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Steve Jobs Loses Battle Against Illness

Steve Jobs Dies at 56 It is a sad day in the world of Apple. Co-founder, chairman, and former CEO of Apple Steve Jobs has lost his life. Steve Jobs battled pancreatic cancer after being diagnosed in 2004. After his diagnosis, he underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. However, it was apparent...

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Check Out The Green Video Apple Released 4/20/15

Posted by jnolan | Posted in Apple News, Consumer Electronics, Uncategorized | Posted on 20-04-2015

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This video came out today on Apple’s YouTube page. After it was up for only two hours, it already had 20,000 views and currently has almost 80,000. The main point to the video is to show off that they are using clean energy. They are building a 40-megawatt solar farm in China that will power all of their offices across the country, all of their offices are powered with clean energy already, and they are generating 12 million kilowatt hours of energy in Oregon using hydropower.

This is one of the most genius marketing tactics for Apple. It may not seem that significant, but there is a lot to this whole idea. Across many different developing countries, there is a huge wave of consumer consciousness that includes issues like sustainability. This is a bigger factor than ever right now. 55% of global respondents in Nielsen’s survey say that they are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that dedicate themselves to creating a positive social and environmental impact. That is an increase in 50% in 2012 and 45% in 2011. Regionally, respondents in Asia-Pacific (64%), Latin America (63%) and Middle East/Africa (63%) exceed the global average and have increased 9, 13 and 10 percentage points since 2011. So knowing that, you can see why this is such a big deal, and why the video is absolutely genius on Apple’s part. Check it out!

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What Apple is Planning for the Rest of 2015

Posted by admin | Posted in Consumer Electronics, New Products, Rumors | Posted on 10-03-2015

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After being a little more quiet than they have been in the past, Apple has come back stronger than ever. They spent a whole year without even having a new product category, which isn’t like them at all. Launch events were feeling bland and forced, but in 2014 all of that changed.

The rollout event for the iPhone 6 was a huge deal. It was exciting, entertaining, and even sparked up some controversy that was actually really good for the company as a whole. After a year of nothing, Apple sprang right back to the top and owned the entire tech market once again.

Like anything though, the excitement of the iPhone 6 has finally worn off. But that’s ok because Apple is excited about what they have in store for the rest of this year.

Apple announced their partnership with IBM. This is a big deal. Apple really isn’t any stranger to the enterprise world, but a lot of the devices end up there just because employees prefer to use them and bring them in. It has been a slow process because they need to develop all of the necessary apps, but the Apple/IBM partnership is going to be seriously huge for both companies. Especially with the release of the infamous 12 inch iPad Pro coming out.

They were supposed to release the iPad Pro last year, but put it on hold to keep up with iPhone 6 demand and production. It’s almost guaranteed to come out this year, but rumor has it that it won’t really be available to the regular customer. It will probably be exclusively sent to companies to use and replace a lot of computers.

That’s not the only thing Apple has going for them this year. We all know that the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus are going to come out by the end of this year. They will probably look exactly like the current models but come with a way faster processor, a better camera, and some new software. This is cool because when Apple put out the current processor in their phones, it was the best and fastest on the market by a lot. Are they going to crush the competition again this year with a crazy new chip? Probably. Hopefully. Almost certainly.

Let us also not forget that Apple bought Beats By Dre. No one really knows exactly what they are going to do with the company, but everything will be revealed later this year. With the Beats music streaming, it would seem like it would be a conflict with iTunes and iTunes radio and all. It will be very interesting to see what Apple does with this and how they integrate the two music services.

 

All of the Apple Home and Health stuff that we have been hearing so much about will finally come into existence this year as well. Right now we only have a Health app, which isn’t really enough to give us any huge clues as to what to expect.

Either way, one thing is for sure: it is going to be a huge year for Apple, and there is a ton to be excited about.

Fanhattan Adds HBO, Cinemax, NBC and The CW to Offerings for iOS Users

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 31-07-2012

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FanhattanApple’s iPad has become a popular device for watching things like Netflix and streaming television shows through various apps and services. However, the iPad isn’t particularly great at the discovery of the streaming shows, which have a tendency to be scattered about. But fear not, because the latest version of the Fanhattan app takes a small, albeit needed, step toward helping iPad users find and stream their favorite television shows.

The one thing devices like the iPad are missing is a better centralized search-and-discovery dashboard. The Xbox 360 realized that when it added Bing, which allows shows to be found through any of the console’s available video apps. Fanhattan on iOS has been offering a similar functionality with the its database of movie and TV show information, along with a launchpad for video on different services like Netflix, iTunes and Hulu Plus. The only downside is that the selection of video apps that Fanhattan has access to isn’t quite as extensive.

Fanhattan’s latest installment, available on the Apple App Store, adds HBO, Cinemax, NBC and The CW to its repertoire, displaying show availability in searches along with launching the apps from within Fanhattan. While the change is small, it is still important and helps make the app a better catch-all video search tool. In addition to that, the app update adds a personal Watch List feature that tracks show and movie availability.

With this update the total number of video services that Fanhattan can discover increases to 12 and includes: Netflix, iTunes, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, PBS, YouTube, ABC/ABC Family, Cinemax, NBC, Lifetime, Crackle and The CW. However, users are upset at the lack of other services, like EPIX, Adult Swim, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video.

Bing on the Xbox 360 is still an all-around better service for finding all your favorite television shows and movies, though you need an Xbox 360 for that. If you like to watch your favorite movies and television shows on your iPad then Fanhattan is an app you should definitely look into. The app itself is far from perfect but it is the best offering for iOS devices currently available.

Source: CNET – Fanhattan for iOS adds HBO and Cinemax, still trying to be iPad’s perfect video app

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Apple’s iTunes Movie Rentals May Soon Be Facing Competition from Google and YouTube

Posted by Zack | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-04-2011

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iTunes movie rentalsWhether you love it or hate it, whether you think it is incredible for the music industry or running it into the ground, Apple’s iTunes IS one of the biggest things to happen to music in recent years. One thing that stands out about iTunes is that you can get more than just music. You can buy movies or even apps off of iTunes and you can even rent movies. However, it is in that field, movie rentals, that iTunes may be getting its first real opponent.

Since supposedly finalizing deals with multiple major movie studios, Google is all primed and ready to start a Video on Demand movie rental service via YouTube that is said to challenge the dominance of Apple’s iTunes movie store in the market of Video on Demand.

YouTube began offering movie rentals about a year ago but has yet to rent out mainstream movies. Instead, YouTube offered movies from mostly independent studios. Google, however, plans to build the service with the imminent launch of a movies on demand service that includes major Hollywood studios.

Mainstream movies have been quietly added to YouTube with rental prices ranging from $1.99 to $3.99. According to a YouTube spokesman, “We’ve steadily been adding more and more titles since launching movies for rent on YouTube over a year ago, and now have thousands of titles available.” The spokesman declined to comment on the rumored launch of major studio films.

According to one executive from a Hollywood studio that has already signed with YouTube, “We think we will start with VOD, but broaden to include sell-through over time. We are pretty excited because we are happy to see new entrants come in transactionally rather than a subscription model.”

The report has stated that movies will become available on YouTube the same day they can be rented at video stores or on iTunes, which is ahead of subscription services like Netflix. “What’s really good about their approach is rather than another subscription offering, they’re going into a fresh area where there have been fewer leaps forward,” said one studio executive.

At a seminar earlier this month, Google executives seemed to hint at a YouTube VOD store. YouTube Vice President of TV and Film Entertainment Robert Kyncl stated, “Imagine if you had a video store on YouTube, where you could rent or buy the movie without being sent elsewhere.” However, when Kyncl was asked about specific details, he replied, “Obviously, there are things coming, but we can’t talk about them yet.”

Apple began offering movie rentals via iTunes back in 2008 with a major launch that included all of the major Hollywood movie studios. The initial rate for a movie rental was $2.99 with HD versions and new releases costing more. After their purchase, customers had 30 days to begin watching the movie and 24 hours to finish once playback had begun.

After Apple launched their second-generation Apple TV last year, they began offering $0.99 TV show rentals. However, the only two studios that were on board at launch were ABC and Fox. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, at a media event to unveil the set top box, suggested that the other studios would soon relent and begin offering TV show rentals. Jobs stated, “We think the rest of the studios will see the light and get on board pretty fast.”

Research group IHS revealed earlier in the year that Apple had maintained a 64.5% market share of the online VOD in 2010 while also losing some share to Microsoft and Sony. In 2009, Apple controlled 74.4% which does not count subscription services like Hulu or Netflix.

Apple generated $1.4 billion in revenue from the iTunes online store in the most recent March quarter, however, it is unclear what portion of those earnings consisted of movie rentals.

Source: Apple Insider – Google to take on Apple’s iTunes with mainstream movie rentals on YouTube

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New Movie Feature for iTunes Allows Script Searching and Scene Sharing

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 04-01-2011

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Apple iTunes StoreIn a somewhat quiet move, movie studios have expanded the feature set of content that is available on the iTunes Store, allowing users to search for specific words from a film’s script or even select a specific clip and share it with others via a social networking site like Facebook or Myspace.

This effort began with Sony Pictures Entertainment who has been testing features embedded in iTunes versions of recent film releases. What this means is that only the iTunes versions of movies allow users to access a search button which gives them the ability to input a word and find out where it was said in the script. Users can also pull up a link to the exact moment in the film that the line was delivered.

These features can be found in a few different Sony movies including “The Other Guys”,  “Salt” and “Resident Evil: Afterlife”. The “clip & share function” allows users to select certain scenes to post on their favorite social networking sites while a playlist of songs from the film offers you the ability to buy those songs through iTunes.

According to a report from PaidContent.org, “Mind-blowing add-ons? No, but they do represent the intent of studios like Sony, which declined comment, to offer differentiating value on digital platforms from that on DVD, where extras are often nothing more than a collection of additional short videos.”

This new content seems to be in response to the unique additional bonus features that are offered from Blu-ray movies to devices connected to the internet. Some Blu-rays feature BD-Live content. BD-Live content gives viewers the ability to access internet-based content that you cannot find on the disc like director chats, games, downloadable featurettes and quizzes.

The new iTunes bonus content is not, however, a simple repackaging of content already available through BD-Live. According to PaidContent.org, these new capabilities found in the movies from Sony are exclusively found on iTunes. This is noteworthy due to the fact that Sony had a hand in spearheading the Blu-ray format and crushing the competition (HD-DVD) with Sony’s integration of the technology into the PlayStation 3.

These new features are also only available to people who purchase the movies via iTunes. This new content helps to differentiate legitimate purchases from rentals, in hopes of giving users more value for the higher price that is associated with purchasing the movie as opposed to renting it.

This move to promote purchases over rentals indicates that Apple’s iTunes has seen a drastic increase in digital rentals. Brian Marshal, an analyst with Gleacher & Company, stated last week that he believes 75% of movie viewings through iTunes are rentals with an average movie selling price of $2.99. This just shows that a mere 25% of users actually decide to purchase films through iTunes.

Apple has also used its new streaming-centric Apple TV, priced at just $99, to push renting of movies and TV shows. The Apple TV went on to sell more than 1 million units in the first three months of availability.

This new feature could do great things for the iTunes Store and Apple’s digital movie outlet. With the ability to get a lot of unique features, this may be just the thing to take some of that 75% of renters over to the 25% of buyers.

Source: Apple Insider

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