GigSky leverages Apple SIM to offer iPad cellular data plans in 90+ countries/territories

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Despite lackluster support from major carrier partners, Apple’s carrier-agnostic Apple SIM demonstrated its potential today with the announcement that GigSky — “the first global mobile network designed for travelers” — will offer short-term iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 cellular data plans in over 90 countries and territories. “Now there’s no need to pick-up a local SIM, hunt for Wi-Fi, or travel in fear of excessive data roaming charges,” GigSky explained. “iPad users can choose a GigSky data plan upon arrival right from their iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 with Apple SIM installed, and easily connect to family and friends, stay in touch and share their travel.” Read more

Beats 1 Radio officially goes live on iOS 8.4, Apple publishes schedule on Tumblr

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Apple’s Beats 1 internet radio service has just gone live following the release of the iOS 8.4 software update earlier today. Host Zane Lowe introduced the station, saying, “We spent the last three months trying to build this radio station. Now we can build no more.”

The first song to play on the service was City by Spring King. Lowe said the song had been used for a variety of purposes at the station, including sound checks and demos to get other artists on board with Beats 1.

Beats 1 is part of Apple Music, the new on-demand streaming service first debuted at WWDC last month. Users running the latest iOS software can listen to the free Beats 1 stream, which will feature a variety of shows from hosts like Dr. Dre and Drake.

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Apple loses appeal of ebooks case ruling, will pay $450 million in damages

A federal appeals court today has upheld the 2013 ruling in Apple’s long-winded and high-profile ebooks case. The case, which centered around Apple price fixing content in the iBooks store, went through three years of litigation thanks mostly to Apple. Today’s ruling by a federal appeals court will see Apple pay $450 million in damages at long last.

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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

Apple releases iOS 8.4 with Apple Music, Beats 1, and all-new Music app

As promised, Apple has just released the iOS 8.4 software update featuring an all-new Music app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to the public after testing with developers since mid-April. While it includes smaller changes throughout, the update primarily delivers an overhauled Music app with Apple Music (notice the new icon), its brand new subscription music streaming service, and Beats 1, its 24/7 live radio station that launches today. 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

AC/DC will be available on Apple Music, ending its streaming service holdout

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The New York Times reports that AC/DC’s catalog of music will be available on Apple Music starting on launch day tomorrow. In addition to Apple Music, the band’s music will also be available on services such as Spotify and Rdio starting as early as Tuesday. AC/DC to date has never offered its music on streaming services and only joined iTunes 3 years ago in late-2012.

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