Opinion: Has Apple finally promoted iCloud from a hobby to a serious service?

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I wrote a piece last month arguing that it was time for Apple to up its iCloud game, showing that the company is serious about cloud storage by focusing more on fast, reliable syncing, and by matching the functionality, storage capacities, and pricing of Google Drive.

In the WWDC keynote, Apple did exactly that. MobileMe may not, in Steve Jobs’ words, have been Apple’s finest hour, but it did at least include iDisk – an online drive we could access directly to store anything we liked – not just documents created in Apple’s own apps. It’s been a long time coming, but iDisk is finally back in the form of iCloud Drive.

The new iCloud pricing, too, looks set to be exactly what I asked for – comparable to Google Drive…  Read more

Cue praises Beats curated playlists and headphones; Iovine disses Apple’s EarPods

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference(Image via Re/code)

It’s typical in any acquisition for both parties to sing the praises of their new partner, and Eddy Cue was certainly playing his part at Re/code’s Code Conference, saying that Beats’ curated playlists were a key strength and would help music grow again. As Mark Gurman reported in his live blog coverage at Code Conference:

Cue said Apple bought Beats because “music is dying. It hasn’t been growing.” He said combining the two companies will help it grow again [...]

Cue said what makes Beats good is that it provides users with curated playlists.

He said: “When you bring what Beats has got and what we’ve got it’s not two plus two is four. It’s something much more than that” …

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Judge allows lawsuit by former Apple employee claiming Steve Jobs promised job security

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We’ve written about former Apple employee Wayne Goodrich before. Back in 2012 he launched a lawsuit against Apple claiming that co-founder Steve Jobs told him in 2005 he’d be guaranteed a job for life at the company. That was after being fired by Apple a year after Jobs’ death despite his guarantee of job security. Now, Goodrich, who was an executive producer of public presentations and with Apple for almost 20 years, has been given the go ahead for the lawsuit by a judge in Santa Clara (via BizJournals): Read more

Apple in talks with Samsung to settle all future patent disputes out of court

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with a Samsung Galaxy S4 in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

Korea Times (via Fortune) is reporting that Apple and Samsung are in talks designed to settle all future patent disputes out of court. FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller believes that a settlement will be reached “very soon.”

“Things should come to an end during the summer. Apple doesn’t have an endgame strategy. Its agreement with Google shows that its management is looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Steve Jobs’ thermonuclear ambitions,” Mueller said …

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13th anniversary of first Apple Store: risky gamble to most profitable retail space in the world

Today marks the 13th anniversary of Apple’s retail stores, the first ever store having opened at 10am on 19th May 2001 at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia. The video above shows Steve Jobs giving a preview of the store six days before it opened, and below the fold you can see an animated GIF of the growth of the U.S. stores since then.

Amazing as it seems today, the move was considered at the time to be a risky gamble, with critics arguing that they couldn’t possibly make money. Businessweek ran a story entitled Sorry Steve, Here’s Why Apple Stores Won’t Work and TheStreet.com agreed in a piece headlined Apple’s Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel …  Read more

Apple and Beats not such strange bedfellows, argues Bloomberg

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Steve Jobs and Jimmy Iovine in 2008 (Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage via Getty Images)

A Bloomberg analysis of the presumed acquisition of Beats Electronics by Apple says that while the two companies may have very different cultures, the partnership is not so strange as it might first appear.

“These aren’t strange bedfellows at all,” said Peter Csathy, chief executive officer of entertainment law firm Manatt Digital Media Ventures. “Steve Jobs really drove the relationship with the music industry. The executives at Apple and Beats know each other very well, and there’s a comfort level there” …

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Steve Jobs named #1 in CNBC’s list of the most influential leaders in the past 25 years

Steve Jobs has been ranked #1 in CNBC’s First 25: Rebels, Icons & Leaders, described as “a definitive list of people who have had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes and created the most disruption in business over the past quarter century.”

Steve Jobs earned the top spot for both transforming the way we think about technology and redefining the style in which we live [...]

More than any other member of our group of extraordinary entrepreneurs and executives—all outstanding leaders—his vision spurred changes far beyond his industry and put an indelible stamp on the wider culture … 

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Sony eyes Danny Boyle as Steve Jobs biopic director, Leonardo DiCaprio to star

DiCaprio and Boyle on the set of the 2000 film "The Beach"

DiCaprio and Boyle on the set of the 2000 film “The Beach”

With David Fincher recently rejected to direct the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic written by Aaron Sorkin, Sony may have found its replacement in Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And with the lead role still not cast, Sony is reportedly considering tapping Leonardo DiCaprio to play Steve Jobs.

The film was first announced by Sony in mid-2012. Screenwriter Sorkin later revealed that the movie would focus on Jobs’ preparations in the thirty minutes leading up to three key Apple keynotes—a much different approach last year’s Jobs, which starred Ashton Kutcher. There have not been many updates on the project’s progress until recently, with the announcement that Fincher (and his choice for lead actor, Christian Bale) would not be part of the production going forward.

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Death of Steve Jobs prompted Samsung’s U-turn on Apple attack ads

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We learned yesterday from patent trial evidence that Samsung was worried about running ads that directly attacked Apple, wanting Google to do it for them. We now know that it was the death of Steve Jobs which prompted Samsung’s change of mind, running the Next Big Thing ads which directly mocked Apple customers.

An email trail shows that Samsung America’s VP of U.S. sales Mike Pennington cynically described the death of Jobs as “the best opportunity” to run the campaign, as consumers might be worried about Apple’s future product innovations following the death of its famous co-founder.

Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone …

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Jony Ive shakes up Apple’s software design group, iPhone interface creator Greg Christie departing

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Following friction between top Apple Human Interface Vice President Greg Christie and Senior Vice President Jony Ive, Apple’s hardware and software design is being dramatically shaken up, according to sources familiar with the matter. After adding human interface design direction to his responsibilities in 2012, Ive will soon completely subsume Apple’s software design group, wresting control away from long-time human interface design chief Christie, according to sources briefed on the matter. Previous to this shakeup, all Apple software design has been led by Christie, who has reported to Craig Federighi, and Ive has been attending interface design meetings and providing instruction…

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Steve Jobs in 2010 on Apple TV’s future: Magic Wand, apps, Web browser

An interesting email chain between Steve Jobs and various Apple executives has surfaced via court records for the latest spat between Apple and Samsung. Our earlier article on the matter detailed some parts of the email in which Jobs revealed roadmap plans for 2011 and some of 2012. The discussions were a preview of what was to be discussed at an off-site for Apple’s “Top 100″ employees. Presentations regarding the yet-to-be-announced iPad 2, iPad 3, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, Verizon iPhone 4, Apple Campus 2, and iCloud took place, but the talking points regarding Apple TV deserve a closer look in light of recent rumors of an imminent update

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