If you're just planning to turn on the telly and tune in the Royal Wedding, you'll be missing out. It's 2011, folks! There are a host of online destinations, social media tools and mobile apps that can truly help you experience the full scope of this 21st century event.
All of the major broadcasters will be airing the Royal Wedding on live TV Friday morning, but so will several online venues. YouTube will be streaming the entire event live at The Royal Channel, built specifically for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. Livestream is also streaming the AP Live feed of the day's events, plus more coverage from CBS News, ET and the UK Press Association. And you can watch full streaming BBC coverage at BBC News' dedicated wedding site.
You can also watch the event live on a smartphone or other Internet device on the Sprint TV ABC News Channel, which is part of the carrier's basic Sprint TV channel package. T-Mobile TV will only carry pre- and post-wedding coverage but start-to-finish coverage is available through Xfinity.tv, which has apps available on the Android Market and on iTunes.
In most cases, live-anchored coverage begins at 5 a.m. Eastern Time(2 a.m. Pacific) and live coverage of the ceremony starts at around 6 a.m. ET (3 a.m. PT). That's pretty early for most people, so what to do if you don't want to wake up hours before dawn?
Amazon unveiled its new cloud-based music service today, which will provide users with up to 5GB of free, online music storage.
The company is offering Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web, and Amazon Cloud Player for Android, all of which will let users upload their music collections to the cloud and access those songs on Android phones and tablets, as well as the PC and Mac.
No word on an iOS version, but Amazon recently launched an Amazon Appstore, so it's focus at the moment is likely on the Google-owned platform.
Amazon will provide users with 5GB of free storage. Those who purchase an album via Amazon's MP3 store will get 20GB of free storage for one year; albums purchased via Amazon MP3 are automatically added to Amazon's cloud service and do not count against a user's storage quota. Additional storage plans start at $20 per year, Amazon said.
Users can upload songs in AAC or MP3 formats, and can select certain songs, artists, or albums, or just upload the entire music library.
"The launch of Cloud Drive, Cloud Player for Web and Cloud Player for Android eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music," Bill Carr, vice president of Movies and Music at Amazon, said in a statement.
Apple just released iOS 4.3.1 to the world, aiming to fix things like iPod touch display issues, AV-out troubles, problems with enterprise apps, and a few other bugs that were hanging around. If you've been running iOS 4.3 and have been experiencing a few niggles, chances are this'll clear that up. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iTunes and grab the update.
"Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of pictures and still imagining it," he said.
Bon Jovi's music can be found on iTunes, but apparently, he's none too thrilled about it.
"God, it was a magical, magical time," the "Livin' on a Prayer" singer continued. "I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: 'What happened?' Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business."
At Apple's iPad 2 reveal last week in San Francisco, CEO Steve Jobs said iOS 4.3 would be available on March 11, the same day the second-generation tablet will go on sale. In anticipation of the update to the mobile platform as well as the new tablet, Apple released iTunes 10.2 last Friday. Then on Tuesday, Apple handed out iTunes 10.2.1, which contained the exact same description as iTunes 10.2.
The update is seemingly identical to the 10.2 version of iTunes, which has an improved version of Home Sharing that lets users stream content from their iTunes library between computers and to an iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM), or iPod touch (third and fourth generation), as long as the device running the iOS 4.3—which means users will have to wait until Friday to take advantage of beefed-up Home Sharing.
At Apple's iPad 2 reveal last week, CEO Steve Jobs said iOS 4.3 would be available for download on March 11, the same day the updated iPad goes on sale. But according to BGR, Apple will release the newest version of its mobile operating system at around 1 p.m. EST today.
The update brings a variety of new features, including enhanced Safari performance, iTunes home sharing, AirPlay improvements, slider switch rotation, and a personal hotspot for the iPhone 4. Apple iOS 4.3 will support all iPads, third- and fourth-generation iPod touch, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS.
- Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.3.
- Improved Home Sharing. Browse and play from your iTunes libraries with Home Sharing on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.3.
Not much has changed, but as you can see, the iOS 4.3 functionality is there, and Home Sharing is gonna be awesome with AirPlay.
On Tuesday, Apple announced a subscription billing platform for the App Store, overcoming perhaps the biggest hurdle for the success of iPad periodicals.
The plan lets customers purchase subscriptions to iOS-supported newspapers, magazines, music, and other content in one click. Previously, customers had to manually purchase and download issues on an individual basis.
Publishers set their own price and lengths of subscriptions. Then, customers can click on the length of their desired subscriptions and automatically receive a charge to their iTunes accounts.
"We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, in a statement.
Before The Daily appeared on the iPad last week, none of the magazines or newspapers could offer subscriptions from their own apps. Apple had a long dispute with publishers that prevented the feature to be added. On the one hand, publishers wanted to keep a direct line between themselves and their customers, to get the full amount from each subscription, and to get user details such as their gender, sex and location in many cases. Apple however wanted in-app subscriptions to go through their systems. Now, it seems Apple has decided that both should be offered. Apps will be able to offer subscriptions, but the publishers will be forced to offer those subscriptions through iTunes as well. Of course, it's likely that most users will go the iTunes route, and that has the publishers complaining. On the good side however, it means iPhone and iPad users will finally be able to get in-app subscriptions to whichever newspaper or magazine they read.
There is no question that mobile phone payments are very popular, and that many of us can operate our entire financial lives from our mobile phones. Apps from PayPal, and Square can turn our iPhones into portable financial centers, allowing us to exchange money quickly and easily. These new applications are creating opportunities and benefits that will shape the future of mobile payments.
Predictions about the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 are beginning to heat up, and much of the talk has been about the implementation of NFC (near field communication) technology. What we haven't heard about so far, is anything about native intergration of mobile payment solutions from Apple and Google.
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