The Apple TV is launching later in October but many of the details about the device remain under wraps. At the announcement, Apple announced that the Apple TV Siri universal search feature will include data from iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and HBO. Many had hoped that Apple would be more open with this feature, allowing Siri to incorporate data from third-party services without requiring a special Apple partnership. In a move that will please many, Tim Cook has announced that Apple will offer an API for universal search, after all, via an interview with Buzzfeed.
Citing ‘overwhelming demand’, Apple has expanded the number of Apple TV Developer Kits available for registered developers who applied for a chance to receive the pre-release hardware last month. A number of developers (but not all) who previously missed out on the initial wave of test units have been notified by Apple Developer Relations that more dev kits have been made available for $1 and will be available for ordering through next Friday at 5 pm local on October 9th.
Apple TV 4 launches “toward the end” of this month as Tim Cook mentioned earlier this week and will include deep Siri integration and App Store for the first time. Apple first began notifying developers entering the dev kit lottery of their status in mid-September. With third-party apps and games being a major new feature of the new Apple TV experience, Apple clearly wants to give more developers the chance to create software for the new hardware before its release in a few weeks.
In an effort to strengthen Siri’s natural language conversation abilities, Apple has acquired a UK-based firm called VocalIQ. Business Weekly was first to report the acquisition today and Apple confirmed the purchase to The Financial Times with the usual boilerplate statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” expand full story
Whenever someone asks what I think of my Apple Watch, I explain that I like but don’t love it, and wouldn’t recommend it to everyone… yet. “In two or three years,” I say, “they’re going to be common, but right now, they don’t feel necessary.” Nice, yes. Necessary, no.
Last week, my life changed. Shortly after our kids went to school, my wife stopped breathing in our home. I was able to get her breathing again, and thanks to 911 and outstanding EMTs, she survived to be diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, a rare heart condition that typically goes undetected before a massive, fatal attack. Once Brugada was suspected, doctors looked for records of her heartbeat, but couldn’t find much on file. Between ER and ICU visits, I remembered that her iPhone’s Health app contained three months of heart rate data, because her Apple Watch had been passively recording it. But would that data actually be useful?
A report earlier this year said Apple has wavered on adding irregular heart rate reporting and other health functionality to the Apple Watch, fearing additional governmental regulation and/or liability for potentially inaccurate results. Given what my wife just went through, I have a newfound appreciation for the Apple Watch’s existing heart rate sensor, and a strong request for Apple: be bold on expanding Apple Watch’s health features, as well as its ability to be continuously worn. It’s nice for a watch to estimate calories burned after a workout, but merely having advance notice of her irregular heart rate could have prevented my wife’s near-death experience, and who knows how many other lives better sensors could save…
Target operates over 1800 stores across the United States, greatly expanding the points-of-sale for Apple Watch going into the holiday quarter. Aside from the couple hundred Apple Stores in the US, Apple Watch has been sold in a few premium vendors plus Best Buy, T-Mobile, and Sprint… expand full story
Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that Apple has secured a deal to build another spaceship campus in Sunnyvale, California. The company will purchase Landbank Investments LLC’s planned Central & Wolfe campus which comes in at 777,000-square-feet at Central Expressway and Wolfe Road in Silicon Valley.
Even in the age of the Apple Watch which only plays music over Bluetooth, Apple has yet to produce any Apple-branded wireless headphones or earbuds, instead promoting Beats-branded earbud and headphone designs created before Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of that company last year. A new report from MacRumors suggests that could soon change, however, as it’s believed Apple may have applied for “AirPods” trademark under an alias company name. expand full story
If you’re looking to buy an Apple TV online, you may need to look somewhere other than Amazon in the very near future. A new report from Bloomberg claims that an internal email at indicates the retailer will block sales of Apple’s streaming device because it doesn’t support Amazon Prime Video.
James Bell, the former CFO of Boeing, has joined Apple’s Board of Directors, the company announced today. Bell fills an opening left by former Apple board member Millard Drexler, who retired from the board in January. Tim Cook, Apple Chairman Art Levinson, and Bell have all provided quotes for the announcement:
“James brings a wealth of global, financial and industrial experience from his successful career at Boeing as corporate president and CFO,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “I am thrilled to welcome him to Apple’s board of directors and I look forward to working with him.”
“We look for outstanding individuals to strengthen our board’s breadth of talent and depth of knowledge, and we are very happy to have identified a fantastic person in James Bell,” said Art Levinson, Apple’s chairman. “I’m confident that he will make many important contributions to Apple.”
“I am an avid user of Apple products and have a tremendous respect for the company’s ability to innovate,” said Bell. “I am delighted to join the Apple board and look forward to contributing to its continued success in any way I can.”
Apple says that Bell brings experience in “finance, strategic planning and leadership in complex organizations” to the Apple Board. Bell retired from Boeing in 2011, and he also served as interim CEO of the company in 2005. Bell is the second new Apple Board member in two years. Last year, Apple appointed Susan Wagner of BlackRock to its Board of Directors.
In an interview with London’s Evening Standard, Apple SVP Eddy Cue said that Apple is relaxed about how many Apple Music subscribers are immediately willing to pay for the service once their free trial ends.
Ultimately, you never know until it happens. But we’re pleased with the number of people who have tried. Everybody gets fixated on the short term but we’re in this for the long haul.
Though published today, the interview took place before the trial ended for early adopters, so doesn’t give any hint as to conversion rates … expand full story
Following the release of iOS 9.0.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch this morning, Apple has closed the signing window for iOS 8.4.1 and iOS 9.0. This means that users can no longer downgrade from a more recent version of the operating system to either of those older builds.
Apple has officially released OS X El Capitan for the Mac, adding some new improvements as well as bringing parity with changes in iOS 9, released two weeks ago. OS X El Capitan (version 10.11), can be installed on any Mac that runs OS X Yosemite: simply download the free update from the Mac App Store. The release does not feature anything radically new — like the major visual overhaul that came last year — but there are new features as well as a strong focus on overall performance and stability improvements.
Here’s what’s new in Apple’s latest version of the Mac operating system …
Just one week after the last beta was pushed out to developers, Apple has released a third version of the iOS 9.1 beta to software makers for testing. Like the two previous builds, the new beta comes with a handful of new emoji and, as of the last beta, an option for disabling contact photos in the Messages app.
Update: This build has also been seeded to users on the public beta.
With OS X El Capitan releasing today, Apple has also updated iOS to version 9.0.2 with an over-the-air software update. This bug fix update marks the second release since iOS 9.0 launched earlier this month. expand full story
During the announcement of Google’s Chromecast Audio yesterday, the company made sure to mention that music subscription leader Spotify will soon be one of the many music streaming services supported by the platform. With many Apple Music subscriptions renewing (or not renewing) and Google unveiling a $35 dongle that retrofits our existing home speakers with Wi-Fi, some are rightfully wondering: What about Apple Music?
According to statements from one Googler (via TrustedReviews), Google has no bar on any platform joining in on supporting Chromecast, and the Mountain View company has already directly asked Apple to play along… expand full story
As long as there has been an App Store, Apple has practiced strong discretion over which apps it approves and which it doesn’t allow on the iPhone and iPad. This has sometimes meant controversy for Apple, as its judgement is called into question when apps that were once approved are sometimes pulled for questionable reasons. Metadata+, an app that sends iPhone users alerts when a US drone strike leads to death, is the latest casualty, The Guardian reports… expand full story