Apple and Musical.ly have partnered to supply content from Apple Music for the popular music video app, Recode reports. Musical.ly is a service that lets users create their own music videos from snippets of songs, and beginning today, Apple Music will now be supplying many of the songs, expanding on Musical.ly’s current catalog from music distributor 7digital. The partnership will presumably increase the amount of content available to Musical.ly users while also providing a new way for Apple to promote the Apple Music service to Musical.ly users — those who are Apple Music subscribers will gain the benefit of being able to listen to full songs within the Musical.ly app.
Apple has now suspended all licensing payments to Qualcomm related to the iPhone amidst the legal dispute between the two companies, Bloomberg reports. The battle between the two tech firms began earlier this year when Apple filed lawsuits accusing Qualcomm of withholding $1 billion in patent royalties, allegedly as a punishment in response to Apple’s cooperation with Korean antitrust regulators. A subsequent lawsuit filed in Beijing by Apple claimed that Qualcomm had abused its position in the chip industry and failed to deliver on its promises to inexpensively license “standard essential patents.” Qualcomm followed those filings up its own countersuit earlier this month, accusing Apple of breaching its contract and asking for an unspecified amount in damages.
According to Qualcomm, Apple has now stated that it will be withholding all future payments until the legal matters between the two companies are resolved. Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg added that “While Apple has acknowledged that payment is owed for the use of Qualcomm’s valuable intellectual property, it nevertheless continues to interfere with our contracts,” and that “Apple has now unilaterally declared the contract terms unacceptable; the same terms that have applied to iPhones and cellular-enabled iPads for a decade.” In a statement to The Financial Times, an Apple spokesperson responded “We’ve been trying to reach a licensing agreement with Qualcomm for more than five years but they have refused to negotiate fair terms. Without an agreed-upon rate to determine how much is owed, we have suspended payments until the correct amount can be determined by the court. As we’ve said before, Qualcomm’s demands are unreasonable and they have been charging higher rates based on our innovation, not their own.”
Apple Music will be gaining another exclusive on a music documentary, this time in the form of Puff Daddy’s biopic “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story.” Billboard reports that the powerful new documentary, which is premiering tonight at the TriBeCa Film Festival, will come exclusively to Apple Music starting on June 25. The film chronicles Sean “Diddy” Combs’ rise to the top of the music business back in the mid-nineties, as well as the challenges he faced in putting together the 20th anniversary Bad Boy reunion shows last year. Although specific terms of the deal between Combs and Apple weren’t revealed, Apple Music is expected to have exclusive rights to the documentary for at least the first year. This latest exclusive documentary deal comes right on the heels of last week’s announcement that Apple Music would also be the exclusive home of legendary record producer Clive Davis’ new documentary.
Only three days after the release of iOS 10.3.2 beta 4, Apple has already rolled out a fifth beta of iOS 10.3.2 to registered developers. The release notes appear to be basically unchanged from the prior beta, listing SiriKit, VPN, and Siri fixes and a few outstanding notes on managed and shared devices, openURL, WebKit, and SOS (which continues to be supported only in India).
Apple Music impresario Jimmy Iovine is continuing to take a slow and steady approach to developing the popular streaming music service into a cultural centre point that goes beyond being merely “a bunch of songs and a few playlist.” In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Iovine touched on several of the projects that he’s working on with various artists and Hollywood moguls, from already announced projects like “Carpool Karaoke” and “Planet of the Apps” to several documentaries, suggesting that Apple could release as many as 10 original series by the end of the year. While Iovine didn’t go into details on any unannounced projects, sources suggest that two will about the legendary hip-hop labels Bad Boy Records and Cash Money Records, while another is about Clive Davis.
I’m trying to help Apple Music be an overall movement in popular culture, everything from unsigned bands to video. We have a lot of plans. We have the freedom, because it’s Apple, to make one show, three shows, see what works, see what doesn’t work until it feels good.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering his roots, Iovine remains focused on music-related projects at this point. A possible sequel to R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” is said to be in the works, and Iovine is developing another show “loosely based” on the life of Dr. Dre. However, Iovine notes that he eventually does plan to go beyond music and has already had discussions with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer and director J.J. Abrams. As Iovine describes it, “Apple music is nowhere near complete in my head,” but emphasizes that he plans to grow the service slowly “no matter what,” much like how he founded and built Interscope back in 1989, beginning with a couple of lesser-known artists and slowly growing into one of the world’s most successful record labels.
Apple executive and AI expert Tom Gruber told the crowd at the TED conference that he sees artificial intelligence providing a boost to human memory in the future, Axios reports. He was hesitant to make predictions about the specific technology that would be involved, but Gruber said in the near future computer intelligence could help people clearly remember everything from people they met only once to food they ate years ago. While privacy would be a key concern with preserving such a massive amount of very personal information, Gruber said the benefits — especially for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s — could make a huge difference in quality of life in a person’s later years. He added that a friend of his who is blind and quadriplegic is already enjoying the life-changing benefits of AI, using Siri to meet other people online. “Here’s a man whose relationship with AI helps him… with genuine human relationships,” Gruber said.
All of Apple’s 495 stores will begin featuring ‘Today at Apple’ educational sessions focusing on a wide range of topics starting sometime in May, the company announced today. While most will be led by Apple employees, the company also teased that in select cities participants will be treated to sessions from “world-class artists, photographers and musicians.” The free programs will focus on activities centered around Apple devices, like iPhone photography, drawing with the Apple Pencil and coding classes for kids that teach the company’s Swift programming language. For more advanced users, Pro Series courses will also provide “a deep dive into Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X with sessions on color correction and grading to post production, or audio mixing to editing for emotion, and more.”
Smart home device maker iDevices has been acquired by Hubbell, a company that’s been around for more than 100 years. As with many such acquisitions, iDevices claims nothing will change with its day-to-day operations, pledging that, “We will continue to support and update our existing products and make new ones; all while utilizing the backing and expertise of Hubbell to accelerate our growth and leadership position in the IoT space.” Hubbell has been around since the early days of electricity, gaining initial fame by patenting the now-ubiquitous pull chain lamp socket. According to the release, the partnership will see iDevices focused on “developing and designing smart home solutions” and utilizing Hubbell’s “extensive expertise in manufacturing and distribution across residential, commercial and industrial markets.”
Apple is delaying the release of its “Carpool Karaoke” adaptation for Apple Music, now saying only that “‘Carpool Karaoke: The Series’ will premiere on Apple Music later this year,” Reuters reports. During the Code Media conference in February, Apple said the show would debut in April, but a launch party scheduled for March was postponed without explanation, and another rescheduled for this Monday was also scrapped. A statement from CBS Television Studios echoed Apple’s vague timeline, saying, “We’re excited about our ‘Carpool Karaoke’ for Apple Music, and look forward to everyone seeing it later this year.”
A Dutch judge has ruled that Apple can’t use refurbished iPads to replace broken ones covered by its AppleCare warranty, Tweakers reports. While Apple’s terms of service explicitly state that the company can use refurbished units as replacements, the judge ruled that Apple can only issue refurbished replacements to customers who initially purchased a refurbished unit. “If a plaintiff had purchased a refurbished or replacement iPad, Apple may replace it with a refurbished or replacement copy,” the judge said. “But if the consumer, as in this case, purchased a new iPad, She is entitled to a new iPad as a replacement.”
Chinese blog Mic Gadget is saying that everyone else has Apple’s 2017 iPhone plans wrong, claiming that their “friends from Foxconn” shared news that the company is planning to release just two iPhone 8 models and no iPhone 7s or 7s Plus. The rumor is a fairly shaky one since the source has no track record of accurate leaks and the report seems based on news that “Foxconn will begin to receive the first deliveries of the material for packing the goods in the last week of the June.” But even though this report is the outlier in the current swirl of rumors, this entire iPhone cycle is different than Apple’s usual annual fall release schedule. Today Nikkei added more support to the growing consensus that the iPhone 8 may not launch until late October, claiming that issues with the OLED displays, concerns over the new smaller printed circuit boards and overheating problems with the wireless charging modules are pushing back production schedules.
Apple has rolled out a fourth set of iOS 10.3.2, tvOS 10.2.1, and watchOS 3.2.2 betas to registered developers. The iOS 10.3.2 beta 4 release notes list SiriKit, VPN, and Siri fixes, while tvOS 10.2.1 beta 4 fixes an issue that caused the Apple TV to sometimes wake from sleep with an AirPlay error.
A man best known for creating phone renderings based on rumors and leaks has posted a series of photos on Twitter that he says show one prototype of the new iPhone 8. Benjamin Geskin said the device—photographed by someone behind the wheel of a BMW—are of a CNC model from Foxconn. When questioned in the Twitter thread, Geskin claimed a friend sent him the images of the device, which lacks a home button and features an edge-to-edge screen, a vertical dual camera, a lengthened power button and a glass front and back with a metal band around the edge. Wihile the phone doesn’t include the fingerprint scanner on the back that some other rumors and leaked renderings have shown, the device’s appearance is in keeping with some of the most prominent rumors presently circulating—even though it lacks any identifying marks that would peg it as coming from Apple. But given that Apple is said to still be undecided on its final model, it’s possible that even if the device is genuine, it still may not be the final model that the company is expected to mass produce later this year. [via MacRumors]
Apple’s latest data center in Denmark will be powered by renewable energy, some of which will come from local farm waste, MacWorld reports. Apple is working with Aarhus University to create a system that uses agricultural waste products to generate methane, which can then be used to power its data center operations. The reaction also produces a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be returned to the farms, a “mutually beneficial relationship” according to Apple’s recent environmental report. The heat generated by the data center will also be captured and rerouted to the local district’s heating system to warm homes in the community. The Danish facility and another in Ireland expected to be partially powered by energy generated by ocean waves will come online this year.
Internal Apple documents have provided the first real look at the company’s self-driving car system, Business Insider reports. The documents, obtained from the California DMV, claim that the system is “capable of sending electronic commands for steering, accelerating, and decelerating and may carry out portions of the dynamic driving task.” Images included in the document show that the three Lexus RX450h SUVs approved for California roads have all been outfitted with Logitech steering wheels and pedals to turn on the autonomous “drive by wire” mode. While the automated system “uses hardware and software to monitor surrounding objects and events,” the document also focuses on how the human occupant can regain control of the car if necessary.
Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has added his voice to growing speculation that Apple’s OLED iPhone 8 will debut later than the usual September launch time frame. Kuo said Apple’s efforts to pack as much cutting-edge technology as possible into the device will push mass production of the iPhone 8 into October or even November, with ‘significant hardware upgrades’ like the OLED screen, 3D camera sensors, integrated fingerprint scanner and A11 processor causing supply bottlenecks. While the new phone is expected to fly off the shelves once it’s released, Kuo said sales of the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus — thought to be releasing on the usual September schedule — will likely be worse than usual as customers either decide to wait for the flashy iPhone 8 or opt to buy a full-screen phone from Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi instead. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple has hired two top Google satellite executives for a new hardware team that it is creating, Bloomberg reports. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report notes that Apple has recently hired John Fenwick former lead of Google’s spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, who headed up satellite engineering at Google. Both now allegedly report to Greg Duffy, the Dropcam cofounder who joined Apple in January. Speculation on Duffy’s hire earlier this year suggested that he was “likely to be leading a special project at Apple that is operating like a startup within the company” but no further details were available at the time as to what such a project would be; the two most recent hires, however, suggest that Apple is pursuing another entirely new line of research and development.
Nike has unveiled Apple Watch NikeLab, a new limited edition version of the Apple Watch Nike+ that debuted last fall. The new neutral-toned Apple Watch is essentially just a design change, pairing up a space grey Apple Watch Series 2 with a black and white sports band, and otherwise continues to include the same features of the other Nike+ models, integrating the Nike+ Run Club app with the standard Apple Watch hardware and watchOS 3. The new model is expected to be available on April 27 via nike.com, at NikeLab stores, and at an Apple Tokyo pop-up store in Isetan. Notably, the limited edition model will not otherwise be sold directly by Apple, either online or at retail. Pricing has not been announced.
A new documentary based on legendary record producer Clive Davis’ best-selling autobiography “The Soundtrack of Our Lives” will be coming exclusively to Apple Music, Billboard reports. The documentary premiered last night at the opening of the Tribeca Film Festival at Radio City Music Hall, and details the decade-spanning career of the 85-year-old music executive who is known for having “signed, influenced and driven the careers of many of the most important music artists of the 20th and 21st Centuries” including a-list artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Santana, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Alicia Keys and Sean “Puffy” Combs.