ExtraBITS for 7 September 2015
In ExtraBITS this week, Hulu is offering a (mostly) commercial-free option, Apple admits that Apple Music needs more work, Amazon Prime Video debuts offline viewing for iOS devices, we give you yet another reason to not jailbreak your iPhone, Apple is reportedly testing a move into video content, and the NFL takes a step closer toward the Apple TV.
Hulu Now Offering an “Ad-Free” Option — Tired of the repetitive commercials on Hulu Plus? The good news is that the streaming TV service is now offering a commercial-free version for $11.99 per month, with the ad-laden version still available at $7.99 per month. However, some shows, like ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” will still feature ads.
Apple Admits that Apple Music Needs Work — In an interview with The Guardian, Apple’s Vice President of iTunes International, Oliver Schusser, said that there is “a bit of homework to be done” to improve the Apple Music streaming service. “There’s a lot of work going into making the product better. Our focus is on editorial and playlists, and obviously we have teams all around the world working on that, but we’re also adding features and cleaning up certain things,” Schusser said. He added that an Android app and Sonos support are coming this fall.
Amazon Prime Video Offers Offline Viewing for iOS Devices — Amazon Prime members just got a big bonus: the Amazon Video app for iOS now allows users to save Amazon Prime Instant Video shows and movies to their devices for offline viewing. The feature is currently available for Amazon Prime members in Austria, Germany, the UK, and the United States. Pressure is now on Netflix to match the feature with offline viewing of its streamed shows and movies.
A Reminder to Not Jailbreak Your iPhone — An estimated 225,000 Apple accounts, most of which are in China, have been compromised by malware installed on jailbroken iPhones. The malware, dubbed KeyRaider, intercepted iTunes traffic from the iPhones to nab usernames, passwords, and UDIDs. It’s another reminder that jailbreaking your iPhone opens you up to significant security vulnerabilities.
Apple Testing a Move into Original Video Content — Variety reports that Apple may be entertaining the idea of producing its own original content. Several media executives told Variety that they’ve had talks with Apple, and Apple reportedly bid on the new show from the former hosts of Top Gear (Amazon won in the end). Such a move could put Apple at odds with Apple TV mainstays like Netflix and Hulu.
NFL Pass Comes to Apple TV — The Apple TV’s NFL Now app has been updated to add support for the new NFL Pass service. A one-year subscription to NFL Game Pass costs $99.99 per year, and offers full video of all games after they air, as well as live streams of out-of-market preseason games. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer live streaming of regular season or playoff games.