Earlier we reported that Netflix was bringing some surprises of its own to Apple TV in the form of personalized profiles, but yesterday Apple itself rolled out another update for the beta that gives us even more to look forward to when the new software for the device goes live later this year. As reported by AppleInsider, beta users can now buy songs and videos (again) on the device and connect to it with other Apple devices.
There's something about music that brings us together. From drum circles to the original Napster, our favorite songs somehow sound better when we share them with other people. Even when we're rocking out to our iPods, we want our friends to know what we're listening to, endlessly tweeting and posting updates to our Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Nwplyng looks to clean up our social feeds with a whole new way to share. Despite its name (Now Playing minus the vowels), it isn't another digital jukebox. Instead, Nwplyng wants to be your favorite app for sharing and discovering new songs by turning the process into something of a competition.
It's only been a couple of months since Apple's announcement that the App Store had passed 50 billion downloads, and now it's announcing that more than 1 billion users now subscribe to podcasts available through iTunes. In celebration, it's letting users download what may be called the "greatest hits" of the platform's podcast through a special tab on the iTunes store.
School might still be well over a month away for most of the country's high school and college students, but Apple looks poised to reboot its annual Back to School promotion as early as tomorrow, according to 9to5 Mac. But with this season's offering, they're throwing in a little treat. For the first time, students and eligible buyers will receive App Store/iTunes gift cards for buying iPhones, much as they've received gift cards for Macs and iPads in the past.
Remember the Motorola ROKR, Apple and AT&T's first attempt to get iTunes onto a cell phone? The carrier's current mobile boss is comparing the Facebook Home-equipped HTC First to that mishap -- but in a good way.
If you love media streamer Plex like we do and own an Apple TV, you've no doubt been frustrated by the lack of progress on a jailbreak for the third-generation hardware. But thanks to PlexConnect, it may not matter much anymore.
Some new devices out there in the wild and if you're a gamer this week was like early Christmas to you. As we gear up for WWDC, the rumor mill is about to kick in with more "news" about everyone's favorite fruit-based tech company and they're be more tech to go around than you can stand. And Apple puts the kibosh on some iOS-powered hook ups. So let's see what the old news bag has for us this week.
Ever since iTunes was introduced in 2001, Apple has continued to tinker with it, updating how it works and how you access and play music. iTunes 11 has introduced some interesting new interface components, but simplicity and elegance within iTunes are only skin-deep. The app remains a complex, frequently unwieldy beast, primarily because it now has to deal with managing all kinds of media on your Mac, including books, TV shows, movies, and apps. At best, you can sometimes hide the clutter, but iTunes is no longer an app with a razor-sharp focus.
The purpose of this group test, then, is to explore alternative apps that focus on the single act of playing music.
At last we appear to be seeing some movement on the Apple TV front. We can hardly wait. Sitting around with our little hockey puck sized hobby watching the Roku owners eat our lunch and have all the fun has been hard to swallow, but we expect great things. Find out about these developments and take a peak at one designer's vision of iOS 7 in this week's hottest news.
You kind of have to admire the timing. While most of the tech world is focused on the ramifications of Google's I/O yesterday, Apple followed up its perfectly timed 50 billion app downloads milestone with today's minor but notable update for iTunes. New features include a pleasing new interface for the miniplayer and additional support for multi disc albums. It doesn't reverse many of the unpopular design shifts made with 11.0, but it's good to see an update that adds some cool new features without adding unnecessary bloat.