MacRumors has partnered with popular accessory maker Anker this week, offering our readers the chance to save on a collection of Apple accessories with some exclusive discount codes. Items in the sale include multiple Lightning cables, a USB-C cable, a USB-C hub, and a USB-C wall charger perfect for fast-charging an iPhone.
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.
Anker is well known for building high-quality accessories that are far cheaper than many other companies, particularly those sold by Apple. With our exclusive promo codes, you'll have the chance to save an extra 20 percent on the products listed below. Note that the codes will expire on Sunday, April 21, so be sure to head to Amazon to take part in the sale this week.
It's been a few months since the last sale on App Store and iTunes gift cards, but this week both Costco and Sam's Club have debuted new sales for anyone who has been waiting to save on iTunes credit. In each sale, you can get the $100 iTunes gift card for just about $85, which matches the solid 15 percent discount on iTunes gift cards occasionally seen at other retailers.
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.
Of course, for both Costco and Sam's Club you'll need to be part of each respective retailer's membership program to see the discounts. At Costco you can get the $100 iTunes gift card for $84.49, and it'll be delivered in the form of an e-mail within a few hours of purchase. The sale will last through April 21, 2019, and you can find more information on Costco's membership program here.
At Sam's Club, you can get the $100 iTunes gift card for $84.47, but the caveat is that this comes in the form of a $25 4-card multipack, not a single $100 gift card. The multipack will also have to be physically shipped, but if you're near a Sam's Club retail location you have a chance to buy the gift cards on sale in person as well. Like Costco, this sale ends on April 21, 2019, and you can find more information on the membership program at Sam's Club here.
Deals on iTunes gift cards provide great opportunities to stock up your Apple ID with credit for iTunes Movies rentals, iBooks purchases, and even pay for your Apple Music, Netflix, or Hulu subscriptions. So be sure to visit Costco and Sam's Club before each deal expires on Sunday, and head to our full Deals Roundup for more details on the latest sales and bargains happening this week.
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Jackery to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Honda 290 Power Station, which provides 292Wh of power for camping, emergencies, outdoor activities, and more.
The HLS 290 Portable Power Station is a Honda licensed product that's been designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, but it's also super useful to have on hand for power outages.
Priced at $350 on Amazon, the HLS 290 is one of Jackery's largest portable power stations, equipped with two USB-A ports for charging iOS devices and other small electronics, an AC port for charging a laptop or any other device, a 12V input, and a port for connecting an optional solar panel, which is sold separately.
There's a handy little LCD on the front that lets you know how much charge is left on the battery, and it comes with a handle so you can carry it where it needs to go, from the beach to a night out camping. The HLS 290 Power Station weighs just 6.6 pounds and measures in at nine inches by 7.8 inches by 5.2 inches.
Jackery says the HLS 290 Power Station has enough juice to charge a laptop up to four times, a tablet up to 14 times, and a smartphone up to 17 times. It's able to power a 32-inch TV for over three hours, and a mini fridge for over three hours. Operation is silent, so it's not noisy like a gas-powered generator.
The HLS 290 Power Station can be recharged in multiple ways, including a solar panel (sold separately and coming soon, a carport, or an AC wall outlet. According to Jackery, it takes eight hours to recharge over AC or with the car adapter or 10 hours with a 50W solar panel. It has a shelf life of three to six months before the battery needs to be recharged, so you can also keep it around in case of emergency.
We have two of Jackery's Honda Power Stations to give away. 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 MacRumorsFacebook 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.
The contest will run from today (April 12) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 19. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 19 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.
Eight years after separating its Messenger service into a standalone app, and five years after removing messaging functionality completely from the central app, Facebook might be gearing up to reintegrate Messenger into the main Facebook app (via The Verge).
The news comes from app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who found a rudimentary "Chats" section in the Facebook mobile app. Whereas before the Messenger button would cause you to leave Facebook and open the Messenger app, Wong discovered that Facebook appears to be testing a new "Chats" area in the app. As of now, this area only contains basic chat functionalities, and lacks reactions, call support, photo support, and more.
Facebook is bringing the Chats back to the app for preparing integrated messaging
The change follows news that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to integrate the company's three messaging services -- Facebook Messenger, Instagram messaging, and WhatsApp -- into one "underlying messaging infrastructure." Each app will continue to exist following this update, but they will become interoperable so that a Facebook user can send an encrypted message to a WhatsApp user, and vice versa.
According to Wong, this means that Facebook will also keep the separate Messenger app around even after it adds chat functionality back into the main Facebook app, because they will "serve different markets."
All of the Facebook messaging services integration is believed to be an effort to keep people within the Facebook ecosystem and away from rival texting apps like Apple's iMessage.
Update: Facebook has provided MacRumors with the following statement: "We are testing ways to improve the messaging experience for people within the Facebook app. Messenger remains a feature-rich, stand-alone messaging app with over a billion people using it monthly to connect with the people and businesses they care about most. We do not have any additional details to share at this time."
Skype has begun testing a feature on the iOS and Android beta versions of the company's app, allowing users to share their screens during a call (via The Verge). According to Microsoft, this will let users share a PowerPoint presentation with coworkers, browse dating apps with friends, or go online shopping with a family member.
To see the new addition, you must be part of the Skype Insider program for beta testers, which you can sign up for on the company's website. To get to screen sharing, beta testers can tap on the ellipsis icon during a call and select "Share Screen." Skype didn't give any indication about a wider launch for the feature.
Earlier this month, Skype increased the number of users that can be on the same audio or video group call to 50 (previously the max was 25). This update put Skype ahead of Apple's FaceTime for the number of users that can take part in a group call, since FaceTime supports a maximum of 32 people.
After installing new firmware, Trådfri outlets can be added to the Home app and controlled alongside the rest of your HomeKit products.
Ikea sells the Trådfri smart plugs for just $9.99, which is much cheaper than other HomeKit-enabled smart plug options on the market. You will, however, need the accompanying Trådfri Gateway, a $30 hub that is required for all of Ikea's affordable smart home solutions including light bulbs, dimmers, motion sensors, and more.
The Trådfri outlets are larger than some other HomeKit-based outlets, but can be used sideways and will only take up a single socket. Multiple Trådfri accessories can be connected to the Trådfri Gateway.
You can get the Trådfri smart plugs and the Trådfri Gateway from Ikea. Ikea is rolling out its new software update and it should be available to customers in the U.S. now before expanding to other countries in the near future.
YouTube TV today announced a price hike for all users, first hitting new subscribers immediately and then arriving for existing subscribers beginning with billing cycles after May 13. The price hike will be a $10 increase on the monthly cost of the live TV streaming service, boosting the price of the platform to $49.99/month.
The cost of YouTube TV will be even more if you subscribe to the service through one of Apple's devices, as those members will be billed at $54.99/month due to the 30 percent cut that Apple takes during the first year of an annual subscription. Apple's policy has resulted in divergent prices for numerous apps and services on the App Store, leading to legal battles with companies like Spotify.
For YouTube TV, the company says that the price increase is so that it can keep bringing its customers "the best possible service," today including the addition of Discovery network branded channels. Eight total channels are being added to YouTube TV as of this week: Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and MotorTrend. EPIX is also available for an additional charge.
That means YouTube TV has now grown to over 70 channels. The base price of the service also includes 6 accounts per household, a cloud DVR with no storage space limits, 3 concurrent streams, and local affiliate coverage in over 90 percent of the markets where YouTube TV is available (which is now all U.S. markets).
With today's news of a price hike, YouTube TV is now the third major over-the-top streaming service to announce a price hike in the past month. DirecTV Now started the trend in early March with a $10/month price hike, then FuboTV followed later in the month with a $10/month price hike, and now YouTube TV customers are facing their own $10/month subscription increase.
With the changes, Hulu With Live TV and PlayStation Vue are now the cheapest options among the major platforms, and YouTube TV sits in the middle in terms of cost for entry-level subscriptions.
SlingTV - $25/month for "Orange and Blue" with limited-time discount
Hulu With Live TV - $44.99/month
PS Vue - $44.99/month for "Access" tier
YouTube TV - $49.99/month
DirecTV Now - $50/month for "Plus" and "Live a Little"
FuboTV - $54.99/month for "Standard"
This is the third price hike in YouTube TV's history. The service originally cost $35/month and then increased its price to $40/month in the spring of 2018.
Apple today released tvOS 12.2.1, the sixth update to the tvOS 12 operating system designed for fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 12.2.1 comes a little over two weeks after the release of tvOS 12.2.
tvOS 12.2.1 is a free update that 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 12.2.1 automatically.
It's not clear what's been fixed in tvOS 12.2.1, but given that it's a minor 12.x.x update, it likely addresses bugs and other issues that were found in tvOS 12.2.
Apple does not provide release notes for tvOS updates, making it difficult to determine what might be new or improved in the operating system.
The prior update, tvOS 12.2, introduced new AirPlay 2 features, allowing users to ask Siri to play specific media on an Apple TV or third-party TV (support coming soon) from an iOS device.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa today announced that a new documentary series about his career, called "Wiz Khalifa: Behind the Cam," will launch exclusively on Apple Music on Wednesday, April 17. The series will feature five episodes that "go into the most intimate aspects of Wiz's life," through archival footage and various interviews with friends and family (via Variety).
The series is launching between both of Khalifa's performances at Coachella, taking place this weekend and the weekend of April 19. The project's executive producer, Michael Strahan, said that the team was excited to work with Apple Music on the series for a chance to "give the world an intimate look into the rise of an entertainment icon."
The trailer takes a different approach to that of most music documentaries, showing footage of a teen Wiz at an in-store meet-and-greet attended by one person, and rapping for a handful of people at a basketball court. His mother and longtime associates talk about his early drive and dedication, even when he was performing for hardly anyone — and of course the trailer ends with him rapping the same song later in his career for thousands of people.
Although Apple is shifting its video focus to Apple TV+, it appears that music-related documentaries and behind-the-scenes films will remain on Apple Music. However, Apple removed the TV & Movies section on Apple Music in a recent iOS update, which introduced a revamped layout to allow for quickly navigating curated music playlists.
You can still find these documentaries on their respective artists' profiles if you know what you're searching for, and Apple typically promotes the latest ones on the Browse page's carousel. On macOS, TV & Movies is still available at the top of the Browse tab, including behind-the-scene films about Ed Sheeran, Kesha, Shawn Mendes, Sam Smith, and more.
Apple today added to its collection of Apple Watch Series 4 ads with a new short video highlighting its selection of Apple Watch bands, which come in many varieties including the Sport Band, Sport Loop, Milanese Loop, Modern Buckle, Hermès, and more.
Apple Watch Series 4 is completely redesigned. And now you can give it a fresh look with new bands in a variety of styles and colors.
With an Apple News+ subscription, you can download magazines for offline reading, but Apple doesn't provide an easy way to see what's downloaded and what's not. You can tell on an individual magazine basis by checking to see if a download icon (cloud and arrow) is available, but there's no section in Apple News+ for managing offline content.
You can, however, still check to see what's downloaded, though you'll need to turn off your WiFi and LTE to do so.
Open up the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad.
Tap on the Airplane Mode icon to disable WiFi and your cellular connection if using an LTE iPad.
Open up the Apple News app.
Tap on the Apple News+ section.
Let it load.
When the Apple News+ section is done loading whatever content is available, you'll see a list of all of the magazines that have been downloaded for offline reading.
You can tap on any one of the magazines that you've downloaded to read it, and to download more, simply turn WiFi and LTE back on.
For more on Apple News+, make sure to check out our dedicated Apple News+ guide. Apple News users can follow MacRumors on Apple News using this link.
Apple News+ includes a feature that lets you download your favorite magazines for offline reading so you can check them out even when you don't have a WiFi or cellular connection, such as while on a flight.
Choose a magazine, either from your My Magazines list, the search feature in Apple News, or the browse feature in the Apple News+ section.
Tap on the download icon underneath the magazine's title. It looks like a little cloud with an arrow through it.
Tapping on the download icon will make the magazine available to read offline.
You can use the browse feature or the My Magazines feature to add current issues for offline reading, but make sure to use the search feature or tap a magazine's name when reading it to go to the main overview that will let you download past magazine issues.
For more on Apple News+, make sure to check out our dedicated Apple News+ guide. Apple News users can follow MacRumors on Apple News using this link.
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