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Are you the sort of Spotify listener who prefers not to rely on spotty wireless connectivity to blast your jams? Good news: The music streaming service released a new iOS update this week that lets paying Premium members download an entire library for offline listening all at once. If that's not enough to kick off the summer months, read on for more cool news you might have missed as the week wraps up.
9to5Mac reported Thursday that Apple has officially fired up a re-constructed campus in Austin, Texas, with CEO Tim Cook and iTunes content boss Eddy Cue on hand to celebrate the event. Although the executives didn't spill any big secrets while they were there, the dynamic duo once again reiterated there were "exciting" products in the pipeline, while chatting up last week's Beats Music acquisition announcement and touting how new retail boss Angela Ahrendts will take the Cupertino company's brick-and-mortar stores to the next level.
MacRumors reported Thursday that LaCie's familiar orange Rugged Hard Drive received an upgrade this week. In addition to the same rugged looks and USB 3.0 interface, the latest SSD-based 250GB and 500GB models come with an integrated Thunderbolt cable that tucks away inside the case when not needed. The drive also lives up to its rugged reputation, capable of surviving a drop from two meters, plus its warranty has been bumped up from two years to three. Starting at $299.99 for the SSD version, the LaCie Rugged Hard Drive is also available in a traditional hard drive version, starting at $219.99 for 1TB.
The once mighty NOOK hardware business may not be dead and buried, but it's certainly on life support: Barnes & Noble announced Thursday that the retailer is partnering with Samsung to develop "co-branded" tablets starting with the Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK. Essentially a traditional Sammy tablet with the NOOK experience baked in, the first seven-inch slate will land in the U.S. sometime in early August, where it will be "prominently displayed" at nearly 700 B&N retail stores nationwide, as well as the bookseller's own website.
Now that summer is here, we're all cranking up the air conditioners and probably wishing we could control them from our smartphone. Tadoº GmbH is looking to do just that, having soared past a $150,000 funding goal on Kickstarter only yesterday and now eyeing an additional $50,000 to integrate the hardware with Apple's iOS 8-based HomeKit. The Tadoº Cooling hardware converts old AC units into smart devices using Bluetooth LE and iBeacon technology, and fans of crisp, cool air can throw their hard-earned dollars into the project between now and June 11.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that, to the surprise of virtually no one, Samsung Electronics will launch a new smartphone this fall powered not by Google's Android, but its own Tizen mobile operating system. Dubbed the Samsung Z, the handset will first touch down in Russia sometime during the third quarter of this year before making its way to other countries. Although Tizen already powers Samsung's Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch, this is the Korean manufacturer's first real attempt to dodge Android on a more traditional device, even though the end result looks quite a lot like Google's own platform.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of 9to5Mac)