Apple reportedly won't shut down the Beats Music online streaming service, despite only having around 250,000 paid subscribers. Earlier reports indicated Apple would simply shutter Beats Music, the online music streaming service it acquired alongside the popular Beats speaker, earbud and headphone manufacturer. Apple ultimately paid $3 billion to purchase the company founded by rap mogul Dr. Dre and music industry veteran Jimmy Iovine.
If true, it will be curious to see how Apple decides to change the service, as Spotify currently has 30 million free users and 10 million paid subscribers. It's possible Beats Music and iTunes Radio could be merged together, instead of the company trying to run both services together.
If the Beats Music brand is to survive longer, it's surprising there was nothing related to the Beats app being pre-installed with the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
Television and monitor manufacturer AOC has announced a 24" gaming monitor using the NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, in an effort to give owners an added advantage while gaming. The NVIDIA G-SYNC technology was introduced in October 2013, as gamers hoped to see video lag and other issues limited. The monitor has a $449 price tag, possibly pricing casual gamers out of the market.
"This advanced AOC gaming display (2460PG) gives competitive gamers a serious edge so they can focus on the game without the distraction of screen tearing, ghosting or latency," according to AOC in a press release. "This means gamers receive critical images, such as enemy movement, on screen the moment they are rendered for greater accuracy and a serious gaming advantage over competitors."
The 24" monitor offers 300 cd/m brightness, 5 ms response time, 16.7 million display colors, and a recommended resolution of 1920 x 1080. An integrated DisplayPort connector includes five USB ports that support USB 3.0, the ergonomic stand allows enhanced gaming comfort for extended periods of gaming.
The use of smartphones and tablets outpace any other consumer electronic devices in the household for younger people, according to research published by The NPD Group. In 2014 smartphone ownership among young people aged from 4-14 reached 71 percent, a 16 percent increase from 2012.
Consumer electronic pricing has become more affordable, especially for budget, entry-level smartphones and tablets - and company customer support has also proven to consumers. Just Samsung and Apple are considered when it comes to mobile devices, but there are multiple other major OEMs expanding in the market.
"Technology devices are as much staples for American families as traditional toys, perhaps more so considering their ability to engage with almost any member of the family," said Juli Lennett, The NPD Group Toys division president, in a statement. "Marketing smartphones and tablets for family use, rather than the traditional primary user, and offering pricing and payment options to meet the needs of families, will engage this audience even further."
USB Type-C is on its way, but what else will the USB connector have to offer us? With a new agreement struck between the USB 3.0 Promoter Group and the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), we will see USB Type-C supporting DisplayPort, and video.
VESA explains that this new feature is being called the DisplayPort Alternative Mode, or Alt Mode: "Using the DisplayPort Alt Mode, a USB Type-C connector and cable can deliver full DisplayPort audio/video (A/V) performance, driving monitor resolutions of 4K and beyond, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1) data and up to 100 watts of power-over a single cable. The DisplayPort Alt Mode can also drive adaptors that support the huge installed base of existing DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA displays".
Better yet, the cables and connections can also connect a DisplayPort device using a reversible USB Type-C to DisplayPort converter cable, which will open up a slew of doors for connectivity options.
Goat Simulator launched onto iOS and Android just five days ago, but has racked up over 100,000 sales so far. 100,000 sales might not seem like much in the shadow that is Destiny with $325 million in sales so far, but for a game where about... goats, it sure is impressive.
Armin Ibrisagic from Coffee Stain Studios, the developer behind the game, wrote on the Coffee Stain blog: "It feels really amazing that so many people like our game! We're also really happy that we can now reach out to even more goat fans, and that people without a computer can now also enjoy the life of being a goat!"
Looking to the future of Goat Simulator, the developer is aiming on crushing any bugs on iOS and Android, with the studio aware that there are various issues on the Android version of the game right now. Coffee Stain Studios said "While we realize you might be super curious of our future plans, the truth is actually that we don't plan much ahead at all [....] But after a couple of weeks we'll see how it goes! Hopefully we'll be able to give you more information then".
Steam gamers will enjoy the new Steam Discovery Update that Valve is pushing out right now, which adds "functionality and features designed to optimize the Steam shopping experience as the number of new titles on Steam increases".
Valve has softly announced that there are now over 100 million active Steam accounts, with an additional 1300 new titles being added to Steam in the last nine months alone. Valve, with the Steam Discovery Update, is offering a smarter Home page, which will be "offering recommendations based on past purchases, recent playtime, and recommendations by friends".
Valve has also improved Steam Search, with a new feature called Curators, which allows anyone to become a Curator, recommending games and allowing people to follow them, and their recommendation on titles. Alden Kroll of Valve said: "We have made great efforts to increase the number of titles we can publish on Steam, which means more choices for customers. This update introduces multiple features and functionality to help customers explore Steam's growing catalog and find the games they are most interested in playing".
While Oculus VR is on its fourth headset before it even goes retail: DK1, Crystal Cove, DK2, Crescent Bay, Sony is still tinkering away with its Project Morpheus headset. Sony Worldwide Studios' President, Shuhei Yoshida, spoke with The Wall Street Journal recently, about the company's adventures in VR.
Yoshida said that Sony "finished 85 percent of the work needed to make the product available" but didn't elaborate on when Project Morpheus would launch, or what type of price to expect. Yoshida did say that most of Project Morpheus' components are found in smartphones, which would help keep the price from floating up.
From what we can expect, Sony's Project Morpheus headset offers a 1920x1080 display with a 90-degree field of view (FOV) and full 360 degrees of head tracking. Considering Oculus just announced, and showed off, Crescent Bay, with an improved display, less latency and full 360-degree head tracking, Sony has its work cut out for it, big time.
Apple has broken its own record with the new iPhones, with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus becoming the fastest-selling iPhones yet. Apple announced the news today, confirming the opening weekend sales numbers at over 10 million.
The 10 million iPhone sales include pre-orders, and the sales of the first three days of availability. Pre-orders hit around four million units, for both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, during the first 24 hours of availability. This time last year Apple had sold nine million iPhone 5S, and 5C units combined, so even with the bigger sizes, Apple sold only 10% more iPhones.
'Star Trek 3' is not quite a greenlight at Paramount studios, but there is movement at the station under director Roberto Orci now that JJ Abrams has jumped ship to that other sci-fi franchise.
Now it seems that the as-yet unfinished script is circling for William Shatner to return to his iconic role that he last played in 1994's 'Star Trek: Generations'. Badass Digest is reporting from unnamed sources that Shatner, as well as Leonard Nimoy who has played Spock in the first two 'Trek' reboot features, will share screen time together for the first time since 1991.
The as-yet untitled 'Star Trek 3' is expected to be released in summer 2016.
According to a new report from Jack March, the upcoming 12-inch Retina MacBook Air will offer a slew of improvements. It seems like it's close to being reworked in every department, from its display, processor, speakers, charging technology, and more.
First off, the report states that the upcoming Retina MBA will offer a "noticeably thinner design", where it will be completely fanless. Fanless, you say? This is thanks to Apple adopting to Intel's new Core M processor, which offers performance improvements, as well as lowered thermals and power requirement. OEMs can bake these into their devices, offering up fanless tablets and laptops.
Next up, the source said that "the display bezels are noticeably thinner, quite similar to the current MacBook Pro Retina lineup" with next to no space between the keyboard and the edge of the upcoming 12-inch MBA. Additionally, the speaker has been moved above the keyboard, and is still "visible". The source continues with a juicy rumor, stating that Apple will get rid of the already impressive MagSafe connector, replacing it with a new charging technology that has never been used on any Mac to date. I'm hoping we see wireless charging, but I won't be holding my breath. Lastly, Apple will reportedly replace the standard USB ports on the new 2015 Retina MacBook Air with the new reversible USB Type C ports. The company should offer the new MBA in various color options, sometime in mid 2015.