As part of a wide-ranging music industry story by Greg Sandoval at The Verge, details on Apple’s upcoming streaming radio project seem to be clearing up.
Much has been written about Apple’s plan to launch a Pandora-esque service this year. Now multiple music industry insiders have told The Verge that significant progress has been made in the talks with two of the top labels: Universal and Warner. One of the sources said “iRadio is coming. There’s no doubt about it anymore.” Apple is pushing hard for a summertime launch.
Asymco’s Horace Dediu has estimated that Apple’s iTunes business, initially intended only to cover its costs as a way of driving hardware sales, now earns the company annual profits of a cool $2 billion.
What started as just a music store now sells music, video, books, iOS software, and Mac software. Revenues have grown five-fold in 7 years, with total sales approaching $5 billion a quarter and notching up an estimated 23 billion transactions a year.
Apple has updated its Podcasts app today with a number of new features. Among the most notable is the ability to create custom stations that update automatically as new episodes of podcasts are available. There are also a number of new enhancements for stations and playlists, including iCloud support to keep stations up to date on all your iOS devices.
The app also now includes a redesigned “Now Playing” view that shows playback controls, as pictured in the screenshots above.
Other improvements include On-The-Go playlists and support for syncing playlists from iTunes, an option to have stations begin playing with the latest or oldest episode, and other fixes and performance enhancements: Read more
Runtastic version 2.10.1: Personal fitness tracking app Runtastic gets a nice update today that brings more Sport types, improved Facebook integration, and number of other bug fixes and performance enhancements.
DataMan Pro version 6.3: After some trouble getting by Apple review guidelines with its last update, DataMan Pro is back on the App Store today and is 50% off for a limited time to celebrate. The app has also been completely redesigned:
The resurrected DataMan Pro has been completely reinvented to feature a stunning new interface, an intelligent real-time data usage forecast, and most advanced app tracking… The powerful App Watch technology that users love is also back. You can see the usage statistics for all apps. This amazing capability empowers you to root out data-hungry apps… The new DataMan Pro includes Smart Forecast and the beautiful interface that were recently introduced in DataMan Next. Combined with precise real-time tracking, you can say goodbye to overage.
Orbitz Flights, Hotels, Cars 3.0:Yesterday Orbitz launched its first “fully native, in-app search and book experience” for the iPad with an update to its Orbitz Flights, Hotels, Cars app that brings support for the larger screen and new iPad-specific features:
Our award-winning app (App Store Editors’ Choice & Hall of Fame inductee) is now also optimized for iPad and iPad mini! iPad users enjoy *all* the same app features as iPhone users, plus iPad-exclusives like a dual list/map view of hotels and the ability to compare details of multiple flights, rental cars, or hotels from a single screen.
Adobe Muse:Adobe announced today that it is updating Adobe Muse with some highly requested new features: Read more
Last time we checked in on the in-app purchase class-action lawsuit against Apple, courts refused Apple’s request to throw out the case brought on by parents arguing the iOS freemium model, i.e. in-app purchases, allowed children to easily rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars. Today, Law360 (via GigaOM) reported Apple has agreed to pay a settlement and will be contacting 23 million iTunes users that “made a Game Currency purchase in one or more Qualified Apps.”
According to the report, Apple will pay $5 in iTunes credit to those who claim in-app content was purchased by a minor without their permission. For purchases above $30, users will be able to request a full refund. However, credits will likely not get to users until early 2014 when the settlement meets regulatory approval: Read more
Update (Feb 21st): This has been fixed according to a reader. The iTunes and App Stores use HTML on the backend so Apple can “push” updates via backend code changes:
As of this morning, the bug is gone! No update required! Looks
like the somehow they pushed the update! I can no longer change the
account in the App Store or iTunes store! This reminds me when I was
beta testing 6.0 and Apple changed the behavior of downloading updates
not requiring a password (they also allowed free apps with no password
for a short while). That didn’t need an update to change either.
They seem to have ways of fixing App Store behavior without needing to
update iOS. I’m still running 6.1 on my devices, haven’t gone to
Would be nice for an official answer from Apple, but so far, it’s
working correctly! Also, I see redeem and send gift are grayed out
also, at the bottom of the App Store. Same for iTunes Store.
For those unaware, iOS 6 received some beefed up Restriction settings when it was released that allowed users to select “Don’t Allow Changes” for an entire account linked to an iOS device. This option was particularly useful for schools and organizations that wanted to limit a device to a specific account and keep students and others from installing apps not approved by the institution. Without the restriction, students or employees could easily change the iTunes account linked to the iOS device. Unfortunately, as noticed by one frustrated 9to5Mac reader, it seems there are several backdoor methods of bypassing the setting…