Tag - Zune
While the Zune hardware has been gone for some time, the Zune branding is finally dead. Microsoft spokeswoman Melissa Stewart confirmed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo that the brand is going away to make room for the better known and more respected Xbox brand for its entire entertainment service, including audio and video. Zune Music customers who created playlists using the old service can still access the content using the newly announced Xbox Music Service. The new Xbox Music Service commences sometime this fall.
Microsoft is adding more content to the Xbox 360 in future updates, the company has announced. Over the next 12 months, the console will have more than 35 new content partners, offering more films and shows to watch and listen to. Xbox Music was also revealed as a marketplace on Windows 8-based devices as well as the Xbox 360, along with an expansion to the current sport-related offerings.
The Official Charts Company of the UK from Monday onwards will start releasing a chart based solely on streamed music tracks. The Official Streaming Chart will be the first chart ranking audio streams from both ad-funded and subscription streaming services in the UK, instead of product sales or radio airplay figures.
Microsoft's restarted music plans will see them escape the platform and feature limits of the Zune Music Marketplace, according to new leaks. Tipsters for The Verge had the service, codenamed Woodstock, being available not just to Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox users, but Android and iOS as well. It would also be playable on the web, although without needing a plugin.
Microsoft in an update instituted two major changes in how Windows Phone owners would get apps. It was now planning to pull the Windows Phone Marketplace option from the Zune desktop app on Windows PCs. Customers now had to either browse the web store, and push apps to their device, or else shop directly from the phone.
When it launches the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 at MWC next week, Microsoft will have done away with two long-standing brands, The Verge found out. The Windows Live brand will be gone, replaced by similarly functioning Windows Communications apps. At the same time, Microsoft Live ID will now be known as Microsoft Account, likely with some minor changes and improvements.
Microsoft is looking to redo its music service strategy, leaks uncovered Friday. Those said close to major label discussions told CNET that Microsoft was aiming for a mix of streaming and downloads. The focus would be on the Xbox and an unnamed Windows Phone, possibly made by HTC or Nokia.
The Consumer Preview of Windows 8 will have a number of Metro-style apps preinstalled, The Verge has learned. They will include mostly simply-titled core apps, such as Camera, SkyDrive, Messaging, Mail, Calendar, People, Photos, Video, and Music. There may be even more than that, and all will be updatable from the Windows Store.
A potentially impactful rumor on Monday claimed that Microsoft will drop its Microsoft Points system. As of the end of 2012, the Windows Phone, Xbox Live, and Zune Marketplace stores would all rely on real currency, Inside Mobile Apps had heard. Developers being published by Microsoft were reportedly being told to prepare any downloadable extras to adapt to the change.
Microsoft is seeking a new employee to join its Windows Phone Backup, Migrate, and Restore team, suggesting the next update to Windows Phone will allow cloud backup and easy restore functions. The ideal Software Development Engineer would be based in Redmond and help users restore their wiped phones to their user-customized states. They could also quickly put the contacts, settings, apps and other content onto replacement phones when their original one is lost or stolen.
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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