Photo
Audio
Text

Apple and Shazam are teaming up to build a music identification feature natively into iOS, according to a Bloomberg report. The feature will allow users to find the name and artist of a song that’s playing, likely with the option to download the song from the iTunes Store or create an new iTunes Radio station.

Unlike some of Apple’s other music-releated features (such as Podcasts and iTunes U), the system will be built into the OS directly rather than require a separate download. So far there isn’t any confirmation of whether this feature will appear in iOS 8 or a later version, but with WWDC right around the corner, Apple will need to work quickly to secure the deal if the feature is to be announced with the next-gen software update.

Apple is currently looking for new ways to improve iTunes Radio, including breaking it out of the Music app and hiring new developers to work on the iTunes backend.

Source: 9to5mac.com
Text

Unsurprisingly, Apple appears to be readying a bug fix update to iOS 7.1 called iOS 7.1.1. Numerous visits to 9to5Mac from areas surrounding Apple’s campus on devices running iOS 7.1.1 have appeared in our analytics. The increase in views likely indicates that the bug fix update will come over-the-air to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches in the near future. iOS 7.1 was released in March with user-interface tweaks, a new calendar view, and CarPlay support.

In similar news, it appears, based on our analytics, that iOS 8 testing inside Apple has increased:


Read more at http://9to5mac.com/page/2/#3G0YLXJGxKUa62Ai.99

Source: 9to5mac.com
Text

Facebook announced it will be rolling out a new social feature to its mobile app called Nearby Friends. The feature allows Facebook users to occasionally receive notifications when common friends are in similar locations similar to features offered by Foursquare and Apple’s Find My Friends service.

"If you turn on Nearby Friends, you’ll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up. For example, when you’re headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward."

In its announcement, Facebook emphasizes that the location sharing feature is opt-in meaning users will have to actively decide to turn on the feature rather than the social network flipping the feature on for everyone.

Nearby Friends also supports the ability to manage which groups of friends the features recognizes, and you can disable the feature at any point of course.

Similar to Apple’s Find My Friends app, Facebook’s Nearby Friends service offers granular controls for sharing precise locations for a set duration. Unlike Find My Friends, it’s cross-platform.

Facebook says its opt-in feature will be rolling out to users in its existing iPhone app “over the coming weeks”.

Source: 9to5mac.com
Text

RadioShack is planning a new iPhone promotion starting tomorrow that will let new or upgrading users get an iPhone 5s at a significant discount. The 16 GB model of Apple’s latest smartphone will be available for $99, down from the usual price of $199 for all customers on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

Customers who bring in a “eligible” iPhone 4s (which usually just means “in pretty good shape”), will also get a $100 credit towards their iPhone 5s purchase, which knocks the price down to a very manageable $0.

The promotion kicked off, April 18th and will be available in physical stores or online.We’re not sure how long the promo will run, but it’s certainly not going to be a permanent price change, so jump on this if you’re looking for a great deal on an iPhone 5s.

Source: 9to5mac.com
Text

Nike has decided to get out of the wearable technology market entirely, according to a brand-new report from CNET. The company is said to have come to the conclusion that fitness software has a more stable future at the company, leading to the discontinuation of the FuelBand and other wearable fitness products and the firing of most of the 70 employees currently working in that division.

The move is interesting timing. Just a week ago, Nike launched Nike+Fuel Lab in San Francisco, a “new program to develop partnerships and products with NikeFuel” hundreds of miles south of its current location at its Oregon HQ.

This announcement comes only weeks before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company is expected to show off its upcoming Healthbook application as part of the next generation of iPhone software in anticipation of iWatch hardware coming later this year. Nike’s new strategy will put it more in line to compete with Healthbook as an application rather than the actual iWatch device.

To facilitate wider adoption of its fitness software, Nike will be opening an API for developers to integrate with the Nike+ service later this year.

As CNET points out, Tim Cook is a member of the Nike board and a FuelBand user, so perhaps the two companies have a broader partnership in the works following the launch of Apple’s iWatch this year. Apple and Nike have long been allies, as evidenced by the various Nike+ accessories and integration provided by older iPod models, and the inclusion of the Nike+ app on the stock iPhone operating system—though it’s disabled by default.

If you still want a FuelBand, you can grab one for an all-time low price from Amazon.

Update: Nike gave a pretty ambiguous quote to Re/code

“The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business,” the company said in a statement emailed to Re/code. “We will continue to improve the Nike+ FuelBand App, launch new METALUXE colors, and we will sell and support the Nike+ FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future.”

Source: 9to5mac.com
Text

Want to change the format and location of your OS X screenshots? It’s pretty simple. Just open Terminal and enter a few commands.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Pictures

That will place your screenshots into your pictures directory.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

This changes the default format from .png to .jpg.

Text

In a 2014 product roadmap that outlines all of Apple’s plans for the year, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo revealed his predictions for Apple’s much-rumored iWatch, which may ship as soon as the third quarter of 2014. 

According to Kuo, the iWatch will come in two separate sizes to accommodate different sized wrists: 1.3 inches and 1.5 inches. Multiple sizes for the device were first predicted in late 2013, though the original rumor pointed towards displays of 1.3 and 1.7 inches. Both watches will include flexible AMOLED displays with sapphire covers to protect the device from scratches. 

Along with a multitude of biometric sensors, coupled in a system-in-a-package design, Kuo predicts the iWatch will include integration with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, along with a “fashionable appearance,” an NFC chip, and a slim and light design.

Traditional watch-style iWatch concept by Gábor Balogh

"We are confident on Apple’s ability to make wearable devices with good fashion sense, which sets Apple apart from rivals."

Kuo believes many of the iWatch’s mechanical parts may be constructed using liquid metal and that it may include an “innovative” antenna design that allows for wireless charging functionality

Battery life has been a major challenge for Apple when it comes to iWatch development and Kuo forecasts a 200 to 250mAh battery for the device that will provide at least a one day of operating power. Earlier reports have suggested the company is aiming for three to four days of battery life, however, and Kuo does note that the battery will be longer than “most wearable devices” due to the company’s “vertically integrated operating system and key components.” 

Kuo suggests Apple will release the iWatch at multiple price points and in a variety of materials, competing with low and high-end watches alike. At the high end, Kuo suggests Apple’s iWatch could sell for thousands of dollars.

"Fashion is the name of the game; most expensive model likely priced at several thousand US dollars. Referring to the rules of the fashion market, we predict the iWatch casing and band will come in various materials. The most expensive model of the iWatch line will carry a price tag of several thousand US dollars.”

Apple’s iWatch is not expected until the end of the year, but Kuo believes it will be the most important product of 2014, outshining even the iPhone 6. He is estimating shipments of 5.5 million units in 2014, which will rise to 30 to 50 million units in 2015.

Source: macrumors.com
Text

Earlier this week, a report suggested Apple was planning a “dramatic overhaul” of its iTunes Music store to combat declining music downloads, which could include an on-demand streaming music service and an Android version of iTunes. 

Apple may also be planning to add high resolution audio downloads to iTunes as part of the revamp, allowing users to download lossless 24-bit audio files. According to music blogger Robert Hutton, who cites an unspecified source, Apple is going to roll out hi-res iTunes music downloads in early June, possibly at WWDC.

"For several years, Apple have been insisting that labels provide files for iTunes in 24 bit format - preferably 96k or 192k sampling rate. So they have undeniably the biggest catalog of hi-res audio in the world. 

And the Led Zeppelin remasters in high resolution will be the kick off event - to coincide with Led Zep in hi-res, Apple will flip the switch and launch their hi-res store via iTunes - and apparently, it will be priced a buck above the typical current file prices. 

That’s right - Apple will launch hi-res iTunes in two months.”

Apple has been working on offering music in a 24-bit format for several years, with a 2011 report suggesting the company was in talks with record labels to increase the quality of iTunes Music. Currently, Apple sells audio files on iTunes in 16-bit lossy AAC format encoded at 256 kbps to minimize file size. 

High-definition 24-bit downloads are said to offer better detail, greater depth, and a deeper bass response compared to traditional 16-bit music downloads, but the file sizes are much larger. 

Though Apple only offers 16-bit audio files at present, the company does encourage artists to submit music in a 24-bit 96kHz resolution, which it uses to “create more accurate encodes.” Apple accepts the audio files as part of its Mastered for iTunes program, an initiative that has produced higher quality music for the iTunes Store. Because Apple has already accepted 24-bit files for years, it does, presumably, have a large catalog of high quality audio files that could be offered for sale, reportedly at a premium of $1 over traditional iTunes tracks. 

Hi-res audio has been gaining popularity in recent years, with music sites such as HDtrackssecuring deals with multiple major record labels. Recently, musician and song writer Neil Young launched a Kickstarter project for the PonoPlayer, a $399 digital music player designed to play high resolution audio files. 

Thus far, the project has earned over $5.7 million, suggesting there is indeed a sizable demand for hi-res audio. Should Apple choose to begin selling 24-bit audio tracks, it could quickly dominate competing sites given its existing user base and boost its digital downloads by appealing to audiophiles unhappy with the current quality of iTunes tracks.

Source: macrumors.com