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The reviews are in: Apple Music is ‘deep, overwhelming, e...

Today, 12:15 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Apple Music makes its debut in a few short minutes and if you want to spend that time reading about what early reviewers thought (after migrating your playlists), we’ve got a list of Apple’s selected journalists who’ve played with the app and listened to the music with a few choice words:

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Re/Code’s Dean of Apple reviews Walt Mossberg said he would pay for the service but found the UI overly complicated for Apple…

My first impression of Apple Music is that it’s the most full-featured streaming music app I’ve seen — and heard — and the first I’d consider paying for. But it may overwhelm some users, and I’ll need to live with it more before I can reach final conclusions.

Ed Baig from USA Today has a take on the Taylor Swift controversy and a nice video walkthrough.

As anyone following music knows by now, the pop superstar recently took on Apple via Twitter over a royalty payments issue surrounding the company’s nascent music service, which is available to the public Tuesday. Apple swiftly surrendered.

“I’m a big part of that and Tim (Cook) is a big part of that and we did it together,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, told me in an interview. “For us this was a really simple call. We did something we thought was compensating them, artists didn’t feel that way, and we could address it. Why wait? Luckily I work at a company where Tim and myself could make it happen very quickly.”

Beats co-founder and Apple executive Jimmy Iovine adds, “I had floor seats for this one. It was extraordinary what Eddy and Tim Cook did. We got up in the morning and I talked to Eddy. How these guys move in a company of this size, and to understand the nuance of what is going on with an artist and an industry, to get that, was nothing short of mind-blowing to me.”

Christina Warren has the Mashable POV:

Much of the Apple Music experience really is Beats Music. And this is a good thing. I always thought Beats had the best discovery mechanism of the streaming services. With live radio, human curated playlists and access to your iTunes purchase history, I’m really liking Apple Music.

Will it replace Spotify for diehard subscribers? That’s a more complicated question — and one I plan to address in Mashable‘s full review.

For now, however, the For Me section alone has made me excited about music for the first time in a long time. And that’s a good thing.

Brenna Ehrlich from MTV had 11 reactions:

The first thing you’re asked to do when booting up Apple Music is pick your favorite genres — courtesy of some pink floating bubbles. You can tap once if you “Like” a genre — twice if you LOVE a genre.

This took me quite a while, as I can find reasons to like pretty much anything (I mean, I like reggae-inspired older-school punk, but not so much REGGAE — and I could take or leave modern reggae-inspired tunes).

I settled on LOVING indie, oldies, classic rock, rock, pop, alternative (because, you know, guitars) — which took me to the NEXT stage, where I was asked to then pick artists in those genres. I was “hmmm”ing all over the place at this point and — when the app suggested the Monkees — feeling super reminiscent for my youth and my childhood crush on Micky Dolenz. I also picked some artists like FKA twigs and Tame Impala, a.k.a. bands you have probably heard of.

Along with an Interview with Eddie Cue and Jimmy Iovine, Jim Dalrymple put in his $0.02:

I’m damned impressed. Apple Music is a quality service, with the right mix of human curation and algorithms to help users figure out exactly what they want to hear.

I can only imagine that the service will only get better from here. The more I use it, like/dislike songs, the better it will know me.

I was interacting with Apple Music the entire time I was writing this and the radio station I started listening to improved quite a bit in those hours. I’m not skipping songs, instead I have a steady diet of Slash, Godsmack, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica. It’s hard to beat that.

While other streaming services didn’t worry much about Apple in the past, Apple Music will get their attention. In fact, it’s going to grab everyone’s attention.

More coming…


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple Music, Eddy Cue, iTunes, Jimmy Iovine, Spotify, Streaming media 386818 386818 386818 386818 386818 386818 386818 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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9to5Toys Lunch Break: iPad Air 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular...

Today, 04:10 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

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Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB in Silver: $449 shipped (Orig. $929)

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GoPro HERO3+ Black 4K Action Camera (refurb) $262 shipped (Reg. $280), 33-piece accessory kit $15

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RAVPower Portable 3,000mAh Battery: $6 Prime shipped, Lightning cables under $6

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$50 iTunes gift card for $40 w/ email delivery from PayPal (20% savings)

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The best lawn games to make your 4th of July cookout a successLook like a real American hero at your 4th of July BBQ with this over-the-top USA garb

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Giveaway: Owen & Fred’s Desk Essentials collection ups your work game while looking good, $250+ valueMore new gear from today:

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Daily Deals: XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer $350, HP x3000 Wireless Optical Mouse $8, more

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Home recording bundle: ATH-M50x over-ears, Focusrite Scarlett interface and mic kit $269 shipped ($410+ value)More deals still alive:

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JayBird BlueBuds X Sport Bluetooth Headphones for $110 shipped (Reg. $170)

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RAVPower FileHub Travel Router w/ 6000mAh Power bank $35 Prime shipped (Reg. $60)New products & more:

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Bricasso scans any image and then 3D prints it using LEGO bricks as ink

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Five bizarre kitchen gadgets you need to add to your cooking arsenal
Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: 128GB, 3D printer, 4k, 4th of July, Amazon Gold Box, Blu-ray, bluetooth headphones, Chromebook, eBay Daily Deals, Fourth of July, free apps, giveaway, GoPro, ipad air, itunes deals, iTunes Gift Card, Jaybird, Lawn Games, Refurbished, video games, Wi-Fi + Cellular 386899 386899 386899 386899 386899 386899 386899 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Beats 1 Radio officially goes live on iOS 8.4, Apple publ...

Today, 04:01 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Apple’s Beats 1 internet radio service has just gone live following the release of the iOS 8.4 software update earlier today. Host Zane Lowe introduced the station, asying, “We spent the last three months trying to build this radio station. Now we can build no more.”

The first song to play on the service was City by Spring King. Lowe said the song had been used for a variety of purposes at the station, including sound checks and demos to get other artists on board with Beats 1.

Beats 1 is part of Apple Music, the new on-demand streaming service first debuted at WWDC last month. Users running the latest iOS software can listen to the free Beats 1 stream, which will feature a variety of shows from hosts like Dr. Dre and Drake.

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To celebrate the launch, Apple has converted over the old iTunes Tumblr page to a new URL and name focused on Apple Music. The beats1radio.com domain now also redirects to that site. The new page includes the schedule for the Beats 1 Service, which uses the user’s location to automatically list local times for the shows.


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VLC for iOS gets Apple Watch support for playback control...

Today, 03:42 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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Popular medial player VLC for iOS today gets a notable update that brings support for Apple Watch alongside other new features and a long list of improvements and fixes.

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For Apple Watch, users will be able to control VLC directly from their wrist with playback controls, as well as view media info for their content and browse their library. Here’s a look at screenshots of the Apple Watch app showing the playback controls and other features in action:

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Other new features arriving with the update today include a new mini-player for browsing your library during playback and support for looping playlists. In addition, the app gets support for password protected PLEX shares and the very long list of improvements and bug fixes below.

The updated VLC for iOS app, version 2.6.0, is available on the App Store now.

What’s New in Version 2.6.0

∙ Added support for Apple Watch – control VLC from your watch!
– playback control
– media info
– library browsing
∙ Added mini-player to browse the library during playback
∙ Added support for looping playlists
∙ New ingest mechanism for audio files
∙ Improved remote command support
∙ Improved thumbnail generation
∙ Improved thumbnail and web interface performance on devices with A5 SoC and above
∙ Fixed crash when playing media from a folder or music album on iPad
∙ Fixed crash when app goes to background while a video is playing
∙ Fixed privacy leak when using a passcode to protect the library
∙ Removed stray popup announcing VLC’s crash all the time while it actually
didn’t crash before, but terminated by the user
∙ Added support for password-protected PLEX shares
∙ Thumbnails displayed in the media library are updated to the last playback position
∙ Improved reliability when sharing media library on the local network
∙ Improved media library search delivering more accurate results
∙ Fixed ‘crop to fill screen’ on iPad
∙ Fixed issue which prevented downloading of a few files via UPnP
∙ Fixed crash when screen is being locked during playback
∙ A large number of bug fixes affecting most parts of the app

Note: following a legal request, we had to remove support for the AC-3, E-AC-3 and MLP multi-channel audio codecs in version 2.4.0.


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Galaxy S6 sales help Samsung overtake Apple for U.S. mark...

Today, 03:41 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Samsung has overtaken Apple to regain its lead of the U.S. smartphone market following strong sales of the Galaxy S6. The South Korean company’s latest smartphone became the third best-selling smartphone in its first full month on sale, trailing only the

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Apple loses appeal of ebooks case ruling, will pay $...

Today, 03:39 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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A federal appeals court today has upheld the 2013 ruling in Apple’s long-winded and high-profile ebooks case. The case, which centered around Apple price fixing content in the iBooks store, went through three years of litigation thanks mostly to Apple. Today’s ruling by a federal appeals court will see Apple pay $450 million in damages at long last.

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Most of that $450 million will go to e-book customers as part of the agreement it made last year. Regarding the ruling, Second Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston had the following to say (via WSJ):

“We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices,” Livingston explained. The conspiracy “unreasonably restrained trade” in violation of the Sherman Act, the federal antitrust law, she noted. 

Last year, Apple started sending out iTunes Store credits to customers affected by the ebook pricing case, even though its own appeal was still pending at the time. When Apple initiated the appeals process, it explained that the ruling was a “radical departure” from modern antitrust law and that it was ignorant of any inter-publisher price fixing.


Filed under: iOS Tagged: Apple, IBooks, Law, legal, price-fixing 386886 386886 386886 386886 386886 386886 386886 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Everything you need to know ahead of Apple Music’s launch...

Yesterday, 08:51 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple Music makes its big debut tomorrow, June 30, at 8 a.m. PST. It’s going to be a very big day for the music industry, and for us listeners. It’s the day streaming goes truly mainstream. From tomorrow on, it’s officially<span class="ellipsis">…</span><div class="read-more"><a href="http://www.cultofmac...usic-faq/">Readmore ›</a></div><br clear='all'/><br/><br/><a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/a2.htm"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/a2.img" border="0"/></a><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/233193930480/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/47ae2213/sc/28/a2t.img" border="0"/><img width='1' height='1' src='http://cultofmac.com.feedsportal.com/c/33797/f/606249/s/47ae2213/sc/28/mf.gif' border='0'/>

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Apple Camp enrollment now open with sessions focused on i...

Today, 03:46 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
<p><a href="https://9to5mac.file...mp_2x.png"><imgtitle="Apple Camp enrollment now open with sessions focused on iBooks and iMovie production" class=" size-large wp-image-386807 aligncenter" src="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/retail_learn_youth_camp_2x.png?w=704&h=462" alt="retail_learn_youth_camp_2x" width="704" height="462" /></a></p>
<p>Apple today has opened enrollment for its annual Apple Camp program. For those unfamiliar, Apple Camp is a series of three-day workshops that Apple holds in its retail stores for kids ages 8 through 12. Apple Camp is designed to encourage the kids to explore technology and learn how to use it to be successful and creative.</p>
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<p>The two workshops this year are called “Stories in Motion with iMovie” and “Interactive Storytelling with iBooks.” The workshops will be held from 11 AM to 12:30 PM in Apple Stores throughout the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Apple Camp sessions are held at various dates July 20th through August 7th.</p>
<p>Stories in Motion focuses on teaching students how to create their own films with iMove on the Mac. The sessions focus on all aspects of the process, including making a soundtrack in Garageband. Interactive Storytelling focuses on guiding kids to create interactive books using iBooks and iBooks author.</p>
<p>Enrollment in Apple Camp is free, but limited. Sign-up info is <a href="https://www.apple.co...uth/">availableon Apple’s website</a>.</p><br />Filed under: <a href='http://9to5mac.com/category/aapl-company/'>AAPL Company</a> Tagged: <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/apple/'>Apple</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/apple-camp/'>apple camp</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/retail/'>retail</a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/9to5mac.wordpress.com/386803/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&post=386803&subd=9to5mac&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /><p>For more news on <a href="http://9to5mac.com/category/aapl-company/">AAPL Company</a>, <a href="http://9to5mac.com/tag/apple/">Apple</a>, and <a href="http://9to5mac.com/tag/retail/">retail</a> continue reading at <a href="http://9to5mac.com">9to5Mac</a>.</p><p>What do you think? <strong><a href="http://9to5mac.com/2015/06/29/apple-camp-2015/#comments">Discuss "Apple Camp enrollment now open with sessions focused on iBooks and iMovie&nbsp;production" with our community.</a></strong></p>

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Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac...

Today, 03:26 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple-Music-Black-Banner-250x125.jpgToday marks the official worldwide launch of Apple Music, a subscription-based streaming music service and Spotify rival for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and, later this year, Apple TV and Android.

Apple Music, arguably the company's biggest music initiative since opening the iTunes Store in 2003, requires updating to iOS 8.4 on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or downloading iTunes 12.2 for Mac and PC.

Apple Music
Apple Music is an all-in-one streaming music service, live global radio station and social platform for artists to connect with fans. The service costs $9.99 per month, the same price as virtually all streaming music competitors, although Apple is offering a free three-month trial period to encourage customers to try it out. Apple Music is available in over 100 countries, including the United States.

Apple Music provides unlimited streaming of almost the entire iTunes Store catalog of music without needing to purchase songs or albums individually. Instead of paying $1.29 per song download, for example, subscribers have millions of songs at their fingertips for essentially the cost of an album. A family plan through iTunes Sharing for up to six members is also available for $14.99 per month.

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Built into the stock Music app on iOS 8.4 and iTunes on Mac and PC, Apple Music provides side-by-side access to both your downloaded iTunes songs and albums and streaming music library, which should prove to be a more convenient option than third-party apps such as Spotify, Google Play Music and Rdio for most Apple users. Apple succinctly describes it as "the best ways to enjoy music — all in one place."

Apple Music is largely based upon Beats Music, which Apple acquired alongside Beats Electronics for $3 billion last year. For example, the app features human curated playlists and recommendations from artists and music experts for improved personalization over algorithmically created playlists.

While customers do not own their Apple Music collection, the service offers unlimited online streaming over Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection, and the option to download songs or albums for offline playback. As long as a customer continues paying for their monthly subscription, they retain on-demand access to the iTunes Store catalog and their personal playlists.

Just like iTunes Match, Apple Music can scan your iTunes music library and upload any tracks not already included in Apple Music, making them seamlessly available to stream on all of your devices. iTunes Match will remain available as a standalone service priced at $25 per year for those who don't want to subscribe to Apple Music, but Apple Music users won't need to pay for both services.

Right now, Apple Music and iTunes Match can only handle iTunes libraries of up to 25,000 tracks (songs purchased from the iTunes Store don't count toward the limit), although Eddy Cue has said Apple is working to increase the limit to 100,000 tracks later this year as part of iOS 9.

Apple has existing deals with major record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, and has also reached agreements with over 20,000 indie labels through Beggars Group and Merlin, meaning that Apple Music should have in the range of 37 million tracks available right now. Comparatively, market leader Spotify has some 30 million tracks available.

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Apple has partnered with artists to offer exclusive content through Apple Music, in an attempt to differentiate the service from competitors. The company kickstarted those efforts by making Pharrell's new single "Freedom" and Dr. Dre's album "Chronic" exclusive to Apple Music, while pop artist Taylor Swift's most recent best-selling "1989" album has landed on Apple Music before any other streaming service.
Beats 1 Radio
Apple Music is supplemented by Beats 1, a 24/7 live global radio station anchored by renowned DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga from Los Angeles, New York City and London respectively, providing a mix of the latest and best music around the world. The radio station will also feature guest interviews, the first being Lowe and hip-hop artist and rapper Eminem.

Beats 1 is broadcast in over 100 countries and free to listen to without an Apple Music subscription, accompanied by several iTunes Radio-inspired curated radio stations with unlimited skips. Without an Apple Music subscription, users can listen to ad-supported radio stations with limited song skips available.

Beats 1 is broken down into one- and two-hour slots that are sometimes hosted and produced by celebrities and musicians, including actor Will Smith's 16-year-old son Jaden Smith, alternative singer St. Vincent, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and the British electronic duo Disclosure. Other programming blocks will be hosted by artists such as Drake, Dr. Dre, Elton John and Pharrell Williams.

Apple Music Connect
The third component of Apple Music is Connect, a social platform built into the app that allows users to connect with artists, including sharing, liking and commenting on lyrics, backstage photos, videos and songs. Apple hopes that Apple Music Connect will help both major and indie artists easily promote their music and engage with their fans.

Apple Music aims to stand out among a myriad of streaming music services by offering a larger music library, exclusive content from artists, Beats 1 and curated radio stations and Apple Music Connect. With access to some 800 million iTunes accounts with credit cards on files, Apple Music could one day be a leading streaming service, but for now it will be playing catch up.

Signing up to Apple Music is as simple as opening the stock Music app on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 8.4, or iTunes 12.2 on Mac or PC, and following the steps on the subscription menu. Apple will not begin charging subscribers until their free three-month trial period has eclipsed, and users are free to cancel their subscription beforehand to avoid payment.


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Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 [Mac Blog]

Yesterday, 11:10 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple updated its investor relations page today to mention that it will announce its earnings for the third fiscal quarter (second calendar quarter) of 2015 on Tuesday, July 21. The quarterly earnings statement will be released around 1:30 PM Pacific / 4:30 PM Eastern while a conference call to discuss the earnings report will take place at 2:00 PM Pacific / 5:00 PM Eastern.

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The earnings report will provide another look at iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales during a period following another record-breaking quarter for the devices. It will also provide a look at both Mac sales, which were up last quarter from a year earlier, and iPad sales, which were down last quarter from a year earlier. Apple could also provide a look at Apple Watch sales. In the second quarter of 2015, Apple announced revenue of $58 billion and a net quarterly profit of $13.6 billion on 61.2 million iPhone sales, 4.56 million Mac sales and 21.4 million iPad sales.

During its second quarter earnings report, Apple provided guidance for the third quarter of $46 - 48 billion in revenue and gross margin between 38.5 and 39.5 percent.

MacRumors will provide coverage of both the earnings report and conference call on July 21.


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