The change will appear for affected subscribers within the "coming weeks," according to Lowe. Surge pricing is a dynamic, time-based strategy that apps like Uber use when a large amount of customers are requesting rides in the app but there aren't enough drivers to taxi them around.
Now this will extend to MoviePass, so on opening weekends or at particularly busy late-night showings of popular movies, monthly subscribers should expect to pay a bit more above their locked-in $9.95/month subscription price. Because this is not a fee that the movie theater is charging, users can expect MoviePass to take the surge pricing fee from the credit cards associated with their account -- although Lowe or any MoviePass spokesperson has yet to confirm this.
"At certain times for certain films — on opening weekend — there could be an additional charge for films," Lowe told Business Insider.
Lowe said this decision was a way to have its theaters partners see more traffic for big blockbusters in the mid-week and less-crowded weekends following the movie's opening weekend. It was also to "make sure that we can continue to offer a valuable service and support the whole enterprise," Lowe added. Otherwise, there are two other additions coming to MoviePass this summer: a bring-a-friend feature and IMAX/3D screenings. In the MoviePass iOS and Android app, subscribers will be able to add on a ticket for a non-MoviePass friend, the cost of which will be "somewhere near the retail price of the ticket."
For IMAX and 3D movies, users will be given the option to pay an added fee for the premium screenings, ranging from $2-$6 according to Lowe. As of now, one of MoviePass' detriments is that it only allows subscribers to watch regular 2D movies. At launch subscribers will have to choose one of these features or the other for a single film, but eventually they will be able to combine premium and bring-a-friend options for the same movie.
The MoviePass news comes after AMC just yesterday revealed its own movie subscription service, which will let customers watch three movies per week for $19.95 a month -- including IMAX and RealD 3D showings. Lowe responded to this new rival service today as well:
"It's been tough when you have the president of AMC essentially for eight or nine months telling everybody that our subscription was not sustainable, and then he comes out with a program that essentially could cost him $60 or $80 a month to pay the studios their minimums and collecting $19.95," Lowe said, referring to AMC CEO Adam Aron. "So it is a little bit kind of funny that it's pretty clear what he wanted to do — clear the way for his own subscription program and not have competition." All of the new MoviePass features -- including surge pricing -- will appear in the MoviePass app by the end of August.
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For example, you can ask "Hey Google, what's the weather today?", and then follow up with "And what about tomorrow?" or "Can you remind me to bring an umbrella tomorrow morning?" When your thread of requests is finished, Google explains that you can say "thank you" or "stop" to end the conversation, but Google Assistant will also do this automatically if it detects you're no longer talking to it.
Continued Conversations will need to be turned on in the Google Assistant app's Settings > Preferences > Continued Conversation. When starting up a new conversation you'll still need to say "OK Google" or activate a physical trigger every time, but the company hopes that reducing the instances you need to speak a wake-up phrase will result in more fluid and natural interactions with Google Assistant.
In comparison, Apple's Siri still requires you to say "Hey Siri" every time a command is given, or by activating the AI assistant manually on iPhone or HomePod. Later this year, Apple will debut improvements to Siri in iOS 12 in the form of a new "Siri Shortcuts" feature, allowing iPhone owners to build customizable workflows and connect a variety of third-party apps and services under one voice command.
Siri remains one of the downsides for Apple's products for some users, with a recent survey finding that iPhone X early adopters were very satisfied with all features of the smartphone except Siri. Around the time of that survey, The Information reported that Siri has become a "major problem" within Apple and that the assistant remains "limited compared to the competition," including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Tags: Google, Google Assistant
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Logitech’s Crayon stylus and Rugged Combo 2 keyboard for iPad schools are so good, Apple should copy them
If you have an Amazon Echo or other Alexa-capable device you can explore HBO’s Westworld in a new game called Westworld: The Maze. It’s like a choose your own adventure game where you’re a Host looking for the center of the maze while trying to not let on that you’ve become self aware. It’s also like a trivia game because you have to answer questions about the series. You’ll need to enable the Westworld: The Maze skill, and then say “Alexa, open Westworld” to start playing.
From his Bloomberg News story:During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely. That wasn't feasible at the time because wireless charging was still slower than traditional methods. Including a wireless charger with new iPhones would also significantly raise the price of the phones.Just to be absolutely clear, Gurman confirmed to me that this would have included removing the Lightning connector from the device. In fact, his report notes that Apple designers eventually hope to "remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone," although this is likely multiple years away.
A few years ago, it was reported that Apple's design chief Jony Ive's end goal is for the iPhone to resemble a "single sheet of glass," while Apple has repeatedly expressed its ambitions to "create a wireless future," so the eventual removal of the Lightning connector should perhaps come as no surprise.
Apple is already well on its way towards that wireless future, with products and technologies ranging from AirPods and AirPower to its W1 and W2 wireless chips. Apple also made the controversial decision to remove the headphone jack from iPhone 7 models a few years ago, pushing users towards wireless earphones.
Still, removing the Lightning connector would certainly be another controversial decision, given it is not only used for wired charging, but also for audio and data transfer, such as syncing an iPhone with iTunes on a Mac or PC.
Removing the Lightning connector would also prevent an iPhone from directly connecting to a wide range of peripherals, including many adapters, docks, battery cases, power banks, keyboards, game controllers, audio cables, wired headphones, and other accessories authorized under Apple's MFi Program.
In many cases, however, wireless alternatives would be available. It's possible to sync an iPhone with iTunes over Wi-Fi, for example, while wired headphone users can go wireless, Bluetooth-enabled game controllers are available, and upright-positioned wireless chargers can double as a docking station.
Of course, there would be some friction with this transition, just like when Apple switched from its 30-pin dock connector to Lightning in 2012, and removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. In both of those cases, however, the controversy eventually died down as many users came to accept the new reality.
It's also worth noting that Apple considers a lot of different ideas internally that might never materialize in a public-facing product.
At this point, it appears like the Lightning connector on iPhones should live on for at least a few years. Rumors suggest Apple will bundle a faster 18W charger with a USB-C port with iPhones released in 2018, which would connect to the devices with a Lightning to USB-C cable included in the box.
Tags: bloomberg.com, Lightning, Mark Gurman
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Created by Timothée Hochet, "Calls" is described as a short-form series that tells stories via snippets of audio taken from real-life situations, as well as through the use of minimal visuals. The show's IMDb and official Facebook pages suggest that many of the episodes lean towards the horror/mystery genre as well.
Image via @callscanalplus on Facebook
It's believed that the company will keep this format alive in the transition, but the content of the episodes remains unclear. Reports have suggested that Apple intends for most of its shows to eschew mature content in favor of a stable of shows that the entire family can watch -- a decision that led to Bryan Fuller leaving as showrunner on Apple's other series with horror elements, "Amazing Stories."
For "Calls," Apple has also acquired the rights to the first season of the French original, suggesting that the company also plans to offer the season as a streaming option on its upcoming service. The amount of episodes and cast members have not yet been revealed for the American version of "Calls."
It's been a busy month for news surrounding Apple's TV content plans, as in the past few days alone reports broke about the company officially ordering Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon's "Little America" to series, giving a straight-to-series order for a drama about child journalist Hilde Lysiak, partnering with Sesame Workshop on multiple kid TV shows, and even revealing a multi-year production partnership with Oprah Winfrey. Despite the ramp up of show announcements, Apple has yet to explain how users will watch its new TV shows, which are expected to appear sometime before March 2019.
Tag: Apple's Hollywood ambitions
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Apple promised its AirPower wireless charging pad for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods would ship some time in 2018, and now it’s looking like that’s going to be September—a year after it was unveiled. Bloomberg reports Apple is dealing with technical issues like keeping the device from overheating. A rumor saying AirPower would come in March came and went, Apple is staying quiet about the device’s status. For now, it looks like we still have three more months to wait for AirPower, and the promised wireless charging case for AirPods, too.
If you need to create references and a bibliography in your Word documents, then…well…let the program do it for you! No more will you have to stress over where to place periods and commas, because Word can even put items into many different formats for you. We’ve got all of the details in today’s Quick Tip!
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