Apple appears to be looking to further improve the iTunes Radio service through the $30 million acquisition of a radio application called Swell, Re/code reported early Monday morning. Unlike the $3 billion Beats Electronics (and Beats Music) buyout, however, this purchase centers more on talk radio than music.
Swell currently carries news from sources such as NPR, ABC, ESPN, the BBC, and more, and uses a user’s listening history to create personalized content playlists. Apple, on the other hand, only recently jumped into the streaming news market through iTunes Radio with ESPN and NPR stations, including over 40 local stations.
After Mark uncovered it last April and Apple announced it last June, this week we’ve seen a steady stream of details about Apple’s iOS and car integration following Apple’s marketing push. There’s plenty more coverage on the way as we continue to explore what CarPlay means for Apple and its users, but now we want to hear from you. What effect will CarPlay have on your next car purchase?
Cars certainly aren’t purchases you make impulsively (or often), and CarPlay seems to address that by relying on the iPhone (something we may purchase impulsively and often) for much of the functionality. Among other things, will CarPlay be on the list of things you look for in your next car purchase? Read more
Along with updates to iWork and iLife today, Apple has overhauled their Podcasts, Find my iPhone, and iTunes Trailers apps to fall in line with the design paradigms of iOS 7. Along with new icons, all three apps have been completely redesigned, with user interfaces that closely resemble Apple’s other iOS 7 apps. While Find my iPhone and iTunes Trailers don’t include new features, Podcasts has received updates to the search tab, Top Charts section, and more. Here’s what the new icons for all three apps look like:
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
We already had a number of updates to Apple’s own apps today, including iWork for iOS, Apple Remote Desktop, iTunes U, Xcode 4.4, Safari 6, and OS X Server, but below is our usual list of popular apps and updates hitting the store today:
Update: Apple has now updated its Podcasts app with the expected bug fixes. Release notes below:
What’s New in Version 1.0.1
Podcasts 1.0.1 provides a number of improvements, including:
• Significant improvements to performance and stability
• Podcasts in your library now show the number of unplayed episodes
• Top Stations now show the podcast title if artwork is missing
• Playback speed is now remembered when playing the next episode
• Fix for a problem where the Subscribe button is inactive
• Resolution of an issue where Top Stations artwork may not appear
Podcasts: If you have experienced issues with Apple’s Podcasts iOS app that released last month, as many have, you will be happy to know Apple plans to release an update today that brings a number of fixes to common bugs. According to a report from AllThingsD, “Apple has been hard at work tweaking the app to fix the problems that currently plague it” and the update expected today should “vastly improve it.”
AutoCAD WS version 1.5: Autodesk’s app for viewing, editing, and sharing AutoCAD drawings on iOS devices was updated today with two new “powerful collaboration tools that transform design creation, review, and approval into a social experience.” The two features include: