Rumors abound that Apple is to launch a Podcasts+ subscription service to compete with Spotify. In his latest Vulture column, Hot Pod’s Hot Pod‘s Nick Quah looked at whether he should and highlighted some difficulties that the company may come across.
You have to start with the reality that nobody’s really figured out a Netflix-esque paid subscription service for podcasting just yet, which is another way of saying that audiences haven’t sufficiently expressed interest in that kind of relationship with podcasts … or that audiences haven’t been sufficiently conditioned to want to pay for a service that would serve them podcast-like experiences. For all intents and purposes, Luminary went nowhere, notable only for its achievements in raising investment money and driving headlines. Meanwhile, other examples that can be evoked — whether it’s Stitcher Premium or Quake Media — seem largely limited in their respective achievements. We simply haven’t seen meaningful efforts at a true podcast equivalent to Netflix or even something more genre-specific like Crunchyroll, Shudder, or the Criterion Channel.
There are new avatars available for all players of the popular Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells game, inspired by recording artist Zayn Mailk.
We have a deal on Air Fob, an app-integrated case for your AirPods Charging Case that will protect that case and help you not lose it. The case is made from silicon rubber, and it features an integrated Mu tag in the top of the case that will help prevent your AirPods from being lost. It’s $35.99 through our deal.
Malwarebytes co-founder and current CEO Marcin Kleczynski reveals the company was hacked. He believes it was the same nation state actor behind the SolarWinds attack. The state is believed to be Russia.
After an extensive investigation, we determined the attacker only gained access to a limited subset of internal company emails. We found no evidence of unauthorized access or compromise in any of our internal on-premises and production environments.
Crazy stuff, and we’ll probably hear of the fallout for a long time.
iFixit published a tear down of the AirPods Max and it reveals, among other things, that the headband could be interchangeable.
It was rumored that Apple wanted to design the AirPods Max headband to be easily-swappable like its magnetic ear cups. That feature was thought to be missing from the final design, but this joint is so complex it just might have one more thing up its sleeve…despite the joint’s complexity, you can detach the entire headband from AirPods Max with just a SIM card removal tool or paperclip, without even opening the ear cup.
Apple has shared a new ‘Behind the Episode’ video in which executive producer M. Night Shyamalan guides viewers through the first episode of season two of Servant. The next episode of the latest season will become available Friday, and I think we can export more videos like this one too.
Charlotte Henry and Andrew Orr join host Kelly Guimont to discuss the latest TV+ news and (subscription) updates, and some new hardware rumors.
Google’s Project Zero security team found a bug that lets audio and video be transmitted without user interaction in five messaging apps. These are Signal, JioChat, Mocha, Google Duo, and Facebook Messenger. All bugs have been fixed.
I investigated the signalling state machines of seven video conferencing applications and found five vulnerabilities that could allow a caller device to force a callee device to transmit audio or video data. All these vulnerabilities have since been fixed. It is not clear why this is such a common problem, but a lack of awareness of these types of bugs as well as unnecessary complexity in signalling state machines is likely a factor.
JP Richards has joined Apple as head of film marketing strategy for Apple TV+. He was formerly Co-President of Worldwide Marketing at Warner Bros.
Apple TV+ show Ted Lasso has been nominated in three categories for the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards – Netflix leads on 26 nominations.
Apple has added a new feature to Podcasts on iOS and macOS called Spotlight. It showcases rising creators in the podcasting world.
BBC Tech Reporter Zoe Kleinman joins Charlotte Henry to discuss the reality of reporting from home. Have reporters become influencers? They also look at Zoe’s reporting on how WhatsApp can be an (unreliable) news channel.
Twelve South introduced a new stand called ParcSlope that works with MacBooks and iPads. It‘s available to purchase for US$59.99.
Apple has shared photos shot on iPhone 12 from people around the world, showcasing what these powerful cameras can do.
Open source media player VLC has added support for M1 Macs in its latest update, version 22.214.171.124. You can find the download here.
macOS: * 126.96.36.199 is the first release for Apple Silicon macs
* Version bump to allow an automatic upgrade path
Apple has again extended the free trial period for Apple TV+, with it now reportedly lasting through July 2021.
Apple’s homepage has been updated to honour Martin Luther King day. The usual images have gone and there is a black-and-white photograph of the civil rights leader. The page also features a quote from him – “true peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
In 2020 Apple announced it would support browser extensions that used the WebExtensions API. But as Jason Snell points out, we haven’t seen many yet. One developer listed possible barriers for entry:
Limited time, lack of access to Apple hardware, unfamiliarity with Apple’s developer tools, Safari’s incompatibility with some existing extension-development tools, and the requirement to make some code changes in order to fit inside Apple’s security model.
I think another barrier is probably the US$99/year developer program fee. It makes sense if you’re already in the program to build an extension if it makes sense for you, but I don’t think many outside of the program will pay that just to release a new extension. Then again, it’s still in the early days of this new support.
A short interview with Apple’s senior director of fitness Jay Blahnik was shared on the Healthy-ish podcast. They talk about Fitness+, health and fitness in general, and why it’s time to rethink our mentality of working out. “Jay Blahnik is the Senior Director of Fitness Technologies at Apple, so it goes without saying that he knows a thing or two about what gets people up and moving. He shares how Apple Fitness+ taps into this, and also why it might be time to rethink where, when and even how you work out. Because, the world has changed. And your gym membership with it.”
Steve Jobs was included in a list by President Donald J. Trump of people who will be memorialized in the National Garden of American Heroes.