arguments. The equities, addressed in the temporary restraining order, remain the same.

This confirms that Fortnite will not return to the App Store before the trial begins, a court filing this week signaled that the two companies will go to trial on May 3, 2021.

#app-store, #apple, #apple-inc, #california, #computing, #epic-games, #fortnite, #fortnite-battle-royale, #ios-app-store, #software, #tc, #unreal-engine, #video-games

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Apple is extending some AppleTV+ subs through February 2021 for free

Apple told me today that it will be extending AppleTV+ subscriptions that are set to end November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021 through their billing date in February of 2021.

The basic situation is that Apple gave away a free year of AppleTV+ to new device purchasers last year and those are all set to end in November. Apple knows everyone is still looking at a tough winter ahead filled with COVID-related restrictions so it’s bumping those subs out to February.

Monthly users whose subscription start date is before November 1st, 2020 also get a deal, with a $4.99 credit (the cost of an AppleTV+ subscription) appearing for every month between November 2020 and February 2021. You do not have to do anything to receive the credit and users will be getting emails notifying them of these extensions/credits.

And, of course, if it gets to hold the total sub number steady through Q4 of a tough economic year so much the better, right?

AppleTV+ had a bit of a slow burn start, with a big sub onramp in the form of devices and some high profile launches that were tempered by early reviews of their marquee programming. But people warmed to the shows over time. 

I believed at the time that it was a bit of natural sugar crash happening. 

http://twitter.com/panzer/status/1196916700261670912

That proved out over time as The Morning Show ended up winning AppleTV+ its first Prime Time Emmy award. 

Total award nominations for Apple Originals now number 114 with 35 wins. 

And, by the way, Ted Lasso is one of the more clever and humane shows currently streaming at the moment. Please go watch it, it’s a well acted melange of sport, non-toxic masculinity and heart felt drama.

Also, as a quick note, if you were a day 1 purchaser of an iOS device last year it’s possible that your free year is actually ending October 31st, don’t worry, you’re covered in this offer too. 

Here are the particulars of the deal, for easy copying and pasting:

  • If your AppleTV+ subscription ends on November 1, 2020 through January 31 of 2021 Apple is extending the free year to your sub date in February of 2021.
  • This means that the yearly subscriber extension applies to people who subbed prior to January 31, 2020.
  • As an example, if your sub was set to end November 15th 2020 then your first billing date would now be February 15th, 2020.
  • If people signed up for yearly subs without a new device purchase during that same date period they will also get free through February 2021.
  • If you have signed up for a monthly subscription before November 1st, 2020, you’ll get a $4.99 credit per month. 
  • The new device program where you get a year free will still continue.
  • Customers will get emails about this.

 

#apple-inc, #apple-tv, #computing, #industries, #itunes, #smart-tv, #tc

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Apple brings Health Records to iPhone in the UK and Canada

Apple has added support for the Health Records feature of its Health app on iPhones in two new markets – the UK and Canada. The electronic medical records feature originally debuted in the U.S. in 2018, and the company says that it’s now supported by over 500 institutions across that country. At its debut in its two new markets, it’ll be supported by three hospitals in Canada and two in the UK, but obviously the plan is to expand support to more over time.

Apple’s EHR feature was created with its commitment to user privacy in mind. In practice, that means that any information transferred between a user’s iPhone and their healthcare provider is encrypted, and the data is transmitted directly, with no intermediary sever storage. Also, Apple Health Records data on a user’s device is fully encrypted and locally stored, unlock able only via a user’s individual passcode, as well as Touch ID or Face ID for devices that support those.

Health Records on iPhone requires institutional support, but can provide a high degree of individual ownership of health data, as well as a means of making sure that data is portable and can follow a patient to integrate with a variety of care facilities and providers. Many efforts have been made to unify and standardize EHR systems in different parts of the world, but few have gained widespread support. Apple’s has the advantage of working broadly with devices that make up roughly half the mobile representation in markets where it’s available, and a user-friendly, clear and concise design.

#apple, #apple-inc, #biotech, #canada, #face-id, #health, #healthcare, #ios, #ios-11, #iphone, #operating-systems, #smartphones, #tc, #touch-id, #united-kingdom, #united-states

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12 Accusations in the Damning House Report on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

Lawmakers said they found multiple problems with each of the four giant tech companies.

#amazon-com-inc, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #e-commerce, #facebook-inc, #google-inc, #house-of-representatives, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #mobile-applications, #search-engines, #social-media, #software

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House Lawmakers Condemn Big Tech’s ‘Monopoly Power’

In a report led by Democrats, lawmakers said Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook needed to be checked and recommended reforming antitrust laws.

#amazon-com-inc, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #google-inc, #house-of-representatives, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #microsoft-corp, #united-states-politics-and-government

0

Big Tech Was Their Enemy, Until Partisanship Fractured the Battle Plans

A House report on how to limit the reach of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook has been delayed as Democrats and Republicans split on remedies.

#amazon-com-inc, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #cicilline-david-n, #computers-and-the-internet, #conservatism-us-politics, #facebook-inc, #google-inc, #house-committee-on-the-judiciary, #house-of-representatives, #jordan-jim-1964, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #mobile-applications, #politics-and-government, #social-media, #united-states-politics-and-government

0

Apple and Epic Games Spar Over Returning Fortnite to the App Store

The two companies argued in federal court over Apple’s power over apps, as their fight heads to trial next year.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #computer-and-video-games, #computers-and-the-internet, #decisions-and-verdicts, #epic-games, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #software, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #sweeney-tim-1970

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Google Demands Its 30% Cut From App Developers in Play Store

Some companies like Netflix and Spotify had avoided making the payment when people paid for something inside their apps.

#android-operating-system, #apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #google-inc, #google-play, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments

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Free the Apps!

Apple and Google have a virtual monopoly on distributing mobile apps — that’s bad for competition.

#android-operating-system, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #cook-timothy-d, #e-commerce, #epic-games, #google-inc, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #smartphones, #software, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #sweeney-tim-1970

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What’s the Deal With Google Now?

Google is facing the possibility of multiple antitrust lawsuits. Here’s why and what’s ahead.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #google-inc, #mobile-applications, #search-engines

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To Fight Apple and Google, Smaller App Rivals Organize a Coalition

Spotify, Match Group, Epic Games and others have created a nonprofit alliance that they hope will amplify a protest against the power of the giants.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #basecamp-llc, #blockchain, #computer-and-video-games, #computers-and-the-internet, #epic-games, #google-inc, #match-group-inc, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #smartphones, #software, #spotify, #sweeney-tim-1970

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The New Apple Watch Measures Your Blood Oxygen. Now What?

Blood oxygen readings can be a useful indicator of wellness, but context is important — and so is medical advice from a doctor.

#apple-inc, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #doctors, #sleep, #watches-and-clocks, #wearable-computing

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JPMorgan Sends Workers Home After Coronavirus Case

Sending workers home after a colleague tests positive for the coronavirus will be a fact of life for months to come.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #apple-inc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #gates-bill, #gates-bill-and-melinda-foundation, #house-of-representatives, #jpmorgan-chasecompany, #race-and-ethnicity, #schultz-howard-d

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Europe Feels Squeeze as Tech Competition Heats Up Between U.S. and China

As the rapid pace of change mixes with national security issues, Europe’s role as a global regulator is increasingly tested — and may not be enough.

#amazon-com-inc, #apple-inc, #artificial-intelligence, #china, #computers-and-the-internet, #european-union, #facebook-inc, #facial-recognition-software, #google-inc, #privacy, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance, #united-states-international-relations

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Russian Intelligence Hackers Are Back, Microsoft Warns, Aiming at Democrats and Republicans

China is also growing more adept at targeting campaign workers. But contrary to Trump administration warnings, Beijing is mostly aiming at Biden campaign officials.

#apple-inc, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #democratic-national-committee, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #gru-russia, #homeland-security-department, #justice-department, #microsoft-corp, #national-security-agency, #obrien-robert-c-1952, #office-of-the-director-of-national-intelligence, #presidential-election-of-2020, #ratcliffe-john-lee-1965, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-cyber-command, #wolf-chad-f

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Russian Intelligence Hackers Are Back, Microsoft Warns, Aiming at Officials of Both Parties

China is also growing more adept at targeting campaign workers. But contrary to Trump administration warnings, Beijing is mostly targeting Biden campaign officials.

#apple-inc, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #democratic-national-committee, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #gru-russia, #homeland-security-department, #justice-department, #microsoft-corp, #national-security-agency, #obrien-robert-c-1952, #office-of-the-director-of-national-intelligence, #presidential-election-of-2020, #ratcliffe-john-lee-1965, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-cyber-command, #wolf-chad-f

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No, Facebook Does Not Reflect Reality

Despite what Mark Zuckerberg says, Facebook shapes our world.

#apple-inc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #facebook-inc, #google-inc, #mobile-applications, #social-media, #zuckerberg-mark-e

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Wall Street Has Its Worst Day in Months

The S&P 500 dropped 3.5 percent on Thursday, the biggest single-day fall since June 11, as big tech companies weighed on it heavily.

#alphabet-inc, #amazon-com-inc, #apple-inc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #google-inc, #microsoft-corp, #nasdaq-composite-index, #standardpoors-500-stock-index, #stocks-and-bonds, #united-states-economy

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Apple won’t force developers to let users opt out of tracking until next year

At its global developer conference in June, Apple said its forthcoming iOS 14 update would allow users to opt out of in-app ad tracking, a privacy feature that quickly drew ire from advertising giants over fears that it would make it harder to deliver targeted ads to users.

But now Apple is delaying enforcing the feature until “early next year”, the company confirmed.

iOS 14, expected out later this year, will contain a new prompt that asks users whether they would like to opt into this kind of targeted ad tracking. Developers will be able to integrate this prompt into their apps as soon as iOS 14 is released, but they will not be required to, as Apple indicated they would earlier.

In a statement, Apple said:

We believe technology should protect users’ fundamental right to privacy, and that means giving users tools to understand which apps and websites may be sharing their data with other companies for advertising or advertising measurement purposes, as well as the tools to revoke permission for this tracking. When enabled, a system prompt will give users the ability to allow or reject that tracking on an app-by-app basis. We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and as a result, the requirement to use this tracking permission will go into effect early next year.

Although Apple cites the necessity of giving developers time, major advertising companies like Facebook have warned that the change could severely impact their operations. “Apple’s updates may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14,” the company said in a statement last week.

Putting these lucrative partnerships in jeopardy could hit Apple’s bottom line as well and may even affect whether some apps or services are available at all.

The exact date when the policy would be enforced, and other details of this compromise, will be announced later.

#advertising, #apple, #apple-inc, #apps, #computing, #ios, #ios-14, #iphone, #itunes, #mobile-software, #operating-systems, #privacy, #security, #smartphones

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Apple and Google to Make It Easier to Opt In to Virus Tracing

The tech giants said states could soon send notices directly to smartphones asking people to opt in to the technology, which helps trace the coronavirus.

#apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #contact-tracing-public-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #google-inc, #mobile-applications, #privacy, #quarantines, #smartphones, #states-us

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