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Apple releases third watchOS 4.3 developer beta, new public betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3

Apple has released a third watchOS 4.3 beta along with new public betas for iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3, matching the third developer betas released yesterday. While the release notes are sparse, it appears from the betas that watchOS 4.3 will be bringing iPhone music control back to the Apple Watch and allow Nightstand mode to work in portrait orientation. The latest beta also appears to resolve issues with weather information in Greater China and accuracy in the battery complication.

Apple releases iOS 11.2.6 with Telugu character fix, watchOS 4.2.3 and tvOS 11.2.6

Apple has released iOS 11.2.6 with an update that fixes issues with third-party apps connecting to external accessories and a bug causing the Indian Tegulu character to crash Messages and other apps. Apple had fixed the special character bug in the iOS 11.3 beta, but seems to have pushed out the fix early to keep users from having to wait for the next big release. A macOS 10.13.3 update fixes the Tegulu problem for Mac users, and Apple also released tvOS 11.2.6 for Apple TV and watchOS 4.2.3 for Apple Watch.

YouTube for Apple TV gets a major facelift

Google has released significant update to YouTube for Apple TV, overhauling the user interface with an entirely new design that’s more resemblant of the user interface found in the YouTube apps on other platforms, and a departure from the more traditional Apple TV UI layout that YouTube had been following since the days before the tvOS App Store was unveiled two years ago.

Apple releases second watchOS 4.3 developer beta alongside new public iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 betas

Apple has released a second watchOS 4.3 beta along with new public betas for iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3, matching the second developer betas released yesterday. While the release notes are sparse, it appears from the betas that watchOS 4.3 will be bringing iPhone music control back to the Apple Watch and allow Nightstand mode to work in portrait orientation.

ESPN to launch $4.99/month standalone streaming service

Disney is set to launch its first direct-to-consumer streaming service in the form of ESPN Plus, providing access to over 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year from all of the usual leagues such as MLB, NHL, and MLS. Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger told CNBC that the service will also “include an array of live programming that is not available on current channels” and that it will roll out in the spring alongside a redesign of Disney’s ESPN app. The new service will be priced at $4.99/month and will be available for both iOS and the Apple TV when it launches. [via Engadget]

Apple now selling refurbished iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple TV 4K units

Apple has now begun selling refurbishing iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and Apple TV 4K models on its U.S. online store for the first time, offering customers a chance to pick up these units at about a 10 percent discount as compared to the prices of brand new models.

Apple loses bid to HBO for new J.J. Abrams show

HBO has beat out Apple in a bid to produce J.J. Abrams latest sci-fi drama project, according to The Hollywood Reporter. HBO got the nod for a straight-to-series order for the new sci-fi thriller, which will be called “Demimonde,” with sources suggesting that Abrams made the call as a result of his impression with what the premium cable network did with “Westworld.” While the move may indicate that despite Apple’s strong original content ambitions and deep pockets, its status as a Hollywood newcomer may hamper its efforts in signing major productions, it’s also worth noting that Apple has already successfully picked up an original sci-fi show from Ronald D. Moore of “Battlestar Galactica” and “Outlander” fame. Sources also suggested to The Hollywood Reporter that Apple’s bid made may never have been under serious consideration in the first place.

YouTube TV now available on Apple TV

Google has announced that its live TV service, YouTube TV, is now available for Apple TV users in the U.S.  For a base $35 monthly cost, the service provides subscribers with more than 40 live channels from major networks such as CBS, Fox, NBC, and CBS, as well as sports networks such as ESPN and Fox Sports. The service also includes unlimited cloud DVR storage.

Apple releases first watchOS 4.3 beta, iOS 11.3 + tvOS 11.3 public betas

Apple has followed up the release of the first iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 developer betas earlier this week with the first beta of watchOS 4.3. Featuring a build number of 15T5165e, the very sparse release notes list only basic background information and “No known issues” providing no insight into what’s actually changed in the newest version.

Tablo OTA DVR update adds advanced recording features

Nuvyyo has released a software update for its Tablo Over-The-Air DVR (iLounge rating: A-) bringing the more advanced and flexible scheduling and recording management tools that many users have been waiting for. The new features, which are rolling out as part of a firmware update to all Tablo DVR models, will allow users to adjust start and stop times for recordings, choose to keep only a specific number of episodes on a per-program basis, and choose which channel to record from when multiple channels are airing a given program. The new advanced recording features will be available to all customers with an active Tablo guide subscription once their devices have been updated to the latest firmware (2.2.18), which is being rolled out gradually over the next week, and can be accessed using most of Tablo’s apps, including the Apple TV and iOS apps, as well as the Safari-optimzied web app for Mac users. Full details can be found on the company’s blog.

Apple releases first iOS 11.3, tvOS 11.3 developer beta

Apple has released the first betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 to registered developers, with the improvements previewed earlier today, specifically new Animoji and the promised improvements to battery health monitoring resulting from the recent iPhone slowdown controversy. iOS 11.3 also brings back the Messages in iCloud feature that was promised for the initial iOS 11 release, with the release notes indicating that it’s currently “for testing and evaluation purposes” and adds that the feature will be automatically enabled — in the beta at least — for users who already have two-factor authentication and iCloud Backup enabled. In addition, the new iOS version also adds a new security protocol that will require users to re-enter their device passcode to authorize a Lighting-connected USB accessory if it has not been connected to the device for more than a week.

Apple, Intel downplay performance cost of fixing Meltdown, Spectre vulnerabilities

After addressing vulnerabilities in processors that left iOS and Mac devices open to security issues nicknamed Meltdown and Spectre, Apple is now convinced than the fixes rolled out to remedy the problems will have “little to no performance impact,” Reuters reports. Apple admitted that its devices were vulnerable to exploits that “abuse speculative execution to access privileged memory —including that of the kernel — from a less-privileged user process such as a malicious app running on a device,” but said fixes in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 already help defend against Meltdown — even though there have been no documented exploits affecting customers. Since the exploits would require a malicious app to be downloaded, the recommended course of action is to scrutinize apps before downloading and only download from trusted sources. Intel — the company that produces the affected microprocessors — said Apple had seen no significant performance drop off from security updates and that any impact should be mitigated over time with future updates.

Apple TV now listed on Amazon after Prime Video app release

After the release of Amazon’s Prime Video tvOS app, both the Apple TV 4K and fourth-generation Apple TV are now for sale on Amazon’s site. The price is the same as buying directly from Apple, but the devices had been banned from Amazon for more than two years because Apple refused to offer Amazon’s streaming content on tvOS. For some reason all of the Apple TV models listed on Amazon are showing as temporarily out of stock, so it’s unclear if shoppers will be able to land one from Amazon in time for Christmas.

Amazon Prime Video app rolling out on Apple TV in US, Canada, UK, other parts of Europe

The much-hyped Amazon Prime Video app is rolling out to Apple TV for users in the US, Canada, UK and several other European countries. The app lets Prime subscribers watch Amazon’s original programming and other available content, features a watchlist for queuing up shows and movies, and supports the Siri Remote’s ability to search for content while in the app. News of the app’s pending release leaked out a day early after a Reddit user manually turned his device’s clock ahead a day and stumbled onto a story about Amazon Prime Video as the top feature in the App Store’s “Today” section. Apple quickly pulled the post, but not before it had been seen by plenty of others.

Apple reportedly integrating streaming sports into TV app next month

Apple’s TV app is set to gain live streaming sports from ESPN next month, 9to5Mac reports. A source from a “major sports network” confirmed the launch date, claiming the update will arrive as part of iOS 11.2 on or around December 4, as well as being enabled on tvOS 11.2 at the same time. The app will gain live games from ESPN along with live scores and game clocks in a single interface. The app also includes the ability to receive live alerts for close games so users can switch back and forth. The feature is not yet live in any of the iOS 11.2 apps we’ve seen so far.

Apple releases iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, tvOS 11.1

Apple has released iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, and tvOS 11.1, featuring some notable improvements. The new version of iOS brings back the 3D Touch gesture for multitasking, much more fluid scroll-to-top animations and more than 70 new emoji options. The new watchOS gets an improved Music app with full iCloud Music Library access and support for Apple Music and Apple Radio streaming on the Series 3, taking the next step toward making the Apple Watch less dependent on the iPhone. GymKit support for syncing the Apple Watch with smart gym equipment also landed, but the accompanying equipment hasn’t made its way out into the world yet. The update for Apple TV was the least impressive, offering only bug fixes and no real new features.

YouTube TV rolling out Apple TV app ‘in the coming weeks’

After launching its own cable subscription service a few months ago, YouTube will soon be rolling out a YouTube TV app for Apple TV, The Verge reports. The package includes network broadcasters ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox alongside major cable networks like ESPN, MSNBC and Fox News, and the new TV app will include some things the mobile version doesn’t, like an in-depth program guide to see what’s in in the next few hours the the ability to browse a transparent sidebar of other channels while keeping on the show you’re watching.

Apple adds SiriKit support for HomePod in iOS 11.2 beta, releases betas for watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2

With the release of iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 and watchOS 4.1 likely imminent given the limited updates in the last round of betas, Apple has moved on and released betas of iOS 11.2, watchOS 4.2, and tvOS 11.2 to developers. The beta version of iOS 11.2 is of particular interest as it adds SiriKit support for the upcoming HomePod speaker. In a blog post, Apple encouraged developers to make sure that their app’s use of SiriKit — which has been available since iOS 10 — is up to date. The HomePod will include support for Siri commands to third-party apps and send those requests over to a connected iPhone or iPad (where the app is actually hosted) for processing.

Apple releases fifth developer betas for iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a fifth set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers, the third release in under a week. The number for the latest iOS 11.1 beta is only one digit from the previous release, showing that Apple seems to be pushing out minor tweaks to its operating system for testing ahead of the iPhone X release next week. The release notes for both platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, and it’s unclear what new changes were made. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple’s corporate and retail employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas.

Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a fourth set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers. The release notes for both platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, although watchOS 4.1 adds Apple Music streaming capabilities to the Apple Watch Series 3, including support for iCloud Music Library and Apple Music radio stations. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple’s corporate and retail employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas.

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