Apple Offers Employees Deep Discounts on HomePod and Beats Headphones

Apple is offering employees significant discounts on products that include the HomePod and Beats headphones, according to details on the deals shared by MacGeneration and 9to5Mac.


Apple is said to be clearing stock of Beats headphones and HomePods, providing them to employees through an internal deals program. The ‌HomePod‌ is available at a 50 percent discount, dropping the price to $149.50, while Beats are also available at a reduced price.

There's no confirmed word on why Apple is offering HomePods and Beats headphones to employees at a discount, but in the case of the ‌HomePod‌, there are rumors that Apple is working on a new lower-cost model that could come out at some point this year.

Apple may also simply have excess ‌HomePod‌ and Beats stock due to reduced sales or a miscalculation in production.

Apple has offered similar deep discounts on products to employees a few times in the past, and provides smaller discounts on all of its products for employees who want to make a purchase through an employee store.
Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Luna Display Adapter for Converting an iPad or Mac Into a Second Screen

For this week's giveaway, we've once again teamed up with Astro to give MacRumors readers a chance to win a Luna Display adapter that's able to transform an iPad or an extra Mac into a secondary display for a main machine.


The tiny Luna Display adapter plugs into your Mac through a USB-C port (newer Macs) or a Mini DisplayPort (older Macs) and then when paired with the Luna Display software, it connects an ‌iPad‌ or another Mac to your primary Mac using WiFi, giving new life to old iPads and Macs.


When connected, the Luna Display extends the Mac's display to the secondary Mac or the ‌iPad‌ so the device can be used as a second screen, something that's especially useful these days with many people working from home with makeshift office setups.


Priced at $80, the Luna Display sets itself apart from Apple's built-in Sidecar functionality with Mac-to-Mac support, something ‌Sidecar‌ doesn't do. Luna Display also works with older iPads, making it a more versatile option.

With Mac-to-Mac mode, the primary Mac needs macOS El Capitan or later, while the secondary Mac needs to be running macOS Mountain Lion or later, so this feature works with some machines that are quite a bit older.


For the best performance, the main Mac should be a 2012 MacBook Air or later, a 2012 MacBook Pro or later, a 2012 Mac mini or later, a 2012 iMac or later, or a 2013 Mac Pro or later.


In Mac-to-Mac mode, Luna Display provides full keyboard, trackpad, and mouse support on both of the Macs, with more info available from the Luna Display website.

Luna Display also works with almost all modern iPads, with expanded support over what's available using Apple's ‌Sidecar‌. Luna Display is compatible with the ‌iPad‌ 2 or later, all ‌iPad‌ mini models, all iPad Pro models, and all ‌iPad‌ Air models, with iOS 9.1 or later as the only requirement. Performance is faster on newer iPads, but older models work well too.



The Luna Display can be purchased from the Luna Display website, and we have five of them to give away to MacRumors readers. 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.

Luna Display Giveaway
The contest will run from today (April 3) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 10. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 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.
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iPad Launched 10 Years Ago Today, App Developer Reflects on Getting Access to a Top-Secret Prototype

On the 10th anniversary of the iPad launching in stores, Agile Partners co-founder Jack Ivers has shared an interesting story about how his company managed to get in Apple's good graces and ultimately gain access to prototype iPads.


The story begins in 2008, when Agile Partners released GuitarToolkit as one of the first iPhone apps on the App Store. The app used the iPhone's microphone to detect musical notes in an incoming audio stream to see the real-time pitch of a guitar string. Apple has long had an interest in music, so the app quickly caught its eye.

In 2009, Apple covertly reached out to Agile Partners about featuring GuitarToolkit in a worldwide advertising campaign:
We began receiving calls that went as follows:

Apple: We need you to internationalize GuitarToolkit for the following languages: Japanese, simplified Chinese, German, French, and Spanish. By next week please.

Agile: Ummm ... why?

Apple: Sign this NDA.

Agile: Here you go. So tell us more.

Apple: We're considering featuring GuitarToolkit in an advertising campaign, but no promises. Will you do the internationalization?

Apple was asking us to jump, and it didn't take too much reflection to respond, "how high?" GuitarToolkit ended up being featured in a series of worldwide print and TV campaigns, including one that appeared on the back cover of many of the most prestigious magazines in the U.S. and around the world.
GuitarToolkit ended up being featured on the back cover of many popular magazines:


Then, in February 2010, just days after Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPad, an Apple executive reached out to Agile Partners requesting a quick conversation about something "important." After signing a very strict NDA, Agile Partners ended up being invited to Apple's headquarters to develop an iPad version of their GuitarToolkit app.

Agile Partners was provided with access to prototype iPads to develop its app and, unsurprisingly, they were located in a "locked, nondescript, unlabeled room on the second or third floor on the building that housed the Infinite Loop cafeteria."
The room had blackout curtains hanging inside the door so that, even when the door was open, you couldn't see inside. The room had three or four sturdy industrial tables, each with an iPad prototype chained to it. Each iPad was completely encased in what appeared to be Kevlar, with just the screen and home button exposed. Almost none of the industrial design was visible – bezels, back, edges, even the iPad's thickness, were all obscured by the bulky case.

Each table also had a Mac with a special Xcode that could build to the iPad. We spent the day tweaking app settings for the new screen dimensions, getting past beta glitches, and finally successfully building TabToolkit on the prototype iPads.
Agile Partners eventually became VIP attendees at WWDC 2010, where its iPad app received an Apple Design Award.
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Deals: AirPods Pro Are Available to Ship Today at $234.98 on Amazon

Apple's AirPods Pro have returned to their low price of $234.98 on Amazon, down from $249.00. At about $14 off, this remains the lowest price we've ever tracked for a brand new model of the AirPods Pro among the major Apple resellers online.

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.

This sale on the AirPods Pro typically comes around every few weeks on Amazon, and due to low stock it never lasts long. This could be exacerbated by current shipping delays, but as of writing Amazon notes that shoppers can expect the AirPods Pro to arrive between April 7 and April 16. If you've been waiting to purchase a pair, be sure to visit Amazon soon.

$14 OFF
AirPods Pro for $234.98


Head to our full Best Deals guide for AirPods to shop for even more discounts on Apple's wireless headphones.
Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Apple Card’s Base APR Lowered to 10.99% for Some Cardholders

Following two interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve in March, the Apple Card's base APR has now decreased from 12.49 percent to 10.99 percent for some cardholders, including MacRumors reader Zed and others on Reddit.


This is at least the third time that the Apple Card's APR range has been lowered since the credit card launched in August 2019.

Due to current affairs, Apple recently launched a customer assistance program that allows Apple Card holders to skip their March and April payments without incurring interest charges. To enroll in the program, read Apple's support document.

Key features of the Apple Card include color-coded spending summaries in the Wallet app, no fees beyond any applicable interest, and up to three percent daily cashback.

To apply for an ‌Apple Card‌, simply open the Wallet app on an iPhone running iOS 12.4 or later, tap the plus button in the top-right corner, and follow the on-screen steps. The process takes just a few minutes, and if approved, your digital ‌Apple Card‌ will be ready for purchases immediately. A physical titanium-based Apple Card is also available for use at retail stores that do not accept contactless payments.
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Deals: Refurbished Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi Routers Discounted by Up to 50% at Woot Today Only, Starting at $175

Woot today began a new flash sale on Netgear Orbi Mesh Routers, offering up to 50 percent discounts on two Orbi systems in refurbished condition. Both routers come with a 90 day warranty from Netgear.

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

To start, there's the Netgear RBK43 Orbi Wi-Fi Router with one router and two satellites for $174.99, compared to an original price of $349.99. This sale is also below Amazon's refurbished price of $219.99 in renewed condition. Orbi's tri-band router covers up to 6,000 square feet by placing each satellite at different locations around your house.

Orbi Mesh Router (Refurb) for $174.99


There's also the Netgear RBK53 Orbi Ultra-Performance Router for $229.99, compared to a price of $279.99 in renewed condition at Amazon. This system can provide solid Wi-Fi coverage across homes up to 7,500 square feet, and includes one router and two satellites.

Both Orbi mesh router systems at Woot are being sold in "factory reconditioned" condition, meaning they were returned, inspected, and restored to full working order. Amazon Prime customers can get free standard shipping on each router, but delivery dates may be slightly delayed.

Head to Woot to browse even more items on sale, today including markdowns on surge protectors.
Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Roleplaying Game ‘Legend of the Skyfish 2’ Launches on Apple Arcade

"Legend of the Skyfish 2" is this week's addition to Apple Arcade on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV:
A hundred years have passed since the hero known as Little Red Hook ended the reign of terror of Skyfish, the Lord of the Deep Seas… and now the peace that civilization struggled so much to build is in danger again.

As the last Red Hook guardians, you and your master must use the atypical tool of your clan – the Combat Fishing Pole – as both a weapon and a grappling hook to face the rising threat.

Unveil an exciting story as you journey in a world full of intriguing characters and devious traps. Explore gorgeous landscapes and mysterious dungeons while defeating mutant abyssal creatures.
"Legend of the Skyfish 2" is available on the App Store with an Apple Arcade subscription. The service provides iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac users with access to over 100 games with no in-app purchases or ads for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.


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Deals: Powerbeats Pro Return to $200 at Multiple Retailers ($50 Off, Lowest Price)

New sales on a variety of Beats headphones have appeared this morning, headlined by a return of the lowest-ever price on the Powerbeats Pro at $199.95, down from $249.99. This sale has popped up at numerous retailers today, including Amazon, B&H Photo, Target, and more.

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.

Even Apple is discounting the Powerbeats Pro today, and across all retailers every color is on sale: Navy, Moss, Ivory, and Black. We've seen this sale recur over the past year since the Powerbeats Pro launched, and it's a perfect opportunity to purchase the headphones if you've been waiting for a discount.

$50 OFF
Powerbeats Pro for $199.95


Similar to the Powerbeats Pro, the Solo Pro is on sale across numerous retailers, priced at $249.99, down from $299.99. You can find this sale at Apple, Amazon, B&H Photo, Target, and more. You'll find every color on sale here as well: Black, Gray, Ivory, Dark Blue, Light Blue, and Red.

Best Buy is also discounting these headphones during its 1-day sale today, which also includes the Powerbeats3 Wireless Headphones for $89.99, down from $199.99; and the Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones at $199.99, down from $349.99.
Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Apple Paid Hacker $75,000 for Uncovering Zero-Day Camera Exploits in Safari

Apple paid out $75,000 to a hacker for identifying multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in its software, some of which could be used to hijack the camera on a MacBook or an iPhone, according to Forbes.


A zero-day vulnerability refers to a security hole in software that is unknown to the software developer and the public, although it may already be known by attackers who are quietly exploiting it.

Security researcher Ryan Pickren reportedly discovered the vulnerabilities in Safari after he decided to "hammer the browser with obscure corner cases" until it started showing weird behavior.

The bug hunter found seven exploits in all. The vulnerabilities involved the way that Safari parsed Uniform Resource Identifiers, managed web origins and initialized secure contexts, and three of them allowed him to get access to the camera by tricking the user to visit a malicious website.
"A bug like this shows why users should never feel totally confident that their camera is secure," Pickren said, "regardless of operating system or manufacturer."
Pickren reported his research through Apple's Bug Bounty Program in December 2019. Apple validated all seven bugs immediately and shipped a fix for the camera kill chain a few weeks later. The camera exploit was patched with in Safari 13.0.5, released January 28. The remaining zero-day vulnerabilities, which Apple judged to be less severe, were patched in Safari 13.1, released on March 24.

Apple opened its bug bounty program to all security researchers in December 2019. Prior to that, Apple's bug bounty program was invitation-based and non-iOS devices were not included. Apple also increased the maximum size of the bounty from $200,000 per exploit to $1 million depending on the nature of the security flaw.

When submitting reports, researchers must include a detailed description of the issue, an explanation of the state of the system when the exploit works, and enough information for Apple to reliably reproduce the issue.

This year, Apple plans to provide vetted and trusted security researchers and hackers with "dev" iPhones, or special iPhones that provide deeper access to the underlying software and operating system that will make it easier for vulnerabilities to be discovered.

These iPhones are being provided as part of Apple's forthcoming iOS Security Research Device Program, which aims to encourage additional security researchers to disclose vulnerabilities, ultimately leading to more secure devices for consumers.
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Apple News Currently Down for Some Users

Apple News appears to be running into problems this morning, with social media chatter indicating the service is down for many users.

Apple's System Status page isn't reporting issues with its News service, but launching the iOS app and tapping the Today tab is throwing up a "Feed Unavailable" message for many users. However, other sections of the app do appear to be functioning.

MacRumors was able to replicate the behavior on iPhone and iPad, but the service appears to be working when accessed through the macOS app, at least in the United Kingdom.

According to Downdetector, the problem is mainly being reported by users in the United States and the United Kingdom. We'll update this article when the situation changes.


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