Apple will fight iOS bugs with first-ever iOS Public Betas: 8.3 in March, 9 in summer

iosimage

In an effort to eliminate bugs from upcoming iOS versions ahead of their general releases, Apple plans to launch the first-ever public beta program for the iOS operating system, according to multiple people briefed on the plans. Following the successful launch of the OS X Public Beta program with OS X Yosemite last year, Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company’s existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, according to the sources. This release will match the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers, which is planned for release the same week. Apple then expects to debut iOS 9 at its June Worldwide Developer Conference, with a public beta release during the summer, and final release in the fall…

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Live blog: Tim Cook at Goldman Sachs Tech Conference 2015

Tim Cook

As mentioned earlier today, Tim Cook is speaking momentarily at the 2015 Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference where his remarks will be live streamed, and below we’ll update with the latest from the Apple CEO. In previous years, Cook has used the platform to share insight about product performance including the Apple TV and tease future roadmaps as the CEO often does. Today’s appearance follows Apple’s record quarter for any company with more than $74 billion reported in revenue and over 74 million iPhones sold. Apple is also positioned to release the Apple Watch in April, Cook recently mentioned, so today’s remarks should be interesting. Read more

Opinion: Could Apple’s integrated streaming music service decimate the competition?

Image: Forbes

Image: Forbes

When Apple enters a new business, you know it’s not going to do so in a half-hearted, small way. When it launches its Apple-branded Beats Music service later this year, it’s a no-brainer to predict that it’s going to be a big deal for the music industry. With Apple’s deep integration of Beats into its existing iOS/iTunes ecosystem exclusively revealed by Mark Gurman added into the mix, I wonder whether the unique selling points being notched up by Apple could be enough to leave existing big-name players like Spotify, Google Play and Rdio dead in the water?

That’s rather a grand idea, of course. As of last month, Spotify reached 15 million paid subscribers–up 50% in the last six months alone. Beats Music had only a little over 100,000 subscribers at the time Apple bought the company, and is rumored to have only 2-3 times as many now. But an Apple-ified Beats Music service has four things going for it …  Read more

The Next Episode: Apple’s plans for Beats-based music service revealed

CueBeats

Six months after buying the subscription music service Beats Music, Apple is actively working to launch a completely new paid streaming music service that will compete with Spotify and Rdio. Yet to be named, the new service is entirely Apple-designed, yet leverages Beats’ technologies and music content, a collaboration that has thus far led to personnel challenges and delays. Multiple sources within Apple and the music industry have provided the first in-depth details of Apple’s upcoming streaming service, which we share below.

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Apple moving Beats Electronics technical support wholly in-house, replacing outsourced support

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Unveil Beats By Dr. Dre 2011 Holiday Product Line-Up

Apple is in the process of winding down Beats Electronics’ outsourced phone support ties and moving technical support completely in-house via AppleCare, according to sources. Beats Electronics phone support is currently split between Apple and Sitel, a customer support outsourcing firm, and Apple is aiming to completely end that relationship as soon as March. Apple cut several Beats jobs in July following the acquisition. Sitel employees have confirmed that they will be moved to new technical support positions for other companies, and AppleCare employees similarly confirmed that Beats support will soon be handled completely internally. Apple acquired Beats Electronics and Beats Music in May 2014 for $3 billion, and sales transitioned to the Apple Online Store in August. Apple Store Genius Bars began servicing Beats products late last year.

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Spotify now reports 15 million paid subscribers

Spotify 15 million premium users

Streaming music subscription service Spotify shared its latest user numbers today, announcing that it now has 15 million paid subscribers to its premium service and 60 million active users. Spotify’s paid user count of 15 million accounts is up from the 10 million paid subscribers it previously reported just over six months ago.

Since then, Apple has officially closed on its $3 billion deal to acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music, which gave it access to its own on-demand music streaming subscription service. Before Apple’s Beats acquisition last year, the Spotify competitor was believed to have just over 110,000 paid subscribers of its own. Read more

CNN honors Tim Cook as ‘CEO of the year’ thanks to climbing stock price

Apple CEO Tim Cook ranked well on CNN Money’s list of best CEOs of 2014 taking the top spot of CEO of the year. The news organization said Cook has “arguably the toughest CEO job in America” as he battles critics skeptical of his performance running Apple without Steve Jobs and cited the company’s 40% stock climb this year as well as the debut of the iPhones 6 and Apple Pay ahead of the Apple Watch early next year. Read more

Bose reportedly planning to take on rival Beats Music with upcoming music streaming platform

Beats on Apple TV

Bose and Beats have been at each other’s throats in recent months, with the former inking a deal with the NFL to ban the Apple-owned company’s gear from appearing on camera at the league’s events. Apple fired back by pulling Bose products from its physical and online stores.

Now things may be about to get even more interesting between the two companies as Bose reportedly plans to launch a direct competitor to the Beats Music streaming service. The information comes from a job listing posted by the speaker manufacturer.

The listing states in no uncertain terms that…

Confirmed: Bose speakers returning to Apple Stores after removal earlier this year

Bose Apple Store

It looks like Apple will indeed be cashing in on Bose speakers and headphones sales in time for the remainder of the holiday shopping season. Yesterday rumors surfaced that Apple was readying its retail stores to carry Bose products once again, and today 9to5Mac has confirmed that Bose products, including the very popular SoundLink III/ Mini Bluetooth speakers, will once again be sold by Apple alongside its Beats-branded speakers and headphones that it acquired for $3 billion earlier this year… Read more

Gift guide: Premium headphones & earphones for the music lover in your life

Holiday Gift Guide 7

Apple makes great phones, tablets and computers; earphones not so much. The ones that come free with the iPhone look attractive, but they’re pretty much worth what you pay for them when it comes to sound quality.

Great sound, though, doesn’t come cheap, which is why a pair of premium headphones or earphones can make the perfect gift for someone who loves their music but perhaps doesn’t have the budget to really splash out on themselves.

If you’re buying for a musician, check out the more studio-oriented recommendations in our music gift guide. For those who will mostly use their headphones while on the move, read on …  Read more

Bose products reportedly set to return to Apple Store shelves as early as next week

Bose-Apple-Store-demo

Earier this year Bose and Apple had a bit of a falling out when the former decided to block NFL players from wearing Beats headphones while on camera, then fined players who violated the rule. Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine said at the time that the ban actually served Beats by providing a bit of free publicity.

Apple apparently didn’t agree, and retaliated by pulling all Bose products from its store shelves in October. Around that time the two companies were also duking it out in a patent lawsuit, though they eventually decided to settle.

But Bose products are reportedly headed back to Apple Store shelves…

Apple recruits ‘Head of Social Media’, will be stationed out of Beats’ West Los Angeles HQ

Tim Cook iPhone 6 tweet

Apple is looking to hire a new Head of Social Media and Content that will lead and expand on its current social media strategy. The job will be based out of Culver City, which could hint at Apple’s plans to align its overall social media strategy closer with its recently acquired Beats Electronics division which is located there. The West LA office is also in close proximity to its lead global Ad/Marketing agency Media Arts Lab. Read more