Apple’s plans for Music 

Over at Business Insider, there’s an article that lays down some of the rumors behind Apple’s supposed major iTunes revamp. 

The four major points rumored to be of focus in this project:

  • It’s not just going to be a new streaming site. Apple is going to relaunch iTunes with a focus on streaming music, rather than paying for downloads.

  • Zane Lowe is going to lead a new curated streaming service. Our source described him as the “mastermind” behind the new project.

  • Apple is currently talking to famous musicians to see if they’re interested in curating their own streams, almost like custom radio stations.

  • Apple isn’t going to run iTunes Radio and Beats as two separate services. Our source suggested that Apple is going to roll the two streaming services into one. 

Apple Watch’s Killer Feature

Interesting perspective on the Apple Watch and its purpose over at WATCHAWARE

The bits that caught my eye in specific:

But so is everyone else. If you think Apple Watch is pointless, you’re right. If you think it’s a glorified Fitbit, you’re right. If you think it’s to help you score style points in the club or the cubicle, you’re right. If you think it’s a real revolution in the evolution of the personal computer, you’re right.

The fact that Apple Watch’s killer feature depends on the individual might not be such an obvious evasion, after all. I’d argue that it’s not an evasion at all. Instead, it underscores a profound irony: The lack of a killer feature is Apple Watch’s killer feature.

When the Watch was first introduced, I thought it was nifty – but I also found it curious that their was no “defining feature” that really sold it. Over the past few months, as we’ve found out more and more about the Watch’s features, it’s become much more clear that it will be the various functions that work with iPhone that charm users. Between the wide range of capabilities and the slick user interface, a lot of people are going to fall in love with it. 

Apple Watch is anything you want it to be. 

I can’t wait to find out what
 mine becomes.

This is a good summary of these thoughts. Apple Watch, like iPhone before it can do so much, but in the end every user will have their own use case scenario and favorite feature.  It’s a pretty great read and the site has a few other insightful pieces as well. 

Read the whole piece here 

A-Shirt.Club

Pretty cool new club for people who love Apple and their products. Not to mention who want high-quality Apple inspired shirts. 

From their site 

 We wanted to share our passion for finely crafted products and great design with a new twist. That’s why we came up with A-shirt. We can’t wait to count you as a member of a-shirt.club, we’ve got our hands full of surprises and it all starts with your very first A-shirt.

I thought this was a pretty nifty idea. I love the passion and creativity that people like this have for Apple. It’s truly an amazing time to be an Apple user. 

Visit their site for more information if you’re interested.

Vesper Updated 

Veteran Apple blogger John Gruber outlines some changes to his Vesper app for iOS over on Daring Fireball. The part that really caught my eye: 

Put another way, we’re going to charge something sane or die trying. We tried following the iOS App Store trend by pricing Vesper at just $2.99 for months. It didn’t work. Prices like that are not sane, and not sustainable, at least for well-crafted productivity apps. So Q Branch is drawing a line in the sand, and we hope other iOS developers will follow.

I’ve been a happy user of Vesper since the first version was released a while ago. It was a great app back on iOS 6 and seemed ahead of its time design wise. Though I typically stick with Apple’s stock apps in most cases, have been very happily using Vesper since I first downloaded it. It’s really smooth and a pleasure to use. The addition of the syncing and now iPad support makes it a must buy at any price. I agree that great apps should charge what they’re worth. I’ve heard people complain on and on about how bad Apps can be, for a variety of reasons, but then when a great app comes out they act like the developers don’t deserve any money for spending time to make something great. Quality first. I would definitely pay for an app like Vesper. Definitely worth it. 

Buy it now here

Additional Apple Watch Details Revealed

Over at the Telegraph, there’s an interesting article that sheds light on a few new details about the Apple Watch and some potential features (current and future) via an interview with Tim Cook. 

So Apple now wants to pull off something that no company has ever managed before: it wants to reverse a cultural trend that it had created itself. It wants us to start wearing a watch again.

This part strikes me the most because of the truth in these words. As great as their products, especially iPhone have been – they’ve also caused a generation of technology addicted people more concerned with their product than other people. I know I’m certainly guilty of that too. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited for Apple Watch. 

After reading over the interview, I think it’s a little bit of a knowing tease when Cook reveals the fact that he hopes it will one day replace your car keys. It’s also interesting that he would mention that given Apple’s previous stance of extreme privacy, although Tim Cook has shown a willingness to depart from past traditions. All in all, I think it’s pretty solid how their positioning the Apple Watch in terms of use case and reasons why a person might want one. I’m looking forward to the event on March 9 and am very excited to get one of these watches strapped on. 

Also of interest is this article over at Daring Fireball regarding supposed pricing of the Watches. I agree with Gruber. The Edition is going to cost way more than that. 

Ericson attempting to block iPhone sales. 

Over at Bloomberg, it is being reported that Ericsson is attempting to block Apple from selling iPhone on the grounds that it violated a bunch of their patents. Good luck to them. I’m surprised they’re pulling this now. Seems desperate. I don’t think this is going to go very well for Ericsson. At this point, as was shown by the Apple-Samsung legal battles, there is more to gain by innovating than litigating. They should focus on innovative new ideas rather than waste time fighting over this stuff. That said there’s also definitely a case to be made if Ericsson’s patents were infringed upon, but I’d rather see both sides put their resources to better use. 

As Apple flourishes, Samsung shoots itself in the foot. 

Over at 9to5Google there’s reports of some interesting rumors of strife within Samsung. Sounds pretty rough. As much as I dislike some of their tactics and some of their products, I can’t help but feel bad for those employees. At the end of the day, that type of behavior between two wings of the same company is exactly what’s holding them back. Apple goes in all the way and even if people disagree, it’s always for the sake of making a great product. Samsung needs to focus on their products, not the egos of their executives. If they did, there’s a good chance that they could make some incredible devices rather than gimmicky hardware and software. Curved screens are cool – but if there’s no function (really useful function) to the form, there’s not much point either. I bet if they got their stuff together, they’d do better. It’s Apple’s quality over quantity approach that has served them so well in the past. Culture is so critical at pushing people to do the best work of their careers. Apple gets that and until Samsung realizes it, they’re going to continue to effectively shoot themselves in the foot and limit their success.