Tag Archives: apple music

Apple is Taking a Second Run at the Magazine Business Thanks To a Big Aquisition

(Photo Source: texture.com)

Apple is anything but boring. You never know when a crazy rumor will come out, a patent for something off the wall will be awarded, or like today, they will buy a company out of the blue. My family and I were on a trip this weekend and driving back today. Before we left the hotel, I took a look around Twitter, Flipboard, and Apple News to see if there was anything going on that I needed to be aware of. There was little of note, and nothing that I needed to jump right on. I ended my driving shift after 2 1/2 hours only to find out that Eddy Cue announced Apple’s acquisition of popular subscription magazine service, Texture.

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Is Now the Right Time for a HomePod Mini?

Based on the impressive sales numbers generated by smaller intelligent speakers such as the Amazon Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini, you might think a HomePod Mini is exactly what Apple should be releasing right now. They should definitely be working on it, and more than likely, such a device has already been prototyped in several potential versions. However, despite the potential for a brief sales boost today, I personally think that Apple should hold off on this move for now.

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KGI Reports: Apple to Release Refreshed AirPods and New Over-the-Ear Headphones in 2018

I’ve been wondering where Apple would go next with wearables. Today, we have a report from the ever-busy Ming-Chi Quo indicting that Apple will be following up their very successful AirPods with a brand new set of Apple-branded over-the-ear headphones.

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HomePod and the Apple Watch: Disconnected

The Apple Watch and HomePod share a connection in that they are the two most recent new hardware platforms released by Apple. Unfortunately, other than having a variant of iOS at their respective cores, this is all they share. What would seem to be an obvious partnership, with the Apple Watch able to play and control music through the HomePod via AirPlay, is currently an oddly disjointed relationship.

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Tips and Tricks: Resetting your Apple Music Listening Preferences

I signed up for Apple Music as soon as it was available to try it out, so I know it pretty well at this point. You would think it knows me by now, but more on that in a moment. I had been using Google Play All-Access before that at a discounted monthly rate, but never was super-impressed with the iOS app or the service’s features. It was a very bare-bones music streaming service at the time, and with my kids getting more interested in listening to music, the ability to add parental controls became a priority.

While Apple Music itself was fine outside of a confusing interface that first year, we did experience one irritating problem. We had set up Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing when it became available in iOS 8, but there were some issues and bugs with it over the course of the first year or so. One of these affected Apple Music Family Plans when the service was released. We tried to set up our kids’ devices to use Apple Music independently with Family Sharing a couple of times within the first few months, with no success. Their iPhones and iPods would not recognize that they should have access to Apple Music when signed on on their iCloud accounts.

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Living with the HomePod: On the Road

The HomePod is really good at a few things. Unfortunately, working in a hotel room with hotel WiFi is NOT one of them. Just like the Apple Watch, that pesky interstitial WiFi login screen trips it up, which I guess shouldn’t be surprising. I’m going to attempt using Personal Hotspot sometime down the road and see if this can be bypassed. Until then, here are a few more observations on Apple’s new toy.

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Living with the HomePod- Day Two

Today is day two for my testing of Apple’s new HomePod. While most of my time today has been spent playing around with Siri, I have plenty of additional observations on music playback, as well.

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The Reasoning Behind the HomePod’s Design and Marketing is Surprisingly Simple

I’ve seen an interesting combination of concern, complaints, dismissiveness, and derision over the HomePod across Twitter, Apple blogs, and tech sites over the past few days. The preorder and announcement of the final release date for the device, as well as a lack of any other substantive Apple news at the moment seem to have stoked the fires of discussion and opinion.

I can understand many of the reasons, and I even agree with many of you that Siri isn’t on par with other digital assistants in many ways, that the HomePod’s high price could be a limiting factor, and that it is showing up more than fashionably late to a fast-moving party. However, despite the concerns and complaints, the reasons behind the design and focus of the HomePod still make sense if you look at Apple’s recent hardware and software efforts.

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Why Was Apple’s HomePod Delayed Until 2018?

If you haven’t heard by now, Apple has pushed the release of the HomePod from the more advantageous Holiday sales season to sometime in early 2018. I can’t say this comes as a massive surprise, because there has been very little news on the device over the last month. Part of that is because of the massive wave of interest in the new iPhone X, but if it had been coming out in December, we would have seen some leaks by now. This is definitely unfortunate for Apple, as they will certainly lose potential sales in a market where they are already later to arrive than usual. However, the why is more interesting than the what in this situation.

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Apple Music Streaming on the Apple Watch is a Mixed Bag

Before diving into the details, I will say right off the bat that Apple Music streaming on the new LTE-enabled version of the Apple Watch Series 3 works. The music sounded the same over my AirPods that it would if I were using my iPhone or iPad, which is good. Searches with Siri were performed quickly. I never had any issues with tracks skipping, even though I only had two “dots” of LTE where I was doing my testing. So functionally, it works fine and is a welcome addition to the Apple Watch. Also, it’s good to keep in mind that this feature is still in beta, so things could change a little here or there before full release.

However, when I also say that streaming Apple Music on the Watch is a mixed bag right now, I’m not kidding around. It is functional in the way that the original Apple Watch was- useful and novel, but also scattered and confusing at times. The interface and experience are spread out over two different apps, a leftover from watchOS 1, and Siri. At the end of the day, I am glad to have it, since it extends the Watch beyond the bounds of the old iPad Nano and Shuffle as a mobile music player. However, Apple Music integration doesn’t come without its share of growing pains.

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Apple Watch Series 3 Initial Thoughts

Like all of the other early risers who wanted to be sure to get their Apple Watch Series 3 orders in, I got my Apple Watches today. I got both the Black Sport with the new Sport Loop band, and the Gold Sport with the Pink Sand Sport Band. I actually meant to order the Gold model with its corresponding Sport Loop, but I think I got a little punchy and mixed up at 2:05 AM. Oops.

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