Apple Releases tvOS 12.1.1 for Fourth and Fifth-Generation Apple TV

Apple today released tvOS 12.1.1, the third update to the tvOS 12 operating system designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 12.1.1 comes three weeks after the launch of tvOS 12.1 and two months after the September launch of tvOS 12.

tvOS 12.1.1 can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System -> Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software updates turned on will be upgraded to tvOS 12.1.1 automatically.


As a minor 12.x.x update, tvOS 12.1.1 focuses on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements. No major features were found during the tvOS 12.1.1 beta testing period, and Apple does not provide release notes for tvOS updates, so it's not known what specific bug fixes and improvements are included in the new software.

If any additional information on the content of the tvOS 12.1.1 update becomes available, we'll update this post.

tvOS 12.1.1 follows the tvOS 12 update, which introduced support for higher-quality Dolby Atmos sound, zero sign-on, and new aerial screensavers created in collaboration with the International Space Station.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Apple Begins Selling Standalone 18W USB-C Power Adapter, Priced at $29 in United States

Apple today began selling its 18W USB-C power adapter as a standalone product. The adapter is priced at $29 in the United States and $39 in Canada and is also available internationally with various plug types.


This is the same power adapter bundled with the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models released in November. When paired with a Lightning to USB-C cable, it can be used to fast charge the latest iPhone models, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Exploration Game 'Gone Home' Expanding to iOS on December 11

Popular adventure exploration game Gone Home is expanding to iOS devices, with a release scheduled for December 11.

Gone Home, which first came out in 2013, requires players to take on the role of a young girl who returns from a trip to find her Oregon home empty and her family gone.


Players will need to explore the home to look for clues to figure out what happened. The non-linear gameplay mainly consists of examining items like journals, photographs, and other items, with little interactivity involved.

The iOS version of Gone Home will be published by Annapurna Interactive. It has previously been available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac, Linux, and PC. Gone Home has won several awards and it has been praised for its unique gameplay style.

Gone Home can be pre-ordered from the App Store ahead of its December 11 release starting today. It is priced at $4.99.

Exclusive Insta360 ONE X Camera Bundle Now Available From Apple

Insta360's recently released Insta360 ONE X is available as a bundle from the Apple online store as of today.

Launched in October, the Insta360 ONE X is a 360 degree camera that's a followup to the original Insta360 ONE, which has also been available from the Apple online store and is the only 360 degree camera that Apple offers.


Compared to the Insta360 ONE, the Insta360 ONE X features a revamped body and an upgraded 5.7K camera able to capture higher-quality photos and videos with improved image stabilization.

The Apple-exclusive Insta360 ONE X bundle includes the camera itself, a multi-function Bullet Time Handle that allows for unique video tricks and serves as a tripod, a Selfie Stick that gets edited out in post-processing, two batteries, and a protective carrying pouch.


Along with expanding to Apple Stores, the Insta360 ONE X is also receiving a software update that adds an HDR video mode and integrated support for uploading content to Google Maps Street View.

The new HDR mode is designed to provide video that looks natural and vibrant, with accurate highlights and low lights in every direction.

The Insta360 ONE X Camera Bundle can be purchased from Apple.com for $449.95.

Tropico Coming to iPad December 18, iPhone Version Confirmed for Release Next Year

Feral today announced a December 18 release date for the iPad version of Tropico, the popular strategic island city builder and humorous dictator sim, and also confirmed that an iPhone version is forthcoming sometime in 2019.


Based on the acclaimed series originally published by Kalypso Media, Tropico for iPad has been redesigned and developed for mobile by Feral, and will be a premium game with no in-app purchases.
Fully tailored to and optimized for tablet, Tropico features intuitive touch controls and an easy-to-navigate user interface that make it smooth and simple for players to lead this small but proud island nation into a glorious future, one tap at a time.

Tropico will support fifth generation and sixth generation iPads, and all generations of Apple's iPad Pro models. The game requires iOS 12 and just under 3GB to install. Tropico costs $11.99 and is available to pre-order now from the App Store [Direct Link].

Tag: Feral

Hulu and AT&T to Test 'Pause Ads' in 2019, Automatically Playing Commercials When You Hit Pause

Streaming TV services offered by companies like Hulu and AT&T are testing the waters for a new type of advertising called "pause ads" (via Variety). The idea behind pause ads is that instead of facing forced commercial breaks at specified interludes, users would be more accepting of ads that play when they choose to pause a show for a bit while they do something else.

Hulu says it plans to launch pause ads in 2019, but not much else was given in the way of details regarding which of its numerous streaming plans will include the new type of commercial. The plan likely to see pause ads is Hulu With Limited Commercials, which interjects a few ads throughout a show's runtime, similar to live TV, but again this hasn't been confirmed.


AT&T cited similar interest in pause ads, stating that it also plans to launch technology in 2019 that plays a video when a user pauses a TV show. For both companies, it's unclear exactly how long these ads will run for, and if you'll be able to immediately cancel them out by simply hitting the play button and resuming your TV show.

According to Hulu vice president and head of advertising platforms Jeremy Helfand, pause ads will not be home to longform advertisements, but will instead focus on commercials where advertisers "have seconds" to deliver a message effectively. Over the next three years, Hulu expects "more than half" of its advertising revenue to come from these so-called non-disruptive experiences.

AT&T advertising vice president Matt Van Houten claims that the company is even working on a version of pause ads that will be interactive, so that viewers can "telescope" to more information from the advertiser by clicking on a remote. AT&T knows that viewers will raise concerns over the new type of advertising, but Van Houten claimed that they are just the next iteration of the "flying toaster" screensaver found on Macintosh computers in the late 80's.

Hulu on pause ads:
“As binge-viewing happens more and more, it’s natural they are going to want to pause,” says Jeremy Helfand, vice president and head of advertising platforms for Hulu, speaking of modern-day couch potatoes. Hulu intends to unveil what it calls “pause ads” in 2019. When a user chooses to stretch, or get a snack, he says, “it’s a natural break in the storytelling experience.”
AT&T:
“We know you’re going to capture 100% viewability when they pause and unpause,” says Matt Van Houten, vice president of product at Xandr Media, AT&T’s advertising division. “There’s a lot of value in that experience.”

In time, he suggests, consumers might prefer the pause pitches to other forms of TV commercials.
Some advertising executives are already unsure if pause ads will catch on. Tim Halon, CEO of media and advertising consultancy company Vetere Group, questions whether pause ads will be too disruptive: "Just because you can doesn't mean you should...if it's simply inserting, let's say a reverse-mortgage ad with a direct-response phone number? I don't know if that aids the consumer experience."

When it comes to advertising, many companies have had to walk a fine line in the past, particularly for streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Earlier this year, Netflix tested a new feature that added video promotions for shows in between episodes, but users quickly pointed out their frustrations with the test and it never rolled out wide. Netflix executives still claim that there is not currently a plan to run traditional commercial advertisements on its service.

Although details about its service are still sparse, Apple is rumored to offer its upcoming TV shows free to Apple device owners through its TV app, and commercials are not expected to be a part of the experience.

Tags: AT&T, Hulu

Apple Music, Apple Books, Apple Podcasts, and iTunes Gain New 'Best of 2018' Sections

This week, Apple shared a new press release that highlighted the best music, movies, television shows, podcasts, and books of 2018. With the announcement, Apple has now rolled out new sections in each service that highlight these pieces of media under an all-new "Best of 2018" category.



You can check out all of the new Best of 2018 collections in the Browse tabs of Apple Music and Apple Podcasts, and the Book Store tab of Apple Books. On iTunes, the section can be found by scrolling down a bit, underneath the New and Noteworthy category.


Starting with Apple Music, the central Browse tab has a few new cards today that celebrate the Artist of the Year (Drake), Album of the Year (Kacey Musgraves' "Golden Hour"), Song of the Year (Cardi B's "I Like It"), and Breakthrough Artist of the Year (Juice WRLD). Apple also accumulates all of this into a centralized Best of 2018 hub that breaks down each artist and album with text by Apple Music's editors.


This area also includes the new Best of 2018 Playlist, which Apple explains was created by dozens of Apple Music editors from all over the world and includes 100 of the best tracks of the year, across genres. There are also Top 100 playlists for the United States and Global, a full list of the top 100 most-streamed albums of the year, a look back at 2018's Up Next artists, and a Beats 1 Radio year-in-review special.

On iTunes, Apple has a Best of 2018 list with all of the movies and TV shows that dominated the year. Films include Black Panther (Movie of the Year), Annihilation, Crazy Rich Asians, Eighth Grade, Green Book, Hereditary, Incredibles 2, A Star is Born, and Won't You Be My Neighbor?


TV shows include Killing Eve, The Americans, Atlanta, Barry, The Expanse, The Good Fight, The Good Place, The Handmaid's Tale, Pose, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Over in Apple Books, Apple highlights An American Marriage, The Library Book, Educated, The Witch Elm, Light It Up, Too Wilde to Wed, When Life Gives You Lululemons, Spinning Silver, There There, and Harbor Me as the best reads of 2018.


The Audiobooks tab also has a Best of 2018 section, including An American Marriage, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Something in the Water, Long Road to Mercy, Becoming, Dare to Lead, Girl, Wash Your Face, Rebound, Calypso, and The Great Alone.

On the Browse tab of Apple Podcasts, a similar Best of 2018 collection can be found. For the best Podcasts of the year, Apple's Podcasts editors chose In the Dark, Caliphate, The Dream, Slow Burn, Dr. Death, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, Bubble, Wolverine: The Long Night, 99% Invisible, Serial, Bundyville, This American Life, Revisionist History, and A Very Fatal Murder.

Apple also highlighted the Most Downloaded Shows of 2018 and Most Downloaded New Shows of 2018 in this section, including Podcasts like The Daily, Pod Save America, and Conspiracy Theories.

You can also check out the best iOS and macOS apps of the year, which we shared in a post last night. Some of the notable apps picked by Apple include Procreate Pocket, Gorogoa, Pixelmator Pro, and Alto's Odyssey.

How to Disable Autoplaying Videos in the YouTube App's Home Tab

Over the next few weeks, YouTube is rolling out a new feature for its mobile app called "Autoplay on Home," which automatically plays videos that appear on your Home tab. As you scroll through your Home feed, videos will begin to play on mute with captions auto-enabled.

Google claims the previously Premium-only feature is a better way to experience new content on the go, and will help you "make more informed decisions about whether you want to watch a video," but not everyone is likely to agree, especially users who have a cellular data cap.

Fortunately, YouTube has provided some options to customize the app's new default behavior, which we'll mention shortly. But first, here's how you can turn off Autoplay on Home completely.

How to Disable Autoplay on Home in the YouTube App

  1. Launch the YouTube app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap your profile icon in the upper right of the screen.

  3. Tap Settings.

  4. Tap Autoplay.

  5. Tap the Autoplay on Home toggle to turn it off.
In some circumstances, Autoplay on Home may be enabled only when you're using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. If you want to adjust this behavior, follow the steps above to bring you to YouTube's Autoplay settings, and you'll find options to Use on Wi-Fi and cellular data and Use only when connected to Wi-Fi.

Tag: YouTube

Review: Volvo's 2019 S60 Sedan Offers a Striking Sensus Infotainment Display and CarPlay, but Usability Needs Some Work

As car infotainment systems go, Volvo's Sensus system is certainly an eye-catcher with its gorgeous 9-inch portrait display dominating the center stack, so I was excited to have an opportunity to go hands-on with Sensus to see how it works and how well it integrates with CarPlay, which is broadly supported in Volvo's lineup.


My test vehicle was a new 2019 S60 T6 AWD R-Design sedan, and the 2019 S60 is the first Volvo to be manufactured in the United States, coming out of the company's new plant outside of Charleston, South Carolina. My S60 came packed with technology and safety features including lane-keeping assist and oncoming lane mitigation, parking assist, blind spot monitoring, and cross traffic alerts.


A $2,500 Advanced Package adds even more features including a 360º view camera, adaptive cruise control with pilot assist, heads-up display with speed and navigation, and active bending headlights to enhance illumination in the direction you're steering. My test vehicle was equipped with a high-end $3,200 Bowers & Wilkins 15-speaker audio system that unsurprisingly sounded fantastic. All told, the MSRP on my test vehicle approached $55,000, but the Sensus system with CarPlay support is standard even on the entry-level Momentum trim starting at $35,800.


Sensus


From a hardware perspective, the Sensus system is very good. The portrait display is beautiful, bright, and sharp, although it does tend to show fingerprints on both the screen and the glossy black frame surrounding it. Still, it's quite a statement feature in the way it dominates the center stack.


The Sensus system uses a combination of a resistive screen and infrared sensors to detect touches, which lets the system work even while you're wearing gloves, a feature you might expect from a Swedish car company. In fact, due to the infrared sensing, the system can even register touches without actually quite touching the screen, which is a little unnerving at first.

It might not be quite as responsive as a capacitive screen in some cases, but it's still a very usable system for a vehicle designed to be comfortable in cold climates. A single hardware home button right below the screen quickly gets you out of whatever you're doing and back to the main screen.


On the software side, Volvo's Sensus system is based around a set of tiles appearing on the main home screen, offering quick access to navigation, audio, and phone functions, as well as another most recently used function at the bottom. The tiles make it easy to hop in and out of specific functions while generally keeping a mini view of other functions accessible.


From the main screen, you can swipe to the left to find a host of vehicle control options that you likely won't need to look at terribly frequently, and a swipe down offers access to settings and a digital owner's manual that you'll likely visit even less frequently once you're up and running.


The Sensus navigation app offers a decent-looking and usable map view, and if you've got the digital driver's side display and heads-up display you'll be able to see map and turn-by-turn details on those screens as well.

Full-screen 2D map view

The main map view supports both pinching and double tapping to zoom, while panning is easily accomplished with a finger drag. The map can be viewed as either a large tile with audio and phone tiles still accessible or in a "full-screen" view that takes up the entire display with the exception of the climate control strip at the bottom.

Heads-up display showing speed, speed limit, and turn-by-turn directions

Unfortunately, once I looked beyond interacting with the map itself, I found the built-in navigation to be rather clunky to use in practice. Voice input is by far the most convenient and safest method for interacting with navigation systems, and the voice assistant that controls Sensus falls flat here.


We're in that in-between time where vehicle voice assistants are still transitioning to the natural language experience we've become accustomed to with Siri and other assistants on our mobile devices and around our homes, and like a number of other car manufacturers, Volvo has yet to really make that transition with Sensus.

With Sensus, you'll need to use specific phrases to trigger the various functions, so that means if you want to set a destination you'll have to use a specific "go to" trigger phrase rather than other variations like "take me to." About the only deviation is a "take me home" command that will work if you've set a home location.

Examples of navigation trigger words

The "go to" destination input method is a little bit clunky, and it gets worse if you don't know the address and want to search by name. It's a multi-step process that is quite distracting and feels like it takes forever.

For example, if you want directions to your local Starbucks but don't know the address off-hand, you'll need to say "search Starbucks." After a delay while the system interprets your command and searches, the driver display will offer up a list of possibilities. In this case, it shows "Starbucks" and "Starbucks Coffee" as separate items and you must choose which line number you want without knowing any other details. (As it turns out, both options return the same list of locations in my experience.)

Initial results of a POI search for "Starbucks"

Once you choose an item, it will suggest a number of nearby Starbucks locations and you'll again have to choose by line number using either your voice or the arrow and selection buttons on the steering wheel. But you're not done yet: Once you select a location, the system will ask you whether you want to call the location or set it as a destination. Only after you make that choice can you be on your way to get a cup of coffee.

Follow-up list of Starbucks locations

Beyond the multi-step voice interface, I found the POI database overall to be rather poor, with the system having difficulty finding certain destinations I commonly visit. In fact, the entire "churches" category was empty in my area, making it difficult to obtain directions to my sons' Cub Scouts meeting, while the system was similarly unable to pull up any FedEx locations near me.

Sensus navigation failing to find any FedEx locations

The other end of the voice assistant could also use some improvements, as it doesn't always properly recognize the context of what it's speaking.

For example, when confirming a destination and reading a street address containing "Dr" back to you, it will spell out the "d-r" rather than interpreting it as "Drive." Similarly, if an address contains "Pkwy," the voice assistant attempts to pronounce it as a word rather than recognizing it as "Parkway." Or if your destination is on U.S. 70, for example, the assistant will say "us 70." Some other abbreviations like "Rd" and "St" are handled properly.

Importantly, Volvo seems to recognize the shortcomings of its current Sensus system, and the navigation system in particular, as the company announced earlier this year that its next-generation Sensus system will use Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play apps. That partnership isn't expected to come to fruition until 2020, however, so we'll have to hold tight while we wait for major improvements.

Anyway, back on the main Sensus home screen, a swipe to the right takes you to an apps page that gives you access to various types of applications including the built-in audio sources, apps like Pandora, Spotify, and Yelp that can be accessed if you have an active data connection, driver performance data like fuel economy, SiriusXM Travel Link features like nearby gas prices, and more.


The S60 comes with hotspot connectivity, so you can set up an LTE hotspot to connect other devices while in the car. Alternatively, you can connect the car to your phone's data connection to provide internet access for the Sensus system.

Climate Control


Volvo has gone with an almost entirely digital set of climate controls, due in significant part to the large portrait display that leaves little room for additional hardware controls. A single row of buttons underneath the display gives you access to the front and rear defroster, but otherwise all climate controls are handled through the touchscreen.

At the bottom of the Sensus display, there's a persistent strip dedicated to climate control, which displays the temperature settings for driver and passenger, fan settings, and heated seat/steering wheel status. Tapping on either of the temperature settings brings up a scale to allow you to adjust the set point and optionally sync both zones to the same temperature.


Tapping on the fan control icon brings up an overlay that lets you control defrosters and fan speeds and zones. An AUTO Climate setting helps manage your comfort automatically based on your temperature settings, so at least you can kind of set it and forget it. Swiping to separate pages gives you options for controlling rear climate and setting schedules for climate control while the vehicle is parked for situations where you get in the car at a set time each day. For rear seat passengers, there are also touch controls on the rear of the center console.

Main climate settings with hardware defroster buttons visible below

In general, I much prefer hardware climate controls to software ones, and the Sensus system hasn't changed my opinion. You can't adjust software controls by feel, and Sensus requires multiple steps to adjust settings. Adjusting the temperature by touch requires at least two taps: one to open up the temperature settings and one to set the new desired temperature. If you want to immediately get back to what you're doing, a third tap is needed to close the temperature settings, although they do go away on their own after a few seconds.

Pop-up for adjusting heated seat and steering wheel

It's a similar story for the heated seats. On vehicles like mine that are equipped with both heated seats and heated steering wheel, you need to tap the seat icon to open the settings, and then tap one or more times on seat and/or steering wheel icons to adjust the heating level.

Examples of climate control trigger phrases

Granted, many of these adjustments can be made using the voice assistant if you know the proper trigger words, but there are plenty of cases where I'd prefer using making changes by hand rather than voice, and the Sensus system just requires more steps than it should.

Connectivity


The S60 comes with a pair of USB ports inside the center console, one of which connects to the Sensus system while the other is charge-only. A connected phone can be stored either inside the console compartment or in a cupholder, and the compartment lid is designed to accommodate routing a cord out of the compartment.


Unfortunately, there are no rear USB ports for passengers. By default, there's a single 12V port in the rear of the center console, but upgraded packages offer a 120V outlet in that location. That's great for charging items requiring higher power, but for charging iPads for the kids I found it inconvenient to have to make sure I had a power adapter in addition to a charging cable.


CarPlay


As with almost every other car manufacturer, Volvo uses a wired CarPlay implementation, requiring you to use a Lightning cable to plug the phone into a designated USB port in the center console compartment. Somewhat annoyingly, if your phone is already paired to the car via Bluetooth, you'll get a pop-up asking you if you're sure you want to disable the Bluetooth connection and switch to CarPlay every time you plug it in, and I couldn't find a way to disable that notification.


When CarPlay becomes active, it takes up roughly half of the Sensus system's display, sitting just above the climate control band and below the rest of the Sensus main screen tiles. This gives the CarPlay interface a roughly 6.5-inch diagonal size, which is a bit small compared to many other systems and so much of the Maps view is covered by the various text boxes, for example. It's also rather low on the center stack, so it's definitely out of the driver's immediate line of sight.


Volvo is striving for some seamless integration between CarPlay and Sensus by only using a portion of the display and still allowing other tiles to be visible, but it could be a lot better than it is. Beyond CarPlay, you're limited to seeing the three default tiles of navigation, audio, and phone, and several of these functions are essentially deactivated since you're using CarPlay. With CarPlay active, your phone is being handled through the CarPlay interface rather than the Sensus system, and the same is true of navigation if you've got a route going in CarPlay. It's nice having quick access to non-CarPlay audio sources like SiriusXM or radio, but even then it's just a single line of information that could be a lot more useful with some tweaks.


CarPlay is managed almost entirely via the Sensus touchscreen. The thin strip of hardware controls below the screen includes a volume knob, mute/pause button, and forward/back navigation of tracks or stations that will work with CarPlay audio sources, but these can't otherwise be used to navigate around the CarPlay interface. That's generally fine, as hardware control of CarPlay is rather cumbersome.

Wrap-up


As gorgeous as the big 9-inch portrait screen is, the overall Sensus experience comes up short for me. A lack of natural language voice recognition and a poor POI database really hamper the usability of the built-in navigation in particular, and it just feels like Volvo is trying to do too much with the touchscreen.

The large tiles on the main home screen are easy to touch, but overall they can't display a whole lot of information at one time, which means lots of tapping in and out to make adjustments. With so many different directions to swipe from the main home screen and then also scrolling sometimes needed to see those entire pages, it just feels like Sensus isn't terribly intuitive. Combining an underperforming voice assistant with a complicated touchscreen system, I find it rather hard to accomplish what should be simple tasks.

Here's hoping that the next-generation Sensus system will make some significant strides forward in the usability department, as the hardware really does have some great things going for it that contribute toward a premium, sophisticated feel for Volvos.

I do appreciate the attempt at integrating CarPlay into the Sensus system, and it's fairly easy to hop back and forth between features like Apple Maps and SiriusXM, but again, I feel the integration could be significantly improved by making changes such as moving the CarPlay display to the top of the screen for better visibility and offering more information-rich and customizable tiles to help make the most of the Sensus interface that surrounds CarPlay.

I love that CarPlay and Sensus are standard across not only the S60 trims, but the entire Volvo lineup in the U.S. as of the launches of the 2019 S60 and V60. Of course, Volvo's entry-level trims aren't exactly low-cost, but when other luxury car manufacturers are requiring higher trim levels or even separate charges for CarPlay support, it's nice to see Volvo all-in on supporting the technology.

The 2019 Volvo S60 starts at $35,800, but various trim, engine, and package options can push the total close to $65,000. Fortunately, Volvo builds in a decent number of safety and technology features, including CarPlay, even at the lowest levels.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Volvo

Deals: Anker Kicks Off Holiday Sale, Exclusive 20% Off at Nodus, and 9.7-Inch iPad for $290

This afternoon, Anker kicked off its latest Amazon sale, discounting a wide variety of its best portable chargers, Bluetooth audio accessories, wireless chargers, and more. Included in the sale are Anker's limited-time holiday bundles that offer its Soundcore audio devices at a discount, along with a few extras like a PowerCore 5,000 mAh portable battery or a travel case for the SoundCore Flare.

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

Browse the sale below and head to Anker on Amazon to place your order before these deals expire on Monday, December 17. Also note that you don't need any special promotion codes to get any of these discount prices.

Battery Packs

Soundcore Audio

Wireless Chargers

Cables

Eufy Products

Additionally, MacRumors and Nodus have partnered up this week for a new exclusive sitewide sale that will last all the way through January 5, 2019. In this sale, MacRumors readers can visit NodusCollection.com, shop for iPhone cases, iPad cases, or wallets, and enter the promo code MACRUM20 during the checkout process to get 20 percent off their order.


Nodus is a British brand that sells a wide variety of leather accessories, with free worldwide shipping on orders over £30. For iPhone, the company sells the Shell Case II and Micro Dock III, which allows you to magnetically attach your iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR, and more on any surface. Nodus says this case is also Qi compatible. For card storage along with iPhone protection, Nodus also sells the Access Case III.

Nodus also has an Access Case for the iPad mini and numerous Hifold and Lofold style wallets, all of which can be purchased on the company's website at a 20 percent discount through the end of our exclusive sale.


Lastly, Amazon has Apple's 9.7-inch iPad (32GB, Wi-Fi) for $289.00, down from $329.00 in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. This is the iPad that launched earlier in 2018 with support for the Apple Pencil; it also includes a Retina display, A10 Fusion chip, and Touch ID.

For more information on the latest sales, head to our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

How to Wake Up to a Weather Forecast on Your iPhone's Lock Screen

In iOS 12, Apple has included a somewhat hidden feature that lets you see the day's weather forecast on your iPhone's Lock Screen when you check it for the first time after waking up.


The feature is part of Apple's Do Not Disturb at Bedtime mode, which prevents notifications from being displayed on your iPhone's Lock Screen when you're supposed to be sleeping.

Many users don't realize you can get the weather forecast to show on the Lock Screen because of the odd way that Apple has implemented the feature. Regardless, here's how to get it working.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap Do Not Disturb.

  3. Make sure the Scheduled and Bedtime buttons are toggled on so that they're both green.

  4. You can also set your sleep and wake schedule here by adjusting the From and To times.

  5. Return to the main Settings screen and tap Privacy.

  6. Tap Location Services.

  7. Tap Weather in the list of apps.

  8. Under Allow Location Access, tap Always.

  9. Exit the Settings app.
With that done, next time it's time to wake up and Bedtime Mode is scheduled to go off, your iPhone will display the usual "Good morning!" message along with the day's weather, including the current temperature, weather conditions, and forecast.

To make the forecast vanish from your Lock Screen, simply tap Dismiss. To switch the temperature scale between Celsius and Fahrenheit, launch the Weather app and scroll to the bottom of the weather locations list, where you'll find the option to do so.

It's worth noting that once you unlock your iPhone, the weather forecast will disappear for the rest of the day, and it won't return until the next day when you wake up and access the device after Bedtime mode has turned itself off.

As it stands, the Lock Screen weather feature offers no other flexibility, and it won't work unless you allow the Weather app to always access your location data. Hopefully Apple will eventually change this to make it a more useful Lock Screen "widget" in a future update to iOS.

Nanoleaf's New Touch-Enabled Canvas Offers Up Fun, Interactive Mood Lighting

Nanoleaf's Canvas, launching today, is the company's second HomeKit-enabled mood lighting product that follows its popular triangle-shaped Light Panels. Rather than using triangle lights this time around, Nanoleaf designed the Canvas to have a square shape with multiple connector ports for more design versatility.

What's more, the Canvas is touch enabled and puts thousands of lighting scenes at your fingertips without the need to use an app. The app and HomeKit availability are still available though, offering up multiple ways to control the lighting panels.


Design


Unlike the iconic triangle design of the Light Panels, Nanoleaf has designed the Canvas with a new square shape. Each Canvas square measures in at just about six inches on all sides.

When conceptualizing the Canvas, Nanoleaf originally planned to offer plain squares with uniform lighting across, but this wasn't possible. Each square instead has a noticeable cross shape in it, dividing it into four. The individual squares still light up in one single color, but you will see the crosshairs within each one.


I don't mind the crosshairs and in some ways they make the Canvas more visually interesting, but it could be a turn off for customers who were hoping for flat, uniform lighting across the entire square.

There are eight Canvas Light Squares and one Control Square, which needs to be centrally situated and accessible to touch because it's the square that features specific touch-based controls for the entire Canvas system, though all squares respond to touch.


The Canvas squares are more versatile than the previous-generation Light Panels, with multiple connection points on each square to allow for a wider range of designs that are offset rather than fully connected at each side.


Small rectangular connectors are used to connect two squares together, allowing for hundreds of designs. You get nine squares with the standard Canvas kit, and you can purchase an additional four with expansion kits that Nanoleaf is offering. Most of the photos in this review feature a total of 13 squares.

As with the Nanoleaf Light Panels, you can add on additional Canvas squares, up to 500 in fact, so you could theoretically cover an entire wall, though it would cost an absolute fortune.

Canvas compared to Light Panels

Canvas squares are attached to a wall with 3M adhesive like the previous-generation Light Panels. 3M adhesive is meant to be wall safe, but on certain walls, it definitely has the potential to cause damage, so that's something to be aware of. Because of the adhesive, it's best to decide on a design well ahead of time and a design that you can stick with for a long time because it is not convenient to re-arrange these squares.

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