Harry Potter Enhanced Editions Now Available Exclusively on iBooks

Apple today announced that enhanced editions of all seven books in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling are now available exclusively through the iBooks Store around the world for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

Harry Potter Enhanced Editions are available in English for $9.99 each in 32 countries, while pre-orders begin today for French, German and Spanish versions, which will be available on November 9 in 18 additional countries.

“I’m thrilled to see the Harry Potter books so beautifully realised on iBooks for the digital world; the artwork and animations in these enhanced editions bring the stories alive in a delightful new way,” said J.K. Rowling.

“Harry Potter fans are going to love how their favorite stories come to life,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “J.K. Rowling’s legendary series is perfect for enjoying on your iPad or iPhone and we’re thrilled to offer them exclusively on the iBooks Store.”

Harry Potter digital books were previously only available for purchase through the Pottermore shop that J.K. Rowling developed in partnership with Sony.



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Netflix Executive: Offline Viewing ‘Never Going to Happen’ [iOS Blog]

Netflix customers hoping for offline viewing on their iPad or iPhone may have to wait indefinitely for the feature to be supported by the streaming service. Speaking to TechRadar, Netflix director of corporate communications and technology Cliff Edwards said offline viewing is „never going to happen.“

Edwards asserts that offline viewing is a „short term fix“ that doesn’t address the bigger issue of sparse public Wi-Fi access. In the next five years, Edwards believes the expansion of public Wi-Fi and cellular coverage will make the idea of offline viewing obsolete. With a ubiquitous Internet connection, customers won’t need to download as they will be able stream all the time.

Instead of working to support offline viewing, Netflix has been focusing on original programming, with twenty new series planned for the coming years. The company also has been moving forward with 4K content and steadily improving its iOS app, recently adding support for iOS 8 and 1080p HD streaming on the iPhone 6 Plus.




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A8 Chip in iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Capable of Playing 4K Video

The dual-core A8 chip powering Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus appears to be capable of handling 4K video playback, despite the fact that the two iPhones have native resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels, respectively.

4K video playback on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was first discovered by the developers behind WALTR, a Mac app that’s designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone for native playback, and reported by TUAW.

Image via iFixit

The discovery was made by the developers of WALTR, a great Mac app that allows users to quickly upload video files to their iPhone which aren’t supported by iTunes, such as FLAC and MKV files. While testing the app developers found it is possible to playback 4K videos on the iPhone 6. Even if Apple hasn’t announced it, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are ready to play 4K videos.

With resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won’t be able to reproduce the detail in a 3840 x 2160 4K video, but the A8’s ability to play 4K content means 4K videos side-loaded onto one of Apple’s two devices will still be watchable.

It’s highly unlikely many users will load 4K videos on their iPhones due to the massive file size of 4K content and the fact that there’s little practical use for it, but it has the potential to be a somewhat useful feature for some users who want to play 4K video recorded on their devices as there are apps available that advertise 4K video recording on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.




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ICYMI: Remembering Steve, new iPads are coming, and more

It’s that time of the week again — all of Cult of Mac’s best news stories and features, compiled in one place to peruse easily on your iPad or iPhone. This week we’ve got heartfelt remembrances of Steve Jobs, some…Read more ›

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Carriers Are Not Throttling iPhone and iPad Data Speeds

Following yesterday’s claim that three out of four major carriers in the U.S. throttle iPhone and iPad data speeds, AnandTech has investigated the issue and determined that the original assertion, which has since been deleted, is untrue.

Apple doesn’t limit cellular data throughput on its devices — there’s both no incentive for them to do so, and any traffic management is better off done in the packet core of the respective network operator rather than on devices. Sideloading tweaked carrier bundles isn’t going to magically increase throughput, either.

According to the site, which offers a thorough technical examination and debunking of the original claim, neither Apple nor the accused carriers arbitrarily cap the User Equipment speed category or throttle device data speeds.

For example, AnandTech points out that the AT&T file that was used as evidence that the iPhone 5 was being capped at HSDPA Category 10 (14.4Mbps) was actually only applicable to the iPhone 4S, which, unlike the iPhone 5 (Category 14), is only capable of a Category 10 downlink, and then goes on to refute additional claims as well. The post ends with another reiteration that Apple is not, in any way, limiting its devices.

Again, there’s no reason for Apple to want to arbitrarily limit their devices, and the reality is that they don’t, at all, on any version of iPad or iPhone or in any of the carrier bundles they’ve distributed for network operators. If anything, Apple has long been one of the few handset vendors who initially understood the importance of limiting annoying operator customizations. The Carrier Bundles are quite literally the only place in the entire OS they have indirect access (through Apple) to toggles they can play with.

For the technically inclined, AnandTech‘s full explanation is well worth reading.


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