Tidal's iOS App Gains Masters Quality Audio Support

Tidal today added support for its Tidal Masters Quality Authenticated audio tier on iOS devices, bringing master quality music to iOS devices for the first time.

Master audio was previously available on Android, but hasn't been available to iPhone and iPad listeners.


Tidal's highest studio quality audio option is limited to certain tracks (Tidal says there are 150,000 of them) and you'll only hear higher fidelity audio if you're using appropriate hardware, aka, a wired connection. Full release notes for the new Tidal update are below:
- HiFi users can now access over 150,000 master-quality tracks - audio as flawless as it sounded in the mastering suite.
- CarPlay improvements
- Minor bug fixes
Tidal master quality songs are available to those who subscribe to its Tidal HiFi service, which is priced at $19.99 per month. Tidal does offer a 60-day free trial for new subscribers.

A full list of albums that feature master quality recordings is available on Tidal's website.

Tag: Tidal

DirecTV Now Raising Prices for All Plans by $10/Month Starting in April

Eight months after DirecTV Now raised the prices of all streaming plans by $5/month to stay in line with the market, the company is this week warning customers that it's increasing the prices again, this time by $10/month across the board. The company will reportedly begin implementing this price hike in the next billing cycle for customers, starting in April (via Cord Cutters News).


This means that DirecTV Now's basic "Live a Little" tier will rise from $40/month to $50, "Just Right" will increase from $55/month to $65, "Go Big" will increase from $65/month to $75, and "Gotta Have It" will increase from $75/month to $85. The Spanish language Todo y Más package will also increase from $45/month to $55. There will be no changes to channel availability in these plans.

In addition to all of this, DirecTV Now is introducing two new plans that will be available to new customers signing up for the service, instead of the five previously mentioned plans. These new plans are "DirecTV Now Plus" ($50/month for 40+ channels) and "DirecTV Now Max" ($70/month for 50+ channels). While the new plans include HBO at no additional charge, they are missing a number of channels from the previous plans including ones from Viacom, Discovery, A&E, and AMC.

New customers will only see these two new plans, but it appears that anyone signed up for DirecTV Now on one of the five original plans will be able to keep their subscriptions intact, albeit at a $10 higher monthly price tag.

Image via Reddit user plgdg

As a point of comparison, the new DirecTV Now Plus plan priced at $50/month compares directly to the Live a Little plan at its new $50/month cost, but the number of channels available is different. New customers signing up for DirecTV Now Plus will get 40+ channels, while existing customers get 65+ channels for the same $50/month price. This information can be seen on a screenshot of DirecTV Now's price comparison charts (via Reddit).

It was reported in January that DirecTV Now lost as many as 267,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2018, attributed to the closure of several discount bundles that were heavily featured on the service's website, including the popular Apple TV bundle. This month, DirecTV Now gained support for Apple's TV app, allowing users to sync their TV shows watched in DirecTV Now with the Up Next list in the TV app.

Twitter Launches New 'Twttr' Experimental Beta Testing App

Twitter today launched a new app called Twttr, which is designed to let participants in Twitter's Prototype Program beta test new Twitter features on iOS devices.

Accordingly, the first batch of testers who have been accepted to Twitter's Prototype Program are being notified via email over the course of the next few days, and those who were not accepted to the program at this time were added to a wait list.


At launch, the Twttr app is going to focus on testing a new design for conversations, which is aimed at making it easier to follow replies to an initial tweet. Conversations feature a more chat bubble-like shape along with indentation and color coding.


TechCrunch says that in the future, Twitter may use its prototype app to test out additional changes that could be implemented into the main Twitter app in the future.

Not everyone is going to be accepted to the prototype app testing program. A few thousand English and Japanese speakers will be invited, though testers will be able to discuss the changes.


The Twttr prototype testing app is being distributed through Apple's TestFlight beta program.

Tag: Twitter

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 5.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.2 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth watchOS 5.2 beta and over a month after releasing watchOS 5.1.3.

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.

The watchOS 5.2 update introduces a set of new Hermès watch faces. The watch faces are available in pink and blue, and feature a gradient-style design that changes much like other Hermès watch faces. There are customizable numbers and an option for a single complication.


There were no other major changes discovered in watchOS with the release of the first four, but we'll update this post should we find new features or major tweaks worth noting in the fifth. We may not know the full extent of the changes in watchOS 5.2 until we get a public release with Apple's release notes.

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

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of Upcoming tvOS 12.2 Update to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming tvOS 12.2 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after releasing the tvOS 12.1.2 update.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the new tvOS 12.2 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode. Once the initial beta has been downloaded, subsequent betas can be installed over the air.


tvOS 12.2, paired with iOS 12.2, lets users ask Siri to play specific media on an Apple TV from an iOS device. You can, for example, ask Siri to play Modern Family on the TV in the living room, or Pitch Perfect on the TV in the bedroom. This works for music and TV shows, and movies.

No other new features were discovered in the tvOS 12.2 beta as of yet, and it can be difficult to determine what's new because Apple does not provide release notes for tvOS betas or releases. If additional features are discovered in tvOS 12.2, we'll update this post.

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

Deals: Save on 2017 MacBook Pro ($900 Off), Leather Folio Case for iPhone X ($55 Off), and Refurbished iPhone 7

There are a few Apple-related deals and offers going on today, with the chance to save on the 2017 MacBook Pro, a refurbished iPhone 7, and Apple's official Leather Folio case for the iPhone X.

13-Inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar


At B&H Photo, you can get the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (3.5 GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) for $1,999.00, down from $2,899.00 ($900 off). Although the model is a couple years old, this is one of the lowest prices we've seen for this configuration, and it's also priced $900 below a similar model from 2018.

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.

As with all of B&H Photo's Deal Zone sales, you only have today, March 11, to take advantage of the discount. Head to B&H Photo to check out more information on the MacBook Pro, and if you're interested place your order before the deal expires tonight.

Refurbished iPhone 7


In another flash sale, you can purchase a refurbished and unlocked iPhone 7 for as low as $219.99 today only. The device is sold by Woot, and the Black and Rose Gold iPhone 7 models are available, with storage capacities including 32GB ($219.99) and 128GB ($259.99). Woot also sells a GSM/CDMA unlocked version of the 128GB iPhone 7 for $259.99.


Woot's deal on the 32GB iPhone 7 is about $160 off from the price of a refurbished model sold by Apple, while the 128GB iPhone 7 is about $210 below the price of Apple's refurbished store. Woot promises that each refurbished device has been restored to full working order and may come with minor cosmetic blemishes and surface scratches on the display, but nothing that will impair the use of the device.

Leather Folio for iPhone X


At Amazon, you can get an Apple Leather Folio case for the iPhone X for over 50 percent off in a new limited-time sale. Below you can find each case discounted in today's sale:

  • Berry - $44.00, down from $99.00 ($55.00 off)
  • Black - $49.99, down from $99.00 ($49.01 off)
  • Taupe - $49.00, down from $99.00 ($50.00 off)
  • Cosmos Blue - $60.00, down from $99.00 ($39.00 off)
For more information on the latest sales, visit our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Twelve South Sale: Get Ready for Spring Break With Savings on Travel Accessories

For a limited time, Amazon is currently discounting a collection of Twelve South's accessories to new low prices. Alternatively, our readers can buy directly through Twelve South with the MacRumors exclusive promo code SPRINGBREAKRUMOR, offering a 20 percent discount on six of the company's most useful travel accessories, which will be perfect additions to any Spring Break trip or vacation planned for later this summer.

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

Those interested can visit TwelveSouth.com and browse the six items listed below, add one or more to your cart, and enter the promo code SPRINGBREAKRUMOR during the checkout process to take 20 percent off your order. The code is live beginning today, March 11, and will be available to use through Sunday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

MacRumors readers around the globe will be able to enter the code and take advantage of the discounts, but shipping costs will vary by regions. For United States residents, Twelve South offers free FedEx Smart Post on all orders (5-10 days estimate), and if your order exceeds $95 you'll gain free 2-day shipping.

The products can be purchased individually or in groups, and the 20 percent discount will be taken off from the total of the order, excluding shipping. Also note that you won't be able to combine our exclusive promo code with any other offers on Twelve South's website. Below you'll find the full list of Twelve South products offered as a discount exclusively for our readers.

AirFly



Promo Price: $32.00, down from $39.99
Colors: White
Compatible Products: AirPods, most Bluetooth headphones
Description: AirFly connects to wired headphone jacks and transmits audio wirelessly to your AirPods, perfect for watching movies on in-flight entertainment systems or syncing to TV audio in a gym.

AirSnap



Promo Price: $24.00, down from $29.99
Amazon Price: $19.99 (Black), down from $29.99
Colors: Cognac, Deep Teal, and Black
Compatible Products: AirPods
Description: AirSnap protects your AirPods charging case in a full-grain leather case, incorporating a bottom cutout for Lightning charging and a secure snap closure to keep the AirPods secure while traveling.

PlugBug Duo



Promo Price: $40.00, down from $49.99
Amazon Price: $30.01, down from $49.99
Colors: Red
Compatible Products: All Apple USB-C, MagSafe 2, and MagSafe Power Adapters
Description: The upgraded PlugBug Duo supports global charging for your MacBook (in over 150 countries with 5 included adapters), and adds two USB-A charging ports that results in an easy all-in-one charging solution perfect for those traveling out of the country this season.

RelaxedLeather for iPhone



Promo Price: $32.00 - $40.00, down from $39.99 - $49.99
Amazon Price: as low as $29.99
Colors: Black, Marsala, Earl Grey, Indigo, Deep Teal, Cognac, Dried Herb, and Warm Taupe
Compatible Products: iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus
Description: The RelaxedLeather Case will protect your iPhone from drops and spills on any trip, and if you opt for the version with pockets you can store your driver's license or a few credit cards right within the case.

Journal CaddySack



Promo Price: $72.00, down from $89.99
Colors: Leather brown
Compatible Products: Charging accessories for Mac, iPhone, and iPad
Description: Twelve South's Journal CaddySack provides a neat and organized location to pack all of your Lightning cables, USB-C adapters, Apple Pencil, charging bricks, Apple Watch Bands, and more when you're traveling.

TimePorter



Promo Price: $40.00, down from $49.99
Colors: Black
Compatible Products: Apple Watch
Description: TimePorter offers a travel solution for your Apple Watch accessories, built with a compartment that holds your charging cable, an extra band, and USB charging brick, all within an accessory that's about the size of an eyeglasses case. As a bonus, you can pass through the Apple Watch inductive charging puck and sit your Apple Watch on top of the TimePorter to charge it.

Head over to our Deals Roundup for even more of the latest offers happening this week, and remember to use the exclusive Twelve South promo code before it expires on March 24.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple Pay Promo Offers $2 Off Future Order at Panera Bread

Apple Pay's latest promotion offers up to $2 off a future order at Panera Bread, when you place your first order in the Panera Bread app with Apple Pay. To receive the offer, you'll have to download the Panera Bread app, sign up for the MyPanera membership program, and place your first order with Apple Pay.


Once you do this, you'll receive your reward of up to $2 off a future order through your MyPanera member profile. This promotion starts today, March 11, and extends through Sunday, March 24. Apple notes that only one reward is available per customer and that the reward is valid for 14 days from the date of issuance.

The Apple Pay promo this week is themed around starting a new work week, and encourages users to use Apple Pay in apps like Uber for traveling to work, The New York Times to stay informed, and ClassPass for working out.

The last few Apple Pay promos have included partnerships with Adidas, Fandango, 1-800-Flowers, and more.

Deals: Save on Eve Room, Anker's New 5-in-1 USB-C Hub, Philips Hue Bridge, and More

As we head into the weekend, there are a few notable discounts and offers happening at various online retailers, including sales on the HomeKit-compatible Eve Room, Anker's new 5-in-1 USB-C hub, Best Buy's tax refund sale, and more.

Eve Room


For a limited time on Amazon, you can get $10 off the new Eve Room indoor air quality sensor on Amazon, knocking the price of the sensor down to $89.95 from $99.95 and representing the first discount on the device. The Eve Room includes full HomeKit support, allowing you to track the air quality, temperature, and humidity inside your home.

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.

The sensor sports an e-ink display with an anodized aluminum body, which displays your favorite readings so you can easily glance at data when nearby. Thanks to the HomeKit support, you can ask Siri for readings of your home's air quality and temperature on iPhone, iPad, HomePod, and other Siri-enabled devices. Head to Amazon to check out more information on the Eve Room.

Anker 5-in-1 USB-C Hub


Anker recently launched a new 5-in-1 USB-C Hub with Power Delivery, and the company has also shared a discount code on the device. If you head to Amazon and add the accessory to your cart, then enter the code ANKERC32 in the checkout screen, you can get the 5-in-1 Hub for $29.99, $13 off from $42.99.

This accessory is aimed at USB-C enabled modern MacBooks, providing access to additional ports including 1 standard SD card slot, 1 microSD card slot, 1 USB-A charging and data port, 1 USB-A data port, and 1 USB-C charging port. It also comes with a travel pouch.


In terms of pass-through charging, the Anker Hub has a maximum input of 60W, with 13W given to the device's operation. This leaves up to 47W pass-through charging for the MacBook when you're using other ports on the 5-in-1 Hub. For MacBook Pro, this will charge Apple's premium laptops, albeit at a slow pace.

iTunes Movies Sale


Apple is constantly updating iTunes Movies around various holidays and events, and this week has been no different. To celebrate International Women's Day, shoppers can browse a collection of movies focused on powerful women, all priced under $10.


Under $10: Kick-Ass Women

Best Buy Three Day Sale


Best Buy has kicked off a new three day sale this week, discounting MacBook Air, iPad, 4K TVs, Beats, and more. My Best Buy members have the chance to get double the points on select items during the sale, which lasts until Saturday, March 9 at 11:59 p.m. CT.


Philips Hue Offer


For a limited time, Philips is offering shoppers a chance to get the Hue Bridge for free when they purchase a Hue Play double pack along with the Hue Bridge. The Hue Play double pack runs for $129.99 and the Hue Bridge is priced at $59.99, so you'll be paying $129.99 for both products when purchased together.


Philips is running the same offer for the Hue Lightstrip Plus base pack. If you buy two of these for a total price of $159.99, and add a Hue Bridge to your cart, you'll get the $59.99 Hue Bridge for free.

For more sales, browse our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Backpack, Briefcase, Tote or iPhone Case From Hex

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Hex to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Hex bag or iPhone case. Hex makes a whole range of products, including multiple totes, backpacks, and bags with simple designs and clean lines.

Hex's 10.8L Terra Expandable Laptop Briefcase, for example, has a no-frills, modern design that offers a wealth of storage space. There's a padded laptop slot that can accommodate up to a 15-inch laptop, an interior gear pocket, an external tablet pocket, two external gear pockets, and a rear document pocket, so it can fit pretty much all the gear you might need.


Priced at $139.95, it comes with backpack straps that can be tucked away so when it's packed full you can wear it like a backpack, and there's also a detachable shoulder strap so it can be worn in a more traditional way. The Terra is made from a polyester material treated for water resistance, so it can hold up to a bit of rain.

Hex's Nero Expandable Laptop Briefcase, also priced at $139.95, is pretty much identical to the Terra with all of the same features and pockets, but it is made from a black polyester material that's also resistant to rain and rips.


Hex also makes affordable backpacks, including the Echelon Signal Backpack, which is priced at $89.95. The Echelon backpack holds 17.25L, so it's a good size without being too large, and it can accommodate a 13 to 15-inch laptop in the padded laptop compartment.


It's made from a gray polyester material that's simple, attractive, and water resistant, and there's a big front pocket for a tablet. A pocket at the top keeps sunglasses safe, and inside, there's a big interior pocket and organized sections for pens, keys, and cards.

Hex's 24.9L Supply Laptop Tote, priced at $99.95, is another option for carrying a laptop. It can hold a 13 to 15-inch machine in the padded storage compartment, and for other items, there's a big main zippered compartment and a padded tablet compartment.


At the front, there's a snap pocket that can hold a phone, and two rear snap pockets for change and keys. It's made of a waxed canvas treated for water resistance, and it features coated canvas accents and leather zipper pulls.

To go along with its lineup of bags, Hex has iPhone cases available. There are folio cases and standard cases, like the Stingray Leather Shield Wallet.


The Stingray, priced at $44.95, is made from a textured leather material with a polycarbonate shell that keeps the iPhone safe from bumps and drops. There's a built-in wallet feature with 2 RFID blocking card slots and a raised front bezel that protects your screen.

We have one of each of the above listed products from Hex to give away to MacRumors readers. The first winner picked will receive the Terra briefcase, the second will get the Nero briefcase, the third will get the Echelon backpack, the fourth will get the Supply Laptop Tote, and the fifth will get the Stingray iPhone Case.

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 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.

Hex Bag Giveaway
The contest will run from today (March 8) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on March 15. The winners will be chosen randomly on March 15 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

MacRumors Exclusive: Get ElevationLab's DraftTable for iPad Discounted by 20%

MacRumors and ElevationLab are partnering up this week to offer our readers a chance to save on the company's popular DraftTable device for the iPad. With our exclusive promo code, you can get the DraftTable for $39.96, down from $49.95; or you can purchase the DraftTable Kit for $55.96, down from $69.95.

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.

To access the sale, head to Amazon, choose from either the DraftTable or DraftTable Kit, add the item to your cart, and in the checkout screen enter the promo code MACLAB20 to gain your 20 percent discount. This code will last from today through Sunday, March 10.

MacRumors + DraftTable Exclusive Sale


The single DraftTable comes with ElevationLab's ergonomic stand that works with all sizes of the iPad Pro and can even accomodate the iPad mini. DraftTable is designed to ensure a rock-solid base station for working on iPad, with wide angle adjustment that ensures comfort on all-day workflows.

You can also upgrade to the DraftTable Kit, which includes the DraftTable base along with ElevationLab's ArmRest for even more comfort when sketching on iPad, as well as the Pencil Stand for securely holding the Apple Pencil.

Our full Deals Roundup has even more deals that are currently live, so be sure to head over to it as you shop around this weekend.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Disney+ Streaming Platform to Host Entire Disney Motion Picture Library

Disney CEO Bob Iger has shared additional details on the company's upcoming Disney+ streaming service, which will compete with Apple's forthcoming digital video platform.

Speaking to shareholders on Thursday, Iger said the Disney service will offer subscribers "the entire Disney motion picture library," and will signal the end of the so-called "Disney Vault".

The service, which I mentioned earlier is going to launch later in the year, is going to combine what we call library product, movies, and television, with a lot of original product as well, movies and television. And at some point fairly soon after launch it will house the entire Disney motion picture library, so the movies that you speak of that traditionally have been kept in a "vault" and brought out basically every few years will be on the service. And then, of course, we're producing a number of original movies and original television shows as well that will be Disney-branded.
As Polygon notes, Disney typically makes individual titles available on home video for limited periods of time. Once a run of a particular movie on DVD and Blu-ray has sold through, Disney returns it to the "Vault" until it's released again.

Iger also said that newer films will find a home on Disney+ within a year of their theatrical release. "It's going to combine both the old and the new," Iger continued. "All of the films that we're releasing this year, [starting] with Captain Marvel, will also be on the service."

Disney+, which will be home to Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel content, is set to launch in "late 2019," more than two years after it was first announced in August 2017.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Apple's upcoming video streaming service and its work on original TV content could spell trouble for Apple board member and Disney CEO Bob Iger, citing the potential for competition between the two companies.

Apple plans to introduce its streaming TV service at a March 25 event but it is expected to launch later in the year.

Tag: Disney