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Happy April Fool's Day, readers! Google has already been hard at work over the weekend with pranks such as Gmail Blue and news that YouTube will be shutting down, but if you're sick of all the practical jokes, you've come to the right place. There are no pranks here, unless you count the one being pulled on a handful of iOS developers getting bombed via iMessage. So sit back, relax and bask in the glow of some non-foolish news...
The Verge published an interesting article on how music labels continue to hold back services like Spotify and Pandora, which racked up a total of $1 billion in the pockets of the music industry last year alone. But the most interesting tidbit was tucked away near the end, which quoted one industry source who appears confident that Apple will take on Pandora as early as this summer. "iRadio is coming," the unnamed source remarked. "There's no doubt about it anymore." As proof of Cupertino's plans, the report cites "multiple music industry insiders" who claim Universal and Warner are already on board. Can the others be far behind…?
A curious rumor spread like wildfire on Friday that seemed to indicate Apple is working on a gaming controller for iOS devices. The rumor started at the Game Developer Conference, where Cupertino was reportedly inquiring about such plans with those in attendance. But as noted by MacRumors, the rumor appears to have no basis in reality after Jim Dalrymple at The Loop posted one of his infamous "nope" posts in response to the possibility. Dalrymple last uttered that fateful word in response to rumors that Apple would hold a media event in March to unveil its long-awaited HDTV, which needless to say, didn't pan out.
Cloud Engines, Inc. released a swanky new version 5.0 update to their free, universal Pogoplug app over the weekend, offering a fresh new look for the main menu, complete with the type of slide-out navigation first popularized by apps such as Facebook. The app is also better about saving your previous position or activity and introduces a new way to view photos and movies, both of which have been rewritten from scratch to offer a speed boost. The same also applies to the file browser, which is now touted as being faster and "more responsive and robust," and that's something we can all get excited about -- well, those of us who use Pogoplug, anyway. The free update is now available from the App Store.
The Next Web is reporting that a number of iOS developers have found themselves the target of unwelcome missives via text message, which appear to be coming from the OS X Messages app by way of an AppleScript that bombards a user with the same message over and over again. Thus far the denial of service-like attack has only affected a handful of developers and iOS hackers and is considered more of an annoying prank than anything else, but does point to a shortcoming in Apple's iMessage system, which doesn't appear to limit the speed at which messages can be sent in the first place -- nor block a specific sender. More troubling is that the sender doesn't even need the phone number, since iMessage works just fine with a linked email address. Apple has remained silent on the issue for now.
Apple tends to do so many things right that it's maddening when they miss obvious little things -- such as the ability to buy something on the iTunes Store and not actually download it right away. If you've been frustrated by the same thing, Macworld has a gem of a report on how Apple could improve the situation, which has become particularly thorny for multi-gigabyte HD movies and TV shows. While it's great that Apple still allows users to download such content at all -- competitors such as Amazon Instant Video no longer do, except on their Kindle Fire -- the solution appears to be some kind of "purchase and download later" option, which could also come in handy for apps and music as well. There's always hope for iOS 7 later this year...
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter