iOS 9.0.1 update is out; Apple includes major bug fixes

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Netflix adds in-app subscriptions for iPhone and iPad.

Now you won’t even need to get off the sofa to find your laptop before you start binge-watching Netflix. The company has added in-app purchases to its iOS apps that allow you to subscribe directly from the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad, taking after other streaming services such as HBO Now, Spotify, and Hulu, all of which already supported in-app subscription.

But since then, smartphones have become larger and more powerful, while laptops have become thinner, lighter, and more battery-efficient. iPad sales have felt the squeeze, declining for two straight years even as Apple’s iPhone and Mac sales flourish. Netflix announced the update with a clip from its original show Orange Is the New Black, in which inmates “Crazy Eyes” and Taystee (played by Uzo Adubo and Danielle Brooks) discover an iPhone in Litchfield prison, and try to comprehend Siri. The question now is whether this new space—somewhere between smaller media consumption tablets and full-blown laptops—can help revitalize the iPad as a whole.

The update also fixes an issue that caused some paused video images in Safari and Photo to appear distorted, and another that cause some alarms and alerts not to sound. During Apple’s September event, CEO Tim Cook offered a refresher on what the iPad is supposed to accomplish. “iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing, a simple multi-touch piece of glass that instantly transforms into virtually anything you want it to be,” he said.

What Cook didn’t readily acknowledge is that the iPad Pro appears to compromise this vision, with both its hardware and software becoming more laptop-like. The $169 Smart Keyboard accessory, for instance, could turn out to be essential for anyone doing copious amounts of text entry on the iPad, but it may also feel like a trade-off. Earlier this year, Recode reported that Apple was only charging high-profile streaming companies — including Netflix, Hulu, and MLB.tv — a 15 percent tax rate for subscribers who signed up through Apple TV, rather than the typical 30 percent.

While the display itself may be more immersive, the larger footprint will inhibit certain actions such as thumb typing or cradling the device in one hand. Music industry sources have railed against App Store tax, arguing that it allows Apple’s own Apple Music an unfair price advantage over rivals like Spotify and Rdio, and allows the company to exert undue influence on the industry. And while the iPad Pro’s upgraded processor and RAM will allow for more powerful apps, it could also create a class of software that doesn’t work with smaller models. Apple’s official App Store Twitter account referenced Netflix’s OITNB clip with a cry-laugh emoticon, but relations may not be so cordial if — as is widely rumored — Apple launches its own streaming TV service.

That would put both companies into direct competition, and could set up a similar situation to that currently unfolding in the music industry, with Apple able to charge its competitors money every time they get a new iOS subscriber. As an example, he points to Adobe, whose Creative Cloud apps will make use of the Apple Pencil stylus, and Microsoft, which is fully embracing Split View multitasking in its Office software. “I think they had to get there from a hardware standpoint, and I think it could actually cause a resurgence in serious app developers wanting to do stuff for the platform,” La Rue says. La Rue, for instance, says Macphun is still figuring out how many people will finish a photo-editing job on their tablets, versus using it as a starting point. Understanding how best to use it is going to take time, and that only speaks to its disruptive potential. “To assume that just because we launch an iPad that we immediately figure out how to use it the right way, I don’t think it’s the right assumption,” he says.

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