HBO

Apple may offer HBO, Showtime and Starz in a combined premium TV bundle

Recode reported Sunday that Apple is considering offering a “premium TV bundle” with content from the networks HBO, Showtime and Starz.

As I’m sure you’ll recall, the Cupertino company’s long been rumored to have been interested in creating a $30-$40 per month skinny bundle of top TV programming from multiple content owners.

While App Store offers apps from each of those channels individually, Apple has reportedly approached the three networks about rolling them up into a single package, as conventional pay TV operators sometimes do.

HBO GO picks up support for Single sign-on and Apple’s new TV app

Apple today put HBO GO on the list of video apps supported in its new TV app via the Single-sign on feature that recently launched in iOS 10 and tvOS 10.

This lets HBO GO users sign in with their cable or satellite credentials on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple TV to enjoy instant access to HBO shows, not only in Apple’s own TV app but in other supported video apps that their pay TV subscription includes.

Siri, cease all motor functions

It seems Apple’s partnership with Universal Pictures that uses funny Siri responses to promote the animated movie “The Secret Life of Pets” was just the beginning. As revealed by actress Evan Rachel Wood who stars in “Westworld,” Siri is a fan of the show.

In another major movie tie-in for Apple, this time with HBO, Siri has learned some amusing responses to queries related to the science fiction western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy for HBO.

Here are some of them.

“Hey Siri, is Jon Snow dead?”

Ahead of the upcoming April 24 premiere of the sixth season of HBO’s popular “Game of Thrones” television show, Siri engineers seem to have updated her database to answer some of the most burning questions asked by fans, the most lingering one being “Is Jon Snow dead?”

Conveniently, Apple’s made sure that the personal digital assistant is spoiler-free so you won’t get anything out of her pertaining to whether or not the show’s most popular character has perished at the hands of the Night’s Watch.

HBO Now updated with support for Picture in Picture, Spotlight Search and more

HBO on Thursday pushed out an update for its HBO Now streaming app, bringing the iOS client to version 1.3. The update is a significant one for folks running iOS 9, particularly those with a late-model iPad, as it adds compatibility with some of the new software’s features.

The most important of those features is Picture in Picture, which allows [newer] iPad owners to watch videos in a small, standalone window while using other apps. Additionally, the update adds support for Spotlight Search, as well as various other bug fixes and improvements.

HBO NOW updated with support for Google’s Chromecast

HBO pushed out an update for its NOW mobile app this morning, brining the iOS client to version 1.2. According to the change log, the release includes performance improvements, and support for push notifications and Chromecast devices.

That latter item is by far the most significant, given that HBO’s streaming service has been exclusive to Apple TV since it launched in April. Now, those with Google’s $30 HDMI dongle can enjoy HBO NOW content on their big screen TVs.

HBO GO for iPhone and iPad adds support for playback through HDMI output

I’m an avid fan of the HBO GO service, one annoyed that their iOS application wouldn’t support HDMI output. As someone who travels fairly often but doesn’t carry an Apple TV wherever I go, it’s depressing not being able to send the latest episode of Game of Thrones from my iPhone to a TV set in a hotel room using an HDMI adapter.

But if you own a Lightning to HDMI adapter and are an HBO GO subscriber, you can now hook up your iPhone or iPad to a TV set and enjoy lag-free video playback through HDMI output.

New report offers behind-the-scenes look at Apple-HBO deal

Alongside Tuesday’s launch of HBO’s new standalone streaming service, HBO Now, Fast Company published a wide-ranging interview with the network’s chief executive Richard Plepler. The piece offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Now came about, and more interesting to us, how Apple got involved.

As Plepler tells it, HBO had been working on a streaming service for a few years, with plans to launch in 2016. But due to increasing competition from Netflix, and a looming takeover bid from media mogul Rubert Murdoch, they decided to speed up the timetable. So he gave his old friend Jimmy Iovine a call.

HBO NOW launches on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad with 30-day free trial

As previously announced at Apple’s March 9 media event, HBO’s online-only subscription services has just launched on Apple’s $69 set-top box, the iPhone, iPad and on the web ahead of the series premiere of its hit show Game of Thrones on April 12.

The video subscription service will be available exclusively on the Apple TV and the iOS platform for a limited time. A free 30-day trial is available if you sign up in April, after which watching HBO NOW will set you back $14.99 each month.

Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ keynote video posted to iTunes as downloadable podcast

Following yesterday’s “Spring Forward” media event which brought us new Apple Watch details and pricing, an exclusive HBO Now launch on the now-discounted Apple TV, some interesting medical research news and a Retina-enabled twelve-inch MacBook with USB-Type C, Force Touch trackpad and silver, space grey and gold finishes, now the whole presentation can be downloaded and kept on your computer in the form of a video podcast.