Apple Music Hires Lindsay Rothschild From Google to Help Build Relationships With Songwriters

Apple recently hired Lindsay Rothschild to Head of Creative Services for Apple Music's North American division (via Variety). Rothschild is joining Apple from Google, where she led songwriter and publisher relations for YouTube.


The new Apple Music executive will be tasked with building and maintaining working relationships with artists in the songwriter community, as well as publishers. Rothschild officially started at Apple on April 29, and she was the first hire on Apple Music's Music Publishing Creative Services team.

Rothschild's hiring follows a few months of reports about streaming music services fighting against the United States Copyright Royalty Board, which ruled to increase the royalties paid to songwriters by 44 percent. Companies like Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon all fought against the decision.

Apple remained out of the fight, favoring the increased royalty payments for songwriters and earning praise from various artists and those in the music industry.

Now, Rothschild will continue working on expanding Apple's good graces in the community, which she appears ready to accomplish. According to sources, she is able to "speak and understand the language of songwriters," and has a "great track record" during her previous jobs, including the Disney Music Group prior to her spot at Google.

Apple Supplier Ramps Up Production of AirPods 2 Parts to Meet High Demand

The manufacturer of rigid-flex printed circuit boards (PCBs) used in Apple's AirPods 2 is ramping up production of the technology into early 2020 at least, despite rumors that Apple will launch two new AirPods models as early as this year with a different internal design.


DigiTimes reports that Apple supplier Unitech Printed Circuit Board still sees the rigid-flex PCB combination as the mainstream technology for truly wireless headphones, and will expand its production capacity in Taiwan by 25-30 percent in 2019 to meet increased demand from clients.

In contrast, Apple's two new AirPods models are expected to make use of SiP (system in package) technology, which will improve assembly yield rates, save internal space and reduce cost.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts that the two new models will likely go into mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.

Kuo has said one of the new AirPods models will feature an "all-new form factor design" and a "higher price" than the second-generation AirPods, which cost $159 with a standard charging case and $199 with a wireless charging case. The other model is expected to be a more iterative update to AirPods 2 with the same pricing.

In March 2019, Apple launched its second-generation AirPods powered by an Apple-designed H1 chip, enabling hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality and up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original AirPods. The second-generation AirPods feature the same outward design as the original.

Bloomberg reported that Apple's third-generation AirPods will feature a new design and perhaps improved water resistance that will allow the AirPods to hold up to "splashes of water and rain."

The AirPods aren't likely to be entirely water resistant, however, and won't be able to be submerged in liquid. These third-generation AirPods are also rumored to include noise cancellation features and increase the distance that AirPods can be listened to away from an iPhone or iPad.

Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Google are all actively developing their own truly wireless headphones, many of which are expected to use the older rigid-flex PCB technology. Apple now dominates nearly 70 percent of the truly wireless headphone market, according to DigiTimes, suggesting Apple's adoption of the new SiP tech could give the company an even greater advantage over rivals as the market continues to grow.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

Carrier Protection Plans for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch Now Offer Same Perks as AppleCare+ in Canada

Canadian residents who purchase third-party protection plans for an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch can now access service and support directly from Apple, with equivalent coverage as AppleCare+ customers, according to an internal document published by Apple today and obtained by MacRumors.


If a customer purchases a protection plan for her iPhone from a carrier like Bell or Rogers, for example, she can now book an appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider in Canada and receive the same services as AppleCare+, including up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage.

Apple advises technicians to service customers with an eligible third-party protection plan "in the same manner you do today for AppleCare+" and to "address their issue in the same great way you take care of all our customers."

Theft, loss, and any accidental damage incidents after the first two will remain handled by carriers and their insurance providers, wrote Apple.

A few U.S. carriers already offer this, including T-Mobile.

AppleCare services for third-party protection plans in Canada are supported by Brightstar.

To schedule an appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider in Canada, head to the Get Support page on Apple's website.

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of tvOS 12.3 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming tvOS 12.3 update to developers, one week seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after releasing tvOS 12.2.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the new tvOS 12.3 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV through a profile installed using Xcode.


tvOS 12.3 includes a revamped TV app that was first shown off at Apple's March 25 services-focused event. The TV app is an updated version of the original TV app, providing access to TV shows, movies, sports, news, and more, along with a dedicated section for children's programming.

The TV app offers an updated interface with a fresh look and feel that's more modern. It still has the "Watch Now" section with the "Up Next" feature for keeping track of the TV shows and movies you're watching, and there's a new machine-learning based "For You" feature that surfaces content based on what you've previously watched.


There's a new "Channels" option built in to the app, which is a major part of Apple's new services push. Channels are subscription services that you can subscribe to and watch right in the TV app without having to swap over to a third-party app.

During the beta, you can subscribe to Showtime, Starz, Smithsonian, Tastemade, and EPIX, but additional Channels will be available when the new TV app launches.


In the future, Apple plans to add its new TV+ subscription service to the TV app, with TV+ offering all of Apple's original TV shows and movies. The TV app is available on the Apple TV and iOS devices so you can pick up whatever you're watching no matter which device you're on.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 5.2.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.2.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and over a month after the release of the watchOS 5.2 update, which introduced AirPods 2 support and expanded the ECG feature to Europe.

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.

It's not yet clear what features will be introduced in the watchOS 5.2.1 update, but as 5.x.x software, it's likely to focus on bug fixes and other under-the-hood performance improvements rather than significant feature updates.

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

Pandora Premium Launches Monthly Discounts for Students and Military Subscribers

Pandora Premium today announced new discounted subscriptions offered to students and members of the military.


Just like offerings from Apple Music and Spotify, students will now be able to pay just $4.99/month for the Pandora Student Plan, compared to $9.99/month for everyone else. Premium offers subscribers the chance to listen to music on-demand and ad-free, and includes features like personalized playlists, radio stations, and more.

The Pandora Military Plan will also provide a discount to active military and vets, priced at $7.99/month. Those who can take advantage of this discount include active duty, reservists, retirees, veterans, and military family members. Both the Pandora Military Plan and Pandora Student Plan include a 60-day free trial.

Originally a live radio streaming service only, Pandora launched its on-demand music streaming platform in 2017 in an effort to compete with Apple Music and Spotify. The company continuously updates its iOS app, in January introducing a voice assistant to help subscribers quickly play music and jump around the app.

Although student discounts are common, a price cut for individuals in the military is not offered by either Apple Music or Spotify. Tidal, however, does have a few military-related discounts, starting at $5.99 for a basic monthly plan and rising to $11.99 per month for a Hi-Fi audio plan.

Photos, Videos, and GIFs Can Now Be Added to Retweets on Twitter

Starting today, Twitter users can put images, videos, and GIFs in retweets on mobile apps and mobile browsers, with the feature set to expand to the desktop in the future.

To add a photo, video, or GIF to a retweet or quoted tweet, users can choose the retweet with comment option and then choose a media type from the toolbar.


On the Twitter design account, Twitter said that implementing this small change was difficult because it needed to be added in a way that fit well in the Twitter timeline.
During the first usability test, we found it was challenging for people to quickly understand all the content in a Retweet with media. This was due to the layout; two large Tweets stacked on top of each other.

To improve comprehension, we focused on creating hierarchy, prioritizing the author's voice, and providing more context around the Tweet being Retweeted.
To make quoted tweets and retweets with media make sense, Twitter ultimately decided to make photos, videos, and GIFs full width while showing the original tweet in a condensed, indented box.


Tweets with this new formatting are visible solely on mobile devices at the current time, so the layout will look different and not up to date on the desktop.

Tag: Twitter

Deals Spotlight: Amazon Discounts 128GB 9.7-Inch iPad to Lowest-Ever Price at $329 ($100 Off)

If you're shopping for a low-cost iPad, Amazon has quite a few options to choose from with a new sale that began this week. The event is focused on the 9.7-inch iPad from early 2018, and includes a new lowest-ever price for the 128GB Wi-Fi model at $329.00, down from $429.99.

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.

Cellular models are also included in the sale (with lowest-ever prices as well), with prices starting at $249.99 for 32GB models and rising from there. The full collection of iPads on sale can be found below.

Amazon's 9.7-Inch iPad Sale


Wi-Fi
  • 32GB - $249.00, down from $329.99 ($80 off)
  • 128GB - $329.00, down from $429.99 ($100 off, lowest ever)
Cellular
  • 32GB - $379.00, down from $459.99 ($80 off, lowest ever)
  • 128GB - $459.99, down from $559.99 ($100 off, lowest ever)
For additional Apple-related deals and bargains, be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple Pay Now Accepted By Some UK Online Government Services

British Government services have begun accepting Apple Pay to approve online transactions. The gov.uk website is accepting Apple's mobile payment system for four services initially, but it will roll out more widely as well as to local government, police, and the NHS later this year, ITV reports.


Payments for the Global Entry Service, enabling UK citizens to get expedited entry to the US, can now be made via Apple or Google Pay. The same goes for basic online disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks, the Registered Traveller Service and the Electronic Visa Waiver Service for people in the Middle East coming to the UK.
Till Wirth, lead product manager of gov.uk Pay, said: "Allowing people to pay for Government services through Apple Pay and Google Pay means they won't have to enter their credit or debit card information when making payments.

"This innovation will increase the convenience and security of gov.uk Pay for users and hopefully make their experience online a lot easier."
Apple Pay launched in the United Kingdom in 2015, while the UK government launched its online Pay platform in 2016. The gov.uk Pay service has since been used to make more than 2.9 million transactions using credit and debit cards, according to the report.

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Laptop Briefcase, Backpack or Sleeve From Solo

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Solo New York to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a backpack, sleeve, or briefcase for the MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air.

Solo New York offers a range of different bags, backpacks, and cases, to keep your Apple products safe and secure, and all accessories feature attractive, streamlined designs without super high price tags. We've got a selection of products to provide to MacRumors readers, as outlined below.


The All-Star Backpack Duffel, priced at $86.99, transforms from a backpack into a duffel and can hold your laptop and a ton of other stuff with its 22.6L capacity. There's a padded space for a MacBook, an internal organizer section, front pockets, and a separate compartment for your shoes or laundry to keep everything organized.


It's made from a tough nylon fabric that's lightweight and stylish, with shoulder straps and multiple hand straps so it's convenient to hold in any orientation.

Solo's Kilbourn Leather Backpack is one of its highest-end products, and for the $250 price tag, you get a quality bag made from full grain pebble leather that's perfect for when you want something classier than a traditional backpack but still need a lot of storage space.


There's a padded laptop compartment that can accommodate a 15-inch Macbook Pro, a separate internal iPad pocket to keep your iPad safe, an easy-access front pocket with a magnetic closure, and a back panel that slides over a luggage handle. Camouflage lining complements the black leather exterior, and padded back and shoulder straps make sure it's comfortable to carry.

If you prefer briefcase styles, Solo's $65 Voyage Briefcase has plenty of room for all of your essentials. There's a padded laptop compartment that's easy to get to, which is ideal for airline travel, plus a separate pocket for an iPad. At the front, there's an organizer section where you can put all of your cables, power adapters, pens, credit cards, and other accessories, and there's space inside the main compartment for everything else.


The Voyage Briefcase is made from a heathered gray material that looks snappy, and there's a removable shoulder strap along with a hand strap. A back strap at the side allows it to slide over a luggage handle for easy travel.

Solo also has the $55 Duane Hybrid Briefcase Backpack, which, as the name suggests, converts from a briefcase into a backpack depending on how you want to use it. There's a padded laptop compartment that fits a 15-inch MacBook Pro, a separate iPad compartment, a large front pocket that's able to hold all of your accessories, and two separate quick access front pockets.


There's a removable shoulder strap, a main hand strap for using it in briefcase mode, and padded backpack straps that tuck away when it's not being used in backpack mode.

Along with bags, Solo makes sleeves and cases for Apple devices, including the Portal Sleeve for the 13 or 15-inch MacBook Pro, which is priced at $33. The Portal Sleeve is a padded laptop sleeve that can be tucked away in another bag, keeping your MacBook Pro safe from bumps and drops. It has an attractive dark gray exterior with camouflage lining, and it matches well with other Solo products.


We have one of each of the above listed products from Solo to give away to MacRumors readers. The first winner picked will receive the Kilbourn Leather Backpack, the second will get the All-Star Backpack Duffel, the third will get the Voyage Briefcase, the fourth will get the Duane Briefcase, and the fifth will get the Portal Sleeve.

To enter to win our giveaway, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

Solo New York Giveaway
The contest will run from today (May 3) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 10. The winners will be chosen randomly on May 10 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Deals Spotlight: Best Buy Discounts Apple Watch Series 4 Models by $50 (Starting at $349)

Best Buy is currently offering Apple Watch Series 4 models for $50 off in a new sale, which also includes special cellular offers for Verizon customers and an ongoing Apple Watch trade-in program offer. The main sale discounts the brand-new aluminum Apple Watch Series 4 in 40mm to $349.00, down from $399.00.

The event includes dozens of Series 4 models with various bands, case finishes, and sizes. You can find some of the Apple Watches on sale in the lists below, and be sure to head to Best Buy to browse the full event and place your order before it ends. As a note, many of the prices are also being matched at Amazon.

Best Buy's Apple Watch Series 4 Sale


Aluminum Case + GPS

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

Nike+

Stainless Steel Case + GPS

For Verizon customers looking to purchase two cellular Apple Watch models, you can buy one select Apple Watch and save up to 50 percent (up to $190) on the second. This offer includes Series 3 and Series 4 devices and requires at least one new line. You can find more details about the sale right here.

Best Buy shoppers also have a chance to trade in their old Apple Watch toward a new Series 4 model and get as much as $100 for the current device. This offer and many more discounts and bargains in Best Buy's Apple Shopping Event are still live, including a notable sale on the latest MacBook Air.

For even more discounts, head to our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

YouTube Switches to Free, Ad-Supported Streaming Strategy for Original TV Shows

YouTube on Thursday announced a new original TV content strategy that will see the Google-owned video hub make new programs available to users on a free, ad-supported basis (via Deadline).


Nine new programs will be made available on YouTube this year, with a mix of original content, including a documentary about sports tricks outfit Dude Perfect, and an interactive series featuring YouTube star Mark Fischbach that allows viewers to control the storyline.

Other programs include a third season of the Karate Kid-inspired Cobra Kai, an investigation show from media startup Vox, and a set of standalone films from "The School of Life" YouTube channel, which "explores some of the greatest philosophical questions of our age," according to YouTube.

The development represents a shift in strategy since the arrival of YouTube Premium in May 2018 (previously YouTube Red), which offered ad-free viewing and other benefits, including original programming offered behind a $12-a-month paywall. The latter perk apparently hasn't been as popular as YouTube was hoping, so the new direction is about making original content available to as many users as possible on an ad-supported basis.
"For today's viewers, primetime is personal and our content resonates so strongly due to the diversity and richness of our unmatched library and platform capabilities," Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl said in the official announcement. "While every other media company is building a paywall, we are headed in the opposite direction and now have more opportunities than ever to partner with advertisers and share our critically-acclaimed originals with our global audience."
Another reason for the shift is Google's recognition of the growth in viewing YouTube in the living room, where about 250 million hours of YouTube fare are watched every day, on average, according to the company.

YouTube will continue to test original content benefits for subscribers. For example, all episodes from the third season of Cobra Kai will be available to subscribers in one block, while non-subscribers will gain access to one new episode per week. New episodes of some existing programs are also likely to remain subscriber-only because of contractual commitments, YouTube said.

Tag: YouTube