Apple "radio" service rumor gets boost from new hidden buttons in iOS

Apple logoThe appearance of new UI elements for an unannounced radio feature has generated buzz for a long-rumored Apple streaming service. Graphical buttons were found within the Music app on iOS devices after applying a jailbreak to iOS 6.1, hinting at the existence of a future "radio"-style feature allowing users to buy more access. The discovery implies there's some meat to the rumor that Apple is working on a Pandora-like music service, but further details are sorely lacking.

The existence of the hidden buttons were first reported by iAust1n, soon followed by 9to5Mac. Both parties used the recently released "evasi0n" jailbreak to gain access to the files within the public version of iOS 6.1. The buttons in question show a radio tower, and their filenames indicate the user is meant to "buy" by tapping on them.

Apple radio service rumor gets boost from new hidden buttons in iOS

"If you don’t believe me, get an iPad (I’m using the fourth generation) make sure it’s jailbroken and use iFun-Box, or iExplorer, (or iFile) and find the system applications," iAust1n wrote in a follow-up post. "I recommend iFun-Box, just download it, plug in iPad, and on the left hand side—select the iPad, and find the “System Applications” button. There locate “Music~ipad” and look in that folder for the images all stated above."

That's about the extent of what is publicly known—there is no explicit reference to a streaming service, and the images aren't currently connected to any online actions. But there was a good amount of buzz last year about Apple negotiating agreements for its own Pandora clone, and many appear to believe these two instances are possibly related. As we wrote in a staff blog last September, such a service wouldn't be out of left field for Apple despite its success with iTunes, but the company has reportedly been held up by talks with the music industry. If the new buttons in iOS 6.1 are indeed related, it could be a sign Apple is inching closer to launching this online radio service. Still, we're not holding our breath until we hear more about Apple's plans.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Apple, iOS

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