Apple adds TED Talks, Tastemade, and Young Hollywood apps to Apple TV

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Shortly after dropping the price from $99 to $69, Apple has updated the Apple TV channel lineup with a few additions in the United States. New apps for viewing content from TED, Tastemade, and Young Hollywood are now available. The channels should appear automatically or after a restart on the latest Apple TV set-top box, and all three offerings are available without a cable or satellite subscription. Read more

New Apple TV reportedly debuting at WWDC, with App Store and Siri integration

Apple recently dropped the price of the current Apple TV.

Apple recently dropped the price of the current Apple TV.

John Paczkowski at Buzzfeed, formerly Recode, has today posted that Apple intends to debut a new Apple TV at WWDC, in the summer. Matching reports from 9to5Mac from the last year, he claims the new device (a revamp of the current hockey-puck Apple TV) will feature Siri and an App Store.

This is one of the reason’s why the new hardware would be shown at WWDC, so that developers can begin application development ahead of the product’s release.

The report claims that the device will feature more onboard storage to store applications and ‘expects’ it to use Apple’s latest A8 chip for better power. 9to5Mac has previously reported the new Apple TV will be a slimmer redesign of the current hockey puck with voice integration and a new remote with more tactile, easier to press buttons.

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WSJ: Apple in talks to add Discovery and Viacom to rumored Web TV service

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Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and the Discovery Channel are among the channels that could be making their way to Apple’s reported new web TV service, as the WSJ reports that Apple is in talks with Discovery and Viacom. The paper had earlier said that Apple’s online TV service would be announced in June and launched in September with 25+ channels.

Discovery, owner of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, and Viacom, owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, are in talks to be on the Apple service, people familiar with the matter said.

We first heard about the plans in early February. ABC, CBS and Fox are already believed to be on board for the service, which is expected to cost somewhere in the $25-40/month range …  Read more

Opinion: My cable subscription woes and the appeal of an ‘Apple Cable’ service

Apple TV HBO Now

My cable provider is pretty terrible. I don’t need to name any names because this likely applies to your cable provider as well. They are all horrible. I often experience drops on popular channels, get bonus filler channels that no one wants, and see indiscriminate additional subscription fees and charges without any real reason. This Onion article, though it is satire, doesn’t stray too far from the truth.

For a very casual TV watcher, it’s not a great experience – to put it mildly.

So the prospect of an Apple web TV service with a price tag of around $40, as the WSJ and others reported last night, is highly appealing to me if it means I can catch the few shows I watch now without the hassle of my cable subscription. I’ll still be tied to the monopolies for Internet service which isn’t terrific, but the theoretical ‘Apple Cable’ service has the potential to fix a number of problems for me.

Apple started off its March event with the announcement that HBO Now, the premium network’s new $15/month web service, will be available with 3-month exclusivity on the App Store and Apple TV at launch next month. While we’ve heard for quite some time that Apple is developing a web TV service, and the upcoming HBO Now channel seems to be the best taste of what that could offer. I’m hopeful that the potential ‘Apple Cable’ can solve my cable subscription woes. Here’s how:

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Apple reportedly offering viewer data to TV partners to help solidify content deals

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With rumors flying about an Apple television subscription service in the works for release this year, new details have started to emerge about what kinds of deals the tech company will make with its content partners. The NY Post says that these deals will involve Apple turning over certain data about its users to programmers to help solidify its agreements.

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NBC plans cable-dependent Apple TV app for second half of 2015

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Despite reports that NBC Universal is not involved in negotiations for Apple’s upcoming subscription TV replacement service, NBC still hopes to arrive on the Apple TV as soon as the second half of 2015, according to a source with knowledge of NBC’s digital roadmap. A recent presentation slide provided by the source shows that NBC wants to launch Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox apps during the second half of this year, following its existing apps for iOS and Android devices. NBC also would like to add new affiliate stations, Nielsen Rating integration, and support for Google’s Chromecast

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WSJ: Apple announcing $30-40/month Web TV service in June, shipping in September with 25+ channels

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According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple plans to launch an online TV service this fall with support for “about” 25 channels. According to the report, the service will debut on all of Apple’s iOS devices, ranging from the Apple TV to the iPhone and iPad, and will be announced in June (which is also when the Beats overhaul will debut) and fully released in September of this year. Industry executives said that the service will be priced between $30 and $40 when it launches. Of the 25 channels, the service will be headlined by ABC, CBS and Fox.

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Roundup: All the news from Apple’s Spring Forward event

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Apple’s Spring Forward event on March 9 was packed with news, including everything from expected Apple Watch announcements to the debut of the Retina 12″ MacBook, a price drop for Apple TV, the announcement of ResearchKit, and the release of iOS 8.2. Here’s everything you need to know.

First, the Apple TV dropped in price from $99 to $69, and got a three-month exclusive window to launch HBO Now, a standalone $15/month to HBO TV content and on-demand library.

Second, Apple announced ResearchKit, enabling iPhone users to opt-in to large-scale medical research studies using all-new apps to track and provide health information. Five initial apps were released, including heart, glucose, breast cancer, asthma, and Parkinson’s research tools.

Third, Apple officially unveiled the all-new 12″ MacBook, its thinnest and lightest Mac laptop yet, with a Retina display, single USB-C port, and Force Touch trackpad, starting at $1,299. A collection of new USB-C adapters are required to connect the MacBook to traditional USB devices and wired displays. It also updated the older MacBook Air and 13″ Retina MacBook Pro with faster Intel Broadwell processors, faster SSDs, and battery improvements.

Fourth, the Apple Watch finally got its long-awaited battery life (18 hours) and pricing ($349/$549/$10,000/$17,000) details, plus preorder (April 10) and launch (April 24) dates. Additional details on real-world Apple Watch 38mm and 42mm battery life, as well as warranty details, were quietly released online. A small collection of Apple Watch apps were shown off, and accessories including bands and chargers also got priced ($29-$449). One of the accessories actually includes two separate bands in one package.

After the event, Apple released iOS 8.2 with Apple Watch support and Health improvements. It also published the official event video, as well as separate Jony Ive-narrated videos showing the aluminum, steel, and gold manufacturing processes for the Apple Watches. To help customers plan their Watch band purchases, Apple released a new band size guide showing the wrist sizes that will fit each of the numerous types of bands (in millimeters).

Apple Events channel appears on Apple TV, ready for livestreaming ‘Spring Forward’ event later today

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As is the norm nowadays, the Apple Events channel has appeared on the Apple TV ahead of Apple’s Spring Forward event later today. From 10 AM PDT, Apple will be live streaming the entire presentation, for those not lucky enough to be there in person.

Customers can follow along on the Apple TV, or online at http://apple.com/live. 9to5Mac will also have full coverage of all the announcements, so stay tuned.

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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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