Apple to make iTunes Radio a standalone app on iOS 8 + more

8202d0919f09151cc2820723ed79c605_1375124164Even before Apple released iOS 7.1, rumors about the features of iOS 8 were already abundant. Most recently, we heard that Apple is working on enhancing its Maps app by integrating more data for increased reliability and accuracy, together with public transportation information. The Cupertino company is also said to be looking into incorporating augmented reality to its Maps app, which will leverage the iPhone’s built-in compass hardware to allow users to see nearby points of interests.

iTunes Radio


The Maps app isn’t the only one to be seeing some changes with iOS 8 however, as Apple is now said to be looking into making iTunes Radio a standalone app to drive interest in using the service. When iTunes Radio launched on iOS 7 last year, it came as a feature in the Music app. As a tab in the Music app, iTunes Radio failed to pique the interest of music lovers who are already using cloud music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. By making iTunes Radio a standalone app, it will come pre-installed with iOS 8, and users will be able to easily access the service.  iTunes Radio will be represented by a cartoonish radio graphic set on a red background. As a standalone app, users will still get to enjoy current features such as browsing their history, purchasing streamed tracks, locating Featured Stations, creating stations based on songs, artists, and albums, and managing stations.

Apple changes return policy

Before, when consumers purchased an Apple product in the company’s online store or physical retail store, they had 30 days to return their product, no matter the reason, as long as the product is undamaged and all the accessories are complete.

Now, Apple has changed its return policy and consumers have just 14 days to return their iDevice. While some might say that this policy change is not very consumer friendly, Apple seems to think that 14 days is still more than enough to decide whether you want to keep your device or not.

Also, Apple wants to streamline its return policy with what network carriers offer, to make things less confusing.

Network carriers only give 14 days for consumers to return their iPhone without suffering any consequences, such as early termination of contract fees. Apple’s 30-day return policy caused confusion for some, as they thought they still had 30 days to return the device, only to discover that their carrier contract would not allow it unless they paid a fine. By streamlining its return policy, Apple will eliminate confusion for consumers, so no one has to suffer from early termination fees and other penalties.

Apple TV now supports Bluetooth pairing


Also this week, Apple released its version 6.1 update for the Apple TV. Some thought the update only delivered minor fixes, but reports that there is a hidden gem in the update.

According to the report, the update now supports AirPlay device discovery over Bluetooth. What this means is that Apple TV can now search for connectable devices over Bluetooth, bypassing Bonjour, Apple’s implementation of Zero-configuration networking. Some devices block Bonjour, making Apple TV pairings a trouble for some, especially those that are using it for education and business administrators.

The new Bluetooth feature only requires that the Apple TV is updated to version 6.1, an iOS device updated to 7.1, and IP connectivity available between both devices.