Apple is reportedly close to inking deals with major movie studios that would allow the Cupertino-based company to stream movies to its iOS devices and PCs via iCloud. Los Angeles Times on Wednesday reported that Apple has been meeting with movie studios and is currently closing licensing deals that will allow its customers to purchase movies through iTunes and then stream them from iCloud to mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, or even to Mac computers or Apple TV. The service would be similar to Hollywood’s just-launched UltraViolet product, though it would remove the requirement that customers purchase physical media before streaming content to their devices. The LA Times report states that Apple is expected to launch the service in late 2011 or early 2012. More →
Apple on Tuesday released the latest version of its iTunes software to the general public. ITunes 10.5 brings with it several anticipated new features including support for Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud service, and it will be required for users who wish to update an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to iOS 5 following its release on Wednesday. Apple’s change log for iTunes 10.5 is as follows:
What’s new in iTunes 10.5
- iTunes in the Cloud. iTunes now stores your music and TV purchases in iCloud and makes them available on your devices anywhere, any time, at no additional cost.
- Automatic Downloads. Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your Mac and iOS devices.
- Download Previous Purchases. Download your past music, TV, app, and book purchases again, at no additional cost. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store.
Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5. Wi-Fi Syncing. Automatically sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes any time they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network.
ITunes 10.5 and iOS 5 will also finally enable Wi-Fi synchronization for iOS device users, allowing users to sync devices with iTunes without having to connect to a computer via USB. More →
People are disappointed. What else can I say? With all of the hype, and even our own reporting, Apple should have released a real iPhone 5. But it didn’t, and the fact that Apple is releasing the same exact model with internal upgrades is upsetting to a lot of people. You know what, though? The overwhelming majority of people probably couldn’t care less. More →
Apple will reset its iCloud backup service on September 22nd ahead of the likely release of its final iOS 5 test build and public iCloud launch. The date corresponds with our earlier report that Apple would launch the iOS 5 GM on September 23rd, and the reset will not have an impact on any bookmark, calendar, contact, mail or reminder data stored on iCloud. The official notice, which was posted on Apple’s Developer boards, reads:
On Thursday, September 22, the iCloud Backup data will be reset. Backing up to iCloud or restoring from an iCloud backup will be unavailable from 9 AM PDT – 5 PM PDT. If you attempt a backup or restore during this time, you will receive an alert that the backup or restore was not successful. After this reset, you will be unable to restore from any backup created prior to September 22. A full backup will happen automatically the next time your device backs up to iCloud.
Apple launched a beta version of iCloud to developers on August 1st when it revealed the official pricing plans. Users will receive 5GB of storage for free and can sign up for an additional 10GB of storage (15GB total) for $20 per year, 20GB of additional storage for $40 per year, or 50GB of added storage for $100 per year.
When Apple originally announced its new iTunes Match service, which was launched to developers yesterday inside iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1, the Cupertino-based company said the service would allow users to download previously purchased music. At the time, it appeared the benefit for iTunes Match was that it would allow users to pull down any track from iCloud to an iOS device without being near a computer. The setback to downloading tracks, however, is that your iOS device storage will still likely be clogged with music. According to Insanely Great Mac, it appears that iTunes Match actually supports streaming and not just downloading, which could make the service’s $25 annual fee much more competitive with products such as Spotify, Rhapsody, Google Music Beta and Amazon Cloud Drive. Insanely Great Mac’s video, which we’ve provided after the break, shows that users can download a song by tapping the iCloud logo, or just stream it by tapping the song title itself. According to AllThingsD, which cites an anonymous Apple executive, users will only be able to listen to a song as it downloads and iTunes Match will not support true streaming when it launches this fall. Hit the read link for the video in question. More →
Apple started seeding OS X Lion 10.7.2 11C37 and iCloud beta 7 to developers on Friday afternoon. The latest iCloud beta 7 build includes updated versions of Documents & Data Cloud, Find my Mac and Back to my Mac, 9to5 Mac said. The latest OS X Lion 10.7.2 build is being offered “solely for testing iCloud and updates to the public release of OS X Lion and any earlier seed of OS X Lion 10.7.2,” Apple said. iCloud, which is still only open to those with developer accounts, allows users store up to 5GB of free data online. Apple opened iCloud up to developers on August 1st and it offers a tiered pricing system for additional storage. The latest OS X Lion and Cloud Beta 7 builds can be downloaded from Apple’s iCloud developer portal now. More →
Apple’s upcoming “iTunes Replay” service is indeed in the works, but the company has yet to sign “cloud agreements” with at least four of the top-six film studios in Hollywood that are necessary in order to launch the service, CNET News reports. As such, the site calls earlier reports that suggested an imminent launch premature. Apple is reportedly working on a service that will allow iTunes users to stream and re-download movies purchased through iTunes. Such a service would require Apple to sign new licensing agreements with motion picture studios in order to secure the appropriate rights that would allow Apple to serve content from the cloud and to multiple devices. According to CNET News, negotiations for these rights could “drag on for months.” The report also mentions a possible hurdle for Apple: HBO. HBO has agreements in place that grant it exclusive digital distribution rights to new movies from three of the six major film studios — 20th Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. — for a certain period of time. HBO’s deals have caused problems for streaming services in the past, and it looks like Apple could be the latest victim. More →
If you’re currently an active MobileMe subscriber, Apple may soon offer you an incentive to move all of your data over to its new iCloud service. From the day the service goes public until June 30th of next year users who move their data to iCloud will receive 25GB of free iCloud storage for as long as their iCloud account is active, 9to5 Mac reported on Monday. Every iCloud user will receive 5GB free from the get-go and and an additional 10GB will cost $20 per year. An extra 20GB will cost $40 per year and 50GB of added storage will set you back $100 annually. ICloud is still available only to developers but we have no doubt it will be fully live by the time Apple finalizes iOS 5 and launches its next iPhone, which is expected to occur in September or October. More →
Apple is preparing to launch a new service that will allow iTunes users to re-download previously purchased music, movies and TV shows for free, AppAdvice reports. The service may also support some streaming functionality according to the report, though such functionality may be limited. In the past, iTunes users who lose content from their libraries were forced to either purchase the content again or essentially beg and plead with Apple customer service until they agreed to assist with free content restoration. This ridiculous practice is now in the process of coming to an end. AppAdvice claims to have confirmed the imminent launch of the iTunes Reply service with multiple sources, and such an offering has rumored to have been in the works from Apple for quite some time. According to the report, we can expect iTunes Replay to “go public in the coming weeks.” More →
Apple’s official iCloud.com website is now live for developers as part of a new beta phase of the service. The website is complete with web applications for Calendar, Contacts, Mail, iCloud for Pages, iWork and Find My iPhone. It also currently has a look and feel very reminiscent of iOS, which we like. We already know that Apple will offer iOS users 5GB of free iCloud storage, but the Cupertino-based company also revealed the official pricing for those who want a bit more storage. Users can sign up for an additional 10GB of storage (15GB total) for $20 per year, 20GB of additional storage for $40 per year, or 50GB of added storage for $100 per year.
Following our exclusive report from Thursday suggesting Apple plans to release iTunes 11 in September alongside the iOS 5 and iCloud, a new report claims iTunes 11 will feature a redesigned layout and deep iCloud integration. IDownloadBlog on Friday cites a reliable source in stating that the next major release of iTunes will be “revamped from the ground up.” The report claims Apple’s new version of iTunes will feature a brand new user interface as well as iCloud integration. Mobile device app data and backups will also reportedly be integrated with iTunes 11, effectively mirroring iOS device backups and app data/settings that are automatically synced to iCloud. Apple has made major investments in its iCloud service, including the billion-dollar data center it built in North Carolina, so it would certainly be a logical move to showcase the service right out of the gate when it launches this fall. More →
We’ve just received a tip that OS X Lion 10.7.2, a combo update, is available for Mac developers in Apple’s developer site. While the OS isn’t available on the regular Mac portal, it’s available as a direct link within the iCloud for Lion beta section. No word on what updates or changes will be in OS X Lion 10.7.2.
According to results from a new ChangeWave survey released on Monday, 48% of those looking to buy a new smartphone during the next 90 days plan on buying an iPhone. In addition, 46% of those buying a smartphone in the next 90 days said that they would prefer an iOS-powered device, 32% want a smartphone running Android, and just 4% want a BlackBerry OS device. Apple’s iOS users are the most satisfied with their operating system, too. 70% of those surveyed said that they were “very satisfied” with iOS. 50% said they were very satisfied with Android, 27% were happy with Microsoft’s Windows OS (which we assume means both Windows Mobile and Windows Phone), and 26% were pleased with RIM’s BlackBerry OS. The launch of the iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless is also hurting Motorola. “After benefiting tremendously in the years Verizon subscribers were barred from the iPhone market, Motorola is now seeing a loss of market share at least partially attributable to the Verizon iPhone release that occurred earlier this year,” the study said. Finally, ChangeWave found that Apple’s free iCloud service is attracting customers away from other operating systems. 29% of the survey respondents who are currently Apple product owners said they are more likely to buy Apple products since the company announced its iCloud service, while 13% of non-Apple product owners said they are also now more likely to buy an Apple product. ChangeWave polled 4,163 consumers, 89% of which were U.S. residents. Read on for the full press release. More →