MacRumors Giveaway: Pad & Quill Valet Luxury Sleeve and Apple Watch Accessory

For our next giveaway here at MacRumors, we've again partnered with Pad & Quill, the maker of premium MacBook, iPhone, and iPad cases and other accessories. Pad & Quill is graciously offering a package of two prizes for this giveaway – the winner will be able to choose one leather Valet Luxury Sleeve (for the 11-inch Macbook Air, 12-inch MacBook, or 13-inch MacBook Pro, or the 15-inch MacBook Pro) plus any one of the company's Apple Watch Accessories.



13 sleeve 1

The Valet Luxury Sleeves are made of full-grain leather and have hand-pounded copper rivet closures, and also feature extra pockets to carry an iPad and other accessories. The version for the 15-inch MacBook Pro retails for $149.99 while the version for the smaller MacBook models retails for $119.99.

Pad & Quill has a number of accessories for the Apple Watch, including the Timber Catchall that was announced earlier this week, and the Luxury Pocket Stand that was revealed last month. All of Pad & Quill's Apple Watch accessories can be seen on this page and they range in value from $49.99 to $119.99.

Apple watch with Grandpa pocket

To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter your email address. Your email address will not be given to any third party and will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube Channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This contest will run from today (April 24) at 10:00 am Pacific time through 10:00 am Pacific time on May 1. The winner will be chosen randomly on May 1 and will be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address. The prizes will be shipped to the winner for free.

Buyer's Guide: Deals on MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More

Tomorrow is the launch of the Apple Watch, so we're doing our deals post a day early this week. On the eve of the Apple Watch release, deals are similar to last week's -- good, but not great. If you're looking to buy an iPad Air 2, you might want to wait a week, but it's an okay time to pull the trigger on a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, new or old.

Along with the standard discounts on Macs and iOS devices, we've also rounded up this week's app deals and a few deals on some useful Apple accessories.

iPad Air 2


Best Buy continues to offer the lowest prices we've seen on a single iPad Air 2: the 16GB Cellular iPad Air 2 in silver is available for $499.99, $130 off its regular price.

B&H Photo is offering a small discount on all of its iPad Air 2 models, dropping prices by $30 to $50. With the discount, the 16GB WiFi only iPad Air 2 is priced at $469 and the 64GB model is priced at $569.

ipadair2c
MacMall is also offering some discounts on iPad Air 2 models, dropping the prices by $30 to $50. With the discount, the 16GB entry-level Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 is priced at $459, while the Wi-Fi-only 64GB iPad Air 2 is available for $539. Discounts are higher on cellular models, with the 64GB Cellular iPads priced at $669. The deals are applicable to all three iPad colors.

iPad Air


Best Buy has a couple of original iPad Air cellular models available at low prices. The 16GB Verizon iPad Air is available for $379.99, and the 32GB Verizon iPad Air is available for $429.99.

Both Best Buy and B&HPhoto have deep discounts on some remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad Air models, as listed below.

- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) - $549
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) - $499.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (AT&T) - $499.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) - $449
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) - $566.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) - $449
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) - $579
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) - $559

iPad mini 3


B&H Photo is offering some modest discounts on various Wi-Fi only iPad mini 3 models, dropping the price by up to $50. The 128GB iPad mini 3 in silver is available for $549, while the silver 64GB model is available for $439. The 16GB space gray model is priced at $349.

iPad mini 2


Amazon has a few iPad mini 2 models available at discounted prices. The 16GB Cellular Verizon iPad mini 2 in Silver is available for $323.50. The 16GB Cellular Verizon iPad mini 2 in Space Gray is available for $359.89.

retina_ipad_mini_space_gray_silver
Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Amazon also have remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad mini 2 models, which are a good deal if you're looking for an iPad mini. Compared to the iPad mini 3, the iPad mini 2 only lacks Touch ID.

- iPad mini Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) - $445
- iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) - $429
- iPad mini Cellular Silver 64GB (AT&T) - $399.99
- iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) - $399.99
- iPad mini Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) - $434.97
- iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) - $534.99
- iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) - $429.99

iMac


- 21.5-inch 2.7GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,189, $110 off
- 21.5-inch 2.9GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,389, $120 off
- 27-inch 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,689, $110 off
- 27-inch 3.4GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,794, $205 off
- 27-inch 3.5Ghz/8GB/1TB Retina iMac (B&H Photo) (MacMall) (Amazon) - $2,349, $150 off

retina-imac-27

Mac mini


- 1.4GHz/4GB/500GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $464.99, $34 off
- 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB (MacMall) - $934.99, $64 off

MacBook Air


- 2015 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB - (B&H Photo) (Adorama) $824.99, $70 off
- 2015 11-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/256GB - (Best Buy) (Amazon) (B&H Photo) (Adorama) $1044.99, $50 off
- 2015 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB (B&H Photo) (Adorama) - $949.99, $50 off
- 2015 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB (B&H Photo) (Adorama) - $1,139.99 $60 off
- 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB (Adorama) - $719.99, $180 off
- 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) - $899, $200 off
- 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) - $819, $180 off
- 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo)- $1,029, $170 off

macbook_air_yosemite_roundup

Retina MacBook Pro


- 2015 13-inch 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) - $1,424.99, $74 off
- 2015 13-inch 2.9GHz/8GB/512GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) - $1709.99, $90 off
- 2014 15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $1,799, $200 off
- 2014 15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (Adorama) -$2,249, $250 off
- 2014 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/128GB (B&H Photo) - $1,129, $170 off
- 2014 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB (Adorama) - $1,249, $239 off
- 2014 13-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,549 $250 off

macbook_pro_13_15_late_2013

Apps


There are quite a few apps that are on sale at discounted prices or available for free for a limited time. We'll highlight a few here, but make sure to check out our sister site AppShopper for a complete list.

Half Marathon Trainer Pro is available for free, down from $9.99. 10K Trainer Pro is also available for free, down from $1.99. Board game Bang! is available for free, down from $1.99. Pandemic is available for $4.99, down from $6.99.

djay 2 for iPhone is available for free this week, down from $2.99, and djay for iPad is also free, down from $9.99.

Apple Accessories


Groupon is selling the Griffin Survivor Case for iPhone 5/5s for $11.99, down from $49.99. The MyCharge Hub 9000 Power Bank is available for $64.99 from Amazon, down from $139.99. Incase is offering a free Portable Power 2500 USB battery pack with a $150 purchase using the code POWERONUS15.

incasedeal
DailySteals has a 3-pack of Apple Lightning cables for $26, a decent deal as a single cable usually costs $19. Woot has the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for the iPad Air 1 and 2 for $59.99, down from $99.

lightningcable
Groupon's running a big Apple event and selling a range of Apple products and accessories at discounted prices, including the LifeProof Fre case for the iPad Air, Apple EarPods, Speck MacBook cases, MagSafe chargers, Mophie battery cases, and more. Totallee is offering MacRumors readers 25 percent off all iPhone case orders with the promo code MACRUMORS.

grouponsale
LivingSocial is offering customized iPhone photo cases for $6.99 to $11.99, a significant discount off the regular $29.99 to $59.98 price tag. Woot has the Lifeproof Fre case for the iPad Air 1 for $49.99, down from $129.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

How to Add and Organize Images in Photos for OS X Yosemite

Once you've migrated your image library from iPhotos or Aperture (or both), you'll probably want to add all the images from your iPhone or iPad and get everything organized so you can quickly find pictures from specific dates and events in the future.

To help you accomplish both of these tasks, we've written up a tutorial that provides an overview of how to import pictures into the Photos app on OS X Yosemite and gives a few suggestions for how to organize your collection.

How to add and organize photos for os x 2

Importing Pictures



  1. Connect your device (iPhone, iPad, or digital camera) to your computer using the USB connector and open the Photos for OS X app.

  2. Select "Import" from the list of tabs at the top of the screen in the app.

  3. Select the images you wish to add to the Photos app, or select "Import All New Items" to add everything from your device.

Imported images will automatically be added to the "Last Import" album in Photos. You can see your photos using a number of different views, including the main Photos tab, which displays all pictures that you have added to the app and any pictures that you have taken using an iOS device that is connected using My Photo Stream.

Click here to read more...

Apple Releases iMac Graphics Update to Fix JPEG Freezing Issue on OS X Yosemite

Apple today released an iMac Graphics Update for users of the more recent iMacs, fixing an issue that caused the computers to freeze up after viewing very large JPEG Files.

Affected iMacs include the late 2014 27-inch Retina iMac, the late 2013 21.5-inch iMac, and the late 2013 27-inch iMac.

imacgraphicsupdate
Apple has also released an accompanying support document that describes the issue in more detail, suggesting the problem occurs when opening a large JPEG image in Finder or Preview on OS X Yosemite 10.10.3.
If you're using using OS X Yosemite v10.10.3 and one of the following iMac models, viewing certain very large JPEG (.jpg) images in the Finder or Preview can cause your iMac to briefly stop responding, display a black screen, and restart to a message that your computer restarted because of a problem.
People who own one of these three iMacs are encouraged to update their machines right away to fix the bug.

Related roundup: iMac

Video Software Chief Randy Ubillos Retiring After 20 Years at Apple

randyApple's former Chief Architect of Video Applications Randy Ubillos announced on Twitter today that he is retiring after working for 20 years at the Cupertino-based company on professional video and photo software. Ubillos is best known as the creator of the first three versions of Adobe Premiere and KeyGrip, which was sold to Apple and released as Final Cut Pro.


While not a household name like some other Apple employees, Ubillos is well known among those who have used Final Cut Pro or other professional video software. In June 2010, he made a brief appearance on stage during WWDC to demo the latest version of iMovie for iPhone 4 and returned on stage in October 2010 during Apple's "Back to the Mac" event for another demo.

Custom 1.3GHz Retina MacBooks Begin Shipping Out to Customers Early

With most of the past few days covered in Apple Watch shipping news, the build-to-order version of the new 12-inch MacBook has flown slightly under the radar. But, this morning, Apple began updating customers who opted-in for the 1.3GHz model of the notebook with shipping dates almost two weeks earlier than initially expected.

retina macbook shipping
First given a vague 3-4 week shipping estimate by Apple, the 1.3GHz MacBook has now received a delivery estimate as early as the middle of next week for some customers in the United States. The build-to-order option took slightly longer to ship than the basic 1.1GHz and 1.2GHz models due to its custom upgrade processor parts.

Those two regular models of the notebook began shipping out to customers soon after its April 10 launch alongside the Apple Watch. Although many expected the new MacBook to be sold in Apple retail locations, the company opted to keep the 12-inch Retina device mostly to its online storefront for the time being.

Related roundup: Retina MacBook

Longtime Apple PR Executive Natalie Kerris to Retire

nataliekerrisLongtime Apple public relations executive Natalie Kerris is retiring after 14 years with the company, she announced on Twitter. Kerris had worked closely with Jobs and oversaw the launch of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, Apple Pay and the Apple Watch.

According to Re/code, she had initially sought to succeed longtime Apple PR head Katie Cotton after Cotton decided to retire last year. However, fellow Apple PR veteran Steve Dowling was given the job on an interim basis before being promoted to the role on a permanent basis last week.


In a statement to Jim Dalrymple at The Loop, Kerris said that the decision to retire and "enjoy life" came after spending two weeks with her family in Italy.

MacBook Buyer's Guide: Which MacBook is Right for You?

With the recent introduction of the 12-inch MacBook, Apple's added a whole new product to the existing MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup, making it more difficult than ever to decide which MacBook is right for you.

If you're planning a purchase and you just aren't sure which Apple notebook suits your needs, read through this guide, which will walk you through all of the options and give you the pros and cons of each machine.

You can basically think of Apple's product lineup as meeting two different needs: power and portability.

macbooks
If you're looking for a machine that's going to handle whatever you can throw at it, you're going to want the MacBook Pro. If you're looking for something that's portable and more than capable of handling every day tasks, you're going to want to look at the MacBook Air. And if you want the newest technology, the latest form factor, the ultimate in portability, and you don't mind the price tag, the MacBook is the machine for you.

Retina MacBook Pro


The Retina MacBook Pro is Apple's workhorse MacBook, with the fastest processors, the best graphics, and the most available RAM (via upgrade). If you want to do things like serious photo, video, or audio editing, this is the Mac for you. Use Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, or Logic Pro X on a regular basis? You probably need a MacBook Pro.

You're also going to want to choose a MacBook Pro if you want a machine capable of playing modern system-intensive games. Don't care about games and just want to do things like browse the Internet, write papers, and answer emails? The MacBook Pro may be more computer than you need -- consider a MacBook Air if you don't care about a Retina screen, or a MacBook if you don't mind the price.

Click here to read more...

Related roundups: MacBook Air, Retina MacBook

YouTube App No Longer Available on Older Apple TV, iOS Devices

YouTube today announced changes to its YouTube Data API, causing many older apps on various devices to stop functioning. On the second-generation Apple TV or older, the YouTube channel will no longer be accessible, and on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, iOS 7 or later is required for the YouTube app to function.

Second-generation Apple TV users will have no way to watch YouTube videos on their devices after today, but iOS device owners with versions of iOS older than iOS 7 can use mobile YouTube in Safari to watch videos. YouTube is sharing the news via a discontinuation video that's being shared on all older devices.

If your device supports iOS 7 or above, you can download the YouTube app from the App Store. If not, visit m.youtube.com in your mobile browser to access YouTube.

If you're using Apple TV 3rd generation, you can get the latest version of the YouTube app by updating your software:

Select Settings > General > Update Software
If there is an upgrade available, click Download and Install
If you're using Apple TV 2nd generation or older, unfortunately there’s no current way to watch YouTube on these devices.
Attempting to use the YouTube app on an older iOS device or on an older Apple TV still lets users watch videos at the current time, but the discontinuation video above is always the first result, suggesting access will be shut down shortly after YouTube notifies everyone about the upcoming API change.

apple_tv_2_youtube
The YouTube channel on a second-generation Apple TV

Today's API change affects several other older devices in addition to the Apple TV and iOS devices, including those running old versions of Google TV and many smart televisions and game consoles. The official YouTube app will only be available on most 2013 and newer Smart TVs, blu-ray players, game consoles, and other streaming devices.

Update: According to a blog post from Google, beginning in early May, those who have older devices with unsupported YouTube apps will only see the discontinuation video. In late May, all apps using the old API will display 410 Gone HTTP responses.

Until that time, YouTube apps on older Apple TVs and iOS devices will work as normal, aside from displaying the warning video.

Steve Dowling's Role as Apple PR Chief Now Permanent

Longtime Apple public relations veteran Steve Dowling was today added to Apple's executive page, marking his official promotion to Vice President of Communications.

The role has been open since Katie Cotton retired in 2014, but Steve Dowling has been serving as the interim head of public relations for several months now. His position was initially temporary as Apple searched for other high-profile external candidates, but it appears Apple could not find a suitable external candidate to fill the role.

stevedowlingprchief
Following Katie Cotton's departure from Apple, Tim Cook was reportedly searching for a "friendlier" PR chief with a "more approachable face" to take over, to continue on with Apple's trend of being more open under Tim Cook's leadership.

Dowling has worked for Apple for twelve years and before taking over Cotton's former role, he served as the senior director of corporate public relations at the company. Before that he worked at CNBC's Washington Bureau for eight years.

Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall Serving as Snapchat Advisor

forstallAfter being forced out of Apple in 2012 following a major Maps debacle and clashes with other execs, former Apple Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott
Forstall has kept a low profile, largely staying out of the public eye.

He hasn't taken on a major role at any company, but in late 2013, news surfaced suggesting he had been spending his time advising startups and becoming involved in philanthropical causes. As of today, news has leaked about one of the startups Scott Forstall is involved in -- Snapchat.

A leaked email from the late 2014 Sony Pictures hack discovered by TechCrunch suggests that Scott Forstall has been serving as an advisor to popular ephemeral photo sharing app Snapchat, earning himself .11% of the company's stock. Forstall's shares in the company vest over the course of 24 months and could be worth approximately $16.5 million at Snapchat's current $15 billion valuation.

When TechCrunch questioned Snapchat about its relationship with Scott Forstall, the company did not deny that he was an advisor, stating "we have a number of advisors, but we don't comment on the specifics of their relationship with the company."

Scott Forstall first fell in league with Apple in 1992, when he took on a job at Steve Jobs' company, NeXT. When NeXT was acquired by Apple in 1997, Forstall stayed on, working on the Macintosh user design team. He was promoted several times and in 2005, he began working on iOS. Forstall has been largely credited with the skeuomorphic design present in the early years of the operating system, an aesthetic that eventually led to disagreements with other executives at the company following Steve Jobs' death.

Apple Partners With SunPower Corporation to Build Two Solar Power Plants in China

Environmentally conscious solar panel manufacturer SunPower Corporation today announced a partnership with Apple that will result in two solar power projects totaling 40 megawatts in the "environmentally-preserved" ABA Region of China's Sichuan Province.

Currently under construction, the projects will be split across two sites both eventually totaling 20 megawatts each. The first site, located in Hongyuan, is already generating 2 megawatts of power thanks to technology that includes single-axis tracking with rows of parabolic mirrors that reflect light onto SunPower's "Maxeon" cells, "which are the world's most efficient commercially available mass-produced solar cells." The second project is located in Ruoergai County.

silver-sunpower
As the first solar powered projects deployed in the ABA Region, the combined sites are expected to churn out up to 80 million kilowatt-hours each year. Upon completion, each project will be co-owned by Apple and Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., Ltd, SunPower's project development joint venture. Work on both sites is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2015.

Speaking with The Associated Press, Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president for environmental initiatives, discussed the new China-focused solar power project, suggesting the company's partnership with SunPower in the region is only the start of a bigger environmentally-focused push by Apple.
"It's important to us to tackle climate change everywhere we are," Jackson told The Associated Press. "When you talk about China, you're talking about manufacturing partners. We're looking to bring the same innovation there. This is the start."

"Before we go somewhere else and start asking and eventually requiring clean energy, you want to make sure you show folks how to do it," said Jackson, who was U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator during President Barack Obama's first term.
Apple and SunPower have collaborated stateside in the past, with six plants ranging from California to Nevada and North Carolina. Today's announcements mark the first international solar power partnership between Apple and SunPower.

Tag: SunPower