Once again the rumor mill is claiming that we won’t see Apple’s streaming TV service next month, and this time it appears final. Elsewhere, Apple is trying to make the iPad more appealing to business customers, and there’s a new patch out addressing some of the bigger problems with iOS 8′s Apple Music app.
Apple’s negotiations for its long-rumored streaming TV service continue to run into complications, and thus a new report from Bloomberg claims that we won’t see the service at Apple’s expected September 9 event. For that, we’ll probably have to wait until 2016. On the bright side, the report claims that we will, in fact, see the long-awaited refresh for Apple TV at the event.
Rumors of the sort have been floating around for a while, but considering Bloomberg’s credibility on such matters, this is the closest we’ve come to an official confirmation. The report notes that talks with major networks such as CBS and 21st Century Fox are progressing (although at a glacial pace).
A bit surprisingly, some of the hesitation comes from Apple itself, as the report claims the Cupertino company isn’t sure if it currently has the network capacity needed to deliver a quality viewing experience. As Bloomberg says, “Such a network requires storing popular shows close to viewers, so each time a customer in New York for example wants to see local baseball game or the evening news, the shows don’t have to be streamed all the way from one of Apple’s four data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oregon.”
In addition, the Cupertino company is also struggling with the right mix of channels to complement the rumored monthly charge. That’s a small problem, of course, compared to the business of convincing the networks that they’ll make as much money or more with the service as they do with the traditional cable companies.
The iPad may no longer be the force it once was, but Apple isn’t letting its tablet go down without a fight. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the Cupertino company is working with more than 40 tech companies in order to make the device more desirable to business professionals.
It’s possible to get an idea of the direction Apple has in mind from some of the names involved in the project. Accounting giant Xero is working with Apple, for instance, and so is Revel Systems, best known for their digital cash registers. Above all, Apple wants to make sure all of the business apps involved are compatible with each other — a notion that recalls Apple’s work with IBM to create a wide range of enterprise-related apps.
The Journal touched on Apple’s participation in the process: “Apple reviews the partners’ apps and offers detailed suggestions, down to which words should be shaded in gray.” Apple is reportedly calling the initative the “mobility partner program (MPP)” within its own ranks, but it’s also discouraging its roughly 40 partners from using the same term. Already is seems as though the program might impact the company’s future far beyond the need to sell a few more iPads.
“Thanks to the partnership, an Apple ally got the company on the phone with an iPad business customer that had never heard from an Apple representative,” the report days. “And Apple has played match maker by encouraging makers of complementary programs such as employee scheduling software and digital cash register systems to create interconnected apps.”
If you’ve been frustrated with some aspects of the new Apple Music app for iOS, you’ll be happy to know that the Cupertino company released an update today in the form of iOS 8.4.1 that addresses some of the bigger issues. Most notably, it fixes a particularly annoying issue that was keeping some users from seeing their iCloud music libraries.
Other fixes abound. Now, for instance, you’ll no longer have to worry about music added from Apple Music not showing up because the device was set to show offline music only. You can also add songs to a new playlist if there isn’t an existing playlist to choose from, and you apparently won’t have to worry about the wrong artwork showing up for certain albums.
Rounding off the update is a fix for the issue that was keeping some artists from posting to Connect, and a fix for a bug that was keeping users from being able to click on the “Love” option while listening to Beats 1.
If you want to get the patch, simply head to Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device.
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Raise your hand if you’re excited about Apple Watch! Okay, the couple of you in the back who didn’t raise your hands, stick around, because this edition of Apple Daily has some non-Watch news as well. But if you’re not excited, you probably should be, because new Apple product-category launches don’t happen too often! Let’s dispense with the tomfoolery and jump right in.
Prospective Apple Watch buyers have had months to pore over every excruciating bit of minutiae about the smartwatch, but should there remain any nagging questions about the device on the eve of preorders arriving in the hands of customers Friday, there’s now a user guide with all the answers.
On Thursday, Apple published the official Apple Watch User Guide on its website, which breaks down into 22 categories covering every aspect of the wearable device one might expect. With sections entitled Get Started, Basics, Watch Faces, Notifications, Glances, Timekeeping, Messages, Digital Touch, Mail, Phone Calls, and Calendars and Reminders, among others, the manual should give anxious watch buyers plenty to study in the hours that remain before the devices are delivered tomorrow.
Apple has also hung the open sign outside the Apple Watch App Store, a specialized version of the existing iOS App Store focused on Watch-compatible titles that actually lives inside the Apple Watch app introduced with iOS 8.2. As previewed by Buzzfeed earlier today, the store’s virtual shelves are stocked with more than 3,000 apps, including all the usual suspects like Twitter, Instapaper, and The New York Times being singled out for special attention.
Apple Watch owners will also be able to use the existing App Store on their iPhone or from a Mac or Windows PC, with compatible product listings now showing watch screenshots below the usual iPhone screenshots, and a special “Offers Apple Watch App for iPhone” indicator under the title, making it easier for apps that feature support for the device to stand out from those that do not.
Initial Apple Watch preorders are expected to begin arriving on Friday, but apparently the device will not actually be available to purchase for customers walking into an Apple retail store — a departure from the usual long lines and circus atmosphere that has greeted every new iPhone and iPad released since 2007.
AppleInsider today reported that Apple hasn’t quite forgotten about the iPod, the media player that helped pave the way for Cupertino to become more than just a computer manufacturer. According to an unidentified source, the product line will apparently see at least one more refresh later this year, with an emphasis on the iPod touch in particular, which may or may not retain the current four-inch form factor.
The iPod lineup has remained the same since late 2012, but the report specifically cites the processor, storage capacity, and camera as specific areas Apple may address in an effort to boost interest in its once-mighty media player.
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In today’s Apple Daily, Apple reveals that developers have responded enthusiastically to the Apple Watch. In other news, LG may have let slip an announcement of an 8K resolution iMac from Apple long before the company wanted anyone to know about it.
Just a few days ahead of April 10, the day when Apple Watch pre-orders are expected to go live, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out an e-mail to employees this morning revealing that over 1,000 apps were submitted for the device mere days after Apple started accepting them.
In addition, he noted that Apple employees who wish to get their own units can get most versions for 50 percent off their regular prices. According to information apparently obtained from AppleWeb, Apple’s inside support website, employees can also get 0 off the price of the mega-expensive gold Apple Watch Edition.
The information was passed along from internal employees to sources at 9to5Mac, which has reproduced the content of the 336-word memo in full.
“Some of the most innovative developers in the world are working on new experiences designed specifically for Apple Watch,” Cook said regarding apps for the upcoming device. “More than one thousand apps were submitted in just four days last week when the App Store started accepting them, and the rate of submissions has only been climbing since then.”
The 5K Retina iMac has been out for less than a year, but according to a new information doc from LG Display, Apple might be already to trump it. The document was meant to play up to potential of 8K (or, more specifically, 7,680 by 4,320) screens, and nestled in the information about who’s on board with the tech is a reference to Apple, who has supposedly already “announced” an upcoming 8K screen.
Based on public sources, at least, Apple hasn’t. Most innocently, the reference in the LG doc could be a mistake, but if you want to indulge in rumors and theories, it’s possible it’s one of those insider knowledge things that managed to slip through the cracks. There’s an element of possibility in this in that LG has supplied Apple with displays for years. The information also doesn’t come from some obscure rumor blog; this is a major manufacturer printing information that’s expected to go out to thousands of potential buyers. Specifically, the excerpt reads:
“It has become clear that Japan is planning to launch an 8K SHV test broadcast and then promptly restructure the UHD service. Apple has also announced that they will release the ‘iMac 8K’ with a super-high resolution display later this year. Korea is also preparing to offer an 8K service demonstration at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. LG Display displayed a new beacon of the 8K era by revealing their 98-inch 8K Color Prime Ultra HDTV at CES 2015.”
The page, tellingly, has been taken down since this morning, when it attracted the attention of several sites. It’s still available in its original form on the Internet Archive’s WaybackMachine, though, so you can check it out here.
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EA Maxis announced today that the release of the Mac version of its new SimCity game will be postponed until August, citing the need to make sure it’s “ready for prime time.” Considering the rough reception the PC version received on account of server issues and connectivity problems after its launch in March (even to the point of forcing EA Maxis to temporarily disable crucial aspects of the game), that’s probably a good idea, to put it lightly.
In Maxis’ announcement, Senior Producer Kip Katsarelis admitted it was a tough decision. “We want to ensure the Mac is a great experience for our players and that is why we are taking more time,” he said. To thank Mac users for their patience, Katsarelis announced that players of the Mac version will receive “Launch Park,” a special area of the game introduced in the PC version’s Update 4 for early adopters.
Depicting British cars on the wrong side of the road was the least of SimCity’s problems.
That sounds nice, but considering that the rest of announcement detailed a cascade of coming bug fixes and improvements for the existing PC version, it’s worth wondering if the Mac version will have a bumpy launch regardless of the extra time. On the bright side, as Maxis originally announced in April, you won’t have to buy a new version of SimCity for Mac if you’ve already bought it for the PC.
This marks the second time the Mac version’s release has been delayed. Maxis originally announced that it would debut at the same time as the PC version, but later pushed up the release date to June 11.
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