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Tag Archive for ‘Recode’

Amazon’s Video App May Finally Be Coming to Apple TV ➝

Peter Kafka and Jason Del Rey, reporting for Recode:

Amazon and Apple may have reached a truce.

The tech giants, who are increasingly competing for customers’ time, eyeballs and money, are close to an agreement to bring an Amazon video app to Apple’s Apple TV set-top box, according to people familiar with the two companies.

Amazon employees expect the app to show up on Apple’s hardware in the third quarter of the year.

I have avoided using Amazon’s video services because of the company’s decision to neglect the Apple TV. The Apple TV is a lot more important to me than a streaming video library that I’ve only briefly browsed. But I wouldn’t mind expanding my options for video content without having to rely on AirPlay for playback.

Hulu’s New Live-Streaming Service ➝

Peter Kafka, on Hulu’s new live television service:

That $39.95 will get you several dozen channels, which you can watch on your phone or connected TV devices like Xbox and Apple TV; more devices, like Roku, are on the way. It also includes Hulu’s subscription video service, which gives you access to old TV shows and movies, as well as Hulu originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

If you want to spend more, you can pay for extras like a cloud DVR. You can also add Showtime, but not HBO, to the mix.

I’m going to beat this drum until the fad ends or new services quit cropping up. But why would anyone want to pay $40 a month for, what is essentially, a cable subscription that’s transmitted over the internet?

I get it — sports, no long-term commitments. But there must be a better way.

Mozilla Acquires Pocket ➝

Dan Frommer, reporting for Recode:

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, is buying Pocket, the read-it-later service, for an undisclosed amount. Pocket, which is described by Mozilla as its first strategic acquisition, will continue to operate as a Mozilla subsidiary. Founder Nate Weiner will continue to run Pocket, along with his team of about 25 people.

When companies like this are acquired, there’s always promises that nothing will change for the worse, but we all know it rarely ends well. I hope Pocket is able to buck that trend and continue as a standalone service for the long haul rather than turn into just a feature built into Firefox.

Apple Plans to Launch New Macs at an October 27 Event ➝

Ina Fried, reporting for Recode:

Apple is planning to introduce new Macs at an Oct. 27 event, sources confirmed to Recode.

The move had long been expected, given that the company released MacOS Sierra last month but had yet to introduce any new computer models sporting the software. It also comes just in time for Apple to have the new products on sale for the full holiday season.

I’m not sure it’s fair to say that this move “had long been expected.” Yes, it was very likely that Apple would introduce new Macs before the end of the year. But many thought they would be announced with a press release, website update, and private press briefings. The existence of a proper event was not a done-deal.

Amazon Wants to Sell an Echo-Only Music Service ➝

Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode:

Amazon wants to launch a music subscription service that would work the same way services from Apple, Spotify and many others work: $10 a month, for all the music you can stream, anywhere you want to stream it.

But Amazon is also working on a second service that would differ in two significant ways from industry rivals: It would cost half the price, and it would only work on Amazon’s Echo hardware.

Would anyone actually subscribe to this?

Apple’s New TV Plan Is a TV Guide ➝

Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode:

Apple has started talking to TV programmers and other video companies about creating a digital TV guide that would work on both Apple TV boxes and other Apple devices, like iPhones.

The idea is to let users see what kind of programming is available in video apps made by the likes of HBO, Netflix and ESPN, without having to open up each app individually, and to play shows and movies with a single click.

I would love an interface like this.

Here’s What Apple Really Meant to Say Today About Its Plans to Sell Web Video ➝

Peter Kafka, on the Hollywood Reporter’s interview with Eddy Cue:

Again, this doesn’t square with Apple’s longstanding efforts — led by Cue — to deliver a skinny bundle. I asked Apple to explain the cognitive dissonance, and they referred me back to the Hollywood Reporter piece.

So now that we’re done with that exercise, I’m going to suggest that there are some things Cue would say differently if he were speaking to someone privately, instead of in an on-the-record interview.

Kafka offers his thoughts on what Cue would have said if he was speaking more candidly, and I think it’s spot-on.