As of today, Apple is offering a discount to students who sign up for its streaming service Apple Music.
If you're enrolled in an eligible institution, you'll receive 50 percent off your subscription. In a somewhat unexpected twist, the offer is available outside the US for once: those in many other countries -- the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, among others -- will be able to take advantage. Once you've done so, the offer is good for four not necessarily continuous years.
The offer is no doubt a bid to better compete with rival Spotify, which has done the same for awhile now. Last we checked, Spotify sat at 30 million subscribers with Apple Music at 11 million; news is in now that the latter has grown to 13 million, attributed in part to its $14.99/mo. family plan. Soon, a new interface is said to arrive, which should help matters further.
Following mediocre reviews of Apple Music's first iteration and departures of executives intended to revitalize the company's music strategy (among other bad news), those familiar with the service have told Bloomberg a revamp is on the way.
It's said the interface will be made more intuitive to use, Apple's streaming and download businesses will be better integrated, and its online radio service will be expanded. The reveal will take place at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, at which point the marketing machine will go full throttle to get more customers on board.
Nine Inch Nails founder and tech geek Trent Reznor as well as content head Robert Kondrk are said to oversee the new design, with many other notable staff contributing.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has a new iOS and Android app designed to motivate you to get out of bed in the morning and make the day your...well, you know. Appropriately named "The Rock Clock", it lets you set a personal goal, choose when you want to get up, and then wake up to a message from The Rock himself.
Other features include video messages from The Rock, 25 custom alarm tones, and "Rock Time", which syncs your alarm with The Rock so "you get up when he does" (probably not smart if you don't live in the Pacific Northwest). Amusingly, there's an intentional lack of snooze alarm because "The Rock is not a fan of that button."
It appears a WhatsApp client is coming to Mac OS X and Windows, according to information uncovered by software sleuths WABetaInfo. The information seems to come from a survey on WhatsApp's translation page and pretty clearly indicates a beta is on the way. Although the text is rough in parts, bits like "Download for Mac OS X", and "Download for Windows" make it difficult to imagine another scenario.
The chat software is used by a staggering 1 billion people and is already available on Windows mobile, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Symbian, so it would not be surprising in the least to see native Windows and Mac clients appear. Should it happen, expect sync functionality across different devices and operating systems.
The features Apple Music has had for months are now finally on Android thanks to a new update.
First is video playback, allowing you to watch most music videos and soon, a Vice documentary called "The Score", a new Dr. Dre series named Vital Signs, and an Apple series about app developers.
Then there's family plans: if you're willing to drop $14.99 per month over the standard $9.99, you can share with up to five other people.
At long last, Facebook is today releasing its new Facebook app for Windows 10 desktop as well as a Messenger app. On mobile, its Instagram app debuts.
The Facebook app is available now and features a smaller style layout than with the previous app, which was very in your face. This one is much more efficient for taking in a lot of information and navigating between different sections. As well, performance is much improved with snappy loading of images as well as between clicks. Feature-wise, it supports Live Tiles for at a glance updates, Reactions, stickers in comments, and you can share photos to it through File Explorer (click the Share tab at the top of the window), among other things.
Arguably the best Android Facebook wrapper app Swipe for Facebook gets even better today thanks to some major design changes as well as new features.
Changes in the new 3.0 release include major stability and performance improvements (the developer is awfully excited when describing just how fast this version really is), automatic day/night theming (so the theme will change from light to dark the longer the day goes on if you want it to), Material design (pro users only), new menus, copyable text, fingerprint authentication, and more.
The appeal of Swipe is it lets you use Facebook on your phone without the crushing demand the official app places on your hardware, thereby slowing the OS down and draining the battery quickly. The developer achieves this by 'wrapping' the lightweight Facebook website into a convenient app. If you'd like to give it a try, hit the source link.
Microsoft's lovely Word Flow keyboard is now available to iPhone users. Featuring one-handed typing, customization options, tap or type input, and a pretty slick interface, you may well come to prefer it over the native iPhone keyboard.
The bad news is it seems be available only to US residents, and it doesn't support 3D Touch. If you're in the US and don't care about 3D Touch, though, give it the old college try.
Podcasts come to Google Play Music at last today, but unfortunately, the service is only for US and Canada residents. One of the beautiful things about podcasting is anyone in the world can hear it (in theory, anyway), so this is quite the detriment for many would-be users. We've contacted Google for comment and will update this story should we hear back.
Included features: podcast suggestions, subscriptions, notifications; missing features comprise mark as read, playback speed, and RSS, among others. In other words, this is a pretty bare bones service. On the plus side, the design appears great.
To try out Google Play Music podcasts for yourself, update the app through the Play Store now.
Microsoft's Windows Phone keyboard aka Word Flow is launching imminently on iOS, and it turns out the iPhone version will come with a couple extra goodies: customizable backgrounds (choose whatever image you like from stock themes or your own collection), and a one-handed mode which allows you to input text by moving the keyboard to the side (see it in action in the video below).
If you like, you can sign up for the imminent Word Flow beta here.