Tag: apple itunes

iTunes Spoken Editions is on its way to Apple

The iPhone maker is responding to the popularity of audio books and digital services for reading aloud.

iTunes Spoken Editions is about to become the latest service launched by Apple. The service is designed to read news and magazine articles out loud, and will likely include mobile ads, too.

To start, it looks as though Time, Wired, Mic, Playboy and Forbs will be the first participating publishers.

The iTunes Spoken Editions platform will launch in early October. It will have many components that bring to mind the Audible Channels and Amazon Alexa, among others. This will make it possible for Apple users to listen to certain mainstream news publications without having to read the articles. Therefore, they will be able to hear the articles while they go about their day, whether they are completing various chores or commuting.

iTunes Spoken Edition - Man Using TabletIt is for this same reason that audio books have taken off in popularity over the last few years. People are often choosing podcasts and audio books over magazine articles and printed books. When it comes to the news, they don’t often read more than the title as well as the first paragraph and possibly the last one.

The iTunes Spoken Editions will be read by a digital speech generator and not by actual human readers.

The news articles and other audio items won’t be read by narrators or journalists. Instead, Apple will be using a text-to –speech engine that is not unlike Alexa.

It is also likely that Apple won’t miss the opportunity to be able to include advertising into this new audio service. Just as SpokenLayer includes ads in its service, this new platform will likely do the same thing. Its goal is typically to help to make up for the rapidly declining revenue from the reduced print subscriptions and the falling readership.

Apple has yet to officially release the full details of its iTunes Spoken Editions platform. That said, it wouldn’t be impossible to believe that it would be able to achieve integration with other services as well. Some have speculated that this could potentially include Apple News and possibly even Apple TV.

The Google Play update brings it closer to Apple

The latest update of the app market for Android users lets users approach the iTunes experience.

Google Play has recently released a new update that many believe will help it to close the gap between itself and iTunes, especially since Apple has been recovering from a few blunders in their own App Store over the past few months.

Developers were paid a total of $7 billion over the span of 2014 in order to improve the Android marketplace.

This, according to a report from the Financial Times. Though that amount is notably less than the reported $25 billion that Apple paid its developers, it is still a considerable figure. This is particularly important as the results that Apple has been seeing have remained the same from June through the close of last year. Still, it paid $10 billion more than it usually would have, during that time, so it is expected that those developers will be seeing their earnings sliding downward. Conversely, Google Play developers will be watching their earnings increase.

For Android developers, this change in direction for Google Play should be seen as very positive news.

Google Play UpdateIt also means, according to many, that it appears that the gap that has existed between these two largest stores is now closing up. The latest update for the Android store is quite s clear indication of that. For people who use Android 2.3 and up, the Play 5.3.5 version of the app is now available. This represents the majority of users of Android devices. It now offers a range of different functions to its users, which includes the expansion of the various notification options that are available within the settings. It is also now possible to choose whether or not the notifications for an app will be displayed.

The music store at Google has also released an update, which has aligned its appearance much more closely with the Play Store. There is now a home screen search function. That said, this specific update will be available only to those with a version of Android Kit Kat or newer.

Fortunately for those who can’t access it, the majority of the changes are in the design of the experience, so that it more closely resembles that of Google Play. The majority of the actual functionality has not been changed.