Apple plans relaunched Beats streaming music service for WWDC, skipping March event; Apple TV still coming

iPhone 6 Beats Music

Apple won’t take the wraps off of its upcoming Beats-based music streaming service at its March 9 “Spring Forward” event, according to music industry sources briefed on the launch timeline. Instead, Apple currently plans to introduce the service, at least in beta form, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. The WWDC keynote likely takes place on Monday, June 8th, and that’s the event where the debut will occur. The new iTunes music streaming service is based on technology acquired from Beats Music, including curated playlists, cloud-based libraries, and offerings customized to the musical tastes of individual users. The service will be priced as high as $7.99 per month, which is less expensive than current $9.99 pricing for Beats Music, Spotify, and Rdio…

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Opinion: Apple TV should get these 10 updates at next week’s event, but probably won’t

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Nearly eight years have passed since Apple released the first-generation Apple TV, a product originally hyped as “something really special” but quickly demoted to a “hobby” after initial sales fizzled. The second-generation version arrived with much less fanfare in late 2010, and the modestly tweaked third-generation model got a mere five-minute launch at a March event three years ago. Since then, there’s been plenty of evidence that Apple was working on updated hardware, a major partnership with cable companies, and major new content deals, but apart from the quiet addition of new channels, nothing’s actually happened.

Since total Apple TV sales remain soft by comparison with Apple’s other product lines, next week’s fashion-focused and celebrity-packed Apple Watch special event would be a great opportunity to launch an updated Apple TV to a broader audience. The current-generation Apple TV is older than its predecessor was when Apple replaced it, and there are at least 10 software and hardware tweaks that could fundamentally improve the Apple TV experience. Here’s our list of 5 features Apple TV really needs, and 5 features it would really benefit from having…

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Apple TV content refresh serves up Tennis Channel Everywhere

Apple TV Tennis Channel

Following the addition of the official Cricket Australia channel for Apple TV users down under earlier this week, Apple refreshed its video streaming box for US users Friday night with new content through the Tennis Channel Everywhere service. The new Apple TV channel features both on-demand tennis and live matches with an optional annual subscription. Read more

AllCast media streaming app makes it to iOS, works with Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, FireTV and more

The AllCast media streaming app–which allows photos, music and video to be beamed from a mobile device to an Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, FireTV and a range of smart TVs–has now made it to iOS, following the release of the Android app last month (shown in the above video). It’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and is optimized for iPhone 5 and up.

The app works in a very similar way to the Chromecast stick–or, as the developer puts it, “no setup necessary, it just works like magic” …  Read more

9to5 Guide: Hello, new iPhone / iPod owner! Here are the best accessories to buy right away

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There are few things better than finding a new iPhone or iPod under your tree on Christmas Day. If you received an iPod, you’ll find enough in Apple’s box to start enjoying music, videos, and/or apps right away. iPhone users get all of those great features plus cellular telephone and Internet access. But these devices suffer from the same weaknesses: they’re fragile — the reason roughly 80% of iPhone owners use cases — and they depend upon external accessories for quite a few things. If you want to make the most of your Apple device, you’ll want to accessorize (and app-cessorize) it right away.

Our best iPhone accessory recommendations are similar across all current models. But they vary considerably from small to medium to big iPods. Read on for all of our top picks!

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Watch ABC for Apple TV updated with the ability to watch most recent episodes for all users

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ABC issued an update to its Watch ABC channel on the Apple TV today. The channel now allows all users to watch the latest episodes of their favorite shows, without the need to login through a cable provider, as was previously required.

Of course, you won’t be able to jump in and start watching the newest episode the day after it airs. As was the case with the previous version of the channel, episodes are only made available one week after they’ve aired.

The update also introduces a new…

It’s time for Munster’s annual ‘Apple television’ prediction, and this time it’s two years away

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Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is famous for his annual prediction that Apple’s long-rumored television is launching next year, but this year he’s mixing it up a little, predicting instead that it will be launched in two years’ time.

Back in 2011, he predicted at the IGNITION conference that it would launch before the 2012 holiday season. Once it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, he predicted late in 2012 that it would be arriving in time for, yep, you guessed it, the 2013 holiday season. He clung to that one throughout the early part of last year, but has kept quiet on the subject this year – until now …  Read more

Apple TV adds revamped YouTube app (with ads), new channels from DailyMotion, UFC and more

Apple TV is receiving a flurry of new channels today. Most prominently is a brand new YouTube app, to bring the client up-to-date with some of the other platforms. The new app reflects the design of other set-top box clients, with easier access to subscriptions and search functions. For the security conscious, the YouTube app now uses OAuth to login rather than naive password entry (by visiting youtube.com/activate)

Unfortunately, this YouTube update also means that Apple TV users will start seeing ads for the first time on the platform. Naturally, some users will be disappointed by this addition — it is not possible to opt out of the update.

Aside from YouTube, Apple TV is also getting four entirely new channels from various providers. Rolling out today are channels for Conde Nast’s ‘The Scene’, ‘Fusion’, Dailymotion (a video upload site from France) and UFC for premium subscription fighting and martial arts content.

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