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Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning.


The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, while the Xbox streaming option requires users to connect their iPhones to their Xbox consoles.


As The Verge points out, the new Xbox streaming option is similar to the PS4 Remote Play app that Sony offers on Apple's iPhones and iPads. Remote Play lets users play their PS4 games over WiFi on an Apple device.


Xbox's streaming feature will work outside of the home, like the PlayStation version, allowing Xbox owners to access and play their games from their Xbox when not at home. The updated Xbox app is being tested by TestFlight members at the current time and will likely see a public launch soon.


As for xCloud, Microsoft has a path to bring the feature to the iPhone and the iPad after recent App Store policy changes, but introducing xCloud on Apple devices will require Microsoft to upload each individual game to Apple's App Store for review purposes.

Microsoft has said that this is a "bad experience for customers" who want to "jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs" and not be forced to "download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud."

Project xCloud launched on September 15 as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and while it is available on Android devices, it is not available to iOS users.

(Thanks, Art!)

With the unveiling of Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, Apple introduced two new styles of band called the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. Compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and later watches, these new bands have no clasp, buckle or other fastener. Instead, they use a single strap of material with a stretchy design that allows them to be pulled on and off your wrist over your hand.


As a consequence of the "Solo" design, Apple offers customers 18 different size options to find a perfect fit. The company also provides a printable tool that can be printed out and used to measure your size before buying one of the bands. The tool is the easiest way to check which size is right for you, but you do still need to take care when using it.

Many MacRumors readers have found that their band orders don't quite fit. A lengthy discussion thread shows many users ending up with the wrong size loop, due to measuring errors, in-between sizing, and fit preference. The experience was also complicated by the fact that returns were difficult. Fortunately, Apple does now allow you to return just the band if needed, but it's still an avoidable hassle, which is why we're providing this guide.


If you don't have a printer handy, Apple recommends that you measure your wrist the old-school way, with a flexible tape measure, or using paper and a ruler. We've included separate sets of instructions to help you out with that, too.

How to Measure Your Wrist Using Apple's Printable Tool

If you don't have a tape measure available, you can use Apple's printable tool to determine your Solo Loop size. Let's take you through the procedure step by step.

  1. At Apple's order page for Apple Watch or individual bands, select either the Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop option.
  2. Under "Band Size," select Start your band measurement.

  3. Tap or click Download the printable tool.

  4. In your printer options, make sure the page is set to print at 100% and NOT scaled to fit.

  5. Print the printable tool.
  6. Place a credit card in the sizing area on the printed page to make sure it has been printed at the correct size.

  7. Take a pair of scissors and carefully cut out the wrist sizing tool.
  8. Place the case shape on your wrist where you would normally have the watch face, then wrap the paper tool tightly around your wrist. (If it helps, use some tape to hold the wider part in place.) Make sure the tool feels snug and doesn't slide around.

  9. The number the arrows point to is your band size. If the arrows point to a line, choose the smaller of the two numbers closest to the line.

Tool Tip: Use a Sport Band to Convert Your Size

Daring Fireball's John Gruber discovered that the holes on Apple's Sport Bands correspond exactly to the new Solo Loop sizes. That means if you have a Sport Band, you can use a simple conversion to work out your Solo Loop size.

A demonstration of aligning the holes of a 40mm Apple Watch Sport Band with Apple's printed tool, via Daring Fireball.

For example, if you have a 38mm or 40mm Watch and use the smaller Sport Band on the innermost hole, that converts to a size 1 for the Solo Loop. At the other extreme, if you have a 42mm or 44mm Watch and use the larger Sport Band on the outermost hole, you need to order your Solo Loop in size 12.

How to Measure Your Wrist Using a Tape Measure

If you don't have a printer available to use Apple's printable tool, you can use a common household measuring tape instead. Here's what you need to do to make sure you order the right size Solo Loop for your wrist.

  1. Tightly wrap the tape measure around where you usually wear your watch. Make sure it's not loose but remains comfortable.

  2. Make a note of the measurement.
  3. At the order page for an Apple Watch or individual bands, select either the Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop option.
  4. Under "Band Size," select Start your band measurement.

  5. Tap or click the Household objects tab in the size guide window that appears.

  6. Click or tap Got it. What's next?
  7. Enter the measurement you noted down: You can enter it in inches and fractions of an inch, or in centimeters.

  8. Click or tap Get your band size.
  9. When your band size options appear, select the recommended size, then tap or click Continue.

How to Measure Your Wrist With a Ruler, Paper, and Pen

If you can't print out Apple's measuring tool and you don't have a tape measure, there's still a way you can work out your band size. All you need is some paper and scissors, a ruler, and a pen or pencil.

  1. Using the scissors, cut out a narrow strip of paper about one-half inch wide using the length of the paper.

  2. Wrap the strip of paper around your wrist, but not too tightly. It should feel comfortable but not loose.
  3. Using pen or pencil, mark the point on the paper where the end of the strip overlaps the other end of the strip. (If it helps, use some tape to hold the paper in place.)

  4. Lay the strip of paper on a flat surface and use the ruler to measure the distance between the end and the part you marked. Note the exact measurement.

  5. At Apple's order page for an Apple Watch or individual bands, select either the Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop option.
  6. Under "Band Size," select Start your band measurement.

  7. Tap or click the Household objects tab in the size guide window that appears.

  8. Click or tap Got it. What's next?
  9. Enter the measurement you noted down: You can enter it in inches and fractions of an inch, or in centimeters.

  10. Click or tap Get your band size.
  11. When your band size options appear, select the recommended size, then tap or click Continue.

Returning an Ill-Fitting Solo Loop Band

Despite your best efforts at measuring your wrist, you may still find yourself unhappy with the fit of the Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop band you ordered. All is not lost, however, as Apple is now allowing bands to be returned without the need to return the entire watch, which wasn't the case previously.


Apple will do an in-store band swap for anyone who got an ill-fitting band, but if you don't live near a store or your local store isn't open at this time, you can contact Apple and request a swap. Apple's online support staff are not able to initiate this return process, however, so you'll need to call them. Once you've done that, send back the poorly-fitting band and you'll be sent a new one when the old one is received.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with ColorWare to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a set of custom-painted AirPods Pro, available in dozens of different color combinations.


If you're unfamiliar with ColorWare, it's a customization company that's been offering custom painted devices and electronics for years now. ColorWare provides unique painting options and skins for everything from consoles to iPhones to earbuds like the ‌AirPods Pro‌.

Custom-colored ‌AirPods Pro‌ can be purchased from ColorWare for $389 for just the AirPods themselves, or $439 for the ‌AirPods Pro‌ and the Wireless Charging Case together. There's a premium for ordering from ColorWare, but it's the only way to get ‌AirPods Pro‌ in a color other than white because Apple still doesn't offer alternate color options.


ColorWare has both solid and metallic color options, with gloss and matte finishes to top it off. You can get the traditional black, gold, or silver colors to match Apple's devices, but there are also bright shades in every color of the rainbow. If you want ‌AirPods Pro‌ in yellow, orange, teal, green, deep purple, blue, pink, or one of dozens of other colors, ColorWare is the best option.


ColorWare even has a new Illusion finish for the ‌AirPods Pro‌ in multi-chrome colors that shift depending on the lighting in the room.


Each AirPod Pro can be custom painted in the same color as the case or you can order the case and the earbuds all in different colors, so there are endless color combinations to choose from.


Because ColorWare has been offering custom painted devices since 1998, the company has perfected the painting process. ColorWare uses a multi-step coating process that includes a primer, the application of a proprietary color formula, and an X2 liquid plastic coating that protects the color. ColorWare's custom painting is guaranteed for 12 months or 24 months with the purchase of an additional warranty.


ColorWare uses standard ‌AirPods Pro‌ from Apple and paints them, which leaves the full ‌AirPods Pro‌ functionality intact. There's an H1 chip for quick and easy pairing, silicone tips for a tight in-ear fit, Active Noise Cancellation, and spatial audio.


We have a set of custom painted ‌AirPods Pro‌ and Wireless Charging case to give away, with the winner able to choose the color and finish of their choice. To enter to win our ‌giveaway‌, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the ‌giveaway‌ restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

ColorWare
The contest will run from today (September 25) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on October 2. The winner will be chosen randomly on October 2 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

Apple has paid in the high $40 millions for the rights to upcoming movie "Cherry," reports Deadline. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who were responsible for "Avengers: Endgame," "Cherry" is a crime drama that's an adaptation of a novel by Nico Walker.


In "Cherry," actor Tom Holland (known for his role as Spider-Man) plays a Cleveland man named Walker who joins the army after being spurned by the love of his life. He becomes an Army medic in Iraq and is traumatized by the experience, suffering from PTSD.

To treat his PTSD, Walker is treated with Oxycontin, and that eventually leads to a heroin addiction. To pay for the drugs, Walker begins robbing banks.

The $40 million+ price tag for "Cherry" marks one of the biggest film deals of the year, and it provides Apple with an awards season contender. Apple's plan is to qualify with the Academy and then premiere "Cherry" in early 2021 on Apple TV+.

Today we're tracking a group of solid discounts on Apple's line of Mac computers, ranging from the latest models of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (13-inch and 16-inch models), and the 27-inch Retina iMac.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

We've collected the sales in the lists below, all of which can be found on Amazon. These include lowest ever prices on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro at $1,599.99, ongoing solid deals on the 16-inch MacBook Pro at $2,499.00, and new markdowns on the 27-inch iMac at $1,699.93.

MacBook Air (2020)

  • 256GB - $899.99, down from $999.00 ($99 off)
  • 512GB - $1,199.00, down from $1,299.00 ($100 off)

13-Inch MacBook Pro (2020)

16-Inch MacBook Pro (2019)

27-Inch iMac (2020)

21.5-Inch iMac (2020)

You can find even more discounts on MacBooks and iMacs by visiting our Best Deals guide for MacBook and Best Deals guide for iMac. In this guide we track the steepest discounts for the newest Macs every week, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often if you're shopping for a new Apple computer.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple has decided to temporarily waive the 30 percent cut that it takes from in-app purchases for Facebook's in-app paid event feature, reports CNBC. Facebook had accused Apple of hurting small businesses by collecting fees from the new feature, which lets users attend online classes and events through Facebook.


The policy update will pertain to ClassPass and Airbnb, two companies that are also offering new digital experiences and classes within their apps.

An Apple spokesperson said that Apple reversed its decision on the Facebook event fees due to the pandemic and a desire to give companies more time to adapt to digital business models. Apple says that Facebook will not have to pay fees through the end of the year, with Apple to resume taking its standard 30 percent cut in 2021.

Despite the reprieve, Facebook is unhappy that the waived fees are not applicable to gaming businesses that want to sell online access to their events, but Apple says that this is because gaming businesses have always been digital only and have not been affected by the global health crisis.

"This is a difficult time for small businesses and creators, which is why we are not collecting any fees from paid online events while communities remain closed for the pandemic," Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne said in a statement. "Apple has agreed to provide a brief, three-month respite after which struggling businesses will have to, yet again, pay Apple the full 30% App Store tax."

With the in-app purchase Facebook fees waived for now, small business owners who set up online classes or events using the Facebook Paid Events feature in the Facebook app on iPhone or iPad will be able to keep the all of the money customers pay to attend.

Facebook plans to waive its own fees for the Paid Events feature through at least August 2021, even though Apple will begin collecting fees again after December 31.

Apple and Facebook have been feuding over this issue since August, and Apple has struggled with applying ‌App Store‌ rules to businesses that are transitioning from real-world events to online events. ClassPass and Airbnb, for example, used to provide access to real-world events where Apple did not collect fees, but the virtual classes and experiences the two apps now offer are subject to Apple's standard 30 percent commission.

Until today's decision to temporarily waive fees through the end of the year, Apple had refused to grant special permission to ClassPass, Facebook, Airbnb, and other similar apps in the name of fairness to other developers who are subject to the fees. Apple in a statement today reiterated its stance: "The ‌App Store‌ provides a great business opportunity for all developers, who use it to reach half a billion visitors each week across 175 countries. To ensure every developer can create and grow a successful business, Apple maintains a clear, consistent set of guidelines that apply equally to everyone."

Facebook is now actively seeking an option to make its Messenger app the default app for messages on iPhones, reports The Information.

Emboldened by changes in iOS 14 that allow users to set a default email and browser app of their choice, Facebook believes it now has a more persuasive case to argue for a similar change for messaging apps. Last year, Apple also allowed Siri to send messages through other apps.

"We feel people should be able to choose different messaging apps and the default on their phone," said Facebook's vice president Stan Chudnovsky, who is in charge of its Messenger app. "Generally, everything is moving this direction anyway."

Chudnovksy revealed that Facebook has repeatedly asked Apple to consider adding an option for users to select a messaging app of their choice.

"For any other developer in the [messaging] space, it isn't really a level playing field" on Apple’s platform, Chudnovsky stated. If Apple mirrored Android's approach, he said, it would "allow us to compete more fairly where iOS is dominant."

When asked why Apple is unwilling to cede the ability to set a different default messaging app, Chudnovsky said his "main guess is that messaging drives hardware sales."

If Apple did consider such a change, it would require additional changes to allow SMS texts to be received via third-party apps, which is not currently possible on iOS, and more invasive alterations for setting up third-party apps with SMS verification codes. The move would require more substantial and invasive changes to the way iOS functions than the ability to change default browser, for example.

Facebook is intending to merge Instagram and Messenger chats, and the platform is increasingly central to Facebook's business.

Facebook appears to be joining other companies such as Epic Games in a willingness to risk provoking Apple for the chance of potential reward. Yesterday, a range of companies, including Epic Games, Spotify, and Tile, have formed a new organization called the "Coalition for App Fairness," in an effort to highlight developer issues with Apple.

"Users deserve freedom of choice and option to decide the music, mail, chat, or any other necessary app that suits them best," said a spokeswoman for the organization, mirroring Facebook's sentiments.

Facebook has recently heavily criticized Apple for restrictions on gaming apps, ad targeting, and in-app purchases. Last month, Facebook warned advertisers that Apple's upcoming anti-tracking tools could cause a more than 50 percent drop in Audience Network publisher revenue due to the removal of personalization from ads within apps. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also referred to Apple's App Store as monopolistic and harmful to customers. Apple "blocks innovation, blocks competition," and uses the ‌App Store‌ to "charge monopoly rents," he said.

This new development represents yet another front upon which Apple is facing pressure regarding antitrust and monopoly issues.

We've partnered up with OWC this season to offer our readers an exclusive offer on the retailer's popular USB-C docks for Mac computers. Below you'll find these deals, along with a few other sales going on at OWC in September.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with OWC. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Our exclusive sale is knocking $10 off the OWC USB-C Dock in Space Gray and Silver. There are a few versions of this accessory, including one with 10 ports and a Mini DisplayPort for $94.98, down from $149.99.

You can also get the USB-C Dock with 10 ports and a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI 4K adapter for $108.99, down from $149.99. Both of these accessories have had the MacRumors exclusive savings automatically applied, so simply add them to your cart and check out to net the deals (limit two per customer).

EXTRA $10 OFF
OWC USB-C Dock For Macs

In total, the USB-C Dock has two USB-C ports, four standard USB ports, one Mini DisplayPort, one gigabit Ethernet port, one 3.5mm audio port, and one SD card reader. Our exclusive offer with OWC will run through the end of October.

Other deals at OWC include savings of $10 when you buy two USB-C Travel Docks, totaling $99.98, down from $109.98. The Travel Dock includes ports for USB-C, two standard USB ports, one SD card reader, and one HDMI port.

Lastly, OWC has a collection of bundle deals for shoppers. The first lets you purchase an OWC miniStack external hard drive and bundle in select hard drives to save up to $10 off your purchase. You can also save on Parallels Desktop Pro Edition when purchasing alongside select OWC hard drives. All of these offers can be found at the top of this page.

OWC also has its Drive Dock USB-C with a special combo deal that offers $10 off qualifying hard drives. The Drive Dock offers a compact solution to access bare SATA drives, offering two drive bays that accomodate 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives, priced at $89.75, down from $119.99.

Keep up with all of this week's best discounts on Apple products and related accessories in our dedicated Apple Deals roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tag: OWC

Google plans to introduce updated Play Store guidelines that emphasize the requirement for most apps to use the company's billing system for in-app purchases as early as next week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


While this requirement has existed for years, the report notes that some major developers like Netflix, Spotify, and Tinder have circumvented the rule by prompting customers to pay directly using a credit card, rather than their Play Store account, bypassing Google's 30 percent commission for in-app purchases.

In a statement, Google said that it is always working with developers to clarify its Play Store policies, but it did not elaborate on any forthcoming changes:

As an open platform, Android allows multiple app stores. In fact, most Android devices come with at least two stores right out of the box, and users can install others. For developers who choose to distribute their apps on Google Play, our policy has always required them to use Play's billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods. We are always working with our partners to clarify these policies and ensure they are applied equitably and reasonably.

The report claims that when Google's updated guidelines are implemented, major developers currently not in compliance will be given time to update their apps and are unlikely to face immediate removal from the Play Store.

Google and Apple have faced increasing scrutiny over the way the companies run the Play Store and App Store, respectively. Apple in particular has been accused of anticompetitive behavior by Spotify and others, and the company remains in a high-profile legal battle with Fortnite creator Epic Games over in-app purchases.

B&H Photo today has a new sale offering the AirPods Pro bundled with AppleCare+ at $229.95. In total, you'd normally pay $278 for this bundle (AirPods Pro at $249 and AppleCare+ at $29), so this is a savings of $48.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with B&H Photo. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

AppleCare+ for the AirPods Pro extends your warranty coverage by two years from the purchase date. It includes repair and express replacement to the headphones, battery, and USB charging cable, as well as up to two incidents of accidental damage at $29 each.

$48 OFF
AirPods Pro w/ AppleCare+ for $229.95

This sale will only last this weekend, so be sure to head to B&H Photo soon if you're interested. The retailer is ready to ship the AirPods Pro today, with delivery estimated for next week when choosing free standard shipping to most areas in the United States.

While we've seen a bundle of the AirPods Pro and AppleCare+ down to as low as $218 at Amazon, these bundle sales are rarer than the sales on the AirPods Pro alone, so B&H Photo's sale is still a solid offer. If you just want the AirPods Pro, your best bet right now is still on Amazon, where the Bluetooth headphones are priced at $219.00, down from $249.00.

We track sales for every model of the AirPods in our Best AirPods Deals guide, so be sure to bookmark that page while you shop around for the wireless headphones.

Related Roundups: Apple Deals, AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees.

Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text.

The video described the packaging alone as an "unboxing experience unlike anything you would expect for a reuseable face mask." It shows that each box contains five individually sealed masks with adapters to join the ear loops for a more secure fit. The packaging for each mask is printed with instructions for use, encouraging users to wash their hands, open the mask, and then adjust the straps for a comfortable fit.

Unbox Therapy observed that the mask, made of three pieces of high-quality fabric, feels better than conventional masks. The mask has a design with a triangle shape to accommodate the nose without fogging glasses, a rounded section for the chin, and adjustable strings for the ears.

Although Apple did not provide a medical classification for air filtration capability, the video's informal testing suggested that the mask is effective at blocking airflow out of a user's mouth. "It feels very secure. As far as breathing is concerned, I'd say it's fairly comparable (to a surgical mask) but I definitely feel more sealed off than a standard surgical mask," Unbox Therapy remarked.

The mask comes in a range of sizes and can be washed up to five times, with up to eight hours of use possible before a wash. As the mask is intended for corporate and retail employees, it is not available to the general public.

The video also reviewed ClearMask, a consumer option designed to overcome the barriers to visual communication that come with conventional opaque masks. Apple is also using ClearMask, in addition to their in-house design, for retail employees.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

After almost a decade since the game's release on Mac, Valve's iconic co-op zombie shooter "Left 4 Dead 2" has just got a huge update thanks to new content pack "The Last Stand."

It has been many years since the infection first hit. Radio silence, no sign of life, nothing but lingering hopes... CEDA is not going to save us. But there is hope! A few brave souls have continued the fight against all odds, and soon we can all benefit from their resilience.

Created by the L4D2 community and officially endorsed by Valve, the update includes over 1,000 changes to the game, including 26 new survival maps, new weapons, new enemy types, new animations, and unused dialogue. There are also several new achievements, many bug fixes and a handful of user interface enhancements to make the game feel fresh again.

The only downside to today's development for old-school gaming fans is the dawning realization that "Left 4 Dead 2" for Mac remains a 32-bit game, which means it's currently incompatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina and later, and the chances that Valve will update the title to 64-bit anytime soon don't look great. (Aspyr, it's worth noting, stopped selling 32-bit Mac games last year.)


If your Mac is still running macOS 10.14 Mojave or older, then you won't have a problem playing 32-bit games like "Left 4 Dead 2." For everyone else, Valve suggests a couple of remaining options:

  • After upgrading to macOS 10.15 Catalina, consider installing macOS 10.14 Mojave on a separate APFS volume on your computer along with Steam. This will allow you to flip over to macOS 10.14 on restart of your computer where you can continue to play all of your 32-bit Mac games. More information here.
  • Use Bootcamp on Mac to launch your games in Windows on your Mac computer. More information about Bootcamp can be found here.

It bears repeating that Boot Camp will not be supported on forthcoming Apple Silicon-based Macs and likely never will, with Apple preferring to emphasize virtualization going forward. Ultimately though, the hope is that the performance gains of Apple Silicon will prompt developers to make triple-A games native for Mac.


As a launch promotion, Valve has made "Left 4 Dead 2" free to play for the duration of the weekend, and for anyone who wants to keep playing beyond Sunday, the game is available for just $2 on Steam.

The European Commission on Friday said it would appeal a court ruling that overturned its demand that Apple pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in tax to the Irish government (via CNBC).

"The Commission has decided to appeal before the European Court of Justice the General Court's judgment of July 2020 on the Apple State aid case in Ireland," Margrethe Vestager, the head of competition policy in the EU, said in a statement.

The EU's General Court in July sided with Apple, and said the EU's executive arm, led by antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, had failed to show Ireland's tax arrangements with the company were illegal state aid.

Both Apple and Ireland appealed the original 2016 ruling, which stated that Apple owed the country over 13 billion euros in tax payments because the arrangements between the two countries were unfair.

In 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the EC's original decision "total political crap" and said that Apple believed it would be reversed. "The decision is wrong, and it's not based on law or facts, it's based on politics. And I think it's very important that we stand up and say that very loudly," said Cook at the time.

The final decision will now be made by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), the highest court in Europe.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Apple's espionage thriller "Tehran" premiered today on its TV+ video streaming service. The first three of eight episodes in the series are now available to watch, with a new episode to come out each Friday over the next five weeks.


"Tehran" tells the story of a Mossad agent who goes deep undercover on a dangerous mission in Iran's capital that places everyone around her in dire jeopardy.

The show stars Israeli actress Niv Sultan, along with Shaun Toub, Shervin Alenabi, Liraz Charhi, and Menashe Noy. Apple partnered with Cineflix Rights and Israeli network Kan 11 to co-produce the series.

Apple TV‌‌+ is priced at $4.99 per month and provides access to ‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌+ shows and movies for the whole family. ‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌+ can be viewed on iPhone, iPad, ‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌, Mac, Roku devices, Amazon Fire TV, and select Smart TVs from LG and Samsung.

Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland.


The photo shows three stickers with the associated handset sizes written alongside them, corresponding to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the "‌iPhone 12‌ mini," the 6.7-inch model being the ‌"iPhone 12‌ Pro Max," and the two 6.1-inch models being the ‌"iPhone 12‌ / ‌iPhone 12‌ Pro."

The color for all three Silicone cases is black, and the model numbers that can be clearly made out include "MHL732M/A" and "MHLG32M/A," neither of which Apple has used in the past.

The photo was shared by Twitter leaker DuanRui, who last month shared photos of an iPad Air pamphlet depicting an all-screen display that turned out to be authentic.

The naming of the "Pro" models follows the precedent established in previous years, and the speculated titles would be a logical naming system for the ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup. With four new iPhones expected in this year's lineup, the use of four different names would help to differentiate the models more easily.

The ‌iPhone 12‌ mini would be the first iPhone with the "mini" moniker, which has been seen on the iPad mini, Mac mini, and iPod mini. At 5.4-inches, the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini would be smaller than last year's smallest ‌iPhone, the iPhone 11 Pro‌, which is 5.8-inches.

Apple plans to introduce its new iPhones in October this year, perhaps on October 13, and start shipping them out later that month. Rumors have suggested we can expect a staggered release, and some models might not come out until November.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Tag: DuanRui

In order to continue improving its Podcast offerings experience, Apple earlier this year purchased podcast app Scout FM, reports Bloomberg.


The website for Scout FM is now defunct, but it was available on iPhones, Android devices, and Amazon smart speakers. Scout FM generated podcast stations covering various topics, similar to a radio station but for a podcast experience.

A person could select a specific topic and then find podcasts related to that topic, with the service also offering up recommendations based on listening history and personal preference. TechCrunch explained how it worked in 2018:

Scout.fm wants to change the way people listen to podcasts. Instead of scouring through the over 500,000 shows in your current podcast app, this startup's new curated podcast service will just ask you a few questions to find out what you like, then create a podcast station customized to you. The experience is primarily designed for use on smart speakers, like Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo devices, but is also available as iOS and Android applications.

According to Bloomberg, Scout FM was a popular iPhone podcast app that worked with CarPlay, plus it was available for Alexa-based devices.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the purchase to Bloomberg with Apple's standard acquisition statement, but did not provide details on how the app's technology will be used.

Apple competitor Spotify has been making significant investments into the podcasting space, which has also spurred Apple to make updates. Apple plans to improve its podcast offerings through original podcast content that will be exclusive to the Podcasts app.

Apple plans to create audio spinoffs of some of its original television and movie content, but it is also seeking to purchase original podcast programs that could also tie into future Apple TV+ shows.

Apple alongside the Apple Watch Series 6 unveiled Apple Fitness+, a new Apple service that's designed to help Apple Watch owners keep fit through a series of guided workouts across multiple workout categories.

Our Apple Fitness+ guide covers everything that we know about the new Fitness+ service, which is set to launch later this year.


Apple Fitness+ Explained

Apple Fitness+ is an Apple Watch-focused home workout program that guides you through various workouts, complementing the fitness-focused features in the Apple Watch.


With Fitness+, Apple provides workout routines that can be watched, with the Apple Watch doing the necessary tracking to make sure you're on target and meeting fitness goals.

Watching Fitness+ Videos

Fitness+ content can be watched through the Fitness app on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. On ‌iPhone‌, the Fitness app was formerly the Activity app, while it is a new addition coming to the ‌Apple TV‌ and ‌iPad‌ when the service launches.


The Fitness+ routines are designed for you to follow along with for home workouts, with minimal equipment required in most cases.

Apple Watch Integration

As you follow along with Fitness+ routines, the Apple Watch will track your movement, workout length, calories burned, heart rate, and more, just like other workouts.

Workout stats are viewable on the Apple Watch, but information is also shown right on the ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or ‌Apple TV‌ in real-time so you can keep a closer eye on how the workout is going and the calories you're burning without having to look down at your wrist.

A small window in the upper right hand corner of the Fitness+ interface will show statistics synced from the Apple Watch.


When you hit milestones like closing an activity ring, an animation will pop up on the screen to keep you motivated. You can also see comparisons with other people who have done the workout before as part of a "Burn Bar" to give you an added push, and you'll see a countdown timer so you know just how long is left during a particularly tough interval.


An Apple watch is required for Apple Fitness+ and the service does not work without it because of the Apple Watch on-screen integration.


Starting a Workout

Fitness+ workouts can be initiated through the Fitness+ section in the Fitness app on the ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and ‌Apple TV‌ (with the latter two apps coming soon). Launching a workout through the Fitness+ app on one of the aforementioned devices will also start the correct workout in your Apple Watch Workout app, with workout metrics automatically sent in real-time to the screen you're viewing the workout on.

Support for Two People?

Many people have wondered if Fitness+ will support two people working out at the same time, and there's no word on that yet. All of the Fitness+ videos and demos suggest that the feature that syncs the Apple Watch's data to the screen you're watching the video on is limited to a single person, but there may be changes in store ahead of launch.

Even if Fitness+ does not support dual workouts on the screen, the second person working out could still start the same workout on their Apple Watch and follow along, just without seeing their progress displayed. Another option is to use a second screen such as an ‌iPad‌ along with a TV.

Fitness Video Categories

Workout categories include Treadmill Walk, Treadmill Run, HIIT, Rowing, Dance, Cycling, Yoga, Core, Strength, and Mindful Cooldown.


Many of the workout types require no specific equipment, but Rowing, Treadmill Walk, Treadmill Run, and Cycling can be used with any compatible exercise equipment. Some yoga workouts require a yoga mat and some strength training exercises require dumbbells.

The Fitness+ workouts are designed to be done from home, the park, a hotel, or anywhere else you happen to be, but you can also use them at the gym with the gym's workout equipment and a connection to the Apple Watch.

Fitness Level Options

If you're new to working out, or just to home workouts, Apple has a program for beginners available, and Apple Fitness+ has been designed for people with all skill levels in mind.


Each workout will include modifications for those who are new to workout out or for those who are experts.

Custom Workout Duration

You can select the duration for your workout to match the amount of time that you have available. Workouts can be as short as five minutes or as long as 45 minutes.

Apple Music Integration

Fitness+ videos are set to songs pulled from Apple Music, which can be listened to even by non-Apple Music subscribers. ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers, however, have the option to download Fitness+ playlists for use outside of the Fitness+ service.


You can choose the type of music that you want to listen to during your workout routine so each workout is customized to you.

Post Workout Metrics

When you finish a fitness routine you'll see a summary screen with all of your workout metrics, including full workout time, average heart rate, active calories burned, total calories burned, and more.


Weekly Content Updates

Apple has a dedicated team of trainers that work to produce videos for Fitness+ and the company plans to add new workouts on a weekly basis so there's always a fresh routine to do.


Smart Suggestions

Apple Fitness+ is more than just a collection of workout videos. It offers up intelligent recommendations for videos you should try out based on the things you typically do with the Workout app on the Apple Watch.


Fitness+ will suggest workouts based on your interests, along with new trainers and workouts that can help you even out your routine.

Fitness+ Pricing

Fitness+ will be available for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, which breaks down to $6.67 per month. For that price, up to six family members total can use the Fitness+ service.

Fitness+ is also included in the Apple One Premier bundle, which is priced at $29.99 per month and also offers ‌Apple Music‌, ‌Apple TV‌+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB iCloud storage,

Fitness+ Free Trial

With the purchase of a new Apple Watch Series 3 or later, Apple is offering a free three month trial of the Fitness+ service.

Device Compatibility

The Apple Fitness+ service is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7 and it requires an ‌iPhone‌ 6s or later with iOS 14 or later, an ‌iPad‌ with iPadOS 14 or later, or an ‌Apple TV‌ with tvOS 14 or later.

Launch Date

Apple plans to launch Apple Fitness+ in late 2020, but no specific launch timeline has been provided at this time. Apple Fitness+ will launch first in the United States, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, and Australia.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the upcoming Apple Fitness+ service or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Amazon today announced the launch of its fourth-generation Echo speaker, which features a new spherical design and improved sound performance thanks to a three-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and new Dolby processing.


The $100 fabric-covered speaker comes in three colors, including black, blue, and white, and it's accompanied by a built-in smart home hub with Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Amazon Sidewalk integration. Amazon Sidewalk extends the range of devices like the Ring and includes support for Tile devices.


The new Echo is equipped with an AZ1 Neural Edge processor that moves speech recognition on-device for faster than ever response times to requests.

Alongside the new sphere-shaped Echo, there's a spherical Echo Dot that's priced at $50 and a kid's version that comes with animal face designs and is priced at $60, along with an updated $250 Echo Show that has the same AZ1 neural processor plus a 10-inch display, the ability to pivot, and a 13-megapixel camera.


A Guard Plus feature, priced at $4.99 per month, allows Alexa devices to listen for sounds like footfalls or doors opening and closing and it can play fake sounds like a dog barking to scare off intruders. Amazon also unveiled Alexa Care Hub, a feature designed to let users monitor a family member's home.

There are new Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 WiFi 6 mesh systems available, and for Ring, Amazon is adding end-to-end encryption for videos. A new Ring Car Alarm is meant to be plugged into the car's OBD-II port and it includes built-in sirens and sensors to monitor for car theft.


A Ring Car Cam is Amazon's new in-car security solution, and it too includes a siren and emergency crash assist functionality. The Ring Car Alarm is priced at $60, while the Ring Car Cam is priced at $200.

Also new in the Ring family is the $250 Always Home Cam, which is a drone-based security system that can fly to different places in the house from a home dock. It basically flies around the house on pre-set paths, recording while in motion.


Amazon introduced an updated $40 Fire TV Stick with HDR, Dolby Atmos Support, and an Alexa Remote, plus there's a Lite version that has a simplified remote for $30. To compete with Apple Arcade and other streaming gaming services, Amazon's final announcement was Luna, a game streaming service.


Luna works cross-platform on Macs, PCs, Fire TV, smartphones, and tablets, and it will be compatible with Apple devices, according to Amazon, because it is designed to be a web app and is not subject to Apple's rules.


Luna will be priced at $5.99 per month, and Amazon has designed the Luna Controller, to go along with it. The $50 controller has "cloud direct technology" to cut down on latency, essentially connecting the controller directly to Amazon's servers.