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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New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

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A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

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This is the room where the iPhone was born

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Ahead of the latest Apple-Samsung trial, Apple is sharing some of the details regarding the creation of the iPhone with the WSJ. As an aside, Apple also shared a shot of the secret windowless room where the original iPhone meetings took place. The nondescript room is where most of the design decisions for the original iPhone’s software were made and is called “hallowed ground” to Greg Christie, who designs the software interface for products and one of the first members recruited to work on the device in 2004.

It doesn’t mean that the windowless room, lit by fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling, looked like anything special. Christie recalled the walls had signs of water damage from a flood in an adjacent bathroom. A few images covered the walls including one of Apple’s “Think Different” posters of famous graphic designer Paul Rand and another of a large chicken running around without its head.

Inspiration comes in many forms.

Apple may be sharing this information to drum up public support before the trial. Or, perhaps more likely, Apple knows this information will come out in the trial and wants to “own” the story beforehand.

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Apple engineer Greg Christie discusses the process of creating the original iPhone

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Apple made Greg Christie, one of its original iPhone engineers, available before yet another round of patent fights with Samsung, allowing Christie to further expand on the stories of the iPhone’s secretive development under then-CEO Steve Jobs in a report by the Wall Street Journal. While some of what Christie said isn’t new information, there are some interesting anecdotes near the end of his interview.

For example, in 2005—two years before the Apple went public with the iPhone—Christie’s team was responsible for planning how the device would look and work. When the team found itself floundering and unable to settle on how the phone should work, Christie was told that his team could either figure it out over the next two weeks or be moved to another project so someone else could solve the problems.

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‘Jobs’ biopic starring Ashton Kutcher now available on Netflix

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Update: Not so fast. Despite Netflix promoting the movie on Twitter and it being available earlier, it’s currently no longer available. We’ve reached out to Netflix for more information.

Update 2: Netflix tells me that Jobs “will be back on soon.”

Update 3: Netflix tells me an issue with subtitles led to it being pulled and it should be resolved now.

If you haven’t seen Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs yet or just want to catch the film again, Netflix now features ‘Jobs’ in its catalog of streaming movies and TV shows for subscribers. Netflix of course offers streaming to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users in addition to Apple and Mac users for $7.99 a month.

The biopic featuring Kutcher was released to mixed reviews, and our own Michael Steeber shared his thoughts on the film in 9to5Mac‘s review of Jobs.

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Non-poaching emails show Jobs was warring with Google long before iPhone was launched

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If you’ve paid attention to the ongoing feud between Apple and Google in recent years, you might think that the conflict is the result of Google’s decision to create a competitor to the iPhone after working in tandem with Apple to create the iconic device. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that.

But according to some emails sent by Google’s Sergey Brin back in 2005 that recently surfaced during a class-action lawsuit over the do-not-hire policies of the two companies (among others), that may not be the case. This “thermonuclear war,” as Steve Jobs put it, was a long time coming. Android was just the last straw.

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Report: Apple considering iTunes Store for Android & on-demand streaming service

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According to a new report from Billboard, Apple is considering launching an iTunes Store app on the Android platform to combat declining music sales on the digital platform. The report also says that Apple execs are in talks with high level label executives to discuss debuting an on-demand streaming service.

Apple has opened exploratory talks with senior label executives about the possibility of launching an on-demand streaming service that would rival Spotify and Beats Music, according to three people familiar with the talks. Apple is also thinking about adding an iTunes App for Android phones, the Google rival that has been growing faster than the iPhone, these sources said.

The move to an on-demand streaming service could transform iTunes Radio from the Pandora-like radio model to the more robust on-demand model used by Spotify, Rdio, Beats Music, and others. Read more

Eddy Cue throws a pen at Haunted Empire/Yukari Kane’s accuracy, says story isn’t true

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Tim Cook may have called the Haunted Empire book ‘nonsense’, but the derisive comments about the book from Apple executives do not end there. Personally, I found the pen-throwing anecdote too funny and decided to ask Cue whether it was true or not. I wasn’t really expecting a reply, but to my surprise he actually did.

I asked about the story’s truthfulness:

I am slightly obsessed with the anecdote about Jobs throwing a pen in your face. Is the story true?

Cue replied rather curtly:

No it’s not.

Hard to argue with a direct reply from Cue himself. The full extract from Haunted Empire can be seen below. You can find 9to5Mac‘s full review of Kane’s controversial book here.

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Tim Cook calls Yukari Kane book Haunted Empire “nonsense”, says it fails to capture Apple or Jobs

Today marked the debut of former WSJ Apple reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane’s book “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs” (review from this morning) and Tim Cook is not pleased.

The Apple CEO told CNBC the following:

This nonsense belongs with some of the other books I’ve read about Apple. It fails to capture Apple, Steve, or anyone else in the company. Apple has over 85,000 employees that come to work each day to do their best work, to create the world’s best products, to put their mark in the universe and leave it better than they found it. This has been the heart of Apple from day one and will remain at the heart for decades to come. I am very confident about our future.

Update: Re/Code’s telling of the email sent by Apple has an additional sentence:

“We’ve always had many doubters in our history,” he said in the e-mail. “They only make us stronger.”

Yukari Kane also responded to Re/Code:

“For Tim Cook to have such strong feelings about the book, it must have touched a nerve,” Kane said. “Even I was surprised by my conclusions, so I understand the sentiment. I’m happy to speak with him or anyone at Apple in public or private. My hope in writing this book was to be thought-provoking and to start a conversation which I’m glad it has.” Read more

Former VP of marketing at Apple talks iPhone, Steve Jobs, and more at the 99U conference

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Apple’s former Vice President of Marketing Allison Johnson talked about her time at Apple during the 99U conference, as reported by Cult of Mac. Johnson now works with companies like Jawbone and Anki.

In the video, Johnson discusses her time working with Steve Jobs, including his response to the iPhone 4 “antenna-gate” issue. Johnson describe’s Jobs as being “so sad and so angry” about the problem, declaring that Apple would not be the kind of company that people regarded negatively.

She also talks about her role (and Jobs’) in marketing the original iPhone and other key events in the six years she was in charge of the company’s marketing.

The full twenty-five minute interview is included below:

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iOS 8: Apple polishes Maps data, adds public transit directions service

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Apple is readying an upgraded version of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Maps application for the next major release of iOS in an effort to battle Google for mobile maps supremacy, according to sources briefed on the plans. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Senior Vice Presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, and Maps head Patrice Gautier are using the new app to move toward fulfilling a promise to users that the iOS Maps application will eventually live up to the “incredibly high standard” of Apple’s customers…

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iTunes Radio beats Spotify to take 3rd place in U.S. music streaming, eyes up #2 spot

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iTunes Radio, launched alongside iOS 7 six months ago, has now overtaken Spotify to become the third most popular music streaming service in America – and looks set to take second place within the next quarter or two.

Reporting on listening data compiled by Edison ResearchElectronista estimates that iTunes Radio’s 8 percent market share gives it around 20M listeners, and says that it is the fastest-growing of the top three services …  Read more