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

As Apple Watch hits seven more countries, more coming on 17 July – inc Netherlands, Sweden & Thailand

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The Apple Watch, originally launched in nine countries, hits seven more today – with a further rollout on July 17th. Apple has so far added the July 17th date to its websites in the Netherlands, Sweden and Thailand.

The countries going live today include Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan …  Read more

More Beats 1 hosts revealed ahead of launch, will include shows from Dr. Dre, Drake, and more

my name is drake and thank you for your time

Along with today’s announcement that Zane Lowe’s first Beats 1 interview will be with Eminem, a New York Times profile on the DJ revealed the titles and hosts for other shows on Apple’s upcoming music streaming service.

As you might expect, Apple’s own Dr. Dre will be hosting a show of his own called “The Pharmacy.” Rapper Drake, who appeared on stage at the Apple Music announcement, will also have a show on the streaming radio service.

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Apple’s iTunes U gets 1-to-1 discussions, importing from other apps, PDF annotations, grade book, more

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Apple’s iTunes U service, a resource for teachers to create and manage educational content for students on iPad, is today receiving a big update that brings a long list of highly requested features. Starting today, teachers and students using the platform will get access to new additions including 1-to-1 discussions, homework hand-in & grade book features, PDF annotations, and more. Read more

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