Apple meeting with UK ad agencies in preparation for iTunes Radio rollout

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Apple appears to be readying for an UK iTunes Radio launch in the near future. As indicated by this tweet, Apple’s director of iAd Paul Wright has recently been visiting media marketing agencies to discuss iAd in relation to iTunes Radio.

Bloomberg said that Apple was planning to launch in the UK in ‘early 2014′ last October, but so far this has not happened several months into 2014. Although many people have seen iTunes Radio sporadically appear on their devices in recent months, it is has only officially expanded to Australia beyond the US launch alongside iOS 7.

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Apple bringing iTunes Festival to the US for the first time at SXSW, for five nights in March

Image via The Loop

Apple has announced that it is bringing the iTunes Festival to the United States for the first time, after being a UK-only event since it began in 2007. The festival will be held at SXSW from March 11th to March 15th, at the Moody Theater.

The show will feature chart-topping acts from Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull and ZEDD with more announcements to follow. Just like the UK event, anyone can stream the event for free from their iOS devices, Macs as well as Apple TV.

In the press release, Cue said that the event is a way of sharing Apple’s love of music with customers.

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Imaginative use of iBeacon gives bar patrons free access to Newsstand magazines

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A London-based digital publishing company is trialling use of Apple’s iBeacon technology to provide bar patrons with free access to digital versions of two magazines in Newsstand, reports TechCrunch.

The way it works is that the bar buys a subscription, and one or more iBeacons (each little larger than a quarter) unlock the content for customers within range. On iOS devices, the whole process is completely automatic. Once the customer leaves the location, the content is locked again and becomes available for purchase as normal …  Read more

Apple to hold London satellite stream of Oct. 22 event, private stream for employees

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Earlier today, Apple announced that it will be holding its fall event on October 22nd. The event will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. However, like in some past years, Apple will hold a simultaneous event to cater to media not located in the United States.

For its September 10 iPhone event, Apple held simultaneous satellite streams in Berlin, Tokyo, and Beijing. For the upcoming event, the stream will be held in London, according to members of international media invited to the stream. The London-based event will begin at 6PM local time and it will be held at the Kings Place Hall. This hall fits a few hundred people.

It is likely that the London stream will also offer an opportunity for local journalists to try out the new devices. We’re expecting an iPad mini with Retina display, redesigned full-sized iPad, new Macs, and talk of OS X Mavericks, so there will be plenty in store for the demo area…

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Apple announces Tech Talks for 2013, focus on iOS 7

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In April 2013, when WWDC sold out in a matter of minutes, Apple said that they would hold tech talks later in the year. Apple has now sent out the details for these events, with a clear focus on getting developers up to speed with iOS 7.

The talks are going to be held in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin and London. Unusually, Apple is holding two events in each city this year, one for app development and one dedicated to game development. Topics revolve around the new API’s in iOS 7, to further encourage developer adoption of the new technologies. The talks are being held across October, November and December.

Registered developers must apply by September 27th 2013, if they want to attend. Developers can attend either the app developer day or the game developer day, not both.

Watch the full Burberry London fashion show shot entirely with an iPhone 5s (Video)

Apple announced last week that Burberry would be capturing its London fashion show that took place yesterday entirely with its new iPhone 5s, and today Burberry has posted the full video of the event. There’s no mention whether or not the full 15 minute long video above has been retouched after being shot on the iPhone, but Apple and Burberry say the entire show, including photos and video, was “shot exclusively on iPhone 5s.”

We’ve seen a few shots leak throughout the week already, but Pocket-Lint has an inside look at how Burberry’s photographers shot the show using 14 different iPhones and an interview with Burberry’s creative director Christopher Bailey: Read more

Apple announces September iTunes Festival in London starring Justin Timberlake, Thirty Seconds to Mars, others

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Apple has announced that it will hold its annual iTunes Festival in London during the month of September. The event will occur nightly during that month at the Roadhouse in London. Apple says that popular artists Justin Timberlake, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jack Johnson and Jessie J will headline the event. The event will be streamed nightly to iOS devices, iTunes on computers, and the Apple TV:

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Internal Apple video documents Apple Store philosophy

Washington Square Films (NYC) gave us a rare look at one of the internal videos that Apple has shown its retail store employees. This one is obviously over a year old, with Ron Johnson at the helm (the date says 7/7/2011).

The video is a pretty impressive piece of work from director Peter Sillen for something that never aired publicly. Among other interesting tidbits, the video shows a store mock-up inside Covent Garden (London) in 2008 before construction with Apple execs examining design elements.

The video seems to be the type you might see on TV. And, with the departure of Ron Johnson (just guessing here), it might have been scrapped without stable store leadership to fill in. Bob Bridger, Apple’s vice president of Retail Development, gets significant ‘face time’, as well.

Update: The video was taken down by Apple. We’ve found another mirror in China embedded above. Here’s a mirror. Here’s another.

Thanks, Gary! Read more

How to watch official BBC Olympics coverage from the US

For Americans, coverage of the Olympics in London is mainly limited to NBC’s video stream offerings. Unfortunately, the network’s coverage, especially online, is receiving a ton of complaints as witnessed by the #nbcfail hashtag on Twitter. Fortunately, there is a way to bypass NBC altogether and take advantage of the BBC’s official live stream coverage from inside the U.S. of almost every major event. There is not much to it; all you have to do is use a DNS routing service to get around the BBC’s region blocked streams. Below is a quick guide courtesy of Lifehacker that uses the Unblock Us service. It is free for a week, and then it is $5 for the month.

First, you will have to sign up for the service on its website. Once that is finished, you can configure the service for BBC using the steps below:

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NBC Olympics to live stream games on mobile devices with two Adobe-powered apps [Video]

NBC just unveiled two Adobe-powered mobile apps for its 2012 London Olympics coverage.

The NBC Olympics Live Companion app will act as a second display for stats and other details so users have a full bevy of data to compliment their television-watching experience. Meanwhile, the NBC Olympics Live Extra app will pipe live-streaming video to on-the-go users. It can handle multiple camera angles, social features, and the ability to seamlessly switch between both Olympics apps.

The free apps will launch on both Apple’s App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android smartphone and tablets. They will also support “TV Everywhere” authentication with cable providers for unlimited access to all the premium content. Users simply need to login to their pay-TV subscription to tap into 3,500 hours of Olympic events.

“To make it as easy as possible, you only need to go through the sign-in once and won’t have to “re-authenticate” every time you want to watch a live event,” explained Adobe on its Digital Media Blog. “For the first time in Olympics history, mobile apps will give you the opportunity to view live broadcasts of all Olympic events in the palm of your hand.”

NBC Olympics is also using Adobe technologies to serve ads, measure and monetize content, and provide digital analytics in both apps.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

The press release is below.

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Samsung announces Galaxy S III with S Voice and a bunch of other iOS features

Samsung announced the Galaxy S III today at the Unpacked event in London. Apple’s biggest competitor in the smartphone space, and the only other manufacture making any significant profit, showed off the upgraded 4.8-inch 720P SuperAMOLED display device that now weighs 133 grams among other minor spec improvements.

A few of the features shown off were S-Voice, which is like Siri, Scan and Match for Music (iTunes Match), and Airplay-like “AllShare Cast” for streaming content to your HDTV through the AppleTV-like AllShare Cast Dongle.  Samsung also named its iPod nano-like music player “Pebble,” which bears a resemblance to the iOS Kickstarter watch that goes by the same name.

One cool new thing is a face recognition photo app. It lets you instantly send pictures to your friends that it recognizes in your pictures. The S III also has a pop-up player, which is sort of an app version of picture-in-picture that allows you to watch a movie while you switch around to other applications.

Initial reviews seem a little luke-warm on the device. Most call it an incremental update from the S II with new features that also brought some new flaws.

Oh, and Phil Schiller will not like this news: Flipboard for Android is debuting on the S III.

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HTC fights ‘slide-to-unlock’ in London as Samsung continues patent war with Apple ahead of settlement talks

With court moderated settlement talks between Apple and Samsung executives set to take place within the next 90 days, Samsung has now filed a counterclaim in a California federal court alleging Apple’s iOS devices are infringing eight patents. The counterclaim is part of an original patent infringement lawsuit initiated by Apple in February. Foss Patents reported:

It comes as no surprise that Samsung retaliated with infringement claims. Samsung owns roughly 30,000 U.S. patents. It has from the outset of its dispute with Apple demonstrated its belief that a good offense is the best defense. So far, none of Samsung’s infringement claims against Apple has succeeded anywhere on Earth, despite efforts in nine different countries, but Samsung keeps on fighting.

Apple is also in the middle of patent infringement cases with HTC, which just told a court in London that its touchscreen devices, specifically its “slide-to-unlock” functionality, do not infringe on Apple’s patents. Bloomberg reported today that HTC’s lawyers described the functionality in question as “extremely simple implementations of commonly known techniques.” Apple’s lawyer Simon Thorley argued HTC is “attacking the validity of four patents” and claimed, “It is clear the inventions make the requisite contributions.”

If HTC is successful, it could have an impact in ongoing patent infringement related cases with Apple in Dutch and German courts. The report described the functionality Apple claims is covered in the patents:

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