Apple’s music service iTunes is being replaced
by Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV, the tech giant has announced at
the WWDC conference.
There had been speculation that Apple was planning to shutter the music
service it launched in 2001.
Apple also revealed a number of new privacy measures at its annual developer
conference in San Jose.
A new sign-in will be an alternative to logging into apps using social media
accounts, hiding the user’s email address and data.
iTunes will remain unchanged on Windows platforms.
The announcements were made at the WWDC conference, where the tech giant
outlines its software plans for the months ahead.
The tech giant announced several new privacy measures, building on last
year’s event where it pledged to jam Facebook’s tracking tools.
Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi: “Privacy
is a fundamental human right.”
The company is also launching a sign-in-with-Apple login, as an alternative
to logging in to a service using a social media account.
Using this login, users can choose to hide their email address, with Apple
creating a random alternative address which will forward to the real mailbox.
The next iteration of the iPhone’s operating system – iOS 13 – includes a
range of changes to its interface, as well as new functions.
The new Dark Mode enables iPhone apps to be viewed with a black background,
while the Apple Maps app will come with a virtual tour experience similar to
Google’s Street View.
Other key features include the option to silence unknown callers and block
senders within the Mail app, improved search in messages, and optimized battery
Apple has also made improvements to its language keyboards, including the introduction of new bilingual keyboards and typing predictions for Arabic, Hindi, Thai, Cantonese, Vietnamese and the 22 official Indian languages.
Beyonce’s fifth album has broken iTunes sales records, with 828,773 copies sold in just three days.
The majority of those sales came in the US, where it has racked up 617,213 sales since its release on Friday.
The tally broke Beyonce’s own first-week sales record, set by her second album B’day in 2006, which sold 541,000 copies across a full seven days.
Beyonce stealth-released the record exclusively on iTunes last Friday, surprising fans by unveiling 14 new songs and 17 videos without the usual build-up of radio play, marketing and magazine interviews.
Its success has been fuelled by a number of factors: By keeping the project secret, the star avoided leaks; while the inability to purchase individual tracks online meant fans had no choice but to pay for the whole album.
Beyonce’s fifth album has broken iTunes sales records, with 828,773 copies sold in just three days
Beyonce, 31, said the “visual album” was inspired by her memories of watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller video premiere in 1983.
The album was codenamed “Lily” by staff at her record label, Columbia, to avoid rumors spreading, and even key creative staff were kept in the dark about the release plans.
Reviews for the album were largely positive, with Billboard magazine praising Beyonce’s “creative audacity”.
Apple, which runs the iTunes store, said the album had broken its previous first-week sales record, set by Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience when it sold 580,000 in March.
The company has exclusive access to the album for a short period – thought to be a week. Physical copies of the record are expected in shops before Christmas.
Beyonce also went to number one in 104 countries, it reported.
Beyonce has surprised her fans by unexpectedly releasing her fifth album on iTunes overnight, with 14 new songs and 17 music videos.
The self-titled record is the follow-up to 2011’s 4, and features guest spots from her husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy.
“Surprise!” wrote Beyonce in a press release, adding she was “bored” of releasing music the traditional way.
“I am able to speak directly to my fans,” she continued.
Beyonce’s record is one of the few major releases of recent years not to leak in advance.
Many records are leaked during the manufacturing and distribution stage – but Beyonce’s record is currently exclusive to iTunes.
Beyonce has surprised her fans by unexpectedly releasing her fifth album on iTunes overnight
Physical copies only started pressing on Friday morning, and are expected in shops on December 21.
The instantaneous release follows a precedent set by David Bowie who, in January this year, came out of retirement by releasing a single with no prior warning.
However, Beyonce’s project is on a much larger scale, with every track on the album accompanied by its own music video.
Beyonce, 32, explained she had been inspired by her memories of watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller video premiere in 1983.
“I miss that immersive experience,” she said.
“Now people only listen to a few seconds of a song on their iPods and they don’t really invest in the whole experience.
“It’s all about the single, and the hype. I felt like, I don’t want anybody to get the message when my record is coming out.
“I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”
However, the album has had a troubled gestation period. It was widely expected to debut after Beyonce’s performance at the SuperBowl last February, but never appeared.
Beyonce’s Standing On The Sun, which previewed on tour and in an advertisement for H&M, failed to make the final cut. Grown Woman, which was heard in a Pepsi commercial earlier this year, only appears as a video.
Here you can find some of the best tips, tricks and ghoulish tools for this year’s Halloween.
According to Yahoo Search stats, Zombies are back at the top of the list of pop culture costumes. Look no further than your own smartphone for the start of a skin-puppet-palooza that puts you at the very center of this craze. Check out free apps Walking Dead (iTunes, Google Play), Zombiematic Camera (iTunes) and ZombieBooth (iTunes, Google Play). Each app uses chilling photo effects to transform you, your friends, even your pets, into a truly gruesome headshot that you can share with the (living) world.
If you want to bring even more undead action to life, take a look at Zombie apocalypse extravaganza World War Z. The newly released Blu-ray combo pack (around $20 on Amazon) includes an unrated version that was “too intense” for theaters — plus awesome behind-the-scenes footage that shows just how the blockbuster plague of corpse characters were made. You can leave it playing in the background of your Halloween happenings to create a “restless dead” effect, or use it to just get inspired.
Get all the Pin-spiration you need for everything else, from makeup tips, printable décor and even to braiinnnnn food on Pinterest. But if the edible eyeballs aren’t quite gory enough, just shuffle on back to your mobile device to add a pair of creepy peepers to just about anything via the Digital Dudz app (iTunes, Android). The animated 3-D gore this app brings to fright night is gut-rippingly great. You can make your costume to display the animation, or buy a Morphsuit (around $30) that comes with a special pouch to display the grisly scenes. There’s everything from an open-heart zipper wound exposing a still-beating heart to a scary clown face with moving eyes.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT WITH LESS CREEP AND MORE CUTE
Moving on from the stuff of nightmares to the stuff that can give parents nightmares – kids costumes. Here’s how to make sure they’re both stellar and safe. Electronics retailer RadioShack is demonstrating just how simple it is to make costumes stand out from the crowd, and in the dark, with a few simple DIY designs. Just follow the directions on this Hacky-Halloween how-to using EL Wire to make simple fairy wings appear to take flight, or set your little wizard aglow with some LEDs and a Battery Powered Inverter.
TRACK OR TWEET
A brand new combination of a QR coded bracelet and smartphone app called Scan Me Kidz helps you track down kids in seconds. With GPS, you can keep kids in sight on the app, while the QR code contains information that when scanned can get youngsters back home or even alert people of allergies and medical conditions.
Even without a bracelet, there are a handful of free smartphone tracking apps such as Mamabear (iTunes, Google Play) and Trick or Tracker (Amazon, Google Play, typically $4.99 but free on Halloween) that help keep a watchful eye on kids. Both apps let you see where your kids are at any time, and they both let parents create a digital fence to get alerts if kids go out of a pre-set area.
Apple has unveiled iOS7 revamp, a new look for the user interface of its smart device operating system, the first to be overseen by its design chief Jony Ive.
Jony Ive said the aim was to make the system look “cleaner” to help “elevate” users’ content.
It involves a shift away from skeuomorphism – the use of leather, wood and other real-world inspired textures and artifacts in apps.
A similar change has also been made to its OS X system for Mac computers.
Highlighting the new look of the firm’s Game Center app, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi joked: “We just completely ran out of green felt and wood – this has got to be good for the environment.”
Craig Federighi also showed off a parallax effect which means icons shift against the background image as an iPhone-user tilts their handset one way and another, based on feedback from the device’s accelerometer sensor.
“The new version is almost unrecognizable, which will make it polarizing,” said Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at the consultancy Ovum.
“Some people will love that their phone feels new and different, while others will be disoriented by the newness.
“Finding your Settings app is hard when the icon has totally changed, and the many people who easily get disoriented by their gadgets may well have a negative experience.
“On the other hand, this is a clear statement from Apple that it acknowledges the need to refresh the user interface and is willing to do something pretty dramatic.”
Apple has unveiled iOS7 revamp
Apple also announced iTunes Radio – a streaming music service offering access to themed stations which can be tailored according to a person’s listening history on iTunes, as well as tracks from specific bands – including unreleased exclusives – which they do not own.
The firm suggested it was a way for users to “discover new music”, and Apple will promote the ability to buy songs that a user likes via its store.
The feature is accessible via iOS 7’s music app and poses a challenge to LastFm, Pandora, Spotify and other similar products.
It comes a month after Google unveiled Play Music All Access, a similar facility for Android devices. But unlike the search firm’s pay-to-use model, Apple is making iRadio accessible without charge if users are willing to listen to adverts, as well as an ad-free option to users buying an iTunes Match subscription.
One music industry watcher suggested Apple’s move could prove disruptive in light of the fact the firm has 575 million iTunes accounts.
Other new features to iOS 7 include:
Automatic app updates
A swipe-up Control Center feature which brings together frequently used functions such as turning on Wi-Fi or bluetooth, and using a phone as a “flashlight”
The ability to carry out searches via Microsoft’s Bing service within the voice-controlled Siri app, which also features new voices
An anti-theft measure which requires a user to enter an associated ID and password before being able to deactivate a device’s Find My iPhone feature
Redesigned fonts to create the appearance of sharper text
About 37.4 million iPhones shipped worldwide in the January-to-March quarter according to market intelligence firm IDC, confirming its status as Apple’s biggest source of revenue.
Although that was a rise on the same period in 2012, the study indicates the firm’s smartphone market share slipped to 17.3% while Android’s grew to 75%, thanks in large part to Samsung’s success. It also indicated Apple is facing a similar trend in the tablet sector.
Apple’s products might still be more profitable, but IDC suggested it needed the refresh.
“People were getting a bit bored with the old design so Apple needed to make significant changes,” said IDC’s mobile device research director Francisco Jeronimo.
Apple said iOS 7 would be released to the public in the autumn.
Skyfall, the new James Bond theme sung by Adele, has topped the iTunes chart after being released online in the early hours of Friday morning.
It was number one within 10 hours of being released, overtaking last week’s official UK number one Gangnam Style.
The full single was released at 00:07 BST, after a 90 second clip was apparently leaked online this week.
The 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall – Daniel Craig’s third outing as 007 – is released in UK cinemas on 26 October.
Adele ended months of speculation over her involvement on Monday, when she posted a picture on Twitter, featuring the cover page of the sheet music for the Skyfall theme, bearing her name alongside that of longtime producer and co-writer Paul Epworth.
The “dark and moody” theme was intended to echo the narrative of the film.
Skyfall was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, and features a 77-piece orchestra.
Adele broke her silence on the track in an official message on the James Bond website on Monday: “When we recorded the strings, it was one of the proudest moments of my life.
“I’ll be back-combing my hair when I’m 60, telling people I was a Bond girl back in the day, I’m sure!”
Adele admitted she was a “little hesitant” about accepting the challenge because of the “instant spotlight and pressure” that came with a Bond song.
But, she said it ended up being a “no-brainer” after she fell in love with the script.
Angry Birds Space, the new version of the most downloaded game in history, has been launched on iTunes, Android, PC and Mac.
Angry Birds Space’s launch has been accompanied by a level of fanfare normally only seen around big Hollywood releases – including T-shirts, toys, TV shows on Nickelodeon, a companion book by National Geographic, and a tie-up with Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer.
Angry Birds has been downloaded 700 million times, and parent company Rovio is now estimated to be worth $8.8 billion, just two years after the game first launched.
Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, will stock limited-edition T-shirts, plush toys and snacks containing clues that unlock bonus levels of Angry Birds Space, which will be available beginning on Thursday in app stores, from where users download software applications.
The iTunes version is priced between $1 and $3 for an HD iPad version. The Android version is available free, supported by in-app adverts.
Peter Vesterbacka, marketing chief of the company behind the world’s most downloaded game said that Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds, sees itself as an entertainment brand, not just a games company.
“We want to make Angry Birds a permanent part of pop culture,” he said, comparing the brand to Nintendo’s Mario and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty. “We’re just getting started.”
Angry Birds Space, the new version of the most downloaded game in history, has been launched on iTunes, Android, PC and Mac
Angry Birds, in which the player uses a slingshot to catapult birds to destroy green pigs hidden in fortresses, has been downloaded more than 700 million times, and is the fastest-growing game on Facebook.
Rovio raised its profile hugely last year by hitching a game to the hit animated movie Rio, made by News Corp’s 20th Century Fox, even burying a clue to the game in the movie studio’s Super Bowl ad.
Rovio’s value has been estimated in recent media reports at up to $8.8 billion, little more than two years after it first released Angry Birds for the iPhone.
“It’s as good a guess as any,” said Peter Vesterbacka, comparing Rovio to Facebook games maker Zynga, which went public in December and has a market value of $9.5 billion.
Rovio has also signed up a top U.S. retailer to put its branded toys, books and T-shirts in dedicated areas of thousands of stores nationwide, timed to coincide with the launch of its new Angry Birds Space game this week.
The company also plans to open branded retail stores in China soon.
Rovio has about 300 staff, up from 50 a year ago, and has had to move out of central Helsinki to new, bigger headquarters next to mobile phone maker Nokia.
Peter Vesterbacka reiterated that Rovio was in no hurry for a public listing. Its last funding round was last year, when it raised $42 million from venture capital firms Accel, Atomico and Felicis Ventures.
He said Rovio had not needed the money and had raised the capital primarily to attract onto its board investors such as Atomico’s founder Niklas Zennstrom, a co-founder of Skype.
“This year we’ll be very busy, like we were last year, with building up the infrastructure,” said Peter Vesterbacka.
Apple has been accused by Whitney Houston fans of exploiting the late singer’s death by increasing the cost of her in-demand albums on iTunes.
Whitney Houston’s Ultimate Collection album, released in 2007, has increased by $4.70 to $12.60, according to Digital Spy.
It comes after Whitney Houston, whose most famous hits include I Will Always Love You and I Wanna Dance With Somebody, was found dead in her Los Angeles hotel room on Saturday afternoon at the age of 48.
Users reportedly complained they were unable to download the Ultimate Collection while it was given the new price.
Some music fans accused Apple of “cashing in” on the singer’s death, while others said the company should be “ashamed”, Digital Spy reported.
One customer said: “To say I am angry is an understatement and I feel it is just a case of iTunes cashing in on the singer’s death, which in my opinion is totally parasitic.
“The album itself is great so please don’t be put off purchasing it, just [know] that you will merely be lining some fatcat’s pocket before Whitney’s lifeless body is cold.”
Whitney Houston’s Ultimate Collection album, released in 2007, has increased by $4.70 to $12.60 on iTunes after the singer’s death, according to Digital Spy
Despite the increase in cost of her albums, Whitney Houston is expected to dominate the singles and album charts next week.
Whitney Houston is currently top of the iTunes’ chart, with her 1992 smash hit I Will Always Love You.
The spring release was a massive worldwide success, and a tie in with her hugely successful film with Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard.
Whitney Houston’s albums also dominated Amazon’s CD best seller chart on Sunday, with The Greatest Hits at No. 1 and seven other Houston-related albums – including the soundtracks to The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale – in the top ten.
The Greatest Hits’ also topped Amazon’s MP3 sales chart, and several of Whitney Houston’s other releases filled the digital top 40.
On iTunes, eight of Whitney Houston’s albums were listed on the top 100 album sales chart, with The Greatest Hits once again taking the No. 1 slot and both the original and deluxe versions of her eponymous 1985 debut charting.
Whitney Houston sold more than 170 million albums and singles worldwide over the course of her career, winning two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards along the way.
According to the latest reports, Whitney Houston’s body was found in the bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
Whitney Houston was allegedly in possession of prescription pills such as Xanax.