Ford unveiled its Sync 3 technology for automobile entertainment late yesterday, and it revealed a substantial surprise. Microsoft's Embedded platform was nowhere to be found. Instead, Ford is now using BlackBerry's QNX technology for Sync, and that means that the service can now support Apple's CarPlay with hands-free Siri.
We're still waiting on Apple to start implementing its own motion controls into Apple TV (if they ever come at all), but in the meantime, other companies are already stepping in to fill the gap with third-party devices. Among the most notable is Onecue, which will let you control your Apple TV and other devices with simple gestures of your hands when it's released in early 2015.
Last week was relatively quiet for new apps, presumably as developers got their hands on the gold master of iOS 8 and started preparing for an avalanche of updates ahead of the new iPhone. But don't worry: There's still plenty of cool stuff to be found, including a recent Disney storybook app, updates to your favorite Google apps, and even a Microsoft entertainment app for keeping tabs on your favorite celebrities. Be sure to come back next week for our roundup of the best iOS 8 apps!
We've delivered a heap of news centered on the Apple TV over the last few months, and if you'd like to see what all the fuss is about for yourself, now's a good time to jump in. In celebration of next month's iTunes Festival in London, Apple is a reviving its offer of a $25 iTunes gift card with the purchase of a new Apple TV.
An app store for Apple TV might still be the stuff of myth and rumor, but today's update for the diminutive entertainment device demonstrates that Apple's still attempting to improve it. Log in today, and you'll see new channels for ABC News, PBS Kids, and AOL On. You'll even find Willow, a channel dedicated to the sport of cricket.
Apple's fight to bring on-demand cable programming to Apple TV via Time Warner might have fallen apart in the wake of the media giant's upcoming merger with Comcast, but now the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple's in similar talks with Comcast itself. Much as with the previous plan, the new deal would see the Cupertino company working hand-in-hand with Comcast to stream a wide variety of the service's channels for a monthly subscription.
iTunes Radio draws much of its inspiration from the streaming radio service Pandora, but the latest word from Billboard suggests that Apple might want to mimic the on-demand streaming model used by Spotify and Beats Music instead. That would make Apple's steaming music service more akin to Google Play Music, and the parties involved say it's likely the effort will lead to an official iTunes app for Android as well.
Jimmy Fallon may have won himself a few unintended laughs a couple of months ago when he awkwardly tried to hide his beloved MacBook from guest Bill Gates, but the incident hasn't dulled his love for the products coming out of Cupertino. Indeed, just last night the latest host of The Tonight Show used an iPad app to perform a doo-wop duet with singer Billy Joel, and the performance turned so many heads that Tim Cook himself linked it on Twitter.
Apple CEO Tim Cook joked at a shareholder's meeting today that "it's a little more difficult to call [Apple TV] a hobby these days," and it's not hard to see why. As reported by Reuters, Cook revealed that the diminutive entertainment device was responsible for more than $1 billion in sales in 2013, although Re/code claims that number also includes movie rentals and purchases of television shows. Still, not too shabby.
So it looks as though all those rumors about a new Apple TV are true, after all. According to Bloomberg, Apple should announce the new device at a media event in April but we won't see it on the shelves until "the holiday season." But here's the biggest news--it looks as though that long-awaited deal with Time-Warmer might come to pass with the release.