Deals Reminder: MacRumors Exclusive Twelve South and RAVPower Sales End Friday

A few weeks ago, MacRumors shared news of exclusive sale partnerships with Twelve South and RAVPower, both of which will be ending this Friday, June 15. Each sale offers savings on useful Apple accessories, including desk organization products from Twelve South and charging devices from RAVPower. As a friendly reminder we'll briefly recap the sales below, so be sure to check all of the items discounted with our exclusive promo codes and then place your orders before the end of June 15.

Our collaboration with well-known accessory company Twelve South allows you to enter the promo code MacRumorsSetups to get 20 percent discounts on five items that are aimed at decluttering your Mac workspace. We launched the sale in conjunction with Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last week so that developers can save a little money on upgrading their desk, but of course any of our readers can use the code if interested.

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

Head to our full post on the sale for more information on shipping and item descriptions, then check out the Twelve South products discounted below:
In our other exclusive sale, RAVPower offers a collection of exclusive promo codes to our readers that includes discounts of 50 percent off a battery case for iPhone 6, 35 percent off the RAVPower Fast Wireless Charging Pad for iPhone X and iPhone 8, and more. You can find all of the items on sale and their exclusive promo codes in the list below, and you'll have until 11:59 p.m. PT on June 15 to claim them.


Visit our full post on the sale for more information and then browse all of the RAVPower accessories on sale below:
For more discounts happening this week, head to our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple Store Gains Exclusive Accessories From Cycling Brand Rapha

An exclusive collection of backpacks, messenger bags, sleeves, and more from cycling brand Rapha is now available from the online Apple Store and, starting tomorrow, Apple retail stores.

Apple recently started carrying a selection of cycling gear like the SmartHalo Bike System and the Lumos Smart Bike Helmet, and it's now expanding that lineup with Rapha's accessories.


The Rapha collection includes accessories that range from a $130 Mini Messenger Bag to a $150 Convertible Backpack to $65-$70 sleeves for the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iPad Pro.


All of the accessories are available in blue, black, or yellow with perforated accent striping, and are made from what Rapha says are "high-quality hardest-wearing Italian fabrics" that have been treated with Durable Water Repellent and "tested in extreme conditions."


The Mini Messenger Bag and the Backpack include magnetic clasps that are designed to allow the bags to be attached to the handlebar of the bike, while the device cases include padding to keep your iPad or Mac safe. All accessories also have AquaGuard zippers in addition to the water repellent treatment to make them rain and spill resistant.

Apple's full selection of Rapha-branded accessories are available from the online Apple Store starting today.

Apple Shares New iPhone X Photography Tutorial Videos With a Soccer Theme

Apple this morning shared five new iPhone X photography tutorial videos on its website and YouTube channel, with each taking a football (soccer in the U.S.) theme to celebrate the first day of the World Cup.


Each short video walks users through a series of step-by-step instructions on how to use the special shooting modes featured on the iPhone X.

The modes covered in the tutorials include Pano (panoramic), Burst mode, Slo-mo, and one covering best use of backlight when shooting on iPhone X.








Apple has also published a video called "How to Shoot Soccer on iPhone X", which is basically a series of clips showcasing what kind of pitch action can be captured using an iPhone X.


Apple has shared several tutorial videos like this in the past, which are sometimes tied to new releases, but this time Apple has gone with a distinctively event-tied theme in World Cup 2018, which is being held in Russia.

Earlier this week, Apple added several special World Cup features to Siri, enabling users to keep abreast of all the action, stats, and fixtures over the coming weeks. Apple also plans to highlight football apps and games throughout the month, as well as feature World Cup content in the News app, amongst other coverage.

Tutorial videos can typically be found on the separate Apple Support YouTube channel, but these new tutorial videos are on the company's main channel as well as a special photography tutorial section on the Apple website.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Neutral)

Twitter Launching Personalized News Features, More Robust Search and Revamped Moments Section

Twitter today announced several changes to the desktop and mobile Twitter experience to make relevant breaking news, events, and stories easier to discover.

Going forward, the Explore section of Twitter will be organized using topic tags so users can more quickly see what's happening in news and entertainment and what's most relevant to them.


Twitter is also improving search with related news, events, or stories that are listed at the top of search results when you search for something.

Twitter's "Happening now" timeline that was introduced last year for sports is being expanded to include breaking and personalized news, with Twitter offering up personalized news offerings at the top of your timeline.

Notifications are also being expanded to include news based on user interest in addition to breaking news. These notifications can be toggled off by going to the recommendations section of Twitter's settings.

As for Moments, the feature that aggregates trending news stories and relevant happenings, Twitter is organizing it into a vertical display like the Twitter timeline, rather than a horizontal orientation.

For some Moments in the United States, Twitter is implementing multiple timelines, which are designed to help users see all of the best tweets surrounding a story. These timelines will include a recap showing tweets you may have missed, a collection of the latest tweets, and top commentary.

For the World Cup, which kicks off tomorrow, Twitter has also introduced a dedicated World Cup page that will be available at the top of the timeline on Twitter for web, Android, and iOS.

The Explore, notification, and search changes are coming to iOS and Android "in the coming months," while the changes to Moments are available starting today.

Tag: Twitter

Comcast Outbids Disney for Fox's Assets With $65 Billion All-Cash Offer

Just a day after a U.S. District Judge approved the upcoming merger between AT&T and Time Warner, Comcast has submitted a bid for 21st Century Fox's TV and film assets, reports CNBC.

Comcast has presented Fox with an all-cash offer at $35 per share for a total of $65 billion, which beats out Disney's stock-based $52.4 billion deal. 21st Century Fox has already moved forward on a deal with Disney, but Comcast is aiming to change the minds of Fox's board members. From the letter sent to Fox's board by Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO.

So, we were disappointed when 21CF decided to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney Company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price. We have reviewed the publicly available terms of the proposed Disney transaction, as well as the joint proxy statement/prospectus filed with the SEC describing the reasons for the 21CF Board of Directors' decision.

In light of yesterday's decision in the AT&T/Time Warner case, the limited time prior to your shareholders' meeting, and our strong continued interest, we are pleased to present a new, all-cash proposal that fully addresses the Board's stated concerns with our prior proposal.

Our new proposal offers 21CF shareholders $35.00 per share in cash and 100% of the shares of New Fox after giving effect to its proposed spinoff, providing superior and more certain value as compared to Disney's all-stock offer.
Comcast first announced its plans to make a bid on 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Television, several Fox-owned cable channels, and a stake in Hulu back in May, but the company was waiting on a final antitrust ruling in the AT&T/Time Warner merger. It was believed that if the ruling had not been in AT&T's favor, that Comcast would have backed off of its efforts to outbid Disney.

Both Disney and Comcast are interested in Fox's assets to expand their reach beyond the United States and to stock their streaming catalogs with Fox content, which includes movies like Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Titanic, Miracle on 34th Street, The Shape of Water, and Gone Girl.

Apple Seeds Second Beta of watchOS 4.3.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming watchOS 4.3.2 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the first watchOS 4.3.2 beta and two weeks after releasing watchOS 4.3.1, a minor bug fix update that addressed a startup issue.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software update.

To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

No new features were discovered in the first watch watchOS 4.3.2 update, but as a 4.3.x update, it's likely to be minor in scale, addressing bug fixes discovered since the release of watchOS 4.3.1 and making other small improvements to the operating system.

watchOS 4.3.2 is likely to be one of the final updates to the watchOS 4 operating system. Apple has begun work on watchOS 5, which was provided to developers at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Plex Announces Live TV Grid View Coming Soon to tvOS and iOS Apps

Media hub company Plex this week revealed a new way for its customers to navigate Plex's Live TV service, through a more traditional grid-based user interface. Launching first in Plex's web browser, the new grid view organizes live TV programs by channels and the time of day, much like classic cable TV guides.


While the program guide is only available on the web for now, Plex confirmed in a support article that the guide will launch for Apple TV and iOS apps in the near future. The article also shows off other features of the guide, like the ability to record shows on the list, filter the schedule by day of the week, only view HD channels, and more.
While we think that searching and our Discover view (see below) are often a faster way to access DVR-related content for users, many users are familiar with a traditional “TV grid” style schedule and may wish to use that. Displayed in a scrollable timeline format, the Channels view of the Guide gives you an overview of what’s on every channel you receive. From here, you can see program details, schedule a recording, filter the timeline view to only show a certain day, and also scroll forward and backward in time.
To access the program guide users will need a Plex Pass, which includes live TV and DVR features. Other apps soon to get the guide include Plex for Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, and Xbox One. According to Plex, the update came after it received numerous requests from its users asking for a grid view. Hulu with Live TV also recently updated its apps with a traditional guide interface for users.

Plex originally rolled out live TV support for its Apple TV app last August, two months after it did the same for iOS devices. With live TV, Plex Pass subscribers can watch live HD content on channels available over-the-air, including major US networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW, as well as local programming, news, and sports. For apps that support DVR, Plex also brought the feature out of beta around the same time.

Tag: Plex

Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Now Supported by Regional Carriers C Spire and US Cellular

When the Apple Watch Series 3 launched last fall, United States customers were able to add the cellular model onto a plan offered by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Over the last few days, supported carriers have expanded to include regional companies C Spire and US Cellular.


C Spire shared the news in a press release today, confirming it has begun selling the Apple Watch Series 3 in both GPS and LTE, available both online and through a call to customer telesales. Orders placed can be sent to the user's home or picked up at any C Spire retail store, and for a limited time the carrier is marking Series 3 models down by 50 percent when purchased with eligible iPhones on a device payment plan.

Additionally, C Spire offers Apple Watch Series 3 customers a free three-month introductory cellular trial on the carrier's 4G LTE network, allowing them to use the Apple Watch without an extra cost on their monthly plan. After the three months end, the Apple Watch Series 3 plan will run for $10/month -- the average price of Apple Watch cellular plans at most carriers.

On its device and support information page, US Cellular also offers three free months for Apple Watch Series 3 LTE coverage, and afterward the plan will cost $4.99/month if you are on one of the carrier's regular plans. If you are on a Total Plan, there is no ongoing charge for connecting an Apple Watch. Those offers make US Cellular one of the cheapest monthly plans for a Series 3 LTE model, and like C Spire it must be paired with an iPhone 6 or later running iOS 11 or later.
- If you are on one of U.S. Cellular's Total Plans, there is no charge to connect your Apple Watch to the Cellular network.

- If you are on any other U.S. Cellular plan, you will get 3 months for free trial and after that there is a $4.99 monthly charge to connect your Apple Watch to the Cellular network.
In terms of coverage areas, US Cellular offers coverage in as many as 23 states and 426 markets with 5 million customers. Comparatively, C Spire is more focused on the southern area of the country, including Mississippi, Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, and the Memphis Metropolitan Area.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Ring's New $199 'Ring Alarm' Security System Now Available for Pre-Order

Ring, the Amazon-owned company known for its camera-equipped doorbells, today announced that its new Ring Alarm security system is now available for pre-order and will begin shipping out on July 3.

First announced in the fall of 2017, the Ring Alarm is marketed as a "do-it-yourself" home security system that does not require professional installation, nor are its users required to sign up for a long-term contract.


For $199, the Ring Alarm system includes a Base Station, a Keypad, a Contact Sensor that can be situated on a window or a door, a Motion Detector, and a Range Extender.

It is designed to be paired with existing Ring Cameras (including doorbells, the Floodlight Cam and the Spotlight Cam) to create what Ring calls a "Ring of Security" for the home. Ring is charging $10 per month for the Ring Protect Plus Plan for the Ring Alarm, with 24/7 "professional monitoring," video recording, and backup LTE connectivity included at that price.


As the Ring Alarm is a "DIY" system, setup consists of connecting the Base Station and the Keypad to the home's Wi-Fi and installing one or more Contact Sensors to doors and windows. The Motion Sensor is designed to be placed in an area where you want to monitor for movement while away from home or sleeping, such as a front entryway.

Once set up, the Ring Alarm can be set to an "armed" mode, where it will monitor the home and send alerts if doors or windows are accessed or motion is detected. An included Base Station siren will sound when one of the sensors is triggered while the system is armed.


According to Ring, the Ring Alarm system is equipped with a battery and an LTE cellular backup option so that it continues to function in the event of a power or Wi-Fi outage. Ring Alarm, in addition to integrating with existing Ring products, will work with the First Alert smoke and carbon monoxide detector, which can set off the Base Station in the event of an emergency.

Ring says that in the future, it will release additional products that are designed to integrate with the Ring Alarm, including a $30 Smoke and CO Listener, a $30 Flood and Freeze Sensor, and a $30 Dome Siren which offers customizable alarm tones and volume levels.

Ring Alarm can be pre-ordered from Ring.com, Amazon.com, Best Buy, or Home Depot for $199 starting today. Orders will start shipping out on July 3, with the first orders arriving on the Fourth of July.

Tag: Ring

Judge Approves AT&T and Time Warner Merger

A planned merger between AT&T and Time Warner can move forward, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled this afternoon, reports CNBC.

AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner has been on hold since November, when the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit to stop the merger, based on the argument that it would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers.

According to the court's ruling, the merger between the two companies is legal, and no conditions were imposed on its approval.

In a statement, AT&T said that it is pleased with the merger and plans to move forward with closing the deal on or before June 20.
"We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner. We thank the Court for its thorough and timely examination of the evidence, and we compliment our colleagues at the Department of Justice on their dedicated representation of the government. We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative."
The Justice Department, meanwhile, said that it was disappointed with the court's ruling.
"We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. We will closely review the Court's opinion and consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers."
Today's decision could have an impact on other significant "vertical" mergers where distribution companies like AT&T purchase companies that make content, like Time Warner. Comcast, for example, has already announced plans to bid on Fox's assets in an attempt to beat out Disney.

Instagram Expands Shopping to Stories

Instagram today announced that it is expanding its shopping feature beyond the news feed to Instagram Stories.

When viewing Instagram Stories from brands, stickers with a shopping bag icon can be tapped and will provide more details about the product along with purchase options.


Instagram has previously allowed users to view product information and make purchases through brand posts in the main news feed.

Instagram says that the new Stories shopping feature is available to a select number of brands that include Adidas, Aritzia, and Louis Vuitton, with support set to expand to additional brands in the near future.

Apple Support App Expands to 20 New Countries and Regions

Apple's Support app for iOS devices, which is designed to allow you to get help with your Apple products, today expanded to more than 20 new countries and regions, making the app more widely available around the world.

Several new languages have been added to the Support app as well, including Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian.

Apple also now allows you to get help from the Support app in your preferred language regardless of where you are located.

For those unfamiliar with the Apple Support app, it provides access to support documents through a Discover section along with options to get help from Apple's support team for all of your linked devices.

The Support App can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]