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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T-Mobile’s new ‘Jump! On Demand’ plan lets you upgrade phones up to 3 times a year

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T-Mobile is upgrading its Jump plan introduced two years ago to allow subscribers to move to new smartphones more frequently than before. The new Jump On Demand option lets you lease a smartphone for a small monthly fee, then trade it in for a new smartphone up to three times per year at no additional cost. For example, a base model iPhone 6 would cost $15 per month to lease with Jump On Demand after trading in an eligible smartphone. Read more

UK Apple Pay won’t require PIN but £20 contactless transaction limit does apply … for now

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Apple Pay is going international starting with the United Kingdom next month. The precise nature of how Apple Pay will work in the UK has been murky, with banks saying different things. Apple has now posted a FAQ to explain the situation.

Apple Pay will work with any current contactless reader. By default, it uses the same technology as other UK contactless cards. This means that performing an Apple Pay purchase will not require a PIN (as is standard with UK Chip and PIN payments). However, the usual £20 limit on contactless transactions does apply … for the time being. When Apple Pay launches in July, almost all merchants will only allow Apple Pay purchases up to £20 …

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Opinion: Apple’s App Store needs to join the Confederate flag boycott

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Apple’s App Store should join Amazon, eBay, Walmart and others in boycotting the Confederate Flag

[Update 6/25/15: Apple has begun removing apps that “use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways” without removing apps with “educational or historical uses”.]

Apple’s Tim Cook added his voice to the chorus of CEOs speaking against displaying the Confederate Flag on Sunday, indirectly referencing it as a symbol for racism. In a tweet, Cook called to honor the lives of the victims in last week’s tragic South Carolina shooting by “eradicating racism & removing the symbols & words that feed it.” An Alabama native like myself, Cook has been a strong proponent for equality during his tenure as CEO, often speaking out against the South’s tarnished history and the changes we still need to address.

With major physical and online retailers including Walmart, Target, Sears, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy now publicly supporting the boycott against the Confederate flag by removing merchandise that displays it, I believe it’s time for Tim Cook’s Apple to join the campaign by removing digital goods that display the Confederate flag on the App Store. Read more

Google Play Music adds free, ad-supported radio feature ahead of Apple Music launch

Google announced today that it is adding a free tier to its Google Play Music service. The new feature provides non-subscribers with what Google is describing as an ad-supported radio option with curated stations. Google Play Music’s radio option will be available for users in the United States at launch with availability on the web starting today and support on iOS and Android following soon. Similar to Apple’s approach with Apple Music, Google says it has “music experts” creating these “curated” playlists: Read more

iPhone-based eye-exam kit raises $6.1M to bring eye care to a billion people across the globe

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The equipment needed to carry out a proper eye examination typically costs $20-40k; the Smart Vision Labs SVOne aims to reduce that cost to just $4k by using an iPhone as part of the kit. The iPhone takes a series of photos of the eye, while an app performs the analysis and generates a prescription.

We were given a demo of the kit last year (video below), but the company needed funding to make it possible. Smart Vision announced today that it’s raised $6.1M in institutional funding led by Techstars Ventures. The funding allows it to scale its production and expand the team, helping it reach an estimated billion people around the world who don’t currently have access to eye examinations …  Read more

Developers currently unable to submit Watch apps due to App Store approval bug (update: fixed!)

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Update: The problem should now be resolved. Watch apps should upload as normal once again.

Developers are flocking to Apple’s developer forums today as the iTunes Connect submissions process is currently experiencing a glitch which makes it impossible for developers to submit apps that include Apple Watch extensions.

Rather than continuing submission process as normal, the system is incorrectly flagging up misuse of an Apple private framework called SockPuppetGizmo. Naturally, this is causing frustration in the developer community at the moment because it prevents apps from being submitted to the App Store.

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Nest reveals new Nest Cam, 2nd generation Nest Protect, updated iOS app

Following the Nest Cam outed by Best Buy earlier this morning, Nest did in fact take the stage today to announce its new lineup of products. Besides the Nest Cam, Tony Fadell and company showed off the 2nd generation Nest Protect smoke detector, a new mobile app for iOS and Android that brings all of the company’s new products together, and more. Unfortunately, the company’s flagship Nest Thermostat didn’t get any hardware upgrades today, but here’s what’s new… Read more

FCC fining AT&T $100 million over throttling unlimited data customers

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[Updated with AT&T statement below the fold…]

The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it plans to fine AT&T $100 million for throttling data speeds for customers with unlimited data plans. In its complaint, the FCC said the carrier “deprived consumers of sufficient information to make informed choices about their broadband service” which hurt competition… Read more

Apple strips MFi licensing from Monster following Beats lawsuit

Years before Apple bought Beats Electronics, the Beats by Dr. Dre-branded headphones were produced in part by audio and video equipment maker Monster. After Beats decided to let its contract with Monster expire in 2012, however, the cable maker saw Apple’s $3 billion purchase of the company as reason to sue. Now Monster claims, after filing its lawsuit in January, that Apple is pushing it out of the MFi program that allows manufacturers to advertise compatibility with and use the iPhone maker’s licensed technology when producing and selling accessories… Read more

iOS 9 iPad keyboard adds keys & symbols at bigger screen resolutions, seemingly ready for iPad Pro [Update]

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Following on from the Apple Watch native apps hack, Steve Troughton Smith has also found that the keyboard view in iOS 9 has much better adaptability support on Apple’s latest operating system. As shown by the screenshots, at larger resolutions, the iPad keyboard rearranges itself to make use of the space. Tab and Caps Lock keys are notably added onto to the left side as well as an entirely new top row of symbols.

This new row reflects the symbols normally found on hardware keyboards above the number keys: @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ +. Next to the ‘p’ on the first row, the keyboard also gains curly braces and a pipe symbol.

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Popular podcast app Instacast now discontinued as parent company Vemedio runs out of money

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Popular podcasting app Instacast for iOS and Mac is shutting down as the founders can no longer fund it or any of Vemedio’s other projects.

In an email sent to paid members, Martin Hering says that all of Vemedio’s products will be ‘discontinued’, with Instacast being the most well known app affected by this. The company says they will keep the servers up for as long as possible so current users will not be left with non-functional apps immediately.

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