March 19, 2012

Twitter Notifications, iCloud Tabs & Location-Based Reminders Appear In Latest OS X 10.8 Beta

Twitter Notifications, iCloud Tabs & Location-Based Reminders Appear In Latest OS X 10.8 Beta

A location-based reminder in Mountain Lion beta 2.

Following the release of Apple’s second Mountain Lion beta late last week, registered developers have been stumbling across a number of new features that weren’t present in the first beta. These include Twitter notifications, “iCloud Tabs,” and location-based reminders.

Twitter Notifications

Twitter Notifications, iCloud Tabs & Location-Based Reminders Appear In Latest OS X 10.8 Beta

The first Mountain Lion beta brought Notification Center to the Mac. But it only had support for a number of Apple apps, such as Mail, Reminders, and Messages. With the second beta, the feature now supports the official Twitter application for Mac, with notifications for mentions and direct messages.

“iCloud Tabs” in Safari

Twitter Notifications, iCloud Tabs & Location-Based Reminders Appear In Latest OS X 10.8 Beta

This is a really awesome feature! If you’re an iCloud users (and you should be), then the tabs you have open in Safari now sync across all of your Mac and iOS devices. For example, you can open up a webpage on your iPhone, and then automatically access it from your Mac with the new iCloud Tabs feature.

Location-Based Reminders

Finally, the new beta also introduces location-based reminders like those you get in iOS 5. In the first beta, you could only create reminders with a due date. Now you can have them alert you when you reach a specified location (pictured above).

[via MacRumors, 9to5Mac]

DON’T MISS
Messages App Will Be Exclusive To Mountain Lion When Beta Ends

Cult of Mac

HBO Working To Make Universal And Fox Studios Content Available In iCloud

HBO Working To Make Universal And Fox Studios Content Available In iCloud

Apple announced that movies are now available for download in iCloud last week at its iPad event. You can now view and re-download video content purchased from the iTunes Store on any authorized device, including the iPhone and iPad.

While nearly all the major Hollywood studios were onboard at the time, Universal and Fox studios hadn’t been able to close a deal with Apple for iCloud availability due to licensing conflicts with HBO. According to a spokesperson for the company, HBO is loosening its restrictions on the studios to let Apple have access to more content, specifically Universal and Fox.

For years, HBO has had exclusive access to distribute movies on its network for a certain period of time before the films become completely available to the public. The industry refers to this as the dreaded “HBO window,” and such licensing deals have made it harder for Apple to also bring its TV streaming model to fruition.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

HBO isn’t planning to give up its exclusive windows, for which it pays hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and which allow it to beam movies to its online service HBO Go as well as to its traditional TV channels. But HBO is relaxing terms to let users of iCloud and other services send movies they already own to other devices during those windows, an HBO spokesman said.

HBO agreed to loosen its arrangement with Warner Bros., which is working with iCloud, and also is in talks with Universal and Fox to do the same, the spokesman added.

The arrangement is expected to close within the next few weeks. It’s a good step in the right direction, but many more deals will have to be closed in Hollywood before Apple’s future for television makes it to the living room.

DON’T MISS
You Can Now Use iCloud To Re-Download Movies And TV Shows

Cult of Mac

HBO confirms negotiations with Fox and Universal for iCloud video streaming

You may recall that after last week’s introduction of the new Apple TV, we noted that Fox and Universal weren’t providing iCloud video streaming content due to existing contractual obligations with HBO. Well, that’s a temporary situation, as the Wall Street Journal is reporting that HBO is working with Fox and Universal to give the studios a bit more leeway in providing films for distribution for streaming services.

HBO spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to get “exclusive windows” during which HBO has the right to show movies on its channels and through the online service HBO Go. The company is in negotiations to allow users of iCloud and other services to send movies that they already own to other devices.

According to sources at Fox and Universal, the iCloud restrictions should be lifted in the near future. HBO already loosened the ties on Warner Bros. content, which is why that studio was listed as a streaming content provider during the Apple event.

In other television / movie news, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told the Hollywood Reporter that he was approached by Steve Jobs about providing the network’s shows to a subscription content service. Moonves said that he had concerns that the service could disrupt the traditional revenue streams for CBS, and that Jobs strongly disagreed with him — not unsurprising, knowing the late Apple CEO’s penchant for always being right.

[via MacRumors]



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

HBO agrees to allow Universal, Fox movies on Apple’s iCloud

By Katie Marsal

Published: 10:43 AM EST (07:43 AM PST)
Premium cable network HBO has agreed to relax its terms from contracts with Universal and Fox and allow the studios to make their movies available for download on Apple’s iCloud.

Last week, Apple began offering users the ability to re-download movies that were previously purchased on iTunes via its iCloud service. But major studios Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox were noticeably absent because of a prior arrangement with HBO.

HBO, however, has agreed to loosen its agreements with Universal and Fox, which will allow their movies to become available on iCloud, according to The Wall Street Journal. The cable network has already revised its terms with Warner Bros., and its content is already available for users on iCloud.

Though it will allow the content to be re-downloaded through iCloud, HBO will not give up its exclusive rights to broadcast movies during a “window” after the film is released. The window is typically about six months after a movie is released on DVD, and lasts about a year.

Under the current terms, if Universal and Fox were to allow an iCloud user who purchased a movie through iTunes to re-download and watch it on a device like an iPhone or iPad, it would be in violation of HBO’s exclusive rights.

But a spokesman for HBO confirmed that HBO will agree to allow users of iCloud, as well as other services, to download movies they already own on other devices. With iCloud, a user can re-download a movie, TV show or song to a device like an iPhone or iPad without re-syncing it to a Mac or PC and transferring the copyrighted file that was originally downloaded.

“Fox expects to resolve the issue as soon as within weeks, said a person familiar with the situation,” the Journal reported. “Another person is familiar with the matter said Universal is near a resolution.”

The iTunes in the Cloud functionality within iCloud originally only applied to music, books and applications purchased through the iTunes Store. Now, users can access both movies and TV shows as well. The service even applies to the iTunes Digital Copy format, which gives users the ability to download a digital version of a film when they buy a DVD or Blu-ray disc.

AppleInsider

Apple Shutting Down iWork.com On July 31st, Time To Move Your Documents To iCloud

Apple Shutting Down iWork.com On July 31st, Time To Move Your Documents To iCloud

Apple has announced that it is shutting down iWork.com on July 31st. The website was a beta product that Apple launched back in 2009 to store documents created with its iWork productivity suite. Since then, iCloud has been introduced to let you keep your documents wirelessly synced across devices, and there is no need for iWork.com anymore.

Last year, we launched iCloud, a service that stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. Today, there are already over 40 million documents stored on iCloud by millions of iWork customers. Learn more about iCloud.

With a new way to share iWork documents between your devices using iCloud, the iWork.com public beta service will no longer be available. As of July 31, 2012, you will no longer be able to access your documents on the iWork.com site or view them on the web.

We recommend that you sign in to iWork.com before July 31, 2012, and download all your documents to your computer.

iCloud.com is the new home on the web for files created in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. OS X Mountain Lion will let you automatically save a new document to iCloud instead of your computer hard drive, as Apple is continuing to focus on the cloud as the hub of our digital lives.

If you have documents stored on iWork.com, here’s what you need to do before the end of July:

Here are steps to download your documents from iWork.com:

  1. Go to www.iwork.com from a web browser.
  2. Sign in with the Apple ID and password you previously used with your iWork.com account.
  3. In the Shared Documents page, you will see all of the documents you have shared using iWork.com. Click the download arrow associated with the documents you want to download and preserve.
  4. When the drop-down menu appears, select the format you want for your download by choosing from the available options: iWork ’09, Microsoft Office, or PDF.

If you have published any documents publicly, make sure you remove links to the documents and embedded Keynote presentations from your websites before July 31, 2012.

iWork.com was a pretty terrible product, so we’re glad to see it go. Like MobileMe, it wasn’t an attractive solution for storing and syncing data in the cloud. Adios, iWork.com! Long live iCloud!

DON’T MISS
Apple Releases iWork Beta 4 with Added iCloud Integration

Cult of Mac

Digital Copy videos now available via iCloud

With no fanfare during the recent iPad / Apple TV event, Apple has quietly rolled out the availability of Digital Copy for the Apple TV via iCloud.

The capability is similar to that of UltraViolet, the digital copy mechanism that accompanies the purchase of most Blu-ray DVDs. As with UV, you use the Digital Copy unlock code to stream an HD copy to your updated (you did update your Apple TV, didn’t you?) Apple TV and authorize a downloadable file.

Tech of the Hub notes that they were able to watch a previously activated Digital Copy of Star Trek in 720p, with the assumption that the copy would appear in 1080p on the new Apple TV. The movie was also available on an iPhone running iOS 5.1. Other movies don’t appear to be available in HD; the site mentions that Kick-Ass was just a high-quality standard definition digital copy.

Not all movies will work in this way. There are licensing issues with both Fox and Universal content right now, so you won’t be able to get your Digital Copy for movies from those studios. Apple has a page that describes the process of adding your Digital Copy to iTunes for those who want to try it with an updated Apple TV.

[via Engadget]



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Greenpeace Calls Apple’s iCloud Dirty, Unsustainable

Greenpeace Calls Apple’s iCloud Dirty, Unsustainable

As Tim Cook put it at this morning’s event, Apple’s iCloud “just works” and 100 million customers love the lofty storage service.

Greenpeace, however, says Apple’s iCloud is an unsustainable coal-fueled mess and that the just-announced movie service will only make it worse.

“Apple is about innovation, but buying coal at really cheap source is not innovative,” Greenpeace senior policy analyst Gary Cook told Cult of Mac. “Those data centers [supporting iCloud] are fueled by about 60 percent coal.”

So every time you enjoy “Star Wars” from the cloud, you are essentially “watching a movie knowing it’s destroying the Appalachians and using dirty energy,” he added.

Cloud-based storage and computing shift data to energy-intensive computer farms, or data centers, are growing at an unprecedented rate, Greenpeace noted in a statement.

The global environmental organization wants Apple to explore using renewable energy like solar or wind to power data centers. Cook says he hopes that Apple will clean up its cloud act.

“Companies like Facebook, Yahoo and Google are doing much better in terms of a cleaner grid, we hope to see Apple do the same.”

Follow @nmar

Or, it could continue to lag behind the rest of the industry by sticking with coal, “a 19th-century technology that poisons communities and the climate.”

nicole_martinelli

Nicole Martinelli is a San Francisco native who has lived in Milan and Florence, Italy. She’s written for Wired.com, The New York Times and Newsweek. You can find her on Twitter , Facebook and Google+.

If you’re doing something new/cool that’s Apple related, email her about it.

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Cult of Mac

You Can Now Use iCloud To Re-Download Moves And TV Shows

You Can Now Use iCloud To Re-Download Moves And TV Shows

Apple has noted that iCloud can now be used to re-download movies and TV shows that have been purchased from the iTunes Store. During today’s keynote, it was revealed that the third-gen Apple TV would support 1080p HD video, and Apple gave its iTunes video catalog a 1080p facelift to match. On top of that, iCloud will not let you access your purchased video content on all of your devices as many times as you want.

The new feature is welcomed, but there are a couple major Hollywood studios that have not made their content available on iCloud. Universal and Fox haven’t been able to ink a deal with Apple yet.

Peter Kafka reports for AllThingsD:

A studio executive tells me that Apple does not have all six of the major studios on board. And here’s confirmation from a source with first-hand knowledge: News Corp.’s Fox and Comcast’s Universal aren’t in, because they have preexisting deals with Time Warner’s HBO that give the pay-TV service exclusive “windows.”

There’s been no official word on when Fox and Universal will be added to iCloud, but we can only hope it will happen sooner rather than later. Apple definitely looks to be preparing the studios for the rumored ‘iTV’ by making content available anywhere in the cloud.

A new Apple TV set-top box was announced today for $ 99. It streams 1080p HD video, rocks a sexy new interface, and can be purchased now on Apple’s website.

Cult of Mac

iCloud now supports downloads of “most” iTunes movies, apart from Fox, Universal

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 04:10 PM EST (01:10 PM PST)
Apple’s iTunes support for downloading previous purchases from iCloud has expanded into movies, although two studios, Fox and Universal, are still working to resolve an exclusive contractual obligation with HBO.

Apple debuted the ability to download previous purchases via iCloud for TV shows, apps and books. The company now notes in iTunes that “most movies” can also be downloaded to all of your devices “no matter what device you bought it on.”

A report by Wall Street Journal blogger Peter Kafka for All Things D notes that of the six major movie studios, “News Corp.’s Fox and Comcast’s Universal aren’t in, because they have pre-existing deals with Time Warner’s HBO that give the pay-TV service exclusive ‘windows.’”

Kafka added “that should get sorted out eventually,” citing HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson as saying, “With every technological enhancement, we have always been able to find common ground with our studio partners, and we’re sure that will be the result here.”

From iTunes, users can now download movie purchases made dating back to the opening of the iTunes Movie Store, from most major studios and a variety of independents, including short films.

The second generation Apple TV running at least software 4.3 can already download previous purchases of movies in addition to the previous TV Shows option, although Apple has now made a new software update for Apple TV available.

AppleInsider

Apple adds ability to redownload movies from iCloud, offers 1080p TV episodes

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 01:13 PM EST (10:13 AM PST)
Apple on Wednesday announced that it has expanded its iTunes in the Cloud functionality in iCloud, giving users the ability to re-download movies, and also adding availability of 1080p high-definition TV show episodes.

AppleInsider