Friday Morning News

k7PSltNow that Apple’s paying artists during the three-month trial of Apple Music, The New York Times has revealed Apple will be paying 0.2 cents for each song streamed. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s a figure similar to what Spotify pays out when songs are accessed via its free streaming tier, as reported by MacRumors, and doesn’t include a separate payment made to music publishers for songwriting rights. According to Billboard, Apple may also pay out an additional 0.047 cents per stream for song rights, bringing the total up to a whopping 0.247 cents.

More importantly, Taylor Swift has now put her money where her mouth is and decided to stream her 1989 album on Apple Music. Now I’m prepared to say everybody wins — people get to listen to Taylor Swift’s amazing album, and artists get paid for their work while customers try out Apple Music.

The OS X El Capitan beta reveals Apple’s plans for a 4K Retina iMac, with speculation saying that the smaller-resolution model will be coming to the smaller 21.5-inch iMac. Apple hasn’t quite made the jump to an all-Retina lineup on the Mac as as it has on iOS devices, but we’re getting there.

The El Capitan beta also hints about a new multi-touch Bluetooth remote. AppleInsider immediately concludes this must indicate plans for an Apple TV revamp, but seeing as that was one of the bigger rumours that didn’t pan out during WWDC, it’s unknown whether this is what Apple is working on. A Bluetooth remote would definitely make sense, seeing as Apple removed the IR sensor from the Retina MacBook Pro lineup.

Improvements to iTunes U released today include one-to-one discussions, homework hand-in, integrated PDF annotation, and grade books. It’s great to see Apple continuing to focus on eduction as such a high priority, even when some of their bigger projects don’t quite go as planned (I’m referring to the LA iPad/education debacle, of course.)

9to5Mac has the full list of supported Siri HomeKit commands, after Apple published a support page detailing HomeKit-enabled accessory compatibility and setup. Besides the usual “turn on/off” commands, you can also tell Siri about changing the thermostat, as well as setting various “scenes” — the examples given are dinner, party, and bedtime scenes, which I presume are setup via the respective HomeKit app.

I’ve been really getting into geo-fencing reminders lately, telling me to get milk once I get home, or look at stuff when I get to work. A new patent application says Apple are looking at taking geofencing to the next level, by turning on appliances or even alerting users of your expected ETA at a particular location.

I have no idea what’s going on in the US at the moment, but there’s some controversy around displaying the Confederate Flag. Apple has taken the somewhat drastic measure of removing all American Civil War-themed games from the App Store, which possibly display the Confederate Flag.

IMore tells us about the changes coming to the Apple Watch as part of watch OS 2. More watch faces, native apps, and third-party complications would be my picks for the best upcoming features, but there’s plenty to get excited about when it all launches sometime in August or September.

A profile of Zane Lowe from The New York Times tells you about the radio DJ that’s about to launch Beats 1. The Times calls Beats 1 an experiment by Apple to relaunch live radio, combining music streaming with something people have grown up with for generations.

Notable Replies

  1. The fuss about the Confederate flag is because the flag celebrates a time and a cause built around slavery. The only purpose to fly the flag is as a statement supporting racism.

  2. This is true, but I can’t believe they’ve sidelined the much needed gun control debate to talk about that flag. It just goes to show how engrained the gun culture is over there. Nine people shot down by a looney QUICK LET’S CHANGE THAT RACIST FLAG THAT’S BEEN FLYING THERE FOR OVER A CENTURY AND NOBODY BALKED AT!

    I’m glad Taylor Swift put her money where her mouth was! I don’t know why I’m so excited by this service. I never paid for Spotify but there’s just something about having on app handle all my music that makes this appealing. Full Siri integration too!

  3. You’re right that gun culture is engrained in the US consciousness. Frankly, the NRA has won the war against gun control. They own the Congress on this issue. If Sandy Hook didn’t move the debate - and it didn’t - then another 9 gunned down in a black church isn’t going to change anything either.

    We lived in the US from 1991 to 2003. IT professionals I worked with everyday were gun nuts, and when there was a push towards registration of firearms, my colleagues were all out buying even more guns “so that I have a few more guns that the government won’t know about.”

    That’s why the conversation over the latest shooting has focused on the symbols of racism that they can do something about, because further attempts at gun control are a hopeless cause.

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