CBS Sports Radio Launches on Apple Music

CBS this morning announced that its 24/7 sports radio channel, CBS Sports Radio, has now become a dedicated radio channel within Apple Music. Previously, users could listen to CBS Sports Radio on a variety of local radio channels, online, and on the Radio.com mobile app [Direct Link].

With its launch on Apple Music, users can now tune into the channel on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, PC, Android, and Sonos speakers. CBS Sports Radio is already being highlighted under the Featured Stations section of the Radio tab in Apple Music.

cbs-sports-radio
“The appetite for compelling and hard-to-ignore sports analysis, commentary and fan debate continues to grow across all audio platforms,” said Chris Oliviero, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS RADIO. “CBS Sports Radio delivers this to fans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so it’s an ideal next step to launch a channel on Apple Music, one of the most popular streaming services today, as yet another way we continue to meet the evolving desires of this passionate audience anywhere and everywhere.”
CBS launched the sports-centric radio station four years ago this month, with national coverage of the latest in sports news, commentaries on the latest games, and interviews with athletes, all "hosted by leading sports figures." The company updates its fans with a schedule on its Twitter account, but the consistent weekday lineup includes:
  • 6:00-9:00 AM: Gio and Jones (featuring Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones)
  • 9:00 AM-12:00 Noon: Tiki and Tierney (featuring Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney)
  • 12:00 Noon-3:00 PM: The Jim Rome Show
  • 3:00-6:00 PM: The Doug Gottlieb Show
  • 6:00-10:00 PM: The DA Show (featuring Damon Amendolara)
  • 10:00 PM-2:00 AM: Ferrall on the Bench (featuring Scott Ferrall)
  • 2:00-6:00 AM: After Hours with Amy Lawrence
The Radio section of Apple Music has seen a few updates throughout last year, ranging from the addition of new stations like Bloomberg Radio, to a dynamic Beats 1 banner, as well as updated artwork for the stock stations. Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe has also been in the spotlight as a representative of Apple Music, including the announcement that he will be a keynote speaker at SXSW this March.

iOS Apps Postmates and DoorDash Testing Automated Delivery Via Self-Driving Robots

Popular delivery apps Postmates and DoorDash have announced a partnership with automated robot startup Starship Technologies, which will see a fleet of self-driving robots make courier deliveries for Postmates in Washington D.C., and food deliveries for DoorDash in Redwood City, California (via TechCrunch).

The robots built by Starship are designed to travel among people walking on the sidewalk and can achieve a max speed of 4 mph while carrying up to 40 lbs, all within a delivery radius of 2 miles. The personal couriers are powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries to ensure that they are quiet when running. Although "they primarily rely on computer vision and street map data to navigate," the robots aren't entirely self-operating as they require a human overseer to manage the fleet through an app.

starship-robots
Images via @StarshipRobots

Postmates and DoorDash aren't the first clients of Starship, with overseas companies like Just Eat, Hermes Parcel Delivery, Media Markt, Swiss Post and Wolt previously supporting the robotic fleet of personal couriers. In total, Starship says at least 1.7 million people in 16 countries and 56 cities have been in contact with one of its robots.

DoorDash co-founder Stanley Tang made sure to state that the addition of Starship's technology doesn't mean the company is seeking to completely replace its human workers. Instead, Tang has a vision to use the robots as a way for its human workers to avoid small deliveries, and subsequently small tips, because the app tips workers based on the total cost of the order they deliver. His ultimate goal is to "use robots to alleviate “dashers” of the deliveries they don’t want to do anyway."
According to DoorDash co-founder Stanley Tang, testing out robotic “dashers,” doesn’t mean the company will attempt to replace human workers any time soon, or ever. He said, “We have people who use cars, bikes, scooters, motorcycles or walk to make a delivery. And each has a different strength and suitability for different deliveries. Robots will be another type of vehicle in our system.”
With DoorDash, Starship is expected to be integrated into the app from as early as the ordering stage: users will have to choose to have their order delivered by a robot instead of a human, and then they will receive a text message when the courier arrives at the door. Thanks to Starship's security measures, the robot's compartment will be calibrated to be opened through a link in the text message that the user receives, so no one else can take their food order.

starship-robots-2
Postmates is said to be preparing a similar system as DoorDash, with Senior Vice President Holger Luedorf saying, “we don’t have a grand vision that robots would be the ultimate delivery mechanism or something. It’s far too early to say. We do want to gather a lot of data.”

Automation in technology has been surging as a popular topic in recent years, from Amazon's successful first drone delivery with Prime Air last month to Apple's confirmation of its interest in a self-driving vehicle system. Companies like Uber and Google have expressed interest in self-driving cars as well, but recently began scaling back their ambitions due to trouble with automotive legislation.

LiftMaster's Garage Door Openers Will Support HomeKit in April

Following in the footsteps of its parent company Chamberlain, LiftMaster today announced that all of its residential garage door openers can be upgraded to work with HomeKit using the new MyQ Home Bridge starting in April.

liftmaster
HomeKit compatibility will enable users to open, close, or check the status of their garage door, and turn MyQ-connected lights on or off, using the MyQ Connected Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Siri voice commands and HomeKit scenes will also be supported on compatible devices.

The MyQ Home Bridge will have an introductory price of $49.99, and cost $69.99 afterwards.

Foxconn Planning New Facility to Help Apple Build Prototypes of New Products

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is planning to build a new facility next to the iPhone maker's upcoming research and development center in Shenzhen, China, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

foxconn
The report cites an unnamed source who claims the facility will enable Foxconn to "better help Apple create prototypes of new products in this new campus," set to open in 2017. Apple's own facility in Shenzhen, along with plans for another R&D center in Beijing, will allow it to collaborate more closely with Foxconn.

Foxconn has two existing large campuses in Shenzhen, where it has reportedly already been developing and testing new products. Most recently, the report claims Foxconn has been trying to build the wireless charging module for next-generation iPhone models expected to launch later this year.

iPhones will remain manufactured in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou.

Tags: China, Foxconn

Stanford Announces New Program to Discover 'Innovative Uses' for Apple Watch in Healthcare

Stanford University has opened up submissions to faculty members for an Apple Watch Seed Grant, an inaugural program "focused on innovative uses of the Apple Watch in healthcare" (via Cult of Mac). The program is designed to "stimulate and support" the creation of new uses for the Apple Watch in the healthcare field, an area that Apple has long been a proponent of since the wearable launched in 2015.

In total, up to 1,000 Apple Watch devices will be offered through the seed grant program, which is being given $10,000 in funding and run through Stanford's all-new Center for Digital Health within the School of Medicine. The CDH's proposal notes mention that while 1,000 Apple Watches will be given out in total, depending on the project proposals that get accepted, a higher or lower allocation of devices may be provided.

apple-watch-activity-workout
Submissions are open to a select group of Stanford faculty members and close February 26, while the study as a whole will run for one year beginning April 2017. The goal of the program is to use either the Apple Watch's activity tracking or communication features to see how the device can make a change in healthcare:
"The Apple Watch must be integrated into an overall program or study design where: 1) the sensing capability of the Watch (activity, heart rate, and/or raw accelerometer data) is used to measure the progress of an endpoint relevant to the study population; or 2) the communication/notification features of the Watch are used to drive behavior change/coaching (investigators must use an iOS app with a Watch app extension or design a workflow where push notifications can be delivered to the Watch).
The Apple Watch has been a representative of Apple's push into health initiatives for nearly two years now, from the debut of the original device and the Activity Rings in 2015 to the announcement of the fitness-focused Apple Watch Series 2 last September. The Apple Watch is just one part of Apple's health initiatives, however, which consists of the Health app, HealthKit and CareKit, and a collection of company acquisitions and talent hires that highlight its desire to merge health and wellness with technology.

On the eve of the Apple Watch's launch Apple CEO Tim Cook described services like ResearchKit and the Health app as "significantly underestimated" sections of the technology market. When asked about the "next frontiers" in product development, Cook described health initiatives, and all of the progress made by Apple to provide detailed analysis of a user's well-being, as "the biggest one of all."

iOS 10.2's New 'TV' App Doesn't Work With Some Videos Ripped From DVDs

In iOS 10.2, released on December 12, Apple introduced the new "TV" app, which serves as an Apple-designed TV guide that aims to simplify the television watching experience and help users discover new TV and movie content.

In the United States, the TV app replaces the standard "Videos" app and serves as a television hub on iOS devices, but it appears the new app doesn't work well with content that's been ripped from DVDs.

ios102tvapp
According to an ongoing discussion on Apple's Support Communities that dates back to December, some customers who have videos ripped from DVDs are no longer able to view them in the TV app. The same videos previously worked fine in the now-replaced Videos app. A user who is having issues describes the problem:
Prior to iOS 10.2 I was able to view video I had ripped on the Videos app in iOS. The process I used was to rip the video and then import them into iTunes. Then I synced my iPhone with iTunes and my movies were download and viewed using the Videos app.

iOS 10.2 no longer includes the Video app and the new TV app will not allow me to watch these ripped videos. Does someone have a solution or am I simply missing something?
Other iPhone users have been unable to sync home videos and other content to their devices with the current version of iTunes, receiving a message that movies or TV shows can't be synced because the Videos app is not installed.

Some users have been able to get around the problem with already-transferred videos by using the TV widget on their iOS devices, which apparently causes the TV app to display the ripped videos after the widget is activated. Others can get the ripped videos to play by setting the videos to be "Home Videos."

That the widget allows some users to access their videos suggests this is perhaps a bug that will be resolved in a future update, but it is not entirely clear what's going on with the TV app and content acquired outside of the iTunes Stores.

Affected users who want to get non-Apple video content onto their iOS devices will need to use a third-party solution like Infuse or VLC.

Related Roundup: iOS 10

Vine Transitions into 'Vine Camera' as Original Service Shuts Down

vinecameraAs promised, Twitter today discontinued the original Vine app and service, transitioning it into a new "Vine Camera" app designed to allow users to make six-second looping videos that can be saved to the iPhone's camera roll or shared directly on Twitter.

Videos posted to Twitter from the Vine Camera app will loop like they did in the standard Vine app, but aside from allowing users to capture and edit looping video, no other Vine features remain.

Existing Vine videos can be downloaded from the Vine website, and all Vines will continue to be available on the Vine.co website, though no new content can be uploaded.

Twitter first announced plans to shut down Vine in October of 2016. The company entertained multiple purchase offers for Vine but then decided to maintain a simpler version of the app that's now known as Vine Camera.


The Vine Camera app, which has a new icon, can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Vine

New Data Says AirPods Have Captured Much Smaller Share of Headphone Market Than Earlier Estimates

A report last week by Slice Intelligence suggested that Apple's AirPods captured an estimated 26 percent share of online revenue in the wireless headphone market since launching on December 13. Ben Arnold, an executive director and industry analyst at NPD Group, has today submitted a report that claims Slice Intelligence's data "paints an incomplete picture of the wireless headphone market" (via CNET).

According to NPD's numbers, for all of December Apple captured a 2 percent share of the market in unit sales, and a 3 percent share in overall dollar sales. The discrepancy between the two sets of data lies in the methodology used by each site to gather the information.

Slice Intelligence analyzes the email receipts from a panel of 4.2 million online shoppers, while NPD's data accounts for both online sales as well as brick-and-mortar transactions. It should also be noted that NPD tracked sales for all of December, while Slice Intelligence accounted only for the period when the AirPods were on sale, December 13-31.

airpods-box
Beats still leads the market in NPD's data as well, with a 46 percent share in total sales for its line of headphones. The rest of NPD's December data is as follows:
  • Beats had a 25 percent share (unit sales) and a 46 percent share (dollar sales)
  • Apple had a 2 percent share (unit sales) and 3 percent share (dollar sales)
  • Bose had 8 percent (unit sales) and 19 percent (dollar sales)
  • LG had 10 percent (unit sales) and 7 percent (dollar sales) with Sony at 7 percent (unit sales) and 6 percent (dollar sales)
  • Plantronics and Jaybird were at around 2 percent unit sales each but Apple is already neck-and-neck with them after only one partial month of sales
Arnold noted that Apple's AirPods launch is still "significant," despite the lower numbers presented by the NPD, and given how little time the AirPods have been on the market. The analyst also said that in a year where the Bluetooth headphone market grew 51 percent from the previous year, "the fact that Beats was able to maintain share and its position in the market means its sales grew as fast as the market did."
"Apple being able to capture 2 percent of the market in units and 3 percent in dollars with one product in its debut month is significant, given how big the headphone market is," Arnold said.
The AirPods have been mostly well-received by users since their December launch, although some have faced consistent battery issues with the device and its charging case. Apple hasn't released sales figures of its own, but CEO Tim Cook called the AirPods "a runaway success" when asked about the first few weeks of the headphones' launch in late December.

Tag: AirPods

ING Direct Surveying Customers About Apple Pay in Australia

ING Direct appears to be sending a survey about Apple Pay to its customers in Australia, according to a tipster who sent us the photo below.

oohv4s
While the bank has yet to officially implement Apple Pay, the survey suggests support could be imminent for its "Orange Everyday" debit and credit cards.

ING Direct Australia had nearly 420,000 customers with Orange Everyday accounts open as of December 2015. Here's a list of Apple Pay banks in Australia.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Australia

Bragi Officially Launches $150 AirPods Competitor 'The Headphone'

Announced last September two days before the Apple iPhone 7 event, and originally planned to launch in November, Bragi's $149.00 wireless Bluetooth hearable, called "The Headphone," is now available for all users to purchase online. The Headphone includes a number of changes from Bragi's The Dash ($299) in order to make it cheaper, ranging from having physical inputs instead of touch inputs and no activity tracking.

bragi-the-headphone-3
These feature removals have also boosted battery in The Headphone, however, with users able to get up to six hours of music playback on a single charge instead of the four hours that The Dash gets in one life. With the three physical buttons on The Headphone, users can skip through tracks, take calls, make voice commands, activate audio transparency, and more without needing to take out their connected smartphone.

bragi-the-headphone-2
At $150 The Headphone is $10 cheaper than Apple's AirPods, with a few alternative design changes that might make Bragi's device more enticing for some users, like the physical playback buttons and slightly longer battery life than the AirPods' five hours. Bragi itself took to comparing The Dash, The Headphone, and AirPods in a Facebook post last September centering around nine categories that omitted the AirPods' flagship features like Siri, seamless device pairing, and iCloud sync.


Those interested can order The Headphone today from Bragi's website for $149.00, with shipping currently estimated to arrive within the next two weeks. Although The Dash is available in Black and White, The Headphone is only made in Black. A range of other Bragi accessories can also be purchased from the company's online shop, including The Leash to connect The Dash buds together and extra FitSleeves.

Tags: AirPods, Bragi

Nest Smart Home Products Coming to Four More European Countries

Smart home brand Nest has announced it is making its products available in four more countries across Europe, with Spain, Italy, Germany, and Austria being added to its official retail roster.

From February 15, customers in the above regions will now be able to buy the Nest 3.0 learning thermostat (249 euros), the Protect smoke alarm (119 euros), and the company's indoor and outdoor cameras (199 euros). Nest products can be pre-ordered now from Amazon, local retailers, and select energy suppliers.

nest thermostat
Now that we're in four more countries, twice as many European homes have the chance to become Nest homes. We also plan to make our products available through even more energy, insurance and telco partners, as well as enlist the help of thousands of Nest Pro installers. So getting and installing Nest products, and connecting them to Works with Nest products, will be simple.
The latest market expansion will be a boost to Nest. The company's products are used in homes in over 190 countries, but were previously only officially sold and supported in seven. The last market rollout occurred in September 2014. Nest says it will continue to expand into more countries as demand continues to grow.

Tag: Nest

Virtual Credit Card Service 'boon' Now Available to Apple Pay Customers in France

boon_walletWirecard launched its mobile payment solution, boon, in France today, allowing iPhone owners to use prepaid virtual credit cards in their Apple Pay wallet.

Launched in the U.K. in May of last year, boon is independent of any bank and offers a pre-paid account with a digital MasterCard that users can top up via wire transfer, debit or credit card. The moble payment app works at any NFC-enabled terminal where the MasterCard contactless logo appears.

"By launching boon with Apple Pay in France, even more users in Europe can experience a new level of mobile payments without being a customer of a specific bank. Thanks to its ease of use and maximum security standards, boon is a state-of-the-art payment solution", said Georg von Waldenfels, Executive Vice President Consumer Solutions with Wirecard.

Users who want to pay with the mobile app boon outside of France, can upgrade to the level "boon. PLUS" which has a maximum top-up limit of 5000 euros and does not include any additional costs.  

Apple Pay became available in France in June of last year, with cards issued by Banque Populaire, Ticket Restaurant, Carrefour Banque, and Caisse d'Epargne available for use on eligible devices.

The boon app is a free download from the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: boon