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Disney+ Will Offer up to Four Simultaneous Streams and 4K Content for $6.99 a Month

Disney's annual D23 Expo kicked off in Anaheim on Friday, and the company has revealed more details about its upcoming streaming service, Disney+.


According to CNET, Disney+ will cost $6.99 a month and give subscribers the ability stream up to four devices at the same time, with high-definition 4K content included at no extra cost.

That will make it highly competitive with Netflix, which increased its base price to $9 earlier this year. Netflix also charges subscribers $13 for high definition streaming on two simultaneous streams, and $16 for 4K and four simultaneous streams.

Of course, Netflix has built up a large library of content in its nine years operating as a streaming service, but Disney has a huge stock of established IP to draw from and is launching its platform with more than 500 feature films and over 7,500 shows, including the entire Pixar library and a raft of original content.


The company is debuting a Ms. Marvel series on the platform, as well as She Hulk and Moon Knight. A live-action Lady and the Tramp adaptation and an Obi-Wan Kenobi original series starring Ewan McGregor will also be exclusive to Disney+.

Other previously announced perks include numerous Star Wars series like The Mandalorian, several Marvel character shows, and exclusive streams for upcoming Disney movies including Frozen 2 and a live-action The Little Mermaid.

Disney's original episodes will be released weekly, in contrast to Netflix's tendency to release entire seasons in one go, and subscribers to the service will be able to set up to seven different user profiles (Netflix allows up to four).

Disney+ is set to launch on November 12 and will be available to watch on Apple TV (tvOS-supported models), iPad, and iPhone, with offline downloads supported on mobile.


This holiday season is shaping up to be all about the battle of the streaming platforms, with Apple TV+, Apple's new streaming television service, also expected to launch in November.

Apple TV+ will offer all of Apple's original TV shows and movies that are in development, and Apple is spending upwards of $6 billion for content. Little is known about Apple TV+, but it will be available on all devices where the TV app is available when it launches.

Apple has not yet announced pricing for the service, but it is ad free and shows will be available to watch on demand. Current rumors suggest it could be priced at $9.99 per month.

Tag: Disney
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Apple Contractors Listened to 1,000+ Siri Recordings Per Shift

Apple has suspended the grading program that used contractors to listen to Siri recordings for quality control purposes, but in a new report, The Irish Examiner (via The Verge) gives some additional insight into how it worked.

According to one of the contractors who worked on Siri grading in Cork, Ireland, employees were expected to listen to more than 1,000 Siri recordings per shift. Most recordings were a few seconds in length, and "occasionally" employees would hear personal data or snippets of conversation. Contractors primarily heard Siri commands, though.


Each recording was "graded" based on different factors, such as whether or not a Siri activation was accidental or if the query was something the personal assistant could or couldn't help with.

The employee said that Siri user details were kept anonymous, and that he or she mostly heard recordings with Canadian, Australian, and UK accents.
"I understood the reasons why the company was doing it but I could see why people would feel it was a breach of privacy because they weren't telling people. I think the lack of consent was the issue."
Data analysts who worked with Globetech, a Cork-based firm, were told this week that their work with Apple has been terminated. Apple and Globetech have not commented on how many employees were let go, but The Irish Examiner says that more than 300 contractors working on transcription and grading for Apple may have lost their jobs.

Apple last week told Globetech that it would be ending all transcription and voice grading work, and Globetech has confirmed that it will no longer be providing these services to Apple.

Prior to Apple's decision to end all grading and transcription work with Globetech, Apple prohibited employees from bringing their cell phones to work after the original story from The Guardian hit. In that report, an anonymous contractor said that employees working on Siri often heard private data including confidential medical information, drug deals, recordings of couples having sex, and more.

Following that story, where the employee also called out Apple for not properly disclosing human-based Siri grading to its customers, Apple announced that it would temporarily suspend the program worldwide.

Apple said it would review the process that's currently used, and also add a feature to let people to opt out of allowing their Siri recordings be used for quality control purposes. In a statement to The Irish Examiner, Apple said that it is still evaluating its grading processes and is "working closely" with partners to reach the "best possible outcome" for all involved.
"We believe that everyone should be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve -- this includes our own employees and the suppliers we work with in Ireland and around the world. Apple is committed to customer privacy and made the decision to suspend Siri grading while we conduct a thorough review of our processes. We're working closely with our partners as we do this to ensure the best possible outcome for our suppliers, their employees and our customers around the world."
It's not if and clear when Siri grading will resume, but it's likely going to remain suspended until Apple is able to release a software update that adds a toggle allowing customers to opt out.

Apple is facing a class action lawsuit over the issue, which claims Apple did not inform consumers that they are regularly being recorded without consent."

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The Most Interesting Features in Samsung's New Galaxy Note 10+ Flagship Smartphone

Samsung recently released its latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy Note 10+, which will be two of Apple's main competitors for the upcoming 2019 iPhones.

The new Galaxy Note smartphones have impressive edge-to-edge displays with pinhole camera cutouts, S Pen support, and a long list of additional features that are designed to make them stand out. In our latest YouTube video, we go hands-on with the Note 10+ to check out what Samsung has added to try to compete with the iPhone lineup.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

S Pen


iPhones don't support a stylus, and we're not expecting the Apple Pencil to work with the 2019 lineup, but Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 devices do work with a stylus called the S Pen, which has long been one of the main Note features.


The S Pen has a new look in 2019, but it's mostly the same. You can use it for taking notes, writing on the screen, sending live messages, and more. It's basically like the Apple Pencil for the iPad.


With the Galaxy Note 10 and the S Pen, handwritten notes can be turned into text, and you're also able to search through your handwritten notes. It's a feature that worked well in our testing.

AR Doodle


One major new S Pen feature that's a little bit fun and a little bit gimmicky is AR Doodle, designed to let users write text or create drawings on top of what's being viewed through the camera.

It's essentially drawing in augmented reality, which is neat, but probably not something most people are going to use on a regular basis.

3D Scanner


The larger version of the Galaxy Note 10 (the Note 10+) is equipped with an extra DepthVision camera that enables some interesting 3D scanning functionality.

Samsung on stage used this feature to scan a plush toy to make a correct, 3D digital version of it, which is what it's supposed to do. Unfortunately, in our testing, the 3D scanner is mediocre.


We couldn't get anything to scan accurately, with limbs getting cut off, designs being warped, and other problems, even when testing all kinds of lighting conditions. Maybe it'll get better in the future, but as is, this feature isn't useful.

Live Focus Video


A camera feature that is useful is the new Live Focus Video option that brings the Live Focus available in Samsung photos to the video camera, so you can adjust the depth of field while you're filming.

Zoom In Audio


Another camera feature we liked as the zoom-in audio option. When you zoom in on a subject that you're filming, the microphone is able to isolate that subject and amplify the sound, which is neat. When you zoom back out, the audio returns to normal.

DeX for macOS


Samsung devices have a feature called DeX, which is basically designed to let you dock your Samsung smartphone to a PC to turn it into a mobile workstation.

You used to need an external monitor, but with the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, DeX works with both Mac and Windows machines. Mac users can download the DeX app for the Mac, plug the Note 10 in, and then control smartphone functions on the big screen.


On some Macs, though, the resolution is poor, which can make it a bit hard to see what you're doing.

Aura Glow Design


One of the coolest Galaxy Note 10 features is the color. Samsung is offering the Note 10 and Note 10+ in this rainbow-like shade called Aura Glow. It stands out and really catches the eye, especially when compared to the standard Silver, Space Gray, and Gold that most iPhones come in.


Fingerprint Sensor


Samsung's new smartphones use an under-display fingerprint sensor which is about as accurate as the fingerprint sensor in the S10+. It works decently, but its positioning on the screen might take some adjustment.

Battery Life


iPhone users who always feel like their devices die quickly might be jealous of the battery in the Note 10+ - it's 4,300mAh, which is massive. It can also take advantage of a 45W charger that can fast charge it from zero to full in just about an hour.

Samsung's not including a 45W charger in the box, but since it charges over USB-C, you might already have one laying around.

What do you think of Samsung's new Galaxy Note 10 smartphones? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Samsung
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Health and Activity: What's New in iOS 13

Apple added new features and new functionality to most of its built-in apps, including Health and Activity, both of which have either changed significantly or have major new features worth noting.

This guide goes over the changes that Apple made to the Health app and the Activity app in iOS 13.


Health App


Summary


Apple in iOS 13 entirely overhauled the Health app, doing away with the iOS 12 interface which featured four tabs for the "Today" calendar, "Health Data," "Sources," and "Medical ID."

The main Health interface now features just two tabs: Summary and Browse. Summary is an overview of all of your different health metrics, which are going to vary based on what health-related devices you have and how you use them.


If you have an Apple Watch, for example, you'll see data like activity, heart rate, heart rate variability, stand hours, stand minutes, steps, and tons more. Other devices, like the Beddit sleep monitor, smart scales, blood pressure monitors, and anything else that connects to the Health app can also be displayed here.

To edit what's in the "Summary" tab," tap on the "Edit" button and tap the stars next to the categories that you want to be able to see.

Highlights


The Summary app has a "Highlights" section that tells you relevant and interesting information that you might want to know like average workout minutes over the last seven days, heart rate recovery, average steps walked per day, environmental sound levels, and more.


Get More From Health


If you scroll down to the end of the Summary section in the Health app, you will see various options like registering as an organ donor along with health-related information such as why hearing health matters and understanding hearing loss. There are also links to health-related apps you might want to try.


Browse Tab


In the "Browse" tab in the Health app, you can see a breakdown of all of the available health-related categories to make it easier to find different health information and your health records if you have a doctor's office that makes records available on the iPhone.


This section also includes a search category so you can search for exactly what you're looking for.

Profile


Information like Medical ID and Sources, which was previously available through dedicated tabs in the iOS 12 Health app, is now located in a new Profile section available by tapping on your profile picture at the top of the Health app.


Your personal health details (height, weight, age, etc) are stored here, along with your Medical ID info and your organ donation choices. In this section, you can also access your health records if you have a participating health provider and you can change which apps and devices have access to your Health data.

Health Data Breakdowns


Since the Health app is no longer organized by date, it looks different when you tap into a health category like steps taken or exercise minutes.

You can still see data organized by day, week, month, or year, but it's easier to find each category that you're looking for and Apple also provides useful health summaries in these sections.


Depending on the health category, metrics like historical average, daily average, range, alerts, and more are also available.

Menstrual Cycle Tracking


iOS 13 brings a new health tracking feature for tracking menstrual cycles. It includes options for both period and fertility tracking, providing a first-party alternative to less privacy-focused period tracking apps.


It predicts when a period is expected and keeps track of period history, along with allowing for the logging and tracking of different symptoms related to both health and fertility tracking.

Noise Monitoring


Apple in iOS 13 monitors the sound level around you through a connected Series 4 Apple Watch or through connected earbuds like the EarPods, AirPods, Powerbeats Pro, and other options.

The Health app can be set to send notifications when harmful noise levels are detected, such as if you're at a concert that's too loud or are listening to music through the AirPods or other headphones that's set too loud.


In the Health app specifically, Apple provides a readout of the ambient noise you've been exposed to over time. The app lets you know if it's been too loud, and provides the average sound level in your environment over the last hour, day, week, month, and year.

Toothbrushing Time


If you have a Bluetooth-connected toothbrush that works with an iPhone app, that data can now be imported into the Health app in a new Toothbrushing category so you can see your brushing time at a glance. The Toothbrushing category tracks brushing time per day, week, month, and year.


If you don't have a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush, you can also add manual data each time that you brush your teeth.

Activity App


The Activity app in iOS 13 has a new "Trends" tab that's designed to make sure you keep up your activity levels from month to month.

Trends lets you know if your overall health trends are stable, up, or down, so if activity levels have dropped, you can make the appropriate changes.


To give you an idea of where you stand at a glance, Trends uses up or down arrows. An up arrow means your activity in a specific category is up, while a down arrow means you're trending downwards.

Trends covers Move (calories via active movement per day), Exercise minutes, Stand hours, Distance walked, and more, depending on which activities you do. Metrics like Stand Minutes per Hour, VO2MAX, Walking Pace, and Running Pace are also available, though you need enough data to activate them. These are based on walking and running workouts.


Apple says that Trends is designed to help users understand the long-term trajectory for activity, mobility, and fitness over the course of the last 90 days. Tapping on any one of the arrows in the Trends tab provides more specific information so you can see changes over time in more detail.

Apple will give you an encouraging message if your trends are up, or personalized coaching if trends are down.

New Move Achivements


The Activity app also includes some new Move achievements, with rewards for hitting Move goals 1250, 1500, 1750, and 2000 times. Previously, this maxed out at 1000.


Guide Feedback


Have questions about the Health or Activity apps, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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ZENS Unveils AirPower-Like Wireless Charger With 16 Coils to Charge Two Devices Anywhere on Mat

Dutch brand ZENS today unveiled a wireless charging mat with 16 overlapping coils, allowing two devices to be charged anywhere on the mat.


The ZENS Liberty will be able to charge any Qi-enabled devices, with the 16 coils providing a total output of 30W, while a built-in 2.4A USB port will be able to charge an additional device. Designed with high-grade aluminum, the mat will be powered by a 45W power adapter that connects via USB-C.


Other wireless charging mats released to date have fewer coils, resulting in devices needing to be placed in specific spots on the mat to charge.

This is the closest alternative we have ever seen to Apple's canceled AirPower mat, which would have been able to charge three devices placed anywhere on the mat, including an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Of course, the ZENS mat will not have the same level of software integration with Apple devices.


Apple canceled the AirPower in March, noting that "after much effort," the mat failed to achieve its "high standards." An earlier report from Sonny Dickson claimed the AirPower would have been equipped with 21 to 24 coils, but reports claimed the mat suffered from overheating and potentially dangerous electromagnetic interference issues.

ZENS says the mat will be available in November for $139.99, with a limited edition version with see-through glass set to be offered for $179.99.

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HomePod Launches in Japan and Taiwan [Updated]

Update: On schedule, the HomePod has now launched in Japan and Taiwan.

Original story follows.



Apple's HomePod is set to launch in Japan and Taiwan next week, on Friday, August 23, Apple announced today. Ahead of the launch, Apple is accepting pre-orders through its online stores in Japan and Taiwan.


The HomePod is available for ¥32,800 in Japan and NT$9,900 in Taiwan, which is $10 to $15 higher than the price in the U.S. When the HomePod first launched in the United States in 2018, it was priced at $349, but the price was lowered to $299 in April of this year.

Apple announced plans to expand the HomePod to Japan and Taiwan earlier this summer, and added support for the new countries in the 12.4 software made available for the HomePod in late July.

Apple now sells the HomePod in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, China, and Hong Kong, along with Taiwan and Japan.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)
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Apple Debuts New iCloud.com Beta Site With Fresh Look, Reminders App

Ahead of the launch of iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina, Apple has updated its iCloud.com beta site with a fresh look and a new Reminders app (via Federico Vittici).

The beta version of iCloud.com has a plain white interface with smaller icons, and rather than a Settings app, there's now an "Account Settings" section.


Most of the beta iCloud apps are identical to the iCloud apps available through the standard iCloud.com website, with Mail, Contacts, Photos, Notes, iCloud Drive, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Find Friends, and Find iPhone unchanged.


There is a new Reminders app on beta.iCloud.com though, which mirrors the iOS Reminders app and allows iCloud users to create, view, and manage their tasks.

The new version of iCloud.com will likely go live following the launch of iOS 13 and Apple's other new software this fall.

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Bose Announces AirPlay 2-Equipped Portable Home Speaker

Bose today announced the launch of a new speaker, the Bose Portable Home Speaker, which is designed to work with Apple's AirPlay 2 protocol.

The Bluetooth-enabled Portable Home Speaker is designed to be compact, and it's got a rather HomePod-like design with a cylindrical body that features speaker mesh at the bottom and an aluminum shell at the top to deliver 360 degree sound. It measures in at 7.5 inches high and 4 inches across.


The Portable Home Speaker has a handle so you can move it from room to room, and it weighs just 2.3 pounds. There's also a built-in battery with 12 hours of battery life, so it can go where you go. It has an IPX4 water resistance rating, so it can survive minor spills and splashes of rain.

Bose says that the Portable Home Speaker delivers deeper bass than any other portable speaker in its size. With Bluetooth, you can stream music from your phone or tablet while on the go, and while at home, you can use AirPlay 2, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.


With AirPlay 2 support, you can play any music you like from an iOS device, and it can be paired up with other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers for a whole home audio experience. You can also pair it up with other Bose products using the Bose Music app.

Buttons on the top of the Portable Home Speaker allow manual control over power, volume, play/pause, and skipping tracks, plus there is a proprietary privacy-focused "mic-off" feature that disables power to the microphone so you can make sure you're not being recorded.


Inside, the speaker features three passive radiators, a high-excursion driver, and what Bose says is a proprietary deflector to distribute "clear, lifelike sound evenly in every direction."

Bose's new Portable Home Speaker is priced at $349, which is what Apple used to charge for the HomePod before dropping the price down to $299 earlier this year. It will be available for purchase starting on September 19.

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Law Firm Capitalizes on Reports Apple's iPhones Exceeded Radiofrequency Radiation Safety Levels in Some Tests

A report yesterday from The Chicago Tribune suggested Apple's iPhones were emitting radiofrequency radiation beyond federal safety limits following independent lab testing, and now, a law firm is capitalizing on that report and has announced the launch of an investigation into the claims.

Fegan Scott, a Chicago-based law firm, has not yet levied a lawsuit against Apple, and it's not clear what "investigation" will be conducted. Beth Fegan, a managing partner, said that "this could be the Chernobyl of the cell phone industry, cover-up and all."

"If we found that produce sold in grocery stores contained twice the levels of pesticides as the law allows, we would be up in arms, demanding the products be pulled from the shelf - this is no different," said Beth Fegan, managing partner of Fegan Scott. "In this case, we know the cell phone radiation is dangerous, but the terrifying part is that we don't know how dangerous, especially to kids' brain development."
Fegan went on to claim that research suggests that cell phone manufacturers "knew or should have known" that radiation levels were well above claims, despite no evidence.
The fact that the Chicago Tribune can convene a group of experts and develop such convincing findings shows that the phone manufacturers may be intentionally hiding what they know about radiation output.
The Chicago Tribune's investigation contracted an accredited lab to test several smartphones according to federal guidelines. The testing facility found that some of Apple's iPhones emitted radiofrequency radiation beyond the legal safety limits, and in some cases, double what Apple reported to federal regulators.

The iPhone 7 was the worst performer, measuring well over the federal radiofrequency radiation limits across multiple tests, but higher than expected levels were also detected from the iPhone X and the iPhone 8. Smartphones from other companies like Motorola and Samsung were also tested with similar over-limit results.

Apple told The Chicago Tribune that testing had not been conducted properly and was not "in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the iPhone models." Apple also said that it re-tested the smartphones and confirmed its devices meet all exposure guidelines.
"All iPhone models, including iPhone 7, are fully certified by the FCC and in every other country where iPhone is sold," the statement said. "After careful review and subsequent validation of all iPhone models tested in the (Tribune) report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable ... exposure guidelines and limits."
In response to the report, the United States Federal Communications Commission said that it will be doing its own retesting of smartphones in the coming months.

Fegan Scott provides no other details on the upcoming investigation or what testing will be done to verify the claims made by both The Chicago Tribune and Apple and other cell phone manufacturers. Those interested in learning more, says the law firm, can send an email with contact information.

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Android 10 Announced as Google Drops Dessert-Inspired Names

Google today announced its next major version of Android will be named Android 10, as the company has decided to move past dessert-inspired names for the operating system like Ice Cream Sandwich, Lollipop, and Marshmallow.

Android's new logo

Android's naming scheme is now consistent with iOS. Android is only on version 10 though, compared to iOS 13, because Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and KitKat were all considered version 4.0 through version 4.4.4 releases between 2011 and 2014. Android also launched over a year after the original iPhone.

Until now, Android 10 was expected to be named Android Q, but there are few well-known desserts that start with that letter, perhaps contributing to Google's decision to switch to a numbered scheme. Google also admitted that the dessert names "weren't always understood by everyone in the global community."

Google has also revamped the Android logo for the first time since 2014 and shared a video to unveil the new branding:


The final beta of Android 10 was seeded earlier this month. The update will be publicly released in the third quarter.

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2019 iPhones Said to Have Improved Shatter Resistance, Multi-Angle Face ID That Works Flat on Tables

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu have shared expectations for Apple's fall product lineup and beyond, revealing new details plus existing rumors about upcoming iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, HomePod, and AirPods models.


Starting with the iPhone, the report claims the widely rumored triple-lens rear camera system on the higher-end models will enable a larger field of view for capturing ultra-wide-angle photos and videos, in addition to improving low-light photos. New editing tools while recording video are also expected.

The high-end iPhones will look nearly identical to the current models from the front, but at least some colors on the back will have a new matte finish, according to the report. Interestingly, he adds that the new iPhones should better withstand drops due to an unspecified "new shatter-resistance technology."

The report claims a new multi-angle Face ID sensor that captures a wider field of view will enable users to unlock the next iPhones more easily, even when the devices are laying flat on a table for example.

Other features outlined for 2019 iPhones include "dramatically enhanced" water resistance and faster A13 processors with a new co-processor known internally as "AMX" or "matrix." As for the next iPhone XR, the report corroborates rumors of it gaining a dual-lens rear camera and a new green color option.

As for the iPad, the report claims both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be refreshed in 2019 with improved cameras and faster processors. The report also backs the rumor of a 10.2-inch iPad launching later this year.

Turning to the Apple Watch, this year's changes are said to be "more muted," revolving around watchOS 6 and new case finishes. Last week, iHelpBR's Filipe Espósito discovered new titanium and ceramic 40mm and 44mm Apple Watch models based on hidden assets in the watchOS 6 beta.

The report concludes that Apple plans to launch a new 16-inch MacBook Pro with slim bezels later this year, as well as new AirPods with water resistance and noise cancelation and a cheaper HomePod with reduced tweeters as early as 2020.


Tuesday, September 10 is the widely predicted date of Apple's traditional iPhone event, just under three weeks away.

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Powerbeats Pro in Ivory, Moss, and Navy Now Available for Pre-order

Apple this morning started accepting pre-orders for its Powerbeats Pro wireless headphones in Ivory, Moss, and Navy on its online Apple Store.


Apple is currently quoting shipping times of 5 to 7 business days for the Ivory and Navy headphones, which loosely corresponds with Apple's plan to make the new Powerbeats Pro colors available in retail stores from August 30. The Moss color currently ships in 1 to 2 weeks. The new colors are also available to order at the Beats By Dre website, which is quoting the same shipping times.

Apple started selling Powerbeats Pro in May after introducing them in April, but the black color was the only one available at launch. Apple said that it would make the other colors available at a later date.


Powerbeats Pro are a wire-free version of Apple's popular fitness-oriented Powerbeats earbuds. Like the AirPods, Powerbeats Pro feature a dedicated charging case that offers 24 hours of battery life and an H1 chip for fast connectivity to your devices, device switching, and Hey Siri support.


Apple's Powerbeats Pro are priced at $249.95 in the United States. For more on the Powerbeats Pro features, make sure to check out our guide.

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