MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Signature 2.0 Backpack From Vessel

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Vessel to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Signature 2.0 Backpack.

Vessel makes all kinds of backpacks, briefcases, and bags, but the Signature 2.0, as the name suggests, is one of the most popular and was even named one of the top laptop bags of the year by Forbes.

Designed to be an every day backpack that can carry all of your essentials, the Signature 2.0, which is priced at $235, is sleek and compact but packed with pockets.


There's a main dual zip compartment that holds larger items, a large front exterior zip up pocket with an organizer for smaller items like your smartphone and headphones, and a padded compartment designed to fit a 15-inch laptop.


The laptop compartment also includes a slip pocket and internal mesh compartments, along with a velour-lined zippered pocket. At the side, there's an easy access vertical side pocket that's perfect for a phone, and there's yet another zip compartment at the bottom of the backpack.


Padded adjustable shoulder straps are included so it's comfortable to wear even when it's full, and with a mesh back panel, it can fit over the handle of a suitcase.


Vessel's Signature 2.0 backpack is made from a micro-suede synthetic leather, and it comes in a range of colors, including blue, black, carbon black, gray, and more. Vessel says that its synthetic leather is the best alternative to natural leather with a soft, smooth touch.


The synthetic leather is animal friendly, good for the environment, and able to hold up well over time because the structure is similar to genuine leather. As a bonus, the material is resistant to water, which is useful in poor weather.


We have two of Vessel's Signature 2.0 Backpacks to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win, 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.

Vessel

The contest will run from today (August 23) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on August 30. The winners will be chosen randomly on August 30 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Apple Music Replaces 'Best of the Week' Playlist With 'New Music Daily'

Apple Music today launched a new curated playlist called "New Music Daily," which as the name suggests, is updated every day with fresh songs.


Made up of "new music you simply can't miss" from a broad range of genres spanning the globe, the new playlist replaces the service's long-established "Best of the Week" playlist, which was updated every Friday.

Today's U.K. mix consists of 62 songs lasting 3 hours and 38 minutes, and includes tracks from the likes of Taylor Swift, Kano, Ed Sheeran, Headie One, and Joesef. In other regions and territories, the New Music Daily playlist includes a unique selection of artists closer to home.


Just how thoroughly Apple Music's human curation team will refresh the mix of songs each day remains to be seen, but you'd think music-lovers can at least expect a regular sprinkling of new tracks among any lingering popular hits.

Spotify's Daily Mix serves up personalized playlists based on the listener's favorite songs and related music they might enjoy, but it's algorithmically generated, not human curated. The closest equivalent on the rival service is Daily Fresh Finds, which is updated by human hands with 10 new tracks every day.

Apple Partnering With Taylor Swift for New Music Lab Sessions in Retail Stores

Taylor Swift revealed today on Instagram that she will be the next partner in Apple's "Music Lab" sessions, which are available in Apple retail stores.


The Music Lab session will focus on learning how to remix the song "You Need to Calm Down," from Swift's upcoming album "Lover." According to Swift, these sessions will only be available in select Apple stores.

Similar to previous Music Labs, customers will be able to find out what inspired Swift to write the song, leading to the creation of their own version.

Apple in the past has partnered with Madonna and Billie Eilish on Music Lab sessions, which are available worldwide. Apple hasn't uploaded any official information on the sessions yet, but when it does the information should be available on Apple.com/today.

Spotify Premium Extends Free Trial Period to Three Months, Matching Apple Music

Spotify today announced that it is extending its free-trial period for Spotify Premium to three months, up from the previous one month that users would have to try out the paid service. With this extension, Spotify and Apple Music now offer the same amount of free trial time before customers have to pay for the music streaming services.


In its blog post on the announcement, Spotify confirmed that the offer will last for the foreseeable future and is "not limited time." Users across the globe will gain access to the three month free trial period, including Individual and Student Plans, all starting today.

The three month free trial is only open to new users, and is not available to those who have already tried Spotify Premium. You can find more information about the announcement in Spotify's blog post.

Tag: Spotify

OtterBox Launches $130 'OtterSpot' Stackable and Portable Wireless Charging System

OtterBox today announced a new expandable wireless charging system that it calls "OtterSpot," which includes one charging base that can power up multiple batteries and a smartphone simultaneously.


To start, the OtterSpot Charging Base is placed on a flat surface, and you can stack multiple OtterSpot Wireless Charging Batteries on top of it to charge them. On the very top, a compatible iPhone can be charged wirelessly.

The idea is that with multiple batteries charging at once, you can quickly pick one up and take it with you around your home or office to charge any Qi-enabled device wherever you want. OtterSpot Wireless Charging Batteries include a 5,000 mAh battery and up to 10-watt wireless charging speeds.

They also have a USB-C port so you can charge another device through a wired connection, a power button, and LED lights to indicate charge levels. OtterBox also confirmed that the charging system has been Qi certified.


You can purchase the OtterSpot Wireless Charging System for $129.95, including a charging base and one extra OtterSpot Wireless Battery. Additional batteries will cost $69.95 if you want to expand the system.

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

T-Mobile Experiencing Outage, Some Customers Unable to Make Calls or Send Texts

T-Mobile appears to be experiencing a significant outage, with many T-Mobile customers unable to make calls or send text messages, reports TechCrunch.

Based on reports on Twitter and other social networks, the outage started at approximately 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time.


There's no word on just how many people are impacted by the service issues, but there are dozens of reports from T-Mobile users across multiple states.

It's not known when the outage might be resolved, but a T-Mobile support account reportedly said the carrier's engineers are "working on a resolution." We'll update this article when the issue has been resolved.

How to Opt Out of Arbitration When Signing Up for Apple Card

Amid all the online chatter about Apple Card, you may have come across references to the "arbitration clause" in Apple's agreement, and how you should opt out of it if you intend to apply for the credit card. So what is arbitration, and why should you steer clear of it?


Basically, arbitration is a way to resolve legal disputes between two parties (in this case, between you and Goldman Sachs, which backs Apple Card) without going through the courts.

Arbitration is often touted as being a quicker and less expensive way to resolve disputes. The problem is that arbitration often favors the company over the consumer, because the arbitrator(s) is typically chosen by the company, handing them an unfair advantage.

When you agree to Apple Card's terms and conditions, you are agreeing to forced arbitration to resolve any potential disputes between you and Goldman Sachs. In other words, you're waiving the right to individually sue the bank or be part of a class action lawsuit against the company.

The key passage in the Apple Card terms and conditions is as follows:
By accepting this Agreement or using your Account, unless you reject arbitration as provided below, you acknowledge that you are giving up the right to litigate claims (as defined below) and the right to initiate or participate in a class action. You hereby knowingly and voluntarily waive the right to be heard in court or have a jury trial on all Claims subject to this Agreement.
The good news is that there are several ways you can request to opt out of arbitration. Customers in the U.S. can call Apple on 877-255-5923, or they can send a letter to Lockbox 6112, P.O. Box 7247, Philadelphia, PA 19170-6112. However, the easiest method is to use the Messages feature in the iOS Wallet app. The following steps show you how.
  1. Launch the Wallet app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap your Apple Card.

  3. Tap the black ellipsis button (the three encircled dots) in the top-right corner of the screen.

  4. Tap Message.

  5. Send a message stating that you'd like to opt out of Apple Card arbitration. You'll be connected to a Goldman Sachs assistant who will process your request within a few minutes.
At the time of writing, Apple doesn't seem to be providing confirmation when you opt out of arbitration via the Message route, so the best advice for now is to take screenshots of your conversation for safekeeping, just in case.

Five iOS Apps Worth Checking Out - August 2019

Over on our YouTube channel, we have an ongoing video series that's designed to highlight new, interesting, and useful iOS apps that we think are worth downloading and checking out

There are so many apps in the iOS App Store that it can be hard to find new apps and it's also easy to overlook great apps that are a bit older. Our app lists include both new and old apps that we recommend and have tested out.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

  • Movies Anywhere (Free) - The Movies Anywhere app isn't new, but it might be new to some. It's basically an app that brings all of your movies together into one spot so you can see your whole media catalog at once. If you have DVDs with digital codes from VUDU, content from iTunes, and content from Amazon, you can get to it in one spot, plus you can rent and buy new movies.

  • Libby (Free) - You might not know this, but if you have a library card in the United States, you can likely access a whole collection of eBooks and audiobooks that can be checked out through Libby. Libby supports a whole wide range of libraries and makes it easy for you to find and borrow books and place holds on content. You can send books to your Kindle or read right in the Libby app.

  • Madden NFL Mobile (Free) - Madden Mobile was updated for the 2019 season recently, and if you're not familiar with it, the game is meant to let you take on the role of an NFL GM as you take your team to the Super Bowl and play through dynamic NFL seasons. You can choose your NFL franchise, sign players, complete daily tasks, and face off with NFL superstars. It's free, but there are in-app purchases.

  • Archero (Free) - Archero is a fun little archery game where the goal is to use a bow and arrow to defeat wave after wave of monsters. It's simple but engrossing, and you'll run into all kinds of enemies while using unique skills to blast them into oblivion. Archero is free, but has in-app purchases.

  • Spotify Stations (Free) - Spotify Stations is a standalone Spotify app that came out earlier this year. It's designed to let you create radio stations based on your favorite songs and artists, much like Pandora. Radio stations in Spotify aren't new, but Spotify Stations makes the feature a lot easier to use.
Have a favorite iOS app? Let us know in the comments. We're always looking for new iOS app ideas for this video series, and we'll check out your suggestions. You can check out our recommendations from previous months here, and don't miss our similar Mac app series featuring great Mac apps worth downloading.

Deals Spotlight: Save on Anker and Aukey's Best Power and Audio Accessories for Apple Devices

Well-known accessory makers Anker and Aukey have introduced many new discounts this week, offering notable sales on helpful Apple accessories like wireless chargers, portable batteries, Lightning cables, and more. We've listed every deal from each company below, along with the expiration dates for each discount so you know how long you have to take advantage of the sales.

Anker


Soundcore Audio
Wireless and Portable Charging

Cables and Power Strips

Aukey

We routinely keep track of the latest discount codes offered by Anker and Aukey in our full Deals Roundup. If you're interested in power accessories for Apple devices, be sure to check out our giveaway this week to enter for a chance to win RAVPower's new 61W USB-C Power Adapter and a USB-C to Lightning cable.

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.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tags: Anker, Aukey

Apple Seeds Eighth Beta of watchOS 6 to Developers

Apple today seeded the eighth beta of watchOS 6, the software that runs on the Apple Watch. The new beta comes a week after the seventh beta and over two months after Apple first unveiled the new watchOS update at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

To install the watchOS 6 beta, you'll need the proper configuration profile, which can be obtained through the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the beta can be downloaded using the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.


Installing the software requires the Apple Watch to have 50 percent battery. It also needs to be put on a charger and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

watchOS 6 is a major update that offers up a long list of new features. First and foremost, there's an App Store right on the Apple Watch, so you can find and download new Apple Watch apps on your wrist.

Apple Watch apps no longer need to have an iPhone component, which means developers can create standalone Apple Watch apps for the first time. Apps are able to take advantage of new APIs so you'll be able to do things like follow along with a workout or listen to streaming music from third-party services.


Since Apple Watch apps are now independent of apps on the iPhone, you can now remove some built-in apps from the Apple Watch, a feature that was enabled in beta 3.

There are several new watch faces in watchOS 6, including Numerals Mono and Duo with huge numbers, Modular Compact, a Gradient watch face that shifts over the course of a day, a Solar Dial watch face that visualizes the sun in a 24 hour path around the dial, and the California watch face with a mix of standard numbers and roman numerals.


A new Taptic Chimes feature provides a silent touch on the wrist at every hour, and if sound is turned on, you'll hear an audible chime. You can also hold two fingers on the Apple Watch's display to hear the time spoken out loud.

There are new Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator apps, along with a new Noise app that warns you if you're exposed to sound that's too loud and a new Cycle Tracking app for period tracking. Activity Trends, visible on the iPhone, are also available to chart your fitness progress and make sure your fitness trends are improving.


New complications are available for wind speed, chance of rain, and the new Noise app, plus there's a Voice Memos complication for recording a memo quickly, a cellular strength complication, and a complication for the Calculator that opens up the app.

Siri can now provide full web search results right on the watch when asked a question, and for Mac users, the Apple Watch can now approve Mac security prompts.

When it launches in the fall, watchOS 6 will be available on all Apple Watch models with the exception of the original Apple Watch, released in 2015. For more on what's new in watchOS 6, make sure to check out our watchOS 6 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Twelve South Debuts New Journal Case for iPad Pro

Twelve South today announced the all-new Journal for iPad Pro, a new leather case made specifically for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.


Journal for iPad Pro includes a built-in shell that holds the tablet, and includes a storage space for the Apple Pencil. There's also an interior pocket to hold a compact Bluetooth keyboard or paper documents.

The new case matches existing Journal accessories from Twelve South, like the Journal for MacBook, Journal for iPhone, and the Journal CaddySack. The new iPad Pro version includes a full zippered edge to fully secure the tablet when it's inside the case.


Journal for iPad Pro is priced at $99.99 for the 11-inch model and $119.99 for the 12.9-inch model. It's available to purchase today on TwelveSouth.com.

Chase Pay App to Shut Down in Early 2020, Will Become Limited to Websites and Apps

Chase Bank today announced that it will be shutting down its Chase Pay app for iOS and Android in early 2020, at which point the QR code-based payment service will no longer be available for use in stores.


Chase said it is shifting its focus to expanding Chase Pay's presence in more merchant apps and websites, including Grubhub and the new Chase Center venue app launching for the upcoming Golden State Warriors season.

"We continue to focus on our customers and they are using the Chase Pay button on merchant websites and in merchant apps, and now their tap-to-pay Chase cards more than ever," said Eric Connolly, head of Chase Pay. "So, we're shifting our focus to expand Chase Pay's presence in more merchant apps and websites."

Chase Pay failed to gain significant traction in stores, likely because it is less convenient than contactless payment solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay. In fairness, Chase has also offered Apple Pay since 2014.

Chase began informing customers about this news by email today.