Ember offers image file organization, sync via iCloud
RealMac Software has launched its latest app for iOS, imaging organizer Ember (formerly known as LittleSnapper). Allowing users to collect images and organize them into projects, the compiled library can be synced via iCloud for accessing on a Mac, iPhone or iPad.
Discounted iTunes codes wipe out PayPal gifts launch supplies
PayPal has launched an online gift store, with Apple as its only launch partner, in preparation for holiday season shopping. The PayPal Digital Gifts store, coming a week after the service provided support for prepaid credit cards, will allow existing PayPal users in the United States to buy gifts and gift cards to provide to other people.
Gives Apple 10 days to reply over currency usage or face fine
The government of Brazil has asked Apple to explain why the company charges for items in the iTunes store in US dollars instead of Brazilian reals. The Consumer Protection Secretariat of the Brazilian ministry has given the company just ten days to respond to the query, which aims to find out whether Apple's practices are lawful or not.
Black Friday, holidays offer good deals on wide range of pop gear
Black Friday is just around the corner, and it's entirely likely that there's a particular loved one you've been unable to think of something special: your resident musicophile. Fortunately, they're secretly among the easiest of all the people on your list to shop for. Normally we'd be a bit quieter in saying something like that, but your house audiophile is probably off somewhere wearing a pair of high-quality headphones, vibing to Bishop Nehru or Tame Impala -- don't worry, they'll tell you about those bands sooner or later. In the meantime, click through and check out the Music Lover edition of Electronista's Holiday Gadget Gift Guide, and we'll hip you to some tech gifts you can give them that will make them take pause -- and even press pause -- in surprise and delight.
Movie drew mixed reviews, but was first in race to capture Jobs on film
Following its national theatrical debut in August, the independent biopic Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher in the title role of Apple's mercurial co-founder, is now available for sale on DVD and digital formats in stores and online, including Apple's own iTunes. The film, the first full-length theatrical movie to profile Jobs following his death in October 2011, received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, but was notable for Kutcher's strong resemblance to Jobs.
Apple reviving attention on (Product) RED
Apple has launched iTunes pre-orders for a new album to benefit the Global Fund, Dance (RED) Save Lives, Vol. 2. The album is due to go live November 25th, and features artists such as Coldplay, Robin Thicke, deadmau5, and Bob Marley. People who pre-order can get early access to "Celebrate," a song by Empire of the Sun and Tommy Trash.
FaceTime alone responsible for 1.4 percent of all upstream data
A new study from analysis and tracking firm Sandvine shows that some of Apple's web services - in particular, its iTunes stores - are among the most popular such services in North America, and growing rapidly. Since May, iTunes has grown more than 60 percent, from 1.9 percent of all downstream traffic to 3.27 percent. FaceTime, which is considered a wholly upstream service, was ahead of Dropbox and just behind Facebook in terms of upstream traffic.
Donations scale up to $200
Apple is now accepting donations for typhoon Haiyan relief through the iTunes Store. The full sum of each donation goes to the American Red Cross, and can range in value from $5 to $200. Apple does caution that because it's not sharing any personal information with the Red Cross, the latter party can't acknowledge donations. iTunes contributions are also ineligible for tax deductions.
Small maintenance release
Apple has issued a minor update to iTunes, 11.1.3. The release avoids making any feature additions, instead concentrating solely on bugfixes. This includes solving problems with the equalizer, and improving performance when switching views in larger iTunes libraries. The update is available for Mac and Windows through Apple's website or the company's Software Update tool.
Changes mostly cosmetic
Apple has issued a new version of its Remote app for iOS, 4.0. The release adds support for iTunes 11.1, but more significantly has been given a design overhaul for iOS 7. Changes so far appear mostly cosmetic, including the use of transparencies, new buttons, and an overall "flat" look.
iTunes Radio streams new Eminem album ahead of release
Apple's iTunes Radio service is now streaming the new album from rap artist Eminem in its entirety. "The Marshall Mathers LP2," the popular rap artist's first full-length album in three years, is also one of the first albums to stream in its entirety on Apple's recently launched but increasingly popular streaming service. The appearance of the album in full is a fulfillment of a statement made by Apple executive Eddy Cue earlier this year as to how Apple would promote certain tracks and artists through iTunes Radio.
Company witnesses setbacks in some sectors
In parallel with an official announcement, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its fiscal Q4 results. The data shows that revenue in the Americas was up just 1 percent year-over-year to $13.941 billion, and even down marginally in Europe, shifting from $8.023 billion to $8.005 billion. Greater China however grew 6 percent to $5.733 billion, and Japan surged 41 percent to $3.341 billion. Offsetting this only slightly was the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, which dipped 6 percent to $1.980 billion. Global retail numbers increased 6 percent to $4.472 billion.
Vine for iOS and Android updates camera features: multiple in-progress posts, more editing options
Vine has announced new features for its social media app today, available in Android versions. Vine is a social media video maker and host consisting of short uploaded video clips that can be shared and commented on. The added features, Sessions and Time Travel, offer thorough management of video posts -- with Sessions allowing users to save up to 10 posts to finish later, while Time Travel includes the ability to remove, reorganize or replace any shot within a post before sharing. Version 1.4 is available for free, and can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play.
Apple TV users see movies disappear completely
(Updated with Amazon disappearance) Some Disney and Pixar movies have been pulled without warning from the US and UK iTunes Stores, accounts say. These include titles like The Lion King and Mater's Tall Tales. The situation is worse in the case of Apple TV owners, who are no longer seeing the titles in their libraries. No refunds have been offered.
How complete is the new app for OS X?
Today’s Apple event saw the full release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, as was widely rumored. With the many “under the hood” changes has come what some call a welcome addition -- the introduction of an OS X iBooks application, allowing content purchased on the iTunes Book Store as well as other accumulated PDFs to be viewed in one, central, indexed application.
Should improve performance, add Mavericks support
Apple has started seeding a beta of iTunes 11.1.2 to employees, a leak indicates. The update will add full compatibility with OS X Mavericks, as well as Arabic and Hebrew language support. For all users, the code should boost performance and stability.
App Store offers over 1 million apps
During today's keynote, Apple started by detailing some of the company's recent successes. Cook reiterated how the company was able to achieve its biggest iPhone launch ever, by selling 9 million iPhone devices in the first weekend that the iPhone 5s and 5c were made available. Following this, Cook moved into numbers regarding the recently released iTunes Radio. Since launching in the US on September 18 more than 20 million listeners have tuned into the service, and over 1 billion songs have been played in the US alone. Finally, it was announced that the App Store now offers over 1 million unique apps, which have been downloaded over 60 billion times, resulting in more than $13 billion dollars being paid out to developers in total.
App allowed for song purchases from HMV download store
Apple has temporarily removed the HMV iOS app from the App Store, as one of its features broke App Store rules. The app from the British music retailer allowed users to buy music downloads directly from HMV itself instead of through iTunes, something that is banned in the App store's terms and conditions.
Music site exploits publicity, complains of 'substandard' terms
A digital music news site was forced to take down a copy of an iTunes Radio contract it had been given and published -- opting to post the entire contract online rather than just discuss the portions it wanted to highlight, prompting a copyright claim from Apple. While some have claimed that Apple's beef was more about suppressing business details than protecting copyright, the site's tactics raise the question of whether its okay to break the law in the name of trying to garner hits.
iTunes can't download nor update Apps
This week in the MacNN forums, a frustrated "angelmb" took to the forums posting the thread titled "my iTunes can't download nor update apps" when they were trying to figure out why apps could not be downloaded or updated. Yesterday, Moderator "andi*pandi" started a thread titled "iPhoto 11 will not email photos" while looking for help in trying to get iPhoto 11 to connect to Mail.
Now available worldwide, presumed lost for over 45 years
Fans of Doctor Who are celebrating the recovery of nine previously-thought-lost 1960s episodes of the classic sci-fi fantasy show, with the recovered material already exclusively available on iTunes less than a day after the find was publicly announced. This is the first time that newly-rediscovered episodes of the pioneering BBC space drama have been made available in digital form before being (re) broadcast or made available on DVD, and comes just over a month ahead of the show's 50th birthday.
Beats predictions from sources
iTunes Radio is already rolling out in Canada and the UK, according to anecdotal reports. Until this week, the service was only accessible in the US. The timing beats out predictions by Bloomberg sources, who suggested that Canada and the UK would only get Radio in early 2014. There is no word yet of Australia, New Zealand, or various Nordic countries getting access; the Bloomberg sources suggested those regions would be joining Canada and the UK in roughly the same timeframe.
English-speaking and Nordic countries in initial rollout plans
Apple is expected to make English-speaking and Nordic countries the first wave of its expansion of iTunes Radio into non-US countries, pulling ahead of main rival Pandora in terms of international reach, Bloomberg reports. Citing "people with knowledge of the situation," Apple expects to bring the new streaming-radio feature of iTunes to Canada, the UK, several Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand in a timeframe said to be aimed for early 2014.
America's northern neighbor likely to be first outside country to gain the service
Apple has posted job notices seeking iTunes Radio programmers for Canada, a sign that the well-received free music-streaming service will be expanding into the US' closest ally as one of, if not the, first countries outside America to gain the service. The posting suggests that the launch of the service in Canada may occur as early as sometime later this month, presuming some strong candidates can be found.
Includes iTunes 11.1.1
As anticipated, Apple has released a Supplemental Update for OS X 10.8.5. The patch fixes a bug that prevented some apps from recognizing the FaceTime HD camera on the 2013 MacBook Air, plus two issues related to OS X's sleep mode: one would cause external drives to be ejected after a Mac went to sleep, while another silenced HDMI audio after waking. The update also copes with some USB Bluetooth adapters not functioning.
Apple VP also pushes iTunes Radio as better way to premiere albums, events
Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, has disclosed that artists who appear at the company's yearly iTunes Festival in London are not paid to do so, and use the free concert in London (at a venue that seats a relatively paltry 2,500 compared to the stadiums many of them regularly perform in) as both a chance to put on a show for the fans as well as an opportunity for worldwide exposure and promotion of their latest work.
FaceTime, iTunes Match, other iCloud features briefly affected
Several of Apple's online services were briefly impacted by outages earlier today, according to Apple's System Status page. The worst affected the iTunes Store, the iBookstore, and the Mac and iOS App Stores between 1:28 and 2:57PM Eastern time, preventing some people from making any purchases. During the same time period, people may have been unable to use iTunes in the Cloud or iTunes Match, or restore purchases from an iCloud backup.
Streaming previews can be major boost to sales
Apple will use iTunes Radio to promote and stream albums before their release, according to Eddy Cue, the company's senior VP for Internet Software and Services. For some time now Apple has been offering full-length preview streams of albums by mainstream acts, but only on the iTunes Store. "It’s a huge improvement to do it on iTunes Radio because you don’t go to a store a lot. Hopefully lots of people will be listening to iTunes Radio a lot; from a discovery perspective it’s significantly better," says Cue.
Performances from Elton John, Lady Gaga, Sigur Ros, Avicii, more
On Friday, Apple posted a short video to its YouTube channel showing off some of the highlights of the month-long iTunes Festival in London, which is drawing to a close on Monday. To a soundtrack by Sigur Ros, attendees, performances and artists alike are showcased in the just over minute-long video -- entitled "Moments" -- that ends with the tagline "60 great artists. 30 amazing nights. Live and free on iTunes."
Not available to public, showcases creative work of employees
Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Services Eddy Cue has announced a new, Apple-internal-only section of the iTunes Store devoted to showcasing the creative outside work that Apple employees engage in beyond their usual job duties and the products the company makes. Dubbed "Employees on iTunes," the private section was announced in a memo by saying the new website was "in celebration of the ... creative pursuits of everyone at Apple." The showcase highlights songs, books, movies and other outside efforts.
Pandora founder says iTunes Radio will have only 'modest' impact
In what may become a "Michael Dell moment," Pandora Media founder and CTO Tim Westergren told a conference of stock analysts on Tuesday that Apple's entry into the streaming radio business through its iTunes Radio may have an effect, but its "impact will be modest on Pandora," adding that "it's really too early to tell" what the overall adoption rate of iTunes Radio will be, though Apple has already reported that it added 11 million unique listeners in the service's first weekend. The (currently) US-only iTunes Radio is part of a revamped Music player on iOS devices and in iTunes 11 for Macs and PCs.
Audiobook streaming service updated for iOS and Android
Audiobooks.com announced the release of its updated iOS and Android streaming apps today. Like Netflix and Pandora, Audiobooks.com's app can be used to stream content on demand, choosing from thousands of audio book titles. The latest version features a new user interface, home screen widget and audio player tray. The app can be downloaded from Google Play and iTunes, and requires a $15 per month subscription.
May suggest Apple still working on finalizing streaming deals
Albums by The Beatles have finally reached iTunes Radio, reports observe. Although the band's catalog has been available for years on the iTunes Store, and iTunes Radio has been active in pre-release form since June, the Beatles were conspicuously absent from Radio until this weekend. Access to the Beatles catalog could be an Apple advantage over some rival streaming services, like Spotify.
Service said to mimic Chromecast
Apple maintained a tight focus on new iPhones and iOS 7 during its Cupertino media event yesterday, however the company is said to be ready to update its Apple TV software. Unnamed sources have told All Things D the overhaul will bring expanded AirPlay features, enabling users to stream their cloud-stored iTunes content to Apple TV boxes owned by other users.
Likely to be dismissed due to content owners determining 'seasons'
Noam Lazebnik of Ohio has filed suit against Apple, saying that the company should not have advertised a "season pass" to the fifth season of the hit television series Breaking Bad that does not contain what he considers to be the full season. Apple is one of several resellers who offer streaming downloads of the show, most of which have offered the currently-airing second set of eight episodes as "Season 6," apparently as set by the show's producer, American Movie Classics (AMC). The case, should it get to trial, is likely to center on which company determined the "seasons."
Some hires meant to help outside parties produce more effective ads
Apple has been searching for dozens of new people to boost its iAd team in preparation for iTunes Radio, according to Ad Age. The publication notes that in August, Apple posted just five iAd jobs on its own website, but another 35 on LinkedIn. The company is hunting for people such as account coordinators, ad design managers, and project managers and engineers.
Judge rules plaintiff unable to show any anti-competitive harm done
A woman who initially sued Apple in 2005 over the iPod, the iTunes Store and the FairPlay DRM that Apple once used (at the insistence of the record companies) to prevent purchased songs from being pirated has lost an appeal in an attempt to reinstate the case. For a second time, a judge has ruled that Stacey Somers and her attorneys have been unable to show that Apple created or abused its iTunes "monopoly," that prices had escalated overall due to Apple's lock-in, or that consumers were harmed in any way by Apple's behavior.
Expansion of Helium line of iPhone 5 case
Accessory maker Mophie has announced its release of color options for its iPhone 5 Juice Pack Helium charging cases. The battery-charging cases extend the life of the phone's battery capacity to 3000mAh, and allow for up to six additional hours of talk time on 3G, seven extra hours on Wi-Fi, 30 more hours of audio playback, or seven hours of extra video playback. Alongside the original dark metallic and silver color options, user can now choose blue, purple, pink, green or red for their Juice Pack Helium cases. With a one-year warranty, the new Juice Pack Helium iPhone 5 cases are priced at $80, and available on Mophie's site.
Live performances, later repeats in HD can be watched all month long
Just days ahead of the month-long concert series' launch, Apple has added video streaming to its iTunes Festival app through an update. Version 4.1 lists the video streaming as the app's only new feature, but it an important one: the update adds the ability to watch live streams of performances as they happen in London's Roundhouse concert arena, in high definition. The festival will run every night throughout September.
Issue unreported on Apple's system status page
A number of users are reporting that access to TV shows has vanished on the Apple TV and in the Mac and Windows versions of iTunes. On the Apple TV, the app for TV shows has disappeared; in iTunes, trying to click on the "TV Shows" tab in the iTunes Store may boot users back to the storefront's homepage. Apple's system status page shows no sign of the problem.
Twitter's Conversations layout redesigned
Twitter released Version 5.1 of its iOS app today. The app lets users of the prominent social networking site connect to their Twitter account to get real-time stories, pictures, videos, and conversations on one's own 'timeline.' The latest update includes a redesigned Conversations segment, including a blue line indicating a conversation between people you follow, and the first Tweet in a thread now appears above the most recent reply. The new release also includes various other improvements, including new notification settings and bug fixes. Twitter 5.1 can be downloaded for free from iTunes for devices running iOS5 or later.
Will offer live streaming, reply-on-demand, artist bio information, schedule, more
With just 11 days to go before the month-long iTunes Festival begins in London, Apple has launched a revamped iOS app devoted to the music event, as well as silently updated Apple TV to add a channel dedicated to the festival. Both will feature schedules, artist bios, live streams of performances (which will also be available through iTunes) and an easy way to buy the music from the performances and on-demand replays. The annual festival begins on September 1 at the Roundhouse in London and features 60 top-name artists.
Ads to eventually become device-specific
A number of major advertisers have lined up to advertise on Apple's upcoming iTunes Radio service. According to Ad Age, the list so far includes "McDonald’s, Nissan, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble and possibly one or two more brands," all of whom have reportedly signed 12-month contracts. Targeting will initially be device-agnostic, but in 2014 advertisers will get the option to direct spots at specific devices, with costs varying proportionately. An ad will be cheap on the iPhone, for instance, but more expensive on an iPad, and even more costly on an Apple TV.
Narrowed down to two affiliate networks, but with larger
Apple is making significant changes to its affiliate program for content on iTunes, the iBookstore, and the Mac and iOS App Stores, according to an announcement. The program gives participants a small commission for sales made via specially-formatted links. The main change is the elimination of LinkShare and dgm as affiliate networks, leaving just Tradedoubler and a new addition, Performance Horizon Group.
Version 11.0.5 taken directly from recent fix in iOS 7 beta 6
On Friday, Apple updated iTunes to version 11.0.5, which fixes an issue with "iTunes in the Cloud," a part of the free iCloud service that automatically backs up iTunes Store purchases. The issue caused some downloads or playing of recently-redownloaded files to "play unexpected items" rather than what the user intended to get. The update is available for both OS X, Windows (32-bit) and 64-bit Windows implementations (Vista, 7 or 8). The fix for the problem was originally seen in the latest iOS 7 beta currently being tested by developers.
Plaintiffs found to have suffered no harm over App Store, may refile
A lawsuit claiming that Apple's iTunes App Store is an illegal monopoly -- as it only sells iOS apps, takes a 30 percent commission on sales and disallows third-party iOS app stores -- has been thrown out of court on procedural grounds, since the plaintiffs could not show any grounds for complaint, as they had not purchased the apps challenged in the lawsuit. "At a minimum," wrote the judge in her dismissal order, "plaintiffs must allege facts showing that each named plaintiff has personally suffered an injury-in-fact based on Apple's alleged misconduct."
Actual price of takeover estimated between $10-15 million
Apple's recent buyout of video discovery service Matcha was about getting the company's recommendation engine, which is based on a proprietary algorithm, sources indicate. Matcha is in fact said to have been picked up right after it "found the answer" -- with algorithm refinements -- to user growth and time spent in-app. User acquisition and engagement was allegedly the specific appeal to Apple, which found that Matcha did a better job than competing apps.
Some collections seeing major price drops
Apple is hosting a rare US sale on iTunes movie collections. In all 25 collections have been discounted, in both their SD and HD formats. The biggest deal may be the Harry Potter Complete Collection, which includes all eight movies but costs only $10. Normally the collection would cost over $125.
Downtime affects major services
Several Apple online services encountered outages earlier today, according to the company's system status page. Between 11:23AM and 1:54PM Eastern, people may have been "unable to make purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, Mac App Store, or iBookstore," the page states. "Users may also have been unable to download previously-purchased content, use iTunes Match, or successfully restore Apps and Music from an iCloud backup."
Ranking proves again that value of experience can trump content
A study done by customer experience research firm ForeSee has surveyed customers of mobile media and entertainment sites and found that generally, customers are more satisfied with such services than they were a year ago: the average score was 77 out of 100, compared to 67 a year ago. In the streaming TV and movies category, Apple's iTunes squeaked out a surprise win over competitors such as Netflix and HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle and Hulu Plus. The study also found that customers were much more satisfied with home Internet service than cellular data.