Apple TV gains new content in UK, Ireland, Australia, Japan, & Scandinavia

Screenshot 2015-05-12 11.42.58

Apple has pushed out several new content channels across many countries to the Apple TV, as noted by several readers. Here’s the breakdown of the new channels across the world:

  • Viaplay has been added to the Apple TV in Scandinavia (which is comprised of Denmark, Sweden, Norway) and Finland. Viaplay is comprised of local sports content, films, and TV shows.
  • Stan has been added in Australia, and it contains localized TV shows, films, and content for kids.
  • The WWE Wrestling Network has been added to Apple TVs in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The network first launched in several countries, including the United States in Canada, for the Apple TV in February.
  • Bandai, a localized, subscription-based digital network, has been added to the Apple TV in Japan.

Last week, Apple rolled out CBS Sports and USA Now channels in the United States. Apple is expected to announce new Apple TV hardware in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, complete with an App Store and redesigned Remote.

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New Greenpeace report praises Apple for aggressively leading in renewable energy initiatives

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Greenpeace today released an update to its “Clicking Clean: A Guide to Building the Green Internet” report, showing that Apple continues to lead among tech companies when it comes to renewable energy efforts. The report notes that Apple has been “most aggressive” with its renewable energy projects including a number of new initiatives and continuing to maintain “its claim of a 100% renewably powered cloud for another year.” Read more

Apple’s FileMaker debuts version 14 with redesigned iOS app, Mac enhancements

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Apple subsidiary FileMaker today introduced version 14, the first major update since 2013, of its popular iOS and Mac-based platform, which includes the FileMaker Pro, Go, and Server software suites. This new version focuses on separate enhancements for speed across the different software versions, with the Mac and Windows applications gaining improved features for productivity, and the iOS Go apps for iPad and iPhone receiving end-to-end redesigns for iOS 8. Below, we break down the most significant new features for the Pro, Go, and Server versions.

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KGI: Top 11 new iPhone features for 2015 include Rose Gold option, Force Touch, 12MP Camera, 2GB RAM, more

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

A special Top 11 list today from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on the next iPhone (6s? 7?) that will be released later this year. Counting down:

  1. Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enrich user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market
  2. Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model
  3. There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose-gold Apple Watch Edition
  4. The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12MP
  5. One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality
  6. The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted
  7. The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes
  8. If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens
  9. The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay
  10. Gesture control support
  11. It’s expected that mass production will start in mid-to-late August. Total shipments will be 80-90mn in 2015, with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.

Some thoughts: Read more

Need to adjust your hearing aid? There’s an Apple Watch app for that (Video)

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Hearing aids are pretty sophisticated pieces of technology these days, capable of adjusting the sound they pick up to suit a range of different environments, from a noisy restaurant to a windy day outside. A button allows users to cycle between modes, but some go further, an app allowing the user to fine-tune things like the arc of sound captured, letting them hear what is being said by companions while blocking out extraneous sound.

In a video on CNN Money, a man whose hearing was badly affected by a brain tumor demonstrates how an app on his Apple Watch allows him to control his ReSound hearing-aid …  Read more

Tim Cook talks Apple Pay, Xiaomi, new environmental efforts during China visit

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Tim Cook, who is in China this week to discuss Apple’s new environmental initiatives, spoke to Chinese media regarding his plans to further expand Apple services in the country. Speaking to news outlet Xinhua, Cook discussed a variety of topics, including his hope to launch Apple Pay in China and get a smartphone in the hand of every resident.

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iOS 8.4 brings iBooks Author Textbooks to the iPhone for the first time

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In addition to a new Music application, iOS 8.4 brings textbooks developed using the iBooks Author tool to the iPhone for the first time. Launched in 2012 as part of Apple’s Education initiatives, iBooks Author allows schools and teachers to create dynamic, digital textbooks that can play videos, embed Study Cards, and connect to the internet…

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Apple releases iOS 8.4 beta 3 with revamped Music app ahead of late June launch

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Apple today released the third beta of iOS 8.4 to developers, labeled build 12H4098c. The update is available via Software Update on iOS and it should be hitting the developer center soon. The second Public Beta is available as well for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Xcode 6.4 beta 3 is also available. As with the first pair of betas, iOS 8.4 brings a revamped Music application with a new design, Up Next functionality, a Mini Player, and a new version of iTunes Radio. As we’ve reported several times, iOS 8.4’s Music app will also be home to Apple’s upcoming Beats-based streaming music service. Sources say that the new service will be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8th alongside iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, and it will launch publicly in several countries alongside the new iTunes Radio in late June.

Below, we list the changes in this new beta:

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Ex-iOS SVP Scott Forstall ‘delighted’ by Apple continuing to launch ‘great and beloved products’

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Scott Forstall, former Senior Vice President of iOS and one of the main creators of the iPhone and iPad, has finally spoken about Apple for the first time since leaving the company in the fall of 2012. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal primarily centered around his work on Broadway, Forstall briefly commented on Apple:

Asked about the split, Mr. Forstall said he was “so proud of the thousands of people I worked with [at Apple] and with whom I remain friends. I am delighted that they continue to turn out great and beloved products.”

Forstall’s admiration for Apple remains following a very public breakup between the executive and the company following problems with iOS 6 Maps application and the iPhone 5 launch. Since Forstall’s departure, Apple has publicly poked fun at skeuomorphic design, which was a cornerstone of Forstall’s iOS and OS X releases.

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Report claims Apple investigating improved touch panel for 12.9-inch iPad using silver nanowire tech

A new report from ETNews claims that Apple is investigating silver nanowire technology to improve touch panels in its much anticipated upcoming 12+-inch iPad:

Apple is planning to apply nano new material on touch panel. By changing ITO-based clear film with silver nano wire (AgNW) material, it plans to raise sense of touch and decrease cost.국내 은나노와이어 Domestic AgNW based touch-screen panel (TSP) industries are getting ready to commercialize the products as soon as possible.

The report, citing sources close to the supply chain, adds that Apple has already requested samples of the tech from LG Display, Samsung Display, Japan Display and others earlier this month.

And it isn’t the first time we’ve heard Apple is experimenting with the technology. The company has a patent for a “Touch Screen Display with Transparent Electrical Shielding Layer” which details an IPS LCD that utilizes “microscopic metal meshes, such as silver nano-wires (AGNW)” as a conducting layer. In the patent, published in January 2014, Apple imagines a display with better power efficiency, a thinner design, and reduced light reflectivity for an iPad. Here’s an excerpt: Read more

Tim Cook opens account on Chinese social network Weibo during Beijing trip

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With Apple now selling more iPhones in China than in the USA, and much of Apple’s Q2 earnings call focused on the country, it’s no great surprise that Tim Cook has today opened an account on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter known as Weibo. There is, though, a certain amount of irony involved, Weibo being one of the main sources of leaked information on Apple products.

Cook is in Beijing to announce Apple’s new environmental programs in the country, the topic of his first post.

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At the time of writing, the verified account already had over 300,000 followers, with almost 50,000 likes on his first post …  Read more