Connect is one of the coolest features of Apple Music to me. It allows artists to upload exclusive content for their fans—remixes, outtakes, videos, photos, and other posts—a direct connection between both sides. Apple posted a guided tour video for this element of Apple Music this week called Apple Music - Guided Tour: Connect. If you aren't familiar with Connect, or if you have questions about it, check out this video.
With Apple Music trial periods beginning to expire, the company has posted a series of videos on YouTube that offer guided tours to many features on the service. Below we have Guided Tour: Apple Music Playlists. It walks you through how to navigate playlists on the streaming service and breaks down the different types offered (Apple Editor Playlists, Activity Playlists, Curated Playlists). All of the icons and other features are explained, too.
Sonos today introduced the new PLAY:5, a completely redesigned speaker for wireless audio in your home. Replacing the existing PLAY:5 in the lineup, this new model features six synchronized, custom-designed drivers in a brand new enclosure, providing fantastic sound and excellent wireless performance. Combined with their new Trueplay tuning technology, the PLAY:5 truly earns its place as the new flagship of the Sonos line. I had the chance to preview and test the new units last week at Sonos's offices in Santa Barbara, CA, and they've really out-done themselves this time. The new PLAY:5 can be oriented on 3 sides, standing vertically or horizontally depending upon your room's layout and desired speaker coverage. In either orientation, the sound is extremely wide, with a stereo image projecting quite well out of just a single speaker in horizontal orientation. Of course, the PLAY:5 can be paired with a second, matching unit for a stereo pair that delivers a truly immersive experience. The controls, too, are completely new, with Sonos eschewing buttons in favor of a multitouch panel. Right now the panel supports play/pause, volume and track switching, but future possibilities are endless. The all-new Sonos PLAY:5 will retail for US$499 and will be available later this year in matte black or matte white finish. We'll follow-up with a more in-depth review once we've had the chance to really put the new unit through its paces.
3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus doesn't let your reach inside your smartphone's display. It's actually a really cool way to make things happen without needing to drill down through lots of menus, or in some cases, even opening an app. Think of 3D Touch sort of like a hyper-contextual menu. Apple figured that might be easier to explain with a demonstration, so the company put together an awesome video showing some of the ways 3D Touch can help you out.
Hell's Club. A disco where characters from Star Wars, Carlito's Way, Saturday Night Fever, Scarface, Blade, Terminator, The Mask, Robo Cop, Boogie Nights, Cocktail and some other Tom Cruise film I didn't recognize, and Michael Jackson all come together. This is a brilliant film mashup. The amount of work it must have required to integrate these films in such a seamless fashion is staggering to imagine. Behold and enjoy.
Concerned you may lose your Apple Watch data when switching from your current iPhone to an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus? That understandable because Apple says you need to unpair your watch to connect it to a new iPhone. Dave Chartier sorted out the steps to ensure your Apple Watch data successfully migrates to your new iPhone and then explained it all on his Finer Things in Tech blog. The short version: backup, backup, backup. You can check out all the details in his awesome blog post.
I love this story: a company called Atomic 212 has deployed a robot (of sorts) to wait in line at Apple Store Sydney to buy an iPhone for an employee. Called Lucy the Robot, the device is actually a "telepresence device" with an iPad perched atop a motorized vehicle. Combined, the device is designed to let users represent themselves somewhere other than where they are. In this case, Lucy is representing one Lucy Kelly, an employee at Atomic 212. Lucy the Robot trundled up to the line, and will represent Lucy Kelly when Apple Store Sydney opens its doors to iPhone 6s sales any moment. (Via Mashable.)
Over at Tom's Guide (known as Tom's Hardware in the olden days), there is a report released that "grades" mobile providers in the US. Using factors including network performance, online help, and phone selection, T-Mobile was the provider that won the day overall. Notable items in the report include AT&T getting the highest marks on customer support, and Verizon leading in network performance. This guide also compared five discount providers, or MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators - a company which does not own the infrastructure it uses). Overall even the top discount carrier didn't fare as well as the major carrier in last place. With the new iPhone on the horizon and others with contracts expiring in the near future, this guide is an interesting read. If you're getting a new phone anyway, you might want to take a close look at a new provider as well. You can take a closer look at the overall grades below, but click through to the actual guide to get more detail on the conclusions.
We've all watched Apple's commercials, but have you ever wondered what it's like to have an app featured in one of those spots? Robleh Jama of Tiny Hearts had just that happen with his company's app, Quick Fit: 7 Minute Workout. "It all began when I received an email out of the blue back in March from Apple’s outside ad agency, TBWA\Media Arts." Mr. Jama described a roller coaster ride of hurry up and wait, but when the commercial debuted in international markets, his app sales zoomed, as demonstrated in the ranking chart shown below. He lays out the story in a blog post, and it's a good read. He also has some tips for other developers who would like to be similarly featured.
Apple is about to open its first Apple Store in Brussels, Belgium, and it's also the first Apple Store designed by Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive and Senior Vice President Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts. Local site Apple Nieuws Vlaanderen was on hand for a press-preview of the store (via The Verge) and posted some gorgeous photos. Standout differences include potted trees inside the store. To my mind they look weird, a contrived artifice, but the folks from ANV said (via Google Translate), "Believe us, it is truly beautiful." Also of note are the 8 meter tall (roughly 26 feet) panels of glass that make up the front of the store. In addition, the walls are made of the same clay bricks that are being used on Apple's new spaceship HQ, or Apple Campus 2.0. Check out ANV's post for several photos and more information.
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