Apple Ceases Free iTunes Radio Streaming Worldwide

Apple today officially ended free streaming of its iTunes Radio channels worldwide, incorporating the catalogue of stations into its subscription-based Apple Music service.

The change follows Apple’s announcement earlier this month that its free radio-listening feature would be discontinued at the end of January but would remain available to Apple Music subscribers.

As of this morning, iOS Music app users who tap on a radio station are bounced to a screen prompting them to join Apple’s premium streaming music service.

Likewise, iTunes users on a Mac who attempt to access the stations or create their own are met with a dialog window asking them to „Get on Our Wavelength“ and join Apple Music.

Users with an iTunes Match subscription are also no longer able to access the stations. However, Apple’s Beats 1 radio channel remains available to iTunes users worldwide as a free listening option.

Apple had quietly continued to offer ad-supported iTunes Radio stations in the United States and Australia even after the launch of Apple Music on June 30, 2015. However, after the company’s decision to wind down its mobile iAd platform, the feature was already being limited in other regions to those who pay for Apple’s streaming music service.

iTunes Radio was originally released with iTunes 11.1 and iOS 7 as a free ad-supported service, offering music discovery through featured and genre stations provided by Apple or through the creation of new stations based on a specific artist or song.

Tags: iTunes Radio, Apple Music, iAd
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Apple Ending Ad-Supported iTunes Radio Stations at End of January

As part of the winding down of its iAd platform, Apple today sent out a notice to customers who listen to its radio service letting them know the radio feature is being discontinued at the end of January.

In the email, Apple says that Beats 1 radio will be the only free listening option available to those who do not subscribe to the Apple Music service. Customers who listen to radio stations sans ads with an iTunes Match subscription are also receiving the emails and will no longer be able to listen to radio stations as an iTunes Match perk.

Apple has quietly continued to offer ad-supported iTunes Radio stations in the United States and Australia even after the launch of Apple Music, but with the end of its current iAd platform on the horizon, the feature will be limited to those who pay for Apple Music going forward. Customers in Australia are receiving emails stating the radio service will end on January 29, while U.S. customers are receiving emails that suggest it will no longer be available as of January 28.

Earlier this week, BuzzFeed reporter John Paczkowski said that Apple was working towards dismantling its in-house iAd sales team in favor of a more automated platform. This afternoon, Apple announced the end of its iAd App Network, and it’s likely there will be additional changes to products and services as the iAd platform is revamped.

Tags: iTunes Radio, Apple Music
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Apple Offering Free Next Day Delivery On December 23

For procrastinators and last minute shoppers, Apple is planning to offer free next day delivery on December 23rd, ensuring Apple products and accessories will arrive in time for the upcoming Christmas holiday. According to Apple’s website, customers who place an order for an in-stock item by 2:00 p.m. on 12/23 will be eligible for free next day delivery.

In-store pickup orders made two hours before closing on 12/24 will also be available in any Apple retail location. Holiday hours for each retail store are available using Apple’s store locator tool.

Apple already offers free next day shipping on the iPhone, but other products like iPads, Apple Watches, Macs, and accessories are delivered using two day shipping. Products ordered ahead of 12/23 will deliver on time using the standard two day shipping that Apple provides.

As a reminder, Apple’s annual extended return policy is now in effect on the Apple Online Store and in retail locations in the United States, Canada, and many other countries. Most products and accessories purchased between November 1 and December 25 are eligible for return until January 8, 2016, extending the typical 14-day return policy. In some European countries, return dates are extended until January 20, 2016.
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Volvo’s First CarPlay Vehicle in the U.S. is the 2016 XC90, Available Now

After long promising to implement CarPlay support in its vehicles, Volvo recently announced that the new 2016 XC90 is the company’s first CarPlay-enabled car in the United States, reports CNET.

The new vehicle is equipped with a 9-inch touchscreen in the center console, with the CarPlay interface featured on the bottom half of the screen. Volvo’s Sensus Connect controls remain at the top of the screen, offering access to features like directions, media playing, temperature, and more.

A button on the steering wheel brings up Siri, allowing users to compose messages, place phone calls, and access built-in CarPlay apps.

Like most CarPlay vehicles, Volvo owners will need to connect their iPhones directly to the vehicle using the built-in Lightning connector. Volvo has said it will support wireless CarPlay features in the future, but wireless capabilities are not yet available.

All 2016 XC90 vehicles are eligible for CarPlay support. Those who already purchased a 2016 XC90 can make a service appointment with their dealer to get the update installed.

Though CarPlay was first announced in 2014, it’s taken many months for car manufacturers to get on board. Late 2015 and early 2016 will see more than a dozen car makers releasing their first vehicles with CarPlay support, and we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all upcoming CarPlay cars.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Volvo
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Trump’s dream: Bring Apple manufacturing back to U.S.

Donald Trump has said that his “real dream” is for Apple, along with other U.S. companies, to bring their manufacturing back to the United States. Trump made the comments during an interview to promote his new book, Crippled America. “We think of Apple as an American company,” Trump said. “But they make their product in […]

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


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Samsung to Pay Apple $548 Million Settlement in Five-Year Old Patent Trial

Just under five years after the beginning of the patent dispute between tech giants Apple and Samsung, the companies yesterday agreed to a settlement of $548 million to be paid by Samsung, as ordered by the San Jose federal court hosting the trial (via FOSS Patents). Samsung is said to now be waiting for Apple’s official invoice of the settlement, and if it arrives by the end of day on December 4, it has promised to send the $548 million in full to Apple by December 14.

Samsung found a slight loophole in its agreement to pay the Cupertino company, however, retaining the right to continue appealing the court system and even the ability to „reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid“ by the company. So, if the court does agree to one of Samsung’s appeals in the future, Apple could see some – or all – of the $548 million returned back to its rival.

„Samsung continues to reserve all rights to obtain reimbursement from Apple and/or payment by Apple of all amounts required to be paid as taxes. […] Samsung further reserves all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid by Samsung to any entity in the event the partial judgment is reversed, modified, vacated or set aside on appeal or otherwise, including as a result of any proceedings before the USPTO addressing the patents at issue or as a result of any petition for writ of certiorari filed with the Supreme Court.“

In its own part of the filing that made its way through the court system on Thursday, Apple noted that it „disputes Samsung’s asserted rights to reimbursement.“ Earlier in August, Samsung announced plans to try and appeal the patent trial all the way to the United States Supreme Court, following a series of appeals it lost in the intervening years since the legal battle began in 2011.

Tag: Samsung
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