Dr. Dre’s classic rap album “The Chronic” will make its streaming debut tomorrow on Apple Music, Rolling Stone reports. The 1992 album joins Taylor Swift’s “1989” as another big-name album currently only streaming on Apple Music. Years of legal battles even kept “The Chronic” off Dre’s own Beats Music. Dre was granted proceeds from digital sales of the album in a 2011 court victory, but the album is still unavailable for purchase on iTunes and was notably absent when Beats Music launched in 2014, despite falling under the umbrella of Beats Electronics’ deal with Apple.
Apple has pushed up its usual release time by a few hours for iOS 8.4 ahead of Apple Music’s release Tuesday, Apple Insider reports. In a now-deleted blog post, Apple Music’s senior director Ian Rogers said iOS 8.4 will become available at 8 a.m. Pacific Time (11 a.m. EST) to allow users to use Apple Music and hear the inaugural broadcast of Apple’s Beats 1 radio programming. Beats 1 will start its global broadcasting with former BBC DJ Zane Lowe an hour later.
An Apple Music Facebook event encourages users to update to iOS 8.4 and directs them to another site spelling out requirements for using the streaming service. The new Music app in iOS 8.4 is needed to run Apple Music on an iPhone, which can then sync with an Apple Watch to provide playback “even when your paired iPhone is not nearby.” New Apple Music users with existing iTunes libraries will have access to their entire collection through iCloud, and Beats Music users opening the Beats Music app on an iOS device tomorrow will be prompted to join Apple Music, where their saved playlists and albums will be made available.
Apple also promises to roll out Apple Music to Android this fall, and Apple spokesman Tony Neumayr confirmed to Buzzfeed that Apple Music is coming to Sonos devices “before the end of the year” after previous reports claimed that the service wouldn’t be available on Sonos. Beats Music, which is owned by Apple, works on Sonos, but iTunes Radio and many other features that have been folded into Apple Music still don’t. More music updates are on the horizon as well, with iTunes head Eddy Cue tweeting that work is underway on expanding the size of iTunes Match libraries from 25,000 tracks to 100,000 tracks.
Today in iLounge Deals you can get a $70 credit toward a Casetify Apple Watch Band for only $50. Providing nearly endless custom possibilities for your wrist, these comfortable and sweat-resistant Apple Watch bands can be customized with a style for every lifestyle, occasion, and mood, and can easily be switched out for your current band. You can use Instagram of Facebook photos as backgrounds for your band design, apply any three different layouts or nine different filters, and select from hundreds of designs.
Apple has started production on new iPhone models that include Force Touch, Bloomberg reports. Sources with knowledge of the matter said the new iPhones have the same 4.7” and 5.5” measurements as the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models. Higher-volume manufacturing is scheduled to ramp up as soon as next month, with assembly expected to go smoothly, because the phones also have the same exterior design as the 6 and 6 Plus. The only potential problem is the supply and yield of the new Force Touch-capable displays, which could cause production snags or influence the timing of the new iPhone’s release, one source said. Apple didn’t comment on the story, but it was reported months ago that Apple would be adding Force Touch to new iPhone models, and iOS 9 will support the new technology.
Cooking Dash 2016 (free) — While some may feel that the “Dash” series of time management games have begun to get a bit stale, it’s hard to deny that they can be pretty addictive for a lot of users, and as much as the style remains the same, the developers have done a pretty good job of keeping most of the new entries feeling pretty fresh and interesting. This latest instalment is no exception, as Flo moves on to a reality TV setting as a celebrity chef, moving through a variety of restaurant environments in front of a live studio audience. The play concept remains much the same as in previous versions, with the goal being to tap around the screen to make Flo pick up and prepare items in that are being requested by customers. In this case there’s a collection of a half-dozen ingredients that can be chopped, breaded, grilled, and/or fried in various configurations, as well as toppings and the classic coffee machine. Ingredients and equipment can be upgraded by spending in-game currency, and of course the game takes the “freemium” approach to encourage players to spend real money to expedite upgrades, although it’s still quite fun as a casual game without having to spend any money at all. A “prep kitchen” adds an extra dimension to the play, allowing you to unlock and create special recipes as you progress through the game that can attract VIPs to your counter to earn extra bonuses. If you’re a fan of this time management game genre, this one is most definitely worth a look and you’ll probably find it hard to put down.
Disney Gif (free) — When Apple announced support for third-party keyboards in iOS 8, Disney was certainly not anywhere on the list of developers we would have expected to come to the table, yet here they are with Disney Gif, a keyboard replacement for your iOS device with an official, licensed collection of animated Disney artwork. Of course the Disney classics are all here: Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and more, but there’s a nice additional bonus since Disney now owns the rights to Star Wars – you also get a collection of about two-dozen animated gifs of classic scenes covering everything from A New Hope to the modern animated features. A set of about three dozen GIFs from various ABC shows is also included, since of course that’s a Disney property too. Gifs are presented in the keyboard view and can be copied to the clipboard with a tap, and then pasted into a Messages conversation or email (or anywhere else that can take pasted graphics), or you can tap-and-hold to see a larger preview of any given image. If you’re into sending animated GIFs in your conversations, it’s a fun little app and the officially sanctioned content means that you’re getting proper, high-quality GIFs compared to many of the other solutions out there. The app itself is free, but of course Disney is selling premium content packs as in-app purchases for around $1 each, and although the selection is currently pretty limited (there are only two “Frozen” emoji packs as of this writing), it’s pretty likely it will be expanded in the future.
During a press event held in Toronto last night, Parrot provided demos and additional details on its new Minidrone lineup for 2015. Originally announced on the company’s French site earlier this month, Parrot has now confirmed that all of the new models will be arriving for sale in the U.S. and Canada this fall. While the complete lineup consists of thirteen visually distinct Minidrones, the models are grouped into three general product categories: the ground-based “Jumping” drones, the classic “Airborne” drones, and the new water-based “Hydrofoil” drones.
Apple has updated the terms of its AppleCare+ Protection Plan for the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Apple Watch, now providing coverage for units where the battery retains less than 80% of its original capacity, an update from the previous terms that provided coverage at only the same 50% battery depletion. In situations where the battery will not hold a charge of at least 80% of its “original specifications” Apple will either “repair the defect at no charge” or simply exchange the device with a new or equivalent-to-new replacement unit. The updated policy includes all iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Apple Watch models, however it only takes effect for new AppleCare+ coverage purchased after April 9th, 2015; AppleCare+ plans purchased prior to that date continue under the original terms in effect at the time the coverage was purchased. [via MacRumors]
Today in iLounge Deals you can pick up a Natural-Wood Apple Watch Charging Stand for only $19.99. Available in either walnut or oak grain, this genuine wood charging stand provides cable routing to keep your charging cords organized and out of sight while elegantly displaying your Apple Watch. The MagSafe charge seamlessly integrates into the stand’s angled shelf, and you can easily wrap the cable and charge in for travelling.
A profile of Zane Lowe — the influential radio DJ hired to be one of the top “creative minds” behind Apple Music’s Beats 1 — has also revealed a number of high-profile musicians who will be hosting their own shows on the Internet radio station. The New York Times reports Elton John will host “Elton John’s Rocket Hour,” and Dr. Dre will host “The Pharmacy.” Other Beats 1 hosts will include Drake and Pharrell — who have already been linked to Apple Music — as well as St. Vincent, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, and British electronic duo Disclosure. Oddly, Jaden Smith — actor and son of Will Smith (and notable tweeter) — will also host a Beats 1 show.
As you can see, iHome's SoundFlask iBT32 ($100) is a Bluetooth speaker styled to mimic, yes, a (rather large) flask. On the front of the SoundFlask are a speaker grille and four LED battery indicators. The rear is covered with soft-touch faux leather. A simple set of controls is covered by silicone on top; another silicone flap covers a charging port, audio-in port, and a USB charging port on the bottom. The SoundFlask's body is trimmed with some chromed plastic to complete the look. In the box, a charging cable, AC adapter, and audio cable are included. We received this and a smaller version of the SoundFlask, the iBT12, but only considered the larger iBT32 version for purposes of this review.