BBC Radio DJ Zane Lowe joining Apple

BBC Radio 1 has announced that its popular DJ, Zane Lowe, is set to leave the historic British broadcaster in March for a job at Apple.

Zane Lowe has worked as an award-winning Radio 1 DJ for nearly twelve years and has long been regarded as one of the UK’s top sources for music discovery.

He has won a number of awards for his radio show and was nominated for a Grammy Award this year for his role in writing and producing Sam Smith’s album “In The Lonely Hour.” 

There’s no news on what position Lowe is taking at the company, but it would make sense he would be involved into the company’s iTunes Radio streaming music service. 

Apple has placed a high degree of emphasis on musical curation, especially after purchasing Beats Music and bringing in cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

“We get a subscription music service that we believe is the first subscription service that really got it right,” Apple chief Tim Cook said when discussing the deal. “They had the insight early on to know how important human curation is. That technology by itself wasn’t enough — that it was the marriage of the two that would really be great, and produce a feeling in people that we want to produce.”zane_lowe

iTunes Radio currently has curated stations created by well-known DJs, artists, and other stars. Beats Music features a similar function.

The Cupertino-based company is reportedly planning to rollout a new iTunes subscription service later this year that could be perfect for Lowe’s human curation.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

DearMob’s 5KPlayer: All-in-one Solution to download/play/airplay videos music

DearMob has announced a new product named 5KPlayer, a free all-round video music player, online video music downloader and AirPlay media streamer. The unique freeware will positively play a significant role in your daily entertainment whether you are a moviegoer, music buff, homebody or frequent party goer. It spices up your life and gives your bucks a rest in the following ways.

Download free movies and hit music videos from over 300 sites including YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Vevo, Metacafe, Dailymotion. 5KPlayer provides advantages over similar video music players because it embraces features of batch downloading non-HD/HD/4K 5K UHD videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and the like in a matter of seconds. That is to say, you are given the access to nearly all the movies, videos music resources without spending a dime.

Play movies videos music DVDs with amazing audio video effect thanks to TrueTheater technology. It sets itself apart from other online video downloader with its astonishing ability to play videos in any format and resolution, MP4, MKV, WMV, FLV, M2TS, MOV, 1080P, 4K, 5K, 2D, 3D and more. Moreover, it serves as a stunning music player that can play AAC, AC3, FLAC etc with organizational flexibility, put it another way, you can create your music playlist, collect your favorite songs or even airplay your songs to other devices. Besides, it also works as an omnipotent DVD player software that plays any encrypted DVDs (region code 1-6, Disney DRM, DVD CSS etc.), DVD folders and ISO images.


AirPlay movies videos from iPhone iPad iPod to Mac/TV, Mac to Mac or Mac to TV. Unlike other online video downloader & player, 5KPlayer also functions as an AirPlay media streamer that supports the latest Mac computers, like iMac, MacBook, Mac Mini. With the help of 5KPlayer, sharing movies videos audio (airplay supported formats, MP4, H.264,M4V, AAC and MP3) with your families and friends is a breeze now.


Now, don’t bother yourself to sniff out online video downloader, and spend another day seeking for video music player or AirPlayer sender. 5KPlayer is at your disposal. It’s noteworthy that it’s 100% free and clean, no virus, no adware, no plugins. And it is quite easy for users to follow 5KPlayer user guide owing to its nifty interface.


Apple’s Activation Lock made iPhone less attractive for thieves

Apple’s iPhone, which is a hot target for thieves and pickpockets, is becoming a less attractive item thanks to the Apple’s Activation Lock function.

According to the latest figures, there is a decline of 40 percent in the number of devices stolen in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York between September 2013 and September 2014. The number of iPhones stolen in London was reduced by 50 percent over the same period.

“We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” London Mayor Boris Johnson said.

An analyze of the data of the previous year, showed, that thefts reduced by 38 percent in San Francisco and 24 percent in London. In New York, the number of stolen iPhones dropped by 19 and 29 percent, respectively.


Activation Lock first debuted with iOS 7 along with the feature allowing users to remotely lock their devices with their iCloud credentials, requiring authentication with Apple before the iPhone can be accessed again.

California passed a law last August requiring that all smartphones sold in the state implement kill switches by July 2015. It is a standard feature used by the latest version of Android, and Microsoft is reportedly developing a kill switch for Windows Phones that will debut later this year.


Sling TV streaming service available to all

Dish Network-owned streaming service Sling TV announced that its new web television service, Sling TV, is now available and will bring content from AMC.

Sling TV will allow the general public to sign up and watch live TV from a variety of networks from a Mac or iOS device, along with a number of other devices. Interested consumers can now visit to signup and get a free 7-day trial. 

The base package is available at $20 per month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, El Rey and Galavision.

“We believe Sling TV is a game-changing service that enhances the existing television landscape. Now underserved audiences have access to the best of live TV at an affordable price,” Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch said in a release.


AMC is promised to join the base package soon. Sling users will be given access to stream shows like The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul from AMC, or Doctor Who and Sherlock from BBC America.

Sling TV streaming service

Subscribers now have the ability to use their Sling TV login to authenticate with ESPN’s WatchESPN apps on mobile devices and the Apple TV. This can be done without extra charge for access to ESPN and ESPN2, while subscribers to the $5-per-month Sports Extra pack will be also given access to SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded and ESPN Goal Line.

The new service comes with easy navigating and intuitive interface. Users will find a lot of on screen UI elements, arrows, hamburger buttons, and more. 

Apps Lists, Mac, News/Rumors

Apple’s new Photos app for OS X: ‘significant improvement’ over iPhoto

Following the debut of the first OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 beta to developers last week, the company revealed the first beta of Apple’s new Photos application for the Mac.

Developers were given a preview of the new Photos app on Thursday, which confirmed the effort that Apple has made for years to make its two platforms into one consistent ecosystem.

Photos is expected to become a good replacement for the existing iPhoto and to some extent, Aperture.

The new app has a number of new features and functions that stood out at once. Firstly, Photos provides users with the ability to easily produce their own books, calendars, cards, and other physical items in a way that’s easier than before.

Mac owners will also be able to have all their pictures backed up and accessible on all their Apple devices.


Additionally, the app comes with the option to intelligently decide whether to store or not store images locally on the Mac. That means, that users will be allowed to optimize their hard drive space while still having all of their photos accessible when connected to the Internet and accessing them from iCloud.

Photos for OS X also comes with a convenient optimized slideshow configuration wizard and offers an easy way to share images with others via iCloud.

Finally, even being in its beta state, the app features a clean interface.

Photos for OS X appeared to be a significant improvement for users migrating from iPhoto. Photos for OS X will be available as a public beta soon ahead of a Spring launch as a free update on OS X Yosemite.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Microsoft acquires Sunrise Calendar for $100M

Microsoft has reportedly acquired popular iOS calendar app Sunrise for “at least” $100 million.

Sunrise is an iPhone and iPad app in the App Store. It also can be downloaded for the Mac and other mobile platforms.

Sunrise will be Microsoft’s second purchase in the mobile productivity space in recent months after it acquired iOS email app Accompli for over $200 million last December. Last month, the company began revamping its mobile offerings with the release of the new Outlook email app.

Like Acompli, Sunrise also works with a number of services, not just Microsoft’s. They are Google’s calendar service, iCloud calendars, and, of course, Exchange.

There are no details on how the company plans to use Sunrise, but it is believed to serve as a standalone product while lending some technology to other Microsoft groups.

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Sunrise is currently one of the most popular third-party calendaring programms on iOS, with a 4.5-star rating from over 2,300 App Store reviews at press time.

Sunrise features a few additional abilities similar to Apple’s first-party solution, including integrated mapping to allow users to get to their events. The app also displays social events from Facebook and contacts’ birthdays. Finally, LinkedIn connectivity gives more information about the people you’re meeting up with.

Sunrise will likely be available with new Microsoft branding pretty soon.


Apple testing mysterious сamera-equipped minivan

Apple seems to be preparing a significant update to its Maps application for iOS and OS X.

A few cars with what looks like a camera equipment and a LiDAR sensor mounted to the roof, were spotted around California in recent weeks. The California DMV confirmed that the vehicle was leased to the iPhone maker.

It can be a part of Apple’s mapping project, as the cameras on top of the car are similar to other mapping vehicles. The company has been planning on big update for its Maps application, with improvements for transit directions, enhanced points-of-interest data, indoor mapping and more. Apple is probably working on a feature, that is similar to Google Street View or Bing StreetSide.

Along with the cameras, a number of spinning cylindrical devices fitted to the front and rear appear to be LiDAR sensors. This laser-based technology is used to create high-resolution maps, and is also a part of the sensing systems on self-driving cars, including those made by Google.


In addition to LiDAR and cameras, there were two small disc-shaped antennas fitted to the roof and a sensor hanging over the rear wheel, which is likely used to measure movement.

The CBS affiliate reached out to technology analyst Rob Enderle, who said it may be a test model for a self-driving vehicle.

If Apple is truly working on a Street View feature for Maps, it’s possible that users will be provided a new feature in the iOS 9 upgrade that is expected to come later this year. Apple might also include this feature in a later version of iOS.


First look at Fassbender as Steve Jobs in upcoming Sorkin biopic

The Steve Jobs biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography began filming in January, and the first photos of Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak have been revealed.

The images published on Monday by U.K. tabloid the Daily Mail offer the first look at Fassbender wearing a double-breasted jacket and bowtie with long hair combed back, presumably demonstrating the style that Steve Jobs had in the 1980s.

The set of pictures show Fassbender and Rogen talking and walking. One of the images shows the film’s director, Danny Boyle, interacting with the actors.

Steve Jobs

The pictures were taken in California, near Apple’s current headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The filming began in nearby Los Altos where Jobs and Wozniak put together the boards of their first computer, the Apple I. Filming on the movie will reportedly take place at a limited number of places including the garage of Steve Jobs’ childhood home, two auditoriums, and a restaurant. The picture is expected to consist of three continuous scenes covering three product launches: the NeXT computer, the original iMac, and the iPod. 

Steve Jobs 2

The film is now under direction of Universal Pictures, who officially announced the final cast last week. The film currently has the title of “Steve Jobs.”

Along with Fassbender and Rogen as Jobs and Wozniak, the cast also includes such notables like Kate Winslet as early employee Joanna Hoffman, Katherine Waterson as Steve Jobs’ girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, Perla Haney-Jardine as Jobs’ daughter Lisa, and Jeff Daniels as former Apple CEO John Sculley.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple wants some Watch apps launch in the App Store by February 12

Apple seems to be asking certain developers and partners to prepare their Apple Watch-compatible iPhone apps to launch in the App Store in mid-February. According to a source that spoke to MacRumors, the company has also contacted one of the biggest Apple Pay partners to ask to prepare an iOS app with WatchKit support and have it ready to launch in the App Store by February 12.

Apple is heavily testing the device, and a number of Apple engineers, employees, and testers are wearing the Apple Watch on a regular basis to help the company find out bugs and issues. MacRumors forums feature plenty of reports of Watch sightings in the Cupertino area, suggesting that employees are wearing and testing the device in the wild. There are also some photos that appear to show someone, likely an Apple employee, wearing the device in public, around San Francisco’s Marina area.


Apple will likely introduce its high-profile partner’s app in an upcoming launch event to demonstrate how Apple Pay works on the Apple Watch. Apple Pay is expected to be a key feature of the Apple Watch, allowing users to authorize credit card payments right from their wrists. According to early reports, the Apple Watch will be able to authenticate payments biometrically, requiring a passcode when the product is first placed on a wrist and again if it loses skin contact. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that the company’s new device is still under development and will hit the market at some point in April. The exact price for the Apple Watch is still unclear, but will start at $349 for the least expensive option.

Accessories, News/Rumors

iRing-motion controller to direct your music on iPhone and iPad

Motion control continues to enter the tech world and one of the latest inventions is a really brilliant idea. IK Multimedia’s iRing turns your iPad into a musical instrument and allows users to control music using hand gestures alone.

The iRing system consists of two pedestal-like objects, which you place between your fingers on each hand. There are three linear dots on one side and three dots aligned like a triangle on the other. Each side has a various pattern that the iRing Music Maker recognizes. The triangular ring should be worn on your left hand and the linear one on your right. To produce different control results, you are tasked to waving your hand in different directions. The triangle pattern ring must be used to speed up or slow down the beat by moving your hand closer to and further from the iPad camera. With the iRing you can control what type of bass line you will use. You are also given the ability to randomize the loops by rotating your hand 90 degrees. The patterns controls are ranged depending on how close or far you are from the screen.

The iRing requires no batteries, no constant app updates, or any special drivers. They fit between two fingers like some high-tech brass knuckles, so, they fit every size hand. They are very comfortable to wear for a long time, as each ring weighs just 5.67 grams.


The new accessory makes it possible for you to mix loops, trigger beats, and set parameters using the special iRing Music Maker app.iPhone and iPad

iRing FX/Controller is a free companion app, which provides a simple interface for playing electronic music on the fly. Once the app installed, open it up, register your iRing, and start making music.

The Ring system is available for $24.99 and can be ordered via the IK Multimedia website.