“Siri, what do my pets do when I’m not home?”

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

It seems Apple has partnered with Universal Pictures to promote “The Secret Life of Pets” by updating Siri’s backend with a bunch of responses related to the animated movie. The company’s official iTunes USA Facebook page promotes Siri partnership with a nicely done teaser video.

We also spotted a dedicated “Siri, what do my pets do when I’m not home?” banner which briefly appeared in the iTunes Movies app on the Apple TV. Read More

 

Home Sharing not working? Try this

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 21, 2016

Home Sharing is a useful feature you can use to stream your iTunes content from your computer’s iTunes library to up to five other computers, Apple TVs, and iOS devices in your household.

While it’s a useful feature, that’s not to say it works all the time. Small glitches or problems with your devices can cause the feature to not work properly, and we’ll be talking about common fixes for Home Sharing problems on your Apple TV and other Apple devices in this piece. Read More

 

For today only, iTunes is offering 10-movie bundles for just $10

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 12, 2016

Ten years ago this month, digital movies launched on iTunes with just 75 titles, all from studios owned by Disney in which Steve Jobs was the largest individual shareholder. Today, iTunes offers more than 85,000 feature-length movies for purchase or rental. To celebrate ten years of iTunes Movies, Apple is offering six ten-movie bundles, priced at just $9.99.

For today only, customers in the United States can buy these bundles packed with releases from Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount, Lionsgate and Sony Pictures that cover a wide range of genres. Read More

 

Hulu transitions free content to Yahoo View, renews focus on subscriptions

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 8, 2016

Hulu said today it’s phased out its free, ad-suported tier as it refocuses efforts on subscription services. According to Variety, free TV episodes will no longer be available on Hulu, but the current $7.99/$11.99 per month paid tiers won’t change. All Hulu content that was available free with ads has moved to Yahoo View, a new service designed for hosting free, ad-supported TV shows from the likes of ABC, NBC, Fox and others. Read More

 

CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services have surpassed 2M subscribers

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 29, 2016

Cable providers can complain all they want about Apple’s “hard-nosed” negotiation tactics when it comes to digital entertainment, but some of them seem to be enjoying unexpected success after introducing over-the-top subscription packages specifically aimed at cord cutters.

Take as an example CBS and its All Access and Showtime Anytime video-streaming services, which have now surpassed two million subscribers, with user bases evenly split between the two, as revealed by CBS’s CEO on a quarterly results conference call with analysts and investors. Read More

 

Eddy Cue: Apple is a delivery platform, not a Netflix rival (plus, skinny bundle “is a misconception”)

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 14, 2016

Eddy Cue, 52, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, answering a series of questions related to Apple’s alleged attempts to introduce a skinny bundle of television programming on iTunes, its relationship with content owners and swirling rumors that it may be invested in creating original programming to become the next Netflix or Comcast. Read More

 

China’s media administrative wing sues Apple over 1990s war film

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 4, 2016

A subsidiary of China’s broadcasting regulator is taking Apple to court over showing a propaganda film which was released back in the 1990s, reports The Associated Press. The plaintiff—Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center, which comes under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television—alleges that the iPhone maker has infringed its exclusive online rights to broadcast its movie which depicts Chinese fighting against Japanese soldiers in northern China in the early 1930s. Read More

 

Bookmark apps and iTunes content and install them later with Lookmark for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2016

Lookmark for iPhone by developer Claes Jacobsson received a major update yesterday, prompting me to take another look at this interesting piece of software.

With Lookmark, you can bookmark apps and other iTunes content very easily from Safari, other apps and your desktop, and install/download them later when the time is right. Yesterday’s update added a Share sheet extension which can save apps mentioned on any webpage. Read More

 

Confessions of a big iTunes spender

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2016

I have a confession to make…

It’s become painfully obvious to me, glancing at my purchase history, that I’ve reached a point in my computing life where I’m now a big iTunes spender. To my astonishment, in the past year or so I’ve been burning money on apps, media and services at a clip of a hundred bucks each month. That’s actually a conservative estimate. Realistically, my iTunes spending is somewhere in the ballpark of $150-$200 per month.

To look at it another way, that’s $1,200-$2,400 in annualized services revenue for Apple from this particular customer, excluding my hardware purchases. When this much cash is getting sucked out of my pocket by Apple, I can’t help but admit the company must be doing something right when it comes to digital media and services.

I realize $100 per month is a lot of money to burn on digital entertainment. I’m not going to preach on issues of morality here nor will I suggest that everyone should spend that much, or spend anything at all in the iTunes and App Stores.

What I’m getting at is this: despite dropping significant cash on apps, media and services, I’ve never felt buyer’s remorse. Why? Because I’m getting value for my money and, after all, Apple is just a middleman. To put it bluntly, I’d rather spend my hard earned cash to support those who create content for a living than blatantly steal their hard work.

Here’s what a $100 spent in Apple’s content stores buys me, why I don’t think I’m being ripped off and how the sense of satisfaction I get in return makes it all worthwhile for me. Read More

 

Rovio asks movie audiences to turn on their iPhones during the closing credits

By Christian Zibreg on May 19, 2016

Rovio and Sony Pictures’ heavily promoted 3D animated comedy, “The Angry Birds Movie”, is hitting theaters tomorrow, Friday, May 20.

Working closely with Sony, Rovio created an innovative integration that lets movie-goers unlock a special game level, Piggy Island, along with an exclusive clip simply by turning on the Angry Birds Action mobile game during the closing credits. Read More

 

Limiting kids’ access to apps and media to only those with age-appropriate ratings

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 20, 2016

With the handy Restrictions feature on the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV (and let’s not forget about Parental Controls on the Mac!), blocking or limiting certain capabilities and services on your Apple devices becomes a simple task.

Maybe you’re a parent to a kid who extensively uses your iOS hardware and other Apple gear?

Perhaps your colleagues at work, or potentially other people, have access to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad? If that’s the case, you might want to consider restricting apps and media on your devices to only those with appropriate age-based ratings.

As always, iDownloadBlog comes to the rescue: step-by-step instructions in this tutorial will guide you through the process of restricting access to music, movies, television shows, digital books and apps on iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS platforms. Read More

 

iTunes Movies and iBooks Store go offline in China without explanation

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2016

As of this morning, customers in China are unable to access Apple’s content stores for digital movies and books, the iTunes Store for Movies and the iBooks Store, as both services went offline last evening without explanation. These stores are now inaccessible in China on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, as well as on computers with iTunes.

No reason was give for the downtime and Apple had not commented on the move at post time, but AppleInsider has learned that it has something to do with the government’s pending investigation into Apple’s business practices. Read More

 

Watch teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, upcoming Star Wars Anthology film

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 7, 2016

The first trailer for LucasFilm’s upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story film went online and boy does it look great. Set shortly before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope, the story of Rogue One centers on a group of Rebel spies on a mission to steal the plans for the Galactic Empire’s new weapon, the Death Star.

Directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz from an idea by visual effects supervisor John Knoll, Rogue One will be the very first standalone movie set in the Star Wars universe. Read More

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits iTunes as HD download ahead of physical release next Tuesday

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 1, 2016

Apple has been accepting pre-orders for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the iTunes Store for a few weeks now.

Today, April 1 (not a joke), the movie released on the iTunes Store. The $19.99 high-definition download includes iTunes Extras like deleted scenes and interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

The movie is not yet available for renting. The SD version will follow on April 5 for $14.99, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled to launch at physical retailers. Read More

 

Tip: adjusting how movies and TV shows are sorted in your Apple TV Wish Lists

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2016

Aside from major new features in Apple’s new tvOS 9.2 firmware for the fourth-generation Apple TV, which released to the public on Monday, March 21, there’re plenty of under-the-hood improvements to be excited about.

Among them are handy sorting options for the movies in your Wish List and TV shows in your Favorites. In this tutorial, we’ll demonstrate how you can tell your Apple TV to show recent TV episodes first and change sorting options for movies in your Wish List. Read More

 

Apple is offering several movie bundles at deep discounts in iTunes

By Cody Lee on Mar 15, 2016

Heads up cinephiles! Apple is currently offering several movie bundles at deep discounts in its iTunes Store. Of course, iTunes has long featured digital box and franchise sets priced cheaper than the total of each individual film, but this promotion takes even more off the price. Included in the deals are The Dark Knight Trilogy, Jurassic Park Collection and the Ice Age Family Pack.  Read More

 

Apple recruits cable TV PR veteran for Apple TV and iTunes content marketing role

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 22, 2016

Bernadette Simpao, previously working at AMC and Viacom in public relations capacity, is joining Apple to handle the company’s PR efforts for content and apps related to the new Apple TV, as well as TV shows, movies, apps, books and podcasts that Apple carries on the iTunes Store’s virtual shelves.

According to Variety, Simpao spent ten years at Viacom in various communication roles, including Senior Director of Communications for Viacom International Media Networks, before joining AMC. Read More

 

Apple TV universal search expands to FOX NOW, FXNOW and Nat Geo TV

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 5, 2016

According to an Apple support document which was updated yesterday, the universal search feature on the fourth-generation Apple TV will now surface video content provided by FOX NOW, FXNOW and Nat Geo TV channels.

Users who install these apps on their set-top box can press the Siri Remote’s microphone button and say things such as “Watch Life Below Zero” and land on the page that now includes that show by the National Geographic channel, in addition to other content sources. Read More

 

Pre-order Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’ ahead of tomorrow’s release on iTunes

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 1, 2016

If the mixed reviews of Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’ movie have discouraged you from seeing it in a local theater near you, you’ll soon be able to check out what all the kerfuffle was about as the flick is now available for pre-order in the iTunes Store.

Directed by Danny Boyle and released worldwide by Universal Pictures,’Steve Jobs’ features Michael Fassbender as the iconic co-founder of Apple, Kate Winslet as his girlfriend, Seth Rogen as the other Steve, Steve Wozniak, and other talents such as Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, John Ortiz and Perla Haney-Jardine. Read More

 
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