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.
If you've got the Verizon iPhone on your mind, you're gonna wanna be sure to grab iTunes 10.1.2, available now from Apple. Aside from bug fixes and performance updates, this version of iTunes carries CDMA iPhone support with it. Fire up Software Update now to nab it.
If you're an iTunes user, it's time to upgrade once more, as Apple just released iTunes 10.1.1 into the wild. The update seems mostly aimed at fixing a few bugs, so don't expect anything fancy to show up, okay?
Is 30 seconds enough time to get a feel for a song? If you said no, Apple agrees with you — today the company is rolling out 90-second previews for some songs on iTunes.
Prior to today, song previews were limited to half a minute, and for many songs they still will be. The 90-second previews are limited to songs that are more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length. Songs shorter than that retain their 30-second samples.
For example, looking at iTunes' most recent high-profile addition, the Beatles catalog, "Let It Be" (4:03) and "Hey Jude" (7:11) both get the 90-second treatment while "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (2:26) and "Love Me Do" (2:21) give listeners just 30 seconds to decide if they want to make a purchase.
The extension has been expected for over a month. Reports in early November said that Apple had sent a letter to the music labels informing them of the move, and that it was incumbent on them to opt-out if they didn't support the move. A cursory sampling of music from artists on all four of the major labels indicates none opted out.
For now the 90-second previews appear limited to the U.S. iTunes store. In the letter to the labels, Apple said it was believed that longer previews for some songs would lead to more sales, an assertion supported by research from Robert Morris University.
Wanna finally get in on that AirPlay video action with the new Apple TV? iTunes 10.1 is what you need, and Apple just pushed the update out a little while ago. You can download it right now. Oh, and the release also includes iOS 4.2 support, which should be launching sometime within the next week or so.
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Awkwaaaard. Looks like proper capitalization of iOS didn't make it onto the code redemption page in iTunes. All joking aside, it's just odd to see an error like this one from Apple.
As we mentioned in our Windows Phone 7 review, Microsoft has given Mac users a way to sync their phones and Zune devices with their computers. Windows Phone 7 devices have no Zune client to sync with a Mac, which would have left Mac owners out in the cold. However, Microsoft is releasing the Windows Phone 7 Connector software for Mac, allowing Mac users to sync content from iTunes, iPhoto, and other areas of their Mac, directly to their Windows Phone 7 and Zune handhelds. Hey...it's better than nothing. We give you a look at how it all works in this episode.
We know you’ve been waiting for our Apple TV review, and we’ve been playing with Apple’s second try at a home theater set top box for about ten days now, and figured it was time to report back with our thoughts. The thing is, it really is a lot of the same in terms of usability and interface. There aren’t many changes (yet!) to that side of things, despite things being very different under the hood. The new Apple TV is a lot smaller, and runs iOS 4, and is priced at just $99. It’s centered around a focus on renting movies and TV shows rather than purchasing them. It’s also got Netflix integration and the new AirPlay functionality that allows you to fling video and audio content from your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch right to the Apple TV with ease.
Rather than go into this as a full review, we figured we’d focus instead on five aspects of the new Apple TV that we like, and five things about the Apple TV that we hate. So let’s jump into five things we like about the Apple TV:
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