It was a huge week in technology as Apple TV, Apple Watch, and iPhone 6 made some news.
WWDC countdown continues
This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) begins on Monday, June 8. AppAdvice readers are already suggesting ways to improve iOS. Apple is expected to unveil iOS 9 during the WWDC keynote.
Still on top
For now, the iPhone remains the best-selling smartphone in the United States, according to newly released data from comScore.
Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer during the three months ending in March 2015 with 42.6 percent of U.S. subscribers, a one-point increase over Dec. 2014. Samsung came in at second place with 28.3 percent of smartphone subscribers in the U.S., losing 1.4 points of ground. Third place belongs to LG, which gained 0.4 points by landing in the hands of 8.4 percent of the market.
Apple being beat up over its new streaming music service
Government officials are apparently unhappy with Apple over using its “considerable power” to shut down free music streaming services, such as ones offered by Spotify and YouTube. This comes ahead of Apple’s planned revamp of the Beats Music service. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is worried this would “dramatically reduce the competition for Apple’s upcoming offering.”
The Beats Music relaunch might be announced at WWDC — unless Apple is unable to secure the licensing deals with the appropriate music companies.
Spotify hits Apple twice
Speaking of Spotify, the top music streaming service in the U.S. is going after Apple on two fronts.
They believe Cupertino’s 30 percent fee on any sales through the App Store amount to a tax that Apple’s own products aren’t subject to. When Spotify sells its premium subscription service, which usually costs $9.99 a month, through the App Store, it has to raise the price to $12.99 to earn the same revenue. Apple, on the other hand, can offer Beats at the lower price of $9.99 and keep all of the revenue.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that Spotify is making plans to enter the crowded Internet video market.
Spotify has approached so-called multichannel networks that specialize in creating and distributing video for YouTube to discuss both acquiring their material and co-creating original video series, the people said. It also contacted some well-known traditional-media companies about potential alliances.
The proposed service would be available to both subscribers and non-subscribers and could also be supported by advertising at some point.
Apple TV takes control
The next Apple TV could come with a new remote control, according to The New York Times:
When Apple introduces its new TV box this summer, the remote control will gain a touch pad and also be slightly thicker than the current version, according to an employee briefed on the product, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the device was confidential. The touch pad can be used for scrolling around and there will also be two physical buttons, the person said. The remote’s thicker size is comparable to the remote control for Amazon’s wireless speaker, the Echo, the person added.
The fourth-generation Apple TV is expected to launch at WWDC next month.
At least five Nintendo titles are coming to iOS
Nintendo games are set to arrive for iOS beginning later this year. The games will feature classic Nintendo characters, along with some new faces.
According to Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata, the company would “carefully select appropriate IP and titles” for its smartphone games. The partnership between Nintendo and mobile app developer DeNA is expected to produce about five titles between now and March 2017, with the first to arrive before the end of the year.
Apple Watch is called the best smartwatch
Consumer Reports rated Apple Watch the top smartwatch on the market. The wearable device, which launched in April, bested the LG G Watch R, Pebble Steel, Motorola Moto 360, among others.
Apple Watches at Apple retail stores?
Apple Watch buyers should soon be able to pickup their device at the nearest Apple Store.
The company’s online site and app are now listing the Personal Pickup option as “coming soon.” It is grayed out and can’t currently be selected when placing an order. Previously, the option was only listed as being “currently unavailable.”
Since the preorder period for Apple Watch orders began in early April, buyers have only been able to make a purchase from the Apple Store app or online store.
Apple begins embracing third-party Apple Watch bands
Cupertino has released a set of design guidelines for accessory makers looking to make Apple Watch bands. The document, “Band Design Guidelines for Apple Watch,” provides a detailed overview of stringent regulations third-party accessory makers need to adhere to if they plan on marketing Watch-compatible straps.
The guidelines document also hints at an upcoming “Made for Apple Watch” designation. However, the document expressly states that the guidelines themselves “do not entitle you to use the ‘Made for Apple Watch’ name or logo, and you agree not to use the foregoing in connection with any Apple Watch band, accessory, or otherwise, except as expressly authorized by Apple in a separate written agreement.”
WatchAware podcast debuts
What’s happening in the week ahead? Come back to AppAdvice to find out.