International

AT&T carrier update for iOS 9.3 allows for Wi-Fi Calling outside the US

In a text message sent today to its eligible customers, AT&T announced that those who have activated the Wi-Fi Calling feature on their iPhone can now make and receive phone calls from and to the US at no charge when traveling internationally, assuming they have first updated to iOS 9.3 and installed the newly available carrier update.

This marks a small yet important change to how users can benefit from Wi-Fi Calling. Up until now, Wi-Fi calling for AT&T customers restricted them to using the service only from the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands. But now, it is opened to any country (except for a few exceptions), meaning an AT&T Wi-Fi Calling user can make calls to the US, or receive calls from the US anywhere in the world as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection.

Apple said to be planning early international rollout of streaming music service

Russia is going to be among the first countries where Apple will launch its revamped Beats Music service, according to Billboard. The publication points to a report from local outlet Vedomosti, who cites several sources claiming that the company is in negotiations with Russian record labels regarding the service.

The fact that Apple is eyeing Russia for an early streaming music launch isn’t alone significant—its slowing economy and struggling ruble have deterred other services like Spotify from entering the countries—but what is interesting is that it sounds like the company is planning on a quick international rollout.

Apple planning to rollout Apple Watch to more countries in June

During Apple’s fiscal second quarter conference call on Monday, Tim Cook conceded that the demand for Apple Watch has been much greater than supply, but the company is working hard to remedy that.

“I think we’re in a good position,” he said. “And sometime in late June we currently anticipate being in a position where we could begin to sell the Apple Watch in additional countries. That’s our current plan.”

Apple expands CarPlay to 5 new countries

Apple on Thursday announced that it has expanded CarPlay availability to 5 new countries, including Russia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. This brings the total amount of CarPlay countries to 25.

Folks in these countries now have the ability to use Apple’s hands-free display-streaming feature with compatible vehicle models and head units, as long as they have an iPhone 5 or newer, running iOS 7.1 or later firmware.

Microsoft demos real-time voice translation feature for Skype

Last night at Recode’s inaugural Code Conference, Microsoft announced a new real-time voice translation feature for its Skype VoIP service. The company says it’s currently in beta form, but it plans to eventually roll it out to all devices.

The goal of the feature is to allow users to hold a conversation with someone speaking a foreign language, with Skype providing near-instant voice translations for both parties. And judging by the initial demonstration, it works fairly well…

Apple expands its iPad trade-in program overseas

Last month, Apple expanded its in-store trade-in program to include iPads. Under its Reuse and Recycling initiative, the program allows users to bring in their old iPads and trade them in for store credit, based on model, condition and other factors.

Initially, the option was only available at Apple stores in the US and Canada, but the company has expanded it overseas this week. Reports are coming in this morning that the iPad trade-in program is now available in France, Spain and Germany…

iTunes Match now available in Japan

Apple continues its international expansion of iTunes services this afternoon, with the launch of iTunes Match in Japan. iOS users in the country can now access the service, which first launched in the United States back in 2011.
For those unfamiliar with the service, iTunes Match allows users to ‘mirror’ their music libraries to the cloud. This enables them to access their songs from any compatible device, without having to spend hours uploading them…

Apple expands iTunes in the Cloud support in Germany to movies and TV shows

Good news for iOS users in Germany today, as Apple has expanded iTunes in the Cloud in the country. The cloud-based sync-and-storage service now supports the streaming of movies and television shows.

What this means is that German users will now be able to access previously-purchased movie and television content on any Apple device, including the Apple TV, by accessing the ‘Purchased’ tab in iTunes…

Pocket updated with new languages, support for Medium and more

Last month, popular read-it-later service Pocket took its iOS client global, adding the support of French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish languages. Until then, the app could only display UI elements (not saved content) in English.

Today the service built on that achievement by adding support for 5 new languages, including both Chinese and Portuguese, via an app update. The release, marked as version 5.2.1, also features better support for Medium and other improvements….

‘Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft’ for iPad launches in select countries

Back in March, Blizzard launched its digital card trading game ‘Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft’ on the Mac, and as promised, it has brought the game to iOS. The title soft-launched for iPad last night, and is now available in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand App Stores.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, for those unfamiliar with it, is a strategy card game set in the ‘Warcraft’ universe. Players compete in 1-on-1 battles—either against the computer or other users via Battle.net—in an effort to grow the size and power of their card collections…