DirecTV Now Supports Single Sign-on for Upcoming 'TV' App on iOS and Apple TV

Nov 22, 2016 - 1:36 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple's upcoming iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1 updates will bring a new "TV" app where users will be able to view much of their TV and movie content from across various apps, all centrally located to make it easy to pick up where you left off and receive recommendations on additional content.

The new TV app has been gradually going live on both platforms for U.S. users during the beta testing period, and it works hand-in-hand with a "Single Sign-on" feature that will let subscribers to certain pay TV services authenticate their accounts once on a systemwide basis and receive access to content across all supported apps for which they are eligible.

When the early beta of Single Sign-on began going live earlier this month, there were four supported TV providers, with Dish Network and its Sling TV subsidiary being the most recognizable while small regional services GVTC Communications and Hotwire rounded out the list.

Full support for Single Sign-on will require apps to be updated to recognize the systemwide authentication, but the provider listings have offered a glimpse at which providers are currently on board with the feature.

As of this week, another major provider has joined the Single Sign-on program, with AT&T's DirecTV now appearing in the TV Provider list for authentication. The addition of DirectTV's 20 million U.S. subscribers makes it the biggest provider to support the feature so far, displacing Dish Network and Sling TV.

The addition of DirecTV isn't necessarily a surprise, as Apple had touted "DirecTV, Dish Network, and more" in its press release announcing the new TV app last month, but it's apparently taken DirecTV a few extra weeks to prepare. Still notably absent are the major U.S. cable companies such as Comcast and Charter/Time Warner, and there's no word on if or when those companies will be coming on board.

Apple has announced that the new TV app will become available to the public in December, indicating the company intends to release iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1 within that timeframe.


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Apple Says to 'Open Your Heart to Everyone' in Festive 'Frankie's Holiday' Ad

Nov 21, 2016 - 2:23 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple has shared a new TV ad called "Frankie's Holiday" in time for the holiday season, accompanied with the tagline "open your heart to everyone."

In the ad, Frankenstein's monster brings a package with ornaments to a town square and starts singing "Home for the Holidays" by The Carpenters on his iPhone. While he initially shocks the large group of people in the town, a young girl urges Frankenstein to come forward, and everyone joins along in singing with him.

Frankenstein's monster is portrayed by Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett, who stands 6'8" tall.


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Apple to release Augmented Reality smart glasses as soon as 2018, report claims

Nov 15, 2016 - 3:00 PM - by sparkyscott21

Perhaps the Apple Watch was merely the beginning of Apple’s foray into the ever evolving world of wearables. Citing sources purportedly familiar with Apple’s plans, Bloomberg reports that Apple is currently exploring the idea of releasing digital glasses similar, in a broad sense, to what Google released just a few years ago.

The smart glasses Apple is said to be developing will reportedly lean heavily on augmented reality and will present information to wearers by relaying information gleaned from a user’s iPhone. Still in the very early stages of development, Apple has already ordered “small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier for testing.”

If development proceeds swimmingly, the report claims that we could see a pair of smart glasses from Apple on store shelves as early as 2018.

The glasses may be Apple’s first hardware product targeted directly at AR, one of the people said. Cook has beefed up AR capabilities through acquisitions. In 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense, which developed motion-sensing technology in Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect gaming system. Purchases of software startups in the field, Metaio Inc. and Flyby Media Inc., followed in 2015 and 2016.

Apple’s interest in smart glasses comes at an interesting time. While Google Glass wearers were ridiculed if not downright shunned, the recent release of Snapchat’s Spectacles signals that the world may be more welcoming of connected glasses than they were when Google first entered the fray a few years ago.

It’s also worth noting that Tim Cook has been unusually vocal with regards to hyping up augmented reality related technologies, even going so far as to say that Apple is “high on augmented reality for the long run.” For a company that’s as notoriously tight-lipped as Apple, Cook’s remarks are rather telling.

Adding some more credence to Bloomberg’s report, you might recall that reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo just one month ago said that Apple will release an AR related device in just one to two years. What’s more, Kuo added that Apple’s technology could very well be so sophisticated as to leapfrog all rival products by three to five years.


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Apple shares holiday discounts from retailers to promote Apple Pay on the web

Nov 08, 2016 - 12:51 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple has a new web page up today sharing exclusive holiday offers available for customers who use its newly launched Apple Pay on the web feature.

Some of the companies offering deals for using Apple Pay on the web this holiday season include Adidas, Casper, Grubhub, lululemon, Overstock, Shopify, seamless, and more.

Exclusive holiday offers with Apple Pay on the web.

Experience the fast and secure way to shop online with Apple Pay, now on the web in Safari. Check out in seconds and receive exclusive benefits such as free rush shipping, discounts, and rewards.

Some retailers like 1-800 and Adidas are offering free shipping for using Apple Pay on the web, while others are offering gift cards and other discounts. Casper is offering a free $50 iTunes gift card with the purchase of a mattress, The New York Times is offering 50% off a one-year subscription, and Vacatia is giving 7% off resort bookings.

Here’s the full list of current deals:

Adidas — Enjoy one- or two-day free shipping from Adidas.
Casper — Buy a mattress and receive a $50 iTunes gift card
Grub hub — Win a $50 gift card. New diners get $10 off next order
instacart — one month of free delivery for first-time customers
JackThreads — 20% off holiday looks
Jet — 10% off first three orders and $5 JetCash
lululemon — $25 gift card for purchase over $150
The New York Times — 50% off one-year subscription
1-800 Flowers — free shipping
Overstock — free year of Club O Rewards Membership, $19 value
seamless — Win a $50 gift card. New diners get $10 off next order
Shopify — Select deals from Shopify stores
Spring — 20% off
Vactia — 7% off resort bookings

Apple notes s that it will be adding more discounts from other retailers and banks soon including Abercrombie & Fitch, Chase, Bank of America, The Washington Post, Warby Parker, Hollister, Tumi, Caviar, Poshmark, and Under Armour.

Apple Pay on the web, which allows Apple Pay purchases through websites in Safari, officially launched in September with the release of macOS Sierra and iOS 10. For Mac users, the process is completed using a nearby iPhone or Apple Watch to authenticate the purchase, or with the built-in Touch ID sensor on the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar shipping the coming weeks.


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Apple May Add 'Jet White' Color Option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Nov 07, 2016 - 1:11 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple plans to add a "Jet White" color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. The report did not outline when Apple might add the sixth color to the lineup, and it also warned the information obtained from supply chain sources "may be unreliable."

Mac Otakara has accurately leaked information about Apple's upcoming plans in the past, including the new Jet Black color and no 3.5mm headphone jack on iPhone 7. It was also correct about several other iPhone 7 details, including its naming, flush Home button, longer earpiece cutout, and lack of Smart Connector.

Nevertheless, the blog has been wrong on occasion, such as when it said the iPhone SE may come in a brighter pink shade that's different than Rose Gold. Moreover, given the lack of confidence in its own source, this rumor may not materialize and should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt.


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Apple seeks financial incentives before setting up Indian manufacturing

Nov 07, 2016 - 10:58 AM - by sparkyscott21

Apple is seeking financial handouts from the Indian government before setting up a manufacturing unit in the country, according to a new report.

The incentives are connected to the Department of Revenue and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, India's Economic Times said.

"They are doing their due diligence from quite some time," an official told the publication. "The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will write to both the departments regarding this communication for their views."

Apple and its manufacturing partner(s) could receive help under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme, which among other things can provide subsidies if a company sets up shop in one of India's "Special Economic Zones" —areas with lowered government regulations designed to lure foreign firms.

Since Apple currently operates just one factory of its own, located in Ireland, Indian manufacturing would presumably be handled by Foxconn. That company was already reportedly interested in setting up an Apple-oriented factory, possibly including iPhones.

Establishing manufacturing could be a prerequisite to opening local Apple stores. In August India's finance minister ratified a proposal that could let single-brand retailers like Apple be exempt from local sourcing rules for three years, so long as they provide "cutting-edge" technology. At the end of those three years, though, Apple would have to have substantial local production in place.


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