July 27, 2015

ESPN could be offered as standalone channel on Apple TV, says Disney CEO – but don’t hold your breath

Disney could respond to the increase trend toward cord-cutting by offering direct consumer access to ESPN, says Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. This could potentially make it available as a standalone channel on Apple TV, rather than something you can only get if you subscribe to a cable package that includes it.

But don’t rush out to cancel your cable subscription just yet – Iger, who is also on Apple’s board, said in a CNBC interview that the move won’t happen in the next five years. He was responding to questions about the future of the channel in an increasingly difficult market for cable. Enterprise recently reported that the channel lost more than three million viewers in the last year.

Sports network ESPN, meanwhile, reportedly lost 3.2 million viewers over the last year as a growing number of pay-TV customers either cut the cord or sought so-called skinny packages that didn’t include the industry’s most expensive channel. ESPN accounts for about $6 of most cable bills.

Iger said that the company viewed technology as friend rather than foe, and would adapt as the industry changed.

“While the business model may face challenges over the next few years, long term for ESPN … they’ll be fine. They have pricing leverage, too,” Iger said. “Disney [Channel] is another … brand and product that could be sold directly to the customer.”

But with that five year caveat, don’t expect to find ESPN offered as a standalone service like HBO or Showtime, and possibly not even as part of the streaming TV service Apple is expected to launch in the fall.

July 8, 2015

Disney unveils the first official Star Wars iOS app w/ lightsaber training, themed selfies, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

As we ramp up for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to hit theaters in December, we are getting Storm Trooper Bluetooth speakers, a new mobile RPG and a SW themed playset for the upcoming Disney 3.0. But it looks like it won’t stop there as Disney has just launched an official new mobile app. Simply named “Star Wars”, this is not a game, but rather a new hub app for “breaking news, rich media, social updates, special events, interactive features” and more:

On top of a basic newsfeed that draws content from all the official Star Wars channels and some typical countdown timers to big releases, there are also some interactive elements to the app as well. There are soundboard and GIF features that provide official clips from the films that users can share on message apps and even a SW themed weather function that compares current temperatures with well-known locations from the Star Wars mythos.

You’ll also find Augmented Reality experiences, a lightsaber trainer that makes use of your device’s motion sensor, and the ability to take as many Star Wars selfies as your heart desires. Much like the Show Your Disney Side app, you can choose from a number of popular costumes from the films, settings and the ability to drop other characters in the background.

The new Star Wars app is available to download for free starting right now on iOS. Head over to our daily game/app roundups for all the best discounts and freebies across every platform.

June 26, 2015

Disney’s new iOS keyboard puts GIFs of your favorite characters and scenes right at your fingertips

Last year iOS 8 brought with it support for custom third-party keyboards. Some of these are designed to help you type faster, but some just make it easier to inject GIFs and other media into your chats. This week the cutest keyboard landed on iOS courtesy of who else, but Disney.

Just as its name suggests, the Disney Gif app puts hundreds of GIFs right inside your iOS keyboard. Choose characters and scenes from films including Star Wars, Lion King, Aladdin, Toy Story and Frozen. Disney also included support for Inside Out, which is a no-brainer decision since its main characters — each representing a feeling — work perfectly as GIFs.

Disney Gif uses the copy and paste of iOS so it’ll work system-wide wherever that functionality is supported. It shouldn’t be too tough sifting through the bunches of GIFs because Disney has organized them by emotion and story. The main Disney Gif app is available as a free download, but there are a couple in-app purchases including Frozen Emoji.

Visually express yourself in a whole new way with Disney Gif! Whether you’re feeling happy, sassy, villainous or magical, there’s no better way to show how you feel than with your favorite characters and moments. Whatever your emotion or reaction, we have a Disney, Pixar, or Star Wars gif for that!

Check back often for new content!

Explore and share gifs from some of the most loved stories, including: Inside Out Frozen Star Wars The Lion King Tangled Aladdin Beauty and the Beast Finding Nemo Toy Story Up ABC Shows

…and so many more! Happy gif-ing!

Features: – Browse through hundreds of gifs categorized by emotion or story – New and trending content added frequently – Chat gifs to your friends and family straight from your Disney Gif keyboard via text, email, or any app that supports the copy and paste of images

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Before you download this experience, please consider that this app contains social media links to connect with others, in-app purchases that cost real money, push notifications to let you know when we have exciting updates like new content, as well as advertising for The Walt Disney Family of Companies and some third parties.

NOTE: Disney Gif requests full access so we can access the internet and you can send cool gifs. We don’t save your key strokes or compromise your privacy.

April 8, 2015

Reports regarding an Apple web-based TV service began to circulate in February of this year, with more details emerging last month. A new report from The Street now claims that Apple and Disney are currently in talks over what specific Disney-owned channels will be available on the service. It’s worth noting that Disney CEO Bob Iger is also on Apple’s Board.

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March 5, 2015

Disney’s latest app transforms you into your favorite characters from Star Wars, Frozen & Disney Parks

Today Disney Parks released a free iOS app called Show Your Disney Side, which transforms you into a 3D moving Disney character. Your Disney Side is the part of you that laughs a little bit louder, believes in magic, and never backs down from a pirate fight (even against Captain Hook!). This app was created to help you channel your inner Disney Side even when you’re nowhere near a Disney Park.

Turn yourself into a princess from Frozen, a X-Wing Pilot from Star Wars, Jafar from Aladdin, and several other Disney characters. You can even unlock new Haunted Mansion characters by visiting a Disney Park or sharing your Disney Side pics on social media.

The idea is pretty simple. Choose the character you’d like to become, snap a quick selfie, make a couple quick photo adjustments and you’re all set. The app will create a 3D moving image of yourself as the Disney character you picked. There’s also a share button so you can send your favorite shots to friends and family.

Download it for free.

Here’s a couple of tips from the Disney Parks Blog to help your transformation:

  • Smile big – but without your teeth showing.
  • Make sure your hair isn’t blocking your face.
  • Try to take your photo in front of a plain background.

Promo video and full App Store description follows:

We all have a Disney Side—the side of us that comes out to play the moment we step through the gates at Disney Parks. The new Show Your Disney Side app will help bring YOURS to life! Transform into a Jedi, a pirate, or other Disney Parks characters wherever you are!

CREATE – Choose a Disney Parks character, take a selfie and transform into your Disney Side.

PLAY – Try different costumes, add a frame, then tap and swipe to watch your Disney Side come to life with special effects

SHARE – Whether you’re at a Disney Park or at home, you can share your Disney Side with your family and friends right from the app

EXPLORE – Select different characters from favorite Disney Parks attractions and experiences like Frozen, Star Tours®, Pirates of the Caribbean®, Villains of Disney Parks, and Haunted Mansion®

Visit the Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort where your Disney Side can be unleashed to the fullest!

DisneySideApp.com

January 7, 2015

iHome debuts speakers, headphones, iPhone + iPad cases for Disney’s 2015 Cinderella blockbuster

Just ahead of Disney’s release of Cinderella, the highly anticipated live action movie version of the classic 1950 animated film, Apple accessory maker iHome today took the wraps off of a collection of elaborate new iPad and iPhone accessories.

(Photo credit: Benjamin Hendel)

The star of the collection is this model replica of the new Cinderella Golden Coach, which is currently on display at DisneyWorld in Orlando, FL. iHome’s upcoming version is called the Carriage Bluetooth Speaker, a highly intricate, sub-$70 version with a mesh, globe-shaped speaker in the center. As our photos show, the level of detail in the Golden Coach is really impressive, including faceted gold that almost looks bejeweled.

iHome has also developed a pair of Cinderella headphones, complete with a jeweled blue butterfly on the side – key to the movie – and noise isolating earbuds with blue jeweled sides and fabric cabling. Both feature in-line microphones and remote controls.

 

Finally, there are also some bespoke iPad and iPhone cases, including a quilted iPhone flip case with golden accents and a hand strap, a butterfly-laden iPhone 6 hard shell, and a quilted purse-like case for the iPad with a golden strap.

Disney’s Cinderella will be released in theaters on March 13, with the new lineup of iHome Cinderella accessories to follow.

9to5Mac’s CES 2015 coverage brought to you by:

December 29, 2014

A Fortune interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger, featured on the magazine’s cover (seen below) today, makes much of the importance of Iger’s relationship with Steve Jobs.

Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram writes: “If there is one particular relationship that has most shaped [Bob Iger’s] thinking, it’s the six-year friendship he had with another CEO: the late Steve Jobs […]

Ed Catumull, Disney’s animation president, says of the Iger/Jobs relationship: “Steve recognized that in Bob he actually had a partner. In the subsequent years they thought of each other as true partners. That’s what he wanted, and that’s not what he had previously.”

The mutual respect the pair felt for each other was reflected in the fact that Jobs, before his death, asked that Iger be invited to take his place on the Apple board …  expand full story

December 22, 2014

Following in the footsteps of the Disney Stores, Walt Disney World will be accepting Apple Pay from 24th December, reports the company.

Initially, most stores, quick service restaurants, bars and ticket sales booths will be included. Any locations that use portable payment terminals, such as table service restaurants, will be added later.

To identify payment locations that accept Apple Pay and contactless payments, look for the EMVCo symbol, which is a series of curved lines, similar to a WiFi signal strength meter on many devices.

Disney was an Apple Pay launch partner, installing upgraded iBeacons and NFC readers in its retail stores prior to the launch of the service, but contactless payment had previously only been available at WDW via the company’s own MagicBands wristbands …  expand full story

November 21, 2014

Apple is steadily rolling out more support for banking and card issuer partners since first launching its new Apple Pay payments service last month. The other part of the equation is retailers and app developers supporting the service and this week saw the rollout of additional support including announcements from Sephora, venues that utilize tickets.com, and the Disney Store iOS app. In addition, Square is today confirming that its previously announced under development bitcoin and NFC capable register will arrive with Apple Pay support sometime in 2015. expand full story

November 20, 2014

November 14, 2014

Today’s Disney Mobile Product Showcase kicked off with Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, sharing a Steve Jobs anecdote. No matter the time or place it’s always incredibly interesting to hear personal stories of Apple’s late leader.

Iger recalled the time when he contacted his buddy Jobs with what he thought was a novel idea: to unleash movies/TV shows like iTunes did for music. Of course, being the visionary he was, Jobs had already thought of this and even brought an early version of the iPod with video to the meeting. And of course, being the businessman he was, Jobs then asked Iger if he would commit Disney content to the project.

Iger used this story as a jump off for a two hour presentation in which other Disney, ESPN, and ABC executives would showcase a smattering of new mobile apps, games, and products…

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November 3, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.12.22 AM

Back in February, Apple and Disney teamed up on a new app called Movies Anywhere that allowed iOS users to access their library of purchased movies—whether bought on the iTunes Store, DVD, or other media (with the appropriate redemption code in the box).

Today, Disney has launched the same service for Android users. Movies Anywhere owners will now be able to access their movie library featuring titles from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel from any of their devices. Because this is a cross-platform solution, movies previously purchased on the iTunes Store will now be available to users on Android devices, and iOS users will be able to watch Disney movies they’ve purchased from the Google Play Store.

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September 16, 2014

WATCH Disney iOS apps updated with AirPlay and Chromecast streaming support

Disney’s popular apps iOS apps including WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Junior, and WATCH Disney X D have all been updated today with support for AirPlay and Chromecast streaming.

That means that owners of an Apple TV or Google’s Chromecast can now send content from the iPhone and iPad apps to an Apple TV or Chromecast-connected TV. Apple TV already has dedicated Disney channels offering most if not all of content available through the apps, but AirPlay streaming offers another way to get content to the big screen if you prefer browsing from a mobile device.

The updated WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Junior, and WATCH Disney X D apps are available now on the App Store.

What’s New in Version 4.0.2

AirPlay streaming now available via Apple TV Casting now available via Google Chromecast

September 7, 2014

Apple and longtime partner Disney this week are bolstering their stores with upgraded versions of iBeacon sensors and NFC readers, according to sources. Apple Stores have had iBeacons stationed throughout showroom floors for several months as a way to pinpoint exactly where a customer is within the store. This allows Apple to better serve customers by providing relevant sales information to their iPhones and iPads while in the store. The upgrades happening this week within Apple Stores place several new Gimbal Series 20 Proximity Beacons across stores to make location tracking within the store even more accurate.

In addition to providing relevant information for the Apple Store app, iBeacons can be useful for NFC mobile payment technologies as a form of authentication. If Apple knows where a customer is in the store to a precise degree, it can ensure that is it wirelessly connecting to the correct iPhone for mobile payments. As has been widely reported, the new iPhone 6 and upcoming Apple wearable device will include new wireless sensors (including a near field communication chipset) to conduct mobile payments with credit cards stored in an upgraded Passbook application.

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July 9, 2014

Disney sales on iTunes in Japan resume as companies reach new agreement

Disney briefly stopped sales of its on-demand content through iTunes in Japan after it failed to reach a deal with Apple. The company confirmed the news but followed up today with a statement on its website claiming that all services have been restored.

There’s not much explantation about the reason behind the removal of Disney content in Japan in the company’s statement, but it did confirm to Variety that “the interruption was due to difficulties negotiating the renewal of the old contract between Apple and Disney Japan. The new contract was signed on Wednesday and both rentals (VoD) and electronic sell-through returned to normal.”

Apple has close long had close ties with the company since Steve Jobs held a position as a director following the sale of Pixar to Disney. Apple has also named Disney CEO Bog Iger as a board of the company since 2011 and Disney content appeared as some of the first on-demand video content from a major studio at the launch of iTunes. The removal of content, if only for a brief period, is a reminder of just how important Apple’s content deals with studios are and just how quickly content can be removed if those relationships go south.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment but didn’t hear back immediately at the time of publishing.

June 19, 2014

Disney launches ‘Star Wars Scene Maker’ iPad app

With hype building surrounding the filming of the latest Star Wars reboot, Disney is taking advantage by launching a new iPad app called ‘Star Wars Scene Maker’. The app allows users to create Star Wars scenes by selecting from various 3D assets like characters and environments, camera angles, dialogue (you can also record your own), musical scores, and more:

MAKE STAR WARS YOUR OWN!

Become the master of your own Star Wars video universe! Create your own scenes, choose your favorite characters, control their actions and dialogue, record your masterpiece, and share your Star Wars story! The Force of your imagination is with you!

FEATURES:

· Create your own Star Wars universe and bring it to life with imaginative play and countless options.

· Select from 3D environments with 3D models of your favorite characters, weapons, and ships.

· Use dialogue straight from the Star Wars films, or record your voice and apply a Darth Vader, Rebel Pilot, or Storm Trooper filter to put your words into any character’s mouth!

· Switch between three cameras, each of which can track or follow the action, to record your scene from multiple angles!

· Chooose a musical score taken from the Star Wars films, write your own iconic Star Wars “Title Crawl” and end credits, and share your finished scene with your friends!

Star Wars Scene Maker is available as a free download for iPads running iOS 7 and up (Disney says it’s “most compatible with the newest generation of iPad”), but you will find some paid in-app purchases and Disney ads within.

April 1, 2014

Dish and The Walt Disney company announced today that they have reached a multi-year distribution deal that will see Dish subscribers gain access to a ton of Disney content including its ABC and ESPN networks. That means if you subscribe to Dish, you’ll now be able to access the WATCH ABC, WATCH ABC Family, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH DisneyXD and WatchESPN through your computer, smartphone, tablet and other connected devices like game consoles and Apple TV. The deal will also see Dish launch a number of Disney and ESPN networks while pending litigation between the two companies comes to an end:

The agreement will result in dismissal of all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop. As part of the accord, DISH will disable AutoHop functionality for ABC content within the C3 ratings window. The deal also provides a structure for other advertising models as the market evolves, including dynamic ad insertion, advertising on mobile devices and extended advertising measurement periods.

DISH will make available Disney Junior, Fusion, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, as well as Longhorn Network and the upcoming SEC ESPN Network upon its launch. In addition, DISH, ESPN and ESPN Deportes customers will have access to the live and video-on-demand channel ESPN3… As part of the agreement, DISH will launch ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Disney Channel and ABC Family in high definition. ESPN Classic will be reintroduced as a video-on-demand channel.

For Apple device users, the majority of the content is available through dedicated iOS and Apple TV apps including WatchESPN, WatchABC, and WatchDisneyChannelexpand full story

February 25, 2014

The ties between Apple and Disney are tightening even more thanks to their unprecedented collaboration on the new Movies Anywhere app. This ambitious project has been percolating at Disney for years and aims to make purchasing and viewing digital content easier than ever.

A direct shot at UltraViolet, the Movies Anywhere app allows users to purchase and play movies within the app or through any device with access to your iTunes library. Previously purchased films on DVD, and Blu-ray can be added to the app if they shipped with a digital redemption code. All past iTunes purchases are eligible.

Users can simply connect their iTunes account to their Disney Movies Anywhere account to begin populating their Disney digital movie locker and watch movies online and on their devices. Featuring simultaneous access on multiple devices, Disney Movies Anywhere enables consumers to stream and download Disney movies on their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and Apple TV (through iCloud or using AirPlay).

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October 24, 2013

Update: Deletion of purchased content is a glitch, variable availability of movies a ‘feature’ – see below

Some Disney and Pixar movies – including The Lion King and Mater’s Tall Tales – have apparently been pulled from the iTunes Store in the USA and UK, with at least one 9to5Mac reader reporting that purchased movies have been removed from his Apple TV without refund.

Two movies disappeared from my Apple TV yesterday (Mater’s Tall Tales and The Lion King). I called Apple and they told me that Disney has removed them from the iTunes store. They are no longer available for viewing on my Apple TV. There was no warning, no notice and no refund. According to Apple, all digital content belongs to the content provider.

The Lion King is a Disney movie, and Mater’s Tall Tales a Pixar one. Both movies show up on the web, but clicking the View in iTunes button brings up a message saying they are not available.

It would seem unlikely that Disney is pulling its movies from iTunes. Disney CEO Bob Iger is on Apple’s Board, and of course Pixar was a Steve Jobs creation. Also, Disney is often one of the first major studios to adopt Apple technology.

We’ve asked Apple and Disney for a comment, and will update when we know more.

Update:

Disney has been in touch to say that while they do vary the availability of movies for streaming, the removal of purchased content is a glitch and Apple is working to resolve it. Those who have already purchased movies will have access to them restored. Disney was not aware of the issue until alerted to it by our story.

September 26, 2013

This morning, Apple has sent an over-the-air update to the Apple TV to add two new apps of content: Major League Soccer (MLS) and Disney Junior. The MLS app allows Apple TV users to watch soccer games live, and Disney Junior includes several shows oriented toward young children.

The new soccer app will surely be a big bonus for sports fans, while Disney Junior will continue to attract kids to the Apple’s living room appliance. Kick-TV-Apple-TV

Last week, Apple added iTunes Radio and many new features to the device. A few weeks ago, the company added a couple of Disney Channel apps, The Weather Channel, Vevo, and a Smithsonian app. Thanks DJ

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