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Apple

Today on ESPN: US Open, World Cup 2014, NBA Finals

Today is one of those special days at ESPN: live on our networks and our digital suite of applications you'll find the US Open at Pinehurst, the opening game of the 2014 World Cup (Brazil vs. Croatia) and then Game 4 of the NBA Finals (Spurs at Heat). And that's in addition to a roster of other sporting events, news and happenings. It's a magical sports day and you can follow it all live and live-streamed on ESPN and ESPN apps. Everything will be available on Watch ESPN - which you can access on web, iPhone & iPad, Android phones & tablets, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, and more.

And you can follow along with the SportsCenter App (on iOS and Android) and the new ESPN FC App for World Cup and soccer (on iOS and Android).

You can also listen live via ESPN Radio, which is now available on iTunes Music, and of course via web, iOS, and Android.

It's a fun, unique day to be a sports fan - enjoy!

Schedule: US Open - 9am EST on ESPN, ESPN Radio & Watch ESPN App World Cup - 4pm EST on ESPN, ESPN Radio & Watch ESPN App NBA Finals - 9pm EST on ABC, ESPN Radio & Watch ESPN App SportsCenter - 11pm EST on ESPN & Watch ESPN App

june12sportscenter

ESPN Radio Now on iTunes Music - In time for World Cup 2014

Ahead of tomorrow's opening World Cup game, ESPN Radio has launched on iTunes Music. To access the live stream of ESPN Radio, just open iTunes Music on your iPhone or iPad and either click on the ESPN Radio channel or search for 'ESPN'.

And with World Cup starting tomorrow (Brazil vs. Croatia at 4pm EST), you will also be able to listen to the game live on ESPN Radio within iTunes Radio or the iOS / Android apps.

More to come on World Cup 2014...

ESPN Radio iTunes Music

Apple's Mantra: A Few Great Things

This is the marketing text from Apple's "Designed by Apple" campaign (which launched a few months ago on television). I have been seeing the print ads more and more - and the text is really powerful. It of course holds true to Apple's hardware and software worlds - but it should resonate to any creator: focus, quality, satisfaction. This is it. This is what matters. The experience of a product. How it makes someone feel. Will it make life better? Does it deserve to exist?

If you are busy making everything, How can you perfect anything? We speed a lot of time On a few great things. Until every idea we touch Enhances each life it touches.

You may rarely look at it. But you'll always feel it. This is our signature. And it means everything.

designed by apple

Google's High End Chromebook Pixel

Let me preface by saying that I am typing this on a Macbook (15" Retina) and love the device. And I have previously not been attracted to the Chromebook series for a variety of reasons: namely form, function and unclear ability to replace either my laptop or iPad. But the Chromebook Pixel is different - and I would argue much more important... regardless of whether you consider it attractive or compelling.

Four quick reasons I think it is important to at least learn more about the Pixel. Note: The best write up I found was on The Verge.

1) Google is getting in the high-end hardware game. You may not buy it and you may find it expensive: but it's great looking, matches the retina display, etc. And it signifies a very different move for Google: both in market placement and market entry (see Google Store rumors here).

2) It is entirely cloud based. This continues the Chromebook line and concept. And the pricing has caused debate considering the reliance on cloud. But again: it's important because it signifies a major shift: browser base, software in the cloud (my take here - even on Apple) and tie in to Google's wider world (ie google drive as the memory)

3) SIM card enabled. My biggest want in my laptop is LTE. It's coming of course and will be everywhere. The Pixel has it first.

4) It is touch enabled. And seems to do a good job with that. Like point 3 above, its coming everywhere. But again: the Pixel has it. And again, whether you want to buy a Google laptop or not, it is important in what it represents: cloud, mobility and touch.

Google Chromebook Pixel

Amazon's Aggressive Homepage

Here is Amazon's homepage - aggressively positioning the Kindle Fire HD against the forthcoming iPad Mini. It compares pixels, speakers, and video quality... but what will really matter to consumers: the price. (Of course Apple would position the two alongside iTunes and form factor).

Apple's Passbook, Dunkin Donuts & Facebook Offers

An example of the potential power of Apple's new Passbook for:Brands (here Dunkin Donuts) Platforms (here Facebook / Facebook Offers) Consumers (simplicity, speed)

Dunkin Donuts running a week-long promotion for their holiday bagel using Facebook Offers:

Upon acceptance, Facebook shares socially and then emails users steps for redemption:

Users then have to print the coupon (per below). But this could pass through to Passbook or into a Facebook Offers Book / application. Thus keeping everything mobile, eliminating friction, and adding tracking throughout the entire process:

Google Play Store vs. Apple's iTunes: The Little Things

I have been splitting time between my iOS and Android (iPhone and Samsung Galaxy III; iPad and Google Nexus 7). Having built up years of habits with the iPhone, it is a really fascinating experience to: 1) force myself to learn a new platform: chalk that up to laziness + 'switching costs'

2) uncover the intricacies of the different platforms & brands: very noticable in some cases, very minor in others

3) figure out what I particularly like about each (device and platform). There are absolutely things that each does better than the other

Really small example of an intricate difference between the two platforms and strategies. Within iTunes (iOS and desktop), the focus on movie and television content is purchase. Makes sense as it's a higher price point and promotes cross device usage (phone, tablet, Apple TV, desktop). Finding rentals is much harder - and in some cases available weeks after the release.

Within the Google Play Store, it is the opposite. Everything defaults to rentals ($1.99 - $3.99 usually). Very different approach which seems to focus on lowering cost and sharing strategy with YouTube and other Google properties.

So many of these little things which are seemingly obvious and/or unimportant... but fascinating both individually and when you combine them all. More to come...