MacRumors Giveaway: Win an Atlas Executive Athletic Holdall From WaterField Designs

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with WaterField Designs to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win the company's Atlas Executive Athletic Holdall, a bag that's ideal for everything from work to travel to the gym.


Priced at $429, the 22-liter Atlas Holdall is true to its name and can hold all of your gear and then some. In the main briefcase compartment, it features a padded laptop pocket that's able to hold up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro, plus there's a padded tablet pocket that will fit an iPad as big as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.


There are also two deep pockets that are designed to hold cables, cords, and other small accessories, while a document compartment holds notebooks, files, folders, and more. A zippered pocket at the front is able to hold keys, cards, wallet, your phone, and more for quick access, and there's a leather-wrapped handle for grip plus a removable suspension strap.


A separate workout compartment can hold workout clothes, a water bottle, a towel, and other workout gear. It can also hold extra clothes such as a change of clothes for work, and there's a collapsible shoe pocket for your gym shoes.


The Atlas Holdall is available in a black ballistic nylon or a brown waxed canvas material. While the black ballistic will hide wear and tear, the waxed canvas embraces it and will take on a unique look over time. Both colors are water resistant and feature leather accents and waterproof zippers.


We have one Atlas Executive Athletic Holdall to give away to a MacRumors reader. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter 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, 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (May 25) at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 1. The winner will be chosen randomly on June 1 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 Discounts BeatsX, Powerbeats3, Solo3, and Studio3 Headphones in Limited Sale

Apple today launched the latest sale on Beats by Dre products, including markdowns on the BeatsX, Powerbeats3, Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, and Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones. Make sure you still shop around as other retailers are offering even better prices for some models and colors, which we've compared below.

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

Starting with the Solo3, the wireless headphones are now $239.95, down from $299.95 on Apple.com. Colors from both the Neighborhood Collection and basic launch shades are all available for the discount.

Comparatively, Best Buy has the the Solo3 headphones as low as $197.99 in Silver, and Walmart similarly offers select colors like Gold for $197.00.


Apple is also offering the high-end Beats Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones at a discount for $279.95, down from $349.95. While this is better than Best Buy's $309.99 sale price and matches B&H Photo's, Walmart beats all with a current price of $227.95 for the White, Red, Blue, and Matte Black colorways.


Next, Apple has the BeatsX Earphones for $119.95 in all colors, beaten by Best Buy with sale prices as low as $89.99 in Gray, White, and Blue. If you're willing to go the refurbished route, Best Buy also has the BeatsX for just $64.99 in a variety of colors.


Lastly, the Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones are marked down to $159.95 in Apple's sale, savings of $40 from the original price of $199.95. Best Buy again provides one of the lowest prices online, with the Powerbeats3 hitting $109.99 in Siren Red, Flash Blue, and Shock Yellow. Apple does beat Best Buy by $20 in some colors in the Neighborhood Collection, however.

Apple has offered these discounts a few times throughout the year, and the reduced prices are often only available for a short time. If you're looking for more information on discounts, be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Twitter Testing Easy-to-Access Data Saver Toggle on iOS

Twitter is testing a new "Data saver" toggle on iOS devices, as one user shared on the social media platform this morning. For users in the test, the data saver setting is housed at the very bottom of the left-handed profile menu, which you can access by swiping left-to-right on your main Twitter timeline in the iOS app.

When toggled on, the mode prevents videos from autoplaying when scrolling through tweets, and lower-quality images load instead of automatically choosing high-quality images. The toggle affects all accounts linked within the iOS app on an iPhone or iPad, helping to reduce data usage on cellular connections and in turn preventing you from going over the allotted monthly data cap on your phone bill.

Data saver test (left) vs current Twitter app for iOS (right)


Tweets about the toggle span multiple countries since earlier in the spring, so it appears Twitter has been testing the dedicated mode for a few weeks now.

Twitter's iOS app currently lets you toggle off video autoplay and high-quality videos, or set them to load only on Wi-Fi, but the settings are stored in "Settings and privacy" > "Data usage." It appears that the social media company is testing out a way for data saver functionality to be more at-hand and quicker to access with one toggle on the app's frontend menu.

Twitter users also have the option of using Twitter Lite on iOS, Android, and other smartphones. Lite loads Twitter on the mobile web, outside of a dedicated app, and provides all of the main features of Twitter while reducing data usage and speeding up load times.

Some of the big social media apps offer similar data reduction settings in their iOS apps. In Facebook's "Videos and Photos" settings on the iPhone app, you can set videos to "Never Autoplay" and reduce the upload quality of photos and videos as well. Instagram has a "Use Less Data" toggle found within the gear icon on your user profile.

The mode has also extended to music streaming apps like Spotify, and on-demand video apps like Netflix. Streaming TV services are also beginning to allow users to download their favorite shows and movies to watch offline and avoid using their data to binge shows while traveling. Platforms that support this feature include Netflix, Showtime, Amazon, Starz, Epix, and soon Hulu.

For now, Twitter's data saver toggle is just a test, so it's unclear when or if the feature will launch for all users.

(Thanks, Ravi!)

Tag: Twitter

Beats 'Decade Collection' Headphones Appear on Best Buy Website Ahead of WWDC

A special "Decade Collection" range of Beats Headphones are currently being promoted by online retail merchants ahead of scheduled availability on June 4, suggesting Apple will officially announce the collection during its keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference.


A new Beats "Decade Collection" page on the Best Buy website spotted by AppleInsider provides a thorough breakdown of the Beats By Dre 10th anniversary limited edition range, which has yet to appear in Apple's online product listings. Details about the new Beats models also went live on the website of New Zealand-based retailer Smiths City.


Beats was launched so people could hear music the way the artist intended. A decade later they're still changing the game. Styled in Defiant Black-Red in tribute to their bold beginnings and music's dynamic emotion, the Beats Decade Collection celebrates their first 10 years of innovation.
The collection showcases a "Defiant Black-Red" color scheme to existing products in the Beats lineup, including Studio3 Wireless, Solo3 Wireless, Powerbeats3 Wireless, BeatsX Wireless, and urBeats3. All the headphones are available to pre-order at the same price as their more typically styled equivalents.


A report last week claimed that Apple's rumored "low-priced" version of the HomePod will be placed under the Beats by Dre brand instead of the expected Apple branding - although it seems unlikely that Apple would combine the two brands into one product.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a set of high-end over-ear headphones that, like the company's HomePod and AirPods, will be Apple branded rather than Beats branded.

Deals: DirecTV Now Apple TV 4K Potential Last Call, Costco iPad and Nest Sales, and More

Since November 2017, AT&T has offered customers the chance to get the 32GB Apple TV 4K at no extra cost when they sign up and pay for either four months or three months of DirecTV Now. Since this means you pay just $105 for an Apple TV 4K (under the current offer), it's been the best deal available online for Apple's latest streaming box. According to our affiliate, an end date for this sale is set for one week from today, May 31, but AT&T has been known to extend these expiration dates in the past.

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

Still, it's worth a heads up about the potential end of a great offer. If you haven't yet taken advantage of the savings, follow these steps:
  • Visit DirecTVNow.com's landing page for the deal
  • Click "Redeem & Stream"
  • Select the "Live a Little" package to get the Apple TV at the lowest possible price
  • Choose if you want to add another stream and premium channels, or click "Skip for now"
  • Click "Add to plan" under the Apple TV 4K box in the Special offer section
  • Click "Continue" and go through the account creation and checkout processes
It's important to note that the deal is for new subscribers only, but existing subscribers can claim it by using an alternative email address from their original account, or by setting up an iCloud email alias. Once ordered, the Apple TV 4K arrives in the mail within a few weeks, and those who don't want to continue paying for DirecTV Now beyond the three months offered in this deal can cancel the service before the fourth month is billed and keep the Apple TV 4K.

Other deals today include a collection of Internet and cable bundles from AT&T, a few of which also appear to be ending once June rolls around. Depending on local availability for AT&T's services, anyone who bundles DirecTV and AT&T Internet, with a 24-month TV agreement, can get up to $300 in Visa Reward Cards. A similar offer is available for AT&T's U-Verse service (with a 12-month agreement stipulation), and those who simply switch to DirecTV without bundling any other services can still get $200 in Visa Rewards Cards, if they sign a two-year agreement.


There's also a pair of deals over at Costco kicking off this week, including $120 off Apple's 10.5-inch iPad from Mid 2017. With the savings, you can get the 256GB model for $649.99, down from $769.99. Additionally, Costco has the 3rd Generation Nest Learning Thermostat for $149.99, down from around $200 and one of the best prices currently available online.

Comparatively, Nest is selling the device directly on its storefront for $50 off for Memorial Day, priced at $199.99, and the Nest Thermostat E has been marked down by $20, to $149.99. Both come with a free Google Home Mini when purchased on Nest.com during the limited sale.

For those looking to discover new Mac gaming deals, The Wet Hot Aspyr Summer Sale has kicked off this May, with a series of notable discounts on many macOS- and iOS-compatible games available now and coming throughout May and June. The company says that it'll refresh its deals on the Thursday of every week, so be sure to check back with our Deals Roundup for the newest games on sale.


The game discounts listed below will expire on Thursday, May 31:

iOS
macOS
For more of the latest discounts, be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, Apple Deals
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

Mophie Launches New Wireless Charging Kit Designed for Travel

Mophie today announced the launch of the Charge Stream Travel Kit, which is a wireless charging kit that's designed for use while traveling, as the name suggests.

Designed for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, as well as other Qi-enabled devices, the Charge Stream Travel Kit includes a 5W Charge Stream Pad Mini, which is a wireless charger that can also be purchased separately, paired with a 2.4A wall adapter, a 2.4A car adapter, and a 1.5-foot USB-A to micro-USB cable.


All of the components for the travel kit come in a handy case that keeps them all together and that can be easily stowed in a backpack or a car.

The Charge Stream Pad Mini is a 5W charger, which means it's not going to charge the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus at the faster 7.5W charging speed. Design wise, the Charge Stream Pad Mini is compact and slightly elevated with a low profile design that works anywhere. It includes a non-slip rubber grip to keep your iPhone in place.


Mophie is charging $49.95 for the Charge Stream Travel Kit on its website and the Charge Stream Mini Pad can also be purchased separately for $24.95.

Tag: Mophie

First Alert's All-in-One HomeKit-Enabled Smoke Detector, Speaker, and Alexa Assistant Now Available to Order

First Alert has announced that its Onelink Safe & Sound smoke and carbon monoxide detector is now available to order.


Introduced at CES 2018, the Onelink Safe & Sound distinguishes itself from a traditional smoke detector with a built-in speaker and noice-canceling microphones, and support for Amazon Alexa, making it a ceiling-mounted assistant.

Homeowners can ask Alexa to stream music from Amazon Music, Pandora, and soon Spotify, read the news, check the weather, control other smart home devices, and more. Audio playback is also supported via Bluetooth.


Onelink Safe & Sound also supports HomeKit, enabling iPhone and iPad users to control the detector with Siri or Apple's Home app.

While its latest press release does not mention AirPlay 2, First Alert has informed MacRumors that the Safe & Sound's speaker will support the since-delayed Apple protocol as soon as it is available, enabling multi-room audio and Siri control for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users through the Home app.

AirPlay 2 support will allow a homeowner to install multiple detectors around the house and control audio on a room-by-room basis.

In terms of the detector itself, an alarm alerts homeowners on their smartphones in the event of a smoke or carbon monoxide emergency, whether home or away. With exclusive voice and location technology by First Alert, the Safe & Sound alerts users to the type of danger and its location within the home.

Beyond its smart alarm capabilities, the Safe & Sound also features a customizable night light with multiple colors and brightness levels.

The Onelink Safe & Sound is currently available for $249.99 from Amazon and First Alert's online store in the United States, but a regular price of $299.99 is listed. It's unclear when the $50 off introductory offer will end.

Verizon Dialing Back Standalone Live TV Service Plans, Will Partner With Existing OTT Provider Instead

In March 2017, a report from Bloomberg stated that Verizon Communications was preparing to launch its own live streaming television service, entering as a competitor to DirecTV Now, Sling TV, PS Vue, and more. Later in October, the service was delayed to 2018, and now company CEO Lowell McAdam has hinted that plans for the OTT platform will shift to a partnership-focused model.

Speaking with Yahoo Finance this week, McAdam said that he believes the "linear" model of TV is dead, referencing how viewers traditionally received their content via a strict live schedule, in contrast to on-demand streaming. Reporting on the interview, Multichannel News stated McAdam is looking into integrating Oath's content (a subsidiary of Verizon) with an existing over-the-top provider.


McAdam is believed to have a partner for this picked out soon, and the plan is to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018. Back in October, McAdam stated that the company was giving itself six months to decide whether to offer the service as stand-alone or through a partnership -- a decision that now appears to be made.
Well by the time we launch in fourth quarter we will have a partner picked out, and we'll integrate our Oath assets into the linear assets that they have and bring the full package to customers. We think that's gonna be a big hit from a customer perspective.
It's uncertain which platform Verizon might choose with the growing stable of live TV streaming services on the market. Least likely candidates are DirecTV Now due to AT&T's ownership of the service, and T-Mobile's own upcoming OTT service. Other popular services include YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, and fuboTV. All of these include options to watch linear live tv, as well as check out content at any time on demand.

At the time of the initial rumor, Verizon's platform was reported to launch with "dozens" of channels and run between $20/month and $35/month, which are Sling TV's and DirecTV Now's starting prices, respectively. At the time of the delay, people close to the company referenced staff shuffling, negotiations for streaming rights, and technology reboots as contributing factors to the postponed launch, and likely affected the company's decision to partner with an existing service instead.

At one point Apple was hoping to become a competitor in the live-streaming service field with its own dedicated cord-cutting bundle, but rumors of that service died down after news came out that the company was "frustrated" by its repeated inability to reach mutually beneficial terms with network programmers. Now, Apple is focusing on launching an on-demand streaming service along the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Tag: Verizon

Vevo Shuttering iOS and Android Apps to Focus Music Video Business on YouTube

Music video platform Vevo has confirmed that it will be shutting down all of its mobile apps and consumer-facing video hosting website, signaling a shift in its business to focus on YouTube (via Variety). Apps affected include those for iOS and Android, but as of now "select" smart TV apps, potentially including Apple TV, will continue to run.

Vevo is well known for being a platform that users can go to watch the latest music videos, but many viewers simply use the company's YouTube channel, leading Vevo's iOS, Android, Apple TV, and other apps to struggle with growth. After the discontinuation of its apps and website, Vevo's YouTube channel will become the primary source of its music video distribution.

Major-label owned Vevo is giving up on plans to build its own music video platform outside of YouTube’s control: Vevo is shutting down its mobile apps and consumer-facing website, the company announced Thursday morning.

“We will phase out elements of our owned and operated platforms,” the company said in a blog post Thursday. “Going forward, Vevo will remain focused on engaging the biggest audiences and pursuing growth opportunities.”
To ensure a smooth transition, Vevo will provide a playlist tool to its mobile app users so they can import their Vevo playlists over to YouTube. In the iOS app [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad, Vevo offers its users personalized recommendations, user profiles to follow, specific notifications about new videos and live performances, and more -- all of which will now go away.

The announcement comes a few weeks after it was revealed that YouTube and Vevo have a new deal that lets YouTube sell the music video platform's clips directly to advertisers, in an effort to boost ad sales. The sunsetting of Vevo apps also follows months of shakeups at the company, with former CEO Erik Huggers leaving in December, head of product Mark Hall leaving in January, chief technology officer Alex Nunes departing in the spring, and "significant" layoffs to Vevo's product and engineering teams at the same time.

Apple has also been increasing its focus on music videos within its Music app, launching a dedicated "Music Videos" section inside of Apple Music this spring. In the new area, subscribers can find new weekly playlists for various genres, browse through the latest videos, watch exclusive content, and more.

Tag: Vevo

Pioneer Releases Wireless CarPlay Systems

Pioneer has joined Alpine as the second electronics maker to release wireless CarPlay systems for aftermarket installation.

AVH-W4400NEX

Introduced at CES 2018 in January, product listings have since confirmed that Pioneer's latest AVH-W4400NEX and AVIC-W8400NEX receivers are capable of not only wired and wireless Android Auto, but also wired and wireless CarPlay, enabling drivers to connect an iPhone to either receiver via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Receivers with wired implementations require connecting an iPhone with a Lightning to USB cable to access CarPlay functionality.

The lower-end AVH-W4400NEX features a double-DIN design with a seven-inch resistive touchscreen. The receiver has a suggested price of $699.99 in the United States through resellers such as Crutchfield and Sound of Tri-State. It's also available for C$899.99 in Canada via Best Buy's online store.

The higher-end AVH-W8400NEX features a double-DIN design with a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen. The receiver has a suggested price of $1,199.99 in the United States through resellers such as Crutchfield and Sound of Tri-State. It's also available for C$1,399.99 in Canada via Best Buy's online store.

AVH-W8400NEX

The $500 price difference between the two receivers largely relates to the type of touchscreen used. Capacitive touchscreens—think of an iPhone—rely on the electrical charge of a finger, and are generally considered to be better than resistive touchscreens, which rely on the physical pressure of a finger or stylus.

Both receivers feature CD/DVD drives, AM/FM, HD Radio, SiriusXM compatibility, two rear USB-A ports, SD card readers, and hands-free phone calls and music playback via Bluetooth in standard AppRadio Mode.

Alpine released the first aftermarket wireless CarPlay system in June 2017. Its iLX-107 receiver features a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen and is available for a suggested price of $900 in the United States. Wireless CarPlay is also available in select new vehicles from BMW, and Mercedes-Benz starting soon.

Pioneer has also released some wireless CarPlay receivers in Europe, according to the blog CarPlay Life. Thanks to MacRumors reader Dean Cobb.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

YouTube Testing Non-Chronological Video Order in Subscription Feeds for Some Users

Following in the footsteps of companies like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, YouTube this week confirmed that it is "experimenting" with a way to organize its users Subscription Feeds that removes reverse chronological order and uses algorithms to "personalize" the video order. The news came from the @TeamYouTube Twitter account after it responded to a disgruntled user (via iGeneration).


YouTube's Subscription Feed traditionally begins with a "Today" banner, presenting users with a reverse chronological list of every video that has been posted by the YouTubers they subscribe to, going back to "Yesterday," "This Week," "This Month," etc. For those in the experiment, this order is replaced with what Team YouTube calls a "personalized order," which appears to use a viewer's watch history and other factors to recommend videos from their subscriptions that the company thinks the user will want to watch.


YouTube already presents "Recommended" videos on its homepage and in the sidebar of other videos, leading many YouTubers to respond negatively to the change of the last chronological list of videos that could be found on the service. It's unclear what platforms the experiment is currently taking place on, but if it launches for all users it would likely affect YouTube across mobile, desktop, TV, and more.

Using algorithms to surface content has long been popular among social media networks. Facebook's News Feed has done this for years, and Instagram followed in March 2016 stating that as it's grown its users "often don’t see the posts [they] might care about the most," although the company has made slight tweaks to the algorithms since then. For its part, Twitter as a whole still shows tweets from new to old, but it does choose to surface non-chronological content with features like "In case you missed it," displaying followers' liked tweets among your own, ads, and more.

Tag: YouTube

Apple Pay Offering Free Delivery From Postmates for First Orders Placed by New Customers

Apple Pay is launching a new promo today, offering new Postmates customers the chance to get their first delivery free when they check out with Apple Pay. This summer promotion is a bit lengthier than previous offers from Apple, running through 11:59 p.m. on June 30.

Apple notes in the fine print of the deal that the offer is only applicable to new customers who have not previously made an order on Postmates. Otherwise, you can place your first order, use Apple Pay to check out, and wave the delivery fee. No promo code is required.


The summer-themed e-mail promotion also highlights other stores where Apple Pay is accepted, like Whole Foods, Gap, and Crate and Barrel, where Apple says you can "find all you'll need to entertain" for summertime parties. In apps, the company encourages you to pay using Apple Pay in Overstock, Jet, and Kohl's.

Apple previously partnered with Postmates in one of these promotions during the holidays last year, offering free deliveries on all orders over $20 if you used Apple Pay to sign up for Postmates Unlimited. More recently, the company has promoted Hayneedle, 1-800-Flowers, and Instacart.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay