Spotify Family to offer half-price Premium subscriptions for additional family members

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Anyone who has ever shared a Spotify Premium account with a partner or – worse – their kids will know the problems: arguments over who gets to use it when, and your playlists and recommendations polluted by the likes of Jason Mraz or the soundtrack from The Lego Movie.

Spotify Family will soon allow you to purchase additional Premium subscriptions for up to four family members for half-price. The first family member will continue to pay $10/month, but additional family members pay just $5/month.

Your account. Your music. With Spotify Family, everyone gets their very own account. Enjoy separate playlists and recommendations and play your music whenever you like.

Premium for everyone. Everyone on the plan gets the full Spotify Premium experience. Listen offline. Play any song, anytime, on any device. No restrictions. No ads.

The more the merrier. Having a family can be expensive. But music doesn’t have to be. With Spotify Family, you can add up to four family members to your account, and each additional user gets 50% off Spotify Premium.

No tantrums. No more fighting over what to listen to, and no more interruptions when someone else logs in and starts playing.

Spotify said a family membership has been one of its most requested features, and that the package will roll-out globally in the coming weeks.

Spotify apps are available for both OS X and iOS, as well as Windows and Android. Spotify is currently available in over 60 countries, with Canada joining the list just last month.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: Android, Canada, family, iOS, Music, music apps, Spotify, Spotify app, Streaming Music, Streaming music apps, United States

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Microsoft’s pulse-tracking smartwatch rumored to land in time for holidays ahead of Apple Watch

Apple Watch press

According to Forbes, Microsoft will soon enter the wearable market with a competing smartwatch device. The report says the device will track heart rate for fitness, matching Apple Watch and other Android smartwatches.

In terms of battery life, Forbes says the watch will ‘boast’ two days of life. Apple has been coy about saying anything specific about Apple Watch longevity, although it is implied to last less than a day as Apple suggests charging it every night. Obviously, battery life depends on many factors (which is often a tradeoff with functionality), but it seems that Microsoft may have an edge in this department if the rumor is true.

A lot more goes into a smartwatch than battery life of course. Other details about Microsoft’s first attempt are not known, but the report says to expect an announcement soon as the company wants to hit a holiday release. By contrast, Apple Watch will launch in early 2015.


Filed under: Apple Watch, iOS, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple watch, fitness, Health, Microsoft

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Dropbox for iOS is now optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with Touch ID unlocking

Dropbox has today updated its iOS app to make it compatible with Apple’s new generation of iPhone devices. Alongside bringing support for the new smartphones, the app can also now make use of the Touch ID support offered in iOS 8, thereby allowing users to unlock their Dropbox without a PIN code or password. The team said it also fixed an error when previewing RTF (Rich Text Format) files on iOS 8, as well as a number of other stability and performance enhancements. ➤ Dropbox [App Store] Image credit: Alexander Supertramp / Shutterstock.com

As Apple Pay launches, Eddy Cue says “a lot of work to do,” predicts slow retail take-up

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On the day that Apple Pay goes live, SVP Eddy Cue has told the WSJ that the company “has a lot of work to do” on the service, suggesting that initial take-up may be slow – with in-app purchases making up the largest share of transactions in the short-term.

We’re trying to do something that I think is a game changer and it requires a lot of people to play together. There’s a lot to do here and we have a lot of work to do, but it should be huge.

Although the list of retailers who have committed to Apple Pay looks impressive, it is far from comprehensive, with some big names missing – including the largest retailer in the US, Wal-Mart … 

The WSJ notes that there are some big gaps on the card side also.

Corporate credit cards or prepaid cards aren’t accepted yet. Neither are retailers’ proprietary credit cards, so shoppers can’t use their Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s cards.

Macy’s, for example, says that around half its purchases are made using its own card, which shoppers prefer as it is linked to the store’s loyalty program. The store says it expects to add its card to Apple Pay “eventually.”

Eddy Cue believes that retail stores will make up only a minority of early usage.

Mr. Cue said he expects the biggest share of early Apple Pay transactions to be in-app purchases.

It may be a full year before we see near-universal acceptance in the US. It’s next October that merchants who fail to upgrade to payment terminals which can read more secure bank cards with embedded chips will become liable for fraudulent transactions. At that point, it would make obvious sense to opt for payment terminals that support NFC payments also.

Apple Pay is currently supported by the iPhone 6/Plus, with older iPhones able to take advantage of the service via the Apple Watch once it goes on sale.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Apple pay, Apple watch, Bloomingdale, Credit card, Eddy Cue, iPhone, iPhone 6, iphone 6 plus, Macy, NFC, Walmart

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