Auburn University video with Jeff Williams, Bob Iger profiles Tim Cook in honor of Lifetime Achievement award

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(Photo via Auburn University)

Following Apple CEO Tim Cook being honored with Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences Lifetime Achievement award last December, the university in Alabama from which Tim Cook graduated has shared a video profiling the Apple CEO and his impact at Auburn. While the video was first posted in March and surfaced today, it features commentary and interviews from other notable Apple figures including Jeff Williams, Senior VP of Operations, and Bob Iger, Disney CEO and Apple board member. Read more

Disney leverages iTunes to take on UltraViolet with new ‘Movies Anywhere’ iOS app

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The ties between Apple and Disney are tightening even more thanks to their unprecedented collaboration on the new Movies Anywhere app. This ambitious project has been percolating at Disney for years and aims to make purchasing and viewing digital content easier than ever.

A direct shot at UltraViolet, the Movies Anywhere app allows users to purchase and play movies within the app or through any device with access to your iTunes library. Previously purchased films on DVD, and Blu-ray can be added to the app if they shipped with a digital redemption code. All past iTunes purchases are eligible.

Users can simply connect their iTunes account to their Disney Movies Anywhere account to begin populating their Disney digital movie locker and watch movies online and on their devices. Featuring simultaneous access on multiple devices, Disney Movies Anywhere enables consumers to stream and download Disney movies on their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and Apple TV (through iCloud or using AirPlay).

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Apple TV updated with Vevo, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Weather Channel, Smithsonian apps

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Today, Apple has issued an over-the-air update to the Apple TV that brings several new content apps. Notably, in line with expectations, an app for the Vevo Music Video service has arrived. Also new are Disney Channel and Disney XD apps.

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With Apple’s deep partnership with Disney, it is about time that Disney has been fully integrated into the Apple TV. Apple TV users will now also be able to access Weather information via a new app from The Weather Channel. An app for the Smithsonian is also now present.

The Disney apps require cable provider authentication, while The Weather Channel, Smithsonian, and Vevo are available immediately for all users.

Earlier this year, the Apple TV was updated with ESPN, HBO Go, and SkyNews. Time Warner Cable integration is reportedly in the works for later this year.

Images of the new content offerings below:

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Pixar’s John Lasseter accepts Disney Legends award for Steve Jobs [Video]

One of Pixar’s early employees, John Lasseter, accepted a Disney Legends award for Steve Jobs. The awarded was accepted and presented yesterday at Disney’s D23 conference. The Disney Legends award is granted to key people in the growth and success of Disney. As Pixar’s creator and a former Disney Director, Jobs certainly made a positive impact on Disney. Lasseter’s speech recounts several encounters and experiences that he shared with Jobs over the course of their time together. A video from another angle is below:

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Disney’s ABC to livestream all programming to iOS devices starting this week

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Big news from the New York Times this evening. ABC, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company,  will begin streaming live content to iOS devices later this week in Philadelphia and New York City using a new button on their app called ‘live’. Users will be able to live stream all the programming from ABC’s local stations there, ‘the first time that any major broadcaster has turned on such a technology.’

For the first six weeks the service will be free to anyone with an iOS device according to GigaOM. Before you go grabbing the scissors to cut that cable cord, be warned that the live stream will eventually be available only to paying subscribers of cable and satellite providers, even though the stations’ signals are available free over the public airwaves.

ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, said the live stream would be available in the other six cities where it owns stations sometime this summer. It is also in talks with the companies that own ABC’s more than 200 affiliates to make the “live” button work in their markets.

Also, not all shows have beencleared for streaming so there might be some discrepancies between the live feeds and the stream. The news comes as a service called Aereo (which we’ve reviewed) is place shifting broadcast signals to the internet, making live channels available to portable device owners. Read more

Disney outfitting park employees with iPads to add magic to Magic Kingdom

 

There has always been a strong connection between Apple and the Walt Disney Company. Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs served on the board of directors for Disney and was the head of Pixar, which Disney purchased to create some of the most memorable animated films ever. Jobs also used his knowledge from when he created the most profitable retail chain in the world to help Disney rejuvenate its stale retail experience. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger also now sits on Apple’s board.

Disney and Apple are set to grow even closer as Disney park employees are given iPads to handle guest relations.

The iPad will be the centerpiece for Disney’s revolutionary next-generation “FastPass” system. The current system allows Disney park goers to receive passes, return to popular attractions at a future time, and then bypass the lengthy lines. Today, Disney World employees began training on a new system that will utilize RFID technology and the iPad to take the park goer experience to the next level.

Over the next couple of weeks, guests selected —in advance to their trip— will help Disney test this new process. The guest will book popular rides and attractions for specific times in the future—even before they leave for Florida. According to @DisneyProjects, when guests arrive at the ride for their reserved time, they will then wand their RFID band by a sensor, which will subsequently send their reservation information to a nearby Cast Member’s (Disney Employee) iPad.

This pilot program will run for the next couple of weeks, which is enough time for Disney to gauge its effectiveness. There is no current timetable for a full rollout. However, you can be sure it is coming, because Disney went through the effort of installing RFID zones at several key attractions. Disney has used the iPad in revolutionary ways before, like when it introduced “AppMATes.” This is just another connection between the two great American companies.

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