Taylor Swift’s ‘1989 World Tour LIVE’ Film Announced as Apple Music Exclusive

As her world tour promoting the 2014 album „1989“ came to an end this month, singer Taylor Swift took to twitter to announce an upcoming collaboration between herself and Apple Music in the form of a new concert film called „The 1989 World Tour LIVE.“ The backstage film will be published exclusively on Apple Music on December 20.

The Apple Music exclusive documentary was filmed on one leg of Swift’s world tour, at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Austrailia on November 28, 2015. The film will include the singer’s entire performance from the Sydney show with surprise musical and celebrity guest stars and „never before seen footage filmed backstage.“ The singer was known for surprising fans with big-name cameos during the 1989 World Tour, and the Sydney show was no different, including artists like Alanis Morissette, Steven Tyler, and Wiz Khalifa.

Swift and Apple Music had an initially rocky relationship, beginning with the announcement of Apple Music’s three-month free trial, which would have seen artists go unpaid for the trial period while users streamed their songs an unlimited amount of times without paying them anything. Swift wrote down her opinion on the matter in an open letter to Apple, subsequently inspiring the Cupertino company to reverse course on the decision and ultimately bringing 1989 to the streaming service over the summer.

With today’s announcement of a full feature behind-the-scenes documentary appearing exclusively on Apple Music, and the release of 1989 on the service in June, it seems the previous drama between the singer and Apple is water under the bridge. Fans will be able to watch the film beginning next Sunday on Apple Music, using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, or Apple TV. Those who want to get a sneak peek can tune into Beats 1 at 9 AM PST tomorrow morning for a discussion between Swift and Zane Lowe regarding the creation of the new movie.

Tags: Apple Music, Taylor Swift
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Instagram Announces In-App Support for Portrait and Landscape Modes

Instagram today announced that the popular app would begin letting users post photos and videos in both portrait and landscape modes, expanding upon the all-inclusive square format for which the service is well-known. The company notes it discovered that nearly one in five posts aren’t in the square format, so today’s decision comes from its mission statement of putting each user’s „visual story“ first and the format second.

Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.

It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end.

Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way.

The company believes that the update makes videos „more cinematic than ever“ thanks to widescreen, and that instead of a segregated selection of filters for photos and videos, now all filters can be used on any type of moment. The update is live now and should be rolling out to all Instagram users today. Those who have yet to download Instagram [Direct Link] from the App Store can do so for free.



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Jony Ive and Jimmy Iovine to Speak at Vanity Fair ‘New Establishment’ Summit in October

Vanity Fair today announced its speaker lineup for the 2015 New Establishment Summit, revealing that Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive as well as Beats cofounder Jimmy Iovine will be attending as speakers. This is the second year in a row Ive is attending as a speaker.

Last year, Ive detailed Apple’s design process in his talk, explaining that he and his fellow designers gather around tables like the ones in Apple retail stores to draw and meet three or four times a week. He also noted that their ideas don’t come along until after the team creates physical objects based on their drawings. Additionally, and perhaps most interesting, Ive said that when Chinese manufacturer Xioami copies its designs what it’s really doing is theft.

The summit takes place from October 5 to 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and promises „two full days of inventive programming and inspiring conversations around the ideas and innovations shaping the future.“ The summit will kick off with a showing of the new Steven Spielberg film „Bridge of Spies,“ starring Tom Hanks. Other speakers include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Disney’s Bob Iger, film director J.J. Abrams and Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson. The entire speaking lineup can be viewed at Vanity Fair’s website while a full schedule will be revealed soon.



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First HomeKit-Compatible Products Launching Today, Led by Lutron, iHome, Elgato, Insteon and Ecobee

Ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, several of the company’s HomeKit partners are today announcing the availability of the first HomeKit-compatible products. HomeKit is Apple’s home automation platform, first introduced at the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference.

HomeKit provides a standardized framework for manufacturers that develop home automation products, letting them interface with the Apple ecosystem and with each other. Through HomeKit, connected devices like lights, thermostats, speakers, smart plugs, and more can be controlled by Siri. For example, HomeKit enables commands like „Siri, turn off my lights,“ or „Siri, turn the temperature up before I get home.“

Though HomeKit was announced in 2014, it has taken nearly a year for companies to complete Apple’s certification process and get products ready for store shelves. Several companies like iDevices, Schlage, and Elgato have previously announced plans for HomeKit-compatible products, but until today, no products were ready to launch.

The first three companies to announce completed HomeKit-compatible products that will be available for purchase shortly are Lutron, iHome, and Elgato. Lutron is debuting its Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit with Smart Bridge, while iHome is announcing its iSP5 SmartPlug, and Elgato is launching its „Eve“ connected home sensors. Ecobee and Insteon also announced new HomeKit-compatible products today.

Lutron’s Smart Bridge, part of the Lighting Starter Kit, supports HomeKit and is designed to let users control their Lutron Caséta Wireless dimmers using Siri on an iPhone or iPad. The kit includes one Smart Bridge, two Caséta Wireless dimmers (which support dimmable LED, halogen, and incandescent bulbs), two remotes, and two pedestals.

The Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge with HomeKit support allows homeowners to control lights in specific rooms or areas. For example, just before bed, tell Siri „turn the lights off“ and the Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge will turn off lights throughout the house. Unsure if the basement light is still on? Ask Siri to check and if so, turn it off.

iHome’s iSP5 SmartPlug fits into a standard wall socket and can use Siri or the iHome Control app to control lamps, fans, and other devices that are plugged in to the SmartPlug. The SmartPlugs support different „scenes“ to control multiple connected devices within the home, and the app will allow multiple SmartPlugs to be grouped and controlled with a single command.

Up to two SmartPlugs are able to fit into a single wall socket and a Wi-Fi connection is required for the plugs to communicate with iOS devices. According to iHome, today’s iSP5 SmartPlug is just one of several products that will include HomeKit support, with other accessories in the iHome Control line coming in the future.

The Eve brand of connected home sensors by Elgato, which the company announced last Fall, allow users to monitor air quality, smoke, humidity, air pressure, energy, and water consumption all with the ease of a synced iOS app. The line-up of different sensors each focus on a specific aspect of home detection: the Eve Room for indoor air quality, Eve Weather for outdoor temperature and humidity, Eve Door & Window for security notifications of open and closed points of entry into a house, and Eve Energy for basic energy consumption data and the control of electronic devices.

Some of the devices in the line aren’t just simple sensors, either, with Eve Energy acting as a go-between for electrical-based devices and a wall outlet (although it’s currently only available for European sockets). The product subsequently can monitor energy consumption of a device and can turn the product connected to it on and off at the touch of a button within the iOS app. Each of the products in the Eve family of home sensors are fully functional with Siri, allowing users to speak to their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to ask about temperature, the security of doors and windows, and control devices connected to Eve Energy.

The Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit is available for $229.95 at Apple Stores beginning today. iHome’s iSP5 SmartPlug will be available for pre-order from the iHome website beginning June 15. Elgato’s Eve sensors are up for pre-order starting today, ranging in price from $39.95 to $79.95.

Ecobee and Insteon also announced a new HomeKit-compatible smart thermostat and Insteon Hub for controlling a range of switches, outlets, thermostats, and lightbulbs respectively. In the coming weeks, there will be even more announcements as companies producing smart home products finish their work on HomeKit.

Mitchel Broussard contributed to this report.





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iCaramba! Steve Jobs’ yacht narrowly avoids nasty scrape in the Caribbean

From minor controversies like Antennagate to being kicked out of his own company and then returning triumphantly, Steve Jobs got out of plenty of tight squeezes in his life. Now that he’s gone, it seems that that same spirit of…Read more ›



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