Universal Stories December 16, 2015

‘Steve Jobs’ film set to get digital, DVD, & Blu-ray release February 2

Universal Pictures has announced it’s set to give ‘Steve Jobs’, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender, a release on digital services, Blu-ray, and DVD February 2.

Blu-ray and DVD bonuses include “Inside Jobs: The Making of Steve Jobs,” a documentary detailing the making of the film, as well as feature commentary by Danny Boyle, Aaron Sorkin, and editor Elliot Graham.

The film originally opened to mixed reviews from critics and was, according to reports, generally disliked by those close to Jobs. It eventually bombed nationwide following what were reportedly highest per-theatre earnings of the year on its limited opening weekend. Still, the film may earn its creators a Golden Globe award or two next month.

We’d expect the digital release to hit iTunes and other online video services, but for now Universal is only confirming there will be a “Digital HD UltraViolet” release alongside the Blu-ray and DVD on February 2.

Universal Stories December 11, 2015

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Update: The feature now appears to have propagated correctly, as the codename identifier is no longer visible. The app now correctly lists ‘Apple TV: Yes’ in the description for universal apps that support Apple TV.

Apple is rolling out a way to see if an app in the App Store also has an Apple TV version. From this morning, App Store listings have included ‘SF.UniversalAppleTV’ labels. If present, it means that the app in question also has a universal Apple TV app available in the tvOS App Store.

Evidently, the feature is not fully baked and is in the process of rolling out. The label is clearly an internal identifier not meant to seen by the public. When the feature is fully rolled out, expect it the left column to simply say ‘Apple TV’ which matches the language used for Apple Watch compatibility.

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Universal Stories October 9, 2015

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[Ed. Note: This is a guest post by Lontih Khatami who [disclosure] works at the same studio, Universal, that produced the film but did not work on the film. Spoiler: it’s better than iSteve]

Interested in seeing the new Steve Jobs movie that Universal is releasing this weekend in select markets (with wide expansion set for October 23)? Well, me, too. Only I’ve already seen it five times within the past dozen days. And I eagerly await my next few viewings.

You’re probably wondering how I’ve been able to see this inevitable Oscar contender so many times prior to its initial release. The more important thing to ponder, though, is “Why would anybody WANT to see it so many times in such a short timeframe?” The answer to that question, quite simply, is because the movie is masterfully made, and it works on so many different levels. Not unlike so many of the products the title character brought into this world… expand full story

Universal Stories September 17, 2015

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Universal today has shared the second official trailer for its upcoming Steve Jobs film. The movie debuted last week at the Telluride Film Festival and received almost universal positive reviews. Universal’s film stars Michael Fassbender as Jobs and is directed by Danny Boyle, previously behind hits such as Slumdog Millionaire

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Universal Stories August 27, 2015

Kate Winslet talks new Steve Jobs movie as first official film poster is revealed

Following the first trailers for the upcoming Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs film landing online and TV in recent weeks, Universal has now revealed the first official poster for the movie (pictured above) as star Kate Winslet shares some thoughts on her role and the film in a new interview.

In a recent interview in New York Magazine, Kate Winslet, who stars in the Danny Boyle directed film alongside Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and supporting roles for Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels, shares some insight into how she got the role, what to expect from the film and her experience on set.

On preparing for the role and meeting the real Joanna Hoffman:

I spent a great deal of time with Joanna, and she herself has a softness to her. She came to America as a young woman and achieved a great deal. One thing that was unique about her as a figure in Steve’s life was that she didn’t need anything from him. She just needed for him to be the best version of himself. And that’s what really set their relationship apart from any relationship with all his other colleagues…  She was an extraordinary, feisty Eastern European person who was pretty much the only person who could actually knock sense into Steve, and she was also kind of an emotional compass.

On what to expect from the film and Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue:

Sorkin makes it almost not about Steve Jobs at all. It’s about how that man has 100 percent dictated how we all live our lives today and how we function as people. The film is about all of us, and all of us today, not in ’84 or ’88 or ’98. I mean, look at us all — how we function. You look at a lot of toddlers today, they’ll pick up any screen of any kind, and they don’t push a button, they swipe. It’s horrifying but kind of extraordinary, and that is Steve Jobs…

The film is currently scheduled for release this October.

You can read more from the full interview online here and check out the recent TV trailer here.

Universal Stories July 16, 2015

Microsoft’s OneNote iOS app goes universal, bringing Notification Center widget and more to iPad

Microsoft today released a new update to OneNote for iPhone that makes it a universal app, now OneNote for iOS. That means that the existing OneNote for iPad app is being replaced by a single, universal app that runs on both iPhone and iPad.

The benefit, aside from having a single version, is that the iPad app is gaining some recent features introduced in the iPhone app including a OneNote widget in the today view of Notification Center. iPad users will also notice a new “recent notes” section for notes made on either device, and landscape mode on the iPad now presents a column of page previews.

Catch the full release notes below:

Universal Stories May 6, 2015

Pixelmator is bringing its photo and image editor to the iPhone soon, as announced in a blog post today. Pixelmator was exclusive to the Mac until late last year when the developers ported the application to the iPad. It is now nearing completion on the iPhone version.

The especially good news for current Pixelmator users is that the iPhone version will not be released as a separate app. An update to the iPad app will make the software universal, so you can buy the app now and get the iPhone update for free when it is released. Even better, Pixelmator for iPad is currently on sale to celebrate the announcement

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Universal Stories February 2, 2015

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Photo via @motro68

As filming for the announced Steve Jobs biopic continues, first at Steve Jobs’ childhood home, then at the Flint Center where the original Macintosh was unveiled, the first photos of Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak have appeared.

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Universal Stories December 18, 2014

Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Stuhlbarg to play Andy Hertzfeld in Steve Jobs biopic

More casting news regarding the Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs biopic now being produced by Universal Pictures has come to light in yet another set of leaked Sony emails. According to Deadline, Boardwalk Empire actor Michael Stuhlbarg has been selected to play Andy Hertzfeld, a member of the original Macintosh team.

Apart from Stuhlbarg, several other casting decisions have already been revealed, including Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen playing the role of Steve Wozniak. Jeff Daniels is reportedly in talks to play John Sculley.

Of course, the film has changed lead actors, directors, and even studios so many times that at this point that it may be best to take any casting news with a grain of salt.

Universal Stories December 11, 2014

Michael Fassbender will reportedly play Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic

Michael Fassbender will reportedly play Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic

While we’ve already learned some interesting details about the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic from the recently leaked Sony Pictures files, it seems there’s still more to be gleaned from the company’s documents. As the Verge notes today, new emails have revealed the possible settings for the film, which include “two auditoriums, a restaurant, and a garage.”

Those locations were included in an email sent from screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who, along with director Danny Boyle, will be taking the film to Universal Pictures for production after working with Sony on it for several years.

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Universal Stories December 9, 2014

John Sculley Jeff Daniels

The Wrap reports that Universal Pictures is eyeing The Newsroom (and Dumb & Dumber) star Jeff Daniels to perform as former Apple CEO John Sculley in the upcoming Steve Jobs movie by Aaron Sorkin. Daniels would be reunited with Sorkin and Scott Rudin, executive producers of The Newsroom, starring alongside Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak. expand full story

Universal Stories November 26, 2014

Lisa Brennan-Jobs & Natalie Portman

Actress Natalie Portman is the latest name to be thrown in the mix of potential stars in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic written by Aaron Sorkin. The information comes courtesy of Deadline, which reports that Portman is “in talks to join” the project in a leading role although the specific character is unknown. It’s possible Natalie Portman is being considered to portray Steve Jobs’ daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs. expand full story

Universal Stories November 19, 2014

Steve Jobs Fearless Genius

A new report claims that the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, led by veteran screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, is set to change hands. According to Hollywood magazine Deadline, the film will be moving from Sony Pictures to Universal Pictures by tomorrow at the latest. Despite the studio move, production of the movie is expected to remain on the fast track. expand full story

Universal Stories May 29, 2014

PDF Expert, the powerful PDF viewing and editing application from Readdle, got a big update today that features few new features and tweaks to make it even more useful along with a big speed boost.

The big news, though, is that PDF Expert is a universal app for the first time. Where previous versions were device-specific for the iPhone and iPad, PDF Expert 5.1 brings both interfaces together in one app. To accommodate the change, the old iPhone version has been retired. Version 5.1, which was formerly iPad-only, will now work on the iPhone as well, with all features supported across both devices.

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Universal Stories April 24, 2014

Opera’s Coast browser adds iPhone support, adds iCloud syncing of bookmark tiles

Opera first launched Coast back in September 2013, on the iPad. Although it didn’t make a huge impression on the App Store first time around, Opera is probably hoping its new version will be more popular.

The app has been fully reworked for the iPhone size. There are hardly any buttons onscreen; the app relies almost exclusively on gesture-based navigation.

Universal Stories December 16, 2013

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At WWDC, Yahoo received an Apple Design Award for Yahoo Weather. This coincided with the unveiling of iOS 7 and its Weather app, which displayed striking similarities to Yahoo’s effort.

With the latest update to the app, Yahoo has brought the same award-winning design to the iPad. The full-bleed imagery from Flickr really shines on a larger display. The layout for iPad is largely a port of the iPhone design with upgraded icons and assets but refinements have been made for the iPad where necessary. For example, forecast information can be much larger because of the additional real-estate.

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Universal Stories March 22, 2012

This is not the first time we have received hints that Apple is working on an innovative universal remote control for controlling TV and video content. In January, we told you that Apple was researching a touchscreen remote with adaptable user interfaces. The invention would essentially allow button layouts stored in the cloud or in a device (such as a TV) to be wirelessly and seamlessly beamed to the controller’s UI. The concept would alleviate the “table full of remotes” scenario Steve Jobs described at D8.

Today, a new patent application published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office and detailed by PatentlyApple gives us even more insight into what Apple’s universal remote concept could become. In the newly discovered patent application, Apple details a remote that is capable of displaying customized controls for various devices by simply taking a picture of the device. Apple would send the picture to iCloud, analyze it, and beam a UI or button layout to the remote that works for your TV. PatentlyApple explained:

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Universal Stories March 12, 2012

With the introduction of the new Apple TV, alongside the new iPad’s introduction last week, we learned that iCloud users would now be able access purchased movies (which also extends to digital copies uploaded from DVDs). The feature was previously limited to music and TV shows. At the time, we unfortunately learned content from Comcast’s Universal and Fox would be blocked from iCloud due to exclusive rights in place through pre-existing deals with HBO. An HBO spokesperson has now confirmed to The Wall Street Journal the company will relax the terms of its deals with the two content providers in order to allow iCloud users to access to their previously purchased content: expand full story

Universal Stories March 7, 2012

As we predicted, Apple quickly unveiled a refreshed Apple TV today at its media event in San Francisco before moving onto the new iPad. On top of 1080p video streaming, perhaps one of the biggest features of the device’s upgraded UI is the ability to access purchased movies stored in iCloud— just like with music and TV shows. Unfortunately, according to a report from AllThingsD, it looks like not all content will be accessible. Content from Comcast’s Universal and News Corp.’s Fox will not be available due to deals currently in place with HBO: expand full story

Universal Stories January 26, 2012

A patent application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office earlier today reveals Apple is flirting with the idea of a universal touchscreen controller capable of controlling multiple devices including a “television, a video tape player, a video disk player, a stereo, a home control system, or a computer system.” The patent application is titled “Apparatus and Method to Facilitate Universal Remote Control” and was filed Sept. 30, 2011.

The patent application’s background covers many of the issues with current controllers for televisions and the devices mentioned above. It noted current universal remotes are “complex to operate” and unable to adapt to incorporate every command or control functionality supported by a device or future device. It also mentions the fact that users are often “confronted with multiple” remotes, which is the classic “table full of remotes” scenario described by Steve Jobs when talking about the Apple TV at D8. The patent application explained:

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Universal Stories August 8, 2011

Looks like we’re going to have to keep waiting for an Netflix-killer from Apple… Rumors were floating around last week that claimed Apple was on the verge of launching a new “iTunes Replay” service, which would allow users to re-download and/or stream TV shows and movies. Unfortunately, a new report from CNET claims Apple does not have the agreements in place to offer content from the big film studios via the cloud.

While we all know Apple is working on some type of on-demand service for iTunes content via iCloud, apparently sources have confirmed the company has failed to sign the majority of the six major film studios and “negotiations could drag on for months” before they eventually acquire cloud streaming rights.

There were also rumors that Apple could introduce a video subscription streaming service to rival Netflix and Amazon. However, the report confirms this was probably just speculation, most likely stemming from discussions Apple has had with studios regarding a video-on-demand service in the past.

Why is Apple having trouble signing the studios? Greg Sandoval from CNET claims HBO’s exclusive distribution rights with Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, and Universal, as well as support for the new UltraViolet streaming service may be preventing Apple from landing deals with the big studios. expand full story

Universal Stories September 6, 2010

Eminem’s producers, FBT Productions has prevailed in a case against Apple and Universal over Eminem digital royalties, and the victory could have a huge effect on digital music sales.

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