Tag Archives: Apple

Apple to Buy Beats Electronics

According to the Financial Times, Apple will soon swallow up Beats Electronics, the maker of those ubiquitous headphones sported by everyone and their mother. Apple is reportedly buying the Dr. Dre-founded Beats Music for $3.2 billion. According to the FT, this would be the company’s largest acquisition ever. Apple already sells Beats audio gear in its stores, and sells Beats Music in its iTunes store.

Beats Electronics, in addition to selling headphones, recently acquired MOG and launched its own Internet subscription music streaming service in January, which competed with Apple’s iTunes Radio for market share. The service, Beats Music, did not come with an ad-supported version and was available for $9.99 per month.

Unlike other streaming services, however, the company did not offer personalized feedback options—iTunes Radio lets users mark songs as “Play More Like This” or “Never Play This Song.”

The service was also unique in that users could find their own unique playlist by filling in the blanks: “I’m _____ & feeling like ____ with _____ to ____.” Users could also choose curated playlists from Pitchfork, DJ Mag and even Peyton Manning. This is similar to web streaming services such as Songza.

According to Digital Music News, Beats Music had 525,000 paying subscribers in March.

Why would Apple lust after a company like Beats? The company must be looking to beef up its online radio service. It’s a crowded field out there, what with Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more eating up customers. iTunes radio launched in 2013, and similar to Beats Music, it invites artists and DJs to curate playlists. Many users have found iTunes radio to be similar to Pandora—perhaps there were too many players in that field. Beats tended to push playlists created by humans rather than those created by algorithms, which could be something Apple felt it was missing in its current service. The popularity of Beats audio accessories was also probably very attractive to the company. Beats by Dre headphones run from about $170 to up to $450.

Sources: Ars Technica

The Verge

 

We Tried so HARD to HATE iOS7: Why Everyone Loves it

We tried so hard to hate iOS7, and I mean tried. Pre-launch, we had heard developer complaints, ruminations of irritating changes to basic functionality, and the negative hype was oh so tasty, we couldn’t wait to chomp down. But post-release, we just couldn’t find much of  anything wrong with the upgrade. We asked our friends, our colleagues, IT friends. Instead, we got what you’ll see below. Here’s a list of why the new iOS7 is amazing and our Android-loving writers have even lost their contempt for it.

1. It’s Pretty

One of our readers told us the following: “How I described iOS 7 to a friend: It’s really gay. No, I don’t mean in some derogatory way. In a bright, colorful, rainbow-y way.”

aquamarine-iphone

5 Reasons to Skip the iPhone 5C and 5S

In the wake of Apple’s announcement Tuesday, technophiles (including ourselves) have beaten the engineering and specifications of these new smartphones to death. And at the end of the day, we wondered, “Why bother?” Behind the light show, buzzwords and new hardware, are they really that special? Here are five reasons to skip the upgrade to the iPhone 5C and 5S.

1. The average person can’t even tell the difference

If you handed someone who did not see Apple’s keynote yesterday a gold spray-painted iPhone 5, it’s likely they would believe this was the new, improved iPhone. Just to prove the lack of visual differences between the devices, Jimmy Kimmel pulled a little prank. Masquerading the iPad mini as the new iPhone 5S, he successfully duped people on the street into believing the impostor tablet was the next-gen smartphone. Obviously, dumbfounding hilarity ensued:

But beyond petty pranks, how slow is your iPhone now? How bad is the state of the art camera? Can you even perceive lag on the iPhone 5? Apple brags the iPhone 5S processor is over 40 times faster than the original iPhone. Considering the original was built in 2007, I doubt you’re surprised.  In terms of complaints, the iPhone 5 didn’t have many so the improvements in hardware and software are quite negligible to the naked eye.

Should I Buy the iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C?

One of the first questions I received after today’s iPhone announcement was “Which new iPhone should I buy?” After all, this was the first time in Apple smartphone history that two new iPhones are being released at the same time. For most smartphone enthusiasts, the decision is easy. The iPhone 5S is the latest and greatest and offers the upgrade they have been salivating for since last October. But for the general consumer, the decision to spend $100 more for their smartphone might not be as straightforward. Let’s break down the differences of each phone and make a case for who should buy the iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C.

Apple event on for Sept. 10: iPhone 5S/iPhone 5C announcement likely

Ladies and gentleman. Apple lovers everywhere. The rumored September 10 iPhone 5S/iPhone 5C announcement looks all but certain at this point thanks to an invitation sent around today by Apple. The invitation came from Apple CEO Tim Cook and reads:

This should brighten everyone’s day.

Please join us for a café breakfast and coffee bar on September 10 at 9:00 AM followed by an executive presentation at 10:00 AM.

This invitation-only event will be held in Town Hall at 4 Infinite Loop in Cupertino.

Some have pointed out that the phrase “brighten everyone’s day” and the colorful invite art to allude to the new colors  that will be available on the iPhone 5C. This would mark the first time two iPhone models are announced at the same time.

Will iOS7 Be a Game Changer? Let’s Talk Features

Now that Apple has finally shown iOS7 to the world, there have been very mixed feelings from the media (See here, here and a poll here) about the future of Apple’s latest update to the “world’s most advanced mobile OS”. There have been tons of upgrades and enhancements and the entire OS was redesigned by Jony Ive. The OS is now lighter, faster and smarter.

But there will always be people who disagree with Apple’s update to iOS. After all, iOS isn’t for everyone. No mobile OS is. But with all that we have seen, and we haven’t yet secured developer access to an iOS7 beta, we think it would be pretty hard to say that the latest release of iOS7 is nothing short of amazing.