Apple Music expected to include Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ album, a digital first [Update: confirmed]

Dr Dre Eddy Cue Jimmy Iovine

Dr. Dre with Apple’s Eddy Cue

[Update: Apple tells us that The Chronic will definitely be available tomorrow on Apple Music.]

[Update #2: The Chornic is available on Apple Music and available to purchase digitally for the first time on the iTunes Store.]

Taylor Swift’s 1989 album isn’t the only high profile record exclusive coming to Apple’s new streaming music service when it launches tomorrow. Apple Music is said to include Dr. Dre’s classic album The Chronic for streaming, Rolling Stone reports, which will be a digital first for the hip-hop album. Read more

Apple patent details AirDrop-like sharing for Apple Watch using handshake/hugging gestures

Apple-watch-handshake-patent

In a new patent application, Apple details an idea it’s experimenting with that would have Apple Watch users shake hands to exchange data (via PatentlyApple). The idea is simple. The patent application imagines two Apple Watch wearers exchanging data, such as contact information, for example, by performing common gestures like a handshake or a hug: Read more

Latest MacBook hub on Kickstarter is the neatest yet, with form-fitting design

branch-macbook-hub

Ever since Apple launched the single-port 12-inch MacBook, we’ve seen a flurry of companies offering to add the missing ports back in through various adapters, hubsdocks and more. Latest to the party is Branch, a Kickstarter project whose USP is its ‘form-fitted’ shape, which is naturally available in each of the three MacBook colors.

The emphasis here is on packing the essentials into an extremely portable unit, providing USB-C pass-through, two USB 3.0 ports and one Mini Display port capable of driving a 4K monitor. The company had originally pitched with HDMI (shown above), but said that it has switched to Mini DisplayPort following feedback from Kickstarter users …  Read more

UK bank Barclays delays Apple Pay as it seemingly thinks its own service can compete

bpay

When Apple announced that Apple Pay would be coming to the UK in July, there was one major bank missing from the list: Barclays. While the company tweeted that in was in “constructive talks” with Apple, it seemed odd that all other major UK banks had managed to reach agreement while it hadn’t. We may now know the reason for this.

CNET reports that Barclays is hoping to persuade its customers to use its own bPay mobile payment service instead. Rather than embedding a virtual card in an iPhone app, the company wants people to apply a sticker to the back of their phone – or carry a keyfob or wear a wristband …  Read more

Facebook continues to ‘borrow’ Snapchat features as it tests swipeable filters, stickers & text overlays in iOS app

effects

Facebook has rather a long history of finding inspiration in the Snapchat app, from Poke back in 2012 (which was pulled last month) to SlingshotTechCrunch reports that the company is now testing three new features in its iOS app, all of which mimic functions available in Snapchat.

The new photo uploader adds:

  • swipeable filters, allowing you to instantly preview the effects
  • the ability to paste Facebook stickers on top of photos
  • the option to overlay text on a photo

Facebook appears to have rolled-out the new version of the app to a limited number of users so far. Most of the photo filters are based on the seasons …  Read more

The Logic Pros: How to customize Logic’s Drummer, beat-by-beat

The Logic Pros-Drummer-01

In this week’s episode of The Logic Pros, we wanted to dive deeper into Logic Pro X’s Drummer. Considered by many to be a tool for kids, amateurs and even the lazy, Drummer is a much more versatile and customizable feature than you may think. In fact, I would argue it might be one the most interesting and powerful additions to LPX, not to mention one that Apple just hands out for free.

Whether its the slightly embarrassing drummer names or the preset stigma that surrounds it, Drummer tends to be overlooked and, in my opinion, quite underrated. Today we will be taking a closer look at what this feature has to offer, along with how to customize the drummers and the parts they play to work with our original compositions and ideas: Read more

Apple Music will be available on Sonos speakers by end of the year

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 15.10.57

Update: Apple has confirmed in a statement to Buzzfeed that Apple is working with Sonos to get Apple Music available on the connected speaker system by the end of the year. Original story below.

Apple Music senior director Ian Rogers — ex Beats Music CEO — has announced on Twitter that integration with Sonos for Apple Music is coming as soon as possible. Although Beats Music did have native support on the popular internet-connected speaker system, there have been no announcements about a partnership with Apple Music so far. In the tweet, Rogers confirms that there will be no Sonos integration at launch.

Read more

iOS 8.4 to be released 8 AM PT on Tuesday, iTunes Match song limit will increase to 100,000 with iOS 9

apple-music

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 …

Read more

Review: Akitio’s Thunder2 Dock fits a 7-port Thunderbolt 2 hub in your favorite MacBook bag

thunder2dock-2

Up until recently, Thunderbolt 2 docks could mostly be described as “seen one, seen them all.” I’ve continued to like the idea of docks that fuse Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, and other peripherals together in a single Thunderbolt-to-Mac connection, but the docks I’ve seen from Belkin, Elgato, and Kanex are so similar in looks and features that they’d be hard to tell apart in a lineup. CalDigit’s dock looked very different from the rest, but functioned almost exactly the same. No Thunderbolt 2 dock has been small enough to consider “portable,” and CalDigit’s design is downright bag-defiant in shape.

That’s why it’s great to see Akitio take a different path with the $279 Thunder2 Dock (available through Amazon for $230), a Thunderbolt 2 dock with a smaller form factor and focus. Roughly as thin as a MacBook Pro and made from a nearly-matching aluminum, Thunder2 Dock manages to include seven high-speed data ports even though it’s roughly the size of a portable hard drive. Since it requires wall power, it’s not completely portable, and just like its rivals, you give up certain features to gain others. But it’s definitely the first Thunderbolt dock I’d carry around if I needed multi-device support in the field…

Read more

Opinion: Why content-blocking on iOS means advertisers, ad networks, publishers & readers all need to up their games

adblockers

Ads are things we all love to hate. While some can be amusing, and others can be useful, drawing our attention to products or services we weren’t aware of, mostly we view them as things to tolerate at best – and to be profoundly irritated by at worst.

Some think they have a simple solution to this: using an adblocker. Adblocking software has existed for desktop browsers for many years, but to date there haven’t been any effective blockers for iOS.

All that could change with iOS 9, however, with content-blocking capabilities built right into the platform. If Apple chooses to allow adblockers into the App Store (and we don’t yet know yet for sure that it will), that could require advertisers, ad networks, publishers and readers alike to up their games …  Read more