Tag Archives: Apple

Standalone HomeKit App Designed by Apple Likely to be included in iOS 10

A unified, Apple-designed HomeKit app has been desired by HomeKit users since HomeKit first debuted, and it appears Apple is planning to introduce such an app in the near future, perhaps in iOS 10.

HomeKit app

The hint on Apple’s HomeKit plans comes from an Amazon reviewer who works in the marketing department at Apple. The name of the reviewer coincides with the LinkedIn profile of a marketing employee at Apple, and we have confirmed that the Amazon review was indeed created by the Apple employee.

As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many Smart Home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration. […]

Some advice, there are many third party applications, most free, that offer more control and customization(s) with many Smart Home devices. “Yonomi” is a free app that I often use, “Home” is another which cost $14.99. Both offer support for many devices with more added daily (including Amazon “Echo”). The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone “HomeKit” app as well.

While we verified the source of the information, there’s always a chance that Apple’s plans could change ahead of the release of iOS 10. There have been several past rumors suggesting Apple would debut a public HomeKit app, but such an app has not materialized even though Apple has long used a HomeKit app internally.

Continue reading Standalone HomeKit App Designed by Apple Likely to be included in iOS 10

Navigation Improved in iTunes 12.4 Updates

Back in February, iTunes chief Eddy Cue promised a new version of iTunes would be coming out with OS X 10.11.4, featuring a simpler design that makes Apple Music easier to use. That update wasn’t included in OS X 10.11.4 and has been delayed, but a MacRumors’ source has shared some screenshots of the upcoming iTunes 12.4 update, giving us a look at the changes Apple plans to introduce in the near future.

A redesigned dropdown media picker will be used to switch between Music, TV Shows, Movies, and other content, replacing the existing navigation icons. Like the current menu, the new menu is customizable, so sections of iTunes that are not used can be hidden from view. Forward and back buttons can be used to navigate between different sections.

A persistent sidebar located on the left side of the app is being added, which will make it easier to access different portions of an iTunes Library like specific songs or albums. The sidebar, like the menu bar, can be edited to show desired content, and songs can be dragged and dropped to playlists.

Menus in iTunes 12.4 are being simplified to make them easier to use, and the available content in Library can be customized using the redesigned View menu. Menus will be “easier to use” updated with new navigation options.

The mini player will also get some slight design changes, with the Up Next song feature being relocated to the right side of the player where it is more clearly visible.

Continue reading Navigation Improved in iTunes 12.4 Updates

Apple Introduces Apple Music Student Membership Option With Half Price at $4.99 per Month

Apple will today introduce an Apple Music student plan that discounts the streaming service by 50 percent for those who are enrolled in an eligible college or university (via TechCrunch).

The new plan means any academic student in the United States can now pick up an individual Apple Music membership for $4.99 a month, rather than pay the standard $9.99 subscription rate.

Apple Music

U.S. students won’t be the only ones to benefit though, as the plan is also open to students in the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The actual cost is expected to vary slightly from country to country, but all markets will see 50% off the standard subscription rate.

Apple Music

The student discount is offered for up to four continuous or non-continuous years after sign-up, so students are able to take gap years or breaks between semesters and still sign up again when they return to study. Additionally, the plan is open to all students of all ages, regardless of degree.

The membership tier will be available starting today to both new and existing subscribers. Students can sign up or change their membership online, or go through the Apple Music mobile app. Apple is using student verification technology provider, UNiDAY, to ensure that those who are signing up as students are actually enrolled at a supported institution.

News of the student plan comes two days after it was reported that Apple is planning to overhaul its year-old music streaming service to make it more intuitive. The company is set to redesign the user interface, which will be “bolder, yet simpler”, with an emphasis on black and white backgrounds and text as well as more of a focus on album art.

Additionally, the “New” tab in Apple Music is being replaced with a “Browse” option with better organizational tools for finding new content, and Apple will encourage users to use a simplified “For You” section. The new Apple Music app will reportedly debut at WWDC in iOS 10 and will be introduced through an iTunes update on the Mac.