After weeks of rumors, it's now official: Apple has announced it is purchasing Beats Electronics for the cost of $3 billion. This makes it the largest purchase in Apple's entire history, and obviously the biggest public decision made by Tim Cook since he stepped in as CEO.
"Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”
“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special."
Beats Electronics is the make of the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones and music accessories, and also the Beats Music subscription service that competes with other offerings from companies like Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody, and the like.
Apple just released the first OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 beta to developers just two weeks after the public release of OS X 10.9.3. No word yet on what changes are found in the new beta, but we're hoping that some of the Mac Pro (2013) niggles are fixed, as many who own the new, sleek Mac are complaining of issues with multi-monitor support since installing the last update.
Of course, Apple is also set to release the OS X 10.10 beta on Monday at WWDC 2014, so there'll be two OS X betas rocking at once.
This morning Apple announced that it will be live streaming its upcoming WWDC 2014 keynote, which takes place on June 2nd at 10:00 am PDT. While Apple has streamed select events in the past, this one is interesting for a few reasons. First, Apple has not ever announced a live-streamed keynote this far in advance on its Web site. Secondly, the company has promised "exciting announcements" will be made. Of course, the company isn't giving anything away in advance, but it definitely wants not just the press watching--they want the average consumer and Apple fan to tune in and see what it's been working on. That would imply that there will be more than the simple developer-focused announcements.
Will you be watching? It'll be at 10:00 am PDT this Monday.
This morning Apple released OS X Mavericks 10.9.3, a big update that brings a couple of major new features to the desktop operating system. First, improved 4K display support, which allows easy Retina scaling on external ultra high definition displays. We've been using this functionality for a couple of months since it was included in the beta, and it works as expected. Rather than creating a ridiculously gigantic desktop where you could barely read text, instead you can choose to scale to a Retina mode that just makes everything nice and sharp.
Others will be happy to know that OS X 10.9.3 also features the return of the ability to sync contacts and calendars between a Mac and iOS devices over USB. Hit the Mac App Store to grab the update, and take a look at the full changelog after the jump.
Apple has released a bug Logic Pro X update, bringing the music and sound editing app to version 10.0.7. At the forefront is much improved support for 12-core Mac Pro 2013 models (see our Mac Pro (2013) review) which now allows it to use up to 24 processing threads at a time. The step sequencer now should perform as expected when using Low Latency Mode, and import and export bugs have also been addressed. As for other new features, you can now copy automation info and paste it into Logic Pro X with the Marquee tool, and volume, pan, and effect info can be inserted into an automation track at the current playhead position. We've got the full changelog for you after the break.
You can get the update now if you already own Logic Pro X. If not, you can grab the app for $199.99 in the Mac App Store.
It's been rumored for months that Apple will launch two larger iPhone models this year, and now 9to5Mac is jumping in with a report on the new display resolution. If correct, we should see the iPhone 6 sporting a 1704 x 960 resolution. That's way up from the current 1136 x 640 resolution found on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s Retina displays, and would allow Apple to release the phones with a larger display while enhancing the Retina quality of its smartphones. No, it's not 1080p (that would be 1920 x 1080,) but it's close enough that at the rumored screen sizes of 4.7- and 5.5-inches, you'd be hard-pressed to notice.
The number we want to look at here is the pixels per inch (ppi), which will tell us how sharp the displays will be. 1704 x 960 at 4.7-inches results in a pixel density of 416 ppi. On a 5.5-inch iPhone, that drops a bit to 356 ppi. The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, comparatively, both have a 326 ppi display, so the new iPhone 6 models definitely will look better than the current devices.
iOS 8 won't be much different from iOS 7 in terms of the design and layout, so instead we can likely expect app icons that are sharper and larger on the home screen, and in-app elements to be clearer as well once developers get their apps updated for the new display. Of course, Apple will have its own first-part apps ready at launch.
Word is that we may see Apple unveil the iPhone 6 at a special event in August, but this info seems solid. If you recall, a couple of years ago we reported that the iPhone 5 would get a bump to a 4-inch 1136 x 640 display prior to it being announced.
Apple is purportedly set to make its biggest acquisition in the history of the company, as The Financial Times is reporting that it is about to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. What would Apple get out of Beats Audio? Well, for starters, there's the Beats Music subscription platform, which allows customers to listen to on-demand music along with curated mood-based playlists. That would be a great complement to iTunes Radio, which doesn't allow users to put songs on repeat, and limits skip functionality. Additionally, Beats is likely most known for its iconic Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line. Apple would become owner of the audio hardware in the case of an acquisition, and could even use the Beats Audio sound profile in future iOS devices (similar to what HTC did in its phones when it was a stakeholder in Beats Audio a couple of years ago.)
Apple and Beats Electronics are both keeping silent for now, but if the deal does go through, it's large enough that an official announcement will be made by both companies.
Sunglasses are one of the items that are easy to leave behind and lose, and Tzukuri Eyewear is looking to make that problem a thing of the past by using iBeacon technology. Imagine, if you will, a pair of shades with an iBeacon embedded into its frame that your iPhone connects to and is aware of. Since the iPhone can tell the distance of the beacon signal, you get a notification letting you know that you left your sunglasses behind. You can see just how far away from you they are as long as you are still in range of the iBeacon signal. Pretty cool, right?
The Tzukuri Eyewear models of sunglasses are made using 3D analysis so that they look good on more faces than the average pair. They have six designs in three sizes, each of which is handcrafted in Japan and incorporate high-quality anti-scratch, polarized lenses with 100% UV protection.
As we reported yesterday, Apple has released an updated MacBook Air lineup today. While we expected the slightly faster processors to be included, we were pleasantly surprised to see that Apple cut the price of all MacBook Air models by $100 as well. That means that the starting price of the MacBook Air is now $899.
"With MacBook Air starting at $899, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Macs have never been more popular, and today we've boosted the performance and lowered the price of MacBook Air so even more people can experience the perfect everyday notebook."
So, what's changed? Both the 11- and 13-inch models now sport a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Haswell processor and 4GB RAM. The base model configurations of each size include 128GB PCIe-based flash storage, which can be doubled to 256GB for $200. Build-to-order options allow you to add things like a 1.7GHz processor, 8GB RAM, and 512GB PCIe storage.
Additionally, the new models get better battery life for iTunes movie playback, with the 11-inch model going from 8 hours to 9 hours, and the 13-incher going from 10 hours to 12 hours.
You can pick up the new MacBook Air now.
Apple is expected to release its new line of MacBook Air notebooks as soon as tomorrow, multiple sources are reporting. The word is that shipments of the new MacBook Airs have already started arriving at Apple Stores in advance of the announcement, which will allow buyers to pick up the new models right away.
This won't be the redesigned fanless MacBook Air with 12-inch Retina display and buttonless trackpad that has been rumored for a few months. Instead, this update should bring the newer Intel Haswell processor to the Air, offering speed and battery life increases. Once we get word on an announcement, we'll let you know.
Read More | MacBook Air product page