BitStream is a shot of technology news followed by a chaser of gadget rumours and hearsay. It’s time to get drunk on all the knowledge you missed in the last 24 hours.
Ryan Seacrest and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day
OK, so it’s not exactly a zillion dollars, but Seacrest’s heavily invested technology company, Typo, does owe BlackBerry $US860,000 for basically ignoring a previous injunction issued in March over an intellectual property dispute.
Typo, if you’re lucky enough to have never heard of it, is a company that is trying to bring BlackBerry-like keyboard to the iPhone with its own special case. Unfortunately, the keyboard is a error-making terror, meaning Typo keyboards may have the most ironic name in technology.
Oh, and the GIF up above is from the “so terrible it’s now legend” rock music video that RIM (BlackBerry) made a few years back, and the excitement displayed in that video is hopefully on par with what the company is feeling on its big pay day. I know I would be excited and maybe going out for some classic rock karaoke.
Apple’s music streaming platform is coming together
9to5Mac‘s Mark Gurman, one of the best-known Apple insiders, laid out some rumours and details surrounding Apple’s upcoming streaming service. Gurman says that Beats will be deeply integrated into iOS, iTunes, and Apple TV. The service is still centered around the user’s music library but also incorporates Beats streaming library as well, and Apple is developing a search function that will let you choose among either.
As is expected, Beats technology will be powering this new streaming service but will have Cupertino’s design touch. If you’re a huge fan of current Apple music services, well, they won’t be going away, but this new Beats/Apple get together will overlap functionality with some of Apple’s old apps.
But maybe the most surprising move is price and availability. Gurman says that Apple is considering a price for about $US8/month, which is a decrease from the current standard hovering around $US10/month. Also, Apple may be making the service available to Android users as well, marking the first time Apple has ever made an in-house app available for the Android platform.
This should all still be taking with a respectable grain of salt, but Gurman’s track record and the info’s reasonable plausibility suggests that this may be the Apple music service we see in the coming months. [9to5Mac]
Microsoft Research upgrades panoramas from painful to painless
Panoramas are a cool little trick of photography, baked into almost any smartphone, that extends the frame of any image exponentially. But unless your friends are statues, you’re most likely going to get jagged and unfinished results. Microsoft Research just solved that problem.
Updating its Image Composite Editor, the MS team has included what they’re calling “Image Autocomplete” that uses computational photography to fill in any photographic gaps in your panorama creations. Check. It. Out.
Lollipop 5.1 Absconds to India
Android’s latest update, Lollipop 5.1, just appeared in the wild, but only for Google’s super-cheap smartphone platform Android One, a popular device of choice in developing markets like India. The update thankfully reintroduces silent mode, whose absence was one of the many gripes for the OG Lollipop, at least according to Android Pit.
CNET says that the now amended Google page promised better performance and battery life with the Android 5.1 update, but for now, the States appear stuck with 5.0.2 until further notice. [CNET / Android Pit]
- The Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, famous for being labelled Cupertino copy cats, will hold a press conference in San Francisco, promising good things for the US. [GSM Arena]
- HTC’s next flagship will reportedly be called the M9, not the Hima as originally rumoured. But what’s in a name, really? [Upleaks]
- Supposedly Apple is testing minivans (below) equipped with roof-mounted cameras. Probably a Street View rival than any autonomous car competitor. [Apple Insider]
Your Apps, Updated
- Microsoft rolled out the Windows 10 preview versions of Office, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It’s…pretty much the best. [VentureBeat]
- Microsoft is buying its way to success and snatching up the ultra popular calendar app, Sunrise. After striking gold with Acompli, Microsoft may have stumbled upon a formula that works. [TechCrunch]
- Twitter just struck a deal with Google that will now make your 140 characters of wisdom visible in Google’s search engine. [Bloomberg]
- Skiftkey will now be integrated right into CyanogenMod 11S, transforming the popular keyboard into the least annoying piece of bloatware in existence. [OnePlus]
Bucket of Random
- Verizon is launching some new pricing for its data plans. If you don’t use a lot of data you’re in luck, if you do…well, things are going to get expensive. [Verizon]
- Universal Pictures’ Steve Jobs biopic, which has been plagued by casting indecisions and studio switches, finally has a release date — October 9th. [Deadline]