Speaking of bundled services, on Wednesday, T-Mobile announced that their family plans will now include a free Netflix subscription. This seems like a great deal. But I’m starting to grow leery of cellular companies slowly rebuilding the old “triple-play” bundles that cable companies have offered for the past fifteen years. There’s more reason to be optimistic this time around, though. There’s only a handful of cellular networks available, but at least they aren’t protected monopolies with literally zero competitors like the cable companies are in most markets.
From Spotify’s press release:
As the new school year gets underway, Spotify and Hulu are partnering to offer U.S. college students the perfect streaming entertainment bundle for their busy lives. Starting today, eligible students can sign up for Spotify Premium for Students, now with Hulu to not only stream music but also their favorite television shows and movies through a single subscription plan, at just $4.99 a month. This is the first step the companies are taking to bundle their services together, with offerings targeted at the broader market to follow.
I’m not a college student, and therefore, I’m unable to partake in this promotion. But I am excited about that last line quoted above — “with offerings targeted at the broader market to follow.” I don’t particularly like the idea of subscription music services. I don’t listen to music on a daily basis, preferring podcasts instead, and I only listen to a handful of new albums each year. But if I had the option to bundle Spotify alongside a service I already pay for at a reduced price, I’d consider it.
Many will look back at the first time they flipped open the AirPod case. They’ll remember looking down at their iPhone and realizing the AirPods had already connected. That experience will be looked at fondly, in the halls of other first-time experiences which shoved us into the 21st Century.
That time before AirPods? Surely we’ll never want to go back.
There’s a lot of gorgeous photographs in this piece.
Stephen Hackett thinks there will only be one fall event this year from Apple. I disagree. I think there’s far too much to cover in a single event. Three new iPhones, an on-stage game demo built on ARKit, the 4K Apple TV, an Amazon Prime Video app demo, an updated Apple Watch with built-in LTE, a more concrete release date for the HomePod, as well as recaps of iOS 11, watchOS 4, and High Sierra. Maybe they can pack it all into a single event, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
After building his own iPhone from spare parts, Scotty Allen has spent the past four months modifying an iPhone 7 to add a fully functional headphone jack.
I guess some people just aren’t interested in the brilliance of AirPods.
Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit, writing for The Hollywood Reporter:
The James Bond sweepstakes has taken an unexpected turn. While Warner Bros. remains in the lead to land film distribution rights to the megafranchise — whose deal with Sony expired after 2015’s Spectre — a couple of unlikely suitors have emerged that also are in hot pursuit: Apple and Amazon.
The tech giants are willing to spend in the same ballpark as Warners, if not much more, for the rights, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. MGM has been looking for a deal for more than two years, and Sony, Universal and Fox also had been pursuing the property, with Warners and Sony the most aggressive.
But the emergence of Apple — which is considered such a viable competitor that Warners is now pressing MGM hard to close a deal — and Amazon shows that the digital giants consider Bond one of the last untapped brands (like a Marvel, Pixar or Lucasfilm) that could act as a game-changer in the content space. Apple’s and Amazon’s inclusion in the chase would indicate that more is on the table than film rights, including the future of the franchise if MGM will sell or license out for the right price.
Joe Rossignol, writing for MacRumors:
Apple has updated its executive leadership page to acknowledge that software engineering chief Craig Federighi now officially oversees development of Siri. The responsibility previously belonged to Apple’s services chief Eddy Cue.
I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I’m starting to question Eddy Cue’s effectiveness. He loses the App Store to Phil Schiller in 2015, which has since seen several major improvements — a complete redesign in iOS 11, subscription pricing for non-media apps, and so on. More recently, there have been rumors of Apple having difficulty in securing deals with media companies, which is Eddy Cue’s responsibility. And now Craig Federighi is taking over Siri.
Maybe Cue just had too much on his plate. And it’s not like I expect Apple to give him the Scott Forstall treatment. But the September 12 event would be a good time for a slam-dunk product from one of his departments.
The event is being held, for the first time ever, in the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple’s brand new spaceship campus. You can expect announcements to include new iPhones, a 4K Apple TV, iOS 11, and High Sierra release dates.