Apple bought out alternative keyboard maker late last year, reports claim
Apple apparently bought out software keyboard developer Dryft last September, acquiring one of the co-founders of Swype in the process, according to reports. CEO Randy Marsden changed his job title to Apple's iOS Keyboard Manager on LinkedIn around the same time as the deal allegedly happened. Apple only rarely confirms acquisitions of small tech companies like Dryft.
Subscribers would pick among programming bundles
Apple is making another attempt at creating a pay TV service, sources claim. The new proposal involves the company selling programming bundles directly to the public over the Internet, offered with a custom interface and experience. The company has purportedly shown demos of a potential service to TV programmers, but negotiations are still in early stages. Several content providers haven't even begun talking to Apple, the sources explain, and aspects like prices and a launch date are nowhere near being finalized.
Provides highlights, replays from various leagues
Apple has silently added another channel to the Apple TV, 120 Sports. The network is backed by Sports Illustrated, and covers leagues such as the NHL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, and NCAA. On the Apple TV, users can browse through Dashboard, Timeline, and Catch-Up sections. Timeline lets users watch a live stream and videos in reverse chronological order, whereas Catch-Up is a curated collection of clips related to trending topics.
Appears to replace defunct Single of the Week
Apple has launched a new area on the iTunes Store in the US, simply dubbed "Free on iTunes." rel='nofollow' The section highlights free song and TV downloads. Some musical examples include singles from Waters, Sharon Van Etten, The Babies, and Penguin Prison. TV content includes episodes from Backstrom, 12 Monkeys, The Musketeers, and other shows.
Netflix, Haier, Insignia on board as partners; releases across the year
Entertainment streaming platform provider Roku made a number of announcements today at CES regarding Roku televisions and expanded HD content streaming. Roku will be partnering with television manufacturers Haier and Insignia to produce new HDTV models of Roku televisions, while NetFlix works on delivering 4K compatible content through Roku's platforms, and a previous Roku TV maker will focus on debuting a Roku 4K Ultra HD TV for the new year.
Sony pushing heavily into 4k video with new line of visual products
Sony's launch keynote to the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show has concluded, with the manufacturer announcing a big push into 4K for the year. A total of 11 new 4K Bravia LCD TVs will be brought to market across three series in the year. Additionally, the company is refreshing its Action Cam line, with its newest 4K Handycam -- which is 30 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than the model that is being replaced.
Super Slim TV measures only half an inch thick
While the main focus of Sharp's morning keynote was the new Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV, some time was also spent showing off an upcoming Super Slim 4K set. While most details are still unknown, the TV will become available towards the end of 2015 in a 70-inch model. The Super Slim model will very closely mirror the features found in the also-announced UE30 and UH30 TVs, but in a form factor that measures only half an inch thick (excluding the set mount). Beyond Sharp's own SmartCentral 4.0 platform, the Super Slim TV will also include Google's Android TV.
Flagship CX850 pairs Firefox OS with voice commands
Panasonic has revealed its 2015 lineup of 4K TVs, including several models powered by Mozilla's Firefox OS. The company's Ultra HD lineup has expanded to nine different models in the CX850, CX800, CX650 and CX600 families, adding an upgraded flagship series and new midrange options. Aside from the software features, Panasonic's latest 4K display panels are claimed to bring improved picture quality with brighter presentation and a wider color gamut.
Pixel splitting technology brings near 8k resolution
During its morning press conference at CES, Sharp unveiled its new Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV. The new TV uses a combination of the company's pixel splitting and Quattron technologies to pack 66 million subpixels into a single 80-inch panel. By splitting pixels in half vertically, and allowing each subpixel to create its own color value, Sharp claims the display can reach a resolution that begins to approach 8K (7680 x 4320). The company, however, did not give an exact resolution that the panel can display.
Platforms include iOS, Apple TV, Android, Windows
DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers to the satellite-based TV service access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect, the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers such as cable operators.
New content delayed without verified cable subscription
Users of the Watch ABC app on the Apple TV set-top box can now watch full episodes a week after they air without a subscription, ABC has announced. Previously the app was like most network-based offerings on Apple TV, limiting that content to people who could authenticate a cable subscription. Watching the latest episodes as soon as they're uploaded (next-day) still requires authentication, as does the live feed available in select cities.
Entertainer involved in advertising for iPhone 6
On Wednesday's episode of the Tonight Show, host and paid Apple endorser Jimmy Fallon gave away an iPad Air 2 to every member of the studio audience. The segment (below) was part of a week-long series of giveaways. It wasn't identified which models people were getting, although NBC may have opted to give audience members the base 16GB Wi-Fi versions, given the costs involved. Even at that bottom tier, the tablet costs $499 at retail.
Pushes iPads, MacBooks, Apple ecosystem
Apple has launched a new Christmas-themed TV ad, "The Song" (below). Much like last year's "Misunderstood," the spot focuses on lifestyle branding rather than directly promoting Apple products. Its story has a girl discovering a record given from her grandmother to her grandfather in 1952, featuring the grandmother singing "Love is Here to Stay." The girl then uses a MacBook to help her learn and record a duet over the old recording; she leaves an iPad mini with a note attached for her grandmother to find.
Pushes apps like AutoCAD, Molecules, OBD Fusion
Apple has begun airing a new TV ad (below) for the iPad Air 2, dubbed "Change." The spot showcases numerous different uses for the tablet, some relatively conventional but others more creative or exotic. Accompanying the ad is a new microsite featuring the song in the ad -- "Who Needs You" by The Orwells -- along with the apps depicted in each shot.
Top iPad apps previously promoted by Apple
Apple has introduced its annual "Best of 2014" list at the iTunes Store, promoting content in different media categories. The top iPad app, for instance, is Pixelmator, the image editing app Apple also highlighted during its recent press event for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. The top iPad game is Monument Valley, an Apple Design Award winner from WWDC.
Continues series of ads with Fallon and Timberlake
Apple has premiered a pair of new iPhone 6 ads (below), continuing a series starring the voices of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. The first, "Gamers," depicts the pair playing the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title Vainglory, used in some previous Apple marketing as well. The ad touts the speed of the A8 processor in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Also includes on-demand material from shows like 60 Minutes
The Apple TV has been quietly updated with another new app channel, CBS News. The app is entirely free, and in fact features CBSN, a newly-launched streaming service. CBSN coverage is live, and anchored between 9AM and 12AM Eastern time every weekday; in the event of special reports or breaking news, it will offer simulcasts with CBS News itself. The service is ad-supported in the form of commercials between segments, and should pull in material from CBS-owned sources such as CNet and Entertainment Tonight.
Feeln comes tied to monthly or annual subscription
Two new channels have been silently added to the Apple TV. The first of this is A&E's FYI, formerly known as Biography and rebranded in July. Most of the network's content is reality TV programming such as Tiny House Nation and Best in Bridal. On the Apple TV some videos are free, but full access requires authenticating with a cable provider.
Live streaming in 14 launch cities, 5000 episodes of classic shows available
On the heels of the standalone HBO subscription service, CBS Corporation today announced the launch of CBS All Access, a new digital subscription Video On Demand and Nielsen-measured live streaming service for the CBS Television Network, mainly intended for cord cutters. CBS All Access will offer thousands of episodes from the current season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand, as well as the ability to stream local CBS Television stations live in 14 of the largest US markets at launch.
Offerings advance beyond sports
UK TV network Sky has expanded its Now TV offerings on the Apple TV to include its Entertainment and Movies packages, according to an announcement. The app's user interface is largely the same -- including New In, Most Popular, and Must See categories -- but now extends beyond sports, and has adopted a "flat" look to match the Apple TV's new iOS 8-style aesthetics. The Now TV iOS app has offered a wider range of content for some time.
Simpsons World yet to go live
Apple has silently updated the Apple TV with an expected FX Now app channel. The app offers on-demand streaming of content from FX, FXX, and FXM, featuring shows such as American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy. Viewers must, however, authenticate a cable subscription from a provider such as AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, or Time Warner Cable to utilize the Apple TV channel.
Bundle combines HBO, HBO Go with local TV channels, Internet
AT&T is following Comcast's lead, in offering a basic service aimed at cord-cutters. The bundle combines a basic television service with Internet at a relatively low cost, and while it copies Comcast in providing HBO and HBO Go under the subscription, it also unusually adds in one year of free Amazon Prime deliveries and Prime Instant Video.
Band met with Apple in April, manager says
Apple "stole" the concept behind its "Perspective" ad -- used to introduce yesterday's press event -- from OK Go, says band manager Andy Gershon. The Apple video features a camera tracking around a white room where shapes turn into text when seen from the right angle. OK Go, though, released a video in June for the song "The Writing's On the Wall," based on the same concept. More importantly, Gershon notes that the band met with Apple in April to pitch the concept as a potential collaboration.
Live streaming locked to authenticated subscription
In addition to an updated iTunes Festival app, the Apple TV has also been refreshed with Showtime Anytime, an app for the Showtime TV network. While some episodes are available on-demand for free, full use of the app -- including live streaming -- requires authenticating a subscription with compatible providers. That list includes AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, Optimum, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and a number of regional firms.
Users tuning in during primetime hours
ABC News has published new statistics showing that its Apple TV app is enjoying early popularity. During its first 30 days, the app is said to have registered about 50 percent more live video access than ABC's desktop and mobile services combined. Moreover, viewers are said to spend 65 percent more time per session on the Apple TV than on ABC's website.
Phone's marketing campaign winds down
Over the weekend, Apple began airing a new TV ad (below) for the iPhone 5s, dubbed "Dreams." The spot continues Apple's recent theme of highlighting different real-world uses for its products, although in this case the uses are even more diverse. In one segment, for example, students are shown capturing weather data, while in others a fire department responds to emergency calls, and a veterinarian examines a horse.
Cable deals, Comcast/Time Warner merger interfering
Apple is indeed working on a new set-top that will let people will watch both live and on-demand TV, but won't have it ready until sometime in 2015, a source indicates. Engineers at the company are allegedly being told not to expect to ship the device this year, and working along that timeline. The issue is claimed to be cable companies "dragging their heels," and the possible Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, which together are interfering not only with the device but a matching TV service.
Bulk of content locked to cable subscriptions
Apple has added a pair of new app channels to the Apple TV, CNBC and Fox Now. The former is NBC's business network, while the latter offers access to shows like Glee, Family Guy, and The Following. In both cases, viewers must have a cable subscription to unlock the full range of content. Otherwise, people are limited to a much smaller selection of clips and episodes.
Reduces obstacles to cord-cutting
Satellite TV provider DirecTV has announced its first digital-only subscription plans for NFL Sunday Ticket. Subscribers will have to wait until September 7th for the first games, and will only be able to watch out-of-market events, but will have access to them on phones, tablets, computers, and/or consoles without also having to have a satellite or cable package. Costs begin at $200 for a subscription covering phones, tablets, and computers. A separate console-only plan is $240; the $330 Max plan covers all devices, and further includes access to the Red Zone channel and DirecTV's new Fantasy Zone.
FCC approves rules to cover clips under Communications of Video Accessibility Act
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to extend the provisions of 2012 closed captioning rules to further cover Internet video clips from television shows. The new rules expand provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 in the process. As a method of ensuring equal access to all programming forms to parties that suffer from hearing impairment, the FCC opted to require all Internet TV show clips to have captions in place, starting in January 2016.
Highlights disparities in battery life
Samsung has released a new TV ad (below) for the Galaxy S5, comparing it against the iPhone in terms of battery life. iPhone owners are depicted as "wall huggers," forced to constantly hunt for outlets at spaces like airports due to only being able to go a few hours on a charge. On the other side of the coin the ad touts the S5's removable battery, and its "ultra power saving mode," which disables non-essential functions and can allow the phone to run for a full day with just 10 percent power left.
Limited to watching clips, special feeds
(Updated with channels from PBS, AOl, Willow) Apple has silently updated the Apple TV with a new app channel, ABC News. It doesn't require authentication with a cable provider, but live content is limited to feeds already available on abcnews.com. The bulk of the app is dedicated to clips, broken up into categories like Top Stories, and topics such as the 2014 World Cup or the ISIS takeover of Iraq.
Streaming television broadcaster Aereo adds Chromecast support to Android app
Aereo, a television streaming service, has added Google Chromecast support to its Android app. Subcribers can now stream live broadcast television to their TV by tap the "cast" icon within the app. A beta release, any issues found can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the app's feedback link. Bug fixes and performance improvements are also included in Aereo's Android app update. Though it requires a subscription to run, the Android version of Aereo can be downloaded through Google Play at no charge.
Video discovery service to shut down as team moves to Samsung project
Shelby TV announced today that it has been acquired by Samsung. The company has revealed that even though it would remain a separate entity, it will be closing the doors on its service later in the year. Word of the acquisition confirms speculation on the acqui-hire of the team, which was first reported late last month.
Separation may not be acrimonious: Apple ad team made up of TBWA alumni
According to a new report, Apple is moving its TV ad spot creation in-house, using employees that are either liasoned or poached from its long-time ad agency. Members or former members of TBWA Chiat Day are said to be part of the new internal Apple TV commercial team, and Bloomberg is reporting that many of the more recent Apple commercials, including the "Your Verse" and the latest "More Powerful" ads, are the work of Apple's own team rather than its ad agency.
Claims best products in 25 years due in 2014
Speaking yesterday at the Code Conference, Apple's senior VP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue -- joined by Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine -- offered an explanation of the company's $3 billion buyout of Beats, and also discussed Apple's upcoming product pipeline. He noted that a deal for Beats and/or the people behind it has been in development for a decade, and that together the two companies should be able to speed up products that are being kept secret.
Full special to be aired Tuesday night
CNBC has ranked Apple co-founder Steve Jobs #1 in First 25: Rebels, Icons & Leaders, a new list of people who have "had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes and created the most disruption in business over the past quarter century." In talking about Jobs, the network says he took first place "for both transforming the way we think about technology and redefining the style in which we live." It adds that "More than any other member of our group of extraordinary entrepreneurs and executives - all outstanding leaders - his vision spurred changes far beyond his industry and put an indelible stamp on the wider culture."
Follows shortly after live streaming support on iPad
Via a silent update, Apple has added three channels from A&E Networks to the Apple TV. These include A&E itself, as well as History and Lifetime. In general the apps simply provide access to episodes from their respective TV shows, but Lifetime also includes its signature original movies. As with Apple's other recent channel adds, a cable subscription and carrier that supports the addition is required.
Feature tethered to cable providers
A&E has updated two of its iOS apps -- History, and the network's namesake -- with support for watching live TV. Previously users were able to watch clips and full episodes, but only after the fact. Like some other TV apps, gaining access to the live streams requires a cable subscription.
Tries to bounce back from successful Samsung efforts
The gap between Apple and Samsung's US advertising budgets narrowed during 2013, according to new data from Kantar Media. Apple's budget is said to have increased 5 percent year-over-year to $351 million. Samsung, conversely, actually cut its spending by 10 percent, but still ended spending more with a budget of $363 million. Most of Apple's cash is said to have gone toward TV commercials.
Report comes second-hand from analysts, claims 'unnamed' Korean maker
A report in the Korea Herald has revived talk that Apple may be preparing either its own HDTV set or a partnership with a known brand to bring new technology to a future television product. The newspaper quotes analysts from IBK Securities as saying that Apple has requested sample 65-inch OLED display panels from an unnamed Korean manufacturer for testing. Given traditionally low yields of large OLED displays and their high price, the report seems speculative.
Exposure cannot overcome Flappy Bird phenomenon, but it helps
A new study by mobile analytics firm App Annie has quantified the idea that app developers can increase their products' visibility in the App Store and gain players through the use of TV commercials -- particularly for top-quality "freemium" titles. While the practice of developers creating their own TV ads is common in some countries like Japan, it is a fairly new phenomenon in the North America. The App Annie study showed a correlation between TV exposure and a gain in App Store rankings.
Early-stage talks could see Apple-supplied device with higher-quality connection
Apple is reportedly in discussions with Comcast, which could see the two collaborate on a streaming TV service. Sources for the Wall Street Journal claim the service would involve Apple supplying the set-top box to customers, with Comcast giving the device preferential treatment in the bandwidth management of the connection itself.
Currently missing live content
Apple has introduced another app channel to the Apple TV, ACC Sports. The app is a collaboration between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Campus Insiders, covering all of the schools participating in the ACC, as well as a smaller selection of events from other conferences. The app doesn't offer any live content however, only highlights and miscellaneous pre-recorded features.
Cross-device access costs $10 per month
As predicted, access to the WWE Network has launched on the Apple TV, as well as other iOS devices via the WWE app. Subscription signups are handled through iTunes or the WWE website, and cost $10 per month plus tax. Buyers can purchase time in six-month blocks for $60.
Official Facebook comment deleted
A World Wrestling Entertainment app should appear on the Apple TV alongside the launch of the WWE Network on February 24, according to a now-deleted Facebook post (below) by a WWE PR representative. Aside from the launch date, the representative indicated that people will need a $10-per-month subscription to WWEN to access any of the app's content.
May back rumors of impending refresh
(Updated with possible new hardware features) The Apple TV now has its own separate section at Apple's online store, checks show. Until today, the Apple TV had been categorized as an iPod-related accessory. The new section in fact lists its own set of accessories, including HDMI cables and AirPort routers.
Spots based on recent 'Your Verse' commercial
Apple has begun airing two new TV ads for the iPad Air. Dubbed "Light Verse" and "Sound Verse," the spots are shortened, 30-second versions of "Your Verse," a 90-second ad that premiered last week. Intermixed with the earlier ad's content is some original imagery.
Project said to be in early stages
Amazon is reportedly working on a new video service that will mimic traditional cable and broadcast models by focusing on live streaming programming, unnamed sources have told The Wall Street Journal. The project is said to be in early stages, though the sources claim the company has already reached out to at least three major content owners to begin discussions for potential licensing deals.
Finding out just how well webOS works on the big screen
When we first took a look at LG's new webOS-powered smart television interface, we promised to circle back and spend more time with the rejuvenated and repurposed platform. Friday being the last day of the annual Consumer Electronics Show – as well as the least crowded day – we thought that the perfect time to get a closer look at the erstwhile Palm platform turned LG engine. What we found upon stopping by LG's booth was actually even more impressive than we'd initially expected.