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Apple Activity - Everything You Need to Know

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The global juggernaut, Apple Inc, is a phenomenon that appears to show no signs of slowing down.  With a cult of secrecy around its workings and internal interactions, it is only educated guesswork about when or what updated products it will launch. So when the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) noticed a 5 day booking at San Francisco’s Moscone West from the 8th -12th June with the generic title “Corporate Event” made by “Mr & Mrs Smith”, well, we all knew it was Apple.  

Apple always unveils a new range of products during WWDC and this year’s Apple invitation tagline is “The Epicenter of Change”. The event has become so popular that Apple has switched to a lottery system, instead of first come, first served, for selling tickets. Those lucky enough to have the chance to attend, only have to pay a small fee of $1,599.

Well, what can we expect Apple to unveil? If all the rumours are true, a lot! Every year Apple announces a new iOS and OS X so expect an iOS 9 “Monarch” and OS X 10.11 “Gala”. The systems are expected to change the font to the slightly slimmer, Apple designed San Francisco font, designed for iWatch because it’s easier to read. Apple higher-ups also believe that the new look will serve to refresh its familiar operating systems, helping iOS and OS X to avoid becoming stale.

iOS 9 “Monarch” should include HomeKit, users will be able to remotely control smart home gadgets, such as; Wi-Fi garage door openers, smart thermostats and wireless door locks with iPhones and iPads. Also anticipated are a split-screen iPad app and an upgraded Apple Maps application with mass transit directions.

A new security system called Rootless is being described as a “huge” kernel-level feature for both OS X and iOS. It’s designed to prevent malware with even administrative-level users being unable to access certain protected files on Apple devices.

OS X 10.11 “Gala” is rumoured to feature several performance and stability improvements, along with Trusted Wi-Fi, which will allow Macs to connect to authorised wireless routers with additional security measures, but would instate a more heavily encrypted wireless connection for non-trusted routers.

Most excitingly, we are expecting Apple to announce it’s streaming service. An Apple TV and Apple Music streaming service. It would be similar to Apps, iBook Store and iTunes in that all Apple devices would be able to stream them via the Internet.

Apple proved that impossible is possible by getting all major music labels to agree to release their music via iTunes. Hopefully, Apple should be able to achieve this with TV networks. 

The rumours of Apple weaving itself deeper into people’s lives by exploiting the TV industry have been around for a long time but it seems Apple is in definite talks with TV programmers about potential deals. The report claims that Apple has shown programmers demos of the proposed service but will offering around 25 different channels, like ABC, CBS, Fox and HBO.

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NBCUniversal, a major US provider, will not be included according to the WSJ, because Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company, and Apple had a falling out. Over what, who knows? 

The New York Post claims that Apple has offered to provide these companies with details regarding who its viewers are, what they watch as well as when they watch it to help advertising. In return, Apple apparently has asked the TV providers to supply their own streams for the Apple TV service.

HomeKit would tie into Apple TV streaming, as you will be able to use your iPhone or iPad as a remote for your TV (or possibly Apple TV).


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Although, Apple does already have AirPlay which gives you access to the best 1080p HD content; blockbuster films, hit TV programmes, live sport, music, videos and photos on your TV. AirPlay is rumoured it will get a new Force Touch remote that will have only two buttons and a touch sensitive pad. I would imagine AirPlay would play a vital roll in wirelessly streaming Apple TV.

Music has long been Apple’s way of connecting with customers. iTunes was an revolutionary endeavour because it allowed the music industry to wrest back control after being threatened by filesharing websites like Napster. Now, it appears, the music industry and artists are not happy with Spotify, Youtube and even with Apple itself.  

Recently, Taylor Swift removed her album from Spotify because Spotify gave artists between $0.006 to $0.0084 per song play. Youtube pays only when someone clicks on an ad or watches for 30 seconds – so an artist will get approximately $1 per every 25 views. 

For anything purchased on iTunes, Apple takes between 20%-30%. Due to these outrageously low commissions, artists are finding new ways to release their albums. Jay Z released his ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ album via Samsung. He received $5 million for the early distribution rights. U2 also ‘gifted’ their album to iTunes users, the amount they received from Apple for distribution rights is unknown. I believe Apple has used this idea for another revolutionary way of collaborating with the music industry to help distribute music to consumers.

Apple Music, a Beats powered music streaming service will be similar to Facebook. Each artist will have their own profile called Artist Activity, where you can see their upcoming albums, tours, videos, photos and to see what music they are listening to.


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Apple purchased Beats music for only $3 billion, broken down into $500 million for Beats Music and $2.5 billion for Beats Electronics. Beats cofounders Jimmy Lovine and Dr.Dre are now Apple employees. Analysts speculated that Apple was more interested in the streaming music than the headphones. For good reason, if Apple wants a music streaming service, they needed a music streaming license, which Beats already has.

However, if I speculate on Apple’s plan, I think that they might continue to pay for exclusive rights to big albums by purchasing distribution rights upfront, making music more exclusive, allowing Artists to ensure the value of their art and Apple more customers.

For Apple to do this, it’s rumoured they will charge users a US$7.99 per month subscription, which would be cheaper than their rivals to access the music social network service.

Other features included in Apple Music could be iTunes, iTunes Radio, a social networking tool enabling fans to directly interact with musicians, a cross-promotion for artists wanting to promote each other and much more. 

Currently, iTunes Radio isn’t available in the UK. Apple recently hired DJ Zane Lowe and many other BBC Radio 1 employees to oversee the curated playlists for iTunes Radio. Many professional music writers have also been hired by Apple to deliver succinct contextual copy around pre-created playlists. This will create a reinvigorated catalogue for Apple Music when it goes live, hopefully, globally. Users will have plenty of options (across a multitude of genres) to guide them through 30m+ tracks.

According to Russian media reports, in Russia, negotiations with local labels about expanding digital rights to streaming are in process and Russia will be one of the ‘first countries’ it will be available. The music streaming industry has been gaining popularity in Russia as the segment grew by 214 percent in 2014 to $5.97 million according to IFPI.  

When U2 released their album into every iTunes user’s library as a “gift”, some Russians launched a threatening homophobic lawsuit against Apple for the “gay propaganda”. Russian lawyer, Evgeny Tonky alleges that the album’s cover art—a photo of the band’s drummer Larry Mullen Jr. hugging his 18-year-old-son—is morally corrupt and therefore illegal. In what seemed direct response, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, then announced he was gay.

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Tim Cook recently decided to promote British Apple designer and Knight, Sir Jonathan Ive from Senior Vice President of Design to Chief Design Officer. He sent out an internal memo to Apple employees stating, “Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation”. 

If you look at 'Jony’s' accomplishments, Tim’s high praise doesn’t scratch the surface of his achievements. His trademark elegance, finish, simplicity and attention to detail have made him the most influential and feted person in his field. Jonathan has designed Apple’s devices including computers, iPods, the iPhone, and Apples latest innovation the iWatch. Not to mention he also designed the companies’ retail stores, Apple’s Campus 2 - the Infinity Loop aka the “Spaceship” which is currently being built, the office furniture and as rumours has it – he’s due to begin work on the Apple’s next project, Apple Cars. Jonathan will start his new role in July.

Currently being built, the “Spaceship” is a donut shape design that is estimated to hold 13,000 employees, accommodating 5,000. Its outer circumference is a mere one mile long. It will be a 4-story building, with space for up to 6,000 vehicles and containing a specially built theatre, allowing Apple to stage its production launches and press conferences. The Infinity Loop will use 100% renewable energy and have precast concrete moulding, terrazzo and void slab ceilings. Eighty per cent of the “Campus” will be open space, through thick woods with trees. Sir Jonathan’s signature design will be seen everywhere, right down to the oak chairs and desks, which people can raise and lower with little buttons.


telegraph.co.uk

The market capitalisation for Apple stands at $763.6billion. It’s easy to see why Apple is the most valuable company in the world. Its slogan has inspired employees to “think different”, therefore making Apple, in my opinion, the lead company in innovation.

Although Apple cannot get complacent with its accomplishments, because Apple isn’t a hardware company nor is it a software company. Yes, Apple relies on its Apple Ecosystem for revenue. But, like all innovators, never can Apple rest if it wants to remain arguably the best revolutionary company.

Steve Jobs once famously said “A lot of people, don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. On the 8th of June, the world get a new set of "wants" as Apple, yet again outdoes itself.



Jessica Smith 

Australian girl, Jessica is loving England but is missing the sunshine! She loves writing, dogs and plays hockey! Follow her @JessicaAtSMF

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Apple Activity - Everything You Need to Know Reviewed by Jessica Smith on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Rating: 5

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