Taylor Swift says her album ‘1989’ will be on Apple Music

Taylor Swift Apple Music

Taylor Swift has answered one of the last remaining questions about Apple Music before it launches: her popular album 1989 will be available on Apple Music when it launches on Tuesday. The development follows Swift’s high profile letter to Apple over how artists would be paid during the streaming service’s 3-month free trial. Apple later reversed its decision announcing it would pay artists during the trial. Read more

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

Jump On Demand T-Mobile

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

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

Hands-on: WatchPlate’s rose gold treatment transforms steel Apple Watch + Classic Buckle & Sport band [Gallery]

Apple Watch WatchPlate rose gold

Nope, I haven’t caved to temptation and bought a $10,000 gold Apple Watch (waiting for gen-2…kidding!) … that’s a $549 stainless steel Apple Watch that met WatchPlate’s plating service to create a rose gold version with stunning resemblance to the Apple Watch Edition.

Last month we unboxed the first 42mm Apple Watch “3rd-party gold-plated edition” with Link Bracelet, a yellow gold version that looks like the ones only celebrities like Beyonce have, and today we’re taking a look at WatchPlate’s rose gold plating on a 38mm Apple Watch with Classic Buckle and Sport band. Check out our hands-on photos below: Read more

Happy Hour Podcast 020 | Apple Music launch details, new iOS 9/OS X betas, and Apple Watch 2 features

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Apple Music is almost here and it looks like Taylor Swift had a thing or two to say about it. Along with that, we have some exclusive details on Apple Watch 2 and an overview of the new iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, and watchOS 2.0 betas. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

This week we’re very excited to podcast with Brian from Pad & Quill and talk a little bit about some of the excellent accessories they make. Be sure to check out padandquill.com to view their products.

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The best Mac desk, chair, decor, and peripherals for your home office

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Like Apple Watches, home offices are “personal” — the look and furniture that work well for one person might not seem “right” to another. But the unified metal and glass aesthetic of Apple products works really well with modern office furniture, and there are also some iconic decor items Apple lovers can incorporate into a home office.

I spend a lot of time working from my home office, and have considered it a work in progress ever since I started building it around an aluminum PowerBook many years ago. Below, you’ll find a collection of items that will help you build a beautiful, practical home office that really spotlights your Apple gear, based on a mix of affordable and small investment-worthy choices…

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Kenwood’s first aftermarket CarPlay units now shipping, priced at $900 and $950

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We first saw Kenwood’s aftermarket CarPlay units at CES in January, and the company has now announced pricing as the two models start shipping to dealers. The catchily-named DDX9702S and DDX9902S retail at $900 and $950 respectively (but on Amazon for $750), and support Android Auto as well as CarPlay. Only the 9702S was on Kenwood’s website at the time of writing.

The two double-DIN DDX units are designed to be the center of a vehicle’s entertainment and information system. A large, 6.95-inch resistive touch display puts navigation, back-up camera view (camera required, sold separately), and a wealth of audio / video entertainment options at the driver’s fingertips. Each is equipped with Bluetooth technology to enable handsfree phone conversations as well as playback of streaming media from a Bluetooth-enabled phone or media device.

You also get built-in HD radio, HDMI input, DVD playback and support for Sirius satellite radio …  Read more

Review: Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Pro is a dream for media professionals and creators (Video)

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It would be silly to say that Apple’s latest iteration of the 15-inch 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the best MacBook yet, because that’s mostly the truth with every new model. Unfortunately, you won’t find a shiny new processor setup this time around, as Apple stuck with the trusty old Haswell configuration, but there are some nice improvements here.

The good news is, there’s a bump in clock speed across the board if that matters to you and we have a new GPU setup thanks to AMD in the high-end model. Even with these modest upgrades, the MacBook Pro I purchased is a beast for content creation…

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