Prior to the launch of the game-changing but not price-changing M1 MacBooks, I wrote about how their launch would put alleviate pressure on the iPad to fulfill the needs of those wanting a laptop that blended the performance per watt of the Apple's tablet with the work style, applications, and relative openness of its laptops. But, earlier this week, fellow ZDNet contributor Robin Harris went much further in comparing Apple's elite portable computers, alleging that the M1 MacBook will put the hurt on the iPad Pro after conducting a point-by-point comparison. Indeed, it's been a tough fall for Apple's highest-end iPads, with the revamped iPad Air coming closer to the industrial design of Apple's iPad flagship while slipping features that may have marginal appeal such as the LIDAR sensor, quad speakers, and Face ID. But if the M1 Macs have an Achilles' heel, it is in their selection of and compatibility with iPad apps; the two limitations may be related. Some may be holding off for business reasons; the M1 Macs, especially for now, provide a limited incremental market. But others may be holding off because they want to improve the experience before listing.
Everyone seems to be cutting the cord and ditching cable. But many of the cord-cutting options can be frustrating: there are gaping holes in content coverage and a never-ending maze of confusing, non-integrated interfaces. Fortunately, there's a new service that cleverly solves this problem and gives you all the content you could ever want: SelectTV by FreeCast. SelectTV lets you watch content from every broadcast, cable, internet, on demand, and streaming platform in one simple, unified interface. No more switching between confusing apps and learning proprietary systems – SelectTV makes flipping between ABC, YouTube, and Netflix as easy as old-school channel surfing.
Netflix and Comcast have agreed to a deal that would let viewers watch shows such as "Orange Is the New Black" just by selecting them from Comcast's X1 user interface as they would with almost any other channel. The "seamless access" feature will start rolling out later this year as part of Comcast's fancy X1 cable platform, the companies said Tuesday. That means viewers won't have to switch interfaces -- to, say, a third-party streaming box such as their Apple TV -- just to access the Netflix app that's stored there. Instead, they'll be able to navigate and search for Netflix content straight from their regular cable interface. It's the latest step toward what has become a kind of holy grail in TV -- greater integration between traditional cable content and online video that's streamed over the Internet.
It seems that the Apple Podcasts web interface is getting a makeover. The previous design, which mirrored the iTunes web interface binned in 2017, was a simple list of episodes, titles and descriptions -- no show notes or episode details. The new refresh is cleaner, with full descriptions and dedicated pages for each podcast episode. Even better usability news, however, is the introduction of web playback. Controls are pretty simple -- just hit'play' -- but this means you won't automatically be booted to iTunes to listen.
Apple Music is getting a big expansion today with a new web interface that will let subscribers stream music directly from a browser without having to install iTunes or a separate Apple Music app. The new web interface launches today as a public beta for subscribers at beta.music.apple.com. The interface looks a lot like Apple's new standalone Music app that the company is launching with macOS Catalina later this year, except it runs inside a web browser. Apple says that it should work in all browsers, including Google Chrome, and on all devices, including Windows 10, Chrome OS, and even mobile platforms like Android. The site offers access to the entire Apple Music catalog as well as any tracks users have synced to their libraries that aren't on Apple Music.