In a quiet over-the-air update today, Apple has just added a new Red Bull TV Channel for Apple TV users. The content is similar to what is offered already through the Red Bull TV website and iOS apps with a selection of action sports, music, and lifestyle related video series including both on-demand and live content. That includes clips, full-length episodes, as well as live coverage of events and more. Read more
Today at Apple’s iPhone event today in Cupertino, CEO Tim Cook kicked things off with the usual company updates since last checking in. After talking briefly about its iTunes festival and its latest expansion to the Stanford, CA retail store, Cook mentioned that Apple will hit 700 million iOS devices sold by next month. That’s up 100 million devices in just a few months since Apple announced back in June that it hit the 600 million device mark.
Cook also provided some numbers on the iTunes festival noting that the event is now in its seventh year and reaches 100+ countries with live streams. He also said that around 20M people applied for tickets.
Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad, stars of the upcoming JOBS film, are currently hosting a live hangout on YouTube to answer questions about what it was like playing Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the film. You can tune in live above and submit questions for Kutcher and Gad to answer through #AskJobsMovie.
There were no shortage of details regarding Apple’s much rumored radio service leading up to today’s keynote address. The rumors said Apple was planning on introducing a free, ad-supported radio service, similar to Pandora, that would be highly integrated with a tweaked model for its iAd business. Apple has now officially unveiled the service dubbed ‘iTunes Radio’ and provided some details on exactly how it will work during its keynote presentation this morning at Moscone West in San Francisco.
The new iTunes Radio app is built in to the iOS radio app, and works on the Mac and Apple TV as well. As rumored, iTunes Radio will be free, supported by ads. In a twist, however, iTunes Radio will be completely free (free of ads) if you’re a subscriber to iTunes Match:
The Music app has a beautiful new design and includes the new iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store®, combined with features only iTunes can deliver. iTunes Radio is the best way to discover new music. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac®, PC or Apple TV®, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalized just for you.
As we reported prior to today’s event, the underlining technology is based on Apple’s iTunes Genius feature with iTunes Radio tailoring the experience to your iTunes usage. Apple says there will be Siri integration, and also aims to offer users “access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists.” Read more
Google today announced that it is revamping the Google voice search feature available in Chrome on the desktop. While users have always been able to search with their voice through Chrome, Google is attempting to make the service work more like it does through Google Search apps and Google Now on mobile devices.
Chrome will now include “conversational search” with a brand new interface that doesn’t require users to click in order to search with their voice. Like on mobile devices with Google Now, users will now be able to simple say “Google” in order to activate voice search.
Today, we previewed what this conversational experience will look like in Chrome on your desktops and laptops. Soon, you’ll be able to just say, hands-free, “OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” and get a spoken answer. Then, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and just follow up with “how far is it from here?” if you care about the drive or “how about Monterey?” if you want to check weather somewhere else, and get Google to tell you the answer.
The new interface, as pictured above from Google’s demo of the feature, is much like the voice search interface for Google Now on Android devices.
The new feature will be coming to Macs and PCs through Chrome soon.
Google also briefly showed off some new content coming to Google Now including new cards for Reminders, Music Albums, TV Shows, Books, Public Transit, and Video games rolling out today:
We knew from leaks in the weeks leading up to I/O that Google was planning some gaming related announcements and today the company has officially announced the service in a press release ahead of its Google I/O keynote taking place now. Not only will the service allow Android developers to build in real-time multiplayer, social features, achievements, and leaderboards while storing game saves and settings in the cloud, the SDK for Google Play game services will also be available to iOS and web developers.
Google noted a few titles for Android have already been updated with the feature including World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.
Not surprisingly, the cross-platform gaming service will also build in Google+ integration to track high scores, achievements and more:
-Achievements that increase engagement and promote different styles of play.
-Social and public leaderboards that seamlessly use Google+ circles to track high scores across friends and across the world.
-Cloud saves that provide a simple and streamlined storage API to store game saves and settings. Now players never have to replay Level 1 again.
-Real-time multiplayer for easy addition of cooperative or competitive game play on Android devices. Using G+ Circles a game can have up to 4 simultaneous friends or auto-matched players in a game session together with support for additional players coming soon.
Google’s full press release below: Read more
As previously announced, today Apple is reporting its Q1 2013 earnings results. There is much uncertainty going into today’s call with Apple shares down significantly in recent months to roughly $500 since hitting a high of over $700 per share in September. With the iPhone 5 landing in a total of 100 countries last month, as well as iPad mini making its way to new markets, Wall Street estimates Apple will report between 47.5 million and 53 million iPhones sold and iPad sales between 23 million and 25 million. Compare that with Apple’s Q1 numbers last year: 37 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads sold. Earlier this week Verizon reported 6.2M iPhone activations for the quarter, around half of which were iPhone 5 sales.
We’ll be providing blow-by-blow coverage of the earnings call in our live blog below at 2 PM Pacific/5 PM Eastern time. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac.com’s homepage for additional coverage:
Head below for updates… Read more
We told you in May 2011 that a new company called “Taposé” aimed to bring functionality from Microsoft’s dual-screen Courier tablet concept to the iPad. The iPad app was still early in development then, but has since reached its funding goal on Kickstarter. It also received backing from Microsoft’s J Allard who headed the Courier project at Microsoft, and now Apple finally approved it for the App Store:
Apple’s Chief Executive Office Tim Cook is speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference where he was just asked about working conditions within the company’s supply chain. While Apple’s presentations at past Goldman Sachs conferences, where Cook was often involved as Chief Operating Officer, were typically limited to numbers and trends, Cook was asked today about supply chain conditions in China:
“The first thing I would want everyone to know… Apple takes working conditions very, very seriously….we care about every worker… i spent a lot of time in factories personally… we are understand working conditions at a very granular level. I realize that… the supply chain is complex… but my commitment is very, very simple. We believe that every worker has the right to a fair and safe work environment, free of discrimination, where they can earn competitive wages, and voice their concerns freely… We believe that education is the great equalizer”
Cook talked about how aggressively Apple has sought to fix the issues. In January, the company polled over half a million employees weekly and reported over 84 percent compliance. Following yesterday’s announcement that the Fair Labor Association has begun audits of the company’s supply chain starting with Foxconn City in Shenzhen, Cook noted Apple will begin an unprecedented move to report its findings monthly. As an example of how detail oriented the company’s review processes are, Cook noted if there were “no fire extinguisher in kitchen,” the supplier would not pass.
Cook also noted that Apple partnered with local schools to provide classes to more than 60,000 employees, many going on to earn associates degrees, with a campus population larger than Arizona State.
In September, leaked documents emerged revealing Comcast was working on a live TV streaming service for iPad called “AnyPlay“ and now the company announced the service will roll out today. To start out, AnyPlay will only be available to Xfinity HD Triple Play subscribers located in Denver and Nashville, but the company plans to roll out to additional markets “in the coming months”.
The service will be accessible through the current Xfinity TV app. Comcast revealed exactly how it works:
the AnyPlay device works the same as any other set top box in the home, but instead of delivering the incoming channel lineup to a television, AnyPlay delivers the lineup to the Wi-Fi router on the home network. The router then distributes the secure video signal to the iPad or Xoom over your home’s wireless network. So as long as your tablet is within range of the home wireless router, you can turn it into another television screen.
In related iPad video streaming news, Showtime announced the Showtime Anytime iPad app today that brings Showtime Anytime subscribers over 400 hours of content. The app appears to only be available to AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS customers, but the press release does mention Comcast support “will be launched soon” and others will be added in the future.
Some of the content accessible form the app includes TV shows “Dexter,” “The Big C,” “House of Lies,” and movies “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “Inglorious Basterds.” The company plans to launch an iPhone app for Showtime Anytime sometime early this year.