It seems that Apple is intent on taking Apple Music in new and exciting directions, with MacRumors reporting today on a new interview by Complex with Apple Music executives Larry Jackson, Bozoma Saint John, and Zane Lowe in which they set out Apple Music’s ambitious expansion plans.

“Every day something is changing or moving or evolving for people who love music and entertainment,” said Lowe. “We’re all still working it out, and even when you don’t have the answer, it’s still a privilege to be in the conversation.”

Saint John added that Apple Music is a “living, breathing brand.” She went on to say that Apple is “developing something very special.”

And while the trio don’t mention any specific plans in the interview for Apple Music’s expansion into other areas of entertainment, clearly something big is on the cards, with other recent reports stating that Apple Music will soon be creating its own movies and TV shows in similar fashion to Netflix.

Sources: Apple's Bozoma Saint John on Apple Music: 'We're Developing Something Very Special'

Apple's Stream Team: Zane Lowe, Bozoma Saint John And Larry Jackson Are Taking Music To The Future

9to5 Mac reports that a new Star Wars iOS game has arrived in the App Store, Star Wars: Force Arena. The free-to-play PvP game plays very similarly to other MOBA-type mobile games, writes 9to5 Mac.

You get to control a “powerful team of iconic Star Wars characters” as well as new characters from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You primarily control the game’s hero, as well as using a card deck to build your squad before heading into real-time PvP battles with other players.

You can either play solo, or invite your friends to join you in Guild mode as you attempt to defend your faction.

The game features more than 80 upgradeable characters, plus factions and deck customization including “powerful duos” such as Han Solo and Chewbacca, who together have unique advantages to bring to the fray.

Apple has already pinpointed this as one of its “New Games We Love” in the App Store, so what are you waiting for?!

Click here to download for free: Star Wars™: Force Arena on the App Store

Source: The new free-to-play PvP Star Wars Force Arena is available for download today on the App Store

Feral Interactive has announced that Rome: Total War—Barbarian Invasion will be coming to iPad in March. The standalone expansion pack for the critically acclaimed iPad game Rome: Total War was originally developed by Creative Assembly, with Feral Interactive handling the iPad version.

Barbarian Invasion offers players seamlessly integrated strategic and tactical gameplay during the spectacular battles, as well as diplomacy, subterfuge, and assassinations galore as you attempt to dominate the ancient world.

The campaign storyline is set in the last years of the Roman Empire, with players getting the chance to play either as a Barbarian commander or a Roman General.

The new iPad version boasts the entire original desktop game fully optimized for tablets, complete with intuitive touch controls, enhanced visuals, and mid-battle saves.
Rome: Total War—Barbarian Invasion will be available exclusively via the App Store for £3.99/$4.99/€4.99. As it's a standalone expansion you don’t have to have main Rome: Total War game in order to play it.

Source: Feral Interactive

According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal, via MacRumors, Apple is currently working on launching new original, scripted TV shows, and maybe even movies, which would be available via Apple Music. It has already started this in a small way with Carpool Karaoke and Vital Signs.

Apple executives have informed Hollywood executives that this new original content will be available before the end of the year. They compared the content to programs such as HBO’s Westworld and Netflix’s Stranger Things. And while they will be available to watch on Apple Music, they “don’t have any particular relation to music.”

Rumours of Apple wanting to create its own original TV content have been around since last year, and Apple hopes to use such content to help it to get ahead of its music content rival Spotify, rather than streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, which would involve an investment of possibly billions of dollars in order to directly compete with those giants.

Source: Apple Plans to Launch Original TV Shows Comparable to 'Westworld' and 'Stranger Things' By End of 2017

So it seems that not everybody is on board with the idea of Apple launching a 10.5-inch iPad sometime this year, with even such a noted Apple expert as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber saying on The Talk Show “It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

However, co-founder of Studio Neat, Dan Provost, has written a great blog post that explains in mathematical terms exactly why it makes perfect sense for Apple to release a 10.5-inch iPad, and he’s even convinced Gruber, who shared Provost’s theory on Daring Fireball and said, “Can’t believe I didn’t think to do this again regarding this rumor. The math works out.”

And indeed it does. Provost’s theory is based on Phil Schiller’s original announcement of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, back in September 2015, when he said that Apple had decided on that particular size for the iPad Pro because the width of the new iPad was exactly the same dimension as the height of the 9.7-inch iPad, meaning that it could still display two full-height iPad apps side by side.

And with the rumoured new 10.5-inch iPad it looks like Apple is repeating the trick, but this time with the iPad mini. Here’s a direct quote from Provost:
So, essentially, the new 10.5-inch iPad would have “the resolution of the 12.9” iPad Pro, but the form factor of the 9.7” iPad Pro.”

Source: https://blog.studioneat.com/why-would-apple-release-a-10-5-ipad-ca4441f7f628#.9oavhn9ra

According to Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, via 9to5 Mac, Apple looks set to become the first trillion-dollar company by the end of this year, thanks to revenue generated by iOS.

Dedu says that having sold at least 1.2 billion iPhone units since it was first launched 10 years ago, it is the “most successful product of all time,” with its success leading to the creation of other massively popular devices such as the iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.

Dediu goes on to say that if his current predictions prove to be accurate, revenue from the sale of iOS products will reach $980 billion by the middle of 2017. Add to that the more than $100 billion in service sector sales from products such as apps, subscriptions, and media, that should ensure that Apple crosses the $1 trillion mark sometime in 2017.

Dediu says that Apple’s ecosystem is one of the factors that helps the company to retain its loyal customer base.

Source: Apple on track to hit $1 trillion in total revenue from iOS by the middle of this year


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