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29
Mar

Miitomo, Nintendo’s first smartphone app, launches in the U.S. on March 31


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U.S. audiences will finally get a chance to download and use Nintendo’s first smartphone app, Miitomo, on Thursday, March 31. The app will be released for both Android and iOS after a successful launch in Japan earlier this month.

The free-to-play app is not a game, but rather a chat program that uses Nintendo’s Mii avatars. They were first introduced with the launch of the Wii console. Miitomo allows users to customize their Mii avatar, including taking a picture of themselves so their face can be placed on the avatar:

Once their Mii is ready, users can add friends who already have the app in person, or by linking the app with their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts. After that step is complete, it’s time to answer some questions! Miitomo creates conversations and turns discussions into a form of play by prompting users to answer all kinds of fun questions. How would you define your fashion style? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? If you were given ten grand to spend in one day, what would you do? The answers get shared among friends, sparking interesting conversations – part of the fun is discovering unexpected facts about your friends. When users hear how their friends responded to questions, they can give answers a “heart” or a written or picture comment.

While Miitomo is free to download and use, there will be in-app purchases for additional avatar customizations.

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29
Mar

SoundCloud launches its own music subscription service


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SoundCloud has rolled out an app update, which adds a new subscription service. Going up against the likes of Spotify and Play Music, SoundCloud Go is free for you to try for 30 days and will set you back $9.99 a month thereafter. Highlights of this new subscription service from SoundCloud include ad-free experiences and the ability to enjoy your favorite music when offline.

Since this is SoundCloud, one can look to expect a catalog of content that will not only feature major artists and record labels, but also uploads from indie and unsigned accounts. It’s an interesting approach to music too, incorporating the advertisement model for free streaming, enabling those without a paid subscription to enjoy whatever music is made available for that specific tier.

Be sure to either download the app or updated it through the Play Store to check out this new service. It appears to be only available in the U.S. and we have yet to see the update hit our handsets so give the store sometime to propagate.

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29
Mar

Build 2016: What to expect from Microsoft’s developer conference and how to watch the keynote


Microsoft Build is the company’s software developer conference that is held every year and gives developers and consumers a chance to see what Microsoft is planning for the future.

Apple has WWDC in June, Google has Google I/O in May, and Microsoft has Build in March.

It’s not a launch event per se, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect plenty of announcements from Microsoft across its ever growing line-up of products and services ranging from Windows 10 to Xbox to HoloLens.  

Pocket-lint will be covering all the latest news from San Francisco this week. We are also hosting the live stream (right here) of the keynote event that starts at 8:30am Pacific Time in the US or 5:30pm in the UK.

What can we expect from the keynote and conference at this year’s Build 2016? Here are some of the rumours and rumblings that we are expecting to hear from the company in San Francisco this week.

Windows 10 announcements at BUILD 2016

Windows 10 launched last year and Microsoft is likely to use the developer conference to push forward with any new incremental features and services it wants to add to the operating system. 

Microsoft has already teased a number of highly requested features for its Windows 10 Live Tiles, so we can expect to see something on this front.

That might be, as many hope, the introduction of interactive Live Tiles that will make it easier to respond to notifications within apps, and the possible inclusion of allowing you to answer and send text messages on the desktop with your phone. It’s a feature similar to Handoff in Apple’s Mac OS X and will be welcomed. 

There is also chatter that Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual personal assistant will be getting more advancements and a continued strengthening of the company’s cloud and office offerings. 

Windows 10 mobile announcements at BUILD 2016

With Microsoft’s Lumia phones struggling to capture consumer imagination and market share falling rapidly over the last couple of months, Windows 10 mobile is going to be the elephant in the room. 

The company will have to do something at the developer conference to woo developers to create the amazing apps the platform still needs, and Build 2016 might be the place to do that.

So far Microsoft’s plans has involved a “universal” approach, so we might see more about how the company plans to continue that cross over from desktop to tablet to mobile.

Xbox announcements at BUILD 2016

Having just had the Xbox Spring showcase where Microsoft’s gaming division showcased a number of new games and features for the console, and GDC quickly after that, Xbox at Build is likely to be focused on cross platform support and getting universal apps on your TV. 

This could be a chance to show Xbox fans that Microsoft’s efforts aren’t just about games, but much more. 

HoloLens announcements at BUILD 2016

With the first consumer units of Oculus Rift shipping this week and HTC Vive coming through people’s letter boxes in April, Microsoft will want to make sure that people know about Augmented Reality and the Microsoft HoloLens.

We are expecting plenty of announcements surrounding HoloLens at Build 2016. We are unlikely to see a price and shipping date, but with the promise of a huge HoloLens demo area at the event and the first dev kits shipping this week, it is a great chance for developers to experience it up close, and consumers to get a real understanding of how they should expect to use it when it does eventually come out.

29
Mar

Flix Premiere is the online cinema for forgotten films


Major film studios have much of their production schedules mapped out years in advance. By default, cinemas have pretty full calendars themselves. With a finite number of screens, theaters can only take so many movies from other distributors. Competition for these slots is fierce, and when film festival season draws to a close, some flicks simply don’t get picked up. Even big names and moving stories can’t save them from limbo. Flix Premiere, however, wants to do just that, by being an online cinema for overlooked films.

On the face of it, Flix Premiere is a new movie streaming service. But as founder Martin Warner puts it, the outfit is actually playing the role of distributor, just with its own platform for putting bums in virtual seats. As such, Flix Premiere looks at acquisitions from a distributor perspective, with an internal team not only assessing cinematic value, but the size of the potential audience and return on investment.

Just because a film has been forgotten doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll make the cut. Flix Premiere only wants to promote good films that, for one reason or another, haven’t found an audience yet. Typically, these will be of more modest budgets (sub-$15 million) and come from independent studios. And age isn’t really an issue. Anything from the past three years or so is on Flix Premiere’s radar, though it’ll consider older movies, too, if they’re of considerable merit.

In some ways, Warner sees Flix Premiere as a competitor to the likes of Netflix and Amazon. Not in breadth, but just as the major streaming services are investing more in original content, Flix Premiere will only ever host platform exclusives. Films you won’t find anywhere else, and films that’ve never been shown anywhere else.

Flix Premiere isn’t really being pitched as a streaming service, though. “Online cinema” is the preferred term, for several reasons. The heavily curated nature of the service, for one — Warner hopes one day that it’ll be as credible as bricks-and-mortar chains like Odeon and AMC — but primarily because Flix Premiere will treat new releases exactly like theatrical debuts.

In its role as distributor, Flix Premiere will first promote the movies through online marketing campaigns. A film will then have a small advanced screening window, with trailers, interviews and behind-the-scenes snippets building momentum ahead of its general release. Each week, the service will promote around eight titles in the same way a local, independent theater might change what it shows on a regular basis. There’s no subscription model: You pay a couple of bucks for your ticket, microwave your popcorn and stream the film as if you were going to the cinema.

You can go back through the archives and see what was playing in previous weeks — Flix Premiere has a minimum exclusivity period of 12 months on any film — but the idea is to highlight new releases, not just add them to a vast database of other content. Over the next few weeks, Flix Premiere will release iOS and Android apps to compliment browser access, and in the future, additional apps for smart TVs, games consoles and streaming pucks are in the cards.

The Flix Premiere US and UK websites are actually live right now (though intermittently) for testing purposes ahead of a proper launch at the end of May, after the Cannes film festival. At this point, the service will expand to Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Spain. This is also when Flix Premiere will kick off weekly releases, as it hopes to become a theatrical release format in its own right, and carve out a niche for itself in the already crowded video-on-demand space.

Source: Flix Premiere

29
Mar

Pre-order your PlayStation VR core bundle at 10AM ET


Already have the camera and controllers you need to make full use of PlayStation VR? Your moment is at hand: as of 10AM Eastern Time today, March 29th, you can pre-order the PlayStation VR core system ahead of its October launch. Plunk down $400 and you’ll get the headset, a demo disc and nothing else. Sony has warned that hardware is likely to sell out quickly, so you’ll probably want to move fast if you’re bent on trying the PlayStation 4’s VR experience as quickly as possible.

Source: PlayStation.com

29
Mar

Apple iPhone SE review: A compelling blend of old and new


Even though we all knew it was coming, Apple’s iPhone SE announcement still managed to raise eyebrows … and plenty of questions. Is there still a market for a 4-inch iPhone? Is Apple playing it safe with its design? Arguably, the answer to both these questions is yes, but after a week of using the iPhone SE, I can safely say that none of that matters. Regardless of Apple’s reasons for making this thing, the iPhone SE is a lovely smartphone for iOS newcomers and small-handed users alike.

Hardware

It’s an iPhone 6s in the body of an iPhone 5s. Boom, done, see you guys later.

Kidding, kidding. Still, while that sentiment is a little too reductive, it’s mostly right. Nearly all the things that make an iPhone 6s an iPhone 6s are back, just squeezed into a body we thought we had seen the last of. Apple could have gone the cost-conscious route and given us an iPhone 6 in a smaller body, and I’m equal parts surprised and pleased they didn’t. I’ll dig more into performance later, but the A9 chipset (with its M9 motion-tracking processor) found in the SE is a dead ringer for the one in Apple’s current flagship iPhones, from its clock speed to the 2GB of RAM it’s paired with. Long story short, the SE doesn’t feel like a second-class machine.

That extends to the SE’s design, too. As I said in my initial hands-on, the iPhone 5/5s’s look still stands as my favorite, and I half-wish Apple would bring back this more angular aesthetic. (Fingers crossed for September.) The iPhone SE is as light and well built as the 5s was two years ago, with few physical differences to speak of. In fact, aside from the rose gold color option that the 5s didn’t offer, there are just two telltale changes: the SE logo on the back side and the matte chamfers that run around the phone’s flat edges. If you liked the old-school iPhone 5s design, then, you’re going to feel right at home here. And if you didn’t, well, you weren’t going to buy this phone anyway.

There is a third camp, though: people who enjoyed the 5s’s design and then embraced a generation of bigger screens. If that’s you, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, going back to a small iPhone after two years with the 6 family is weird. If you peeked inside my Messages app (please don’t), you’d see several texts to friends and colleagues posing variations of the same question: How did we use these things for so long? A week in and I still can’t bash out text messages on that cramped onscreen keyboard as reliably as I used to. Hell, I’m occasionally frustrated by how little text I can scan through at once on the smaller screen.

Still, the size has its upsides. After months of using big smartphones — the iPhone 6s Plus, Galaxy Note 5 and Nexus 6p, mostly — my right hand is in pretty rough shape. It gets sore and tired quickly, especially when I’m using my pinkie to cradle the bottom of the phone and stretching my thumb across the screen to tap something in the corner. I’m 27, but my hand feels like it’s 40. Using the SE for the week, then, has been like a mini-vacation for my gnarled claw. The small-screen lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but there’s no denying the iPhone SE is a damned comfortable little device.

Anyway. My review unit was rose gold (because of course it was!) and came with 64GB of internal storage (asking price: $499). Well, approximately 64 gigs, anyway: After you factor in the space iOS 9.3 takes up, you’re left with 55.7GB of usable storage. That the entry-level $399 model comes with only 16GB of storage isn’t surprising, but here’s hoping this is the last time Apple ships an iPhone with so little space to play with. That’s just one of the compromises you’ll be making when you go for this form factor at this price. Neither model has 3D Touch. The Touch ID sensors in the home buttons are first-generation models, which is to say it’s not as fast as the one in the 6s. And the front-facing cameras are a 1.2-megapixel throwback to the days of the iPhone 5.

Display and sound

For all intents, the iPhone SE has the exact same screen as the one in the iPhone 5s. That means it still runs at a resolution of 1,136 x 640, which also means the math still works out to a pixel density of 326ppi (same as the iPhone 6s). Look beyond the numbers, though, and you’ll see that this throwback of a screen is as bright and well saturated as in the old days. That said, the display might take a little getting used to if you’re coming from a 6s. The screen’s a tad less bright than that of either the 6s or 6s Plus, and the color temperature is a little warmer, too. If anything, the biggest difference here is the loss of 3D Touch, which some will feel more acutely than others. I’ll admit, I was very bullish about 3D Touch gestures when the 6s first came out, but now I rarely use them. Current iPhone users might not miss them, while newcomers won’t even notice their absence.

Meanwhile, the single speaker tucked into the SE’s bottom edge is punchier than I expected, especially with highs and mids. You’ll still want a pair of headphones for any kind of long-term listening, but there’s enough power here to give YouTube videos and the Hamilton soundtrack some needed oomph.

Software

The iPhone SE ships with iOS 9.3, which doesn’t add much in the way of whiz-bang features. If anything, the most notable addition is Night Shift, a feature that can automatically warm up the screen’s color temperature to ease eyestrain at night. It’s not exactly a new idea — apps like f.lux have been doing this for years on the desktop — but a warmer screen does indeed make evening reading easier than a normal white one. Rather than set up a specific Night Shift schedule, you can manually adjust how warm the screen is. Theoretically, cranking up screen warmth to the max should help ease your screwy sleep cycle, but you’re left with a jarringly orange display as a result. None of this helped me crash faster at night, but hopefully it does someone out there some good.

You can now also lock specific entries in the Notes app; opening them requires either a password or putting your finger on the Touch ID sensor. At last, my list of “Definitive Karaoke Jams” gets the protection it deserves! Also, if you’re a Verizon person, you can finally start WiFi-calling your friends as of this update (the other big three carriers have had this for a while). Meanwhile, the Health app now highlights software that pipes in movement and nutrition data, which is especially nice on the SE; its smaller size makes it a more pleasant workout buddy.

Oh, and Apple News has gotten slightly better at figuring out what kinds of stories I actually want to read. (It still overestimates how much Donald Trump news I want, but that’s probably a symptom of a larger issue.) There are also a host of new 3D Touch app behaviors in iOS 9.3, but obviously none of them work here. C’est la vie.

Strangely enough, I ran into a few weird Siri hiccups after setting up the “Hey Siri” voice activation. While listening to an audiobook in Audible, certain passages — ones with phrases that don’t sound a thing like “Hey Siri” — would bring my virtual assistant to life and puzzle her with random bits of dialogue. I played the same book on an iPhone 6s to try and replicate the issue, with no luck. Ditto for just putting the phones next to each other; after all, the same sound should trigger Siri on both, right? Nope, it only happened on the SE. It stopped after a while, but I still can’t figure out what was going on there.

Camera

Spoiler alert in case you haven’t yet read our iPhone 6s review: The camera is great. And thanks to the Transitive Property of Component Transplantation (it’ll become a thing, just watch), the iPhone SE’s camera is great, too. Actually, it’s better than the 6s’s camera in one subtle way: Since the iPhone SE is a slightly thicker phone, it doesn’t have the awkward camera nub seen on members of the iPhone 6 family. See? There’s an argument to be made for thicker phones.

Anyway, I could go on about how Apple’s “deep trench isolation” keeps light from spilling into adjacent photodiodes, but that’s not really necessary. All you really need to know is that the iPhone SE is capable of capturing some remarkably detailed, nicely colored photos. Surprise, surprise. I’ve been shooting with both the SE and an iPhone 6s Plus for the past week, and the results they put out are nearly identical. (The 6s Plus pulls ahead when it comes to action shots and low-light situations, because it has optical image stabilization.)

Speaking of low light, the iPhone SE does a respectable job keeping noise to a minimum in dim settings, though I’d generally give the nod to the Galaxy S7 as the better smartphone camera. The iPhone SE also shoots 4K video, which generally looks smooth and evenly exposed, even when tracking moving subjects. It’s nice to have, sure, but if you’ve got a 16GB SE — and many of you will — you’ll probably never want to shoot videos at such a high resolution.

Two other things are worth pointing out. First, the iPhone SE supports shooting Live Photos, moving images that add a little flair and context to your shots. Since there’s no 3D Touch here, a long press on a Live Photo will make it spring into action. The other thing is that your selfies just don’t turn out as nice as they do with the 6s. Apple didn’t bother upgrading the 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera that sits atop the screen, even though the 5-megapixel sensor in the 6s doesn’t take up much more space. The result is muddier photos that, while totally fine for Instagram, lack the liveliness the bigger sensor is capable of. At least the SE has its Retina Flash, which lights up the screen to add some extra brightness.

Performance and battery life

The iPhone SE is far more powerful than its old-school looks suggest. The combination of Apple’s current-gen A9 chipset with 2GB of RAM is enough to keep things running smoothly, from swiping through home screens to switching between apps to firing up graphically intensive games. The last time Apple released a cost-conscious 4-inch device — the second-class citizen that was the iPhone 5c — it felt dated from the get-go. For Apple to squeeze the most important parts of its flagship mobile into a small, $399 iPhone is refreshing. For the first time in years, you can buy a 4-inch iPhone without feeling like you’ve had to sacrifice performance for size.

Just to drive the point home, check out the benchmarks below. They’re more or less identical to the most expensive iPhone you can buy.

3DMark Unlimited IS 27,729 24,601 27,542 16,689
Geekbench 3 (multi-thread) 4,440 4,427 4,289 2,885
Basemark OS II 2,378 2,354 2,428 1,441
SunSpider 1.0.2 (ms) 227 230 220 351
SunSpider: Lower scores are better

When Apple refused to talk about the capacity of the battery inside the iPhone SE, I was more than a little worried. I shouldn’t have been. It’ll be a little while yet before the inevitable teardown reveals the battery’s size, but you can rest easy knowing the iPhone SE will get you through a full day and then some. (If you’ve read my past reviews, you’ll know a typical day for me involves firing off lots of emails and Slack messages, taking calls, listening to podcasts and playing games in the bathroom.) After pulling the SE off its charger at about nine in the morning, it would make it through 11-hour days with between 30 and 40 percent of its charge left. I’ve routinely had the phone go over 24 hours without needing a charge (though, in fairness, I was asleep for that last stretch). Suffice to say, I’m very, very pleased.

Turning to our video rundown test (looping an HD video with WiFi on and the screen brightness set to 50 percent), the iPhone SE hung around for 13 hours and 40 minutes. While that’s not quite as good as the 50 percent improvement Apple has claimed, the iPhone SE still has the best battery life of any iPhone we’ve tested in the past two years. That’s a lot of power packed into such a tiny package.

The competition

The iPhone SE’s combination of price and power — the 16GB model is the cheapest new iPhone Apple has ever released — means it occupies a sort of charmed space in the company’s mobile lineup. There’s officially no reason to buy an iPhone 5s from a carrier, so the biggest question is whether would-be iPhone owners should buy an SE or a 6s. (One could go for an iPhone 6, I guess, but the 6s is only $100 more without a contract. Why settle?) As I’ve mentioned ad nauseam, the 6s shares the iPhone SE’s horsepower and packs a more spacious 4.7-inch screen that’s pressure-sensitive to boot. That bigger size is still pretty comfortable to use, though you’ll lose out on the SE’s long-lasting battery in the process.

If you’re looking to spend about $400 on a smartphone and aren’t tied to Apple, consider LG and Google’s Nexus 5X. It, too, offers good performance at a reasonable price, but its plastic body doesn’t hold a candle to the iPhone SE’s first-rate build. On the plus side, though, there’s plenty of power to be wrung out of its Snapdragon 808 chipset, and we already know it will run Google’s forthcoming Android N (complete with split-screen multitasking!).

Wrap-up

It’s clear that the iPhone SE isn’t for people like me: people who have embraced the advent of more spacious screens despite the weird bulges they form in our collective jeans pockets. When you look at the SE as a newcomer’s iPhone, though, it all sort of makes sense. It’s pretty cheap — an enticing proposition for people finally ditching their flip phones. Its small size will also appeal to people who stopped upgrading their iPhones when they started getting too big. And most important, it’s powerful. Apple fans itching for more of a game changer should sit tight until September; this thing was never meant for you. But if you’re looking for a first-rate smartphone that won’t break the bank — or your hand — the iPhone SE deserves a spot on your short list.

Photos by Will Lipman.

29
Mar

Nintendo’s Miitomo app launches in the US on March 31


Nintendo has announced that Miitomo, its first smartphone game, will be launching in the US and Europe on March 31st. The company had previously promised a “March” release outside of Japan, so, with only a few days remaining, we were starting to wonder if the app had been delayed. Clearly there was no need to worry. It’ll be available on iOS and Android, with the option to import a Wii U or 3DS Mii using a QR code.

Miitomo is a social app that has you building a Mii and then answering questions written by Nintendo. The responses — which are usually insightful or funny — are then shared amongst your friends, sparking further comments and reactions. Taking part in these exchanges will net you coins which you can then use to buy new clothes in the shop. Customisation is a clear draw here, and some of the rarer items can only be unlocked by taking part in a pinball-style mini game, which requires coins either unlocked through the game or purchased with real money.

The second element is Miifoto, a feature that lets you snap your Mii in various poses. You can choose different backgrounds and even import your own, creating barmy pictures that are perfect for sharing on social media.

It’s these addictive qualities that Nintendo hopes will make Miitomo a success. The app has already attracted one million downloads in Japan, which bodes well for its international release. On Thursday Nintendo will also be launching My Nintendo, a program that rewards players for buying digital games and using apps like Miitomo. The scheme will coincide with an “enhanced Wii U and Nintendo 3DS shop” that will be based on Nintendo.com. For now, it will exist alongside the Nintendo eShop, although we suspect the older stores will eventually be merged or shut down — mostly likely when the Nintendo NX launches.

Source: Nintendo (PR)

29
Mar

Leaked T-Mobile doc reveals it’s launching data-only plans


T-Mobile is preparing to launch six new Simple Choice plans on March 30th, according to a leaked image obtained by TmoNews. Based on the info in the image that we’ve embedded below the fold, these upcoming plans are tailored for subscribers who rely on VoIP and chat apps or who only ever use their phones to go online and text. They’re data-only plans that come with unlimited text messages, see, and they have absolutely no voice minutes included.

Rates start at $20 for 2GB of data up to $95 for a 22GB data bucket. The regular Simple Choice rates start at $50 for 2GB, though T-Mobile has a prepaid plan that costs $30 for 5GB of data, 100 minutes of voice and unlimited text. These options are only available for subscribers with GSM devices and BlackBerry users who have either a BB10 device or a Priv, which runs on Android. We pinged T-Mobile for confirmation, but if it’s true that these plans are launching on the 30th, we’ll hear about it from the carrier itself very, very soon.

Source: TmoNews

29
Mar

Acer’s 14-inch Chromebook tries premium on a budget


Acer’s Chrome OS strategy is all about saturation. The company has been an ardent supporter of Google’s browser-based OS, and it offers laptops, convertibles and all-in-ones in a wide range of sizes. One thing it’s been missing, though, is a 14-inch model. That changes today.

The Acer Chromebook 14 is an Air-lookalike with a 100-percent aluminum chassis. It’s powered by an Intel Celeron chip — the new dual-core N3060 Braswell, to be precise — which improves power and efficiency over previous models. The rest of the spec sheet is down to you.

The “Premium” version comes with a 1080p IPS display, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a claimed 12 hours of battery life. The regular model has a 1,366 x 768 display, 2GB or 4GB or RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage and a claimed 14 hours of battery life. All have the same accoutrements, namely dual USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, Bluetooth 4.2, 801.11ac WiFi, stereo speakers and a 720p webcam.

We only have pricing for the Premium model so far. It’ll set you back $299.99 and is already up on Amazon for pre-order (Acer says it’ll come to regular retailers like Best Buy in April). Expect the other models to follow soon after at a reduced price.

29
Mar

SoundCloud’s music streaming service launches in the US


Just over a week ago, Soundcloud announced a licensing deal with Sony Music, agreeing to terms with the third of the three major record labels. It looks like the deal with Sony was the only thing keeping the company from debuting its long-discussed streaming service. As of today, listeners in the US can stream music via SoundCloud Go: a $10 unlimited ad-free monthly subscription. SoundCloud doesn’t only want to be a go-to spot for emerging artists, remixes and podcasts, but now it wants the be the app where you do all of your music listening.

What makes SoundCloud an attractive option alongside the likes of Apple Music, Spotify and others? Well, it’s the remix and one-off content. The company says that adding a full-on streaming service to its existing content library makes it “the ultimate music streaming choice for both artists and fans.” Reports of SoundCloud’s subscription plans have been circulating for some time now, and the company confirmed a streaming service was in the works in 2014. While originally planned to launch last year, SoundCloud Go’s arrival follows a handful of licensing deals with both indie and major labels that ensure everyone is properly compensated.

If you’ve used a music streaming app before, there won’t be any surprises here. SoundCloud already offers playlists and stations, both of which are key features for any subscription service. You can use those tools for the newly added streaming library as well. And yes, you’ll be able to save tracks for offline listening should the need arise. You can also follow friends and artists so you’ll know when new material is posted. In terms of the interface, the app looks very similar to the existing SoundCloud offering, just with a lot more music to choose from.

SoundCloud boasts 175 million monthly listeners, so it will be interesting to see how many of those users the company can convert to paid subscriptions. Until now, SoundCloud’s revenue relied on paid creator accounts. However, it could certainly see some success converting its faithful listeners if only for the convenience of having access to everything in one place. We gotten our hands on the app yet, so we can’t offer any critique on the depth of the streaming library. However, we’ll post some hands-on impressions as soon as the application hits iTunes and Google Play.

If you’re already champing at the bit to try it out, and you live in the US, you can do so free of charge for 30 days. After the trial period is up, SoundCloud Go will set you back $10 a month on Android and the web. iOS users will have to pay $3 more to cover the transaction fee Apple tacks on to in-app purchases. The streaming service is available through the existing SoundCloud app and web interface, so you can give it a listen at work and on the go. For folks living in other locales, the company says the streaming service will expand to other countries later this year.

Source: SoundCloud

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