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Apple Music update packs new features

From live lyrics to Chromecast support, Apple Music’s latest update adds features to amplify the user experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Apple’s music streaming service, Apple Music, has received a facelift on the various platforms. The company says it has amassed around 60-million subscriptions to its paid-only service, which comes preloaded on most Apple devices. From smartphones to TV, we took a deep dive into the service to shell out the best new features from the platform.

1. Sing along to the music – with the right words

With its latest update, Apple has introduced a lyric scrolling mode which highlights the line in the song where the artist is singing or speaking. It features the lyrics on a dynamic background, that’s based on the album art of the song and pulses or moves around to the music. The coolest part about this one can scroll through the lyrics and tap a lyric to be taken to that part of the song. This feature can be activated by tapping the quotation bubble in the bottom left corner of the Now Playing page.

2. Your music taste is split from what Apple thinks your music taste is

There is a clear distinction between what you like and what others think you like. That’s why the Apple Music app makes a clear distinction between what you have and what you like. Under the Library tab is where the music one has saved lives, while next door, the For You tab holds a daily update of one’s music tastes and listening habits. This includes personalised weekly mixes, what friends are listening to, what’s happening in spaces from genres the user listens to, and new releases from artists that the user listens to.

Apple has also confirmed that the personalised mixes aren’t simply thrown together, but rather crafted by how the songs go together based on how editors have selected songs to go together.

3. Radio stations are a tap away

Apple hosts many radio shows on its platforms, with hosts like DJ Khaled, Nicki Minaj, and The Weeknd. One of the most popular radio stations on the platform, Beats 1 Radio, frequently features prominent guest artists like Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, and Tame Impala.

This is a hidden gem if you like hearing your favourite artist discuss the latest topics in between songs. If those artists aren’t to your taste, try making your own station by starting a song you like, tapping the three dots next to the song title and selecting Create Station.

Local radio stations like 947, Jacaranda FM, and East Coast Radio are also available to those who prefer a more traditional radio sound. Keep in mind that this is streamed over the Internet, so charges may apply.

4. Find that song – even after it’s done

Hearing a new hit that resonates with you is special. But what if you don’t have the Shazam app? Just ask Siri. Apple acquired Shazam just over a year ago, and has since integrated the functionality into iOS. Now, users can either open the Shazam app to identify the song, or say “Hey Siri, what’s this song?” to identify songs without the app. For all platforms, one can type in a line from the lyrics of the song into the search bar of the Apple Music app to find the song.

5. Works beyond Apple products

The Apple Music product transcends the Apple ecosystem and works with Android Auto, Chromecast, and in any web browser. Users of Apple Music for Android can enjoy a similar ‘plug n play’ experience when connecting to their Android Auto enabled cars. Catering to those outside of the Apple ecosystem, Apple Music for Android can also cast to Chromecast to play music to their TV and/or sound system, wirelessly. Those who can’t install additional software to their computers can still use Apple Music through the web by pointing their browser to https://beta.music.apple.com/.

With all these additional new platforms, Apple Music is quickly becoming ubiquitous among devices on the market.

Cars

Car buyers to start abandoning fuel-power by 2025

Car buyers in the United States and Europe expect electric vehicles to become a viable alternative to fuel-powered cars in the next five years.

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A new report outlining consumer expectations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and their viability as replacements for traditional fuel-powered cars or internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles suggests a massive shift beginning in 2025.

The conclusion emerges from a report by human behaviour and analytics firm Escalent, entitled The Future of BEV: How to Capture the Hearts and Minds of Consumers. It reveals the intent of many consumers in the United States and Europe to abandon ICE vehicles altogether, citing the improved infrastructure and range of BEVs.

The Future of BEV gives auto and mobility manufacturers a strategic view of the benefits of their products in the eyes of consumers and highlights the areas of opportunity for automakers to push the innovation boundaries of BEVs to spur broad adoption of the technology.

“While most buyers don’t plan to choose BEVs over gasoline-powered cars within the next five years, consumers have told us there is a clear intention to take BEVs seriously in the five years that follow,” says Mark Carpenter, joint managing director of Escalent’s UK office. “However, manufacturers will need to tap into the emotional value of BEVs rather than just the rational and functional aspects to seize on that intent and inspire broader consumer adoption.”

The study demonstrates a significant shift in consumers’ expectations that BEVs will become viable alternatives to—and competitors with—ICE vehicles over the coming decade. Though 70% of Americans plan to buy a gasoline-powered car within the next year, just 37% expect to make that same purchase in five to ten years. Similarly, while 50% of European consumers favour buying vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel in the near-term, that figure drops to just 23% in five to ten years.

At the same time, consumers on both sides of the Atlantic see BEV adoption rising to 36% in Europe and 16% in the US, with respondents also indicating intent to purchase hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars.

Infrastructure clearly continues to be one of the biggest barriers to adoption. While some work is being done in Europe as well as in the US, the data show there is a significant need for some players to take ownership if manufacturers want to move the needle on BEV adoption.

US and European consumers have stark differences in opinion as to which entities they believe are primarily responsible for providing BEV charging stations. American consumers consider carmakers (45%) the primary party responsible, followed by fuel companies, local government/transport authorities, and the national government in fourth. On the other hand, European consumers view the national government (29%) as the primary party responsible for providing BEV infrastructure, followed by carmakers, local government/transport authorities and fuel companies.

For a full copy of the report, visit https://landing.escalent.co/download-the-future-of-bev.

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New cell phone to help with dementia and memory loss

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A new cell phone that takes simplicity to the extreme is designed to address the unique needs of people with dementia and other forms of memory loss. The RAZ Memory Cell Phone, developed by RAZ Mobility, a provider of mobile assistive technology, was launched this week. The handset is also well-suited for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s dementia, with one in ten people over the age of 65 diagnosed with the disease. The number of people with dementia is expected to increase rapidly as the proportion of the population 65 and older increases. The American Psychiatric Association reports that approximately one percent of the population has an intellectual disability.

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone consists of one primary screen, and one screen only. It is always on and includes pictures and names of up to six contacts and a button to call 911. That’s it! There are no applications or settings to cause confusion. No notifications or operating system updates. No distractions. Users can simply tap and hold the picture of the person they wish to call.

Caregivers manage the RAZ Memory Cell Phone through a simple online portal. The portal is used to create and edit the contacts, track the location of the phone/user and select certain options, such as the option to restrict incoming calls to people in the user’s contacts, thereby avoiding unwanted calls such as predatory robocalls.

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone can now be ordered at https://www.razmobility.com/solutions/memory-cellphone/.

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