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Tag - Netflix
Netflix has increased its subscriber count past 75 million globally, according to the streaming video service's latest quarterly earnings report. A few hours into New Year's Day, Netflix claims it reached the milestone after finishing the fourth quarter with 74.76 million subscribers, an increase of 5.59 million members in the quarter, which itself beats forecasts of 5.15 million and the 4.33 million net additions brought in over the same period last year.
Netflix doesn't hang about with updates to its iOS software, but it also doesn't add a great deal: the new Netflix 7.2.5 app for iPhone and iPad is a bug-fix release. We were hoping it would improve how the service looks on iPad Pro, and we were half-expecting it to support iOS 9's picture-in-picture feature, but neither has happened. Nonetheless, it's a good app with access to a ridiculously great number of films and TV shows to watch.
Netflix is now available in more than 190 countries around the world, after the video streaming service went live in 130 new countries simultaneously during a presentation at CES. The launch now means Netflix is effectively available in almost all countries, though it is still exploring whether it can launch its service in China, and it cannot operate in Crimea, North Korea, and Syria due to US government restrictions on American companies in those territories.
Netflix is going to effectively double the number of original shows it produces for subscribers, as the streaming video service continues to endure licensing issues with broadcasters and content creators. The service will be increasing the number of scripted shows it produces from 16 this year to 31 next year, with it also planning to release ten feature films, 30 kids shows, and a number of documentaries and stand-up specials.
AT&T has enabled Wi-Fi calling for some of its customers, shortly after receiving a waiver from the FCC concerning some regulatory aspects of the service. Confirmed in a blog post, users on iOS 9 devices with a postpaid wireless account set up for HD Voice are now able to make their calls over Wi-Fi if cellular connections are unavailable. Users will be able to make and receive calls through their existing number over Wi-Fi, with no additional charges being applied on calls to US numbers.
Lawsuits have been launched in Chicago to combat the area's new "cloud tax," which hits users of Apple Music, Netflix, Hulu Plus, XBox Live, and other streaming services. The claim by the citizens alleges that not only does the tax violate the US Internet Tax Freedom Act, which is intended to prevent Internet-only taxes, but the city comptroller's decision implements a new tax by fiat, which otherwise would have required a wider city official vote, as well as public debate.
Netflix has revealed it is bringing its video streaming service to more countries in Asia in early 2016, following its launch in Japan last month. The service will be surfacing in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea in the future, though Netflix has not offered a specific date for each country, but they will get a curated selection of popular TV shows and movies in HD and Ultra HD when it does go live.
Hulu has implemented it's rumored advertising-free subscription option to its streaming service. Priced at $12 per month, the new tier offers the same content as its standard $8 subscription but users will be able to watch shows without interruptions from commercials during the show itself, though TechCrunch notes pre-roll advertising for some shows will continue due to licensing agreements. The service advises that the existing $8 service will continue to show "fewer commercials than scheduled television."
Subscribers of Netflix in the United States will be seeing considerably fewer movies in the streaming service's catalog, as it has decided not to renew a five-year agreement with Epix. A number of major titles will be available until they are removed at the end of September, including Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z, and Transformers: Age of Extinction, as Netflix works to expanding its roster with more exclusive content.
Users of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other streaming services in Chicago can expect to pay a higher subscription rate in the future, after the city changed laws. The "cloud tax" is effectively an extension of existing laws to add a nine-percent tax on streaming services and some other online platforms, which in at least one case will see the end price of services paid for by consumers in the city go up in order to compensate for the extra cost of business.
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Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh