When Apple bought Beats back in 2014, it got a headphone/speaker line and the foundation for what became Apple Music. Now it appears that Beats co-founder and rap legend Dr Dre is going to be playing an even bigger role in the company. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Apple is currently producing an original series called Vital Signs with Dr Dre as the show’s star. It’s a new move for Apple, creating original video content, and one that is expected to be used to promote Apple Music.While rumors of Apple developing a streaming TV package have been up and down over the last few years, there has been talk separately in recent months that Apple could be interested in creating original content as well. But Vital Signs is said to be distributed over Apple Music, not iTunes specifically or a new streaming package, which follows similar moves from Google’s YouTube to promote subscriptions.
THR notes that the series will run six-episodes long at around 30 minutes each with Apple funding the project. The series itself is described as a “semi-autobiographical” drama, which suggests it could resemble the film Compton that Apple Music made a point to promote along an exclusive soundtrack.
While technically a half-hour, the show is not a comedy. Instead, it is described as a dark drama with no shortage of violence and sex. In fact, an episode filming Monday and Tuesday this week featured an extended orgy scene. Sources tell THR naked extras simulated sex in a mansion in the Bird Streets neighborhood of Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills. (Dre’s wife Nicole Threatt Young was on set to witness the shenanigans, one insider says.)
The series is expected to be released all at once when it’s complete, although filming is still ongoing and the project hasn’t been officially announced. The report also notes that similar projects aren’t currently in development, although other series with artists on Apple Music remain possible.
In between a fashion show and album debut at his super confusing Madison Square Garden event yesterday, Kanye West also found some time to take the wraps off his upcoming video game dubbed “Only One”.And the game is just as bat sh*t crazy as you could have hoped for with characters controlling West’s dead mother in angel form as they guide her through the gates of heaven on a flying white pegasus in the clouds.
But apart from the gameplay that we get a glimpse of in the full trailer below, it also seems like the game will feature some remastered versions of well-known Kanye tracks, or at least the “Only One” song that accompanies the trailer and shares a name with the game. Kanye first released the song Only One featuring Paul McCartney in 2014 as a tribute of sorts to his mother Donda West who passed away in 2007.
When Kanye showed the game trailer during his live event at Madison Square Garden yesterday, which was also live streamed on music streaming service Tidal, he noted that he had some trouble developing the game initially with some pushback by unknown game developers in San Francisco who didn’t like the concept much:
I worked on a video game and I wanted to show yall… The idea of the game is my mom traveling through the gates of heaven… You don’t understand.. I go out and meet with everybody in San Fran and they’ll diss the f*ck out of me… and I’ll be like ‘I wanna make a game’ and they be like ‘F*ck you’… this sh*t was hard to do man…
Kanye didn’t confirm a platform or release for the game with only a mention that it will be “coming soon” during the trailer. But it’s very likely Kanye wants to tap into some of the success his wifey Kim Kardashian has had on the App Store (and this doesn’t exactly look like a console title we’ll be seeing on Xbox any time soon). That includes the record breaking Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game for mobile devices that took in around $200 million in 2014, and more recently the Kimoji app
Facebook is testing a couple of new features for its WhatsApp service, with new additions coming to the company’s iPhone app.
As first spotted by German blog Macerkopf, those wishing to get data out of WhatsApp for whatever reason will be pleased to learn that it now appears Facebook is testing a feature that would allow users to download their chat history as a ZIP file, making getting their own data onto a computer considerably easier than it is right now. Currently, the only export feature available to users is to back up to, or restore from iCloud. That’s all well and good if you’re using an iOS device, but getting data onto a computer can be a little trickier. This new, unannounced ability to download chat histories to a ZIP file will solve that problem.
We learned this week that Apple shipped 74.8 million iPhones globally during the recent holiday quarter, which is just slightly up from the 74.4 million shipped during the same quarter the year prior and just under the 75 million that analysts expected.
Today Strategy Analytics has released new data showing how Apple’s last two years of shipments compare to competitors like Samsung and Huawei. The data also breaks down how Apple’s global smartphone marketshare stacks up to those same competitors.
By Mr Grandstyl @ywkb
Earlier this evening, the Oracle vs. Google lawsuit revealed Android’s revenues and profits for the first time. The same case has now revealed that Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 as part of its ongoing deal to be the main search provider as in the one that resides in the search bar by default on iOS devices.
Specifically, Apple’s deal with Google gives it a percentage of the revenue that the search engine generates through Apple devices. An Oracle lawyer said that the revenue share was 34 percent (although it’s not clear based on the transcript whether that means Apple got 34%, or if Google kept 34%). A Google lawyer quickly tried to get the percentage struck of the public record stating, “We are talking hypotheticals here. That’s not a publicly known number.”
In 2014, rumors emerged that Yahoo was pushing to replace Google as the search engine on iOS devices. Obviously, that did not materialize and whether it was because Google paid more or was the better search engine quality-wise is unknown. Google makes 4x more on iOS users than it does on its own Android users, and as such keeping the search deal is highly important to its core business.
Interestingly, this information highlights a hypocrisy on Apple’s part, revealing how much the company indirectly and directly profits from the Google ad business that it criticizes.
The revenue-sharing agreement reveals the lengths Google must go to keep people using its search tool on mobile devices. It also shows how Apple benefits financially from Google’s advertising-based business model that Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has criticized as an intrusion of privacy.
The magistrate judge presiding over the case initially refused Google’s request to block the sensitive information in the transcript. Google has asked a federal judge to seal and redact the transcript, saying the disclosure would negatively affect their ability to negotiate similar agreements. Interestingly, Apple has also filed to redact the information.
The legal case between the two companies is born out of Oracle accusing Google of using its Java software in the creation of Android without compensation. The Supreme Court denied Google’s request to hear the case and is now back to a district court where damages are being determined. Oracle could end up receiving up to $1 billion in damages when new versions of Android are factored.
With the introduction of the first beta of iOS 9.3, Apple introduced a new feature called Night Shift that adjusts the color temperature of your device’s display at night as to make it easier to fall asleep. One qualm many have had with the feature, however, is that you have to go into the Settings app to turn it on and off. Apple’s iOS 9.3 Canadian preview page, however, hints that it make become easier to enable the feature with future iOS 9.3 updates…If you head to the iOS 9.3 preview page on Apple Canada’s website, you can see that there’s an option to enable Night Shift from Control Center on the iPad. The Control Center toggle brings up two options: “Turn On For Now” and “Turn On Until Tomorrow.” This toggle is noticeably missing from the American version of the 9.3 preview page, so it’s unclear what exactly Apple has planned for it (via Reddit)
One possibility is that we’ll see the Control Center Night Shift option appear in a future iOS 9.3 beta, the next of which could come as early as next week. It’s unclear as to whether this will be an iPad only feature or if it will come to the iPhone, as well.
If you’re unfamiliar, Night Shift uses your iOS device’s location and clock to automatically adjust the colors in your display, making them warmer and easier on the eyes at nighttime. In the end, Apple says this should make it easier to fall asleep as the bright blue light normally emitted from a display has been found to disrupt your circadian rhythms.
If a new beta of iOS 9.3 should come out next week, we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the Night Shift Control Center toggle.
Mr Grandstyl @ywkb
There’s a new iOS 9.2.1 update within the Settings app awaiting all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users today. Apple released the first developer beta version of the software update in mid-December after shipping iOS 9.2 earlier in the month. The second iOS 9.2 beta was later released at the start of January. Apple has since started testing iOS 9.3 with developers and public beta testers.As the version number suggests, iOS 9.2.1 so far hasn’t included any major feature changes or enhancements, and the official release notes only reference bug fixes, security improvements, and an MDM server issue fix.
The software update for iPhone and iPad likely includes fixes for any issues introduced with iOS 9.2 at the beginning of the year. Today’s release may also be timed as to support AT&T’s NumberSync feature, which bridges iPhone numbers with other connected devices like iPads and Macs, although we’ll have to go hands-on before we know for sure. This feature was previously tested in other iOS 9 betas.
By Mr Grandstyl @ywkb