Welcome to our “cranky Wednesday” edition of the Apple Daily! Apparently, hump day is when everyone gangs up on Apple to complain about all their cool new stuff, with both indie UK labels and online publishers taking issue with Apple Music and Apple News, respectively. We’ve also got some new predictions on what to expect from this year’s iPhone, so try to act at least a little surprised when you read them…
As a music fan, you’re completely thrilled by the prospect of receiving three whole months of free streaming tunes when Apple Music launches on June 30 — but indie UK labels? Not so much. The Telegraph today reported at least one industry insider on the British scene thinks handing out 90 days worth of free music could “literally put people out of business” due to the fact Apple won’t be paying royalties to artists, labels, or publishers during the trial period.
“If you are running a small label on tight margins you literally can’t afford to do this free trial business,” lamented Andy Heath, chairman of the UK Music lobby group. “Their plan is clearly to move people over from downloads, which is fine, but it will mean us losing those revenues for three months.
“Apple hasn’t thought this through at all and it’s not like them,” Heath added. “They can’t spring a contract like this on us three weeks from release.” He went on to claim that Britain’s independent labels and artists like Adele (shown above and looking quite unhappy) and the Arctic Monkeys will be “completely screwed” by the launch of Apple Music. Something tells us that in less than two weeks, few listeners are going to care…
Japanese blog Macotakara today reported on a few recent iPhone 6s predictions made recently by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a pretty decent track record when it comes to this sort of thing. Among the potential improvements cited for this year’s model are a Force Touch display, 12-megapixel camera, and a new Rose Gold model to match the current 18K Apple Watch Edition.
The report also claims Apple plans a switch to “7000 series aluminum” for the next iPhone body, which will apparently be “wider and taller” by about 0.15mm, and slightly thicker (0.2mm) to accommodate for Force Touch. A new design isn’t expected, but the switch to aluminum could be good news for those worried about potentially bending the smartphone in their pockets.
It seems indie music labels aren’t the only ones up in arms with Apple today, as the BBC is reporting the forthcoming News app built into iOS 9 is also in hot water with online publishers unhappy with how the Cupertino company’s invitation to provide content to the service presumptively assumes acceptance with the company’s terms and conditions.
“You’re going to consider me bound to terms you just declared to me in an email as long as I don’t respond? That’s completely crazy,” blogger Mike Ash explained. “You don’t even know if I received the email!”
They key issue appears to be a clause in the terms which indemnifies Apple from any legal claims for such RSS content — and the only alternative is to opt out of having content in the News app entirely. Apple has yet to respond or clarify the accusations, although iOS 9 isn’t expected to be released to the public until later this fall.
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Apple executive Susan Prescott took the stage to talk about the new News app (a redesign of the Newsstand app), which allows users to pick their favorite news sources and topics and find them in one easy-to-read format. For the demo, Prescott picked Wired, Daring Fireball, The Atlantic, in addition to “baking,” as an example of a general topic.
The new app has some extremely strong similarities to Flipboard. You can now bookmark articles for later reading, and you can view them all with animations and layout that closely mirrors that of their original sources.
“News is smart,” Prescott said, “so the more I read, the better it gets at showing me stories I’m interested in.”
Prescott demonstrated the truth of this by pointing out that there’s now an Explore tab that suggests both publications and topics, and that the News app keeps track of more than a million topics. Noticeably, not a single ad made an appearance during the demonstration, so it’s worth wondering how the app performs in practice.
Apple also augments the News reading experience by providing a gallery view–a “mosaic”– for the article’s photos. Once again, Apple pointed out that all this information stays private. The News app, Craig Federighi said in a followup discussion, which launch in the United States, the UK, and Australia.
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