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iOS 8 HealthKit

As rumored, Apple has announced its iOS 8 health initiative during the WWDC 2014 keynote. The new Health app will work with a developer API bundle called HealthKit. In iOS 8, apps will be able to report your health data to a centralized location, allowing you to see all the information and stats from different apps all in the same area. Further, you'll be able to choose if you'd like to share health data from one app to another.

Apple announced that Nike and the Mayo Clinic are two of the first to be working on HealthKit integration, while also picturing a Withings blood pressure monitor. Not much more has been announced about the new Health app for iOS 8 yet, but we're sure we will hear more about it closer to the release of iOS 8 release.


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iCloud Drive

We've waited a few years to get here, but Apple just announced iCloud Drive during its WWDC 2014 keynote. What is it? Well, iCloud Drive allows you to browse, view, store, and manage your iCloud documents and data in a way that sounds similar to Dropbox. Now, you can see what exactly is using your iCloud data, and you can store anything you'd like within your iCloud account--not just documents and whatever the apps you use want to store there. It's built right into the OS X Yosemite Finder, and is also available on iOS, and even Windows.


Beats Music Apple

Alongside the announcement that Apple would be purchasing Beats Electronics for $3 billion comes a few slight changes to the Beats Music subscription service. First, the price of the annual subscription has dropped down to $99.99. Previously, the cost was $119.88. The other change is that the up-front free trial that was previously 7-days long has now been doubled to a 14-day "no strings attached" trial for all users.

The Beats Music iOS app has been updated to version 2.1 to reflect the changes, and also some bug fixes. You can download Beats Music now.

What do you think? Are you gonna give Beats Music a try now that it's an Apple-owned music subscription service?


Apple Beats Electronics

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.

Click to continue reading Apple purchases Beats Electronics & Beats Music for $3 billion, Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine join company


Apple WWDC 2014 video

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.


Twitch.tv YouTube google

If you live in the world of video gaming, you probably know about Twitch. It's a sound concept. Watch other people play video games. I know I did it when I was nine, there was always a group of us kids around the the guy with the Gameboy playing Mario as we cheered him on.

Now it comes down to watching strangers play over the internet in real time and instead of five guys looking at a handheld console over their friend’s shoulder, it's 43 million people watching a sum total of 6 billion hours of video game coverage every single month.

Those are some big numbers, and if there is one company that has a good nose for big numbers and the internet, it's Google. Now sources connected to Google have let it slip that the internet giant YouTube, owned by Google, is looking to acquire Twitch for $1 billion.

Should the deal go through, Twitch would gain access to Google's nigh-unlimited resources to expand. It also could run afoul of United States monopoly laws, granting Google a majority share of internet video game streaming services.

Twitch alone accounted for 1.35% of all downstream bandwidth in North America in March, with Youtube raking in 18.67%.

It's still in the rumor stage unfortunately, with Youtube and Twitch refusing to confirm talks, naturally. We'll see what banner I'm streaming under when July rolls around.


Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has officially the new Surface Pro 3 during a press event in New York City this morning, just under 7 months after releasing the Surface Pro 2. While the Surface Pro 3 may look similar at first glance, what with the kickstand and all, Surface chief Panos Panay went out of his way to make the point that this device is all about solving the problem of deciding between a laptop and a tablet. The Surface Pro 3, after all, can replace your laptop, claimed Panay.

So what makes the new model so impressive? Let's take a look at a rundown of features. First, Microsoft has increased the display size to 12-inches at a 3:2 aspect ratio and 2,160 x 1,440 resolution. That is the largest Surface display yet, with the highest density to boot. Despite being larger, it's also lighter than the Surface Pro 2 as well, weighing in at 800 grams. Panay made the point by comparing the weight of the Surface Pro 3 against the 11-inch MacBook Air, which has a smaller display without as high a screen resolution.

Click to continue reading Microsoft Surface Pro 3: 12” display, $799, hopes to replace your laptop


Xbox One without Kinect $399

Microsoft surprised the gaming world this morning with the announcement it will sell the Xbox One without Kinect for $399 starting on June 9th in the U.S. This brings the price of the Xbox 360 in line with that of the PlayStation 4, which should bring the two consoles into even more heated competition.

An odd move (though some might say it was expected in order to compete,) since the company wouldn't stop talking about how essential Kinect is to the Xbox One functionality and gaming direction less than a year ago. I guess Microsoft has been feeling the heat if the PlayStation 4 sales, and had to adjust that strategy right quick.

You can pre-order the Xbox One without Kinect now.


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