There has been a recent trend toward online only TV subscriptions, slimmer programming bundles and à la carte subscriptions. HBO launched its stand alone HBO Now a few months ago and Showtime recently followed suit. Earlier in the year Dish launched Sling, an online subscription service of 16 channels for $20 a month. Apple has a streaming TV service in the works that will supposedly include about 25 channels for somewhere in the $30-$40 per month range.
Reports indicate Apple is poised to offer significant upgrades to the next generation iPhone camera. The iPhone 6s is expected to launch this fall, packing hardware and software upgrades into the same form factor as the existing iPhone 6. Mobile photography is clearly a priority for Apple considering the award winning "Shot on iPhone 6" campaign that has swept the globe. Camera upgrades have always been highlights of Apple keynote presentations, even when the change does not involve increasing the number of megapixels. This is all set to change according to documents leaked on Chinese site Weibo.
Instagram users may have already noticed an improvement in picture quality over the past several days. Last week the company announced it would roll out higher resolution uploads and photo viewing on its iOS and Android apps. For those keeping track, current Instagram resolution is 640 x 640 pixels. The upgrade will bring image resolution up to 1080 x 1080, almost tripling the number of pixels in each photo. Even better, the update will not require Instagram fans to download a new version of the app.
Last week was Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock's most active week of trading since the last week of April, though it didn't end favorably. Share prices opened Monday at $124.94 and had a weekly low close of $120.07 on Thursday after reaching a low of $119.22 on that same day. That's the first time the company's stock has dipped below $120 since early February. Prices rebounded on Friday, gaining 2.67% to close the week at $123.28. Volume could increase this week with Apple's FY 2015 Third Quarter earnings call quickly approaching.
Last week was relatively uneventful compared to the previous week, in which Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) launched Apple Music and Beats 1 as part of the iOS 8.4 update. There were several noteworthy items, however, including the first release of the public iOS 9 beta among others.
iPhone photographers will gain minor improvements to the camera roll with the iOS 9 update coming this fall. The latest beta release features two new Albums that are built-in to the stock Photos app. Alongside the familiar folders such as Panoramas, Videos and Bursts there are now categories labeled Screenshots and Selfies. The first addition pulls any iPhone screenshots into a separate folder, making it easy to browse or delete these captures independently from other photos. Screenshots contain a freeze frame of anything displayed on the iPhone, and are currently mixed in with other photos. All iPhones can be used to take screenshots with a simple button press combination detailed here.
Apple has been going out of its way lately to showcase the talents of iPhone 6 photographers around the world. Of course, in the process the technical abilities of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus camera are highlighted. For anyone who has not seen the Apple World Gallery, there are some stunning images and videos in the collection. Apple has recently added five more videos to the collection, bringing the total number of "films" to 18. Each composition runs 15 seconds including the advertising tag line "Shot on iPhone 6" and a unique music soundtrack matching the visuals. Selections from the World Gallery have been utilized in television ads and in an outdoor advertising campaign around the globe.
Showtime has joined HBO in launching its own standalone subscription service for mobile devices. The newly released Showtime app gives iOS users "unlimited on-demand" access to original series, movies, documentaries, comedy specials and sports. A monthly subscription to Showtime is only $10.99 a month with a free 30 day trial.
Apple has released the first public beta of iOS 9 through its official Beta Program website. This gives iPhone and iPad owners the ability to test new features found in iOS 9 before Apple releases the final version later this year. First time users interested in installing the iOS 9 public beta can also sign up for the program through the Apple Beta Software Program website. All you need to join is a working Apple ID and supported device.
According to the The Wall Street Journal, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is planning for its largest iPhone launch to date this fall when it unveils the next generation iPhone. The company is reportedly planning to order between 85 and 90 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus (unofficial names so far) units from its manufacturers, compared to an initial production run of 70 to 80 million for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models last fall.