President Obama Signs E-Label Act, Companies No Longer Required to Etch FCC Labels on Devices

Earlier this year, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced the E-Label Act, which would allow for companies to meet the FCC's demands for certification labels by placing digital stamps on a device's software as opposed to etching information on hardware. The senators argued that the changes would allow manufacturers to save money and pass savings onto consumers. This was followed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) loosening its rules for labeling, stating that manufacturers could bypass etching FCC labels on their devices in favor of labeling by alternative means.

Now, The Hill reports that U.S. President Barack Obama has officially signed the E-Label act into law, which will now allow for companies like Apple to drop FCC labeling from their devices. Instead of being etched on hardware, it is likely that the required information will now be inside of a settings menu. However, it is also likely that the certification labels representing the European Commission (EC) and its Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) initiative will still be seen on devices.

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Verizon iPhone 4 without FCC logos on left, GSM iPhone 4 with FCC logos on right.

The slight design change could come to Apple's lineup of devices for next year, although it remains unclear as to how exactly the company will take advantage of the new rules and regulations.

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Teaser to Be Featured on iTunes Trailers This Friday

Earlier this week, news hit that the teaser for the much-anticipated movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be shown in a selection of theaters on Friday, November 28, and but it turns out the trailer will also be featured online, on Apple's iTunes Trailers website, on the Apple TV, and through the iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS.

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According to tweets from both the iTunes Trailers and Star Wars Twitter accounts, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser will be shared online by Apple this Friday, on November 28, at an unspecified time.
Apple's iTunes Trailers website, accompanying Apple TV channel, and iOS app feature hundreds of HD movie trailers, clips, images, and behind-the-scenes content. The new Star Wars movie trailer being shown on Friday will represent one of the first times Apple has leveraged its movie trailer site to provide exclusive content.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh film in the Star Wars series and is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the movie features actors like Andy Serkis, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong'o, and Oscar Issac, along with stars from the original films including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher.

In addition to being featured by Apple, the teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be shown in a selection of theaters across the United States on Friday.

The iTunes Movie Trailers app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Holiday Gift Guide for iPhone, iPad, and Mac

You've made your list, you've checked it twice. Now it's time to get gifts for the folks on that list. But what should you buy, especially for the tech-savvy people? You can turn to many of the gift guides on the web, but our guide is for the devoted Mac, iPhone, and iPad user. Pick up one of our suggestions, or use them as inspiration to figure out a gift on your own.

Mac Gifts



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Asus PB287Q 28" 4K Monitor: HD is passé. It's all about Ultra HD now, also known as 4K video. The PB287Q is a 28-inch display with a native resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. At a $649 list price and frequently available for less, it's a lot more affordable than other Ultra HD displays, which can cost most than a thousand dollars. As Macworld points out, you sacrifice a few features for the price, but the PB287Q does the job. [$563 at Amazon]

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OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock: Apple laptops are quite popular, so there are a lot of MacBook users who plug-in and unplug their devices as part of their daily routines. With the $300 (and currently on pre-order sale for $249) Thunderbolt 2 Dock at your desk, you connect all your devices to the dock, and then you connect the dock to your laptop with a single Thunderbolt cable. When it's time to go, just unplug the one cable; when you return, just plug in the same cable. [$249, pre-order at OWC]

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Dynamism Ultimaker 2: Remember when 3D printing was only for companies with big budgets and specialists? We've come a long way since then, and you can have your own 3D printer at home. The $2,499 Ultimaker 2 from Dynamism comes with Cura, software for designing your creations, and it has settings for beginners and experts. The Ultimaker 2 is PC Magazine's Editor's Choice for 3D printers, with the site pointing out that the printer is ideal for makers and designers alike. [$2,499 at Dynamism]

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LaCie Christofle Sphére: Don't settle for a boxy, boring hard drive when you can give something more artistic. The $490 Christofle Sphére is a gorgeous silver-plated sphere that houses a bus-powered 1TB hard drive. Handcrafted in France, the Sphére uses a USB 3 connection, so you don't have to sacrifice speed in the name of art. CNET's review of the Sphére says it stands out in both performance and design in a crowded market of hard drives. [$490 at Lacie]

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WaterField Designs Mac Pro Go Case: Apple's Mac Pro is so small that you shouldn't be surprised to find a professional toting a Mac Pro around from location to location. But instead of using the original box, use the $129 Mac Pro Go Case a bag that's specially designed for the Mac Pro. The soft lining inside the bag protects the Mac Pro, and accessories and cables can be stored in the Go Case's disc pouch that covers the top of the Mac Pro. Macworld called the Go Case an "elegant" bag for the Mac Pro. [$129 at SFBags]

iPhone Gifts



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Cobra JumPack Battery: It sucks when your iPhone battery runs dry, but it's even worse when you're stranded somewhere because your car battery is dead. The JumPack is a 7500 mAh portable battery pack with a peak current of 400A, enough juice to jump start a car. Cobra includes special jumper cables that work with the JumPack, as well as a standard power adapter and a 12V charger. Mobile devices connect to the JumPack via USB. [$101 at Amazon]

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Beats solo2 wireless headphones: The $300 solo2 wireless headphones are the first released by Beats since Apple's acquisition of the company became official in August. The headphone's Bluetooth connectivity has a 30-foot range, and the battery lasts 12 hours. More importantly, as of the launch of the original solo2, Beats has improved the audio quality, and there's no degradation between the wireless and wired modes. TechCrunch says the solo2 wireless sounds "surprisingly good." [$300 at Apple Store]

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Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-1: While we live in a digital world, there's something fun and sentimental about printed photographs. The $180 Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-1 is small enough to take to parties and get-togethers, and it connects to your iPhone wirelessly so you can print a picture right after you've shot it. The iOS app has different templates for adding text and to make your prints more festive to match the occasion. The Digital Trekker Blog said the SP-1 can be "an indispensable tool." [$151 at Amazon]

htc-re
HTC RE Camera: You have a camera with you all the time, thanks to your iPhone, so why do you need a camera like the RE, much less want to pay $200 for it? Because as easy as it is to use your iPhone's camera, you can still miss out when a surprise photo opportunity presents itself. With the RE's one button control, all you need to do is literally point and shoot, and its 146-degree wide-angle lens means you don't have to worry about framing. You can set the RE to shoot videos or stills, and it's waterproof up to 1 meter deep. The iOS app gives you access to saved videos, provides a viewfinder, and offers camera settings. Greenbot has a full review of the RE. [$199 at Amazon]

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Nova Bluetooth iPhone Flash: The easiest way to improve your photos is to have better lighting when you take a picture. The iPhone's flash has come a long way, but it still has its limits. The $59 Nova Bluetooth iPhone Flash gives you more flexibility, allowing you to place the flash where light is needed, instead of coping with the fixed flash on your iPhone. The flash has 40 diffused and cool LEDs so you can adjust the light through Nova's iPhone app. It's small enough to fit in a pocket so you can carry with you all the time. [$59 at Amazon]


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Olloclip 4-In-1 Photo Lens: Olloclip's camera lenses for iPhone have always been popular, and the 4-in-1 Photo Lens improves on a successful formula. Designed for the iPhone 6, the 4-in-1 clips on the phone over the front-facing or rear-facing cameras to expand your choices in optics. The 4-in-1 includes a fisheye lens, wide-angle lens, macro 10x lens, and macro 15x lens for $79.99. Learn more about the 4-in-1 by reading our hands-on article. [$79 at Olloclip]

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SanDisk iXpand: iXpand is a flash drive that can copy files from your iOS device, giving you one more way to transfer files between devices. The drive works with an iOS app that you use to transfer photos and videos, and you can even play media files from other devices directly on the drive. The iXpand also has password protection, so your files are safe in case the drive falls into the wrong hands. CNET provides a review. [16GB ($59.99), 32GB ($79.99), and 64GB ($120) at Sandisk].

iPad Gifts



littlebits-smarthome
littleBits Smart Home Kit: Home automation is making its way through the neighborhoods of America, but why isn't it catching on more quickly? Mostly because most home automation systems require you to replace the items already in your home. You don't have to do that with the $249 Smart Home Kit, which includes 14 "Bits" that you add to appliances and other items in your home. With some handiwork, you'll soon have the Internet of Things throughout your house, and you can control it all with your iOS device. [$249 pre-order at littleBits]

logitech-keystogo
Logitech Keys-To-Go: The $70 Keys-To-Go is a portable stand-alone keyboard that's extremely thin and lightweight like the iPad Air 2. Keys-To-Go weighs a scant 6.35 ounces, and is barely a quarter of an inch thick, so it won't take up a lot of room in your bag. It's covered in FabricSkin and there are no nooks and crannies, so if you're at the coffee shop and you spill your latte on the keyboard, all you need to do is wipe it off. In its review of Keys-To-Go, TUAW says the Bluetooth connectivity works quickly and easily. [$70 at Logitech]

orbotix-ollie
Orbotix Ollie: Originally called the 2B, the $99.99 Ollie is a new robotic toy from the makers of the Sphero. This time, the robot is tube-shaped and comes with a set of wheels that make it go as fast as 14 miles per hour. Ollie is durable enough so that you can off ramps and make it spin, and the iOS app shows you how to do more tricks. In a review, Time called the Ollie durable, but "even more niche than Sphero." [$99 at Amazon]

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Parrot Bebop Drone: You can get a bird's eye view of the landscape around you with the Bebop Drone. It has a 14-megapixel fisheye camera so you get a wide angle view, and image stabilization makes sure your videos and pictures don't suffer from the shakes. The drone uses Wi-Fi to connect to your iOS device. The Next Web says that the controls require practice, but it's "definitely suitable for beginners." [$500 at Apple, shipping in 1-2 weeks]

stratus-xl-main
SteelSeries Stratus XL: When the gaming gets serious, the iPad's touch controls can be frustrating. Times like these require a dedicated controller like the $70 Stratus XL. It connects to the iPad or iPhone via Bluetooth and has two joysticks, a D-pad, four action buttons, and four shoulder buttons. Most importantly, it's comfortable in your hands, making it easier to perform precise movements while you're getting your game on. Our sister site TouchArcade went hands-on with the Stratus XL earlier this year, and said it felt great when held due to its large size, which is similar to a standard console controller. [$70 at Apple]

Out of ideas?


Still stumped about finding just the right gift? You can always turn to gift cards. Apple offers Apple Store Gift Cards that can be used at any retail Apple Store or on the online Apple Store.

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You can also buy iTunes Gift Cards that are redeemable in the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Mac App Store.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

Fantastical for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Up to 65% Off for Black Friday

fantasticalWith Black Friday quickly approaching, retailers and app developers alike are beginning to offer deep discounts on their products. Flexibits has decided to kick off its holiday sales a bit early, and is now offering its popular Fantastical line of apps at ultra low prices.

Fantastical 2 for the iPad has been discounted from $14.99 to $4.99, which is 65 percent off. That's the lowest price Flexibits has ever offered on the iPad version of the app. [Direct Link]

Fantastical 2 for the iPhone is available for $1.99, down from $4.99, which is 60 percent off. [Direct Link]

Fantastical for Mac is available for $9.99, down from $19.99, which is 50 percent off. [Direct Link]

For those unfamiliar with Fantastical, it's designed to be a replacement for Apple's standard calendar app, providing event scheduling, reminders, and more. Fantastical's major claim to fame is its ability to automatically create events, reminders, and tasks with conversational language, such as "Lunch with Elon in Palo Alto on Friday."

Flexibits is also offering its Chatology app for Mac for 50 percent off, dropping the price from $19.99 to $9.99. Chatology is an app that's designed to make it easy to search through Messages.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Changing Users' Reading Habits as iPad Usage Declines

Since their September launch, Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have produced record-setting revenue and sales for Apple, but looking beyond financials, the handset also is radically changing the reading habits of those who own the large-sized devices, according to news-reading service Pocket.

Pocket recently analyzed 2 million article and video opens and examined the reading behavior of readers both before and after the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. In particular, the study compared how iPhone and iPad usage changed after the recent iPhone launch.

PKTBlog_iPhone6_v2
According to the results, customers with an iPhone 5s and an iPad spent an equal amount of time with each device. As users adopted the iPhone 6, however, they spent considerably more time reading on their iPhones than on their iPads, with users choosing their iPhone over the iPad 72 percent of the time.

This trend was even greater among iPhone 6 Plus owners, who grabbed their iPhones 80 percent of the time when they wanted to read. The big screen of the iPhone 6 Plus also increased video watching by 40 percent.

Even before it was announced, analysts expected the larger-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would cannibalize iPad sales, especially for the 7.9-inch iPad mini. Overall, iPad sales are on the decline, dropping as much as 12.7 percent year over year as the tablet market begins to slow.

Related roundups: iPhone 6, iPad Air 2

Sony Planning to Launch E-Paper Smartwatch in 2015

A new report from Bloomberg indicates Sony may be gearing up to produce a new line of smartwatches for release next year. The report states the new watch will focus on design and customization over the technological prowess of watches like the yet-to-be-released Apple Watch and Sony's own SmartWatch 3.

smartwatch_3_press
Sony's just-released SmartWatch 3, a more traditional smartwatch

The upcoming Sony device will use an e-paper display in lieu of a traditional LCD or OLED smartwatch screen and, according to Bloomberg, and the display will cover the entire surface of the watch and band.
The watch’s face and wrist band will be made from a patented material that allows the entire surface area to function as a display and change its appearance, the people said, asking not to be named because it hasn’t been announced.
Sony also hopes the e-paper display's outdoor friendly view-ability advantage over other display technologies will attract consumers.

The device will emphasize style, according to Bloomberg's sources, rather than attempting to out-perform technological offerings in the increasingly crowded smart watch field. The watch is said to be part of Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai's recent initiative to fast-track promising products and attempt to regain the culture of innovation the company was known for in years past.
“The innovation program is very important, but it will take time and require some risk-taking,” said Sadao Nagaoka, a professor at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo who studies innovation and serves as an economic adviser to Japan’s Patent Office. “It’s not that Sony ran out of new ideas, but rather, it’s taking too long to restructure, and gigantic losses have starved new businesses of funds.”
The new watch is reportedly part of Sony's new Seed Acceleration Program, which allows any employee with a new idea to pitch to other employees, or a panel of outside experts, for venture financing. Speaking of the program earlier this year, Hirai noted he is optimistic about the new direction of the company, and hopes the innovation program continues to become "the driving force for our new Sony."

Worldwide Tablet Growth Expected to Slow to 7.2% in 2014 as iPad Sees First Yearly Decline

The worldwide tablet tablet market is expected to see a significant decline for 2014, according to reports from the International Data Corporation. The tablet market's year-over-year growth is expected to be 7.2% this year, down from 52.5% in 2013. According to the analysts, one of the central reasons for the market slowdown is the expectation that 2014 will be the first year Apple will see a decline in iPad shipments.

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IDC expects Apple to ship 64.9 million iPads this calendar year, a decline of 12.7 percent from 2013. Capturing 67.7 percent market share and shipping 159.5 million devices, Google's Android operating system will continue to be the most popular OS for tablets.

Total tablet market shipments is projected to hit 235.7 million units shipped, yielding relatively small growth of 7.2 percent over 2013. As a comparison, shipments in the worldwide tablet market saw 52.5 percent growth from 2012 to 2013. IDC equates this slowdown in growth to the longer lifespan of tablets in the modern market.

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"The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet life-cycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."
IDC also points towards consumer hesitancy over Windows 8 tablets for such low market shares in the total tablet and 2-in-1, or detachable, product market, a space Microsoft largely owns at the moment. Microsoft will only see about 11 million tablet shipments this year, equating to less than 5% of the overall tablet market.
"We need to look at how the tablet ecosystem is answering these challenges, and right now we see a lot of pressure on tablet prices and an influx of entry-level products, which ultimately serves Android really well," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director for Tablets. "But we also see tablet manufacturers trying to offset this price pressure by focusing on larger screens and cellular-enabled tablets. The next six months should be really interesting."
Looking forward, IDC sees a few factors that could impact the worldwide tablet market, including the overall industry reaction to Windows 10, what Google does in the tablet space with Android and Chrome OS, and the yearly potential of even more products from Apple. But, according to IDC, "Despite all of these unknowns, it seems clear that consumers can be expected to hold onto tablets longer than smartphones."

Related roundup: iPad Air 2

BlackBerry Offering Up to $550 for iPhones in Limited-Time Passport 'Trade-Up' Program

Seeking to attract iPhone users to its new Passport smartphone, BlackBerry yesterday announced a new Blackberry Trade-Up Program offering customers up to $550 (CA$600) to trade in an iPhone 4s or higher towards the purchase of a BlackBerry Passport. The program begins December 1 and offers the full $550 only when trading in an excellent condition iPhone 6, or presumably an iPhone 6 Plus, as that device isn't explicitly mentioned in the program's terms and conditions.

Other iPhone models accepted include the iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, and 5c, with all eligible iPhones receiving a "BlackBerry Top-Up" amount of $150 (CA$200) added onto the usual valuations of the device for participating in the program to reach the $550 (CA$600) maximum payout. Like most trade-in programs, the memory size and condition also factor heavily in the actual amount of money offered.

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iPhone users wanting to take part in BlackBerry's offer have from December 1 through February 13, 2015 to order a Passport, and thirty days following that to mail in an eligible Trade-Up device. The special offer can be completed on BlackBerry's official online store or through Amazon, and is only available in North America.

The company has been attempting to gain favor with Apple customers since the Passport launched in September, with CEO John Chen stating, "I challenge you to bend the Passport" during the midst of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus bending controversy.

In addition to the Trade-Up program, BlackBerry is offering holiday deals on the Passport itself and the BlackBerry Z30 on its online store.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Luxury Watchmakers Cracking Down on 'Pirated' Smartwatch Faces

As smartwatches based on Android Wear and other operating systems continue to proliferate, users have been increasingly looking to download digital likenesses of high-end watch faces onto their favorite wearable tech devices. The luxury watchmakers behind the real-world design of the digital "fake" versions are now attempting to put an end to those creating smartwatch clones of their products, according to TorrentFreak.

Last week, Apple released its WatchKit developer tools, allowing developers to begin creating apps for the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch. Those developer tools do not currently support the creation of custom watch face designs, but it is possible they could do so in the future once Apple begins supporting fully native Apple Watch apps next year.

Companies including IWC, Panerai, Omega, Fossil, Armani, Michael Kors, Tissot, Certina, Swatch, Flik Flak, and Mondaine are sending cease-and-desist notices to websites, and even individuals, thought to be offering faces for Android Wear and other smartwatch platforms without permission. The watchmakers are citing various registered trademark, design, and copyright violations.

Richemont, the company behind IWC, Cartier, and Panerai, is one of the front-runners of the legal action and is giving owners of the pirate watch face sites as little as twenty-four hours to remove all infringing content.

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TorrentFreak spoke with Luke, the owner of FaceRepo, one of the watchface download sites targeted by pirate allegations. He voiced support of the anti-piracy steps being taken, and detailed the use of a keyword filter they use that helps stop infringing content before it can even be uploaded. Users are also notified if their created designs are infringing copyright, and goes so far as to deactivate accounts of repeat offenders.
“Although some of the replica faces we’ve received take downs for are very cool looking and represent significant artistic talent on the part of the designer, we believe that owners of copyrights or trademarks have the right to defend their brand,” Luke explained.

“If a copyright or trademark owner contacts us, we will promptly remove infringing material. To date, all requests for removal of infringing material have been satisfied within a matter of hours.”
Apple itself hasn't even become a player yet in the smartwatch market and has already faced allegations such as these. Back in 2012, the Swiss Federal Railway service accused Apple of copying its iconic railway clock. A few months after the allegation, Apple reportedly paid the company $21 million for the rights to the clock face design.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More

As we head into Thanksgiving and its accompanying Black Friday shopping holiday, retailers are beginning to offer significant discounts on products in an attempt to lure shoppers ahead of the Black Friday event. Walmart and Best Buy, for example, are offering pre-Black Friday deals, and several retailers are also offering some decent discounts on Macs and older iPads.

iPhone


Walmart is selling the 16GB iPhone 6 for $179 with a two-year contract, which is $20 off Apple's standard price, but it will also include a $75 Walmart gift card. A similar $75 gift card deal is available for the iPhone 5s, priced at $79 with a two-year contract. iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s purchases made with AT&T Next or Verizon Edge will require $0 down from qualified customers and will include the gift card.

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iPad Air 2


Walmart is selling the new 16GB WiFi-only iPad Air 2 for $489, with a $100 Walmart gift card included in the purchase, essentially dropping the price to $389 for frequent Walmart shoppers.

Original iPad Air


Best Buy is discounting all of its original iPad Air stock by $80 to $100 its standard pricing, dropping the price of the entry-level 16GB WiFi-only iPad Air to $319.99. Higher-capacity WiFi-only models are discounted by up to $85, while some cellular models are discounted by as much as $100. For example the 32GB WiFi + Cellular iPad Air from AT&T is available for $479.99. Best Buy's sale on iPads will last through the weekend.

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- iPad Air WiFi-only Silver 16GB - $319.99
- iPad Air WiFi-only Space Gray 16GB - $319.99
- iPad Air WiFi-only Silver 32GB - $369.99
- iPad Air WiFi-only Space Gray 32GB - $369.99
- iPad Air WiFi-only Silver 64GB - $414.99
- iPad Air WiFi-only Space Gray 64GB - $414.99
- iPad Air WiFi-only Silver 128GB - $612.99
- iPad Air WiFi-only Silver 128GB - $612.99

- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (AT&T) - $529.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) - $529.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) - $529.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) - $529.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) - $729.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) - $729.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) - $729.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) - $729.99

iPad mini 2


Best Buy is also offering up to $100 off its remaining stock of higher-capacity WiFi and Cellular iPad mini 2 stock.

- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Silver 64GB - $395.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Space Gray 64GB - $395.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Silver 128GB - $494.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Space Gray 128GB - $494.99

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- iPad mini 2 Cellular AT&T Silver 64GB - $476.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular ATT Space Gray 64GB - $502.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Silver 64GB - $476.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Space Gray 64GB - $502.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular AT&T Space Gray 128GB - $629.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Silver 128GB - $629.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Space Gray 128GB - $597.99

2014 Retina iMac


The 27-inch 3.5GHz/8GB/1TB iMac with 5K Retina display is available from Amazon, Adorama, B&H Photo, and MacMall for $2,449, which is a discount of $50 off Apple's regular price.

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These sites also have the Retina iMac in stock, while Apple's site lists shipping estimates of two to three weeks for the machine.

2014 Mac mini


The 2014 1.4GHz/4GB/500GB Mac mini is available for $449 from Amazon and B&H Photo, a $50 discount off of Apple's price.

2014 Retina MacBook Pro


We're seeing the lowest prices we've seen so far on a few models of the 2014 Retina MacBook Pro, including a couple of 13-inch models and one 15-inch model.

- 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/128GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,199.99 ($100 off)
- 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) - $1,349.99 ($150 off)
- 15-inch 2.2GHz16GB RAM/256GB storage (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) - $1,799.99 ($200 off)

macbook_pro_13_15_late_2013

2013 Retina MacBook Pro


- 13-inch 2.4GHz/4GB/128GB (B&H Photo) - $1,069 ($230 off)
- 13-inch 2.4GHz/8GB/256GB (B&H Photo) - $1,149 ($350 off)
- 15-inch 2.0GHz/8GB/256GB (B&H Photo) - $1,499 ($500 off)
- 15-inch 2.3GHz/16GB/512GB (B&H Photo) - $1,999.99 ($599 off)

iOS Apps and Games


Many app developers have begun discounting their iOS apps and games ahead of Thanksgiving. Popular apps available at a discount include GoodReader ($4.99 --> $0.99), iA Writer ($4.99 --> $0.99), and Living Earth Clock & Weather ($2.99 --> $1.99).

A full list of discounted apps can be found over at our sister site AppShopper, and our other sister site TouchArcade has created a list of games that are on sale. Titles discounted include Blek, Badland, Osmos, Real Racing 2, 9mm, and more.

Things for iPad and iPhone can be downloaded for free this week as Things was named Apple's App of the Week.

Apple Accessories


Skype prepaid cards can be purchased for 30% off at Best Buy, and Best Buy is also selling the older Solo HD Drenched Beats by Dr. Dre headphones for $99.99 for a limited time, a discount of $70.

Best Buy has the iHome AirPlay Speaker System for $49.99, a discount of $250, and it's also selling the Marshall Stanmore Active Bluetooth Stereo Speaker for $339, down from $399. The Stanmore speaker is Wirecutter's top pick for home Bluetooth speakers.

marshallspeaker
The Belkin Stylus + Pen can be purchased for $7.99 from Groupon, a discount of $22. Staples is selling the Apple TV for $79, a discount of $20. The Sony RDP-XF300 Portable Bluetooth Dock can be purchased for $139.99 from Woot, $110 off its original price and $10 off Amazon's price.

sonydock
Groupon has previous-generation Beats by Dre Mixr DJ-style headphones for $199, down from $249, and it's also selling Beats by Dre Tour in-ear headphones for $114.99, down from $149.95.

A free copy of Wreck It Ralph can be downloaded from Disney Movies Anywhere when you join the Disney Movies Anywhere Service and connect an account to iTunes.

For the next few weeks, Target will be offering 10 percent off all of the items on a child's wish list. Parents need to download the Target Wish List app and have kids create a wish list of products that will then be available at a 10 percent discount. Apple products are excluded, but Apple accessories such as cases are included.

Make sure to check out our deals posts each week for the latest products that are available at low prices, and keep an eye on our Black Friday roundup, which we are updating on a regular basis with all of the Black Friday discounts we find on popular Apple products.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Magpul has released updated versions of its popular Field Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The Field Case is a minimalist shell case made from flexible thermoplastic, similar to the company's popular PMAG rifle magazines.

Fieldcase
The Magpul Field Case for the iPhone 6 is a semi-rigid cover designed to provide basic protection in the field.

Made from a flexible thermoplastic, the Field Case features PMAG®-style ribs for added grip, snap-on design for easy installation and removal, and slides easily in and out of pockets without snagging.
Made in the USA, the Field Case is available in black and olive drab green for $17, with Magpul's logo on the back.

The iPhone 6 version is shipping now from Magpul's website, and the iPhone 6 Plus variant should be available next month.

Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Back in October, Olloclip announced a new 4-in-1 Photo Lens designed to fit the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus. While it was available for pre-order at the time, the new lens has now begun shipping out to customers and will arrive in stores shortly, ahead of the Black Friday shopping holiday.

Like its previous products, Olloclip's 4-in-1 Photo Lens adds four lens attachments to the iPhone's camera, offering two lenses that extend the field of view -- wide angle and fisheye -- and two that capture up-close macro shots.

The new Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens is the company's most unique product offering to date, as it is the first Olloclip lens that is able to work with both the front and rear-facing cameras. Previous Olloclip lenses designed for earlier iPhones were only functional with the rear camera or front camera, but with the growing focus on selfies, Olloclip opted to make its new product more versatile.

What's in the Box


Included in the box is one Olloclip 4-in1 Photo Lens attachment with fisheye, wide-angle, 10x macro, and 15x macro lenses, plus accessories like three interchangeable carrying clips, lens caps, a carrying pouch, two removable inserts to fit either the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus, and a lanyard for carrying the 4-in-1 Photo Lens when not in use.

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Design


While the body of the lens attachment is made of plastic, the lenses themselves are high quality and constructed from aluminum and glass. The 4-in-1 Photo Lens uses a dual lens design, with one lens that fits over the rear camera and one that fits over the front camera. As with all Olloclip lenses, the new 4-in-1 Photo Lens can only be used with a bare iPhone as it cannot fit over a case.

There are two separate plastic inserts, one for the iPhone 6 and one for the iPhone 6 Plus. The Olloclip comes with the iPhone 6 insert installed, so iPhone 6 Plus users will need to slide out the existing plastic insert to attach the one designed for the iPhone 6 Plus. The 4-in-1 Photo Lens needs two separate inserts to ensure a good fit, as the iPhone 6 is 6.9mm thick while the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm thick.

Once the insert is installed, attaching the lens to an iPhone is simple and quick, with Olloclip's instructions directing users to slide the attachment over the protruding rear-facing camera. The lens slides on easily over the protruding lens of the iPhone and locks into place due to cutouts in the plastic.

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On the iPhone 6, when the rear-facing lens is installed over the rear camera, the front-facing lens covers the front camera as well, allowing the Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens to be used in either direction. On the iPhone 6 Plus, the sizing is somewhat different, so switching between the front-facing and rear-facing Olloclip lenses requires some slight repositioning of the accessory.

The 4-in-1 Photo Lens must be tilted to the left slightly to accurately fit over the front-facing camera iPhone 6 Plus camera, and tilted back to the right to fit over the rear-facing camera. Because of the need to reposition, it can sometimes take a few seconds of adjusting get a solid fit that will result in clear images.

Lenses


Olloclip's 4-in-1 Photo Lens comes with a fisheye lens for creating wide-angle fisheye photos, a wide-angle lens that extends the field of view for capturing landscapes, and two macro lenses at 10x and 15x.

Because of its dual-camera design, the Photo Lens has a 10x macro lens at one end and a 15x macro lens at the other end, which are converted into a wide-angle and fisheye lenses, respectively, when additional lens attachments are screwed on.

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Like all of Olloclip's products, each of the four lenses produces crisp photos that are as clear as the photos that come from the standard iPhone camera. The 10x and 15x macro lenses are useful for taking ultra close shots of small objects, with the 15x version naturally producing more magnification. The two macro lenses are really only useful on the rear-facing camera, however, as the lens needs to be very close to the subject to capture a clear image.

The wide-angle lens and the fisheye lens can be used with both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras, and when used on the front-facing camera for selfies, both greatly extend the field of view to allow more of a subject's surroundings into the image. The fisheye produces the standard fisheye distortion making it useful for stylized images, while the wide-angle simply extends the field of view. Capturing a group photo with the front-facing camera is much easier with the Olloclip attached, for example.

On the rear-facing cameras, the two lenses function in the same way, extending the field of view of the existing iPhone camera. The wide-angle lens can allow the iPhone to capture much more of a landscape, while the fisheye offers a complete 180 degree field of view.

Image Examples


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Raspberry macro at 10x on left, at 15x on right


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Field of view without wide-angle lens on left, with wide-angle lens on right


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Fisheye lens, indoor on left, outdoor on right


Accessories


In addition to allowing the accessory to fit over both the front and rear cameras of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the new Olloclip's lengthwise design also improves its portability. Olloclip ships the accessory with three carrying clips, which let the 4-in-1 Photo Lens to be attached to a lanyard, a set of keys, a backpack, and more whenever it's not in use.

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The carrying clips snap right into the 4-in-1 Photo Lens, and when capturing a photo, it's a simple process to snap out the carrying clip and attach it to the iPhone. There are also two lens caps to keep the lenses from being scratched, and a small pouch available for storage when using macro capabilities.

How to Buy


The Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens can be purchased from the Olloclip website for $79.99. It's available in several color combinations, including Silver/Black, Gold/White, Red/Black, Space Gray/Black, and Silver/White.