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In Brief

Apple on Wednesday announced that its iTunes Festival will finally be making its stateside debut. The show will take place during SXSW in Austin, Texas from March 11-15 at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The festival will include sets by Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Keith Urban, Pitbull and ZEDD, with more artists to be announced. Up until now the iTunes Festival has traditionally been a free 30-day show held in London. If you’re not heading to Austin, you can still catch all five nights of performances for free as a live or on-demand stream from the iTunes Store.

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In Brief

Apple will soon have everything it needs to put sapphire displays in the next generation of the iPhone, according to 9to5Mac. The company has reportedly ordered large quantities of furnaces and chambers used to make sapphire displays, along with tools for inspection. According to an analyst mentioned in the report, Apple will have enough materials for production parter GT Advanced Technologies to make anywhere from 100 million to 200 million sapphire iPhone displays, assuming a 5-inch screen size. Though debatable, it’s possible that sapphire could make for a stronger, more scratch-resistant display than the currently-employed Gorilla Glass.

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Previously appearing in Google’s Chrome Canary and Developer channels of Chrome, Google Now cards are supported in the Beta version of Chrome. Windows, Macs and Chromebooks using Chrome’s Beta channel will see Google Now notifications, offering similar contextual and timely information as Google Now on smartphones and tablets. Unlike the Developer channel, there’s no need to enable the feature with a setting change. Since the Chrome Stable channel trails the beta version by up six weeks, I’d anticipate Google Now for all Chrome users around the end of February or beginning of March.

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