Apple content listings suggest 4K and HDR are coming to iTunes and the Apple TV


Apple has begun listing select iTunes movies as 4K and HDR, according to a report by MacRumors. The actual movie files being served are still only in 1080p or 720p, but the 4K and HDR labels suggest Apple’s media library will finally make the jump to Ultra HD content. Rumors of a new Apple TV capable of 4K and HDR coming later this year have been making the rounds, so this premature listing of 4K and HDR content seems to suggest those rumors are true.

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Apple’s new HomePod speaker is their answer to the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos

Apple has announced their competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers, and it’s called the HomePod. It’s a round speaker covered in either a white or space grey fabric mesh. It’s being touted primarily as a premium music device, although it does have Siri built-in to compete with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s voice assistant. Read more ›

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Amazon Prime Video app coming to the Apple TV later this year

Today marks the start of WWDC, Apple’s big developer conference. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook just took the stage to kick off the conference and his first announcement was that an Amazon Video app will finally be coming to the Apple TV. Cook mentioned you’ll be able to watch Prime Video on the device, but it’s unclear if the app will also allow you to purchase and rent content. Apple is rumored to be working on a new Apple TV with 4K capabilities, but there was no mention of a new device. The Amazon video app for Apple TV will arrive “later this year.” Read more ›

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Amazon Video app may arrive on Apple TV this summer

An Amazon Video app may actually be released on the Apple TV later this year. Sources familiar with the matter tell Recode that the two companies “are close to an agreement” to bring the streaming service to Apple’s set-top box. They expect the app to be released in the third quarter of this year. That would align nicely with when we can probably expect to see a new 4K version of the Apple TV released. Read more ›

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Amazon Music app for iOS now supports Apple Carplay

Amazon has just updated their Amazon Music app for iOS for the iPhone and iPad with support for Apple Carplay. If you have a vehicle equipped with Carplay, you can now easily access your Amazon Music library right from your dash through a native interface. This works with both
Prime Music and Music Unlimited subscriptions, as well content you’ve individualy purchased or uploaded yourself. Support for Android Auto has been available for some time, so it’s nice to see Amazon now including support for the other popular car dash operating system.

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Apple reportedly testing new 4K capable Apple TV

What probably comes as no surprise to anyone, Apple is reportedly testing a new Apple TV that is capable of 4K playback, according to a new report by Bloomberg. People familiar with the plans say the new device, internally codenamed “J105,” is also capable of displaying “more vivid colors,” which likely means support for HDR content. Bloomberg’s article points out that the current Apple TV, released in 2015, as well as the new unreleased model consist of numerous compromises that have resulted in a product that is evolutionary instead of revolutionary. Apple’s original vision for the product included connectors for a coaxial port to replace cable boxes, a game controller to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation, and microphones for hands free Siri communication. None of that panned out and Apple “essentially settled for turning the television set into a giant iPhone.” A 4K capable Apple TV, as well as HDR support, is inevitable from Apple, but it sounds like a disruption of how the average customer consumes streaming media is not coming with the next generation device.

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New ‘TV’ app from Apple aggregates multiple streaming services into one place on Apple TV and iOS

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It’s more evident than ever that Apple has given up on releasing their own streaming TV service. Yesterday they announced a new app, simply called TV, coming to Apple TVs and iOS devices that will list content from multiple streaming services you’re subscribed to in one place. This is identical to the strategy that Amazon has had with the Fire TV interface and Google has had with the Chromecast app. Instead of trying to pull content under Apple’s umbrella, the new app helps you discover content you already have access to from other streaming services. Read more ›

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Summary of Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation news from WWDC and E3

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Yesterday was the start of WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference, where they revealed some new features coming to the Apple TV. It was also the start of E3, the big gaming conference where Microsoft talked about the Xbox’s future and Sony talked about the PlayStation’s future. Here’s a summary of the announcements related to streaming media.
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New Apple App Store revenue-share model could result in an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV

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Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, has revealed changes coming to the Apple App Store that directly impact the likely reasons why Amazon Video is not available on the Apple TV. The specific change is a reduction in Apple’s cut of an app’s subscription revenue from 30% to 15%, after a customer has been subscribed to a service for over one year. Amazon hasn’t specifically said that the current 30% “Apple Tax” is the reason they haven’t released an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV, but it is widely speculated to be their main concern with the platform. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, did say last week that “we want it to be on the device with acceptable business terms,” when asked about Amazon Video on the Apple TV.

Under the new Apple App Store policy, Amazon would now keep 85% of most Prime membership fees from customers who signed up through an Amazon Video app on Apple devices. While Apple would still pocket 30% the first year and 15% each subsequent years, the new terms are a step in the right direction for Amazon, which might make them reconsider releasing an Amazon Video app for the Apple TV. Read more ›

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Apple’s live internet TV service is on hold

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Apple has been rumored to be working on a new live TV streaming service for the better part of this year. Now, CBS CEO Les Moonves said yesterday, at Business Insider’s Ignition conference, that Apple has “pressed the hold button” on the new TV service. Bloomberg has confirmed separately with their own sources that Apple is suspending plans for the TV service that was expected to offer “14 or so channels for $30 to $40 a month.” They say Apple isn’t giving up entirely on the new TV service, but is instead shifting focus to being “a platform for media companies to sell directly to customers,” i.e., an app platform.

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