Apple releases OS X 10.10.4 with networking fix, Mail and Photos improvements, more

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In addition to iOS 8.4, Apple has now publicly released OS X 10.10.4 to all users. The point update focuses on security and stability improvements with a fix for notable networking issues with OS X Yosemite as well as fixes for Mail, improvements to Photos migration from iPhoto and Aperture, and more. Apple first began testing the update to the Mac with developers in late April. Read more

Listening to Beats 1 radio should feel like walking into a great independent record store, says Trent Reznor

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Speaking to Rolling Stone about creating Beats 1 radio, Trent Reznor said he wanted to recreate the feeling you got when walking into a really good independent record store.

I want that feeling of walking into an independent record shop, if there are still any that exist, like Amoeba [Records], and being delighted by the choices and the way music is presented to you with love and care. It’s exciting. And you leave with stuff you wouldn’t have dreamed you wanted and you’re excited to listen and share it and experience it.

Reznor, who was previously Chief Creative Officer at Beats Music, said that listening to Zane Lowe’s BBC radio show totally inspired him …  Read more

Depth, breadth and music knowledge will be key to the success of Apple Music, say Eddy Cue & Jimmy Iovine

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In an interview with The Loop, Apple SVP Eddy Cue and Beats founder Jimmy Iovine said that depth, breadth and musical knowledge would allow Apple Music to succeed in a market where all streaming services offer access to the same 30M songs.

“One of the things we wanted with Apple Music was depth, said Cue. “We wanted you to be immersed in it when you started using it.”

Iovine pointed out that playlists generated by algorithms tended to be predictable, while those curated by people with deep knowledge of the music industry could make surprising connections – using Bruce Springsteen as an example.

[With an algorithm, you can] pretty much guess what’s going to be played. Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, and Tom Petty are always popular choices.

What freaked me out is that Apple Music played ‘Paint It Black,’ which I happen to know is one of Springsteen’s favorite Stones songs.

Iovine said that most algorithms stuck to one genre and era, while human DJs could mix things up because “the DJ is in the middle, explaining how it works.” This, said Cue, generated greater breadth, and you could find a hip-hop track following a rock one …  Read more

Apple schedules Q3 2015 earnings call livestream for July 21

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 7.15.25 PMApple has just announced that its fiscal third quarter earnings call will take place on Tuesday, July 21st at 2PM PT/5MP ET. The call will report earnings from the three month period ending this month.

Last quarter, Apple announced sales of 61.1 million iPhones, 12.6 million iPads, and 4.5 million Macs. The company reported revenue of $58 billion, including $13.6 billion in profit. Apple didn’t disclose sales for the Watch last quarter, and it seems unlikely that the company will do so this quarter either.

Apple will be hosting a conference call with investors and press and will also live stream audio from the call on its website, which of course we will have live coverage of. The live broadcast of the call will be available here on Apple’s website.

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Apple patent details AirDrop-like sharing for Apple Watch using handshake/hugging gestures

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In a new patent application, Apple details an idea it’s experimenting with that would have Apple Watch users shake hands to exchange data (via PatentlyApple). The idea is simple. The patent application imagines two Apple Watch wearers exchanging data, such as contact information, for example, by performing common gestures like a handshake or a hug: Read more

iOS 8.4 to be released 8 AM PT on Tuesday, iTunes Match song limit will increase to 100,000 with iOS 9

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Apple directors have been somewhat talkative over the weekend about the imminent release of Apple Music. Former Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers, who now works as a Senior Director of Apple Music, blogged about the product’s launch. He reminisces on the history of digital music and radio saying that seeing Apple Music on stage at WWDC ‘it was hard not to feel like the last 20+ years was leading to this day’.

Interestingly, Apple will be releasing iOS 8.4 at 8 AM on June 30th which includes the newly revamped Music app to support Apple Music. This is slightly earlier than the usual 10 AM release window. The change in scheduling seems to be in service of Beats 1, Apple’s worldwide radio station, which will start streaming from 9 AM on the same day.

Meanwhile, Eddy Cue has also been leaking some tidbits about Apple Music on Twitter …

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Apple’s iTunes U gets 1-to-1 discussions, importing from other apps, PDF annotations, grade book, more

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Apple’s iTunes U service, a resource for teachers to create and manage educational content for students on iPad, is today receiving a big update that brings a long list of highly requested features. Starting today, teachers and students using the platform will get access to new additions including 1-to-1 discussions, homework hand-in & grade book features, PDF annotations, and more. Read more

Apple joins Confederate flag boycott, removes apps that use flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways [U: Statement]

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[Update: Apple has confirmed the policy with us. Statement below.]

[Update #2: Reports are now surfacing that Apple is now reinstating some apps with the Confederate flag to the App Store. The company is working with developers who use the Confederate flag, but not in a mean-spirited manner.]

[Update #3: TouchArcade specifies that affected games are able to change their app icons and App Store screenshots to avoid removal.]

A couple of days after Zac Hall called for Apple to join large retailers like Walmart, Target, Sears, Amazon and eBay in withdrawing from selling items featuring the Confederate flag, Apple appears to be working on doing just that.

Touch Arcade noticed that many Civil War games like Ultimate General: Gettysburg and the Hunted Cow series have all disappeared. An App Store search for ‘Confederate’ on Tuesday found plenty of games featuring the flag, while the same search today appears to show only apps dealing with the history (such as the reference work shown) above. All of the games shown in Tuesday’s search (below) have been removed from the App Store …  Read more

Apple Music royalty rate during free trial on par with Spotify’s 35% deal, at 0.2 cents per play

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A report that Apple would pay music labels a reduced royalty rate during the three-month free trial of Apple Music has been confirmed by labels who spoke to the NY Times. Apple had originally planned to pay them nothing before an open letter from Taylor Swift and complaints from others led to a swift change of plan.

For each song that is streamed free, Apple will pay 0.2 cent for the use of recordings, a rate that music executives said was roughly comparable to the free tiers from services like Spotify. This rate does not include a smaller payment for songwriting rights that goes to music publishers.

Spotify bases its royalty payment for free users on a 35% share, half of the 70% it pays for tracks streamed by paid subscribers …  Read more