If you've got an Apple developer account, you should know that Apple has released iOS 7.1 beta 5 build 11D5145e, and you can go and grab it right now. Of course, you can log in to the Developer Center to manually grab the file, or head into the Settings > General > Software Update section on your iOS device for the over-the-air install. As far as new changes, the release notes point to international Siri improvements:
"This seed adds new natural-sounding Siri voices for English (Australia), English (United Kingdom), Japanese, and Chinese (Mandarin – China)"
Along with the new iOS software, Apple has also released new betas of Xcode 5.1, and the Apple TV software as well.
If you were paying close attention to the changes that Apple made to the Apple Store Online overnight, you would have noticed that, for the first time in its history, the Apple TV has its own section in the Store. Previously, the device had been relegated out of the way, buried in the iPad Accessories section. Odd, sure, since the Apple TV is hardly an accessory for the iPod at all, save for the fact that they can work together over AirPlay, but where else was Apple to put a product that wasn't meant to be featured? After all, the Apple TV wasn't a real business according to Apple--it was just a "hobby." Something the company dabbled in and played with, pulling the string to see where it would lead. Let's be clear: Apple has ambitious TV plans. The company has just been using the Apple TV as a research project. While it has been available for purchase for many years, Apple never advertises it. Not on television, radio, print, or web. So, the fact that here in 2014, seven years after first going on sale, the Apple TV now has its own dedicated section on the Apple Store (with AppleCare, a refurb section, and dedicated accessories) must mean that something bigger is happening, right? Well, where there is smoke, there's fire.
During CES, WWE announced the ambitious WWE Network project, a service that will see live 24/7 programming paired with a vast on-demand content library for $9.99 in what's considered a first-of-its-kind over-the-top service. WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer, Michelle Wilson, announced the vast number of hardware partners and devices that will be able to access the Network when it launches on February 24th, and they included iOS devices, Android devices, Roku, Kindle Fire tablets, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Playstation 4. Later this summer Xbox One and Smart TV platforms get added to the list.
This left many wondering if the Apple TV would support the new venture. As I had noted previously here, as well as in an audio hotline on PWInsider, if you own an iOS device or Mac, you'll be able to AirPlay WWE Network content directly to the Apple TV. This is how the UFC Fight Pass supports Apple's set-top box. However, it seems that the WWE Network will, in fact, get a dedicated Apple TV channel.
I got behind-the-scenes at Microsoft's Turn 10 Studios to bring you a look at the team that develops Forza Motorsport. You'll hear from Turn 10 head Dan Greenawalt about that it takes to build a next-generation racing game for Xbox One launch, and I go one-on-one with Turn 10's best Forza player in a battle for supremacy (and I'm not that good...)
You can pick up Forza Motorsport 5 from Amazon.
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Google just announced that it will acquire Nest, the company that sells the popular and impressive connected Smart Thermostat and Protect smoke alarm devices, for $3.2 billion. With the deal, Nest founders Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers will join Google, bringing the two men who pretty much brought the iPod to life into Google's clutches.
"They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now–thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe," said Google CEO Larry Page in a statement. "We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!"
Google says that Nest will continue to operate independently, and Nest says that the customer data will be kept separate from the rest of Google data mining. We've seen similar promises from other companies Google has purchased in the past, and many of them were broken. We'll see how this one pans out. The acquisition is now pending regulatory review, and will likely take a few months to close.
2013 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, while the Monster Tuxedo DNA headphones proved popular as well. Other products that made the list include Sonos Playbar, Microsoft's white Xbox One, and a few others.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2013, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3 now available:
Anticipation for Apple's newest desktop operating system, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, trumped all other news here on Gear Live in 2013!
Sure, we've given you a list of our top 10 most popular stories of 2013, but we figured we'd go a bit more broad than that. We also thought it would be interesting to give you a look at the top ten most read stories on this site this year, period, regardless of what year they were posted. We must say, we're just as surprised as you are at what did (and didn't) make the list! For example, you guys seem to really like Apple. Here we go:
- Sleeptracker Watch review: This one focuses on a watch that tracks your sleep data and aims to wake you up when you are in your lightest phase of sleep. The result is that you wake up feeling more rested, and more refreshed.
- Flash on iPhone is just around the corner: This five-year-old article made it's way back after being linked to by John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Since then we've learned that just because it's in testing behind closed doors, doesn't mean that it's going to make it's way to public release. Also, John, why couldn't you have linked to when we broke what was the biggest Apple software leak of the decade?
- Mod your Xbox without a mod chip: This is an all-time favorite of our readers. It dropped out of the top 10 last year, but has reappeared for 2013.
- Apparently that Xbox 360 Red Ring of Doom issue hasn't been fixed
- OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3 now available
- How To Mod Your iPhone on Windows Using iBrickr
- Apple releases iOS 7 beta 2 with iPad support: iOS 7 beta 1 supported the iPhone and iPod touch only. When beta 2 arrived with iPad support, many were excited.
- TiVo out-of-home remote streaming arrives on Roamio Plus, Roamio Pro DVRs: We'd been waiting for this feature for a long, long time, and it is finally here.
- Exclusive details on the next Nike+ FuelBand: We got exclusive details on the new Nike+ FuelBand months before its release.
- iPhone 5s review: Our review of Apple's flagship smartphone for 2013.
We've also compiled a list of the stories that have dropped out of the top ten between 2012 and 2013, which you can check out after the jump, and don't miss the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013 either!
How does listening to Warren Ellis speak under an avocado tree in Hollywood sound to you?
Transmetropolitan, Red, and Iron Man fans in the greater Los Angeles area have the chance to witness this come Sunday, January 26 from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets range between $20-$50, which includes some light drinks and snacks - not a bad deal at all! The British author is expected to "tell stories about the world we live in now (and where we’re going in the future)." Get tickets soon, as the event is fairly intimate, capping at around 40 people.
In addition to penning the aforementioned comics, Ellis has written for Vice, Wired UK, and Reuters.
Read More | The Farmhouse
It's Christmas morning, and it's a Wednesday, which means you have the whole day to play with your new toys (barring any crazy family functions that aim to pry you away!) while taking a day off. We just wanna know one thing--what'd you get? Anything that was listed on our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide? Anything obscure? Any straight up ridiculous gifts that seemingly came out of left field? We wanna hear it all! Lay it on us in the comments!
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