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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

News

Apple posts shipping deadlines for Dec. 24 delivery

Apple has posted holiday shipping deadlines on its online store to inform customers of when orders must be placed to receive products by Dec. 24. The site shows when iPads, iPhones, iPods, Apple TVs, Macs, and other select accessories must be ordered to ensure delivery by Christmas Eve, for both standard and next day shipping. Notably, customers only have a few days left to receive an iPad mini with Retina display by Christmas Eve, with Dec. 5 being the deadline. The iPad Air can be ordered up until Dec. 9, and the iPhone 5s must be ordered by Dec. 12 for pre-Christmas delivery. Apple’s online store is offering free shipping on all products through Dec. 22.

Yahoo Screen, PBS channels added to Apple TV

Yahoo Screen and PBS channels have both been added to Apple TV. Yahoo announced the addition of Yahoo Screen, a channel that features video from Yahoo, including Saturday Night Live, The Onion, Comedy Central, and Vogue, among others.

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PBS has also added a new channel to Apple TV. The app requires an activation code to be entered on a computer or portable device, and the creation of a free account. [via 9to5Mac]

Killer Duck Decals features Apple TV skins

Killer Duck Decals is featuring some really interesting Apple TV skins ($10) on its site. The skins fit over the entire Apple TV. Six designs are currently available.

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Nintendo fans might love the NES, SNES, Gamecube console skins, as well as the Portal-themed and Mario Question Block skins. A cartoony waffle skin is another option. [via Cult of Mac]

Apple TV software version 6.0.2 released

Alongside iOS 7.0.4, Apple has released version 6.0.2 of its Apple TV software, which is based upon the same iOS code. There do not appear to be any obvious changes to the interface in the update. The update should occur automatically, but can be manually pushed to the device through the Settings menu.

Apple TV software version 6.0.1 released

Apple has released version 6.0.1 of its Apple TV software. It’s currently unknown what changes have been made or what features may have been added at this point; updates are available through the Settings menu, General, then Software Updates. As a patch, the update should take less than a minute to download.

iMovie Theater channel added to Apple TV

Following the release of iMovie 2.0 for iOS, Apple has added a new iMovie Theater channel to Apple TV. The new iMovie Theater feature in iMovie lets users share home movie clips to any Apple device, which now includes the Apple TV.

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No software update is needed to add iMovie Theater to the Apple TV; the channel now appears automatically, having been pushed to devices through Apple’s servers. The new iMovie 2.0 for iOS is free with the purchase of a new iOS device, or as a free update to the previously purchased version.

Today’s Apple event to stream live on web, Apple TV

Today’s Apple event will be streamed live on Apple’s web site and on Apple TV. The event starts at 10 a.m. Pacific. This morning, the Apple Events icon popped up on the Apple TV main page, followed by the announcement on Apple.com.

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It’s expected that Apple will unveil a fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini with Retina display today. Recent speculation suggests that the company could also debut iPad covers, and other accessories are also likely for the new models.

Apple TV rolling out updated movie/TV pages

Apple is in the process of rolling out new movie and TV listing pages for the Apple TV. The new design adds extra banner graphics to the pages, and makes subtle changes to navigation within the pages. Updated pages are only available for certain listings at this time, and appear not to be identical in different countries.

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For movies, moving to the “Viewers also watched” line of box covers now begins the process of scrolling the page downwards, and for TV shows, the scrolling column of episodes on the right side of the screen is now nested and shorter than before. The changes collectively fill the screen with more art than before, as the Apple TV menus were historically heavier on black space, as shown in the included comparison screenshot below.

Apple plans iPad keyboard cover, new Apple TV not ready?

Apple is developing a new keyboard for the full-size iPad that “mimics” Microsoft’s Surface touch cover, according to a blog post from Jamie Ryan, who formerly worked for Apple in Developer Relations. Ryan writes that it’s “not clear whether the process is far enough along” to debut tomorrow, but a number of different keyboards have been tested; he speculates the keyboard could use Bluetooth 4.0 to connect. As Ryan also claims that other “cover like” accessories have been looked at, there’s a possibility that Apple’s “We still have a lot to cover” invitation for tomorrow’s event is a reference to this. He also writes that Apple believes that “the market for the large iPad is mainly professionals looking to work on it whereas the iPad mini is mainly content consumption.”

It also appears as if new Apple TV hardware won’t be debuting at tomorrow’s event, despite prior claims from MG Siegler, who tweeted last month that new Apple TV hardware would be unveiled in October, and in August claimed that a “television product” with a possible new way of interacting with the device could be released by November. Siegler now says that “the most recent whispers I have heard is that the Apple TV project has been delayed a bit.” While leaving open the possibility that there could be an updated Apple TV unit or software at tomorrow’s event, “the device with some sort of newfangled control system” doesn’t appear to be ready to ship.

Apple TV in Germany gets Vevo, NHL channels

Apple has added Vevo and NHL channels to Apple TV in Germany. Users will find the channels have been automatically added to the home screen. Vevo requires users to sign up for a free account, while the NHL channel requires a subscription. U.S. Apple TV users received the Vevo channel in August, and the NHL channel was added back in 2011. [via Macerkopf (translated link)]

Apple TV adds Major League Soccer, Disney Jr. channels

An over-the-air update for Apple TV has added two new channels to the device — Major League Soccer and Disney Junior. MLS has experienced a recent spike in popularity, and the new channel will let users watch live games and highlights.

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Disney Junior is the third Disney channel to hit Apple TV, joining the flagship Disney Channel and Disney XD. As one would might guess, Disney Junior is oriented toward younger viewers. It requires a cable provider-specific login, as did the prior Disney channels.

Apple TV 6.0 reposted, seemingly with iOS 7.0.2 inside

Apple TV has reposted its 6.0 software update. Interestingly, the update now appears to be based upon iOS 7.0.2, making Apple TV the first device to include this version of iOS. The iPhone 5c and 5s currently run iOS 7.0.1, as did the original version of the 6.0 software update. Apple pulled the most recent software update on Monday after complaints of bricking devices, among other issues.

Marshall Headphones intros Stanmore speaker

Marshall Headphones has announced the Stanmore ($400), a new Bluetooth speaker. Modeled after a vintage Marshall amp, the Stanmore also has analog knobs for control. The Stanmore puts out 80 watts of total output from a 5 1/4” woofer and two 3/4” tweeters.

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Optical output is also included with the Stanmore, so devices including the Apple TV can be connected to the speaker. A 3.5mm input and RCA input are on board, as well. Marshall’s Stanmore is available now in black or cream.

Apple TV 6.0 update pulled after bricking complaints

Apple has pulled Apple TV Software Update 6.0, which was released last Friday. The software update — which provided support for iTunes Radio, among other enhancements — caused some Apple TVs to fail during the update process, requiring an iTunes restore. According to reports, some Apple TVs have been “bricked” (rendered inoperable) due to the update, while others were unable to download any content. Apple TV 5.3 is currently shown as the “up to date” software once more. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple releases Apple TV Software Update 6.0

Apple has released Apple TV Software Update 6.0, the latest feature and content update for its set-top box. The new version provides support for Apple’s new iTunes Radio streaming service, introduced in iOS 7 and iTunes 11.1 for users in the U.S., along with several other enhancement, including the ability to browse and purchase from the iTunes Store, sync Podcast stations across multiple Apple TV and iOS devices, and access videos from the new Shared Streams feature in iOS 7.

The update also lists support for AirPlay from iCloud, a new feature that will allow users to play videos from iTunes in the Cloud using an iOS device, and highlights the new content channels that were added at the end of August. Apple TV Software Update 6.0 is available now for the second- and third-generation Apple TV and can be downloaded by selecting Settings, General, Check for Updates.

Apple TV software refresh Sept. 18 to add new features

Although not addressed during yesterday’s media event, the Apple TV is scheduled for a software update on Sept. 18, AllThingsD reports. One new feature in the update will let users stream their purchased iTunes content to another user’s Apple TV using AirPlay. The content will stream directly from the cloud to an Apple TV — it will no longer be necessary to download the content to an iOS device to send to the TV. It’s also likely that the update will contain iTunes Radio, Apple’s new music exploration service. The software update will be released the same day as iOS 7.

Apple shipments signal new Apple TV?

Three recent shipments of “set top boxes” received by Apple in August could signify a new upcoming version of its Apple TV. A blog post citing bills of lading documents notes that Apple received a 35,000-pound shipment from Shenzhen, China on Aug. 25 described as “Set Top Box with Communication Function.” An Aug. 18 shipment with the same weight was described as “Set Top Boxes,” and an initial 15,000-pound shipment of set top boxes was received another week earlier on Aug. 11. The large shipments came from Apple supplier BYD; a previous shipment of “set top boxes” from Apple partner Hon Hai/Foxconn in December 2012 contained prior-generation Apple TVs. It’s possible Apple could reveal a new TV product — a refreshed Apple TV or something else — at the company’s Sept. 10 event, which is believed to be focused on iPhones and iOS 7. If not, a later expected event for new iPads could bring news of a new TV-related product. [via Panjiva]

TV Shows disappear from Apple TV menu in outage

Apple TV is experiencing an unusual outage that is preventing users from accessing the TV Shows features of the devices. As of this writing, the TV Shows icon has been missing for over an hour.

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A number of users have tweeted about the issue within the past hour, and our devices are not seeing the icon, either. Apple has yet to comment on the outage.

Updated: The TV Shows app returned to U.S. Apple TVs after a roughly five-hour outage.

ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes added to Apple TV

Apple has added ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes to the ESPN channel list on Apple TV. ESPNEWS is ESPN’s 24-hour sports news channel, and ESPN Deportes is the company’s Spanish-language sports channel. There are now seven ESPN channels on Apple TV, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, and Goal Line, the last of which is a live college football channel only available during college football Saturdays.

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All of the ESPN channels require a cable provider sign-in. It’s a big week for new channels on Apple TV, as Vevo, Disney, Disney XD, The Weather Channel, and the Smithsonian Channel were just added on Tuesday.

Apple TV adds Vevo, Disney, Weather Channel, Smithsonian channels

Apple has added new channels to Apple TV today — Vevo, Disney Channel, Disney XD, The Weather Channel, and the Smithsonian Channel. Disney XD is a separate channel from Disney Channel, aimed at preteens and teenagers; both Disney channels require signing in with a selected cable provider. Smithsonian Channel includes a collection of on-demand videos, and does not require an existing cable TV subscription. After requesting your city or zip code, The Weather Channel uses a new interface to show you today’s weather, full-screen hourly and 10-day forecasts, region-specific forecast videos, access to Weather Channel shows, topics of interest, and featured videos.

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It was expected that Vevo would be introduced to the device soon, and the channel has both live and on-demand music videos. Interestingly, a system update isn’t needed to see the new channels, which means a prior update enabled Apple to add full-fledged channels to the Apple TV at any time. The new channels do not appear to be available outside of the United States at this point.

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