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Fitbit Reportedly Close to Acquiring Pebble

Fitbit is closing in on a deal to acquire smart watchmaker Pebble, according to a new report from The Information. While there's no number on the price, The Information says the deal is for a "small amount."

The deal will see the Pebble brand slowly phased out, with its products shut down over time. Fitbit will largely be acquiring Pebble's assets, which include intellectual property and software. Pebble had reportedly been looking to sell as the company has been experiencing financial troubles over the past year.

Pebble debuted three new smartwatches -- the Pebble 2, Time 2 and Pebble Core -- back in July. In August, it issued a software update that streamlined its interface and redesigned the "Pebble Health" feature. However, the company also laid off 25 perfect of its staff in March.

Last February, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky said the company was unfazed by the Apple Watch, largely because the company was less focused on apps than Apple. The Cupertino company quickly became the leader in the smartwatch category after the launch of the Apple Watch, but last month market research from IDC indicated that the overall smartwatch market declined 51.6 percent in the third quarter.

As for Fitbit, the acquisition could signal that the company is looking to expand beyond fitness wearables. In August, alongside its new Charge 2 and Flex 2, the company announced all-new luxe leather bands and other premium accessories. Fitbit has also seen struggles recently, with the company's shares tumbling 30 percent after announcing mixed third-quarter results and weak guidance

Apple Working to Put a Stop to iCloud Calendar Spam

Over the course of the last week, many iCloud users have been the target of spam that's delivered in the form of an unsolicited Calendar event invitation, and now Apple is working on a way to stop it.

In a statement given to iMore's Rene Ritchie, an Apple spokesperson said the company working to block spam invites.
We are sorry that some of our users are receiving spam calendar invitations. We are actively working to address this issue by identifying and blocking suspicious senders and spam in the invites being sent.
iCloud calendar spam isn't new, but there's been a serious uptick in calendar spam since last week. Because iCloud calendar invites are sent to an iCloud calendar automatically by default and there's no easy way to ignore them, there's no clear way to stop the spam.

Image via OS X Daily
Declining, accepting, or choosing "Maybe" on an incoming iCloud invite lets an iCloud email address is valid, so until Apple can put a stop to the spam, there are two fixes. First, by logging in to iCloud via a web browser and accessing the Calendar settings (Click the cog, go to Preferences, then choose Advanced), you can choose to receive all event invitations as email. Emails can be more easily ignored and deleted.

Second, you can create a new Calendar, name it Spam, move the spam invitation to the Spam calendar, and then delete the Calendar entirely. This method does not inform spammers that an event has been declined and does not verify an iCloud account's validity. For more detailed instructions, make sure to check out our how to.

Both iOS users that use the

Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of tvOS 10.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.1 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the third tvOS 10.1 beta and more than a month after launching tvOS 10.

Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, tvOS 10.1 beta 4 can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a beta profile has been installed on the device through iTunes, new beta updates will be available over the air.

Many Apple TV owners have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of a promised Single Sign-On feature that will allow Apple TV users to sign in once with their cable credentials to access all available live cable content, and the feature was introduced in the first tvOS 10.1 beta. Single Sign-On is currently available for DirecTV, Dish, GVTC Communications, Hotwire, and Sling TV.

Shortly after the release of the third beta, Apple unlocked the new "TV" app, which is designed to make it easier for users to discover new content across the dozens of television and movie apps that are available.

It serves as a sort of Apple-designed television guide, giving customers a way to find and watch TV and movies across multiple devices. It features a dedicated store, recommended content, and cross-device syncing.

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tvOS 10, for those unfamiliar with the operating system, brings features like improved search, expanded Siri capabilities, a dark mode, a

Tim Cook Says He Expects AirPods to Ship Over 'Next Few Weeks' in Email to Customer

Many customers are anxiously anticipating the release of Apple's wireless AirPods, originally slated to launch in October but later delayed. Fortunately, the wait may soon be over.

MacRumors has been forwarded an email in which Apple CEO Tim Cook, responding to a customer, allegedly said he anticipates AirPods to begin shipping "over the next few weeks."
Customer's comment: "Give us a release date. I really bought in to the wireless vision you painted. Now I'm stuck waiting with my EarPods but can't charge my 7 at the same time which I need to do at work. Let us know if it's a month or 6 months, because then I'll just buy some other wireless headphones."

Tim Cook's response: "Thanks for your note. Sorry for the delay---we are finalizing them and I anticipate we will begin to ship over the next few weeks."
MacRumors has verified the email's full headers appear to originate from Apple's corporate servers, while Apple executives are known to respond to customers on occasion, but as a boilerplate disclaimer, it should be noted these emails can of course be faked. Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Apple has so far only said it needed "a little more time" before AirPods are ready for customers, while conflicting rumors have pointed towards release dates between December and January, offering little clarity. AirPods remain listed as both "coming soon" and "currently unavailable" on different sections of Apple's

AirPort Routers Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction as Apple Halts Further Development

Apple ranks highest in customer satisfaction among wireless router manufacturers, according to a new study released by J.D. Power today.

The accolade comes just nine days after a report said Apple has ceased development of its AirPort routers and reassigned engineers working on the products to other teams. Apple continues to sell the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule, last released in 2013, but future updates appear unlikely.

Apple beat out all other wireless router vendors with a score of 876, based on a 1,000-point scale, followed by ASUS at 860, D-Link at 856, and TP-Link at 854. Apple was the only company to receive a 5-star Power Circle consumer rating, which places it "among the best" according to J.D. Power.

The report, based on responses from 3,037 consumers, measured overall satisfaction across 10 factors, listed in order of importance: Wi-Fi range; reliability; speed of upload/download; restore connection easily; security capabilities; price; ease of use; variety of features; intuitive user interface; and customer

Apple to Donate Up to $1 Million to (RED), Outs New (PRODUCT)RED Gear in Honor of World AIDS Day

Apple has announced it will once again honor World AIDS Day by donating $1 to (RED)'s fight against AIDS for every purchase made with Apple Pay at an Apple Store, on Apple.com, or through the Apple Store app, up to a total of $1 million, starting tomorrow through December 6.
“The gift of life is the most important gift that anyone can give,” said Tim Cook. “Thanks to the vision and dedication of (RED), an AIDS-free generation is within our reach. We want to leave the world better than we found it, and that’s why our longtime partnership with (RED) remains so important to us.”
Bank of America will likewise make a donation for every Apple Pay transaction made using its cards, also up to $1 million, on December 1-7.

Apple is also releasing new PRODUCT(RED) products, including an iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case and iPhone SE Case, alongside the Pill+ Portable Speaker and Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, all of which are or will be available today. A portion of proceeds raised from these products support The Global Fund.

Meanwhile, for the next week, a number of popular App Store games will be offering limited-edition, custom (RED) content. All proceeds from the associated in-app purchases will go to The Global Fund. The 20 apps set to participate:

• Angry Birds 2
• Angry Birds POP!
• Best Fiends
• Best Fiends Forever
• Boom Beach
• Candy Crush Jelly Saga
• Clash of Clans
• Clash Royale
• CSR2
• Episode

• Farm Heroes Saga
• FarmVille: Tropic Escape
• FIFA Mobile
• Hay Day
• MARVEL Contest of Champions
• PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator

Apple Music Student Pricing Expands to 25 More Countries Around the World

Apple today began offering Apple Music Student Memberships in 25 additional countries around the world, cutting the cost of an Apple Music subscription by approximately 50 percent for students enrolled in a college or university. The discounts provided to students vary based on country.

Apple Music Student Membership plans appear to be available as of today in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Finland, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

Student pricing was already available in the United States, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom following the May 2016 debut of the student program. Student Memberships are now available for Apple Music subscribers in a total of 32 countries.

Apple Music student pricing in France
Student Memberships are validated using UNiDAYS, a student validation service. UNiDAYS confirms that Apple Music subscribers are enrolled in a degree-granting college or university before allowing customers to get the discounted subscription price.

Customers who subscribe to Apple Music with a student subscription will need to confirm their status on a regular basis through UNiDAYS. Subscribers who are no longer students or who have had student pricing for 48 months will be switched over to a full price individual Apple Music

Apple Offering Refunds to Customers Who Paid for iMac Hinge Repairs

Apple will issue refunds to customers who previously paid for an iMac display hinge replacement or repair, according to a recently updated service document internally distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors. These repairs could often cost upwards of $100 based on user complaints.

Apple's service document acknowledges some 27-inch iMacs shipped between December 2012 and July 2014 may be affected by an issue with the display hinge, resulting in the screen no longer adjusting and continuously tilting forward. The issue appears to be limited to late 2012 and late 2013 models in particular.

The issue has been frequently reported by dozens of users on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors discussion forums, and elsewhere on the web, with a number of iMac owners describing a similar experience in which the hinge makes an audible popping or cracking sound and then stops working.


The underlying problem appears to be the use of plastic washers in the hinge's spring mechanism, which are evidently not strong enough to support the weight of the iMac's display. In many cases, the washers eventually break under the load, causing the familiar popping sound reported by users.

iMac hinge with plastic washers (Image: Mac Plus in Singapore)
Apple Support Communities user Mr Mo-Fo:
I was just sitting watching TV when there was a loud crack and my iMac screen suddenly tilted down - now the screen will not stay where it is tilted/positioned. I was not using the iMac at the time and it was not doing anything it just broke on its own. The Mac

Apple to Obsolete Select 2009 to 2011 Macs at End of Year

Apple plans to add select 2009 to 2011 model Macs to its vintage and obsolete products list on December 31, 2016, according to an internal memo seen by MacRumors.

The following Macs will be classified as either vintage or obsolete in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region:

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
• MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
Mac mini (Early 2009)
• MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)

The aforementioned Macs will no longer be eligible for hardware service or new parts from Apple or Apple Authorized Service Providers, except in Turkey and California, where Apple will continue to provide repairs and documentation for up to two years, or December 31, 2018 in this case, as required by local statutes.

Vintage products are those that have not been manufactured by Apple for between five and seven years. Obsolete products are those that were discontinued by Apple more than seven years ago. Apple and Authorized Service Providers make no distinction between obsolete and vintage products outside of Turkey and California.

4.7-Inch iPhone to Feature Wireless Charging Next Year

Apple's next-generation 4.7-inch iPhone will feature glass casing with wireless charging, according to the latest research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors.
Our rationale is as follows: (1) the OLED model may trigger replacement demand among high-end users given its completely all-new-design form factor and notably superior specs in comparison to the TFT-LCD models; and (2) the new 4.7” iPhone, featuring glass casing and wireless charging, looks well positioned to tap replacement demand at the entry level.
Kuo previously said all new iPhones are "likely" to support wireless charging next year, so 5.5-inch and all-new OLED models will likely gain the feature as well in addition to the now-confirmed 4.7-inch model.

Kuo believes Apple will switch to glass casing for next year's entire iPhone lineup in order to support wireless charging, with Pegatron being the exclusive supplier of the new 4.7-inch iPhone and a wireless charger expected to be included with at least some models. The wireless charger will allegedly have wider availability by 2018.

The new 4.7-inch iPhone and an OLED model featuring a "completely all-new-design form factor and notably superior specs" are predicted to drive "potentially unprecedented replacement demand" from smartphone users. Kuo forecasts Apple could sell 120-150 million new iPhones in the back half of 2017, topping an iPhone 6 sales record.
To our understanding, while demand visibility in 2H17F is as yet unclear and presumed pull-in demand may change anytime, upstream suppliers may be around now setting

Apple's LG UltraFine 5K Display Now Available for Purchase for $974 [Updated]

Apple today started accepting orders for the LG UltraFine 5K Display, making it available for the temporary sale price of $974 in the United States. Orders will ship out to customers in six to eight weeks, and there is no in-store availability at this time.

The LG UltraFine 5K Display was first introduced at Apple's October 27 Mac event alongside a matching 4K Display, but until today, the 5K Display has been available for purchase, with Apple listing a vague availability date of "December."

At the beginning of November, Apple dropped the prices on all USB-C adapters and accessories, including the LG UltraFine displays, by 25 percent through the end of the year.

Because the 5K UltraFine Display was not yet available for purchase, some worried that it would not be able to be bought for the sale price, but customers who make a purchase before the end of 2016 will be able to get the display for $974 instead of $1,299.

The LG 5K UltraFine Display was created in partnership with Apple for the new MacBook Pro. The display connects to the MacBook Pro over Thunderbolt 3 and include features like built-in USB-C ports for charging, stereo speakers, P3 wide color gamut support, a camera, and a microphone.

At the current time, the LG 5K UltraFine Display is only available for purchase in the United States and Canada. It remains unavailable for purchase in other countries, with a "December" availability date listed.

Update: The LG UltraFine 5K Display is once again listed as "Currently Unavailable" and cannot be purchased. It is not clear if supplies sold out or if

AT&T Unveils 'DirecTV Now' Streaming Television Service

AT&T today announced the debut of a new DirecTV-branded streaming television service, DirecTV Now, which will include various channel bundles at prices ranging from $35 to $70. Packages will include live sports, on-demand content, premium channels, and popular shows.

DirecTV Now will be available starting on November 30, and will give customers the chance to sign up for four different bundles:

- Live a Little - $35 / month (60+ channels)
- Just Right - $50 / month (80+ channels)
- Go Big - $60 / month (100+ channels)
- Gotta Have it - $70 / month (120+ channels)

Customers can check out any of the above packages for free for seven days from the DirecTV Now website, and to celebrate the launch of the service, the "Go Big" package is available for $35 per month for a limited time. Premium channels like HBO and Cinemax can be added to a package for an additional $5 per channel.

On its November 30 launch date, DirecTV Now will be available on both iOS devices and the Apple TV through a dedicated app. AT&T is even offering a special Apple TV deal, giving customers a free Apple TV with the purchase of three months of pre-paid DirecTV Now service.

On its November 30 launch date, DirecTV Now will be available on both iOS devices and the Apple TV through a dedicated app. It will also be available via the web and on Android and Amazon devices.

Along with DirecTV Now, AT&T also announced two additional video streaming services, "FreeView" and "Fullscreen."

FreeView is an ad-supported offering that allows customers to watch some DirecTV television content free