Head over to Best Buy's shopping event page for even more deals like Beats headphones, iTunes/App Store gift cards and more from Apple and lots of other brands. Then check out our full Deals Roundup for more information on sales and bargains happening right now.
Anker today kicked off a new Amazon Gold Box flash sale, discounting numerous charging accessories to notable low prices. Items on sale include wireless charging mats, portable battery packs, car chargers, USB-C cables, and more.
We've listed every Anker item on sale today below, and since this is a one-day-only event be sure to head to Amazon to browse and place your order before the low prices expire later tonight. Also note that each discount price has been automatically applied so you don't need discount codes.
Anker's Flash Sale
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.
Our readers should also note that the MacRumors exclusive Anker sale that began on Monday is now entering its last few days, with all of the codes expiring tomorrow, April 21. Our exclusive sale includes discounts on Lightning cables, USB-C hubs, wall chargers, and more.
In April 2019, Google announced the launch of a free, ad-supported version of its YouTube Music streaming service for use with Google Home and other smart speakers that feature its voice-activated assistant.
Essentially, the free streaming tier means that you can listen to songs from the YouTube Music catalog, interspersed with occasional ads, on your Google Home or other Google Assistant-powered speaker right out of the box.
With YouTube Music and Google Home, you can ask Google Home to play the right music for any moment or mood, and YouTube Music will play a station customized to your tastes based upon your request. So you could say, for example, "Hey Google, play music for working out," and your speaker will fill the room with some upbeat tunes.
At the time of writing, free, ad-supported YouTube Music is available on smart speakers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, and Austria. Google is also working to make the service available in more countries.
To enable free, ad-based YouTube Music on your smart speaker, simply follow these steps.
Launch the Google Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
Tap the account Settings option on the app's main Home screen.
Scroll down and tap Music.
Tap YouTube Music to link the streaming service to your smart speaker and make it your default music provider.
That's all there is to it. If you have an Echo device instead of a Google Home device, you can listen to Amazon's new free music service instead just by asking Alexa to play a station based on a song, artist, era, genre, or an Amazon Music global playlist.
Apple has removed the 4K LG UltraFine Displays from its online Apple Store in the United States, continuing a trend of pulling the display from its online stores around the world. Before disappearing from the store, the display had been listed as "Sold Out" for quite some time.
It's not clear why Apple has stopped selling the 4K LG UltraFine Display, but it is several years old at this point, having first debuted in 2016.
The 4K and 5K UltraFine Displays were designed by LG in partnership with Apple and were created to be used with the 2016 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models, which supported Thunderbolt 3 for the first time.
The 21.5-inch 4K LG UltraFine Display offered a resolution of 4096 x 2304 with support for P3 wide color gamut and 60W of power delivery for charging a MacBook. It was selling from Apple for $700 before being pulled from the online store.
LG recently debuted a new 4K UltraFine Display, but this new model, priced at $1300, was not designed in partnership with Apple and it doesn't seem like Apple is planning to replace the existing model with this one in its retail stores.
Apple is still selling the LG UltraFine 5K Display for $1300, and Best Buy is continuing to offer the original UltraFine 4K Display from 2016 for its original $700 price, suggesting it has not been discontinued by LG.
Rumors suggest that Apple is working on an Apple-branded display that will be sold alongside the high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that's in the works, but with a 6K resolution and a 31.6-inch screen size, it's sounding like it's going to be ultra high end (and expensive) and not a replacement for traditional 4K and 5K displays.
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Aukey to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a pair of the Key Series B80 Earbuds, which are wireless and connect to your devices using Bluetooth.
Aukey's earbuds are a good option for working out, sports, and other rigorous, fitness-related activities because they're designed to stay in the ears and also offer water resistance.
Design wise, the B80 earbuds feature soft tips that go in your ears along with a wraparound earhook that keeps them in place while you're active. Aukey provides a variety of different ear tips, with three sizes of memory foam and soft silicone to meet all preferences.
These headphones aren't wire-free like AirPods or more expensive earbuds from other companies, but the wire stays out of the way and the $70 price point makes them much more affordable than an alternative like AirPods.
Aukey has designed the B80 earbuds with sound in mind. Features include dual drivers that Aukey says have been "precisely tuned" to generate rich, pure sound with a 10Hz to 22kHz frequency range and aptX-Low Latency. Aukey promises "full, warm lows and mids" combined with "clear and natural highs."
The B80 earbuds ship with a soft silicone case for storage purposes, and they're designed to charge using USB-C, which is convenient if you have other USB-C devices. A 10 minute charge will give you 80 minutes of playback, and when fully charged, the B80 earbuds will last for up to 8 hours.
Three colors are available, including gray, red, and dark gray, all of which have gold accents. There is an included remote for turning the earbuds on, adjusting volume, switching tracks, and phone calls. IPX6 water resistance is included, so these can hold up to sweat or rain, though you won't want to submerge them.
For those who prefer not to have earhooks, Aukey also makes the $50 B60 earbuds, which are similar in design but have a different fit.
We have eight pairs of the B80 headphones to give away to MacRumors readers. 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 19) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 26. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 26 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.
iOS apps and features including Shortcuts, Screen Time, and iMessage effects will be coming to macOS later this year, after they're first unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in June. The information was shared today by 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo, who spoke with people familiar with the development of macOS 10.15.
The major update to macOS, which is expected to launch in the fall, will include support for Siri Shortcuts. Apple updated the previous Workflow app for iOS to become Siri Shortcuts in September 2018, alongside the release of iOS 12. It allows you to create multi-step automations that you can initiate with a simple Siri command.
Today, Shortcuts has expanded to numerous third-party apps like American Airlines and Caviar. Later this year, Mac computers will get "system-wide" support for Siri Shortcuts, according to today's report.
Secondly, macOS 10.15 will see the addition of Screen Time, which tracks your device usage and reports back to you at the end of each week with statistics on what apps you use the most. Parents can use the feature to limit the time their kids spend in certain apps, and people trying to take a break from social media can set time limits on apps like Instagram and Twitter.
On macOS, this feature will work essentially the same as it does on iOS. It'll be housed in a new panel in System Preferences to customize its settings, and an overlay will appear when time limits are exceeded, where you can close the app or bypass the Screen Time lock with a passcode.
Lastly, macOS will be getting iMessage screen effects that have been exclusive to iPhones and iPads for a few years. These include full screen effects like Echo, Balloons, Confetti, and Lasers. On current versions of macOS, when an iPhone user sends these effects and they're read on a Mac, the iMessage screen on Mac simply states "Sent with [Effect Name]" below the message.
Today's news follows previous reports about Apple's plans to tie the iOS and macOS ecosystems more closely together. This includes letting developers release universal apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices, which could happen by 2021. Last year at WWDC, Apple also ported a few iOS apps to macOS for the first time, including Home, News, Voice Memos, and Stocks.
Apple supplier Foxconn today said that it remains committed to its contract to build a display plant and research facility in Wisconsin (via Reuters). The company's comment comes a few days after Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said that the state wanted to renegotiate the Foxconn deal, partly due to the belief that the Taiwanese company was not expected to reach its goal of creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
Foxconn's original goal for the project was to eventually employ 13,000 workers on the site, and today the company has confirmed that it "remains committed" to this plan. Foxconn initially announced the project in 2017 at a White House event alongside President Donald Trump. Governor Evers recently took office in January 2019, inheriting the deal to Give Foxconn $4 billion in tax breaks and other incentives.
“Foxconn’s commitment to job creation in Wisconsin remains long term and will span over the length of the WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) contract and beyond.”
Over the years, Foxconn's Wisconsin plant has gone through many iterations as the supplier faced new roadblocks and cost-cutting measures. The plant was designated as a TV display factory in its early stages, then pivoted to small to medium-size displays for smartphones, infotainment systems, and other "niche products".
In early 2019, Reutersreported that Foxconn would greatly scale back its plans to produce displays of any kind in Wisconsin and instead focus on research and development. The news came from Louis Woo, assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, who said Foxconn is "not building a factory" in Wisconsin.
According to Woo, the steep cost of making advanced screens for TV sets and other devices in the United States led to the decision. Around the same time, the company confirmed it had slowed its pace of hiring, down to about 5,200 people expected by the end of 2020.
As of now, Foxconn has fallen short of its employment goals in 2018, hiring just 178 full-time workers rather than the 260 it intended to for the year. The supplier has to meet certain hiring and capital investment goals under its current contract to qualify for tax credits in Wisconsin. With its inability to meet the 260 hiring target last year, it failed to earn a tax credit of up to $9.5 million.
Netflix has begun testing a new feature on mobile that allows select users to "Play a Popular Episode" of certain TV shows, without having to scroll through and pick which one they want to watch. As spotted by Android Police, the test only appears to be on the Android app as of now.
Images via Android Police
Additionally, users have noticed that in the playback controls of a TV show, there is a new "Random Episode" button. With this feature you would be able to shuffle around within the TV show you're already watching, which would be useful for people who watch their favorite shows repeatedly and don't necessarily need to see everything in order.
As with all tests, it's unclear if Netflix will ever launch these features to a wide audience on both Android and iOS devices, or other platforms. If you're on Android, the random episode test is on v7.6.0 build 19 34157 of the Netflix Android app.
Netflix will be gaining competition in the streaming market later this year when Apple TV+ and Disney+ launch, but the company has said that it isn't worried about these launches because of the "differing nature" of the content on offer. The company is also ramping up original content production, which means a price hike to $12.99/month for the popular HD streaming plan for all users beginning in May.
In lockstep with Amazon, Google has announced a free, ad-supported music streaming option for use with smart speakers that feature its voice-activated assistant.
The new "free" streaming tier means owners of Google Home or other Google Assistant-powered speakers can listen to tracks from the YouTube Music catalog, albeit interspersed with ads.
Listening to music on your Google Home speaker right out-of-the-box seems too good to be true, right? It’s not! Starting today, YouTube Music is offering a free, ad-supported experience on Google Home speakers (or other Google Assistant-powered speakers).
Free, ad-supported YouTube Music is available on smart speakers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, and Austria. Google says it will be available in more countries soon.
Note that the ad-supported streaming tier isn't supported on computers or phones. On that note, Google appears to be using the free offering to entice people to upgrade to YouTube Music Premium ($9.99/month), which enables listening on both supporting smart speakers and the YouTube Music mobile app, which also lets users background play music while using other apps and download tracks for offline listening.
Amazon on Thursday also announced the debut of a free music option for Amazon Alexa users in the United States alongside its Prime music service, which provides access to more than two million songs, and Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon's on-demand music service priced starting at $9.99 per month ($7.99 for Prime members).