iOS 8.4 Stories August 13, 2015

Apple Music iPhone

Apple has released an official iOS update for all users with iOS 8.4.1 now available. The update follows the major iOS 8.4 release which included an all-new Music app with Apple Music, the new subscription music service, plus Beats 1, Apple’s Internet-based radio station with live DJs. Apple initially started testing the changes in iOS 8.4.1 with developers in mid-July. The maintenance update includes several issue fixes for Apple Music and Beats 1.  expand full story

iOS 8.4 Stories August 2, 2015

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The team behind the Taig jailbreaking app for iOS 8.4 has finally released the long-awaited Mac version of their software. Previously only a Windows version of the app was available, forcing users on Macs to need to rely on other apps or use Boot Camp to tweak their iOS devices.

If, like me, you’re still looking to jailbreak your phone to get a few tweaks that Apple hasn’t yet “sherlocked,” you’ve now got one more way to do so. You can download the free Taig tool from the team’s website. It supports everything from iOS 8.1 and up.

iOS 8.4 Stories July 30, 2015

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Apple has released an updated build of iOS 8.4.1 for registered developers to test on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 8.4.1 beta 2 features build number 12H318 and comes just over two weeks after the initial beta version.

While the initial beta of iOS 8.4.1 didn’t feature any noticeable changes, the X.X.1 label suggests it is primarily an under-the-hood update to iOS 8.4 without feature or visual changes. iOS 8.4 launched in late June and introduced Apple Music with Beats 1 to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. expand full story

iOS 8.4 Stories July 8, 2015

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Using data by Mixpanel, Apple Music seems to be quickly driving adoption of Apple’s latest iteration of its operating system, iOS 8.4. The chart shows that, in just one week, iOS 8.4 usage now makes up more than 40% of all iOS device usage. This is a rather staggering rate of uptake for a point-release. Clearly, the interest and advertisement around Apple Music is having an effect on update rates. Obviously, this only tracks OS adoption and says nothing about how well Apple Music itself is being received.

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iOS 8.4 Stories July 4, 2015

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Apple appears to be planning to enable its Apple Pay iPhone mobile payments service in the United Kingdom on July 14th, according to sources at multiple retailers. Apple has informed some Apple Retail employees in the U.K. that Apple Pay support will go live on that Tuesday, while an internal memos for supermarket Waitrose plus an additional retail partner indicate the same date…

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iOS 8.4 Stories July 1, 2015

happy-hour1

Apple Music is finally here. The iOS 8.4 update hit yesterday and we’ve been exploring Apple’s new music streaming service to see if it lives up to the hype. Listen to our first impressions, problems, and our opinions about Apple Music. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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I’m not expecting here to replicate my rather extensive Apple Watch diary series – I doubt this one will run to four pieces. I’m also not starting out here as an Apple Music skeptic. I’ve been using Spotify for years, and – from a brief trial of Beats Music – started out pretty confident I would be jumping ship once Apple Music launched.

But I do think Apple Music has one thing in common with the Watch: I don’t think it’s possible to judge it without a reasonable amount of usage. So I thought I’d begin with my first impressions and then follow up once I’ve used it long enough to have more to say.

glitches

I’m not going to dwell on the launch-day glitches, like the welcome screen (above) left over from the beta, the rather belated iTunes updateBeats 1 outage, frequent spinning beachballs in iTunes and the tracks that either refused to play at all or took an age to do so. Half the planet was simultaneously using the service yesterday, so these things will only become issues if they persist. So leaving those aside, what were my first impressions … ?  expand full story

iOS 8.4 Stories June 30, 2015

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Today we’re taking a quick look at Apple Music. This new service came along with the iOS 8.4 update and effectively merges Beats Music with a new streaming service from Apple. The good news is, Apple Music will also be available for Android and Apple TV as well later this fall. Everyone also gets a 3 month free trial in case you’re on the fence about subscribing to the service right away…

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taig

With the release of iOS 8.4 today, many users found themselves faced with the decision to upgrade now or wait until a jailbreak is available so they can continue using their tweaks. That choice just got a lot easier, as the Taig development team has announced that the exploits used in their 8.3 jailbreak are all still available in the new update.

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As promised, Apple has just released the iOS 8.4 software update featuring an all-new Music app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to the public after testing with developers since mid-April. While it includes smaller changes throughout, the update primarily delivers an overhauled Music app with Apple Music (notice the new icon), its brand new subscription music streaming service, and Beats 1, its 24/7 live radio station that launches today. expand full story

iOS 8.4 Stories June 28, 2015

apple-music

Apple directors have been somewhat talkative over the weekend about the imminent release of Apple Music. Former Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers, who now works as a Senior Director of Apple Music, blogged about the product’s launch. He reminisces on the history of digital music and radio saying that seeing Apple Music on stage at WWDC ‘it was hard not to feel like the last 20+ years was leading to this day’.

Interestingly, Apple will be releasing iOS 8.4 at 8 AM on June 30th which includes the newly revamped Music app to support Apple Music. This is slightly earlier than the usual 10 AM release window. The change in scheduling seems to be in service of Beats 1, Apple’s worldwide radio station, which will start streaming from 9 AM on the same day.

Meanwhile, Eddy Cue has also been leaking some tidbits about Apple Music on Twitter …

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iOS 8.4 Stories June 22, 2015

BGR: iOS 9 beta 2 reportedly coming later today along with 8.4 GM seed [Updated]

[Update: After no betas hit yesterday, BGR says iOS 8.4 GM build 12H141 will hit today.]

A new report from BGR claims that Apple will release the second beta of iOS 9 today along with the GM build of iOS 8.4. The report says it’s possible Apple could bump back the new iOS 9 seed another week. Though two week intervals have basically been the standard for most betas, there have been exceptions in the past.

This isn’t the first time BGR has tried to predict iOS beta schedules, though some previous attempts have proven incorrect, so this one, while it seems likely based on the fact that we’re now two weeks out from WWDC, should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

iOS 8.4 Stories June 21, 2015

Apple Music iPhone

Update: Apple has responded to Swift’s blog post.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Taylor Swift’s latest album ‘1989’ will not be available on Apple Music, Apple’s streaming music service launching on June 30th with iOS 8.4. She has written a blog post on Tumblr explaining her position.

We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.

Swift explains that she respects Apple for their innovation but says the terms associated with the Apple Music free trial are ‘unlike this historically progressive and generous company’. Swift says that under the 3 month free trial period, artists and rights holders are not paid at all for the duration and notes Apple has plenty of money to reimburse the artists for their work. Swift says that she is holding back 1989 not because she cannot support herself but as a retaliation for ‘the new artist or band that has just released their first single’.

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iOS 8.4 Stories June 18, 2015

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The Beats 1 radio station that forms part of Apple Music has put in its first appearance for iPhone and iPad users running the beta version of iOS 8.4 and iOS 9. Users are seeing the station logo and hearing pre-roll audio from Zane Lowe when it is clicked.

It’s just a demo at this stage, with pre-recorded audio, but is one step closer to the launch of the streaming music service which launches on June 30 via an all-new Music app …  expand full story

iOS 8.4 Stories June 9, 2015

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While most developers are probably already giving iOS 9 a test drive, Apple is still working on the upcoming iOS 8.4 update and just released a new version. iOS 8.4 build 12H4125a  is now available on Apple’s developer center and as an OTA update for testers on the previous version. expand full story

iOS 8.4 Stories June 5, 2015

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is about to kick off. On Monday, June 8th, company executives will take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to provide their annual roadmap for Apple’s software, services, and devices.

Traditionally, Apple has used the conference to introduce major upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system iOS, as well as the Mac operating system OS X, along with new services. Of course, 2015 will be no different. Apple has been preparing a new version of iOS 9 codenamed “Monarch,” a release of OS X 10.11 codenamed “Gala,” a new streaming Apple Music service based on Beats Music, and updates for the Apple Watch.

Over the last several years, we have provided advance reports on the lion’s share of announcements that will be made at WWDC, as well as a comprehensive roundup ahead of the event. Read on for our roundup of what’s coming, along with fresh new details not found in our earlier reports.

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iOS 8.4 Stories June 1, 2015

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Apple is ready to show the first fruits of its Beats acquisition next week. As we first reported in early March, Apple is planning to introduce its long-awaited Beats-based streaming music service at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, June 8th. Blending Apple interface design and features from the Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine-created Beats Music app, Apple’s service, known internally as “Apple Music,” is built to take on Spotify and Pandora with several new features and a subscription model. Additionally, Apple is working on overhauling its widely panned iTunes Radio service by striking deals with popular artists and DJs. Below, we detail Apple’s plans for both Apple Music and the new iTunes Radio in an extensive roundup.

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iOS 8.4 Stories May 7, 2015

spotify

Spotify, which is widely believed to be behind the antitrust allegations that led to both EC and DOJ investigations into Apple, has now added a fresh complaint. The Verge reports Spotify is complaining that the 30% cut Apple takes from in-app Premium subscriptions in the iOS app amounts to an “Apple tax.”

Apple charges a 30 percent fee toward any sales through its App Store, and that includes subscription services. That means if Spotify wants to sell its premium subscription service — which usually costs $9.99 a month — through the App Store, it has to raise the price 30 percent higher to $12.99 to pull in the same revenue, while Apple can still offer Beats at a lower price. Spotify and many others in the music industry believe Apple’s App Store tax gives them an unfair advantage over the competition.

One unnamed music industry source said that Apple taking 30% was “**cking bullsh**” …  expand full story

iOS 8.4 Stories April 15, 2015

happy-hour

WWDC 2015 has been announced at last, but what can you expect to be unveiled this year? Apple has released iOS 8.4 beta to developers and it comes along with a compete revamp of a critical app. Along with that, we get into Apple Watch try-on appointments and our hands-on experience at the Apple Store. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen to the episode embedded above.

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iOS 8.4 Stories April 14, 2015

In redesigning the iOS Music application for iOS 8.4, Apple removed support for audiobooks from the app, electing to move it to the iBooks app. iBooks itself has gained an all-new audio player with support for swiping gestures to fast forward or rewind, view a chapter list, and more.

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iOS 8.4 Stories April 13, 2015

With the release of the first developer beta of iOS 8.4 this evening, Apple gave us the first look at the oft-rumored redesign of the Music app. With the expected announcement of Apple’s streaming music service happening in June, the Music app redesign has been expected for several months now. The newly introduced Music app offers a handful of new features in the first beta of iOS 8.4, as well as a redesigned interface that’s similar to iTunes on the Mac. Let’s take a brief look…

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Apple has just released the first iOS 8.4 beta, which includes Apple’s upcoming revamped Music app. The seed for developers is available via the Apple Developer Center website.

As we reported earlier this year, iOS 8.4 includes an all new Music application. The new software design is present in this beta, while Apple is expected to announce the streaming service component in June at WWDC.

Here are the release notes from Apple for the new app:

– All-New Design. Music app has a beautiful new design that makes exploring your music collection easier and more fun. Personalize playlists by adding your own image and description. Enjoy stunning pictures of your favorite artists in the Artists view. Start playing an album right from the album list. The music you love is never more than a tap away.

– Recently Added. Albums and playlists you’ve recently added are now at the top of your library, making it effortless to find something new to play. Simply tap play on the artwork to listen.

– Streamlined iTunes Radio. Discovering music with iTunes Radio is easier than ever. You can now quickly return to your favorite stations in Recently Played. Choose from a selection of hand-curated stations in Featured Stations, or start a new one from your favorite artist or song.

– New MiniPlayer. With the new MiniPlayer, you can see what’s playing and control playback while browsing your music collection. To open Now Playing, just tap on the MiniPlayer.

– Improved Now Playing. Now Playing has a stunning new design that showcases your album artwork the way it was meant to be. In addition, you can begin wirelessly streaming your music using AirPlay without leaving Now Playing.

– Up Next. It’s now simple to find out which songs from your library will play next — just tap the Up Next icon in Now Playing. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.

– Global Search. You can now search from anywhere in the Music app — just tap the magnifying glass. Search results are conveniently organized to help you quickly find that perfect song. You can even start an iTunes Radio station right from Search.

iOS 8.4’s Music application includes revamped search, the UpNext and MiniPlayer features from iTunes on the desktop, improved iTunes Radio functionality, a new Recently Added page, and more on top of the new design. On the iPad, there’s a new split-screen interface on the iPad, as seen in the screenshots below. On the iPhone, the landscape interface has been removed entirely. The icon for the app remains the same, however. We have a hands-on gallery of several more screenshots below:

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iOS 8.4 Stories March 25, 2015

Beats Reznor Iovine Dre

Apple’s Spotify-like subscription music service based on its $3 billion Beats acquisition last year is fully underway, The New York Times reports in a new article heavily corroborating our own reporting on the upcoming music service from the past several months. A few interesting details in the report describe two projects being largely led by music industry veterans rather than engineers… expand full story

iOS 8.4 Stories March 5, 2015

iPhone 6 Beats Music

Apple won’t take the wraps off of its upcoming Beats-based music streaming service at its March 9 “Spring Forward” event, according to music industry sources briefed on the launch timeline. Instead, Apple currently plans to introduce the service, at least in beta form, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. The WWDC keynote likely takes place on Monday, June 8th, and that’s the event where the debut will occur. The new iTunes music streaming service is based on technology acquired from Beats Music, including curated playlists, cloud-based libraries, and offerings customized to the musical tastes of individual users. The service will be priced as high as $7.99 per month, which is less expensive than current $9.99 pricing for Beats Music, Spotify, and Rdio…

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