Kate Winslet takes home BAFTA award for Steve Jobs

Kate Winslet picked up another award win for her role as Apple PR guru Johanna Hoffman at last night’s BAFTA British movie award show. Winslet’s win was the only prize won by Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs semi-biopic, which was also nominated for “Best Adapted Screenplay” and “Best Actor” gongs for screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and lead […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld is now an iPhone developer

Former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key individuals responsible for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is now an iPhone game developer. His first app, though, doesn’t boast his name, but British prime minister Winston Churchill’s. Even weirder? It’s a solitaire game. Churchill Solitaire bills itself as “the most diabolical version of […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Christmas lights may be ruining your Wi-Fi speeds

Noticed a sudden drop in your WiFi speeds as the holiday season approaches? According to a new report from a telecom watchdog your ISP isn’t at fault. Blame your Christmas lights. The British telecommunications watchdog Ofcom claims that the number of complaints to Internet service providers spikes dramatically during the Christmas season thanks to electrical […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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British Airways app takes off on Apple Watch

Apple’s refusal to release any hard and fast Apple Watch figures (it has most likely sold in the region of 7 million) has led some people to dismiss it as a failure, despite the companies saying otherwise. Now British Airways has thrown out its own stats — noting that its Apple Watch app saw usage […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Adele may say goodbye to Spotify, hello to Apple Music

Spotify’s freemium service is about cause the company to lose out on another superstar album, according to a new rumor claiming Adele may remove her upcoming album, 25, from ;the Apple Music rival. Beyonce and Taylor Swift also famously shunned the music service when they released their most recent albums. ;The Verge reports that Adele’s team […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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BBC iPlayer and Siri for Apple Music Coming to New Apple TV in Months Ahead

Just over a week after developers pressed BBC to bring iPlayer to Apple TV by building their own proof-of-concept app, the British public broadcaster has now confirmed on Twitter and its website that it will be launching the streaming service for the new Apple TV in the „coming months.“

„Available on over 10,000 devices, BBC iPlayer is one of the biggest and best on-demand video services in the world, and has transformed how UK audiences watch programmes online,“ said the BBC’s director-general Tony Hall.

„I am delighted that iPlayer will be coming to the new Apple TV in the coming months, helping to bring the BBC’s distinctive and loved content to an even wider audience.“

Auntie Player proof-of-concept iPlayer app for the new Apple TV

BBC iPlayer is an on-demand video service that allows viewers to catch up on TV show episodes and other content airing on the popular British channel. The app was not available on previous Apple TV boxes, except over AirPlay using an iPhone or iPad, despite versions existing for Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and other streaming devices.

BBC has reversed course since the new Apple TV was announced in September, at which time it announced on Twitter it had „no plans currently“ to develop an iPlayer app for the latest set-top box. iPlayer had more than 220 million TV requests in August from users on other devices, the BBC says, so a native tvOS app will be a welcomed arrival for many viewers in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Apple also confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Siri is coming to Apple Music on the new Apple TV at the beginning of next year. This functionality will allow Apple TV users to say commands such as „play the top songs from Taylor Swift’s 1989 album“ or „play more like this“ to control Apple Music on the big screen.

The new Apple TV launches October 30, coinciding with the first deliveries to customers.

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Developers Press BBC to Bring iPlayer to Apple TV by Building Their Own Proof of Concept App

Following the unveiling of the new Apple TV back in September, United Kingdom-based public service broadcaster BBC told fans on Twitter that there were „no plans currently“ to develop an iPlayer app for the new platform. While the broadcaster has backtracked slightly since that time, more recently stating it doesn’t „have any info to give“ on the topic, with the launch of the Apple TV right around the corner, a couple of Dorset-based developers have taken the task into their own hands to prove that the app can be made with relative ease.

Screenshot from the proof of concept iPlayer app
The BBC iPlayer app allows viewers of the popular British channel to catch up with current series and watch live TV on a smartphone or tablet. The company expanded support for the service to streaming devices like Chromecast and smart TVs last year, but never made the leap to Apple TV due to its limited SDK support and nonexistent functionality with other platforms like Android. Now, a pair of developers from Bournemouth, Dorset in the United Kingdom – Matt Cheetham and Phillip Caudell – have used a recent hack event to prove Apple TV support for BBC iPlayer could be implemented fairly easily by the broadcaster.

The pair took to GitHub to share the app they created, dubbed the „Auntie Player,“ which splits the iPlayer experience up into Home, Categories, Live, and Search tabs, with full episode lists, descriptions, and run times for each show. Cheetham and Caudell cite BBC’s „disappointing response“ from September as the main source of inspiration for the proof of concept app, pointing out BBC’s failure to support Apple TV as a direct contradiction to its public purpose to „make engaging digital content and services available on a wide range of digital platforms and devices.“

Most impressively, the duo planned, coded, and completed the app in under nine hours at the „Hack to the Future“ event in Bournemouth over the weekend. As they note in the GitHub post, the two won’t be submitting the app to the App Store, but they wanted to showcase „what can be achieved with the tvOS platform and the BBC’s amazing content.“

The app we’re publishing here was built in just under 9 hours at a hack event to prove it could be done. It’s by no means complete or perfect, and it’s very much a proof of concept. It’s our hope the BBC will release an official app for Apple TV, as they’ve made iPlayer available on a wide range of other set-top boxes and Smart TVs.

Check out the developers’ full suite of source code for Auntie Player on GitHub, along with an array of screenshots and more of the reasoning behind sharing their creation with the public.

With Apple’s new tvOS developer tools for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the platform is now open to all developers, significantly broadening the potential for Apple’s set-top box beyond the locked-down content provider model that has existed until now. Just yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated his thoughts that the television experience needs to be reinvented and that apps are the way to do it.



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