Weekend Wrap-Up: Apple Announces More Products; HBO Will Offer Standalone Streaming Service
Good morning, folks, and happy Sunday! This is the Weekend Wrap-Up, where we help you get all caught up on the biggest tech stories from the past week. Companies making headlines include Apple, HBO, CBS and Google.
Ready to find out why? Let’s do it.
Apple Announces More Products
Believe me, I would have preferred to fit all of the different products Apple announced on Thursday into the headline. The problem? There are just too many. As leaks suggested prior to the event, the iPad Air 2 ($499) and iPad mini 3 ($399) have come along to update those lines. A newer, more powerful iMac with a 5K display ($2499) was also unveiled. Even Apple’s seemingly forgotten Mac mini got a refresh and a price drop to boot — instead of starting at $599, you can enter the world of Mac computing for a mere $499.
That wasn’t all, however. Apple also announced iOS 8.1, the update that will bring Apple Pay along with a number of other enhancements. That’ll be available for download on Monday. And Apple’s newest desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite, is available right now.
In a move that has to delight cord-cutters and terrify cable companies, HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler announced on Wednesday that HBO would begin offering a standalone streaming service for its content in 2015. The news, which broke at a Time Warner, Inc. investors meeting, will undoubtedly send shockwaves through the industry. But will it also begin a gold rush of sorts for other network and cable TV channels that don’t want to be left behind? Our next story could certainly make that case.
CBS Announces ‘All Access’ Streaming Service for $6 a Month
One day after HBO announced it would offer a standalone streaming service for cord-cutters, CBS did the same with its $6 a month ‘All Access’ service. Did HBO prompt CBS to make this move, though? That doesn’t seem to be the case, as CBS did more than talk about its service — it actually launched it. For the monthly subscription fee, users not only have the ability to go back into CBS’s library and watch TV shows on demand, they can also tune in to live TV. Does this mean you can jump in and watch your NFL team play? No; at this time, it appears sports are not being streamed. That could always change, though, and we’ll let you know if it does.
Google Announces Android Lollipop and a Host of Nexus Devices
We finally know what that ‘L’ stands for in the next version of Android — Lollipop. Google’s new mobile operating system was announced this past week and will find itself on several new products that were also announced. For starters, we’re getting a new Nexus phablet in the Nexus 6. We’re also getting a new tablet in the Nexus 9, as Google apparently wants to hit every single size possible for a tablet. Finally, Android fans will also be able to pick up the Nexus Player, which is Google’s latest attempt to work its way into living rooms around the world. The Nexus Player will offer a Fire TV-esque voice search feature as well as a gamepad for video games. The Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 are available for pre-order now and should be in stores on November 3. The Nexus Player is currently awaiting FCC certification, and will likely be available for pre-order as soon as it receives it.
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