How to Use the ‘Hey Siri’ Command With AirPods (2nd Generation)

Apple refreshed its AirPods wireless earbuds in March 2019, adding a number of new features that set it apart from the previous generation AirPods. One of those features is the ability to summon Siri entirely handsfree, allowing you to speak a variety of commands and ask questions.


With the first-generation AirPods, you had to use the default double tap gesture on the left or right earpiece to activate Siri before you could start talking. But with second-generation AirPods, all you have to do is say "Hey Siri" and the digital assistant will be ready to respond to the words that follow.

You can still use the double-tap gesture to summon Siri on the new AirPods if you prefer, but you should find the immediacy of using the "Hey Siri" invocation a lot more convenient if you tend to be working with your hands when you're wearing Apple's wireless earbuds.

Siri can be used with your AirPods to control your music, ask queries, make phone calls, and check the status of your AirPods. At the bottom of this article is a quick list of commands to get you started.

Note that these commands won't do anything if your iOS device doesn't have a network connection. It's an odd requirement, but unlike Voice Control, Siri needs an internet connection even for basic playback commands.
  • "Turn volume up/down" or "Raise the volume by 50 percent."

  • "Play" or "Pause music."

  • "Resume music."

  • "Play [Song Name]" or "Play [Podcast Name]."

  • "Play my Favorites List."

  • "Play my New Music List."

  • "Skip back/forward" or "Skip back/forward X seconds/minutes."

  • "Skip to the next song."

  • "How is the battery life of my AirPods?"


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

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Apple Music Surpasses 40 Million Installs on Android Devices

More than 40 million Android smartphone owners around the world have now installed the Apple Music app from the Google Play Store, according to data shared this week by Sensor Tower.


It's projected that Apple Music will see 3.8 million installs on Android devices by the end of Q1 2019, up from 3.3 million in Q4 2018 and a year-over-year increase of 65 percent.

Apple has been able to grow its Android user base for Apple Music in mid-to-late 2018, following a few quarters of decline. Beginning in Q4 2017 and continuing through Q2 2018, Apple Music installs on Android dwindled from 3.3 million to 2.3 million.


Now, the current quarter is anticipated to be Apple Music's best yet for new user installs on Android.
New users of the app in 4Q18 were up 43 percent over 1Q18, and we project that 1Q19 installs will total 3.8 million for a year-over-year increase of 65 percent.

Google Play users in the United States account for approximately 28 percent of all Apple Music for Android installs to date, with India a distant second at about 7 percent to the total. Great Britain, Brazil, and Russia round out the app’s five largest markets at 6 percent, 5 percent, and 4 percent of installs, respectively.
Apple Music first launched on Android in the fall of 2015, months after debuting on Apple devices. The Android app was just updated this week with a redesigned Browse tab to match iOS devices, and introduced support for Chromebooks.


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How to Wirelessly Charge Your AirPods

Apple in March launched second-generation AirPods that include several new features over the original models, including the ability to wirelessly charge using third-party charging pads.


Apple also launched a Wireless Charging Case for use with first-generation AirPods, so if you bought a pair of new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, or you purchased a Wireless Charging Case separately, then keep reading to learn how the charging procedure works.

How to Charge Your AirPods Wirelessly


New Apple AirPods usually come fully charged out of the box, but at some point during use you'll hear a tone when your AirPods' batteries are low, and another tone just before they run out.

When that time comes, it's time to charge your AirPods. Simply putting them back in the case usually does the trick – the case holds multiple, full charges for your AirPods, allowing you to charge on the go. But at some point the charging case will also become depleted, and then it will need charging too.


Apple's Wireless Charging Case and second-generation AirPods can be charged with any Qi-compatible charging mat or stand. (If you don't have one and are wondering which to buy, check out our roundup of the best Qi-compatible charging mats and stands for Apple devices.) Here's how it's done.
  1. Place the case on the charger with the status light on the front of the case facing up (or towards you if you're using a stand). Note that you can charge your case with or without your AirPods inside.

  2. The status light should turn on for several seconds, then turn off as it continues to charge.

  3. If the light doesn't turn on when you put it on the charging mat, try repositioning the case.
If you have trouble getting the case to charge, check that the cable is firmly plugged into the charging mat and that the other end is correctly plugged into a power outlet. If the case still isn't charging, don't forget that you can also charge it by plugging the supplied Lightning cable into the Lightning connector on the bottom, and the other end of the cable into a USB charger or port.

Checking Your AirPods Battery Life


You can check the battery status of your AirPods by opening the charging case lid with the AirPods inside and holding the case close to your iPhone. The charge status of your AirPods and their case should appear on the device's screen, and if you take out an AirPod, you'll see individual percentages for the two earpieces.


You can also check the charge status of your AirPods using the Batteries widget in your iPhone's Today View, accessed by swiping right on the Lock screen or on your Home screen's first screen of apps.

A fully charged Wireless Charging Case will provide AirPods with more than 24 hours of listening time, or up to 18 hours of talk time. If you charge AirPods for 15 minutes in the case, you get up to 3 hours of listening time or up to two hours of talk time.

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

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Austria’s Largest Bank Says Apple Pay is Coming Soon

Austria's largest bank Erste Bank und Sparkasse today announced that Apple Pay is "coming soon" with a teaser on its Twitter account.


Apple Pay has been gradually expanding across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The service launched in Belgium and Kazakhstan in November, made its long-awaited debut in Germany in December, and became available in the Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia last month. It looks like Austria will soon follow.


German-based mobile bank N26 also announced today that Apple Pay is coming soon to customers in Austria:


Apple Pay first launched in the United States in October 2014 and is also available in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Japan, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, New Zealand, Brazil, Poland, Ireland, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.

Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday said Apple Pay will be available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of 2019.

(Thanks, Steger Patrick and Adam Perjesi!)

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Austria

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Apple Music App for Android Updated With Refreshed Browse Tab and Chromebook Support

Apple has updated its Apple Music app for Android devices, introducing the redesigned Browse tab that debuted on iOS last week and new support for Chromebooks.


The new Browse tab has been tweaked to highlight an assortment of different playlists from various musical genres to make discovery quicker and easier. Android users will now find Apple's "Daily Top 100" playlist featured prominently at the top of the section, just below the traditional carousel of new music.

Apart from that minor refresh, the update brings official Chromebook support to the Android app, which basically means users can access Apple Music from Chrome OS on their Google notebook. According to the release notes, this version of Apple Music for Android also fixes various bugs, so users should also find it runs a bit more stable than previous versions.

Apple Music for Android is available to download for free from Apple's website and on the Google Play Store.


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How to Set Up and Connect Your New AirPods (2nd Generation)

Apple in March debuted second-generation AirPods, featuring several updates over the original massively popular wireless earbuds of the same name.

If you've just received a pair of Apple's new earbuds, you'll be raring to use them to listen to music, take phone calls, use Siri, and more. Keep reading to learn how to set up and connect them to your devices.


Update Your Software


As mentioned, Apple's second-generation AirPods include new features not seen in the previous model, but to use them you'll need to make sure your devices are running the latest software.

On iOS devices:


If you want to use your new AirPods with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, make sure you're running iOS 12.2 or later.


To check that your device's software is up to date, launch the Settings app and then select General -> Software Update, and download any available updates if necessary.

On Mac:

To use your new AirPods with your Mac, it needs to be running macOS 10.14.4 or later. To check that your machine is up to date with the latest software, select System Preferences... from the Apple () menu in the top-left corner of the screen, and then click Software Update in the preferences window.


If your Mac finds an update is available, click the Update Now button to download the software and allow the software to install when prompted.

Set Up New AirPods on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch


Before you can begin using your new AirPods with your iOS devices, there are a few quick steps you need to perform.
  1. Unlock your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If your device is already unlocked, navigate to the Home screen.

  2. Bring the AirPods case – with the AirPods inside – close to your device and open the case lid.

  3. Wait for the setup animation to appear on your device's screen.

  4. Tap Connect, then tap Done.

  5. If you haven't set up "Hey Siri" already on your device, you'll be guided through the setup.
And that's all there is to it. Your AirPods should now pair seamlessly with your device whenever you go to use them. Note that if you're signed in to iCloud, your AirPods will be set up automatically with any of your supported devices that are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.

Connect New AirPods to Your Mac


If you've set up your AirPods with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and your Mac is signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, then your AirPods should be ready to use with your Mac. In that case, all you you need to do is put your AirPods in your ears, click the Bluetooth icon in your Mac's menu bar, select your AirPods from the dropdown list, and click Connect.


If you don't see your AirPods in the Bluetooth menu, check out our dedicated how-to article on how to pair AirPods manually with your Mac and customize the gesture controls.

Connect New AirPods to Android Devices


You can use AirPods with Android smartphones and other devices. You won't be able to use "Hey Siri" but you can use them to listen and talk. Check out our special guideo learn how to use AirPods on Android, as well as the benefits, the downsides, and how well AirPods work on non-Apple devices.

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

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Apple News+ Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Apple at its March event introduced a new subscription service for Apple News, called Apple News+.

Apple News+ is a new subscription service in the Apple News app that lets you access magazines and paywalled content from some news sites. You have to pay a subscription fee to access Apple News+, and it is an add-on service that lives right alongside Apple's existing free Apple News content. This guide covers everything that you need to know about Apple News+, from pricing and availability to news sites and magazines included.


Apple News+ Availability


Apple News+ content is available right in the Apple News app through the new Apple News+ tab that shows up on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch models running iOS 12.2 and Macs running macOS Mojave 10.14.4.

You need to be in the U.S. or Canada to be able to subscribe to and access Apple News content at the current time, though Apple has plans to expand it to additional countries in the future.

Apple News+ Pricing


Apple News+ costs $9.99 per month in the United States and $12.99 per month in Canada. At the current time, there are no yearly subscription plans available.

The $9.99 per month fee gives your entire family access to Apple News+ as long as you have Family Sharing set up.

Apple News Free Trial


Apple is offering a 30-day free trial for Apple News+, and we have instructions on how to sign up here. You won't get charged the $9.99 per month fee until the free trial expires, but your free trial ends right when you cancel.


That means there's no option to sign up, cancel, and then use the service for a month. You'll need to keep yourself subscribed to continue to use the free trial, so we recommend setting a reminder ahead of when the trial expires so you can get the full 30-day test period without getting charged if you decide to cancel.

How to Get to Apple News+ Content


All Apple News+ content is available in the Apple News app in the Apple News+ tab at the bottom of the display on an iPhone, or through Apple News+ option on the side bar on iPads and Macs.


The Apple News+ section houses all available Apple News content, though if you come across Apple News+ articles from magazines news sites like The Wall Street Journal while browsing through the standard Apple News interface, that content will all be available for free to you.

What's Included in Apple News+


The Apple News+ monthly fee gets you access to more than 200 popular magazines that cover a wide range of categories, including health, style and beauty, lifestyle, sports, finance and business, cars, entertainment, food, hobbies, home and garden, kids and parenting, news and politics, outdoors, science and tech, and travel.

Both past and current issues from a number of magazines are included. Based on a spot check, past issues seem to be available from March 2018 on, so no magazine is offering a full collection of past content. March 2018 is when Apple purchased Texture, the service that Apple News+ evolved from.


Along with more than 300 magazines, Apple News+ includes paywalled subscription content from the following newspapers: The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Toronto Star.

There are also several digital only subscription offerings included such as theSkimm, The Highlight by Vox, New York Magazine's sites Vulture, The Cut and Grub Street, and Extra Crunch from TechCrunch.

Apple News Formatting


New issues of some magazines in Apple News+ are using a proprietary formatting designed just for Apple News+. It puts a table of contents right up front so you can see what articles are included and skip right to what you want to read, and it also supports full screen interactive media and other digital-first features.


Some magazines have not been updated with this new format and their issues are plain PDFs that you can swipe through with none of these new features. All older issues even from magazines that do support the new Apple News+ digital format are also in PDFs.


PDFs display all of the available pages in a magazine, but you'll essentially need to swipe through most of the magazine to see the specifics of what's available.

MacStories has a great list of all of the magazines that are available in Apple News+ in the United States at the current time, and which formatting those magazines are using.

Subscribing to a Magazine


Apple has no way to formally subscribe to an Apple News+ magazine, but every magazine that you open is listed in the "My Magazines" section at the top of the app. When new issues come out in magazines that you've read, the Apple News app will send you a notification.


My Magazines seems to be a bit buggy at the current time because there's no way to remove magazines from the list, and not all magazines and content that you've read show up in the My Magazines list after exiting the app and reopening it. Apple will likely have some fixes coming for these issues that will improve the layout and available subscription tools.

Downloading a Magazine for Offline Reading


You can download any magazine in Apple News+ so that you can read it offline. When browsing through magazines, viewing new issues in the Apple News+ section, or looking at a magazine's overview with all of the available issues listed, tap on the little download icon next to any issue to make it available to read when you don't have a Wi-Fi or LTE connection.


Apple News+ Bugs


Some people are having trouble subscribing to Apple News+, and it's not quite clear what's going on. Apple's servers could be having issues, as some people have run into trouble subscribing to Apple News on one device and then using it on another. One user had luck unsubscribing and resubscribing again, while another said it just started working all of a sudden after a period of time.

There have also been reports of issues with loading times and problems swapping between portrait and landscape mode. If you're having Apple News+ problems, sign out of iTunes in the Settings app and then sign back in. That seems to fix the problem people are having where they're not able to log in on a different device.

The Free Apple News Experience


Apple News in the U.S., Canada, UK, and Australia will continue to function as before for those who choose not to sign up for Apple News+. All of the content and news stories from your favorite news sites will still be available to read, you just won't get access to the magazines and paywalled content included in Apple News+.


For non-subscribers, there are essentially no changes to the Apple News app with the exception of a new Apple News+ tab to ignore. Apple News will continue to offer access to Top Stories, Trending Stories, and a feed of personalized news articles.

Guide Feedback


See something we left out of our Apple News+ guide or have a question not answered here? Let us know in the comments or send us an email at tips@macrumors.com.


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5GE: AT&T’s Misleading Label on iPhone

After upgrading to iOS 12.2, the newest version of iOS, AT&T users might see a "5GE" icon in place of "LTE" for their cellular connection.

This is AT&T's misleading name for an enhanced 4G LTE network, and as explained in the guide below, is not actual 5G connectivity.


Why am I seeing a 5GE icon?


According to AT&T, customers who upgrade to iOS 12.2 will see the "5GE" icon when connected to what AT&T is calling a 5GE network. This is an AT&T-only thing, so it's limited to AT&T customers.

It's also only showing up on iOS devices running iOS 12.2 or later, but the 5GE icon has also previously rolled out to some Android devices.

What is 5GE?


5GE, or 5G "Evolution" is the name that AT&T is using in areas where 4G LTE technologies like three-way carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO, and 256 QAM are available. These features making existing wireless networks faster, provided your smartphone supports them.


These are technologies that have already been in place on AT&T's network and networks from Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Your phone has probably already been connecting to AT&T's LTE networks with these capabilities even before AT&T added its 5GE icon.

AT&T, in fact, started rolling out support for these technologies in 2017, as did other U.S. carriers.

AT&T says that in areas with these upgraded LTE technologies, customers can reach peak theoretical wireless speeds of up to 400 megabits per second, which translates to around 40 megabits per second in real-world usage.

These are LTE speeds that are available on many other carriers to customers using modern devices.

What's real 5G?


Real 5G networks, when available, will offer much faster connection speeds and better performance. Carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are working on rolling out 5G mobile networks.

Actual 5G networks, when up and running with full coverage available, may be anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than LTE networks.

So wait, my iPhone isn't connecting to a 5G network?


Even if AT&T did have a 5G network, which it does not right now, there are no iPhones in existence right now that are capable of connecting to a 5G network.

5G technology requires new modem hardware so until there is an iPhone with a 5G modem chip, no iPhones will work with 5G networks. Your current iPhone will not connect to 5G networks and will be limited to LTE.

I have an earlier version of iOS, will I see 5GE?


At this time, AT&T says that only devices running iOS 12.2 will display the 5GE icon. That doesn't mean your iPhone isn't taking advantage of AT&T's 5GE network, though, since the icon is merely cosmetic.

Where is 5GE available?


According to AT&T, "5GE" speeds are available in more than 400 markets, and by the first half of 2019, the upgraded LTE technology is expected to be available nationwide to more than 200 million customers.


Why is AT&T misleading customers?


AT&T's justification is that 5G technology "is an evolution" rather than a single event, which is a rather weak argument.

AT&T wants customers to know that they're on an upgraded LTE network with faster speeds than were possible a few years back ahead of the rollout of 5G, but using 5G terminology is an underhanded and confusing way of doing it.

In short, it's a marketing tactic that's essentially designed to fool customers into thinking they're connecting to a faster 5G network, capitalizing on all the buzz around 5G technology right now.

Are other carriers using misleading 5G branding?


T-Mobile has made fun of AT&T's decision to call its LTE networks 5G, while Sprint has called it "blatantly misleading."


Verizon has taken out full page ads in major newspapers like The New York Times and has warned about the dangers of confusing terms.
"The potential for 5G is awesome, but the potential to over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise is a temptation that the wireless industry must resist."

"Verizon is making this commitment today: We won't take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5. We will not call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don't experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver.
Sprint has also taken out full-page ads bashing AT&T's deception and has gone so far as to sue AT&T for the misleading branding. Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, the other three major carriers in the U.S., have no plans to introduce similarly confusing branding ahead of the rollout of 5G.

When will AT&T actually have a real 5G network?


Technically, AT&T has already started rolling out real 5G service in parts of 12 cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, N.C., San Antonio and Waco, Texas.

AT&T plans to expand real 5G coverage to additional cities that include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose during the first half of 2019. AT&T's 5G networks are denoted by a "5G+" icon.

But remember, even with 5G networks available from AT&T, devices also need to incorporate 5G chips to use them.

AT&T is also confusingly rolling out another network feature called LTE-LAA, a second upgraded version of LTE with peak theoretical speeds of 1 gigabit per second.

When will my iPhone work with 5G networks?


Rumors suggest Apple could implement 5G technology as soon as 2020, but it's not expected for the 2019 iPhone lineup. Intel has said that its 5G chips won't be in smartphones until 2020, and Apple has quit using Qualcomm chips due to the legal battle raging between the two companies.

Some Android smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung, are rolling out 5G smartphones in 2019. Carriers will also start to roll out 5G networks in 2019, but it will take several years for 5G to get off the ground and for coverage to spread across the United States.


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Everything Apple Announced at Today’s ‘It’s Show Time’ Event in 6 Minutes

Apple today held its first ever services-centric event, where the company introduced several new and upcoming service products with no hardware announcements at all.

It took Apple almost two hours to introduce Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Card, and Apple TV+, but we've recapped the entire event in just six minutes for our readers who want a no-frills overview of everything Apple announced today.


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The only service that's available today, Apple News+, is designed to provide access to hundreds of magazines and a handful of paywalled news sources for $9.99 per month. Everyone on a Family Sharing plan can access Apple News+ for that $9.99 per month fee.

Apple Card is a new credit card Apple's offering in partnership with Goldman Sachs. Starting this summer, you can sign up for an Apple Card right on the iPhone and start using it immediately for Apple Pay purchases. You can make digital payments with Apple Pay using the card, but for non-Apple Pay payments, Apple is giving customers a slick titanium card with no visible credit card info like number and CVV (all of that info is in Wallet, though).

With Apple Card, you get 1% cash back for standard card purchases, 2% cash back for Apple Pay purchases, and 3% cash back for Apple purchases. Cash back is provided to you on a daily basis and you can use it for paying your balance, making purchases, or sending Apple Pay Cash in Messages. There are also unique budgeting and tracking tools for monitoring spending along with support via the Messages app. There are no fees, and Apple plans to offer low interest rates.

Apple Arcade is Apple's new cross-platform subscription gaming service that will provide access to more than 100 iOS games from publishers like Disney, Sega, LEGO, Cartoon Network, Konami, and more when it launches this fall in over 150 countries. Apple hasn't announced pricing, but an Apple Arcade subscription will include full access to all games with no additional in-app purchases necessary to unlock content.

Apple's final services announcement was Apple TV+, which will house all of the company's original TV content. Apple has more than a dozen original shows in the works from creators like Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and Oprah. Pricing hasn't been announced because it's not launching till the fall, but Apple TV+ will be available in Apple's revamped TV app, coming in May.

The new TV app, which will be available on iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac (in the fall) and third-party Smart TVs from Sony, LG, Samsung, and Vizio, features better than ever recommendations built on machine learning and a new "Channels" option that will let you subscribe to and watch content from providers like Starz, Showtime, and HBO.

Below, we've rounded up all of our coverage from today's event if you missed it:Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors because we'll have more coverage of Apple's new services including detailed guides coming this week.


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How to Sign Up For an Apple News+ Subscription

Apple today unveiled its rumored premium Apple News subscription service, Apple News+. Apple News+ provides access to more than 300 magazines and a handful of paywalled news articles from sites like The Wall Street Journal all for $9.99 per month.


Signing up for an Apple News subscription can be done in the U.S. or Canada on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 12.2. Here's how:

  1. Open up the Apple News App.

  2. Tap on the "News+" tab at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Tap on "Get Started."

  4. Choose "Try It Free" to initiate a trial subscription. You'll be charged $9.99 per month when the 30-day trial period ends.

  5. Confirm your payment with Face ID or Touch ID.
From there, you'll have access to a new "My Magazines" section of the app where you can see featured magazines, browse the entire collection, or select from various categories like Cars, Entertainment, Food, Health, Hobbies, Lifestyle, Outdoors, and more.


There are a selection of stories that are curated by Apple's editors and organized to highlight specific articles.


Apple News+ magazines provide animated covers and a table of contents right up top so you can select the articles that are most interesting to you.


The rest of the Apple News interface features rich, full-screen imagery and a digital-optimized reading experience for key stories.


Cancelling your Apple News+ Subscription


If you want to cancel your Apple News+ subscription so you don't get charged $9.99 per month after your trial period ends, here's how:

  1. Tap on the "Following" tab in the Apple News app.

  2. Tap on "Manage Subscriptions."

  3. Tap on "Cancel Free Trial."
Make sure you don't cancel your Apple News+ subscription until you've finished giving the service a try because Apple says that your service ends immediately if you hit the cancel button. We recommend setting a calendar reminder to cancel before 30 days is up if you want the full trial experience.

Apple News+ content can be read on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, with iOS 12.2 or macOS 10.14.4 required. You can also sign up for an Apple News+ subscription using these same steps in the Apple New+ tab in the macOS Mojave app.


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