Apple Stores expected to begin carrying Apple Watch bands this week

By Cody Lee on May 20, 2015

You may soon be able to pickup new Apple Watch bands in-store, according to 9to5Mac. Citing an internal memo sent out to employees, the outlet reports that Apple Stores will soon start carrying limited quantities of bands for the just-released wearable.

Before you get too excited, the message indicates that a majority of the stock will be made up of Sport bands. Also, it sounds like much of the inventory is reserved for customers looking to swap their pre-bundled bands, and replacing worn out demo bands. Read More

 

WSJ: Apple shelved plans to make a 4K TV set last year

By Cody Lee on May 18, 2015

Apple quietly shelved plans to make an ultra-HD TV set with video calling and other features last year, reports the Wall Street Journal. The report follows an open letter to Tim Cook from activist investor Carl Ichan, published earlier today, which pointed to Apple releasing a 4K TV set in 2016.

Apparently, Apple was working on a full-blown television, and had been researching the project for nearly a decade. But Apple executives didn’t feel like the product or its feature set was compelling enough to enter the cutthroat market, which offers small margins to even the largest competitors. Read More

 

Rdio to launch new ‘Select’ streaming music tier for $3.99 per month

By Cody Lee on May 13, 2015

Rdio is planning to launch a new budget tier for its streaming music service soon, BuzzFeed reported on Wednesday. CEO Anthony Bay tells the publication that they are calling the new tier ‘Rdio Select,’ and it will give users limited access to the streaming service for just $3.99 per month.

“We’ve all been flying airplanes that had business class only,” Bay quips. “There is no coach.” The $4 tier will include two components: the first is a Pandora-like streaming radio offering without ads and unlimited skips, and the second is on-demand music with a daily allowance of 25 songs. Read More

 

Apple working with researchers to build ResearchKit apps for gathering DNA data

By Cody Lee on May 5, 2015

Apple is collaborating with US researchers to launch apps that would allow iPhone owners to get their DNA tested, according to a new report from MIT’s Technology Review. The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps researchers gather data.

If true, Apple would join a growing battle for genetic information. Everyone from Google, to the government, to top universities are spending millions of dollars to amass large databases of DNA info in an effort to uncover clues that would help identify causes and possible cures for diseases. Read More

 

Apple still missing key licensing deals ahead of rumored Beats Music relaunch

By Cody Lee on May 5, 2015

Apple is really cutting it close if it wants to relaunch Beats Music at its developer conference next month. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, Billboard reports that it is still missing a number of key licensing deals it would need to secure to unveil a new streaming music service.

“A June launch is still attainable,” one source tells Billboard. “If any company can do it, they can.” However, another source at a major record label tells the publication that there is no way Apple will be able to pull off a June launch for the new service, saying simply that “the deals aren’t done.” Read More

 

New Apple TV to feature redesigned remote with touchpad

By Cody Lee on May 4, 2015

Apple is going to unveil a new set-top box in June with a redesigned remote control, according to The New York Times. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the publication says the new remote will feature a touchpad for scrolling, at least two physical buttons, and it will be thicker in size than the current aluminum Apple TV remote.

We’ve heard multiple reports now indicating that Apple is planning to release new TV-related hardware this summer. The device is expected to be introduced at the World Wide Developers Conference with an updated, slimmer design, the faster A8 chip, and an increase in storage to house an upgraded OS and App Store downloads. Read More

 

Hands-on video compares size of alleged iPad Pro cases with iPad Air 2

By Cody Lee on May 1, 2015

Popular YouTube channel Unbox Therapy on Friday posted a hands-on video with 2 alleged iPad Pro cases, comparing them in size and design with the iPad Air 2. The clip gives you a good idea of how much bigger the rumored 12-inch iPad would be than the current 9.7-inch model.

Additionally, the cases add weight to the accuracy of previous industrial renderings and case leaks. Despite the fact that they come from different manufacturers, and are made up of different materials, they’re identical to both each other and many past cases in terms of size and features. Read More

 

Rumored iPad Pro appears in new rendering

By Cody Lee on May 1, 2015

The long-rumored “iPad Pro” surfaced in a new industrial rendering on Friday, further fueling speculation that Apple is working on a larger 12-inch tablet. French blog nowhereelse.fr shares the image, calling the device the ‘iPad Air Plus’ and saying that the sketch is dated December 2014.

The alleged rendering offers up dimensions for the Pro tablet, measuring 305.70mm long x 222.60mm wide x 7.20mm deep. Converted to inches, that’s about 12 x 8.7 x 0.30. These numbers line up with those seen in previous renderings of the device, which is expected to have a 12.9″ display. Read More

 

Apple TV shipping estimates slip to 1-2 weeks ahead of rumored WWDC refresh

By Cody Lee on Apr 30, 2015

Shipping estimates for the Apple TV slipped to 1-2 weeks on the US Apple Online Store today, further fueling rumors that Apple is getting ready to refresh the device. In March, BuzzFeed reported that the company is planning to unveil a new, slimmer set-top box at WWDC in June.

It’s worth noting that some users have reported that the device is showing “in stock” for them online today, but at Check Out many are still seeing later ship times. Regardless, the fluctuation in available stock is consistent with inventory behavior of past Apple products ahead of refreshes. Read More

 

Time Warner CEO ‘pretty confident’ Apple is launching a TV service

By Cody Lee on Apr 29, 2015

Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes is “pretty confident” Apple is working on a subscription TV service. ABC’s Jon Erlichman reports on Medium today that during Time Warner’s quarterly earnings call, the CEO said that the Cupertino firm is “very forward thinking” on the future of television.

Bewkes’ comments are interesting because Apple and Time Warner recently partnered up to launch ‘HBO Now’ on Apple TV, and rumors have been bouncing around for years that the two were looking to do TV together. In July 2013, Bloomberg reported they were “close” to reaching a deal. Read More

 

Apple approaching Taylor Swift and other artists for deals to promote Beats Music

By Cody Lee on Apr 10, 2015

Apple has asked Taylor Swift and more than a dozen other artists for exclusive deals to promote its incoming revamped Beats Music service, reports Bloomberg. The company hopes that such deals, particularly with Swift—who has pulled her music from other services—will help attract new users in the increasingly crowded streaming music space.

The move is similar to that of Tidal, the Jay-Z-owned cloud music service that launched earlier this month, and could be the start of a new trend in the space. Artists have long been fed-up with tech firms like Spotify, Pandora and others who pay them the minimum royalty rate, and seem to finally be ready to take matters into their own hands. Read More

 

Apple reportedly offering to share TV data to entice content partners

By Cody Lee on Mar 17, 2015

Apple is offering to share data with programming partners to get them on board with its rumored streaming TV package, reports the New York Post. The outlet claims that the company is willing to share details such as who its viewers are, what they watch and when they watch them.

This type of information could help programmers better target shows to viewers and advertisers, who are increasingly chasing niche audiences. It also sounds like an about-face from Apple’s current policy, which Tim Cook has frequently touted as a positive, to not share its user data. Read More

 

Apple giving Facebook and others early access to Apple Watch

By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2015

Apple is giving select companies early access to the Apple Watch, reports Bloomberg. The outlet says that Facebook, airliner United Continental Holdings Inc. and others have “spent weeks” at Apple’s Cupertino campus working hands-on with the smartwatch to test and fine-tune their apps ahead of next month’s launch.

Citing people familiar with the process, Bloomberg says software engineers for the companies are being allowed to work with the Apple Watch in a top secret lab at Apple’s headquarters. All who enter must sign non-disclosure agreements, and must follow a set of extreme guidelines to keep unknown Watch details from leaking. Read More

 

Apple Watch: a mysterious 6-pin port opens up many possibilities

By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2015

There is a mysterious port on the Apple Watch that could be used to connect accessories such as a smart band or battery, reports TechCrunch. The outlet says that multiple sources have confirmed the wearable features a secret 6-dot brass contact used for diagnostics and direct access to the operating system.

Apparently the port is very similar to the Lightning port found on larger iOS devices, and is located inside the groove of the “bottom” strap connector slot. It’s believed that this portal is “absolutely necessary” to install the Watch OS during manufacturing, and thus it will be present on shipping versions of the wearable. Read More

 

WSJ: Apple working on adding mouse and keyboard support, USB connectivity, to the iPad Pro

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 4, 2015

More details about the oft-rumored 12.9 inch iPad Pro are beginning to surface, and they include things like USB 3.0, mouse and keyboard connectivity, and faster charging technology, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal late Wednesday evening. This report, along with an earlier one from Bloomberg, attempts to add definition to the mysterious project.

According to both reports, the iPad Pro’s production start date has been pushed back beyond what Apple had initially hoped. The Bloomberg report states that Apple is looking towards September for the start of production, while the Journal more vaguely states that production will ramp up in second half of this year. Read More

 

Jony Ive and Tesla’s Elon Musk reportedly ‘inseparable’ at Oscars afterparty

By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2015

Apple’s Jony Ive and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were acting pretty chummy at a party following the Academy Awards Sunday night, reports AppleInsider. The publication says that the pair were “basically inseparable” at Madonna’s A-list afterparty, and exited together around 5am.

The conversation is interesting to us given the recent chatter that Apple is building an electric car. While we doubt they talked about automotive design all night, it seems unlikely that two of Silicon Valley’s most influential people spent the entire night discussing the weather. Read More

 

Apple hiring automotive experts for secret project

By Cody Lee on Feb 13, 2015

Apple is recruiting experts in automotive technology and vehicle design to work at a new top-secret research lab, Financial Times reported on Friday. Among the new-hires is former president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Johann Jungwirth.

Citing several insider sources, the outlet says Apple set up the new research lab late last year at a confidential Silicon Valley location. And it’s believed that the facility is being used by a team, led by experienced iPhone managers, to research new automotive products. Read More

 

New report sheds light on Apple’s ambitious music plans

By Cody Lee on Feb 13, 2015

Apple doesn’t just want to compete in the music business, it wants to be the music business, according to a new report from Billboard. Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the outlet has shed some light on the company’s ambitious plans for the record industry.

Beats co-founder and Apple executive Jimmy Iovine has apparently been holding secret meetings with senior executives from many record labels in recent weeks. The discussions are of course protected by non-disclosure agreements, but details are beginning to trickle out. Read More

 

Apple reportedly in talks with programmers over new web TV service

By Cody Lee on Feb 4, 2015

Apple is in talks with TV programmers in search of a deal that would allow it to launch a new web-based TV service, reports Recode. Citing sources familiar with the project, the site says the Cupertino firm wants to put together standalone channel packages and offer them directly to customers—wrapped within its own interface and user experience.

Recode is hearing the talks are still in the very early stages, so things like pricing and launch dates aren’t anywhere close to being settled, but Apple has shown a demo of the service to programmers. It’s said to look similar to Dish Network’s just-launched Sling service, which offers select channels instead of a broad lineup, and bypasses cable providers. Read More

 

Apple’s name attached to mysterious camera-equipped vehicles in Bay Area

By Cody Lee on Feb 3, 2015

A handful of unmarked minivans have been spotted driving around California over the past several days with what appears to be roof-mounted camera equipment. No one seems to know what the vehicles are up to, but CBS’ Bay Area affiliate was able to confirm with the DMV that at least one of the vans is leased to Apple.

More specifically, the minivans feature custom X-shaped frames atop their luggage racks, fitted with what appears to be 12 cameras. It also has a pair of cylindrical antennas, which the news outlet speculates could be LiDAR sensors—a laser-based technology used in self-driving vehicles, as well as high-resolution mapping. Read More

 
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