Not willing to be upstaged by Apple Music, Google is launching a free version of its Google Play Music service. To make money, the free version of the service will be supported by advertisements -- forget free trials and the prospect of upsetting artists such as Taylor Swift.
The free version of Google Play Music is starting life in the US and Google is pushing the fact that there are curated radio stations to suit whatever mood you find yourself in. The station features the involvement of some of the Songza team and it is possible to home in on a custom radio station based on genre, mood, decade, activity, or similarity to particular artists.
Uber has faced numerous complaints since its inception in 2010, including suggestions that drivers are not properly vetted. Now the taxi service is facing legal action over plans to track the location of its customers whether the app is running in the foreground or background on their phones.
The new policy is due to come into force on July 15, but the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a complaint with the FTC saying that the policy change is unfair and should be investigated by the commission. It will be possible to opt out of this location tracking, but EPIC feels this is unreasonable.
With less than two weeks to go until the launch of Apple Music, a report suggests that the company is having trouble enticing smaller and independent labels into signing up to take part. The problem is not necessarily that there is a lack of interest in joining Apple Music, but that the three month free trial period would generate no income for the labels.
Apple Music will make its money through monthly subscription fees, a percentage of which is then shared with record labels. During the three month free trial, Apple will make no money from the music streaming service, and will therefore have no revenue to share. While this is a cost that larger labels might be in a position to absorb, small companies say it could put them out of business.
The launch of Apple News looks set to upset potential publishers if initial reaction to the service's terms and conditions is anything to go by. Bloggers have complained that they have been spammed by Apple with an email inviting them to join the service. Nothing wrong with that (aside from the unsolicited correspondence), you might say, but the problem is, complainants grumble, that acceptance of terms and conditions is assumed unless individuals actively opt out.
Again, this is not entirely unusual, but one of the terms makes for interesting reading. "If we receive a legal claim about your RSS content, we will tell you so that you can resolve the issue, including indemnifying Apple if Apple is included in the claim". But this is not the only clause that has raised the ire of bloggers.
There was a lot of Apple news to digest from WWDC last week. As well as the latest versions of OS X and iOS, we witnessed the appearance of women on stage as Apple tried to do its part for diversity. Apple would probably like us to focus on the likes of the Apple Music and Beats One launches, but really it's another announcement that should be foremost in our minds: Apple News.
On the face of it, this is a simple replacement -- perhaps even just a renaming -- for Newsstand, but it's really much more than that. The key difference here is that content will not only come from media partners, but will also be curated. Apple is now a news editor, and that's extremely dangerous.
Videos that automatically play when they appear on screen are making their way to Twitter. Taking the lead from Facebook, the microblogging service is introducing the feature to reduce the need to click in order to watch a video.
It's something that will be loved and loathed in just about equal measure -- and if you fall into the latter camp, you'll be pleased to hear that it's possible to revert to the old click-to-play method. Twitter thinks that autoplay will help to ensure that you miss fewer videos about breaking news, but it remains to be seen just how popular it proves.
Snapchat has bolted on some extra security to its Android and iOS apps in the form of two-factor authentication.
The Verge spotted that with the latest version of the Snapchat app, when you log on from a new device, the software will send a text to the mobile registered with your account containing a security number.
There is lots of talk surrounding the level of protection offered by leading mobile operating systems Android and iOS. Whether it is about a new vulnerability, or new security features, it does not take you long to find an authoritative comment assessing their security capabilities.
That is, however, not the case with Windows Phone, which is hardly -- if ever -- given similar levels of attention. It can be argued that this is due to the low popularity of the tiled smartphone operating system, which borders on 3 percent market share, making it a significantly less-attractive target. Nonetheless, there is now an assessment of Windows Phone's security that we can rely on, coming from Eugene Kaspersky.
Users of iOS, beware. An unfixed vulnerability has been found in the Mail app, which allows hackers to steal passwords by sending an email.
The flaw was first noticed by Ernst and Young forensic bod Jan Soucek. He has created a tool capable of generating slick iCloud password phishing emails he says exploits an unpatched bug.
It was not the industry's best-kept secret -- Sony let the cat out of the bag a little early -- but at WWDC today, Tim Cook officially took the wraps off Apple Music. Set to compete with the likes of Tidal and Spotify, Apple's new streaming music service sits neatly alongside iTunes and has the involvement of Dr Dre, Trent Reznor, and Jimmy Iovine to name but three.
Cook stepped into Steve Jobs' shoes for a moment, introducing the famous "one more thing" that has been missing from more recent Apple events. Not a company to hide its light under a bushel, Apple's Music service is not just a music streaming service, but "the next chapter in music". But there's more than just Apple Music; there's also Beats One, Apple's first ever radio station.
It has been rumored for as long as we can remember (well... almost...). The idea that Apple would launch a streaming music services -- bearing in mind everything else Apple does -- is something that just makes sense. Now the cat is out of the bag as the rumor is confirmed by Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music.
The official announcement will come from Apple at its World Wide Developers Conference tomorrow (Monday 8 June), but Morris' statement in an interview in the Midem Music Industry Festival in Cannes is a solid source. He said that the launch will represent a "tipping point" for the industry as music listeners make the move from downloading tracks to streaming them on demand. Just don't expect Apple service to be free.
While you certainly don’t need technology to get the blood pumping, there are a huge number of fitness apps out there that can help encourage and focus your exercise regime.
If you do need some help getting your running shoes on, then we’ve listed five of the best apps for motivation, technique and fitness monitoring currently available.
If you are an adult that likes to visit Japanese porno websites on your iPhone or iPad, I will not judge you. It is your life and you can do with it what you want. Quite frankly, watching x-rated videos is safer than visiting sex workers, as you cannot catch a virus from your Apple device.
Or can you? While not a virus per se, Symantec has discovered a malicious app in the wild that is targeting iOS users that search for Japanese sex videos and visit certain spam links. Unfortunately, wearing a condom on your finger will not protect you -- here is how to stay safe.
Nine years ago, a NPR interviewer asked me about Google and other U.S. companies censoring search results in China. The question was one of morality -- to which I gave answer she didn't expect. That response, or my recollection of it, is appropriate for rather ridiculous and self-serving statements that Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly made two days ago.
"We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy", Cook said, Matthew Panzarino reports for TechCrunch. "The American people demand it, the constitution demands it, morality demands it". Oh? What is moral? The answer I gave NPR in 2006 applies: There is no moral high ground in business. The high ground is quagmire, because all public companies -- Apple surely among them -- share a single, moral objective: Make profits for stockholders. Plain, pure, and simple.
All that it takes to mess with an iPhone user these days is a text message. Send it, and their beloved smartphone, along with its Messages app, will crash. You can do it from any phone, making this whole situation rather embarrassing for Apple.
Apple is now working on a fix for this annoying bug, which will be delivered in an upcoming iOS software update. In the meantime, however, the company has posted a workaround that should help iPhone users in case they encounter the nasty text message.