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Apple Music Available on Sonos Devices Starting December 15

As of December 15, Apple Music will be available on Sonos, allowing those who own Sonos speakers to use them with the Apple Music service for the first time since it launched in June. Sonos and Apple today announced a new Sonos Apple Music public beta that will go live to all Sonos users in approximately two weeks.

Sonos users will be able to access Apple Music on their Sonos speakers, streaming songs from For You, New, Radio, and My Music. The beta will allow users to access the Apple Music features through their dedicated Sonos apps on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC, with full support set to roll out in 2016.
"Many of our members love Sonos and want to enjoy our service throughout their homes," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "We're thrilled to be working with Sonos to provide the Apple Music experience in even more places fans enjoy music."
Since Apple Music launched, Sonos has been working on support for the service, with a promise to have the feature ready to roll out by the end of the year. Beats Music, which did work with Sonos, is shutting down as of today. Sonos has recommended its users move their Beats Music accounts to Apple Music to save their playlists ahead of the rollout of the Apple Music for Sonos beta.

JCPenney Testing Apple Pay Support for Store Cards, Nationwide Rollout Coming in Spring 2016

JCPenney has started testing its store credit cards with Apple's Apple Pay payments service, allowing customers at one location in Texas to add their JCPenney charge cards to Apple Pay. Customers in the Dallas–Fort Worth area visiting the JCPenney store at The Village at Fairview are able to participate in the Apple Pay pilot program, which is set to roll out to stores nationwide in the spring of 2016.

Customers with a JCPenney charge card receive a notice about the Texas pilot program when attempting to add a JCPenney card to Apple Pay using the Wallet app. The notification also includes details about the full launch of the JCPenney Apple Pay service.

Apple Pay support for store credit cards is a new feature, introduced alongside iOS 9 but announced at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Thus far, Kohl's is the only major retailer that currently allows its store cards to be added to Apple Pay, but both Kohl's and JCPenney have been touted as the two major partners for the feature.

iOS 9 also brought Apple Pay support for in-store loyalty cards, allowing customers to add their rewards cards to the Wallet app to further cut down on the number of physical cards that must be carried. Walgreens is the first retailer to support the Apple Pay rewards program.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: JCPenney

Apple Seeds Fifth OS X 10.11.2 El Capitan Beta to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.2 El Capitan update to developers and public beta testers, two weeks after seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after releasing OS X 10.11.1, the first OS X El Capitan update, to the public.

The fifth beta, build 15C48a, is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store and can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center. Public beta testers can download the beta through the Mac App Store.

OS X 10.11.2 appears to be an under-the-hood update as the four previous betas have not included any apparent outward-facing changes. OS X 10.11.2 is likely to include bug fixes, security enhancements, and performance improvements to address problems that have popped up since the release of OS X 10.11.1.

Apple's release notes for OS X 10.11.2 have asked developers to focus on Networking, Graphics, Mail, Wi-Fi, Calendar, USB, Notes, Photos, and Spotlight.

Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan
Tag: OS X 10.11.2

Apple Teams Up With Supercell for 2015 World AIDS Day Campaign

Apple is gearing up for its annual World Aids Day campaign and has partnered with popular iOS app developer Supercell for a (SUPERCELL)RED promotion that will see the developer offering a special in-game decorative item for purchase, with 100 percent of proceeds going towards the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Supercell is the developer behind some of the most profitable apps in the App Store, with Clash of Clans currently ranked as the number three most profitable app and Boom Beach ranked as number 10. From now until December 4 at 8:00 a.m., players who purchase a (Pile of Gems)RED pack in Clash of Clans, a (Pile of Diamonds)RED in Boom Beach, or a (Bag of Diamonds)RED in Hay Day can contribute to the fight against AIDS.

Apple has a long history of working with (PRODUCT)RED to fund AIDS research and charity work, and the company has run a World AIDS Day campaign for the last several years. Each year, Apple highlights World AIDS day on its website and decorates its retail stores with red Apple logos. With World AIDS day taking place tomorrow, December 1, Apple retail stores are expected to see decorations going up this afternoon and this evening.

Apple has also released an official (PRODUCT)RED leather case for the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, which joins the (PRODUCT)RED silicone case that was released alongside the new iPhones in September.

Cyber Monday Sales Now Live for Macs, iPads, Accessories and More

For those that missed out on Black Friday deals, or remain on the lookout for a few more gift ideas, Cyber Monday offers several online and in-store discounts on a wide range of Apple-related products and accessories. Most deals will remain available through the end of day on Monday, November 30.

Best Buy

Best Buy is offering deals on select Apple products and other electronics online and in stores on Cyber Monday, with free shipping on all orders.

- iPhone 6 (16GB) for $1 with activation and Verizon two-year contract
- Up to $150 off select MacBook Air and Retina MacBook models
- Up to $249 off various original iPad Air models
- $70 off Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth speakers in various colors
- $40 off urBeats earphones and $100 off Beats Studio over-ear headphones
- $100 off iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models with activation and two-year contract


Target is offering 15% off site-wide, with some limitations, using promo code CYBER15 at checkout. The offer is valid on most Apple products, including the Apple Watch, iPad, iPod, Beats headphones, Apple TV and more.


apple_product_red_gift_cardStaples is offering 20% off iTunes gift cards in the U.S. for $25, $50 and $100 amounts.

- $25 iTunes gift card - $20
- $50 iTunes gift card - $40
- $100 iTunes gift card - $80

The deal expires Saturday, December 5 and includes free shipping to U.S. addresses.


retina_macbook_elcap_roundup_headerFor those that missed MacMall's 60-hour Black Friday sale, the authorized reseller continues to offer Cyber Monday discounts on a huge selection of Macs and iPads.

- Retina MacBook is available for up to $100 off
- Retina MacBook Pro is available for up to $259 off
- MacBook Air is available for up to $100 off
- 21.5-inch iMac is available for up to $100 off
- 27-inch iMac is available for up to $200 off
- Mac mini is available for up to $70 off
- iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi only models are between $21 and $40 off

Twelve South

Twelve South is offering 50% off multiple Mac and iPad accessories with promo code MACMONDAY2015 at checkout, plus a $5 discount on its HiRise for iPhone/Apple Watch Bundle. The offers are valid until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 30 while supplies last.

- MagicWand - $14.99 (regular $29.99)
- BookArc möd for MacBook - $29.99 (regular $59.99)
- HoverBar for iPad - $29.99 (regular $59.99)
- HiRise for iMac - $39.99 (regular $79.99)
- HiRise for iPhone / Apple Watch Bundle - $79.99 (regular $84.99)

Lots more Cyber Monday deals ahead…

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Apple Releases (PRODUCT)RED Leather Cases for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

An official (PRODUCT)RED version of Apple's leather case for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has been spotted in at least one Apple retail store today, as reported by French tech site iGeneration [Google Translate]. When the new line of iPhones debuted in September, only the silicone case was offered in a (PRODUCT)RED option.

product red 6s
The (PRODUCT)RED leather case for the iPhone 6s hasn't appeared yet on Apple's online store, but will most likely soon follow if the company keeps slowly rolling out the case to its retail locations around the country. When it does, it'll no doubt come in at the same price of the other leather cases sold by Apple, costing $45 for the iPhone 6s version and $49 for the iPhone 6s Plus version.

product red 6s 2
A portion of sales from Apple’s entire (PRODUCT)RED lineup goes to the Global Fund to help fund AIDS programs in Africa. Most recently, the company introduced (PRODUCT)RED accessories for the Apple Watch, debuting a new collection and band in the bright red color option during its September "Hey Siri" media event.

Update: The (PRODUCT)RED leather cases for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are now available to purchase on Apple's online store.

A9X Die Photo From iPad Pro Reveals 12-Cluster Graphics, No L3 Cache

Financial news website The Motley Fool has shared details of the A9X die featured in the new Apple iPad Pro, thanks to analysis from electronics teardown firm Chipworks. The photo reveals the A9X's dual-core CPU and a 12-cluster GPU to drive the device's massive display.

While the CPU core count observed in the A9X matches that of the A9 from the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the 12-cluster GPU is twice as powerful as the six-cluster GPU found in the A9 design. Otherwise, the core and cluster designs appear to be identical to those found in the A9 die shots.

Dual-core CPU boxed in green, six dual-cluster GPU regions boxed in blue

Chipworks confirms that the die shown in the photo is fabricated by TSMC, and it does indeed show similarities with the existing A9 TSMC die already pictured by Chipworks.

The Motley Fool also points out that the 8 MB third level cache featured on the A9 to help manage data flow to and from memory is not present on the A9X die, suggesting that the absence of this cache is due to the increased memory bandwidth that the A9X enjoys by having a memory interface twice the width of the A9 die. Indeed, in the included die shot, an expansive DRAM memory interface can be observed across three sides of the die.

It is also worth mentioning that while the display resolution is much greater than on other iPads, the iPad Pro does not feature the 12-megapixel camera of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that would place additional demands on the memory hierarchy for real-time image processing.

The presence of only two CPU cores is also interesting, given that the A8X featured in the iPad Air 2 had three CPU cores. The iPad Pro can make up any resultant performance deficiencies through a combination of higher efficiency, thanks to the new architecture, as well as the large clock speed boost compared to the A8 designs.

Even with the absence of L3 cache and only two CPU cores, the A9X measures 147 square millimeters. This is just 18 square millimeters shy of Apple's largest chip design ever, the A5X featured in the first iPad with retina display. Unsurprisingly, the A5X was quickly phased out and replaced by the smaller A6X seen in the fourth-generation iPad. The A9X's 147 mm^2 die is also larger than the latest quad-core Skylake design from Intel, which comes in at 122 mm^2 on its 14nm FinFET process.

While it may simply be a perfect mixture of die space saving and adequate memory bandwidth for the A9X design, the lack of the third level SRAM cache may tip future design decisions should memory bandwidth improve substantially. 3D IC packaging designs are rapidly approaching mainstream consumer electronics, and they boast a variety of memory configurations, which stand to significantly improve memory bandwidth while also providing lower power dissipation. As we covered recently, packaging technologies enabling these high bandwidth memories may arrive as soon as Apple's A10 SoC for devices next year.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tags: Chipworks, A9X
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)

Thinner MacBook Air in 13" and 15" Sizes Coming at WWDC 2016?

Apple may be preparing to introduce a revamped MacBook Air at next year's Worldwide Developers Conference, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News [Google Translate]. If Apple holds true to recent history, WWDC 2016 would be held in June, and the today's report claims the new MacBook Air will launch in the third quarter, which corresponds to the July–September timeframe.

The new MacBook Air is said to take on a slimmer design and arrive in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, but it is unclear whether an 11-inch model will also be included. The slimmer design will be enabled by "fully redesigned" internal components across the board, and Apple is reportedly currently working with its suppliers to develop these new components.

Apple's notebook lineup expanded earlier this year with the addition of the new MacBook, an ultrathin machine carrying a 12-inch Retina display and utilizing ultra low voltage Intel chips for a fanless design.

Many have assumed the MacBook Air will be discontinued at some point as declining costs allow the MacBook to become Apple's mainstream notebook offering, so a redesigned MacBook Air giving the line a new lease on life could be considered a bit of a surprise.

The addition of a 15-inch MacBook Air could hint at Apple's vision for its future lineup, with the 12-inch MacBook occupying the ultraportable spot, the MacBook Air serving mainstream customers at 13 and 15 inches, and the MacBook Pro offering more power at those same sizes.

Economic Daily News has a hit-or-miss track record with Apple rumors, so caution should be observed with today's claims until or unless other supporting rumors surface in the coming months.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Caution)

MacMall's 2015 Cyber Monday Sale Now Live With Good Deals on Macs

MacMall's annual Cyber Monday sale offering discounts on Macs and several other Apple products starts today, November 28, at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time and lasts through 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, November 30.

Following its 60-hour Black Friday sale, MacMall continues to offer significant discounts on a huge selection of Apple Macs and iPads. The Retina MacBook Pro is available at up to $259 off, while the MacBook Air is available for up to $100 off. The 27-inch iMac is available at up to $200 off, and the Mac mini is available at up to $70 off.

MacMall sells a range of stock Apple Macs and custom build-to-order models. We've listed a selection of the more popular discounted models below, but the full range of discounts are available on the MacMall website.

2015 Retina MacBook

- 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB Gold, Silver, Space Gray - $1,199, $100 off
- 1.2GHz/8GB/512GB Gold, Silver, Space Gray - $1,499, $100 off
- 1.3GHz/8GB/256GB Gold, Silver, Space Gray - $1,489, $60 off
- 1.3GHz/8GB/512GB Gold, Silver, Space Gray - $1,689, $60 off

2015 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

- 2.7GHz/8GB/128GB - $1,229, $70 off
- 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,399, $100 off
- 2.9GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,699, $100 off
- 2.7GHz/16GB/256GB - $1,599, $100 off
- 2.9GHz/16GB/256GB - $1,699, $100 off
- 2.9GHz/16GB/512GB - $1,929, $70 off
- 3.1GHz/16GB/256GB - $1,899, $100 off
- 3.1GHz/16GB/512GB - $2,099, $100 off
- 3.1GHz/16GB/1TB - $2,597, $102 off

2015 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro

15-inch 2015 Retina MacBook Pro models are available for up to $259 off. Models marked Iris AMD include a separate AMD graphics card while models marked Iris Pro do not.

- 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB/Iris Pro - $1,839.99, $159.01 off
- 2.5GHz/16GB/256GB/Iris Pro - $1,839.99, $259.01 off
- 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris Pro - $2,239, $160 off
- 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris AMD - $2,299, $200 off
- 2.5GHz/16GB/1TB/Iris AMD - $2,829, $170 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/256GB/Iris Pro - $2,139, $160 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris Pro - $2,449, $150 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/512GB/Iris AMD - $2,539, $160 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/1TB/Iris AMD - $2,974, $225 off

2015 MacBook Air

MacMall's selection of MacBook Air models are available at a $50 to $100 discount.

- 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB - $829, $70 off
- 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/256GB - $1,029, $70 off
- 11-inch 1.6GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,148, $51 off
- 11-inch 2.2GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,289, $60 off
- 11-inch 2.2GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,579, $70 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB - $899, $100 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/256GB - $1,129, $70 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,239, $60 off
- 13-inch 1.6GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,529, $70 off
- 13-inch 2.2GHz/8GB/256GB - $1,379, $70 off
- 13-inch 2.2GHz/8GB/512GB - $1,679, $70 off

2015 21.5-inch iMac

- 1.4GHz/8GB/1TB - $1,019, $80 off
- 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB - $1,199, $100 off
- 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion - $1,349, $50 off
- 2.8GHz/16GB/1TB Fusion - $1,549, $50 off
- 4K 3.1GHz/8GB/1TB - $1,399, $100 off
- 4K 3.1GHz/16GB/1TB - $1,629, $70 off
- 4K 3.3GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion - $1,729, $70 off

2015 27-inch iMac

- 5K 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB/M380 - $1,699, $100 off
- 5K 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion/M390 - $1,829, $170 off
- 5K 3.2GHz/8GB/2TB Fusion/M380 - $2,029, $70 off
- 5K 3.2GHz/16GB/1TB Fusion/M390 - $2,129, $70 off
- 5K 3.3GHz/8GB/2TB Fusion/M395 - $2,179, $120 off
- 5K 3.3GHz/16GB/2TB Fusion/M395 - $2,429, $70 off
- 5K 4.0GHz/8GB/2TB Fusion/M395 - $2,479, $70 off
- 5K 4.0GHz/16GB/2TB Fusion/M395 - $2,669, $80 off
- 5K 4.0GHz/16GB/3TB Fusion/M395 - $2,769, $80 off
- 5K 4.0/32GB/2TB Fusion/M395X - $3,279, $120 off
- 5K 4.0/32GB/3TB Fusion/M395X - $3,379, $120 off
- 5K 4.0/32GB/1TB Flash/M395X - $3,899, $200 off

2013 Mac Pro

- 4-Core 3.7GHz/12GB/256GB - $2,749, $250 off
- 6-Core 3.5GHz/16GB/256GB - $3,699, $300 off
- 8-Core 3.0GHz/12GB/1TB - $6,349, $450 off
- 12-Core 2.7GHz/64GB/1TB - $8,799, $800 off

2014 Mac mini

- 1.4GHz/4GB/500GB - $464.99, $34.01 off
- 2.6GHz/8GB/1TB Sata - $659, $40 off
- 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB Fusion - $938, $61 off

MacMall is offering iPad Air 2 models at $21 to $40 off 16, 64, and 128GB Wi-Fi only models and up to $40 off the more expensive high-capacity cellular models. The original iPad Air is available for up to $35 off, and the iPad mini 4 is available for up to $20 off. The 32GB Wi-Fi only iPad Pro in Silver, Space Gray and Gold is $25 off, while other Wi-Fi only and cellular models are $12 off.

MacMall is also offering the Apple Thunderbolt Display for $949, which is $50 off, and between $10 and $25 off select iPod touch models. 16GB iPod nano models are $10 off. AirPort Extreme (2013) and Airport Time Capsule (2TB) are each discounted by around $20, and select Apple accessories are on sale.

As one of the only sites that sells Apple's build-to-order Mac models at a discount, MacMall is a popular choice for customers looking for a non-standard Mac at a lower price. Because MacMall operates in a limited number of states, most orders will not require sale tax to be paid.

Make sure to check out our Cyber Monday Deals roundup for more online deals. There are some excellent discounts this year on a range of products, including iPhones, iPads and Macs, in addition to dozens of Apple-related accessories.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with MacMall. Juli Clover contributed to this roundup.

Amazon Prime Video Coming to New Apple TV Possibly Within a 'Few Weeks'

Last month, Amazon removed all Apple TV and Chromecast product listings from its website because the devices do not offer its Prime Video streaming service, which the online retailer said may cause confusion for customers. Nearly a month later, the new Apple TV remains unavailable on Amazon, but that could soon change.

Amazon appears to have confirmed to engineer Dan Bostonweeks that it is developing a tvOS app for Prime Video that could launch before the end of 2015. "Hopefully, within a few weeks span, you will be able to see the Amazon Instant Video app feature on your Apple TV," the company purportedly said in an email.
Apple was wrongly criticized by some in October for seemingly not allowing Prime Video on the new Apple TV, but shortly after the company provided a statement to BuzzFeed News emphasizing that “all are welcome” on the platform -- Amazon simply had not submitted a Prime Video app for the tvOS App Store.
Apple tells BuzzFeed News that “all are welcome” on its new Apple TV platform. But Amazon — which recently purged Apple TV from its store — doesn’t have a Prime Video app in the Apple TV App Store. And as of a few days ago, it hadn’t submitted one.
Amazon told BuzzFeed News it “doesn’t have anything to share” on the topic at the time, but it now appears the company is actively developing a tvOS solution. Amazon Video allows Prime members to instantly stream tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, with hundreds of thousands of titles available to buy or rent.

Amazon Video for iOS is free on the App Store and accessible by Amazon Prime members. The service is also available on Android, Fire OS, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, the web and select TV and Blu-ray players from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Vizio.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tags: App Store, Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, tvOS
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Apple May Replace 3.5mm Headphone Jack on iPhone 7 With All-in-One Lightning Connector

Apple is planning to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the next-generation iPhone in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector, according to often-reliable Japanese website Mac Otakara. Apple may also release Lightning-equipped EarPods to support the new audio output on future iOS devices.

The report, citing a "reliable source," claims the new same-sized Lightning connector will support Lightning-equipped and Bluetooth headphones, and have a DAC, or digital-to-audio converter, for backwards compatibility with wired headphones using standard 3.5mm stereo jacks. A 3.5mm to Lightning adapter would be required.

The so-called "iPhone 7" will likely be more than 1mm thinner than the 7.1mm thick iPhone 6s as a result, according to the report. The sixth-generation iPod touch could be a comparable device, with a depth of 6.1mm, but the portable media player still has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple will also reportedly release Lightning-equipped EarPods, which would likely be included in the box alongside the iPhone 7 and sold separately for use with other future iOS devices. Apple's current EarPods with a 3.5mm stereo jack will presumably remain available for purchase afterwards for the foreseeable future.

Apple introduced new MFi Program specifications in June 2014 that allow third-party manufacturers to create headphones that connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable, but the rollout has been slow. Philips has unveiled Lightning-equipped Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L headphones over the past 14 months.

Should this rumor prove to be true, Apple's decision to switch to an all-in-one Lightning connector for charging and audio output could face the same kind of controversy as when the company retired its proprietary 30-pin dock connector in favor of a smaller Lightning connector starting with the iPhone 5 in 2012.

Sony Working on App to Stream PS4 Games on Mac and PC

Sony executive Shuhei Yoshida has announced on Twitter that the company is working on an official Remote Play app for Mac and PC, enabling users to stream and play PS4 games on desktops and notebooks, per The Verge.

Remote Play is currently limited to various Sony devices, including the PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV and newer Xperia-branded smartphones and tablets. All new PS4 games must be compatible with Remote Play, except for games that use peripherals such as PlayStation Move.
While owning a PS4 gaming console will still be required to play games like Fallout 4 or Destiny on a Mac or PC, the expanded Remote Play app will move Sony games one step closer to true cross-platform playability.

Tags: Sony, PS4