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Apple Launching New Internal Fitness Challenge for Employees, Prize is a Unique Apple Watch Band

45 min ago
Starting in February, Apple will be hosting an internal company wide fitness challenge for all of its employees, with a prize that includes a unique fitness-themed Apple Watch band.

The band, as seen in a photo shared by 9to5Mac, appears to be similar to Apple's Woven Nylon bands. It comes in a solid black color but has an accent loop in a dark pink/red shade, lime green, and light blue, the three colors that represent the Activity rings on the Apple Watch.


The red colored ring tracks a person's overall movement and calorie burn throughout the day, and the amount of movement necessary to fill it up will vary based on each person's personal goal. The green ring represents exercise and can be completed with 30 minutes of exercise per day (based on an elevated heart rate), while the blue ring represents how many hours out of the day an Apple Watch user stands up and moves. One minute of standing movement per hour is required to fill the stand ring.

To earn the special Apple Watch band, employees will need to complete the challenge at the "gold" level, earning points by filling their Activity rings for a set number of days.

Apple last year hosted a "Close the Rings" Apple Watch fitness challenge for employees. Rewards for completing that challenge included pins in gold, silver, and bronze, awarded based on performance, along with a T-shirt that included the colorful Activity rings and the phrase "Close The Rings Challenge 1.0."

The prize for the 2017 employee-only "Close the Rings" challenge.
While this will be the first activity challenge that rewards employees with a unique Apple Watch band, Apple has done employee-only Apple Watch bands in the past. In 2016, for example, Apple provided employees with exclusive rainbow-colored Apple Watch bands at the LGBT Pride festival in San Francisco.

Unique Pride band provided to employees in 2016
Apple made a similar version available in 2017, so it's always possible these special Apple Watch bands could be released to the public at some point.

The February fitness challenge is internal only and will be limited to employees, but Apple has done many other public fitness challenges. One of the most recent challenges was the "Ring in the New Year" activity challenge that asked Apple Watch owners to close all activity rings for seven days in a row in January to earn a special badge in the Apple Watch app on iPhone.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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How to Get More Battery Life Out of Your Apple Watch

1 hour 50 min ago
The Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch on the market, yet battery life has never been its strong suit. That said, Apple has made improvements in this area with successive models, and while the company still only promises all-day battery life on a single charge, many Series 2 and 3 owners find they can get a lot more.

Of course, how long a given Apple Watch lasts between charges depends almost entirely on how it's used. With that in mind, this article aims to help wearers optimize their usage and get the best battery life they can reasonably expect based on their individual needs. Read on for some of our favorite power-saving tips for Apple Watch.


Apple Watch Display Settings
Wake Screen on Wrist Raise
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the Apple Watch's OLED display draws a significant amount of power. If it tends to light up when you least expect it, and you'd rather manually activate it with a button press or by tapping the display, then try turning off the automatic wake screen feature. To do so, open Settings on your Apple Watch, tap General -> Wake Screen, and toggle off Wake Screen on Wrist Raise. (You can also find this setting in the Watch app on your iPhone.)

Theater Mode
To some users, turning off the automatic wake screen feature might seem like overkill. Perhaps you only accidentally wake the screen during certain times of the day – when you're in bed, for instance.

In that case, you're better off making selective use of the Theater Mode. To enable it, swipe up from the bottom of any clock face to reveal the Control Center, and tap the symbol showing two theater masks. Note that Theater Mode also silences notifications, which is why it's best kept for bedtime or trips to the movies.

Adjust Brightness
Many Apple Watch owners find that they can easily get along with the OLED display set at its lowest and least energy-sapping brightness level. To adjust the brightness, select Settings on your Apple Watch, tap Brightness & Text Size, and alter the level to suit. (You can also find this setting in the Watch app on your iPhone.)

OLED panels don't expend energy on displaying true black colors – those pixels simply remain unlit. In other words, the more screen space your chosen clock face takes up (if it displays a photo, say) the more likely it is to drain battery whenever it's activated. For this reason, you might want to consider using a more minimalist watch face and disabling any complications you don't need to see every time you raise your wrist.


Apple Watch Apps
Apps and Complications
Another good reason to minimize your use of complications is that many of them require frequent refreshing in order to display up-to-date information, which uses additional power. So if you rarely tap it, then turn it off using the clock face customize mode, which is activated with a single long press on the clock face screen.

The same goes for third-party apps, many of which frequently refresh in the background whether you use them or not. If you find yourself regularly reaching for your iPhone to check social media, then ask yourself, do you really need that Twitter function on your wrist? Only install apps on your Apple Watch that benefit you by being there.

Installation Creep and Refresh Management
These days many third-party iOS apps include an Apple Watch component which gets added automatically upon installation. To prevent this default behavior, open the Watch app on your iPhone, select General and toggle off Automatic App Install.

Another way of restricting the number of apps that draw power is to selectively control which ones refresh in the background. You can manage this on an individual basis from the Watch app on your iPhone: Select General -> Background App Refresh, and toggle the sliders for each installed app. Remember, only leave this enabled for apps with a functional dependency on up-to-date data, such as weather and calendar apps.

Notifications
Notifications come down to personal preference, but every additional alert on your wrist sucks a bit more power from your watch's battery. Look at your usage and try to assess which notifications are worthwhile, and which ones could just as easily be picked up on your iPhone at a later time.

To manage notifications on an app-by-app basis, open the iOS Watch app and select Notifications. Pay particular attention to third-party apps, listed in the second column, and turn off any pointless permissions that mirror your iPhone alerts.

With judicious use of these settings, you should be able to recognize if or when your needs change over time. For example, some app notifications have a shelf life – if they start to bug you, turn them off. That includes Activity and Breathe reminders. Be ruthless.

When it comes to email alerts, you may find they're only worth the bother if the emails come from specific addresses. So add these to your VIP list in the Mail app, and then disable all watch Mail notifications except for VIP alerts.


Other Power-Saving Settings
Heart Rate
If you're only interested in tracking distance or speed (or both) during running or walking workouts, Apple recommends turning on Power Saving Mode to disable the heart rate sensor. To do this, open the Watch app on your iPhone, go to My Watch -> Workout, and toggle on Power Saving Mode. (The same setting can be found on your Apple Watch in Settings -> General -> Workout.) Note that when the heart rate sensor is off, calorie burn calculations may not be as accurate.

If you're training for a marathon or regularly participate in long-duration workouts, consider using a Bluetooth chest strap instead of the built-in heart rate sensor. To connect the Bluetooth chest strap to your watch, make sure it's in pairing mode, then open Settings on your Apple Watch, select Bluetooth, and choose from the list of Health Devices.

Hey Siri
Like on your iPhone, the "Hey Siri" feature on your Apple Watch allows you to use voice search and control other features without touching the device. Your watch's mic only listens for the magic phrase when the display is activated, but it does use a bit more power. So if you simply don't use the function, turn it off. To do so, open Settings on your Apple Watch, select General -> Siri, and toggle it off.

Remember, you can still activate Siri anytime by long-pressing your watch's Crown. Using the same Settings menu above, you can also make Siri respect Silent Mode when it's on, as well as limit spoken responses so you only hear them when headphones are connected.

Haptic, Silent Mode and Do Not Disturb
Theater Mode, mentioned earlier, offers a middle ground between two additional settings: Silent Mode and Do Not Disturb. Silent Mode mutes audible alerts and can be turned on permanently if you're happy to rely on haptic vibrations for alerts, calls, alarms, and timers.

With Do Not Disturb enabled, your watch activates the same mode on your iPhone, silencing audible and vibration-based alerts across both devices unless they come from people in your Favorites contact list. Some Apple Watch users turn on both Theater Mode and Do Not Disturb when wearing their devices to bed, particularly if they track their sleep using a third-party app like AutoSleep.

To turn on Silent Mode on your Apple Watch, swipe up from any clock face to reveal the Control Center, and then tap the button with a bell symbol, so that the button turns red and the bell is crossed out. To activate Do Not Disturb from the Control Center, tap the button with a crescent moon so that it turns purple.

Note that you can also adjust haptic strength on your watch by going to Settings -> Sounds & Haptics. Many users find the lowest haptic setting, which draws the least power, to be perfectly adequate, with or without the Prominent Haptic option turned on.


Fixing Persistent Battery Issues
Check Your Bluetooth
If you've had no luck improving the battery life of your Apple Watch using the above tips, there are still a few steps you can take.

It's worth noting at this point that disabling Bluetooth on your iPhone increases the battery drain on your Apple Watch, so keep Bluetooth enabled on your phone and see if that helps. Also, make sure you're updated to the latest software: Open the Watch app on your iPhone, and select General -> Software Update.

If your watch battery drains unusually fast, try a hard reset: Hold down both side buttons for about 10 seconds until the display goes off and the device reboots. If that doesn't work, it's time to try resetting the watch to factory defaults.

Reset Apple Watch to Factory Default Settings
To do this on your Apple Watch, open Settings and select General -> Reset. (The same option lies at the bottom of the iOS Watch app's General menu.) This action erases everything off your watch, including any media, data, settings, messages, and so on. You'll also need to re-pair the watch with your iPhone after the process is complete, so treat it as a last resort.

Note that after a new pairing or update, your watch may take a few days to learn and adapt to your usage, before smoothing out into a more consistent balance between battery life and performance.

If none of these tips work, check to see if your Apple Watch is still under warranty. A standard one-year warranty is included with every Apple Watch (Stainless Steel, Aluminum, and Nike+) and a two-year warranty is included with Apple Watch Edition and Hermès models. All warranties include service coverage for a defective battery. If your watch is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery service, although prices may vary depending on where you live.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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Tim Cook Makes First Trip to Canada as Apple CEO With Surprise Visit to Toronto

2 hours 45 min ago
Tim Cook made his first appearance in Canada today as the head of Apple with an unannounced visit to Toronto today.


Just before noon local time, Cook made a surprise visit to the company's retail store at the Eaton Centre shopping mall, reports The Globe and Mail. Cook was pictured alongside young students attending an Apple Field Trip, an in-store initiative that introduces kids to coding, podcasting, and other creative skills.

@tim_cook is at the Toronto Eaton centre Apple store! pic.twitter.com/3rQAKmSChV

— Anthony Neal Macri (@AnthonyMacriSEO) January 22, 2018
Cook's stop in Toronto follows a trip to Harlow College near London, England on Friday, in line with Apple's announcement that its Everyone Can Code initiative has recently expanded to 70 colleges and universities across Europe. Last week, Cook also visited Reno, where Apple broke ground on a new data center.

Cook has served as Apple's CEO since August 24, 2011, after the late Steve Jobs resigned from the position for a final time.

Via: iPhone in Canada

Tags: Tim Cook, Canada
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Apple Launches 'Apple Music for Artists' Analytics Dashboard

3 hours 40 min ago
Apple is debuting "Apple Music for Artists," an analytics dashboard aimed specifically at musicians. The new feature, which was outlined by Billboard, is meant to provide artists and bands with insight into the listening and buying habits of their fans.

The dashboard home page offers up an artist's current number of plays, spins, song purchases, and album purchases, with built-in tools able to provide data dating back to June of 2015, which is when Apple Music first launched.


An Insights panel available through the dashboard highlights milestones like all time number of plays, purchases of specific songs, and cumulative purchases, while a global map is designed to allow musicians to click on any of the 115 countries where Apple Music/iTunes is available to see purchase history.

Data for individual cities is included, such as top songs in each city, with further demographic breakdowns available, and another feature lists all of the Apple-curated playlists where an artist's songs appear.

Apple's aim with Apple Music for Artists is to provide more information to independent acts who might not otherwise have access to detailed analytics. Canadian R&B singer Daniel Caesar told Billboard that Apple's analytics dashboard gives smaller artists the tools they need to compete with bigger acts."As a truly independent artist with a small team, music analytics is something we can't do without. We don't have the luxury of deep major label market research to rely on to help us make important decisions like where to perform and how to advertise the things that we make. Apple's analytics tool helps to level the playing field for artists like myself."A few thousand artists have been invited to join Apple Music for Artists as of today as part of a beta test, and later, the feature will be expanded to all artists that have content on the iTunes and Apple Music platforms.

Tag: Apple Music
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AT&T Launches $35 Smart Wi-Fi Extender to Boost Coverage by Up To 1,000 Square Feet

4 hours 57 min ago
AT&T has launched the "AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender," a device built to enable a stronger and more consistent Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. AT&T's product is one box that keeps devices connected to the internet as you move from one room to another, and customers can purchase additional boxes for bigger homes.

The Smart Wi-Fi Extender is designed for customers with an AT&T internet subscription who have Wi-Fi gateways 5268AC or BGW210, boosting coverage by up to 1,000 square feet and reducing network congestion. The company said that it automatically selects the "best and fastest available connection" for every device that you connect to the internet within your home.


The company priced the Smart Wi-Fi Extender at $34.99, and said it offers the same Wi-Fi boosting abilities of competitive mesh systems "that cost hundreds of dollars." It appears that the Wi-Fi Extender was available for some AT&T customers to purchase ahead of the wider launch this week.
That’s why we are introducing the new AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender – a state-of-the-art device that gives you the strongest Wi-Fi signal throughout your entire home. Its mesh technology keeps your devices connected as you move around, so you experience a seamless connection everywhere. Now you can stream, download, surf, and work on your devices anywhere, worry free. No dropped connection as you step into the backyard. No more interruptions or watching the football freeze in mid-air. The 4-inch box is a 1600Mbps dual-band concurrent wireless access point and includes a port for 2 Gigabit Ethernet LAN and a power cable. AT&T also noted that it is compliant with 802.11ac and 802.11n standards, as well as being backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g wireless standards.

The Smart Wi-Fi Extender will connect to an established AT&T Wi-Fi network, which can be managed via the Smart Home Manager iOS app. The company announced the app last summer and refers to it as a customer's "Wi-Fi concierge." With the app, users can change their network name and password, check who is connected to the network, invite guests to join with a text or email, and contact customer service in a chatroom.

Tag: AT&T
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New Live TV Streaming Numbers Place YouTube TV at Just Over 300K Subscribers and Hulu at 450K

5 hours 52 min ago
Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV both launched in the spring of 2017, offering customers over-the-top live television streaming options in line with established services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now.

Today, sources revealed to CNBC that Hulu with Live TV now has 450,000 paid subscribers -- "not including recent promotional customers" -- while YouTube TV has just over 300,000 as of the beginning of 2018.

Although neither service has been on the market for one full year, the sources delivering the subscriber numbers said that each company is "making some progress" in convincing users to cut the cord. However, analyst Rich Greenfield commented that any company offering a live TV streaming service may have trouble substantially growing their subscriber base "because canceling is so easy" and basic on-demand versions of Hulu and YouTube could be enough for many users.
"If you don't care about live sports, the original Hulu product is awesome," Greenfield said. "You can get all of the programming you want for more than $30 less. And YouTube is free. It actually shows you how poor the value proportion is for live TV."

[...] cable and satellite TV are stickier businesses than web-based services because they're so difficult to cancel, Greenfield said. "You can cancel these live streaming services with four clicks of a button," Greenfield said. "Have you tried canceling your cable?" Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV are both beaten out by Sling TV and DirecTV Now, which were previously reported to have reached 1 million and more than 2 million paid subscribers, respectively. Another contender is PlayStation Vue, reported at 455,000 subscribers in Q3 2017. The subscriber numbers reported by CNBC today have not been confirmed by Hulu or YouTube, so there is still no official word regarding how accurate the data might be.

In terms of price, Hulu with Live TV starts at $39.99/month and YouTube TV starts at $35/month. Hulu's service is also technically still in the beta phase, and on the FAQ section of its website Hulu states, "While we are truly proud of Hulu's live TV offering, we know that introducing any new service can come with "hiccups" from time to time, so we are first opening it up as a "Beta" to be transparent with our viewers."

The upcoming Apple TV app for YouTube TV
Since some of these over-the-top services are still new, many of them are in the process of adding a few user-requested features following their launches. At CES, Hulu announced Live TV will get a more traditional guide interface for browsing channels, and DirecTV Now customers are waiting for its cloud DVR to launch sometime in 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, YouTube TV also plans to debut an app for the Apple TV.

Tags: YouTube, Hulu, YouTube TV
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Amazon Opens Checkout-Free 'Amazon Go' Grocery Store to the Public in Seattle

7 hours 6 min ago
Amazon today opened up its checkout-free grocery store "Amazon Go" to the Seattle public, continuing a plan that the company says has the potential to "dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail" (via Reuters).

The new grocery store experience begins when customers walk through a turnstile and scan the Amazon Go app on their iOS [Direct Link] or Android device, which notifies the system that the customer is now in the store and shopping. Then, when they pick up an item and add it to their basket, cameras in the store and weight sensors on shelves associate each product to the customer who picked it up, and adds it to a virtual shopping list.


This tallies all of the items picked up by any one customer (and items returned to shelves are deducted from the total), so when they're done shopping all that needs to be done is to walk back out of the store through the turnstile. Amazon Go then charges the credit card users previously synced to the app and sends a receipt to the app's inbox, replacing the need to stand in a traditional checkout line.
Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, said in an interview that the store worked very well throughout the test phase, thanks to four years of prior legwork.

“This technology didn’t exist,” Puerini said, walking through the Seattle store. “It was really advancing the state of the art of computer vision and machine learning.”

“If you look at these products, you can see they’re super similar,” she said of two near-identical Starbucks drinks next to each other on a shelf. One had light cream and the other had regular, and Amazon’s technology learned to tell them apart. The official public opening comes over one year after Amazon began testing the store with employees in December 2016, a time in which the company learned how to fine tune the experience, according to people familiar with the tests. The camera system became better at identifying people with similar body types, and learned from the "havoc" caused by kids in the store who moved items to incorrect places on the weight-sensing shelves.

Image of the camera system within Amazon Go via TechCrunch
The Seattle location is located within Amazon's office building in the city, and right now the company isn't confirming when it will expand Amazon Go to more cities. However, it did state that there are "no plans" to introduce the technology into Whole Foods, which it acquired in 2017.

For anyone in the city, you can visit Amazon Go Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., with food items ranging from dairy to ready-made Amazon Meal Kits and locally made chocolates.

Tags: Amazon, Amazon Go
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KGI: Apple to Discontinue iPhone X Rather Than Sell at Lower Price When Second-Generation Model Launches

7 hours 22 min ago
Apple will discontinue the first-generation iPhone X when the second-generation model launches later this year, rather than bump the device down its smartphone lineup for lower than $999, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who clarified his earlier prediction with a follow-up research note today.


Kuo said that Apple keeping the current iPhone X in its smartphone lineup for a reduced price, such as $899, would likely cannibalize sales of the mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID and a LCD display that he expects to launch in the second half of 2018 for between $650 and $750 in the United States.

An excerpt from Kuo's research note obtained by MacRumors on Monday:iPhone X would hurt product brand value & lineup of 2H18 new models if it continues to sell at a lower price after 2H18 new models launch: Lowering iPhone Xs price after the 2H18 new models launch would be a negative to product brand value given 3D sensing and OLED display are features of the new high-price model. Additionally, to sell iPhone X at a lower price may have a negative impact on shipments of the new 6.1" LCD iPhone in 2H18. Thus, we estimate iPhone X will reach end-of-life (EOL) around the middle of 2018.If accurate, Apple's smartphone lineup later in 2018 would consist of the second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X, which will likely remain $999, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus, and the mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone. Below that would likely be iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and iPhone SE models.

Kuo has said the 6.1-inch iPhone will have the same notched design for the TrueDepth sensor housing, but it seems more likely the device will have roughly the same display size as an iPhone X, with only partially reduced bezels compared to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The device may also have an aluminum back.

Here's how Apple's new iPhone lineup could look:

• iPhone SE: $349
• iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: $449 and $569
• iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: $549 and $669
• 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID: $649 or $749
• 5.8-inch second-generation iPhone X: $999
• 6.5-inch second-generation iPhone X Plus: $1,099

Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi KuoBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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Apple Store in Nashville Closing in Early February During Renovations

8 hours 11 min ago
Apple recently announced that its Green Hills retail store in Nashville, Tennessee will be temporarily closed for renovations beginning February 11.

Apple Store at The Mall at Green Hills in 2008
Apple Green Hills will likely remain closed until late 2018, so customers will have to venture a bit further south to Apple's nearby store at the CoolSprings Galleria shopping mall in Franklin, Tennessee until further notice.

This is years overdue, but delighted to see this! Congrats to the team at Apple Green Hills! pic.twitter.com/lzgv72Re53

— John William Sherrod (@jwsherrod) January 19, 2018
For the past few years, Apple has been renovating dozens of its older stores with newer designs. In addition, many of the locations have expanded by adding a floor or taking over adjacent storefronts, while some have relocated entirely.

Last week, Apple announced that its first store in South Korea opens on January 27, just a few weeks prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in the country. By our count, the location should be Apple's 500th store around the world.

Via: 9to5Mac

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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iPhone X Accounted for 1 in 5 Smartphones Sold by Apple in United States Last Quarter According to Survey

8 hours 17 min ago
Every one in five smartphones sold by Apple in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2017 was an iPhone X, according to data shared with MacRumors by research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.


Below is the exact model-by-model breakdown of Apple's total iPhone sales between October and December, based on the firm's survey of 500 consumers who purchased an iPhone in the United States during that period.

  • iPhone 8: 24 percent
  • iPhone 8 Plus: 17 percent
  • iPhone X: 20 percent
  • All other iPhone models: 39 percent

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners co-founder Josh Lowitz says the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X's combined 61 percent share of Apple's total smartphone sales is 11 percent lower than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus accounted for in the year-ago quarter, but there are several caveats to consider:At 61%, the three newest iPhone models together represented a somewhat smaller share of total US iPhone sales in the quarter, compared to 72% for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus a year ago. Yet, comparisons to earlier launches are tricky at best. First, iPhone X wasn’t available for the full quarter. The Apple model pie is further divided, as they now offer eight models, the most ever. And, Apple launched the new phones on a different schedule, announcing three new models at once, but delaying the lauch of the most advanced and expensive one, iPhone X, for five weeks following the launch of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.Apple doesn't disclose iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis, so this survey only serves as a rough estimate. However, analysts and investors will be listening for any clues about the sales mix during Apple's next quarterly earnings call on February 1.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: CIRPBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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Target Discounts Apple Watch Series 1 to $180 While Staples Marks Down 9.7-Inch iPad to $260

8 hours 40 min ago
Target has kicked off the week with a discount on the Apple Watch Series 1 from 2016, offering the 38mm model for $179.99 and the 42mm model for $209.99. Each device is available in aluminum with a Sport Band in either White or Black.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

The Apple Watch Series 1 typically sells for $250 in 38mm and $280 in 42mm, so today's sale represents savings of $70 in both case sizes. Target's sale is a match for the same low prices seen during a pre-Black Friday sale at Macy's last year, as well during Target's own Black Friday sale. At the time of writing, all models are available to ship for free, and store pickup is also available depending on stock at your local Target.

Another notable Apple device sale that went live today is at Staples and centers on the 9.7-inch iPad from 2017. In the sale, customers can get $30 off instantly and then an additional $40 off using coupon code "84761".

This marks the 32GB 9.7-inch iPad down to $259.00, from $329.00, and the 128GB model down to $359.00, from $429.00. As a comparison, retailers like B&H Photo are selling the same models for $299.00 and $399.00, respectively. Color options for the 32GB include Space Gray, Gold, and Silver, while the 128GB is only available in Gold and Silver.


Staples' sale ends on January 27 and is available on the retailer's website or by phone order. Additionally, only one coupon code can be used per customer. To apply the coupon code to an order, add one of the iPads to your cart, then click "Add/Edit Coupons" under the Order Summary section of your cart.

Visit our full Deals Roundup for more sales going on this week, including discounts on the stainless steel versions of the Apple Watch Series 2 at Best Buy.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Apple Announces Partnership With Malala Fund to Support Girls' Education

12 hours 45 min ago
Apple and Malala Fund announced on Sunday that Apple will become the fund's first Laureate partner. Led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, the fund champions the right of girls to a quality education and advocates equal opportunity around the world.

With support from Apple, the Malala Fund said it expects to double the number of grants awarded by its Gulmakai Network and extend funding programs to India and Latin America with the initial goal of extending secondary education opportunities to more than 100,000 girls.

Apple CEO Tim Cook with students in Beirut, Lebanon"My dream is for every girl to choose her own future," said Malala Yousafzai. "Through both their innovations and philanthropy, Apple has helped educate and empower people around the world. I am grateful that Apple knows the value of investing in girls and is joining Malala Fund in the fight to ensure all girls can learn and lead without fear."Apple will help Malala Fund scale its organization by assisting with technology, curriculum and research into policy changes needed to help girls everywhere attend school and complete their education. Apple CEO Tim Cook will also join the Malala Fund leadership council, according to the press release.
"We believe that education is a great equalizing force, and we share Malala Fund's commitment to give every girl an opportunity to go to school," said Tim Cook. "Malala is a courageous advocate for equality. She's one of the most inspiring figures of our time, and we are honored to help her extend the important work she is doing to empower girls around the world."Since 2013, Malala Fund has worked with organizations, the private sector and governments around the world to enhance girls' opportunities for education. The fund's Gulmakai Network currently supports programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey and Nigeria.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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HomePod May Support Multiple User Accounts and HomeKit Scenes That Mute Siri

13 hours 16 min ago
Several new icons unearthed in the latest build of iOS 11.2.5 and shared on Twitter appear to reveal additional functionality included in Apple's upcoming HomePod smart speaker. On Sunday, Filipe Espósito found an image hidden amongst Apple's Home app assets that includes icons which suggest it will be possible to create custom scenes that mute the HomePod speaker's "Hey, Siri" function.


As Espósito notes, the function could be useful in a house party scenario, for example, where the owner might want to control other smart devices like lights and motion sensors while disabling Siri responses for privacy reasons.

Apple has not yet mentioned if HomePod can support more than one user, but Espósito believes there are references that indicate the speaker will distinguish between different voices to service multiple accounts. He also notes that existing assets show support for combining two HomePods for stereo sound, or using two or more HomePods to simultaneously stream music using Apple's AirPlay 2 wireless streaming protocol.

Apple originally announced the HomePod back in June 2017 at the Worldwide Developers Conference, where it demoed the speaker's advanced spatial awareness which intelligently adjusts to the surroundings to deliver the best possible sound. The company initially planned to release the Siri-based speaker in December 2017, but in a subsequent statement said it was pushing back launch to a more non-specific "early 2018" timeframe.

Rumors suggest HomePod supplier Inventec has started shipping the HomePod to Apple, whose historical definition of "early" is January through April, so it's still not entirely clear when it will launch. Supplies of the HomePod could also potentially be limited at launch, based on information shared from Inventec, and Apple has said the $349 speaker will initially only ship in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.

Related Roundup: HomePodTag: HomeKit
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Apple's New iPhone X Video Focuses on Selfies Taken With Portrait Lighting

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 18:55
Apple shared a new video on its YouTube channel today that shows off selfies taken with the iPhone X.

The 38-second video cycles through a collection of selfies taken by iPhone X owners using the smartphone's front-facing TrueDepth lens system and Portrait Lighting effects. The ad also includes poetry by Muhammad Ali.


Portrait Lighting has been the focus of a few recent Apple videos, including two ads that acted as tutorials for the feature. More recently, one from earlier in January explained how Portrait Lighting offers studio quality lighting effects without a studio, while showing off various examples.

Since the iPhone X launched in early November, Apple has posted videos focusing on many of the smartphone's new features, like Face ID and Animoji. Apple even embraced the phenomenon of Animoji Karaoke in one video, showcasing how iPhone X owners can use the animated characters to lip sync to popular songs and send the clips to friends and family in Messages.

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Tim Cook to Deliver 2018 Commencement Address at Duke University on May 13

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 04:13
Duke University today announced that Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the 2018 commencement address on May 13 in Wallace Wade Stadium on the university's campus in Durham, North Carolina. Cook earned an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business in 1988 and has served on the university's Board of Trustees since 2015."I am absolutely delighted that Tim Cook will be returning to campus as this spring's commencement speaker," said [Duke President Vincent E.] Price. "Throughout his career, Tim has embodied Duke's values of innovation and service to society, whether through his contributions to Apple's groundbreaking technology or his advocacy for social justice. I can imagine no better person, and no bigger Duke fan, to inspire the Class of 2018."As part of today's announcement, Duke included a brief video revealing its commencement speaker selection using Animoji, with Cook making an appearance as the fox.

"From the first day I walked onto campus more than 30 years ago, Duke has been a source of inspiration and pride for me -- both professionally and through the deep personal friendships that have endured to this day," said Cook. "It's my honor to be returning to salute the class of 2018 as they begin the next chapter of their lives as Duke graduates."In addition to this year's upcoming appearance at Duke, Cook has delivered a number of other commencement addresses in recent years, including at his undergraduate alma mater Auburn University in 2010, at George Washington University in 2015, and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year.

Tags: Tim Cook, Duke University
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Portrait Camera App 'Focos' Gains Real Lens Optical Effects and Improved Shooting Mode

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 14:35
Portrait Mode photo editor Focos received an update today that should pique the interest of dual-lens camera iPhone owners. The app recently made our end-of-year best iOS app list for its impressive granular aperture and bokeh adjustment tools, but version 1.2 builds on the existing feature set by adding the ability to apply real lens optical effects to depth images.

The update introduces a redesigned interface layout to accommodate the new preset lenses, which include Olympus Zuiko, Helios 44, CarlZeiss Jena, CarlZeiss Otus, Leica Noctilux, Minolta STF, Minolta RF250, A1, A2, A3, and A4.


In addition to the above lenses, users can create custom presets for images with depth information by combining multiple lens settings and saving them under a recognizable name. Fotos' library of presets can also be re-organized for easy access from the editing menu.

Elsewhere in this update, a tilt-shift effect has been added to the app's range of filters, offering users another level of control over the plane of focus when widening aperture, while a new ratio of 2.25:1 can be found in the cropping menu.

A torchlight has also been added to Focus' built-in camera mode, which should help when taking Portrait Mode photos in low light, and the app now supports Bluetooth for taking photos remotely.

Lastly, a look at the general settings screen reveals an added ability to choose between JPEG, HEIC, and TIFF export formats, as well as a simple language selector, which now includes Persian.

Focos supports iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and is a free download from the App Store, although many pro features are behind a paywall. It costs $0.99 per month or $5.99 per year to unlock them, but there's also a $9.99 lifetime access purchase option. [Direct Link]

Tags: photography, Focos
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Apple CEO Tim Cook: I Don't Believe in Overuse of Technology

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 00:43
Apple this morning announced the expansion of its "Everyone Can Code" initiative to 70 educational institutions across Europe, and following the announcement, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at Harlow College in Essex, one of the schools that will adopt the new curriculum.

The Guardian shared several of Cook's comments, which covered overuse of technology and boundaries for children.

Cook said he believes there are concepts that can't be taught using technology, and in many courses, technology shouldn't dominate."I don't believe in overuse [of technology]. I'm not a person that says we've achieved success if you're using it all the time," he said. "I don't subscribe to that at all."

"There are still concepts that you want to talk about and understand. In a course on literature, do I think you should use technology a lot? Probably not."According to Cook, Apple cares about children out of the classroom, a topic that's notable as Apple investors recently urged Apple to do more to protect children from smartphone addiction.

Apple in early January said in a statement that it thinks deeply about how its products are used and the impact they have on people, including children. Apple takes its responsibility to protect children "very seriously," and has promised more robust parental controls for iOS devices in the future.

Though he does not have children of his own, Cook says in his own personal life, he "put some boundaries" on his nephew. "There here are some things that I won't allow; I don't want them on a social network," he said.

On the topic of learning to code, Cook spoke passionately, as he has done several times in the past. Learning to code, he says, is more important than learning a foreign language.Cook said: "I think if you had to make a choice, it's more important to learn coding than a foreign language. I know people who disagree with me on that. But coding is a global language; it's the way you can converse with 7 billion people."Cook's full commentary, which covers diversity, coding at an early age, and the importance of the press, can be read over at The Guardian.

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Apple Receives FCC Approval for HomePod, Suggesting a Launch Could Come Soon

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 21:51
Ahead of the promised "early 2018" launch of the HomePod, Apple has received official FCC approval for the smart speaker. Now that FCC approval has been obtained, Apple is free to begin selling the device at any time.

All devices that use communications technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi must be submitted to the United States Federal Communications Commission to ensure compliance with federal regulations before they're eligible to be sold in the United States. That FCC approval has been obtained suggests the HomePod will launch in the near future.


For comparison's sake, Apple received FCC approval for the iPhone X on October 4, just under one month before the device was released to the public on November 3.

Today's FCC clearance of the HomePod follows a rumor earlier this week suggesting HomePod supplier Inventec has already started shipping HomePod units to Apple. Apple is reportedly set to receive "about 1 million" HomePod devices and an industry source that spoke to the Taipei Times, the source of the rumor, has said that the HomePod is coming "soon."

Apple originally planned to release the HomePod in December, but the company ended up requiring additional development time, delaying its debut until 2018. Apple has said the HomePod will ship out to customers in the US, UK, and Australia in "early 2018."


Early 2018, by Apple's historical definition, is something of a broad window. Apple considers "early 2018" to be the period between January and April, so it's been tough to narrow down the prospective launch date of the HomePod. Given the shipment rumors and the FCC approval, however, we may see the device in late January or early February rather than later in the year.

Like many new Apple products, rumors suggest initial supplies of the HomePod could be constrained at launch. Inventec is expecting revenue from the HomePod to be "limited" during Q1 2018 due to a low quantity of HomePod devices available for shipment.

Related Roundup: HomePod
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How to Turn Any Webpage Into a PDF on iOS

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 21:30
On iOS devices, there's a feature that lets you save any webpage as a PDF, so you can add edits, annotate it, read it offline, share it with friends, and more. Saving a webpage as a PDF is simple enough to do, but if you haven't done it before, you might not know the feature exists.

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Here's how to do it:

  1. Open up Safari.

  2. Navigate to the webpage you want to save.

  3. Tap on the Share button, which is the square with the upwards arrow.

  4. On the bottom bar, swipe to the left several times until you see "Create PDF."

  5. Tap "Create PDF."

From there, you can choose to edit the PDF using markup tools by tapping on the pen icon on the top right of the screen, or you can print it, save it, or share it by using the Share icon at the bottom of the screen.
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Apple May Replace Some iPhone 6 Plus Models Needing Whole-Device Repairs With iPhone 6s Plus Through March

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 20:57
If you have a damaged iPhone 6 Plus that qualifies for a whole-device replacement, Apple may replace it with an iPhone 6s Plus through March, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers today.


Apple specifically states that "orders for whole unit service inventory of some iPhone 6 Plus models may be substituted to an iPhone 6s Plus until the end of March 2018." MacRumors confirmed the memo's authenticity with multiple sources, who requested to remain anonymous due to their positions.

Apple doesn't specify which iPhone 6 Plus models are eligible, nor does it provide a reason for the substitution, but it likely relates to Apple's shortage of iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries until late March to early April.

A previous internal document obtained by MacRumors states that Apple no longer manufactures the iPhone 6 Plus, so it likely has to reboot its production lines to replenish its supply of both the device itself and batteries, which would certainly take time. Apple did not respond to our request for comment.

It's possible that some customers who have visited a Genius Bar recently opted for a whole-device replacement rather than waiting until March or April for a new battery, which may have depleted the little supply of iPhone 6 Plus replacement units that Apple had, but this is only speculation on our part.

Apple and most Apple Authorized Service Providers can replace an iPhone's display, battery, speakers, rear camera, or Taptic Engine individually, while a defective Lightning connector, faulty logic board, and most other repairs are generally eligible for a whole-device replacement, our source said.

Your mileage may vary depending on the exact damage to your iPhone and the results of Apple's diagnostic tests. Apple Support can be reached on the web or by scheduling a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6sBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Neutral)
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