Verizon Customers on Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans Face $20 Price Increase

verizonlogoVerizon customers with grandfathered unlimited data plans, which the carrier stopped offering to new customers in 2011, face a $20 increase in their monthly bill starting November 15, according to CNET. The monthly cost of unlimited data will rise from $30 to $50 as a result.

The rate increase is yet another move by Verizon to encourage customers to move from unlimited data plans to tiered data plans. Less than 1% of Verizon customers still have an unlimited data plan, according to a company spokesperson, but those remaining few are often stubborn about switching.

Verizon customers with unlimited data plans are required to pay full retail price for smartphones, although grandfathered subscribers do qualify for the company's monthly installment plan for new devices.

In the United States, Sprint and T-Mobile are the two largest nationwide carriers that continue to offer unlimited data plans. AT&T stopped offering unlimited data to new customers in 2010.

Tag: Verizon

Review: The Incase x Parabellum Travel Folio Wraps Your Apple Watch in Expensive Bison Leather

Apple's designed its Apple Watch to meet a wide range of tastes and budgets, offering the device at price points ranging from $350 to $17,000. Recently, the company also teamed up with Hermés for a unique designer Apple Watch collection that features Hermés bands.

Some accessory makers have taken a cue from Apple and have also partnered up with well-known fashion labels to create unique Apple Watch accessories. One of the latest companies to do so is Incase, through a partnership with luxury brand Parabellum. Together, the duo have created the Apple Watch Travel Folio, which is handcrafted in Los Angeles, California from full grain North American Bison leather.

Design wise, the Travel Folio has an impressive attention to detail and impeccable construction, and I would expect nothing less for its premium $250 price tag. The exterior is a high-quality textured leather while the interior is a soft suede to keep the Apple Watch safe from scratches. I am not an expert on leather, but the Bison texture looks nice and it should weather well with daily use.

I used the Incase x Parabellum Travel Folio in Pumpkin, which is a rich orange-tinged brown color that would match well with a Gold Apple Watch and is used for several other Parabellum products. The Travel Folio also comes in a classic black, but both are made from the same bison leather.

Parabellum is known for its style and quality, and while I'm also not a fashion expert, the Travel Folio matches the Parabellum aesthetic and is as stylish as the company's range of popular bags, belts, and wallets. For someone who owns other Parabellum products, the Travel Folio would fit right in with a collection. Incase and Parabellum only made 150 of the Apple Watch Travel Folio accessories, so each one is a limited edition product.

A dust bag is included with the Travel Folio, and there's a subtle Incase logo on the snap button (which is made of ceramic) that keeps it closed. An additional cord wrap is included, with a matching button with a Parabellum logo. Inside, the Folio is stamped with the Parabellum and Incase brand names.

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Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tags: review, Incase, Parabellum
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Apple Watch Launches in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates on October 22

Apple has updated its regional websites for Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to announce the Apple Watch will be available on October 22.

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will be part of the eighth Apple Watch launch wave. Apple Watch expands to Belgium, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg and Poland tomorrow and to Brazil and Columbia on October 16.
  • April 24: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, UK, US
  • June 26: Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan
  • July 17: The Netherlands, Sweden, and Thailand
  • July 31: New Zealand, Russia, and Turkey
  • September 25: Austria, Denmark, and Ireland
  • October 9: Belgium, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, and Poland
  • October 16: Brazil and Colombia
  • October 22: Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
In the United Arab Emirates, pricing for the Apple Watch Sport will start at 1,399 dirhams for the 38mm model, which is equivalent to approximately $380 in U.S. dollars. Apple Watch prices in Saudi Arabia are not yet available on the website.

Fantastical for iPhone Adds 3D Touch Support, Fantastical for iPad Gains Split-Screen Multitasking

Flexibits today updated its popular Fantastical 2 apps for the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch with support for a range of iOS 9 and iPhone 6s features. Fantastical 2 for iPad now includes split-screen multitasking support, letting it be used simultaneously with other apps with iOS 9's Slide Over and Split-View multitasking modes.

With Slide Over, users can pause one task to access their calendars to quickly schedule events or reminders, and with Split-View, Fantastical 2 can be used alongside another app. Slide Over works on the iPad Air and later and the iPad mini 2 and later, while Split-View is available on the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4.

The iPad version of Fantastical 2 also includes new iOS 9 keyboard shortcuts when using an external Bluetooth keyboard that are accessible when holding down the command key.

Fantastical 2 for the iPhone now includes support for 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. A firm press on the Fantastical app icon on these devices will bring up a list of Quick Actions that lets users see upcoming events, add a new event, view reminders, and search through their calendars.

On the Apple Watch, the Fantastical 2 app is now native on devices running watchOS 2, improving loading speeds and app opening times. There are also now Fantastical complications that include a "go to date" option, which can be used on any watchOS 2 watch face that supports complications.

In addition to these major changes, there are several improvements and bug fixes that are common to both the iPhone and iPad apps. A full list of these minor enhancements are below:
- Additional iOS 9 fixes and improvements
- Improved design for week view
- Tap and hold on locations or URLs to choose an app to open them in (e.g. Google Maps or Apple Maps)
- Multiple invitation notifications are now shown separately instead of grouped into a single notification
- Improved highlight weekends for countries that have weekends on Friday and Saturday
- Fixed hang when adding new events with VoiceOver
- Fixed location and phone data detectors not appearing in event titles
Fantastical 2 for iPhone and Apple Watch is available from the App Store for $4.99. [Direct Link]

Fantastical 2 for iPad is available from the App Store for $9.99. [Direct Link]

Samsung Estimates First Profit Growth in Two Years Thanks to Sales of Chips, Not Hardware

Samsung-Galaxy-S6-Edge-PlusSamsung this morning announced its forecast predictions for the company's third quarter, suggesting an overall year-over-year profit growth of 79.8 percent, which would be its first since 2013.

The company didn't provide specifics regarding where the profit came from, but analysts speaking with The Wall Street Journal attributed it to the "robust sales" of various chips and displays used in smartphones and other devices throughout the year. Specifically, those analysts believed Samsung's earnings this year are being fueled by the chip sales "due to tight supply and firm pricing."

Overall, the company's chip unit will likely account for nearly half of its total profit in the third quarter of 2015, with the addition of display sales bolstering the rest of its foreseeable monetary gains.
The South Korean technology company said Wednesday its operating profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 likely rose 79.8% to about 7.3 trillion Korean won (US$6.3 billion), its first year-over-year growth since the third quarter of 2013 when the company posted a 26% increase. Revenue likely rose about 7.5% to 51 trillion won.

Analysts were expecting Samsung to post an operating profit of 6.5 trillion won on revenue of 50.5 trillion won, based on a poll of nine analysts.
Most recently, Samsung announced the newest iterations of its smartphone lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Note5 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, whose 5.7-inch displays make them slightly larger than Apple's iPhone 6s Plus and are marketed as a direct competitor to the Cupertino company's large-screened device. Announced and launched in August -- alongside services like Samsung Pay and the new Gear S2 Smartwatch -- the new smartphones were pegged as an early competitor for Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

But, if the analysts' predictions today are correct, Samsung saw most of its profits from its contribution to chip production within Apple's own smartphone line-up. When initially discovered a few days after the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the split of A9 chips between Samsung and TSMC met a small wave of controversy, with one iOS developer going so far as to calculate the percentage split between the two manufacturers. Even though the 60/40 percentage was in favor of TSMC, it appears Samsung's chip manufacturing for the 6s and 6s Plus was enough to help in some way boost its overall quarterly growth.

Tag: Samsung

iMessage Activation Via Phone Number Now Working on Wind Mobile in Canada

A growing number of Wind Mobile customers in Canada this week have confirmed to MacRumors and on social media that iMessage activation via phone number is now working properly on iPhone. iMessage on Wind Mobile previously only worked when activated using an Apple ID.

MacRumors reader Brandon and several other iPhone users confirmed the change.
Finally Wind Mobile in Canada is suddenly using native iMessage. You used to have to only use your Apple ID for iMessage and FaceTime because it was unsupported on Wind's network. Today, suddenly it started working. I have confirmed it with an Apple Genius, and I myself am a former Apple technician as well.
Apple released iOS 9.0.2 last week with a fix for an issue that prevented iMessage activation for some users, but it is more likely the change was made by Wind Mobile given that iPhones running previous software versions such as iOS 8.4 also now have iMessage activation by SMS.

Apple does not list Wind Mobile as a supported wireless carrier on its website. Canadian carriers that officially support the iPhone include the big three networks Bell, Rogers and Telus, prepaid carriers Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile and regional carriers Eastlink, MTS, SaskTel, TbayTel and Videotron.

Wind Mobile is a bargain carrier in Canada, offering affordable rate plans with unlimited talk, text and data for between $25 and $50 per month. Wind Mobile's coverage area is mainly limited to larger cities, however, such as the Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver metro areas.

(Thanks, Brandon!)

Twitter Launches 'Moments' to Discover Trending Stories

Twitter for iOS has been updated today with a new tab called Moments that will help users discover stories unfolding on the microblogging service, such as conversations between world leaders and celebrities, citizens reporting on world events, cultural memes, sports commentary and more.
Tapping on the new lightning bolt tab on your phone opens a list of Moments that matter now. As new stories emerge throughout the day, we continue to update this list. Looking for more? You can also swipe through to topics including “Entertainment” and “Sports” to find more stories from the past few days.
Moments can be found in a new lightning bolt tab at the bottom of the Twitter app on iPhone and iPad in the U.S. only at launch. Moments contain an introduction with a title and description, and users can swipe to scroll through the in-depth story with full-width images and autoplaying videos, Vines and GIFs.

Moments will often be updated as more information becomes available and will mainly be curated by Twitter employees, with some contributed by partners such as Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post.

Twitter for iOS [Direct Link] is free on the App Store and is now at version 6.38.1.

YouTube iOS App Updated With New Design, In-App Editing Tools

After several months of testing and tweaking, YouTube has finally released the redesigned version of its iOS app, taking cues from its Material Design-inspired Android counterpart. The updated app also comes with in-app video editing tools to make videos.

The redesigned YouTube app makes it easier to find what you love. Now your recommended videos, favorite channels, and subscriptions can be accessed by tapping each icon or swiping your screen. You can also create fun videos on the fly with new in-app editing tools.
The new app is divided into three sections: Home, Subscriptions and Account. Home, like the YouTube web homepage, delivers suggestions and features videos from YouTube accounts that a user may have viewed recently. Subscriptions is a stream of videos from YouTube accounts a user may subscribe to and Account allows you to access History, Likes, the Watch later feature and Playlists.

While the app was updated today, it's slowly propagating through the App Store.

YouTube for iOS is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Apple Expanding Maps Transit Directions to Boston and Sydney

Apple_maps_ios-9Apple today updated its iOS 9 features page to highlight two new cities where transit directions in the Maps app are now available: Sydney, Australia and Boston, Massachusetts. Sydney and Boston are the first two cities to gain transit information beyond the first wave launch cities.

Transit directions within Maps became available alongside the launch of iOS 9. The first areas that incorporated public transit information into Maps included Baltimore, Maryland; Berlin, Germany; Chicago, Illinois; London, England; Mexico City, Mexico, New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington, DC; and Toronto, Canada. Transit directions are also available within hundreds of cities in China.

Apple is planning to expand the availability of transit directions to other cities going forward, with major metropolitan areas being a priority for the company. It appears transit information in Sydney and Boston may still be rolling out as it is not yet accessible to all users in Apple Maps.

Today's transit update follows recent news that Apple will soon shut down HopStop, the mapping company that it purchased in 2013. The HopStop service offered detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions in more than 600 cities throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and has likely played a major part in the development of the long-awaited transit feature within Apple Maps.

Update: Apple has updated its iOS 9 feature availability page to note that transit directions for Boston and Sydney will be available in October of 2015, suggesting transit information in those two cities is not yet accessible.

iOS 9 App Slicing Feature Once Again Available for Developers

In late September, Apple announced that app slicing, an App Thinning feature of iOS 9, was unavailable to developers because of an iCloud backup issue. Apple today updated developers on the status of app slicing, noting that it's once again available for use following the iOS 9.0.2 update and the recent Xcode 7.0.1 update.

The issue affecting app slicing has been fixed, and device-specific versions of apps will be delivered when downloaded by users running iOS 9.0.2 or later.
App slicing is one facet of App Thinning, an iOS 9 feature designed to decrease the size of iOS apps to save valuable space on devices without a lot of storage space. With app slicing, users only download the app assets created for their particular device rather than a full set of assets for multiple devices. For example, on an iPhone 6s, a user will only need to download iPhone 6s specific files, ignoring both larger iPad artwork and lower quality resources for earlier iOS devices.

To take advantage of the space saving features in app slicing, all iOS 9 users should upgrade to iOS 9.0.2. App slicing is not available in earlier versions of iOS 9 or in iOS 8.

Apple Makes More Dev Kits for New Apple TV Available

Late Friday night, Apple emailed developers to tell them that more developer kits for the new Apple TV are now available. The email, which MacRumors has obtained a copy of, says that more developer kits are being made available due to "overwhelming demand."

Due to overwhelming demand, we’ve made more Apple TV Developer Kits available and you’ve been selected to receive one. Simply sign in with your developer account, agree to the terms and conditions, and submit your order by 5:00 p.m.local time on October 9, 2015.
Similar to the original wave of new Apple TV dev kits, Apple will charge developers $1 to verify billing addresses. The Apple TV will ship within 1 to 3 business days via standard shipping for free. The original wave of Apple TV dev kits had to be ordered by September 16.

The new Apple TV represents a massive overhaul of Apple's existing set-top box, coming with a brand new operating system called tvOS, a much more powerful A8 processor, 2 GB of RAM, support for a full App Store and Siri in countries where it's supported.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

How to Use Time Travel on Apple Watch in watchOS 2

With the recent update to watchOS 2, Apple added a new feature called Time Travel, which lets you turn back (or forward) time to display certain information from a different date and time.

It works with complications on the watch face, like weather, calendar events, sunrise and sunset, stocks, and more. Depending on what you have displayed on your watch face, you'll see different information.

Understanding Time Travel can be a bit confusing for some, so we'll explain it more in detail, with some highlights on what different watch faces can do.

Apple Watch Time Travel Main
Before using Time Travel, be sure to set your complications the way you want them. Now that Apple allows third-party complications, the options are even better.

This feature works best with such watch faces as Utility, Modular, Simple, Color, and Chronograph because those faces have the most customizable complication options.

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Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)