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Spotify penalizing artists who release Apple Music exclusives

Spotify has been penalizing artists who release exclusive content on Apple Music, Bloomberg reports. According to inside sources, musicians who release new material exclusively on Apple Music have been told that their tracks will not be included on featured playlists, and are finding their songs buried in Spotify search results. The practice of doing this has apparently been ongoing for about a year, but some sources suggest that Spotify’s efforts have escalated over the past few months. Further, the practice doesn’t seem to be restricted to Apple Music; artists who have done exclusive releases on Tidal have also been retaliated against, according to sources.

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Apple releases new round of iOS 10 and tvOS 10 betas

Apple has released the seventh public beta of iOS 10 through its Apple Software Beta Program, continuing enhancements to Music, Maps, Messages, and News. Users who have already signed up for the Apple Software Beta Program should be able to log in and download the new versions now; users who haven’t signed up can do so at the same site. The company also released the corresponding developer beta for iOS 10 along with a seventh developer beta of tvOS 10. As usual, the latest round of betas is intended to allow developers to continue working on the new features and APIs first debuted at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month, and the beta cycle continues to ramp up as the new operating systems move closer to final release, with the latest iOS 10 developer beta representing the third new beta released in the past two weeks.

Review: Western Digital My Cloud (OS 3)

Despite the popularity of cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive, increasing security and privacy concerns are fueling a desire by many users to keep their important data completely under their own control, rather than trusting it to another company's cloud. Although storing data on your computer or external hard drive at your home or office can certainly make you feel more secure about where you're keeping your data, in an era of iPhones and iPads, that often creates a tradeoff between having access to your important data while on the go and trusting it to a third-party cloud provider. Western Digital's My Cloud ($150-$380) attempts to bridge this gap, providing the best of both worlds in the form of an external network attached storage (NAS) device that keeps all of your data locally stored under your own control, while providing remote access through the company's web portal and companion iOS app. While My Cloud has been around for a while as a simple NAS device, the company's somewhat recent release of a My Cloud OS 3 update for the hardware and a significantly enhanced iOS app have made the device a much more capable replacement for services like Dropbox.

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Report: 2017 iPhone to eliminate home button

Lending credence to previous rumors and speculation, sources have told Bloomberg that Apple is working on a “major redesign” of the iPhone for 2017 that will remove the Home button and focus “more heavily on the display.” Back in May, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber revealed “scuttlebutt” that the 2017 iPhone would feature an “all-new form factor” getting rid of the top and bottom edges and incorporating the Touch ID sensor behind the glass. Separate reports also suggested Apple is working on an all-glass casing for the 2017 model.

Apple to add payment technology to iPhone for transit passes, Apple Pay in Japan

Apple is planning to release new technology in the next generation iPhone that will support mobile payments and tap-to-pay for transit in Japan, Bloomberg reports. While most countries use payment terminals compatible with the NFC standard already used by Apple Pay in current iPhone models, Japanese systems use a Sony-designed technology known as FeliCa. Sources reveal that Apple plans to include this hardware technology in the next-generation iPhone, although the functionality could be held back until later depending on how Apple’s negotiations with Japan-based payment networks go. The feature would allow customers in Japan to store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones, which could then be tapped against entrance scanners in place of a physical card. Although the FeliCa chip is used across the board, there are still multiple providers of transit payment cards for different types of transit and regions within the county, and Apple intends to work with multiple providers to ensure maximum coverage for the feature. The FeliCa chip is also used by Japanese point-of-sale systems, so the move would allow Apple to effectively roll out Apple Pay in Japan as well.

Daily Deal: Password Boss Premium Lifetime Subscription

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Review: Distil Union Stanley Stand

Distil Union's Stanley is a flexible leather stand for iPhone. Mostly a maker of wallets and wallet iPhone cases, Stanley is a foray into something different for DU. Stanley is a simple stand — a flexible one-piece leather stand which comes in a variety of colors. (The "aqua" stand we received is a nice departure from all the black stands and docks we see regularly.) An iPhone can be docked in portrait or landscape mode, and a small hole in the back of the stand allows a Lightning cable to be passed through for charging. Distil Union also includes a 6' USB extension cable with Stanley. The stand can be folded up into a flatter shape when traveling to take up a small amount of space.

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Apple releases iOS 9.3.5 ‘security update’

Apple has released iOS 9.3.5, its third minor update in the past six weeks, coming only a little more than three weeks on the heels of the release of iOS 9.3.4. As with the prior release, the latest update appears to be another minor patch, with release notes merely describing it once again as “an important security update” that is recommended for all iOS 9 users. With iOS 10 expected to debut in the near future, iOS 9 updates will likely be limited to security patches such as these to accommodate older devices incapable of being updated to iOS 10.

Report: Apple developing its own Snapchat-style social video editing iOS app

Apple has been working on a new video sharing and editing application with a focus on social networking, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Sources familiar with Apple’s strategy suggest that the move is aimed at taking on apps such as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. The move would likely expand on new features in iOS 10’s new Messages app, which will bring new animated effects, stickers, and tools expandable via third-party App Store plug-ins — features clearly designed to bring the Messages app more into line with apps like Snapchat to appeal to a younger set of users.

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Apple announces Apple Music Festival lineup including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears + more

Apple has announced the complete lineup of artists that will be performing at this year’s Apple Music Festival, scheduled to run from Sept. 18-30. The event will be headlined by popular artists including Alicia Keys, Bastille, Britney Spears, Calvin Harris, Chance The Rapper, Elton John, Michael Bublé, OneRepublic, Robbie Williams and The 1975, with the full lineup announced today on Beats 1 by London’s Julie Adenuga. Apple Music subscribers will also be able to access exclusive Festival content such as playlists, artist news, and backstage interviews throughout the month of September, and subscribers will be able to watch the ten nights of performances both live and on-demand via any device supporting Apple Music.





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