Tag - Spotify
Apple is abusing its position as gatekeeper to the App Store by blocking the latest version of Spotify's iOS app, according to a letter allegedly sent from the streaming company to Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell. A report claims Spotify general counsel Horacio Gutierrez is "causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers" by rejecting the iPhone app update, with Apple's billing system being at the heart of the complaint.
Spotify has broken a major milestone, with the streaming music service claiming it has now got more than 100 million active monthly subscribers. The Swedish streaming company advised earlier today that approximately 30 percent of its user base pay a monthly subscription fee, and the number of users of the service continues to grow at a rate of 1.8 million users per month, though at a cost to its bottom line.
Spotify may try to push more of its free users to become subscribers, by restricting some of its catalog to those paying the monthly fee. A report claims the music streaming service apparently came close to restricting an album on the day of its release to just paid users, preventing free users from listening at its launch last month, and though Spotify supposedly decided against going through with that course of action, it appears it may have been more for technical reasons than ideology.
Upcoming changes to the App Store are welcomed by Spotify, but the music subscription service believes there is more Apple could do to it, an executive for the music streaming service has advised. Global head of corporate communications and global policy Jonathan Prince calls Apple's changes, which include alterations to the way it handles app subscriptions, a "nice gesture, but doesn't get to the core of the problem with the Apple tax and its payment system."
Spotify will be making its service more attractive to its users, by offering up original programming for its existing video service. Announced one year after the streaming music service bolstered its existing content catalog with videos and podcasts, the Swedish music company will be creating a number of original show "concepts" that it plans to start streaming to users later this summer, in an attempt to differentiate itself from its competition.
Spotify has reportedly raised another $1 billion from investors, giving it a small amount of extra freedom as it attempts to fend off competition from Apple Music. The deal, said to close by the end of this week, will provide Spotify with $1 billion in convertible debt, something that will simultaneously give the music streaming company more room to work within, as well as preventing the reduction in price of its stock when it eventually holds its IPO.
Spotify has become the target of a class action lawsuit, for allegedly failing to obtain proper licenses allowing it to stream certain songs and compositions. David Lowery, the frontman of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, filed the suit using law firm Michelman & Robinson LLP, demanding at least $150 million from the streaming service for "knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully" streaming the unlicensed content.
Fans of Adele will need to buy her new album if they want to listen to songs from it, as the singer is preventing music streaming services from offering the album to subscribers. Confirming initial reports, the album '25' is unavailable for listening on Apple Music, Google Play Music All Access, Spotify, and other streaming services, but iTunes is still offering the album to users for purchase via the main iTunes store.
Apple has rolled out its News app to the United Kingdom, replacing Newsstand in the country as part of the iOS 9.1 update. The Guardian reports the UK version of the newsfeed aggregator will include 14 British newspaper and magazine publishers, including the Times, Financial Times, The Economist, magazines from Conde Nast, and 27 national and regional publications from Trinity Mirror.
Apple has launched a new Twitter account dedicated to gaming. The @AppStoreGames account will be posting more than picks by App Store editors for app of the week, with The Verge reporting the feed will include previews of games heading to the App Store, tips for popular titles, profiles of talented gamers, and will be used to interact with game developers. It is suggested the new Twitter feed may have been put in place to coincide with a rumored refresh of the Apple TV at the September 9 event, with some suggesting games may be playable on the set-top box.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE