Microsoft is bringing Xbox Live to Android and iOS

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Xbox One controller Apple EarPods
Microsoft has big plans for Xbox Live.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Microsoft is gearing up to release a software development kit that will allow Android and iOS developers to integrate Xbox Live features into their games.

The SDK, which will be officially confirmed by Microsoft next month, will also be available to Nintendo Switch developers. It will make Microsoft the first console-maker to open up its platform to third-party systems.

Enjoy Apple Music on American Airlines without buying Wi-Fi

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Apple Music on American Airlines
Forget downloading your playlists before takeoff.
Photo: Apple

Starting Friday, Apple Music subscribers can enjoy the service on domestic flights with American Airlines without purchasing Wi-Fi.

Complete access to the service and its more than 50 million songs will be available on flights equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi. American Airlines is the first commercial airline to offer the service.

T-Mobile to launch TV streaming service soon

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t-mobile
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is trying to make is carrier relevant again.
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is about to launch a new feature as part of its wireless service plans designed to lure in new subscribers: free TV streaming.

The carrier is reportedly planning to enter the streaming wars within the new few weeks with a free, ad-supported video service optimized from mobile streaming. T-Mobile service sounds similar to Verizon’s now-defunct go90 video streaming platform, but T-Mobile is hoping to some extra perks will make it more attractive to customers.

Spotify will let you mute artists you don’t want to hear

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Spotify
You won't have to listen to music you don't like.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify will soon let you mute artists you don’t want to listen to.

It is currently testing a “don’t play this artist” feature in the latest version of its iOS app. Using it will prevent the artist’s tracks from playing altogether — even if they feature in a playlist, chart list, or on a radio station you listen to.

Apple stops you playing different music on iPhone and HomePod

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HomePod market share
Will you upgrade to a family plan?
Photo: Apple

If you want to stream different tracks on different devices from Apple Music, you’ll need two subscriptions. It was previously possible to listen to one track on your iPhone while enjoying another on HomePod in a different room, but not anymore.

Apple says this was a bug — not a feature — and it has finally been fixed.

Here are all the TV sets adding AirPlay 2 support

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AirPlay 2
Sign up for SmartCast 3.0 access today.
Photo: Apple

One of the nice surprises to come out of CES this week is that a bunch of TV manufacturers are finally adding AirPlay 2 support to their latest sets. To help you keep track of which ones, Apple has published a list of TVs that are compatible with its streaming platform.

These are the ones to look out for if you want to send content to your TV over AirPlay.

Apple Music could soon be open to businesses

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apple-music
Apple Music could get another big advantage over Spotify.
Photo: Apple

Apple Music could be opened up to businesses to allow streaming in public places.

The “Apple Music for Business” trademark was filed for late last month in the U.S. — and in other territories back in June. The filing states the trademark would be applied to a number of different areas, including commercial use.

Apple eyes stake in struggling U.S. radio group iHeartMedia

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iHeartMedia
A deal could bring Beats 1 to broadcast radio.
Photo: iHeartMedia

Apple is in talks over acquiring a stake in iHeartMedia, according to a new report.

Sources say the company could invest millions of dollars to help save the struggling U.S. radio group, which filed for bankruptcy back in March. However, negotiations are at an early stage for now and no deal has been agreed yet.

Spotify Premium subscriptions grow after family plan crackdown

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Spotify app now playing screen
Spotify shows no signs of slowing down.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Spotify has seen a rise in Premium subscriptions after the music streaming service started cracking down on family plan subscribers who aren’t really family.

New data reveals 38 percent of Spotify users in the U.S. now pay for the Premium service — up from 36 percent last quarter. Apple Music remains the only platform that has presented Spotify with real competition, but it still has a lot of catching up to do.