Why wouldn't we start in with the iPhone 6 rumors already? The year is creeping on by, getting ever closer to the next handset drop date, so let's see what's cooking in that and other stories this week. But as we look forward to the iPhone's future, we also get an inside look at the past, where it all began. Plus games and TV news and more in this week's hottest news roundup.
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.
Last year, the main news surrounding in-flight entertainment for the Apple faithful focused on the practice of handing out iPads for travelers, but now United Airlines has some good news for everyone who displays the Apple logo on the backs of their devices. Come April, if you own an iPhone or iPad, you can start streaming a large selection of movies and TV shows on your devices during flights free of charge.
For football fans, Super Bowl Sunday is the best day of the year — but it can also be the longest. Even if your favorite team doesn't have a shot at immortal glory, waiting for the 6:30 p.m. EST kickoff can feel worse than being a five-year-old forced to watch the clock on Christmas Eve. But you needn't spend the day twiddling your thumbs. Whether you're hosting a party or watching the game alone, we've got eight apps to keep you occupied until the big game starts.
Music discovery continues to be a conundrum in an era of homogenized radio, the disappearance of music on so-called music television stations, and a seemingly endless array of new artists to fit every taste. Streaming music services have attempted to fill the void with increasingly impressive recommendation algorithms, and Beats Music — which features the branding of the popular Dr. Dre-backed headphones — is the latest such offering, serving up more than 20 million tracks with a heaping helping of music expertise on the side.
Google Play Music finally made its way to the iPhone after an long wait last last year (and you can read my review here), and now it looks as though Apple's rival has finally followed up that offering with its Google Play Movies & TV for iOS. Similar to Google Play Music, the app lets you playback and stream content bought through Google Play or on an Android device.
It's been an exciting year for Apple TV, and Apple just proved it isn't over with the announcement of an impressive holiday gift. As MacRumors reports, the folks over at Cupertino expanded the diminutive entertainment device's offerings to include channels for ABC, Bloomberg, Crackle, and the Korean channel KORTV. With such a step, Apple seems to be "rounding out" the activities provided by the service as the channels somewhat focus on more serious pursuits than the primarily entertainment-related channels we've seen before.
So many of the little details surrounding Google Play Music for iOS suggest that the tech giant isn't so eager to win over iPhone owners as recent overtures might suggest. Never mind that six months passed before its iOS launch, but the in-app keyboard retains the design of iOS 6 and the skeuomorphic icon stands in stark contrast to its updated brethren. It's a shame, because there's a really well designed music app lying in store once you make it through such chaff.