Eminem Provides First Beats 1 Guest Interview With DJ Zane Lowe

Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe has teased an image on Instagram that confirms hip-hop artist and rapper Eminem will be the first guest interviewed on the global radio station, which launches as part of Apple Music next week. Eminem's appearance is largely unsurprising given that he has a close relationship with Beats co-founder Dr. Dre and is signed to his record label Aftermath Entertainment.

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Lowe has interviewed several high-profile artists as a former BBC Radio 1 DJ, including Chris Martin, Eminem, Kanye West, Jay Z and Rick Rubin, and those type of guest appearances on Beats 1 could be a major drawing point towards Apple Music. The streaming music service will also lure subscribers with a free three-month trial period and exclusive content such as Pharrell's new single Freedom.

T-Mobile Simple Choice Plans Updated With 21 GB Soft Cap on Data Usage

T-Mobile recently edited the fine print on its 4G LTE Simple Choice plans to notify customers that there's a 21 GB soft cap on data usage, reports TmoNews. Customers who exceed 21 GB of data usage during a billing period will see their data speeds throttled during periods of high network demand.

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Unlimited 4G LTE customers who use more than 21 GB of data in a bill cycle will have their data usage de-prioritized compared to other customers for that bill cycle at locations and times when competing network demands occur, resulting in relatively slower speeds. See t-mobile.com/OpenInternet for details.
Prior to the explicit 21 GB soft cap, T-Mobile's Simple Choice subscribers who used more data than 97 percent of other T-Mobile subscribers were seeing slower data speeds during times of network congestion. According to TmoNews, customers who exceed their data limits see considerably slower speeds in busy areas, sometimes lower than 1Mbps.
This change in fine print makes it clear exactly how much data you have to use in order to feel the pinch. Previously, the 97% marker was ambiguous at best. You have no idea how much data other customers are using, and so you will have no way of knowing if you're in the top 3% of data users, or not. Now there's a much clearer 21GB "soft" cap.
T-Mobile's 21 GB soft cap is rather generous and is likely to affect only a small percentage of T-Mobile customers. Reduction in data speeds is only enacted when there's network congestion, so affected customers will only see throttling during peak usage times.

Customers who use more than 21 GB of data in a billing cycle will be flagged as de-prioritized by T-Mobile and could experience slower speeds at certain times until a new monthly billing cycle begins.

Pharrell's Single 'Freedom' Will Be Exclusive to Apple Music

Apple Music Black BannerApple plans to attract users to sign up for Apple Music by offering a free three-month trial period, but another way it will attempt to lure subscribers is by offering exclusive content through the incoming streaming music service. In late April, it was reported that the company was in talks with multiple artists, including Florence and the Machine and Taylor Swift, about exclusive content deals.

Just a few months later, hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams appears to be one of the first artists to reach a deal with Apple. Pharrell recently tweeted a teaser video for his upcoming single "Freedom," and the ending credits reveal that the song will be exclusive to Apple Music, which launches June 30 on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC for $9.99 per month after the free trial period.


"Freedom" was also the soundtrack of the Apple Music ad "Worldwide," featuring DJ Zane Lowe, that was shown at WWDC.


It remains unknown what Apple is offering artists in return for making their music available exclusively through Apple Music, as the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it likely involves additional payment beyond Apple Music's standard 71.5% to 73% revenue sharing model. Apple already pays a few percentage points more than market leader Spotify and other competitors, which share approximately 70% of revenue with artists and music rights holders.

Apple Pay Confirmed to Have £20 Limit Per Transaction in UK

Apple Pay will be arriving for customers inside of the United Kingdom, backing support from about 250,000 UK merchants, sometime in July. Today, Apple released a support and FAQ page on its website to document the processes and answer the questions that some merchants may have with the impending launch of the service (via 9to5Mac).

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Following the confirmation by multiple banks on the matter earlier this month, Apple has confirmed that some retailers and specific out-of-date terminals will hinder customers to a £20 limit on their Apple Pay purchases (which will increase to £30 in September). However, the company does state that merchants with terminals "capable and configured properly" -- and a payment provider that supports the most up to date specifications on contactless payments -- will be able to support larger transaction sums.
Apple Pay allows your customers to make easy and secure contactless payments at any amount. If your payment terminal or payment provider doesn’t support the latest network specifications, as with contactless debit and credit cards today, your customers might need to insert their card if the transaction amount is over £20.

To accept Apple Pay for transactions over £20, your payment terminal must be capable and configured properly, and your payment provider needs to support the latest network contactless specifications.
The process for merchants to support a limit raise may be arduous, however, and as such most retailers will be facing the £20 right out of the gate when the service launches in July. Retailers supporting the "Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method," another support document updated today, will be able to enable "contactless payments for any amount." Unfortunately, the security-ensured method requires updated terminal software that may see a slow adoption rate to stores around the United Kingdom in the early days of Apple Pay.

The rest of the FAQ page details the expected list of questions about liable fraud charges for merchants, list of payment providers that support Apple Pay in the United Kingdom, and a process detailing return policies for customers using the mobile wallet. Apple also confirmed during WWDC that London-based Apple Pay users will be able to commute and pay for fares on London's Underground with the help of the service. The company also promised that the service will be backed by eight of the "most established banks" in the country when it launches.

Related roundup: Apple Pay

Apple Adds 7 New Flyover Locations to Maps

Apple Maps iOS 8Apple has added 7 new Flyover locations to Apple Maps, including cities in Portugal, Spain, England, Germany and Puerto Rico. The additions bring the total number of Flyover cities in Apple Maps to 148, allowing users to see photorealistic 3D tours of those cities and zoom in on landmarks and buildings.

The following cities were added to Flyover:

- Almería, Spain
- Braga, Portugal
- Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
- Karlsruhe, Germany
- Kiel, Germany
- Kingston upon Hull, England
- San Juan, Puerto Rico

The full list of Flyover cities can be seen on Apple's iOS 8 feature availability page, even though Flyover is also available on Mac OS X's version of Apple Maps.

Apple has been steadily adding new cities to Flyover since the feature debuted three years ago. Flyover has gained over 40 new cities since December, with 20 new cities joining in March.

Apple's 'Shot on iPhone 6' Campaign Wins Outdoor Lions Grand Prix at Cannes

Today at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Apple's recent "Shot on iPhone 6" ad campaign, officially referred to as "World Gallery", won the Outdoor Lions Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious awards in advertising (via Fast Company).

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According to the jury president Juan Carlos Ortiz, creative chairman at DDB Americas, the judges didn't so much choose "World Gallery," it chose them. Praising the Grand Prix winner, Ortiz said: "It’s not just a great idea, it’s a game changer. It’s really opening a new way of doing things and changing behavior."
While the Cupertino company won the grand prize for the outdoor category, it also picked up five Gold Lions awards for specific "Shot on iPhone 6" posters in the campaign. The ad initiative was a collaboration between Apple and TBWA/Media Arts Lab. Apple debuted the new ad campaign in early March, featuring photos and video taken by iPhone 6 users from around the world on billboards, print media, TV ads and more.

Apple and TBWA/Media Arts Lab are no strangers to the Cannes Lions Festival, having won the Grand Prix for Press for its iPad mini magazine campaign in 2013.

How to Get the Most Accurate Heart Rate Reading on Apple Watch

Apple Watch features a heart rate monitor to help guide you through your workout sessions, tracking your heart rate while you exercise to better determine the amount of calories you burn during your activities.

The monitor also automatically tries to measure your heart rate every 10 minutes, but doesn’t record the data if your arm is moving. That is why your Health app doesn't reflect a reading at every 10 minutes on the dot, but shows varying intervals of readings.

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If you want to get a quick, accurate measurement of your heart rate manually you can do so in Glances.

The heart rate sensor is on the backside of the Apple Watch case and is made up of two different sets of special lights that monitor the blood flow through your wrist. Because the sensors absorb light through your skin, there are a few factors that affect the accuracy of a heart rate reading.

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By following a few tips, as well as calibrating Apple Watch for workouts, you will get a better heart rate reading, thus improving the device's ability to more determine how many calories you burn.

Click here to read more...

Related roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2

Instagram Updates Explore Tab With Dynamic Content and Curated Collections

Instagram today began rolling out a small but noteworthy update to its iOS application, namely focusing on expanding and deepening the features of the "Explore" tab inside the app.

The first feature focuses on showcasing trending topics and places, with "dynamically updated content" that promises to give each user a real-time look at events and pictures happening nearby. Users will also be able to select from locations around the globe if they prefer to not be locked into local content.

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Secondly, curated collections will let Instagram users explore a constantly rotating array of people and places -- from topics like extreme athletes to national parks -- all hand picked by the Instagram team. The new update will also allow users to search by location in "Places search," to explore exotic destinations across the world, or even see what users in your local town are posting.

The new redesigned Explore tab is unfortunately only available for Instagram users in the United States, but the team has taken steps to improve basic search functionality for everyone else. These features include search by location and the traditional search all posts option.

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Speaking with Wired, Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom pointed toward the new update as a way for people to have instant visual updates on world news in one convenient place. It's "what we've been shooting for all along," Systrom said of the real-time spotlight focus on news and information.
Early on, he and cofounder Mike Krieger “had this vision that if we could grow large enough and have a system that allowed people to tag who they were with, they could see what is happening right now.” He used the example of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that decimated parts of New York City two-and-a-half years ago.

Even back then, traditional media outlets featured images from Instagram as part of their storm coverage. “But if you wanted to see photos, you had to know Sandy [was happening in the first place] and and to go look for that hashtag,” said Systrom. “We want to be the first place to cover it, and to have broad reach to cover the real things happening on the ground.”
Instagram's new update is rolling out now, and should be available to most users throughout the rest of the day, and the app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Instagram

Apple Music Royalties During Free Trial May be Lower Than Expected

After posting an open letter to Apple on her Tumblr page about Apple's free streaming policy for its upcoming music service, popular artist Taylor Swift managed to get the company to change course -- Apple now planning to pay artist royalties during its three-month free trial period of Apple Music. But, thanks to a new statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, it appears artists' satisfaction with the policy change could become turbulent again, with the Cupertino-based company suggesting the royalty rate during the free trial period will be somewhat lower than normal.

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Apple declined to say how much it plans to pay during the trial period, though it said the rate will increase once customers start paying for subscriptions. In the first three months of the service’s life there will be no subscriber royalty rate on which to base the rates. The company could find other ways to calculate a rate and is expected to share its plans with music companies soon.

Apple risks raising the ire of Ms. Swift and others if it comes in with what would appear to be a lowball offer.
Attempting to ballpark Apple's possible payment rate for the free trial, The Wall Street Journal compares the Apple service to Spotify's free, ad-supported option, which they point out pays royalties of "about one-fifth of the subscription service." Last December, that was essentially 0.14 of a cent for each listen in the United States, which Spotify had to pay a grand total of $5.8 million for its free tier alone for the month.

If Apple goes in under its traditional 71.5 percent revenue sharing policy -- which is likely to happen given the wording used when speaking to the WSJ -- it could still end up paying out millions of dollars to the various artists, songwriters, and producers that Swift became the defacto figurehead of after Apple listened to her letter over the weekend.

Although, as the WSJ points out, some in the industry appeared content with the original free trial period policy, given Apple's promise of an above-industry standard of 71.5 percent royalty payment, compared to the basic 70 percent payed out by competitors such as Spotify and Google. Apple has yet to comment any further on the issue, but its shifting viewpoint on the topic, so close to Apple Music's launch, is undeniably an impressive feat for Swift.

iOS 8.3 Untethered Jailbreak Released for iPhone and iPad

Chinese team TaiG has released an iOS 8.3 untethered jailbreak tool on Windows for compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. TaiG warns that some jailbreak tweaks are not compatible with iOS 8.3 as Jay Freeman (saurik) has yet to update Cydia Substrate/Mobile Substrate to be compatible with the latest jailbreak. An iOS 8.3 jailbreak tool for OS X has not been released.

iOS 8.3 Jailbreak TaiG
Jailbreaking enables iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users to install unapproved third-party apps, tweaks, mods, custom themes, utilities, and other content (called "packages") from Cydia, which is essentially an App Store alternative for jailbroken devices. In other words, jailbreaking allows users to further customize and enhance their iOS devices beyond the limits that Apple imposes.

It is highly recommended that you back up your data through iTunes or iCloud before attempting to jailbreak your device, as there are various issues that could require downgrading or restoring your device and result in data loss. TaiG offers more information on its Twitter and has posted step-by-step instructions on how to use the iOS 8.3 untethered jailbreak on its website.

TaiG 2.0 supports iOS 8.1.3 - iOS 8.3.

Video of 20-Year-Old Mac Operating System Running on an Apple Watch

As an entire computer that fits on our wrists, the Apple Watch already seems like something out of a science fiction novel, but a new video from software developer Nick Lee demonstrates just how far computing has come in the last two decades.

Lee's hacked an Apple Watch running watchOS 2 to run a port of a 20-year-old Macintosh OS, System 7.5.5, using the Mini vMac Macintosh emulator.


When System 7.5.5 was released in 1996, it required a full PowerPC-based Mac to run, and in their smallest incarnation, those machines were clunky, heavy, and pretty far from the portable devices that we have now. Today, that same operating system can run on a tiny 38mm to 42mm wrist-worn computer.

Apple Plans to Release iOS 8.4 GM and iOS 9 Beta 2 Later Today [Updated]

Apple plans to seed iOS 8.4 Golden Master (GM), which has historically been release candidate software, to registered developers today ahead of the Apple Music launch on June 30, reports BGR. iOS 9 beta 2 is also reportedly scheduled for release today, although it is possible that the release date is pushed back by one week to next Monday, June 29.

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The iOS 8.4 GM will succeed iOS 8.4 beta 4 and will most likely be the final pre-release version before the software update is publicly released. Apple Music for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch requires iOS 8.4, so the update should be released for all users within the next eight days, with the new streaming music service built into the revamped stock Music app.


Apple Music was announced earlier this month as an all-in-one streaming music service, live global radio station and social platform for artists to connect with fans. The subscription-based service will cost $9.99 per month after a three-month free trial for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC. Apple TV and Android versions of the service will be available in the fall.

Update: BGR's report proved inaccurate as Apple seeded iOS 9 beta 2 on Tuesday and has yet to release the iOS 8.4 GM.