Apple and Amazon have agreed to end an exclusivity agreement that made Audible the only seller of audiobooks inside of iTunes.
The agreement had been in place for over a decade, since 2003, but came to an end earlier this month following complaints from German publishers and investigations by European antitrust regulators, who were concerned that the agreement was stifling competition and raising prices.
I forgot Amazon bought Audible. It seems sort of interesting given competition between the two companies they would maintain an exclusive agreement.
Anyway, I'm not sure this will change much, but hopefully we'll see additional options for audio books from Apple.
CBS Sports joins Apple Music
CBS Sports Radio, the 24/7 sports radio network operated by CBS RADIO, has launched a dedicated channel on Apple Music. In addition to being available across hundreds of local radio stations, online and via the Radio.com app, sports fans will now have access to CBS Sports Radio's unique brand of coverage and commentary via Apple Music, available on a variety of devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, PC, Android, and Sonos.
CBS Radio's properties have long been available via an app and streaming from the web, but a dedicated channel makes it easier for users while adding additional stickiness to Apple Music. CBS Sports joins other radio network content from BBC, NPR, ESPN, and others.
Configuring the Touch Bar for System Lockdown
Jonathan Zdziarski on confirming the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar for a security feature:
The new Touch Bar is often marketed as a gimmick, but one powerful capability it has is to function as a lockdown mechanism for your machine in the event of a physical breach. By changing a few power management settings and customizing the Touch Bar, you can add a button that will instantly lock the machine's screen and then begin a countdown (that's configurable, e.g. 5 minutes) to lock down the entire system, which will disable the fingerprint reader, remove power to the RAM, and discard your FileVault keys, effectively locking the encryption, protecting you from cold boot attacks, and prevent the system from being unlocked by a fingerprint.
This basically puts the computer into hibernation mode rather than sleep. Hibernation mode is a deep sleep function primarily designed to conserve battery life for extended inactivity, but also has some security benefits as described above. You can configure a Mac laptop to quickly go into hibernation mode rather than sleep due to closing a display or inactivity, but this is a nifty alternative use of the Touch Bar. Plus this idea gives some added security for use of the fingerprint sensor.
Evernote 8 on iOS offers a major overhaul
Evernote released a major rethinking of its iOS app with version 8. This update has been in the works for the past year as a way to streamline the user interface.
Playing around with it, the update makes it much easier to get entering a note and also quick to search. The task bar at the bottom gives quick buttons to do three of the things I do the most in the app. This includes searching, creating new notes, and jumping to my shortcuts.
With your feature requests in mind, our iOS design and engineering teams set out to reimagine the Evernote experience from the ground up. Evernote 8.0 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is our fastest, most elegant iOS app ever:
Faster ways to find notes
New notes, now just one tap away
Add color and style to your notes
AT&T shuts down original iPhone's 2G wireless network,
Today, our 3G and 4G LTE networks cover 99% of Americans. By shutting down our 2G network, this frees up more spectrum for future network technologies, including 5G. In the next few months, we plan to repurpose that spectrum for LTE.
This has been four years in the making, so the move shouldn't surprise anyone still utilize the aging wireless network. I still have my original iPhone and haven't had any service on it for about 8 years. I can't imagine ever paying to do so, but it's officially now obsolete as a mobile phone.
Apple's Iovine talks about rumored TV content
The Hollywood Reporter (Via 9 to 5 Mac) has an interview with Apple's Jimmy Iovine regarding original content on Apple Music:
"At Apple Music, what we're trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video," he told reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour.
"If South Park walks into my office, I am not going to say you're not musicians, you know?" Iovine continued when pressed about the report. "We're going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose. We're going to try."
This follows last week's The Wall Street Journal report that Apple was working on original TV series and movies for Apple TV. Iovine continued that Apple is looking at video content as ways to better complete with free offerings from Spotify and Pandora.
iPhone forensic company Cellebrite reportedly hacked
Cellebrite's product allows government agents to harvest data from devices. It can bypass security settings to gather many different kinds of unencrypted data stored on the device.
The hackers have been hacked. Motherboard has obtained 900 GB of data related to Cellebrite, one of the most popular companies in the mobile phone hacking industry. The cache includes customer information, databases, and a vast amount of technical data regarding Cellebrite's products.
it's not clear what exactly is in the data dump, but if technical data helps others to build tools that utilize exploits and backdoors, that could be damaging out in the wild.
Just another example of how build-in vulnerabilities or backdoors and backfire on anyone.
Report: Apple looking produce the next Westworld, Stranger Things
The Wall Street Journal
The technology giant has been in talks with veteran producers in recent months about buying rights to scripted television programs. It also has approached experienced marketing executives at studios and networks to discuss hiring them to promote its content, said people with knowledge of the discussions.
In addition to TV, Apple indicated to these people that it is considering offering original movies, though those plans are more preliminary.
The report says Apple hopes to offer some new programming by the end of the year. It will be offered as a part of Apple Music, which I think is the key point to consider. Apple has been creating an assortment of original and exclusive content for Apple Music as a way to boost subscriptions. So, these programs are most likely seen as a value-added option rather than directly competing with Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, or other subscription streaming services.
At the same time, however, tagging on to Apple Music would be a good way to ease into the original content business. Similar to Amazon Prime, Apple has a base of subscribers and wouldn't need to immediately produce an entire library of new content to justify a monthly subscription price.
Consumer Reports now Recommends new MacBook Pro
Consumer Reports has now finished retesting the battery life on Apple's new MacBook Pro laptops, and our results show that a software update released by Apple on January 9 fixed problems we'd encountered in earlier testing.
With the updated software, the three MacBook Pros in our labs all performed well, with one model running 18.75 hours on a charge. We tested each model multiple times using the new software, following the same protocol we apply to hundreds of laptops every year.
Consumer Reports has recommended all recent Apple laptops, so it was a big deal when it didn't recommend the newest over battery concerns. In their previous tests, the batter lasted as short as 3.75 hours.
iOS product sales expected to pass $1 trillion this year
The revenues from iOS product sales will reach $980 billion by middle of this year. In addition to hardware Apple also books iOS services revenues (including content) which have totaled more than $100 billion to date.
This means that iOS will have generated over $1 trillion in revenues for Apple sometime this year.
Another interesting tidbit is the iPhone is estimated to be unlocked an average of 80 times a day. This makes for 48 billion user sessions a day or 17.5 trillion sessions a year.
It might give some perspective of how big of an impact iOS 10's raise to activate the screen can have on device usage.