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Report: Updated Apple TV due in September Permanent Article Link

John Paczkowski:

Expect a refreshed and slimmer chassis and new innards; Apple's A8 system on chip; a new remote that sources say has been "drastically improved" by a touch-pad input; an increase in on-board storage; and an improved operating system that will support Siri voice control. Crucially, the new Apple TV will debut alongside a long-awaited App Store and the software development kit developers need to populate it.

I was hoping to see this at WWDC, but looks like we'll finally see a substantial Apple TV update next to the next iPhone reveal.

Not expected, however, is Apple's rumored plans for a new TV streaming service. That may happen later in the year, but more likely 2016, according to the report.

The App Store component to me seems the most interesting. The remote is annoying, but I don't need something fancy. Nor do I particularly want to talk to my TV, but I guess we'll see how that works. An App Store though holds a lot of promise that seems long overdue.

Report: Apple campus to house visitor center Permanent Article Link

Silicon Valley Business Journal:

The plans show a super-modern glass-walled structure topped by a carbon-fiber roof with extended eaves, punctuated by large skylights. On the ground floor: A 2,386-square-foot cafe and 10,114-square-foot store "which allows visitors to view and purchase the newest Apple products." Stairs and elevators take visitors to the roof level, about 23 feet up. There, they'll be able to behold the multi-billion-dollar campus

At the current campus you can basically drive up to the front door. The company store is right at the main entrance. The new campus, however, appears it won't be as accommodating to vehicle traffic. It is interesting though Apple looks to be accommodating visitors in a grand scale as a tourist attraction.

T-Mobile offers unlimited Apple Music streaming Permanent Article Link

John Legere:

..we're amping up Un-carrier 6.0, Music Freedom and adding Apple Music to our list of 33 services that stream totally free on T-Mobile. Apple Music has become the single most requested new addition to Music Freedom and counts for a full 80% of the requests coming in via Twitter...

This is probably a big commitment considering the number of iPhone users out there.

I'll guess too the timing is intentional. People testing out Apple Music during the free trial will likely see their mobile usage spike. This may mean either they'll be paying extra in overages or considering paying for a higher tier to keep streaming music. T-Mobile would seem an attractive alternative.

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Report suggests Apple Music attracted 10M users Permanent Article Link

Citing industry sources, Hits Daily has a rumor that Apple Music has attracted 10 million users within a month of launching. The report further suggests that the music labels are surprised at the quick start for the new streaming music service.

Of course, Apple is running an extended free preview, so none of those are actually paying customers. The real appeal of Apple Music will better known when by how many free trials are converted to paying accounts.

For perspective, Spotify reports that it has 75 million total accounts, but only 20 million are paying subscribers.

Apple Watch coming to Best Buy near you Permanent Article Link

Starting Aug. 7, Best Buy will be the first national retailer, other than Apple Stores, where customers can buy the Apple Watch. It will begin to arrive in more than 100 Best Buy stores and will also be available on BestBuy.com. Another 200 of our stores will have the Apple Watch in time for holiday shopping.

The release goes on to state that customers will be able to both buy and try on 16 configurations of Watch and Sports models in both 38mm and 42mm options.

Best Buy has a large retail footprint that reaches further than Apple's own retail stores, plus they see traffic from different customers. So, it makes complete sense that not only Apple extend the Watch retail outlets, but to do it at Best Buy first. Many Best Buy stores have small specialty Apple sections staffed by experienced sales associates.

It seems like the release tries to head off any speculation on lagging sales by stating that the Best Buy rollout is a ramp up for the holiday sales season. Initially the watch is coming 100 Best Buy stores and is expected to expand to 300 towards the end of the year.

Leading up to the Apple Watch launch a big deal was made about the sales experience. Retail staff were drilled in both how to present the watch and awkwardly instructed how to provide fashion-level advice. Will this approach be extended to Best Buy staff? Or was this more about designing an experience unique to Apple Stores? It will be interesting to compare and contrast the shopping experiences.

Apple offers Beats Solo2 headphone in Back to School Deal Permanent Article Link

Every year Apple offers some kind of rebate to promote back to school computer purchases. In previous years there have been Apple Store gift cards, App Store cards, iPods, and cash rebates.

After Apple's recent acquisition of Beats, the company is giving a way Solo2 headphones with a purchase of an qualifying Mac. The promotion is on top of already discounted educational pricing. Apple retails the Solo2 for $200, and for an additional $100, customers can upgrade to the wireless Solo2 headphones.

The promotion starts today July 23rd and runs through September 8, 2015.

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Lifehackers rundown of essentialiOS apps Permanent Article Link

The Lifehacker Pack is a yearly snapshot of our favorite, must-have applications for each of our favorite platforms.

The apps don't often change in this list, but there are usually a couple new ones it seems. At the very least it's a reminder to revisit some good apps.

The column highlights the recommended one or two apps in the categories of productivity, Internet/Communications, Location-Aware, Music/Photos/Video, Movies/Video, Reading/News, and Health/FoodFitness.

New OS X Yosemite bug posses a security vulnerability Permanent Article Link

Dan Goodin for Ars Technica:

When combined with a zero-day exploit targeting Adobe's Flash media player, Hacking Team was able to pierce security protections built into Google Chrome, widely regarded as the Internet's most secure browser by default.

According to Esser, the OS X privilege-escalation flaw stems from new error-logging features that Apple added to OS X 10.10.

Goodin reports that the exploit appears to not work in the most recent version of OS X 10.11, so it appears that the situation is at leave being addressed.

Jim Dalrymple doesn't like Apple Music Permanent Article Link

At some point, enough is enough. That time has come for me--Apple Music is just too much of a hassle to be bothered with. Nobody I've spoken at Apple or outside the company has any idea how to fix it, so the chances of a positive outcome seem slim to none.

As if all of that wasn't enough, Apple Music gave me one more kick in the head. Over the weekend, I turned off Apple Music and it took large chunks of my purchased music with it. Sadly, many of the songs were added from CDs years ago that I no longer have access to. Looking at my old iTunes Match library, before Apple Music, I'm missing about 4,700 songs. At this point, I just don't care anymore, I just want Apple Music off my devices.

This week I added a new album from CD and didn't have any issues using Apple Music. I double checked and best I can tell iTunes Match worked fine bringing that music from my main iTunes library to my iPhone. The catch though is the main computer is still running an older version of iTunes. i don't use my desktop that much anymore and I just get lazy about keeping it up to date.

I'll make a note to make sure I back up that iTunes library just in case.

Apple reports $49.6 billion quarter Permanent Article Link

The Company posted quarterly revenue of $49.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $37.4 billion and net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.7 percent compared to 39.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter's revenue.

iPhone sales shot up 59% over last year with 47 million devices sold, which was an increase of 37%. Apple also said it saw its highest rate of new customers switching from Android.

Apple Mac business is also doing well with 4.8 million Macs sold. Growth was 9%, which outpaced the PC industry.

iPad sales slowed to 10.9 million units or a decline of 18%. iPad sales have been trending downward since peaking in late 2013. I'd guess most people who want an iPad have purchased an iPad and growth may be leveling into upgrade cycles.

Apple didn't disclose specifics on the Apple Watch. Apple maintains that sales of the Apple Watch have outpaced their expectations. Apple did disclose that sales of the Apple Watch out-paced the original iPhone and iPad numbers given the same timeframe.

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