Starting today, Apple TV users can purchase 50 hours of DVR storage for just $5 per month with any Sling TV subscription. That means you get more choice and control over your entertainment and the ability to record your favorite Sling TV content to watch later, on your time.
The caveat is that cloud recording isn't available on all channels, and you're limited to Sling TV's offering, which is about up to 50 channels. Still, it's a compelling system. You can cut the cord, but keep DVR functionality of cable TV. Also unlike conventional DVRs, this sits in the cloud and available to you anywhere.
Apple slashes affiliate app commissions
Starting on May 1st 2017, commissions for all app and in-app content will be reduced from 7% to 2.5% globally. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) will remain at the current 7% commission rate in all markets. We will also continue to pay affiliate commissions on Apple Music memberships so there are many ways to earn commissions with the program.
That seems a drastic adjustment. I wonder if this may be related WWCD? The affiliate economy seems to have ran its course years ago, so it could just be Apple tightening its belt.
Apple threatened to pull Uber app over privacy concerns
The New York Times ran a profile of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Leading the article is an untold tangle with Apple over its app. The company had deployed a sophisticated digital fingerprinting of its users. The fingerprint persisted even when iPhones were erased. Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to pull the app from the App Store if Uber didn't reverse its surveillance.
The idea of fooling Apple, the main distributor of Uber's app, began in 2014.
At the time, Uber was dealing with widespread account fraud in places like China, where tricksters bought stolen iPhones that were erased and resold. Some Uber drivers there would then create dozens of fake email addresses to sign up for new Uber rider accounts attached to each phone, and request rides from those phones, which they would then accept. Since Uber was handing out incentives to drivers to take more rides, the drivers could earn more money this way.
To halt the activity, Uber engineers assigned a persistent identity to iPhones with a small piece of code, a practice called "fingerprinting." Uber could then identify an iPhone and prevent itself from being fooled even after the device was erased of its contents.
This is clearly in violation of the App Store guidelines. Its't hardly the first time a developer went out of bounds, but what's interesting is how Uber tried to conceal it's disallowed capabilities.
To hide its activities from Apple, Uber designed its software to not activate this ability near Apple's corporate offices. When Apple employees at its headquarters reviewed the app, the code didn't reveal its functionality.
Apple striving to end mineral mining with close loop supply chain
The most interesting of Apple's goals for the future is a stated desire to manufacture 100 percent of its devices out of recycled materials rather than mining new materials and throwing out used materials. Apple calls this a "closed loop supply chain."
The day that aspiration becomes reality may yet be far in the future, though. Apple has started some pilot projects, including using aluminum reclaimed from old iPhone 6 models to make Mac Minis for iPhone assembly lines, and using 100 percent recycled tin in logic boards for the iPhone 6S. Scale is the primary challenge.
This is an incredible north star type goal that probably has several stretch goals between. While it may take Apple a long time to get there, and perhaps never will, but they can keep getting closer during the effort.
Earth Day activity challenge this weekend on the Apple Watch
Via Mac Rumors:
Get outside and celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and earn this award. Go for a walk, run, cycle, wheelchair, or swim workout of 30 minutes or more in the Workout app or in any third party app that writes these workouts to Health. You will also earn special stickers for Messages.
Apple has done similar special challenges for Thanksgiving and a new year challenge this past January. I've done each of these so far and they're a fun activity that's not very difficult to obtain. I'm sure we'll make time to walk to the park or something this weekend.
LaCie announces 2big Dock with Thunderbolt
LaCie announced Thunderbolt today to its 2big Dock. The dock offers high capacity RAID and various ports and connectivities.
More than storage, the LaCie 2big Dock is a powerful docking station that helps photographers and videographers simplify their workflows. Front-facing SD and CF Card slots allow the pro to directly ingest files off memory cards from a drone, DSLR, GoProŽ and other devices into Adobe Lightroom or Premiere Pro. The USB 3.0 hub charges a phone or connects a shuttle drive or digital camera to offload footage or files. Via DisplayPort, professionals can connect the LaCie 2big Dock to high-resolution 720-1080p or even 4K displays. Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports can also power a compatible laptop while simultaneously daisy-chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt or one USB-C drive. Plus, the USB 3.1 port enables universal compatibility with USB-C and USB 3.0 computers via the included adapter cable. Thunderbolt 2 compatibility is also possible with an adapter (sold separately).
Expected this summer, the LaCie 2big Dock will ship in 12TB, 16TB, or 20TB capacities.
Report: Apple working on three iPhones this year
Apple is preparing three iPhones for launch as soon as this fall, including upgraded versions of the current two iPhone models and a new top-of-the-line handset with an overhauled look, according to people familiar with the matter. For the redesigned phone, Apple is testing a new type of screen, curved glass and stainless steel materials, and more advanced cameras, the people said. Those anxiously awaiting the redesigned iPhone, however, may have to wait because supply constraints could mean the device isn't readily available until one or two months after the typical fall introduction.
It will be interesting to see the price and shipping date of the new high end phone. Also, if there are other phones, will they share the iPhone 6/6s/7 physical design. If so, I wonder how many people will opt for a less expensive upgrade sooner or wait for the more expensive and significant external upgrade to arrive.
Apple's i-apps now free for iOS, macOS
MacRumors noticed with recent updates Apple's iWork suite, iMovie, and Garage Band are now free to all users.
Apple today updated several of its Mac and iOS apps, making them available for all Mac and iOS users for free.
iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.
Since 2013, anyone purchasing a Mac or iOS device could download the apps for free. At this point, it might have not been worth Apple's time to manage the free download for purchases.
iPad 4th Gen repairs may result in iPad Air 2 replacement
According to an Apple memo at Mac Rumors, it appears those looking to get their iPad 4th Gen repaired could have it replaced with an iPad Air 2. As models get older, it's probably harder and less practical for Apple to stock parts and train staff.
Apple memo via MacRumors:
Starting March 30, iPad 4th generation whole unit repairs may be substituted to iPad Air 2 models. Apple's repair and order management tool will indicate for each repair if a substitution will take place. Please note the substitute part's color and capacity to ensure the customer understands what their replacement iPad whole unit will be.
Apple TV rumored to get user profiles, picture-in-picture
An upcoming tvOS update may bring the ability to watch TV while working in other apps. Another rumor has Apple TV supporting multiple user profiles profiles.
Who knows about the rumors, but I'm particularly interested in the profile ability.
9 to 5 Mac:
As shown in the mockups provided by the site, tvOS 11 will add a way to handle multiple Apple IDs for the different people in the house.
When selecting one of these profiles, users will see only see their songs and playlists in the Music app, view their personal iCloud Photo Library in Photos, change the app home screen to display their apps and layout, and more.
We have the family Apple Music plan and I wish there was a way to have profiles on Apple TV. That's usually how we play music in the house and the wife's music tastes mess up my music discovery. It would be great if you could indicate who is using the device similar to Netflix. This actually vexes me so much I submitted it as a feature request last year. Maybe some time soon...