MacRumors

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Lululook to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win an Apple Watch Ultra 2 and a Lululook 3-in-1 Charger to go along with it.

lululook 3 in 1 charger 1
Lululook has a range of Apple device charging options, and the $65 3-in-1 Wireless Charger can charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods at the same time, so it's a useful desktop or nightstand charger.

lululook 3 in 1 charger 2
Available in gray, black, and silver, the charger is made from aluminum so it matches well with Apple devices. When not in use, it folds down into a compact cube shape, which is ideal for travel. The ‌iPhone‌ attaches to the charger magnetically, but note that charging is limited to 7.5W as this is not MagSafe or Qi2.

lululook 3 in 1 charger 3
The Apple Watch charger is 5W so it can fast charge an Apple Watch, and there is an additional 5W charger for the AirPods and other devices. It also comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable for powering it, but you'll need to supply a power adapter.

If you only need to charge an ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch, Lululook also has a foldable 2-in-1 Wireless Charger for just $36. The 2-in-1 Charger has the same design as the 3-in-1 model, but with only two foldable platforms rather than three. It too is able to fast charge the Apple Watch and charge an ‌iPhone‌ at 7.5W.

lululook 2 in 1 charger 2
Along with chargers, Lululook has a selection of Apple Watch bands for the Apple Watch Ultra and other devices. The $40 fluoroelastomer band is similar to Apple's Sport Band, but it is available in a range of fun colors, including glow-in-the-dark. It is ideal for sports and similar activities because it is washable, sweat resistant, and breathable.

lululook titanium band 1
Lululook has a $120 Titanium Magnetic Band for those who want a band made from the same material that the Apple Watch is made from, and an upgraded luxury version for $300. The higher-end model is made from Titanium Grade 4, so it is lightweight, comfortable, and durable. It has a double magnetic buckle and a super scratch resistant coating.

lululook titanium band 2
Lululook is offering a special promotion for MacRumors readers, so when checking out on Amazon with one of the chargers, enter code "Macrumors" to get a 30 percent discount.

We have an ‌Apple Watch Ultra 2‌ and 3-in-1 Charger for one lucky MacRumors reader. To enter to win, use the widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner(s) and send the prize(s). You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, following us on Threads, 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, UK residents who are 18 years or older, and Canadian residents who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. All federal, state, provincial, and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. 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.

The contest will run from today (July 12) at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on July 19. The winner will be chosen randomly on or shortly after July 19 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.

Amazon today has introduced a big selection of discounts on Anker's and Jackery's best portable power stations, with as much as $2,300 in savings on these devices. These accessories are high-capacity portable batteries that can provide backup power to a wide variety of things, from laptops to RVs.

anker jackery blueNote: 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.

For the Anker deals, you'll need to have a Prime membership in order to see these discounted prices. The same will be true for a couple of the Jackery discounts, and a majority of the deals coming as Prime day gets closer next week. Prime memberships start at $14.99 per month or $139 per year, with a 30-day free trial for new members.

Anker

Jackery

Head to our full Deals Roundup to get caught up with all of the latest deals and discounts that we've been tracking over the past week.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

On this week's episode of The MacRumors Show, we discuss all of the major new device announcements from Samsung's 2024 Galaxy Unpacked event and how they compare to Apple's offerings.


The Galaxy Z Fold6 features a 7.6-inch main screen and a 6.3-inch cover display, both enhanced with a new dual-rail hinge and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for improved durability. It features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip and includes AI-powered tools like new camera capabilities and on-device language translation. The Galaxy Z Flip6, with its compact form factor, also sports a more durable display, a new camera system with a 50MP wide sensor, and various AI features.

The Galaxy Buds3 and Buds3 Pro earbuds adopt a stem design reminiscent of Apple's AirPods. The Galaxy Buds3 offer active noise cancellation and maintain an open-ear design, while the Galaxy Buds3 Pro include advanced features like adaptive noise control, built-in lights for visual cues, and real-time audio translation. Both models are designed to provide optimized audio quality through internal and external sound analysis. Just like Samsung, Apple is expected to bring active noise cancellation to its standard AirPods later this year.

Samsung's smartwatch lineup is refreshed with the Galaxy Watch7, available in 40mm and 44mm sizes. The Galaxy Watch7 is powered by a 3nm processor, offering enhanced performance and power efficiency. It includes dual-frequency GPS for improved location accuracy and advanced health tracking capabilities, along with new gesture controls. While Apple is rumored to bring sleep apnea detection to the Apple Watch later this year, with the Galaxy Watch7, Samsung has beaten Apple to deliver the feature first.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra is Samsung's new high-end smartwatch, designed for durability and extreme conditions, making it suitable for athletes and adventurers. It features a titanium frame, water resistance up to 100 meters, and the ability to function at a wide range of altitudes. With a battery life of up to 100 hours in power-saving mode, the Watch Ultra includes multi-course workout tracking, advanced heart rate monitoring, and an emergency siren. Its design and feature-set largely mirrors that of the Apple Watch Ultra.

Finally, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Ring, a health-focused wearable designed to track a variety of metrics, including sleep, heart rate, and skin temperature. Made of titanium and available in nine sizes, the Galaxy Ring offers up to seven days of battery life and does not require a subscription for accessing health data. It provides comprehensive health insights with features like sleep scoring and an overall energy score, and it closely integrates with other Samsung devices.

The MacRumors Show has its own YouTube channel, so make sure you're subscribed to keep up with new episodes and clips:

You can also listen to ‌The MacRumors Show‌ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, or your preferred podcasts app. You can also copy our RSS feed directly into your podcast player.


If you haven't already listened to the previous episode of The MacRumors Show, catch up for our discussion with Luke Miani about the upcoming Apple Watch "Series X."

Subscribe to ‌The MacRumors Show‌ for new episodes every week, where we discuss some of the topical news breaking here on MacRumors, often joined by interesting guests such as Matthew Cassinelli, Brian Tong, Quinn Nelson, Kevin Nether, Jared Nelson, Eli Hodapp, Mike Bell, Sara Dietschy, iJustine, Jon Rettinger, Andru Edwards, Arnold Kim, Ben Sullins, Marcus Kane, Christopher Lawley, Frank McShan, David Lewis, Tyler Stalman, Jon Prosser, Sam Kohl, John Gruber, Federico Viticci, Thomas Frank, Jonathan Morrison, Ross Young, Ian Zelbo, and Rene Ritchie.

‌The MacRumors Show‌ is on X @MacRumorsShow, so be sure to give us a follow to keep up with the podcast. You can also head over to The MacRumors Show forum thread to engage with us directly. Remember to rate and review the podcast, and let us know what subjects and guests you would like to see in the future.

Hackers broke into a cloud platform used by AT&T and accessed the phone records of "nearly all" of its cellular customers, AT&T announced on Friday.

ATT Banner
AT&T said the stolen data contains phone numbers of both cellular and landline customers, as well as AT&T records of calls and text messages across a six-month period between May 1, 2022 and October 31, 2022.

AT&T said some of the stolen data includes more recent records from January 2, 2023 for a smaller, unspecified number of customers, as well as call records of customers with other cellular carriers that rely on AT&T's network.

Some of the records include cell site identification numbers linked to calls and texts, which can be used to work out the approximate location of where a call was made or message sent.

The downloaded data doesn't include the content of any calls or texts, or their time stamps, according to AT&T. It also doesn't have any details such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, or other personally identifiable information.

AT&T said it learned of the data breach on April 19, and that it is unrelated to an earlier security incident in March. The company said it does not believe the data is publicly available at this time, and it continues to work with law enforcement to identify and apprehend those involved. At least one person is said to have been arrested.

AT&T told TechCrunch that the most recent compromise of customer records were stolen from the cloud data giant Snowflake during a recent spate of data thefts targeting Snowflake's customers. Other companies that have confirmed stolen data from Snowflake include Ticketmaster, QuoteWizard, and others.

Cybersecurity researchers from incident response firm Mandiant say the hacker group is mostly based in the US and those involved are financially motivated.

AT&T customers concerned about phishing and smishing scams should visit the company's support article, which also includes advice on how to protect yourself from online fraud.

Apple's Vision Pro spatial computing headset today arrived at Apple Store locations in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, and Australia. The device was previously only available in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, mainland China, and the United States.

vision pro
Consumer interest in the $3,499 headset has slowed at home, and Apple will be hoping its new availability in international markets will provide a shot in the arm for ailing sales. The headset has yet to sell 100,000 units in the quarter since it launched in the U.S. in February, according to market tracker IDC.

Apple's first-ever mixed reality headset offers both augmented and virtual reality features, and it is controlled with a combination of your eyes, hands, and voice. Overall, the feedback on the Vision Pro has been varied. Many users appreciate the device's advanced hardware and technology.

However, there are concerns regarding its functionality, the ease of use of the gesture-based controls, and the device's weight and comfort during extended use. Additionally, the general application of VR technology and the limited content available for the device have drawn criticism.

Apple Stores are offering customers free Vision Pro demos on a first-come, first-served basis. It is also possible to reserve a Vision Pro demo online, with slots available over the course of the next week.

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

The USB-C Apple Pencil that was launched in November 2023 is now available from the Apple Refurbished Store in the United States and Canada at a discount. Refurbished USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ models are available for $69 in the U.S., which is $10 off of the standard $79 price. In Canada, the refurbished USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ is available for $89, down from $109.

Apple Pencil USB C sliding cap feature
Apple first began offering refurbished versions of the USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ earlier this week, but the discounted device was limited to European countries like Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. It has now expanded to additional countries.

The USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ was introduced in October 2023, shipping out to customers in November. It is similar in design to the ‌Apple Pencil‌ 2, but it has a sliding cap with a USB-C port for charging because it is unable to charge magnetically.

To keep the price low, Apple did not include features like Double Tap and pressure sensitivity in the USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌, but it does support tilt functionality and ‌Apple Pencil‌ hover. As for compatibility, it works with USB-C iPads that run iOS 17.1 or later.

Apple says that refurbished products like the USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ undergo fully functionality testing, as well as cleaning and repackaging. Refurbished ‌Apple Pencil‌ USB-C models include the same one-year limited warranty as new models.

If you've been following Apple news and rumors for the last decade, you might remember The Unofficial Apple Weblog, or TUAW. TUAW was shut down and the site was folded into Engadget way back in 2015, but this month, a zombie TUAW website reappeared.

tuaw website
As it turns out, the TUAW domain name was purchased by a Hong Kong-based advertising agency, and it now hosts stolen content rewritten using AI. TUAW started posting AI-generated content earlier this week, with all of it stolen from sites like MacRumors and 9to5Mac.

The new TUAW website takes articles from Apple news sites and runs them through AI to change the wording. There are multiple stolen images that have been lifted from MacRumors for these articles, with the graphics used created by our in-house graphic designer. Shortly after we published an iPhone 17 "Slim" overview, for example, TUAW published an almost identical article that uses our stolen imagery and reads like it was run through a thesaurus.

The company that bought TUAW also shamelessly used the names of people who worked at the site many years ago for author bylines, which meant this stolen content looked like it was coming from people like Christina Warren and Brett Terpstra.

Warren was able to get her name and the names of other prominent writers removed after publicizing the zombie site on Mastodon, but the AI content remains. TUAW changed the Christina Warren byline on its site to Mary Brown, making other similar generic name changes. There are no actual writers at TUAW, just AI-generated images and biographies to go along with the AI content.

The advertising agency that purchased the TUAW domain name (Web Orange Limited) did not purchase any TUAW content, but went back and generated AI-rewritten versions of archived TUAW articles from archive.org. Thousands of these articles are on the site alongside newly generated AI stories.

It is worth noting that the company that bought the TUAW domain name also purchased the iLounge domain name several years ago and resurrected that site with low-quality content.

TidBITS, The Verge, Engadget, 404Media, and other sites have done deep dives into TUAW and the company behind it that are worth checking out. TUAW's owner does not appear to be based in the United States, and it's unclear if TUAW will be taken down even with legal complaints.

Readers of MacRumors, 9to5Mac, and other tech sites will want to avoid TUAW going forward. As TidBITS points out, Google is a major factor in what's going on with TUAW because it isn't de-incentivizing AI-generated content, even on a site where it's almost all AI content. TUAW articles are showing up on the first page of search results alongside legitimate tech sites.

Apple CEO Tim Cook uses the Apple Vision Pro every day, according to an interview he did with The Sun to highlight the headset's launch in the UK. Cook said that he uses the Vision Pro "in all aspects of [his] daily life."

Apple Vision Pro with battery Feature Blue Magenta
For specifics, Cook said he used the headset to watch Ted Lasso season three, and that he also watches other Apple TV+ content using the headset.

And so the ability for me to get in the position that I want to get in – including lying flat and putting the screen on the ceiling – is an incredible kind of experience. And of course, it's a 100ft screen. I mean, it's amazing the level of entertainment that it delivers.

Cook went on to say that he feels multitasking is "so much more efficient" on Vision Pro because of the support for multiple windows that can be placed in the wearer's physical space.

The Vision Pro experience is hard to explain, said Cook, who recommended that potential customers get a demo. "It's hard to explain it in words," Cook said. "It's hard to show it in a 2D fashion, what a 3D experience will be." At the same time, Cook believes it's simple to use the headset with the gestures that work "the way your mind works." If you can use an iPhone, you can "very easily" use Vision Pro, according to Cook.

According to Cook, some who go through the demo experience find it to be emotional, specifically in reference to viewing spatial photos and videos that allow users to relive memories. "It's interesting to watch people, the reaction that they have," he said. "You know many of them tear up."

Designing the ‌Apple Vision Pro‌ required Apple to file more than 5,000 patents, Cook explained, before lauding the Vision Pro team. "I'm so proud of the total, and the perseverance of the team because this was multiple years in the making."

Cook's full interview can be read at The Sun's website. The ‌Apple Vision Pro‌ is launching in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, and Australia tomorrow, with demos set to be available in Apple retail stores.

Tags: Cook, Tim Cook

With Qi2 chargers hitting the market in increasing numbers, I've recently spent some time testing out two similar "tree-style" 3-in-1 desktop chargers from Anker and Belkin. 3-in-1 chargers like these, which are capable of charging an iPhone, and Apple Watch, and another device such as AirPods, all wirelessly, have been my go-to bedside charger style ever since the introduction of MagSafe and are very popular with users in general, so I thought it would be worthwhile to see how a couple of the latest options perform.

anker belkin qi2 3 in 1 chargersAnker (left) and Belkin (right) Qi2 3-in-1 chargers

Both the Anker MagGo Wireless Charging Station (3-in-1 Stand) and the Belkin BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand with Qi2 15W offer 15-watt Qi2 phone charging support that is equivalent to ‌MagSafe‌ without needing to license or source components from Apple, while official fast-charging pucks are used to ensure maximum Apple Watch charging performance. The base of each model includes a standard 5-watt Qi charging spot, which is plenty to charge up any AirPods model that includes a wireless charging case. Both the Anker and Belkin models are available in black or white with color-matched cables and power adapters. Anker uses a standard USB-C to USB-C cable while Belkin uses a fixed cable that ends in a USB-C connector, so that's potentially something to consider one way or the other for either aesthetics or product longevity.

belkin qi2 3 in 1 charger devices
While both chargers utilize a relatively heavy base for stability and as an AirPods charging spot, their "trunk and branches" with elevated charging pads for an ‌iPhone‌ and an Apple Watch differ slightly in design, with the Belkin model using a forward-angled main support topped by a single horizontal bar with the phone charging pad at one end and the Apple Watch charger at the other, while the Anker model uses an offset vertical trunk with separate phone and Apple Watch charging pads at different heights. The Anker design results in a bit narrower overall profile with an ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch mounted on the chargers, but the Apple Watch can end up somewhat hidden behind the phone in certain configurations such as with the phone in landscape StandBy mode.

anker qi2 3 in 1 charger devices standby
The base on the Belkin model is sort of a flat mound with a small depression to help guide your AirPods to the proper charging spot, while the Anker base is more dish-like with a small rim surrounding a flat top. The AirPods charging spot is a separate component embedded in the surface of the base and it's made of a slightly different material, so you can see the outline of the charger to help guide placement, plus there's a light gray Qi logo in the middle of the charging spot. Neither model offers magnets in this charging spot to help make proper placement even easier.

anker qi2 3 in 1 charger devices
Overall, the Belkin design offers significantly more stability for a mounted phone in my experience, as tapping the phone or generating vibrations on the desk surface will cause the phone to wiggle a fair amount while on the Anker charger, but it remains nearly rock steady while on the Belkin charger. If you're planning to use one of these chargers on a desk or other situation where you'll be interacting with the phone while it's charging, this difference alone is enough to argue for the Belkin in my opinion, as the amount of wobble on the Anker charger is significant.

belkin qi2 3 in 1 charger
Looking at the Qi2 phone charging pad itself, the Belkin version has the advantage of an adjustable angle anywhere between fully vertical and fully horizontal, letting you position it however you prefer. The phone pad on the Anker model is at a fixed angle that should work for most people, but the option of adjustments on the Belkin model is a nice feature. The Belkin phone charger also has an understated look with a plain black or white surface matching the base, while the Anker Qi2 charging surface is white on both the black and white model and it has Qi2 branding and "Wireless Power IQ" text on it that makes for a less clean look.

anker qi2 3 in 1 charger
Both chargers were able to take an iPhone 15 Pro Max from 30% to ~80% in about an hour, pretty much exactly in line with what I see from Apple's official ‌MagSafe‌ charger. The charging rate starts to slow significantly beyond that to prevent overheating and overcharging, with all three chargers bringing the phone to around 95% after 90 minutes.

When it comes to the Apple Watch charging puck, the Anker and Belkin units are essentially identical, which makes sense considering these parts are sourced from Apple. On both models, the puck itself is white on both black and white color options. I'd love to see some other puck color options from Apple to help third-party manufacturers offer more flexibility in their own color offerings.

Given that these are official Apple Watch modules, they both suffer from one of the common issues some users have complained about with Apple Watch chargers, and that's the fact that the watch has a tendency to rotate while on the charger. While the watch attaches to the charger magnetically, there's nothing offering any rotational stability, so the weight of the watch or band can result in the watch twisting a bit while on the charger.

anker qi2 3 in 1 charger sticker
To its credit, Anker has tried to address this by including a sheet of round stickers that can be placed on the surface of the charging puck to increase friction and reduce the watch's tendency to rotate. This solution does work pretty well, but the sticker is a bit of an eyesore with a tab to facilitate removal hanging over the edge of the puck and a plus-shaped cut in the center of the sticker to allow it to conform to the slightly concave surface of the puck.

The tree-style designs of these chargers means neither one supports Nightstand Mode for the Apple Watch, as the support arms for the chargers get in the way of the band when trying to turn the watch horizontally, and even if they didn't, the weight of the band would cause the watch to rotate back to nearly vertical. This may not be a deal-breaker for many users, especially with the ‌iPhone‌ now offering its own landscape StandBy mode, but it's worth noting.

belkin qi2 3 in 1 charger devices standby
Both the Belkin and Anker models support Apple Watch fast charging, and I saw very similar charging speeds taking an Apple Watch Ultra 2 from 20% to 80% in under an hour, in line with what Apple's first-party fast charging cable delivers.

One significant factor in favor of the Anker MagGo Wireless Charging Station (3-in-1 Stand) (also available at Amazon) is pricing, with a regular price of $99.99 compared to the Belkin BoostCharge Pro 3-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand with Qi2 15W (also available at Amazon) at a regular price of $149.99.

Both brands do occasionally offer sales, with Belkin running a Summer Travel Sale on its own site at the time of this writing that can save you some money. With a regular price of $149.99, the BoostCharge Pro qualifies for a $25 discount on its own, but if you throw in a cheap cable or other accessory to bump above the $150 level, you can save an additional $20 on your total purchase.

Both of these chargers are solid options for a desk or nightstand, as they allow you to charge multiple devices from Apple's ecosystem all in one spot with simple and convenient designs. I tend to prefer the overall design and functionality of the Belkin one, but the Anker one wins out on price, so it's definitely worth weighing those factors when making any purchasing decisions.

anker belkin qi2 3 in 1 chargers contents
It's important to note that neither of these tree-style chargers folds up or disassembles, and as a result they both arrive in relatively large boxes, so these chargers are not very practical for travel. If it's important to be able to take your 3-in-1 charger with you, consider a more compact option such as the popular Anker 3-in-1 Cube or Anker Qi2 MagGo Foldable Charging Station.

Note: Anker and Belkin provided MacRumors with the Qi2 3-in-1 chargers for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Anker, Belkin, and Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tags: Anker, Belkin

Samsung this week opened up a new sale on monitors and other devices, including one of the first discounts on the 32-inch Smart Monitor M80D, which just launched last month. You can get this brand new monitor for $549.99, down from $699.99.

samsung smart monitor m80d newNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Samsung. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

The Smart Monitor M80D was announced at CES in January and launched in early June. It has much of the same hardware as last year's model and features 400 nits of brightness, a 60Hz refresh rate (non variable), 99% sRGB, and adaptive picture technology.

The display also retains key features like USB-C charging connectivity, AirPlay 2 support, an integrated webcam, and several smart TV features that enable it to be used when not connected to a PC.

In terms of new features, the M80D includes a Multi Control feature that allows images and text to be moved between the display and a Galaxy Book, Tablet, or Phone. You can also pair Galaxy Buds to the monitor for a spatial audio experience with head tracking, as well as guided workouts when paired with a Galaxy Watch.

viewfinity s9 samsung pink
You can also get the 27-inch ViewFinity S9 5K Smart Monitor for $999.99, down from $1,599.99. At $600 off this is a solid second-best price on the 2023 display, which has a matte display, modular 4K SlimFit camera, and support for Thunderbolt 4.

Additionally, we're tracking a large collection of discounts on Samsung monitors, TVs, and Samsung devices. This includes pre-order offers on the new line of Samsung smartphones, Galaxy Watch Ultra, and Galaxy Buds3 Pro.

Monitors

TVs

Galaxy Products

Be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Amazon Prime Day is just a few days away, but you can already get all-time low prices on multiple Apple Watch models right now. As with all early deals, there is a chance that these Apple Watch discounts get even steeper when Prime Day officially kicks off on July 16, but for right now they're still great discounts on each model.

prime day series 9Note: 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.

If you want to take advantage of all Prime Day has to offer, remember that only Amazon Prime members will be able to gain access to the majority of deals during the event. If you aren't a member, you can join Prime via a free 30-day trial to participate in this year's Prime Day. Once your trial is over, Prime membership will run for $14.99/month or $139/year. For students, that's $7.49/month or $69/year.

Apple Watch Series 9

You can get up to $100 off most Apple Watch Series 9 models right now on Amazon, starting at $299.00 for the 41mm GPS watches. We've rounded up all of the deals below, focusing on the aluminum devices, but you can also find $100 discounts on a few stainless steel models as well.





Apple Watch SE

Apple's 40mm GPS Apple Watch SE is available for $189.00 today on Amazon, down from $249.00. This is just $10 higher compared to the all-time low price on the wearable. This deal is available in all three aluminum color options, and only Amazon has the discount.


You can also get the 44mm GPS Apple Watch SE on sale right now, available for $219.00 on Amazon, down from $279.00. This is another near all-time low price that's just $10 away from the lowest price on the Apple Watch SE, and it's only available in Starlight.

Our full Deals Roundup has more information on the latest Apple-related sales and bargains.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple today adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States, with several reductions in value going into effect across the iPhone 14 series, Apple Watch models, select Macs and iPads, and some Android smartphones.

apple mac ipad watch trade in3
Most Apple smartphone reductions were slight: iPhone 14 trade-in values decreased by up to $20, but there were bigger cuts to Android phones. Meanwhile, select Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac models saw the largest downward adjustments. The latest trade-in values are listed below.

iPhone 14

  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: Up to $620 (vs. $630)
  • iPhone 14 Plus: Up to $400 (vs. $420)

Apple Watch

  • Apple Watch Ultra: Up to $355 (vs. $360)
  • Apple Watch SE (2nd generation): Up to $90 (vs. $110)
  • Apple Watch Series 7: Up to $125 (vs. $140)

Mac

  • MacBook Pro: Up to $925 (vs. $1,010)
  • MacBook Air: Up to $485 (vs. $525)
  • MacBook: Up to $130 (vs. $145)
  • iMac: Up to $330 (vs. $420)

iPad

  • iPad Pro: Up to $565 (vs. $580)
  • iPad: Up to $225 (vs. $250)

Android

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G: Up to $235 (vs. $270)
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 5G: Up to $170 (vs. $235)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Up to $140 (vs. $150)
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro: Up to $125 (vs. $150)

The full list of trade-in values can be found on Apple's trade-in website.

Apple's Vision Pro spatial computing headset has yet to sell 100,000 units in the quarter since it launched in the U.S. in February, according to market tracker IDC (via Bloomberg).

Apple Vision Pro at Steve Jobs Theater
The device is projected to see a 75% drop in domestic sales in the current quarter, but the launch of Vision Pro internationally this month is expected to offset that decline.

IDC believes that a more affordable version at roughly half the price of the current $3,500 unit should rekindle interest in 2025, but sales are not expected to rise significantly over the coming year. Apple Vision Pro is set to launch in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany on Friday, July 12.

Reviews for the device have been mixed overall. For the most part, users have been impressed with the hardware and the technology introduced by the Vision Pro, but there are questions about the actual function of the device, the intuitiveness of the gesture-based control, the weight and comfort, and VR in general. Users have also been critical of the lack of content for the device.

"The Vision Pro's success, regardless of its price, will ultimately depend on the available content," said Francisco Jeronimo, vice president at IDC. "As Apple expands the product to international markets, it's crucial that local content is also made available."

Apple is expected to produce fewer than 400,000 Vision Pro headsets in 2024 due to the complexity of manufacturing, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. However, Apple is said to be already working on a new version of the ‌‌Apple Vision Pro‌‌ for 2025 that will be priced more affordably. IDC's Jeronimo predicts that will more than double sales when it arrives in the latter half of 2025.

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

The European Union has accepted commitments from Apple to open its mobile payments system and give competitors access to the iPhone's NFC technology, bringing an end to a lengthy investigation by EU regulators into the technology.

apple card via apple pay
According to the announcement, Apple has agreed to open up its payments system to other providers free of charge for a decade. Apple will let users set a third-party wallet app as their default, rather than its own Apple Wallet. It will also allow rivals full access to key iOS features, such as double click to launch wallet apps, along with Face ID, Touch ID, and passcodes for authentication. From the EU press release:

The commitments bring important changes to how Apple operates in Europe to the benefit of competitors and customers.

First, Apple commits to give access to NFC functionality to third-party mobile wallets. This access will be free of charge.

It will take place in what is called "Host Card Emulation mode". This is a software solution that allows rival wallets to make secure NFC payments. Apple Pay, on the other hand, relies on access to the hardware "secure element" in the iPhone. We accept Apple's commitment because it offers an equivalent solution in terms of security and user experience. And it is easier to implement both for Apple and wallet developers. Indeed, other wallets already use this solution in an Android environment.

Second, Apple committed to enable access to important functionalities available on iPhones. This includes Double-Click and Face ID. iPhone users will be able to double-click the side button of their iPhones to launch their preferred payment application. Competing wallets will also be able to use Face ID, Touch ID and passcode to verify users' identities.

Third, Apple will also enable users to make the wallet of their choice the standard option on their iPhones. This is also known as setting the default option.

These commitments are applicable to users registered in the European Economic Area, including when they travel abroad.

And Apple will not prevent developers from combining NFC payments with other use cases, for instance transit cards, access control, concert tickets, and digital identity credentials. Everything that you could have in a wallet.

Apple has until July 25 to implement the changes. The company risks a fine if it violates the agreement, which will remain binding for 10 years.

The European Commission charged Apple in 2022 with violating competition law, contending that Apple was preventing competitors from accessing its near-field communication (NFC) technology to favor Apple Pay. In response to the charges, Apple made a commitment to the European Commission in January to open access to the iPhone's NFC, allowing competitors to create their own contactless payment solutions outside of the confines of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.

The settlement means Apple will avoid a potential fine by the EU that could have been as high as 10% of the company's global annual revenue. Given Apple's reported revenue of $383 billion in 2023, the fine could have amounted to approximately $40 billion.

Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone 15 Pro Cameras
In his latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used in this year's iPhone 16 Pro models.

Both the iPhone 16 Pro and the iPhone 16 Pro Max are expected to get Tetraprism telephoto lenses in 2024, instead of the technology being limited to the larger Pro Max, as it is in the iPhone 15 series. (The iPhone 15 Pro has a 12-megapixel telephoto camera that offers 3x zoom, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses an upgraded telephoto system that allows for 5x zoom.) That means both iPhone 16 Pro models will feature at least 5x optical zoom and at least 25x digital zoom.

Kuo said he is currently uncertain whether only the iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature the upgraded Tetraprism camera. But if it is exclusive to the model, then both iPhone 18 Pro models will get it in 2026. The upgraded Tetraprism camera requires all-new designed prisms, which must have a shorter form factor to reduce the camera's height, added Kuo.

The analyst's report corroborates a claim made last year by Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities. Pu in December said the iPhone 17 Pro Max's upgraded 48MP telephoto lens will be optimized for use with Apple Vision Pro. Current iPhone 15 Pro models can record spatial video with 3D depth for playback on the Vision Pro – when held in landscape orientation, the main and ultra wide lenses combine to record spatial video with added depth.

Pu previously said both iPhone 16 Pro models will feature a 48MP ultra wide lens, which would make the iPhone 17 Pro Max the first iPhone model to have a rear camera system entirely made up of 48-megapixel lenses. To put that into perspective, current iPhone 15 Pro models have 48MP main, 12MP ultra wide, and 12MP telephoto lenses.

Looking further ahead, Kuo said 2027 iPhones will have a more substantially improved Tetraprism camera with a better optical zoom. This is likely to be achieved by increasing the number of prisms to lengthen the light path, in which case it would no longer be called a "Tetraprism" lens. As the number of prisms increases, the prism size may need to be reduced, increasing the complexity of the prism design, said the analyst.

Related Roundup: iPhone 17

Apple redid the Control Center in iOS 18, and it's one of the biggest changes to the iPhone and the iPad outside of Apple Intelligence. The interface is much more customizable, there are more Control Center options, and controls can be accessed from new places.

iOS 18 Control Center Guide 1
This guide highlights all of the new Control Center changes that Apple added in ‌iOS 18‌ (and iPadOS 18).

Reorder Controls

With iOS 17, you could choose some of the controls that were available in Control Center, but in ‌iOS 18‌, customization goes much further. For the first time, you can rearrange Control Center quick access buttons into a layout that best suits your needs.

ios 18 control center customization
Apple has designed a Home Screen-style grid for the Control Center, with an 8x4 arrangement of open circular spots where different controls can be placed. You can fill up all the empty circle spots, or choose to leave blank spaces between columns and rows.

None of the Control Center buttons are permanent, and every one that you opt to use can be moved, duplicated, deleted, and rearranged as needed. To move controls, follow these steps.

  1. Swipe down from the right upper corner of your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ display to open up Control Center.
  2. Long press on any empty space and hold until the grid shows up, or tap on the "+" button at the upper left of the display.
  3. Use a finger to grab an icon and move it where you want it to be.
  4. Tap at the top or the bottom of the display to exit the grid mode.

Resize and Delete Controls

Control Center controls can be resized, so you can make your most used buttons bigger and easier to press. Single button controls like Dark Mode, Flashlight, Timer, Low Power Mode, Voice Memo, and Remote can be up to four grid circles in size.

ios 18 control center icon sizing
Options include a single grid circle, a two grid circle that's horizontal, which adds the control's name, and a four grid circle arranged in a square shape. The majority of controls are limited to these sizes.

Some modules like volume and brightness can only be two horizontal circles in size, with Apple not offering an option to modify the shape or size. The aggregated connectivity controls can take up four spots of the grid in a square shape, or the entire thing with no options in between.

Controls like those for multiple smart home accessories and scenes have more sizing options and can be four grid spaces long or four spaces in a grid, eight spaces, sixteen spaces, or 24 spaces at maximum. The Now Playing control has a similar set of options, but can take up the entire grid.

To resize controls, follow these steps:

  1. Long press in an open space in the Control Center or tap the "+" button.
  2. Grab the bottom right corner of an icon, which has a curved, highlighted marker to indicate that it can be manipulated.
  3. Drag and pull outward to make a control bigger, or push up and over to make it smaller. There will be minimum and maximum sizes that vary for different controls.
  4. Tap at the top or bottom of the display to exit the editing menu, or just wait and it will close automatically after a few seconds with no interaction.

To delete any Control Center control, follow the steps above to enter edit mode and tap on the "-" button.

Control Center controls are now organized into a gallery that can be accessed from the Control Center interface. To get to the Control Center gallery, long press on the display or use the "+" button to enter editing mode, and then tap on "Add a Control."

ios 18 control center gallery
The main part of the gallery has a selection of suggested controls, and if you scroll down, you'll see options organized into the following categories: Accessibility, Capture, Clock, Connectivity, Display and Brightness, Focus, Hearing Accessibility, Home, Motor Accessibility, Notes, Now Playing, Remote, Shortcuts, Sounds, Translate, Utilities, Vision Accessibility, Voice Memos, Wallet, and Watch.

There is a search interface right at the top of the gallery so if you're looking for something specific, you can just search for it rather than having to swipe down to try to locate it manually.

Multiple Screens

Control Center has been just a single screen for the last few years, but that's changing in ‌iOS 18‌. You can set up multiple screens for your controls, which means you can have dedicated pages for things like connectivity controls, HomeKit devices, and Accessibility options.

ios 18 control center pages
There are multiple pages by default when installing ‌iOS 18‌, and you can customize them to your liking and add and delete pages. Control Center supports up to 15 separate screens.

Navigating through pages is done by swiping up and down through Control Center, tapping the small icons on the right side of the display, or holding a finger over the icons and scrubbing through them. As you add controls to different pages, Control Center automatically assigns an icon based on what's on the page. You can't customize the icons at this time.

Here's how to add pages:

  1. Swipe down from the right hand side of the display to get into Control Center.
  2. Tap on the circle icon at the bottom of the icon list, which denotes a blank page.
  3. Tap on Add a Control to select the controls that you want to include on the page.
  4. When finished, tap anywhere at the top or bottom of the display to exit editing mode.

If you add more controls than there are space for, or resize something to be larger than will fit, Control Center will automatically add another page and move the control to that page.

There are some limitations to what can be on a single page. Control Center won't allow you to add a single-sized icon to a page and then create another page - the create new page option won't show up while an existing page still has enough space to accommodate icons. It does offer the option when a page is about half full, which provides enough wiggle room to have spacing between icons.

To remove a page, you just need to delete all of the controls on it following the steps up above.

Power Button

At the top right of the Control Center, Apple added a Power Button to make it easier to turn your ‌iPhone‌ off. To prevent accidental activation, using the Power Button requires a press and hold.

ios 18 power button control center
Pressing and holding brings up the shut down interface where you need to swipe to turn your device off, and it locks your ‌iPhone‌ so Face ID or Touch ID will be needed to unlock it again (similar to multiple presses on the side button).

Third-Party Apps

In ‌iOS 18‌, Control Center is no longer limited to built-in apps and features. Third-party app developers can create controls for their apps, and those can be added to Control Center through the Control Center gallery.

Lock Screen

‌iOS 18‌ brings Control Center to the Lock Screen, allowing you to swap out the default Flashlight and Camera icons for new quick access buttons. There's also an option to remove Lock Screen controls entirely.

ios 18 lock screen controls

  1. At the Lock Screen, unlock and long press to get into the Lock Screen editing interface.
  2. Tap on Customize to customize an existing Lock Screen or tap on the "+" button to create a new Lock Screen.
  3. Tap on Lock Screen.
  4. Tap on the "-" buttons on the Flashlight and Camera icons to remove them. Stop here if you don't want to add new controls.
  5. To swap in something else, tap on the "+" button to open up the Control Center gallery.
  6. Choose a control from the list or use the search interface.
  7. When you're finished, tap on Done and then tap on the Lock Screen to exit out of editing mode.

Many of the Control Center options can be put on the Lock Screen, including those from third-party apps. You can activate everything from ‌Dark Mode‌ to Airplane Mode, or open up apps like Notes or Home. There is an option to set any Shortcut to the Lock Screen, or add a control to open any app you have on your device.

With this option in particular, you have a lot of customization options. You can, for example, set a third-party camera app to open instead of the main Camera app, giving you quick access to a non-default camera.

There are some Control Center controls that are not available, such as volume and brightness adjustment, Low Power mode, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Focus, and Screen Recording.

For some actions, such as opening an app or activating a Shortcut, ‌Face ID‌ or ‌Touch ID‌ authentication is required for privacy purposes.

Action Button

Control Center controls can also be assigned to the Action Button on devices that support it, which includes the iPhone 15 Pro and ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max.

ios 18 action button controls

  1. Open up the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Action Button.
  3. Swipe until you get to the Controls option.
  4. Tap on Choose a Control.
  5. Scroll down to select a control or use the search interface to find what you're looking for.
  6. Swipe up to exit the Settings app.

After setup, when you press the Action Button, you'll activate the control that you've set.

There are a limited number of options for the Controls Action Button.

  • Calculator
  • Stopwatch
  • Alarm
  • Home
  • Timer
  • ‌Dark Mode‌
  • Airplane Mode
  • Cellular Data
  • Personal Hotspot
  • Open Music
  • Quick Note
  • Remote
  • Scan Code
  • Wallet
  • Tap to Cash
  • Ping My Watch

Some other features that you would normally find in Control Center, such as the Camera, can be added through other Action Button options.

New Control Center Options

ios 18 control center new controls
With these changes, there are Control Center options that were not previously available.

  • Open Music
  • Activate a Shortcut
  • Open any app
  • Third-party app controls
  • Translate
  • Print Center
  • Tap to Cash

There are also a number of new hearing, motor, and vision accessibility options that can be added. Apple had broader categories for these before, but now there are specifics for things like Voice Control, Assistive Touch, Background Sounds, Live Listen, Headphone Levels, Live Speech, Reduce Motion, Invert, and more.

Settings

There were a number of Control Center settings in the Settings app in ‌iOS 17‌, but Apple has eliminated almost all of them because these capabilities are now in the controls gallery. The only option you'll find in the Settings app is Access Within Apps, a toggle for determining whether swiping down on the display brings up Control Center when you're using an app.

ios 18 control center settings

Read More

For more on all of the new features that are coming in ‌iOS 18‌, we have a dedicated iOS 18 roundup.

Related Roundups: iOS 18, iPadOS 18
Related Forums: iOS 18, iPadOS 18

Astropad today announced a major update for the Astropad Studio app, introducing new features that work with the Apple Pencil Pro that Apple launched earlier this year. Astropad Studio is designed to turn the iPad into a drawing tablet that can be used with PC and Mac creative apps.

astropad studio
The 5.4 version of Astropad Studio supports Squeeze Gesture Shortcuts, so you can set custom shortcuts to swap between your preferred tools using the Squeeze feature on the ‌Apple Pencil‌ Pro.
It also adds support for barrel rotation, which takes advantage of the gyroscope that Apple added to the ‌Apple Pencil‌.

Turning and twirling the ‌Apple Pencil‌ Pro when using Astropad precisely rotates the brush while drawing, and as of now, Astropad Studio is the only drawing tablet option that supports barrel roll rotation.

Along with these features, there is a new Adaptive Image Rendering video compression algorithm that provides 53 percent clearer image quality during high-motion content like rotating an object in blender or previewing animations. Astropad says that Astropad Studio now has a feature set that puts it on par with the Wacom Cintiq drawing tablets.

A one-year Astropad license is available for $60, while a lifetime license is priced at $120. These are sale prices that can be obtained by entering the promo code SUMMER24 at checkout on the Astropad website.

Apple today seeded the third beta of upcoming an upcoming macOS 15 Sequoia update to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming two weeks after the release of the second beta, which added iPhone Mirroring support.

macOS Sequoia Feature
Registered developers can opt-in to the beta through the Software Update section of the System Settings app. Note that an Apple ID associated with an Apple Developer account is required to get the beta.

macOS Sequoia includes ‌iPhone‌ Mirroring, which allows you to control your locked ‌iPhone‌ from your Mac. You can open and use ‌iPhone‌ apps, interact with notifications, and drag and drop files between your ‌iPhone‌ and Mac and vice versa.

There are new options for window tiling, and dragging a window to the edge of the display will suggest a tiled location to make it easier to use multiple apps at once. Apple is adding a Passwords app for managing passwords, Safari can summarize websites and surface key information, and Notes has support for live audio transcription and math equations.

All of the Apple Intelligence features coming to iOS 18 will also be available in ‌macOS Sequoia‌, but Apple does not plan to add these until later in the beta testing process. Apple Intelligence includes Writing Tools for editing, proofreading, and summarizing text in apps, and an Image Playground allows for AI images to be created from prompts.

Custom emoji or "Genmoji" can be created for any situation and used just like emoji, and Siri is getting much smarter. ‌Siri‌ will be able to do more in apps and will better understand requests, especially those made in regard to on-screen content.

‌macOS Sequoia‌ is available to developers right now, but Apple will release a public beta later this month.

Related Roundup: macOS Sequoia
Related Forum: macOS Sequoia