Apple is now airing an iPhone 5s ad titled “Gigantic” on ABC.The ad starts out with the Pixies getting ready to play their song called “Gigantic”, which is available in iTunes, the ad continues to play the song in the background while showcasing a few things that can be done with the iPhone like creating music, playing games on a big screen, taking photos, recording videos, and tracking your health. The ad ends with a message “You’re more powerful than you think”.
The updated version of Real Racing 2 HD for iPad 2 with support for full 1080p video out is finally available now on the App Store.
This new update brings the ability to take the Digital AV cable, plug it into your shiny new iPad 2, and play your racing on the big screen at native 1920×1080 resolution.
What’s New in Version 1.10
* Full HD 1080p TV-out and dual screen gaming support on iPad 2. Experience Real Racing 2 HD like never before in stunning, true 1080p while real-time racing telemetry is displayed on iPad 2
* Enhanced visuals for Alkeisha Island and San Arcana tracks on iPad 2
* Memory optimizations to minimize crashes
* Various minor improvements and fixes
The video embedded below shows Real Racing 2 HD running on a large TV in glorious 1080p, with the iPad screen showing a different game UI. It. Looks. Gorgeous.
Tablet apps from cable, fiber and satellite TV providers are suddenly a dime a dozen but despite promises of live TV streaming from several companies, the AP reports Time Warner Cable is finally ready to launch the feature first. The company’s official blog also teased the app in recent days but so far, iTunes isn’t giving any positive results. When it launches, it should enable TV watching, but only when used at home on Time Warner’s internet — you’ll need the TV and internet services to access the 30 or so channels initially available. While we keep an eye out for the app to actually arrive, you can get an idea of what it will be like by checking out the demo video from last year, embedded after the break.
There’s a new update out for Skype on iOS devices today that which expands the new videocalling compatibility to “a wider selection of Skype clients and devices” by adding the h.264 compatibility necessary to chat with any Skype for TV clients. That’s available on certain LG, Panasonic and Samsung HDTVs right now, while Sony and Vizio have both announced it will be in some of their new HDTVs coming out later this year. The ability to call mobile devices seems to give a big edge to Skype over other living room videochat setups from Cisco, Logitech or Microsoft’s Kinect, but even with a compatible (& pricey)camera in hand, good luck finding someone out enjoying the world who wants to chat while you’re chilling on the couch.
See, that wasn’t so bad, now was it? If you’re befuddled, we’re simply referring to the week that iPad owners have had to listen to their Android-lovin’ brethren gloat about having Dish Network’s Remote Access app. As of today, that same piece of software is available in the App Store, enabling iPad owners to watch live and recorded programs so long as they’ve a broadband-connected, Sling-enabled device like the Sling Adapter. It’ll also allow iPad owners to browse and search up to nine days of programming, schedule DVR recordings, manage conflicts, delete shows on multiple receivers, and use their tablet as a fully functional remote, but much to our dismay, it doesn’t have the power to make Heroes a show worth watching again.
If you thought that Apple’s foray into the world of home entertainment died with the last iteration of the Apple TV, you’re quite wrong. A tip we’ve received — which has been confirmed by a source very close to Apple — details the outlook for the next version of the Apple TV, and it’s a doozy. According to our sources, this project has been in the works long before Google announced its TV solution, and it ties much more closely into Apple’s mobile offerings. The new architecture of the device will be based directly on the iPhone 4, meaning it will get the same internals, down to that A4 CPU and a limited amount of flash storage — 16GB to be exact — though it will be capable of full 1080p HD (!). The device is said to be quite small with a scarce amount of ports (only the power socket and video out), and has been described to some as “an iPhone without a screen.” Are you ready for the real shocker? According to our sources, the price-point for the device will be $99. One more time — a hundred bucks.
In the 10 billionth song that Apple sold through iTunes, Johnny Cash’s “Guess Things Happen That Way”, a man other than Steve Jobs famous for black attire bemoans the happenstance of his romantic misfortune. But nothing could be further from the story of iTunes, in which Apple’s meticulously crafted ownership of the end-user experience led to a dominant position in music sales. Now, on the dawn of releasing a new device that could be to television shows what the iPod was to music, Apple has an opportunity to create as commanding a lead in TV distribution — if it is willing to again capitulate to consumers’ media consumption habits.
Apple has enjoyed great success with iTunes in part because it adopted the purchase-to-own model that had been so successful with CDs and records before them. However, Apple didn’t simply mirror that model. By allowing consumers to purchase the vast majority of songs as singles, it provided better perceived value, Such an option was also a natural fit for the iPod, where playlists made it trivial to create the digital equivalent of “mix tapes.” The iPod’s capacity for thousands of songs was also no match for most albums that typically had a dozen or so songs.
When Apple moved into movies with iTunes and then Apple TV, it first stood fast to the purchase-to-own business model that had worked for music. But as it launched the second major release of the Apple TV software, it acknowledged the popularity of rentals. Again, Apple merely offered a means of consuming media familiar to what consumers had adopted at video rental stores and video on demand. And again, the move complemented Apple hardware, in this case Apple TV, which brought iTunes movies to their best consumption environment within the home.
In addition to the more than 12 million songs and 8,500 movies Apple now offers through iTunes, it has a catalog of more than 55,000 TV show episodes. And just as music has the pocketable iPod and movies have the big-screen capable Apple TV, Apple is on the verge of releasing a device that is a perfect match for them in iPad. While the company played up the slate’s content convergence capabilities at the iPad’s launch, video remains the medium at the intersection of popularity and purpose for the iPad — as Switched On discussed last April. No 3G? No Flash support? No interest in reading? No gaming skills? No problem.
Apple is about to ship a device that could redefine the TV set. Now it just needs to redefine TV service.
But to really exploit the TV-on-iPad opportunity, Apple needs to again optimize its content distribution model. By creating an unlimited option for TV show rentals, Apple could not only compensate for the current lack of Hulu on the iPad, but position for a competitive edge against Hulu’s future, which is likely to include HTML 5 and subscriptions. It has been said that Apple has an aversion toward subscriptions, but the company offers two of its own in MobileMe and AppleCare, and the success of cable and satellite providers as well as Netflix provide ample evidence for consumer’s acceptance of TV subscriptions.
Once again, Apple would be doing no more than offering the dominant consumption business model, but optimized for one of its platforms. Furthermore, the company would have incredible pricing leeway given that open access to the iTunes buffet would include many of the advantages of a DVR subscription. And if Apple really wanted to avoid subscriptions per se, it could offer pre-paid access as it has for 3G on the iPad, with a lower fee offering a limited number of TV episode rentals per month and a higher number offering unlimited rentals during the month.
One open question, of course, is whether networks would agree to such a plan given potential coercion by cable companies that account for the overwhelming majority of their income. Indeed, there would be both similarities and differences when compared with the Hulu-on-Boxee conflict. But at least Apple, unlike Hulu, isn’t owned by the studios, and so is therefore less likely to bow to their whims so readily — as NBC likely well remembers. And Apple has vast financial, legal and lobbying resources that make it a far less vulnerable competitor than Boxee.
Finally, with a TV show rental plan, Apple could certainly continue to sell TV shows a la carte as it does with songs and movies. Some might opt for this as an alternative to purchasing TV shows on DVD. And faced with this new option, that business would likely be cannibalized. But the overall effect would be to greatly expand the appeal of using iTunes for TV as something other than a hangover remedy, easing the pain for those who forgot to set their DVRs, or the forgettable bit breeder filling the hard drives of avant garde cable cord-cutters. Apple is about to ship a device that could redefine the TV set. Now it just needs to redefine TV service.
“Secret” talks with publishers appear within hours in the Wall Street Journal
Image: Apple Inc.
Here’s some free advice for Silicon Valley companies visiting New York City: Don’t say anything to a newspaper or book publishing executive that you wouldn’t want to see on a front page the next day.
Case in point: Details of Apple’s (AAPL) eleventh-hour “secret” negotiations with publishers, which Bookseller.com and 9to5 Mac reported on Wednesday morning, turned up Wednesday evening in the Wall Street Journal’s electronic edition, presumably for publication in Thursday’s paper.
The piece, entitled Apple Sees New Money in Old Media (subscription required), is packed with new details about Apple’s efforts to get high-quality content on the device expected to be unveiled at its “latest creation” event next week.
Among the highlights:
• The tablet, which comes with a virtual keyboard, is designed to be shared by multiple family members to read news, check e-mail and leave messages for one another with virtual sticky notes.
• Apple has been working on face-recognition software that would tell the machine who is using it, but that technology might not be ready for primetime.
• Apple is asking publishers — including the New York Times (NYT), Conde Nast and HarperCollins (NWS) — to work with them to find new ways of presenting and selling content from books, newspapers and magazines.
• The company has also been talking to CBS (CBS) and Disney (DIS) about setting up monthly subscription services, but Hollywood is resisting Apple’s plan to offer a “best of TV” service consisting of four to six shows from each channel.
• Apple is working with videogame publisher Electronic Arts (ERTS) to show off the tablet’s potential as a game machine.
• To lead its development of electronic textbooks, Apple has hired Tracy Augustine, a former executive at Pearson Education (PSO).
“With the new tablet device that is debuting next week,” the Journal declares, “Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs is betting he can reshape businesses like textbooks, newspapers and television much the way his iPod revamped the music industry—and expand Apple’s influence and revenue as a content middleman.”