February 8, 2013

Proof Of An iRadio In The works?

Amongst the slew of Apple releases at the tail end of last year (iPhone 5, iPad, iPad mini, New iMacs, etc), one rumor surfaced without ever coming true. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple was damn near ready to release a Pandora competitor.

Though, let’s be honest…if Apple released an Internet radio app, there’d be no competition.

It was later said that Apple wasn’t quite as close to sealing the deal with the record companies as we might have hoped and, therefore, an “iRadio” offering wasn’t anywhere on the horizon.

Fast forward a few months, and thanks to the latest iOS jailbreak, the iRadio rumor is back.

As it turns out, once your iPad is jailbroken with the latest Evasi0n jailbreak for iOS 6.1, you’ll be able to find two very interesting features. First, Apple has hidden (or turned off) the weather app for iPad, and second, there appear to be buttons for the yet-to-be released iRadio buried in the code.

According to jailbreaker iAust1n (because it wouldn’t be jailbreaking without confusing letters and numbers) these icons can be found with the aid of an iOS file explorer such as iFunBox.

These buttons are found in the Music app folder in iPad only. iAust1n and 9to5Mac suggest that Apple may be ready to launch a service and is only waiting for the ink to dry on the final contracts.

It’s also noted that these buttons don’t show up on a jailbroken iPhone, meaning this functionality might be iPad-only when it first launches, if it ever does.

9to5Mac also points out that these buttons are labeled with the word “buy” in the file name. This could mean that Apple would sell stations of music or offer a subscription like service via their music app.

It’s not a stretch to say that such an Internet radio offering, if done with any shred of thought, could quickly defeat the Pandora’s and Spotify’s of this world.

Though, to be fair, Spotify’s radio offering is nowhere near as extensive as Pandora’s.

As the tea leaves read right now, new iPads and iPhones won’t be released until this summer at the earliest, meaning Apple might wait until then to launch a radio service, if they do in fact have one planned.

Of course, if these buttons and elements are buried in the OS, Apple could make the announcement sometime before these new products, flip a switch, and bring radio to iOS carriers across the nation.

All that’s left now is to wait.

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