Apple on Tuesday was granted a significant patent by the United States Trademark & Patent Office, Patently Apple reported. The technology, which is supported by 23 Patent Claims, allows credit card companies to send statements directly to a user’s iTunes account for purchases made using an NFC-enabled iPhone. Account holders will also be able to allow a secondary account holder, such as a child, to make purchases on the same card while allowing the primary account holder to control spending and implement various limits. Even though NFC technology has been featured in a number of Android devices, some believe that the technology won’t go mainstream in a number of markets until an iPhone is equipped with a mobile payment solution. More →
Apple has plans to launch a subscription television service by Christmas this year, according to a recent report from the New York Post. The paper states that Apple wants the service to treat channels like apps, allowing the user to purchase subscriptions for either individual channels or groups of channels a la carte. Apple has long been rumored to be pitching the service to top media executives, but according to the Post, the negotiations are not going well. Eddie Cue is reportedly leading the talks and content providers have seemingly not been partial to his propositions. Apple’s pitch can be summed up as “we decide the price, we decide what content,” one of the Post’s sources said. “They want everything for nothing,” said another. Apple apparently plans to launch some form of its TV service by the end of the year with or without full cooperation from the networks, and the service is expected to be available on Apple TV as well as the new iOS-powered HDTV Apple will reportedly launch later this year. More →
Apple has hired a former marketing executive from Microsoft to help promote the App Store and iTunes in Europe, MCV reports. Robin Burrowes, former head of Xbox LIVE marketing in the EMEA region for Microsoft, joined Apple in January according to his LinkedIn profile. His formal duties at Apple remain unclear — Burrowes’s profile only states that his role involves “App Store Marketing” — but the executive’s background suggests gaming will be a strong focus. Apple has hired a number of executives with experience in the gaming market recently, including Nintendo’s former head of public relations Robert Saunders and former Activision, EA and Xbox PR head Nick Grange. The video game industry finds itself among a number of businesses that have been disrupted by Apple’s iOS lineup, and the company’s recent hires suggest that Apple intends to continue pushing the gaming capabilities of its mobile device lineup. More →
Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s head of emerging payments, sat down with Austin Carr of Fast Company to discuss the future of credit cards. “We’re rapidly moving to a world beyond plastic,” said McLaughlin. “In many ways, plastic is just convenient packaging.” The future of on-the-go payments may lie in the hands of near-field communication but unfortunately, adoption and availability have been extremely slow and limited. While NFC technology has been featured in a number of Android devices, MasterCard seems to think it won’t go mainstream until an iPhone is equipped with the mobile payment solution. Read on for more. More →
Apple on Thursday released an updated version of its iTunes software following a series of announcements made during the company’s press conference in New York City. The Cupertino, California-based firm unveiled its new interactive iPad textbook product alongside iBooks 2 Thursday morning, and it also took the wraps off of an updated iTunes U service that includes new tools for teachers and a new iPad app. To accommodate Apple’s new features, the company also pushed out iTunes 10.5.3, which is available for download immediately. Apple’s official change log follows below. More →
Album sales in the United States jumped 3% during 2011 according to one report. That may seem like minor growth, but it is actually the first time album sales have increased since 2004. Nielsen SoundScan said Adele’s album “21” sold 5.8 million copies, and total sales came in at 458 million albums for the year. Make no mistake, however, CD sales are still on the decline. Sales of full digital albums climbed 20% to 103 million units but CD sales dropped 6% to 225 million units. Nielsen’s senior vice president of analytics Dave Bakula said the addition of Google’s music store in the Android Market also helped serve as a catalyst for digital music sales growth. “It shows there’s still a lot of growth potential in digital,” Bakula said. “That’s something I don’t see falling down.” More →
Apple’s design boss Jonathan Ive is reportedly hard at work on two models of Apple’s upcoming “iTV,” a new report claimed on Wednesday. Earlier rumors suggested that Apple is preparing to launch 32 and 37-inch HDTVs this summer, but USA Today cites an anonymous former Apple employee in stating Apple is prepping a 42-inch model and a 50-inch model. The report also reaffirms a number of previously reported iTV features such as Siri-powered controls, iOS app support, AirPlay, iCloud support and deep iTunes integration. USA Today also notes that stalled negotiations with content providers within the TV industry are a “major roadblock” for Apple. A la carte availability of top-tier TV shows is said to be a key to the success of Apple’s HDTV, but Apple has reportedly been unable to secure the licensing agreements it would need to offer content using its desired distribution model. “I do expect Apple to make an attempt, since I expect the living room to remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making,” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told USA Today. More →
Until recently, iTunes users were able to purchase episodes of television shows a-la-carte or buy a whole season outright. The problem was, however, a user still had to pay full price for a television season even if he or she already owned a few individual episodes. Apple has reportedly fixed that problem by adding a “Complete my season” button that functions just like the “Complete my album” button in the iTunes Music Store. That means, for example, if you’ve purchased nine episodes of Family Guy and want to own the entire first season, you can buy it at a discounted rate that takes your previous purchases into consideration. The feature should be live now, according to MacRumors. More →
Apple on Monday released a new update for its iTunes software. ITunes 10.5.2 adds a number of enhancements for iTunes Match, and it includes several additional updates and bug fixes. “iTunes 10.5.2 includes several improvements for iTunes Match and fixes an audio distortion problem when playing or importing certain CDs,” Apple said in a note with the update. Users can update their iTunes software by downloading version 10.5.2 from Apple’s website or by using the integrated software update tool. Apple’s full release notes follow below. More →
Apple has finally released iTunes 10.5.1 to the public after months of internal and developer testing. Besides bug fixes, the big change that iTunes 10.5.1 brings is support for iTunes Match, Apple’s cloud-based music storage service that will allow your entire music library, purchased from Apple or not, to be accessible from all your computers and iOS devices for a yearly fee. There’s a good chance that after missing the October launch time frame, Apple will make iTunes Match available today.
UPDATE: Yep, iTunes Match is now available.
Battery life with iOS 5 eating away at you? Apple’s software update, and the first update since iOS 5 was released, is finally out. Changes include improved battery performance on iOS devices, other bug fixes and changes like the return of multitasking gestures for the original iPad, improved voice recognition, and more.
iOS 5.0.1 Software Update
This update contains improvements and other bug fixes including:
- Fixes bugs affecting battery life
- Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
- Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
- Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
Products compatible with this software update:
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 4
- iPhone 3GS
- iPad 2
- iPod touch (4th generation)
- iPod touch (3rd generation)
For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
It’s available at the moment as an update in iTunes, it will also be available as an over-the-air update right from your device, no cables required, within a few minutes.
Apple’s iTunes Match service was supposed to be released to the public by the end of October and while we’re still not sure why the service has been delayed, Apple just released a new beta build of iTunes that allows developers to continue testing the service. Apple’s release notes are as follows:
iTunes 10.5.1 beta 2 is now available and includes a number of important stability and performance improvements. iTunes Match is also now available for testing on Apple TV.
iTunes Match stores your music library in iCloud and allows you to enjoy your collection from anywhere, any time, on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, computer and now your Apple TV.
The new build, iTunes 10.5.1 beta 2, is available for download immediately from within Apple’s developer portal. Once released, iTunes Match will allow users to mirror their iTunes libraries in iCloud for $25 per year.
Apple has failed to make good on its promise to deploy its iTunes Match service by the “end of October.” A beta version of the service, which allows users to access their entire music library in iCloud from any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or computer, originally became available in late August and it was first included in early builds of iTunes 10.5. The service was supported in the latest iTunes 10.5.1 developer build, too, but that version expired on Tuesday. It remains unclear when Apple will officially launch iTunes Match or what is causing the delay. iTunes Match typically wipes a developer’s library before a new version launches, and the last wipe occurred on Thursday. That suggests either a final build or a new developer build of iTunes 10.5 will be rolled out shortly. More →