According to The New York Times, Apple is going full-force in negotiations with record labels in an effort to get its new streaming music service (which many refer to as iRadio) in position to be announced, and possibly launched, at WWDC next week. The report states that Apple has already signed deals with both the Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group for rights to recorded music and publishing. The holdout is Sony Music Entertainment, which seems to want a bigger cut of the profits. Of course, if Apple can convince Sony to sign, then its music service will be stocked with all the popular music users will expect, without any glaring holes.
There are no solid details on Apple's streaming service, and there won't be until it is formally announced by the company itself. That said, rumors point to it being similar in vein to Pandora, rather than a Spotify/Rdio competitor. In other words, it will be a radio service rather than one where you get to pick and choose exactly which track(s) you want to listen to at a given moment. The service would be supported by iAd, with advertisements interspersed into the listening experience, like Pandora.
Fingers crossed for WWDC!
Read More | The New York Times
Plants vs. Zombies was one of the early hits on App Store, making it the 12th all-time paid iPhone app in Apple's marketplace. Well, now there's more to come, PopCap Games will release Plants vs. Zombies 2 for iOS on July 18th for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
This time around, the game will be free to download, instead including the now-popular in-app purchase model. PopCap does say that pretty much the entire game will be free to play, and in app purchase will be for extra currency, plant food, and items to enhance the experience.
Check out the Plants vs. Zombies 2 trailer after the break for a look at what Crazy Dave has in store.
If you own an Android phone, you can now get in on the Vine action that iPhone users have had access to for over four months now. The app is Twitter's answer to video sharing, allowing users to share six-second video snippets with each other. Interestingly, the iOS version and Android versions each have features that the other doesn't. For example, the iOS version includes support for the front-facing camera, mentions, hashtags, and search. The Android version doesn't--but it does have a zoom feature, something that's not found in iOS.
Vine for Android works with any device running Android 4.0 or higher, and you can download it now from the Google Play Store.
Read More | Twitter
Wanna pay a third of the typical price for an Xbox Live Gold membership? Act quickly, as eBay is selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold memeberships for $20, a nice discount from the typical $59.99 price point, making it our Deal of the Day. Supplies are limited though, so if you want one, go get one now.
This morning, Verizon announced that it will begin carrying the HTC One later this summer. This news means that, soon, the HTC One will be available on all four major carriers here in the US, matching other major phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5. Verizon has not announced any specific date or pricing (although we'd have to think it would be $199 with two-year contract,) nor any potential hardware differences, but that information will likely come sooner rather than later.
Be sure to check out our HTC One video review for more on this fantastic smartphone.
Read More | Verizon Twitter
The HTC One is a highly impressive Android device, but many users wish that they could get the beautiful hardware with stock Android Jelly Bean software. Luckily, that wish is becoming reality, as Android head Sundar Pichai announced during his D11 talk that the HTC One with Nexus UI will go on sale on June 26th on the Google Play store, and will work on both AT&T and T-Mobile.
Be sure to check out our HTC One review as well.
The LG Nexus 4 is arguably the best Android phone on the market right now (if you don't care about LTE,) but if you were bored by the black hue, you can now get it on the Google Play store and T-Mobile in white. In fact, if you buy it from Google Play directly, you also get a free bumper case thrown in for good measure. It should be stated, though, that the only difference here is the color--otherwise, it's the same Nexus 4 that was released over six months ago, running the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.2.2.
Read More | Google Play Store
Apple's new fifth-generation 16GB iPod touch (which doesn't include a rear camera) was announced yesterday, and is starting to show up at Apple retail stores today. Ben Pasternak over in Australia was one of the first to get his hands on one of the new iOS devices, and put together a short video showing off the two-toned iPod touch. As a refresher, the new 16GB touch costs $229, and replaces the discontinued fourth-generation iPod touch. You can get the new iPod touch now, and check out the video after the break.
Today Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 Mini, a smaller take on its flagship Galaxy S4 Android smartphone. The Galaxy S4 Mini isn't really that "mini," though, since it ships with a 4.3-inch display that is larger than that of the iPhone 5--we'd say this is more of a mid-range display size, but, hey, to each their own. Additionally, it's not as powerful as the full-sized S4, as the Mini has a 1.7GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB RAM. An 8-megapixel rear camera is paired with a 1.9-megapixel front shooter, and on the inside you get 8GB of storage (which you can expand with a microSD card.) Once nicety is that the Galaxy S4 Mini ships with Android 4.2.2, which means you get the latest and greatest right out of the gate. Pricing and availability has yet to be announced, but we're that that we'll find out next month. In the meantime, let us know if you're going for this one in the comments.
Read More | Samsung
If you want a 21st century method of deodorizing your refrigerator, get ready to throw out that old box of baking soda and pick up the Kuro Cube. the Kuro Cube is a compressed block of white charcoal that specializes in absorbing the smells that you don't wanna smell, saving your nose from the horrid sensory attack you might get hit with whenever you open the fridge. It costs $25, and lasts a good five years, as long as you set it in the sun every now and then so it can get dried out. You can place these in other areas, too, if you want to purify the air in other rooms.
Read More | Kuro Cube
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