Apple has issued a rare recall notice on one of its products today: the Beats Pill XL portable Bluetooth speaker sold in Apple Stores and various other retailers. The voluntary recall cites a situation in which the battery can overheat and become a fire hazard. Apple purchased Beats Electronics and Beats Music for some $3 billion in 2014. The current Beats Pill XL hardware has remained the same since Apple purchased the speaker company. Press release below:
To facilitate the voluntary recall, Apple has created a recall program for Beats Pill XL customers to return the Bluetooth speaker to Apple and receive a $325 Apple Store credit or payment. Apple has obviously pulled its supply of $299 Beats Pill XL speakers from its online store with inventory saying unavailable. The smaller $199 and under Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth speaker is not included in the recall.
The Beats Pill XL recall isn’t the first bit of trouble that Apple has ran into following its multibillion acquisition last year. Shortly after announcing plans to buy Beats Electronics, Bose filed a lawsuit against the company claiming patent infringement on noise canceling technology. For a short period, Bose headphones and speakers were removed from Apple Stores, although the two companies later settledand saw Bose products return to Apple’s retail channels.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 220,000 Beats Pill XL speakers were sold in the US while about 11,000 units were sold in Canada. The CPSC notes that the recall follows “eight reports of incidents of the speakers overheating, including one with a burn to a consumer’s finger and one with damage to a consumer’s desk.”
CUPERTINO, California—June 3, 2015—Apple® today announced a voluntary recall of Beats Pill® XL speakers, including a refund for customers. Apple has determined that, in rare cases, the battery in the Beats Pill XL may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. The recall does not affect any other Beats or Apple products.
Because customer safety is the company’s top priority, Apple is asking customers to stop using their Beats Pill XL speakers. Customers who purchased a Beats Pill XL speaker should visit www.apple.com/support/beats-pillxl-recall for details about how to return their product to Apple, and how to receive an Apple Store® credit or electronic payment of $325.
The Beats Pill XL can be identified by the Beats “b” logo on the speaker grille and the words “beats pill XL” on the handle. The product is sold in five colors: black, metallic sky, pink, titanium and white.
The Beats Pill XL was introduced by Beats by Dre in November 2013. Apple acquired Beats in 2014.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Beats, Beats Electronics, Beats Pill, Beats Pill XL, Bluetooth, bluetooth speakers, fire, fire hazard, recall, safety
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"Because customer safety is the company’s top priority, Apple is asking customers to stop using their Beats Pill XL speakers. Customers who purchased a Beats Pill XL speaker should visit www.apple.com/support/beats-pillxl-recall for details about how to return their product to Apple, and how to receive an Apple Store® credit or electronic payment of $325."
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The Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch follows in the footsteps of the company's other HiRise docks, offering an Apple Watch storage and charging solution that's attractive, well-designed, and suitable for use in a wide range of locations, from a desk in an office to a nightstand in a bedroom.
I've been using the HiRise for Apple Watch for over a week now, as have a few of my colleagues both at MacRumors and TouchArcade, and the universal consensus is that it's a great stand, albeit with a premium price tag.
HiRise for Apple Watch is made from brushed metal and is available in black or silver to match the finishes of the Apple Watch Sport and standard Apple Watch. It also matches the company's HiRise products for other devices, if you happen to own any of those.
There's a circular cutout for the Apple Watch charger (you will need to supply your own) and a rectangular cutout for the band, allowing it to work with all Apple Watch bands, from the open Sport-style to the closed-loop Milanese. Cutouts are lined in soft silicone, so at no point does the Apple Watch come in contact with metal.
As I've learned first hand, the Apple Watch in stainless steel is extremely prone to scratching. When looking for a dock for the Apple Watch, it's advisable to make sure all surfaces on the dock that touch the watch are covered with something that doesn't have the potential to cause damage.
The HiRise's base measures in at 3.9 inches by 4.76 inches, giving it enough surface area to sit on a desk or table without wobbling or shifting when an Apple Watch is placed on it. The bottom of the base is also coated in rubber for additional grip.
Twelve South ships the HiRise for Apple Watch in several pieces, so some assembly is required. There's the base, the portion of the stand that holds the Apple Watch, and a cable cover, coated in leather. Twelve South calls the cable cover a "landing pad," with the leather in place to prevent the buckle of a band from being scratched should it come in contact with the base of the dock.
The stand fits into the base and is then held in place with the cable cover. Twelve South includes a screw in the package to secure the stand to the base, and while the instructions suggest this is optional, I'd recommend using it (even though installing it is a bit frustrating). Without the screw in place, the stand can be pushed backwards when a small amount of force is supplied, making the setup feel unstable. If you plan to travel with the dock, you may not want to use the screw, as it prevents it from being easily disassembled.
An Apple Watch charger fits into the circular cutout at the top of the HiRise, while the cord is routed down the back and under the cable cover, where it can then be plugged into the adapter for charging. The charger fits perfectly into the cutout and is held in place by the aforementioned silicone.
I never had an issue with the magnetic charging plate coming loose from the stand, but if it does get knocked out of place, it can be re-secured by pushing it back in. If you need to remove the Apple Watch Charging Cable from the HiRise, it takes only seconds to pop it out and release the cord.
Because of the cutout for the band, the Apple Watch can be placed on the HiRise with the band fastened or unfastened. Some bands, like the Milanese Loop, are closed-band designs, while others, like the Sport, are open designs. An open-band Apple Watch can charge with the band flat and open or with it closed, and in either orientation, the Apple Watch stays firmly in place.
Most of us probably don't use our Apple Watches while they're charging, but the HiRise puts the Apple Watch at a tilted angle that makes it easy to check the time during the night or snooze an alarm in the morning.
Overall, I had no complaints about the Apple Watch HiRise from Twelve South. It does everything I'd expect an Apple Watch dock to do, which consists of looking nice on my desk, holding my watch and making it easy to place the watch on the charger.
It is a superior solution to a bare charging cable that requires the watch to be placed flat on a desk, as it keeps the Apple Watch elevated and out of harms way. It's also quicker to stick the Apple Watch on the HiRise than it is to fiddle with picking up a cable and making sure it's aligned properly.
No one who purchases the HiRise for Apple Watch is going to be disappointed with how it performs, but it is worth noting that $50 is a lot to pay for an accessory that does little more than give you an attractive place to put your watch.
Our previous Apple Watch stand reviews:
- Mophie Watch Dock
- Duet Two-in-One Apple Watch Stand
How to Buy
HiRise for Apple Watch can be purchased from the Twelve South website for $49.99.
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Flexibits' co-founder Michael Simmons told MacRumors that the company waited until the Apple Watch was released to begin developing Fantastical 2 for the wrist, in order to design an app with the best possible user experience. "I'm not going to make an Apple Watch app when I've never used one," he said. "I need to see it. You can't solve a problem if you don't know what the problem is."
After experimenting with the existing Calendar app on Apple Watch and brainstorming on how best to translate Fantastical's feature set to the wrist, the Flexibits team came up with a simple but useful solution that distills Fantastical's core functions into a form suitable for wrist-based interactions that last just seconds.
The key feature in Fantastical 2 for Apple Watch is the Glance, which shows all of a day's events arranged in a timeline. With the Glance, you get a quick overview of what's going on in a day, along with information on the next upcoming meeting or appointment.
Tapping on the timeline within the Glance opens the full Fantastical 2 app, where you can get a list of all the events happening for the next two weeks. This improves upon the default Calendar app somewhat, as Apple's own app only shows a week of events. More detailed information on each event can be accessed with a tap, and scrolling through events in a list can be done with a finger or with the Digital Crown.
If you use Fantastical's Reminders feature, tapping "Reminders" at the top of the Apple Watch app will open a list of Reminders you've created, where they can be checked off. A force press within the Reminders list will let you add a new to-do task, while a force press in the main view of the app will let you add a new event. Events and Reminders are entered using the Apple Watch's dictation capabilities.
The Fantastical 2 Apple Watch app can be customized through the iPhone. Users can choose whether to display events and reminders, how many days to display within the app, and what the Glance opens -- next event or a list of all events.
Since Fantastical 2 for Apple Watch is bundled into an iPhone update, it's free for all existing Fantastical 2 users. If you own the iPhone app, you own the Apple Watch app.
Fantastical 2 can be downloaded from the App Store for $4.99. [Direct Link]
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When Apple Watch and Watch OS 1.0 shipped in April, the definite omission of an Apple Reminders app on the platform was particularly surprising to me. The Apple Watch User Guide even highlights the app’s absence:
There’s no Reminders app on Apple Watch, but Apple Watch notifies you of reminders you create in the Reminders app on your iPhone—and on any other iOS device or Mac that’s signed in using your Apple ID. Also, you can create reminders using Siri on Apple Watch.
Creating and responding to reminders is fine, but my girlfriend and I use a shared iCloud Reminders list for our grocery list, and being able to glance at the watch as you walk through the supermarket without pulling out the iPhone is an ideal use case for Apple Watch. Fortunately, Flexibits has developed a new version of its Fantastical app for iPhone that brings the full Reminders experience to Apple Watch, fulfilling an important use case for the watch I had in mind before it arrived.
Fantastical for Apple Watch also brings the excellent streamlined calendar list view to the watch, complete with the app’s easy-to-use natural language parsing feature that sets it apart from Apple’s own calendar app…
Even if you’re a fan of Apple’s built-in Calendar on Apple Watch, Fantastical’s unified list view of upcoming calendar entries and reminder items offers a bit of a bird’s eye view of your schedule on the watch. Fantastical’s dark user interface with splashes of color representing specific calendars or reminder lists fits right in with Watch OS, and you can still use Apple’s calendar app on Apple Watch for viewing the calendar as a full month or timeline of the current day by the hour.
Fantastical can’t yet include a watch face complication like Apple’s calendar app, but that’s certainly in the cards for developers in the future as Mark has reported. Fantastical does include an attractive and useful glance that you can swipe up from the watch face. The Fantastical glance features a horizontal timeline across the top with your next event or reminder item and appointment time below, or if the rest of your calendar is clear for the day, you get a friendly Fantastical character encouraging you to enjoy your open schedule.
Tapping the Fantastical glance behaves like any other third-party glance and opens the corresponding app from the watch face. I do find that the Fantastical’s darker colored glance fits in much better on Apple Watch than Apple’s mostly white, card-like glance, but you’re free to use either, both, or neither and still enjoy Fantastical. I’m personally only using Fantastical’s glance as I don’t find that Apple’s Calendar glance adds much additional information, if any.
As I mentioned enthusiastically at the top, Fantastical brings Reminders to Apple Watch in a big way. Where Apple stops at alerts and creating new reminders, Fantastical lets you view whole lists of reminders including notes or URLs included. This makes using Apple Watch as a convenient portal into my shopping list at the supermarket a possibility. You can use Siri to say something like “Add milk to my shopping list” and it appears right in the app. Similarly, firmly press within any given reminders list to add a new item to that specific list. The same method using Force Touch applies to creating calendar events from the calendar list view.
Because Fantastical reads your Reminders with a capital R, you can use Apple’s official Reminders app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and still enjoy Fantastical on Apple Watch as your iCloud-syncing, true Reminders solution. Other apps offer similar list functionality, but don’t speak the same language as Apple’s iCloud-syncing Reminders. Using Fantastical on Apple Watch for Reminders has been among my favorite Apple Watch app experiences yet if you haven’t guessed yet that.
There are also other goodies with Fantastical for Apple Watch like handoff support to the Mac. Customization options on Fantastical for iPhone let you set whether you even want to see events on Apple Watch, or reminders on Apple Watch, what the Fantastical glance displays, whether or not reminders are organized by lists or if that view is removed from the hierarchy on the watch, and more.
Fantastical 2 for iPhone and now Apple Watch is available as a free update to the latest version of the app. New Fantastical customers can purchase the app for iPhone and Apple Watch for $4.99 on the App Store. Fantastical 2 is also available on iPad and most recently the Mac as a full calendar solution.
Filed under: Apple Watch, Apps, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple watch, Apple Watch apps, calendar, Fantastical, icloud, iPhone, Reminders
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With monetary savings in mind, a few enterprising individuals around the internet have begun to showcase their own homemade alternatives to the big-name Apple Watch stands. Made using materials like LEGO and even a 3D printer, the homemade stands not only look functional but, of course, offer a more unique and personal take on charging Apple's new wearable device.
Designed and built this Apple Watch stand all by myself like a big boy pic.twitter.com/YADEd0wunY— ⚡️ Conasaurus Rex ⚡️ (@ConaKBO) May 31, 2015
One of the go-to Apple Watch stand material for homemade construction is LEGO, unsurprisingly, with users posting on Twitter and in the MacRumors forums a few noteworthy constructions perfect for the nightly charging required by the wearable. Ranging in diversity from a highly detailed Guardians of the Galaxy themed design to simple no-frills constructions, those interested may not be able to perfectly re-create their favorite designs, but should no doubt feel a burst of inspiration from looking at others' builds.
Over in the forums, a few members have showcased unique LEGO creations, as well. A few designs focus on pop culture themes like Minecraft or Star Wars, but others have decided to build their own custom blueprints, as well. One user even took it a step further and crafted a matching Watch/iPhone set.
Although far less popular than the easy-to-obtain LEGO bricks, one lucky MacRumors reader has been able to use a 3D printer to design and print out their own personal Apple Watch stand. The resulting product is arguably a bit rudimentary and rough around the edges, but undeniably cool as an alternative charging method for the Apple Watch. The 3D printed stand was designed with a slot on the back of the stand's neck and a hole at its base to pass the MagSafe charger, although the poster notes the exact dimension of the MagSafe puck was estimated due to the Watch's unavailability at the time of posting.
3D Printed Apple Watch stand by MacRumors Forum member Shacky
The stands showcased here today barely scratch the surface of the creative ideas and builds Apple Watch fans have taken to creating since its launch in April. If you've already built your own Apple Watch stand, or plan to in the future, be sure to share it with everyone in the Apple Watch accessories forum or by commenting below.
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TechCrunch has shared details on both the event and Cook's speech, calling him "characteristically passionate" about the topics he spoke on.
"Like many of you, we at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security," Cook opened. "We can, and we must provide both in equal measure. We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demands it, the constitution demands it, morality demands it."Cook highlighted Apple's commitment to customer privacy while also lambasting other Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook for collecting customer data. "They're gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it," Cook said. "We think that's wrong. And it's not the kind of company that Apple wants to be."
Image via TechCrunch
As he has done multiple times in past privacy-centric speeches, Cook reiterated Apple's position as a company that gets its money from selling products and services, not the personal data of its companies. He also made a subtle jab at Google's new Photos app, which offers free, unlimited photo storage.
"We believe the customer should be in control of their own information. You might like these so-called free services, but we don't think they're worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for god knows what advertising purpose. And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is."On encryption, Cook said he believes it's "incredibly dangerous" that some government agencies advocate for unfettered access to consumer data and devices, an issue that's come to light following encryption changes that Apple introduced with iOS 8. As of iOS 8, Apple no longer stores device encryption keys, making it impossible for the company to bypass a passcode and provide consumer data at the government's request.
According to Cook, weakening encryption with a "master key" for the government has a "chilling effect on our First Amendment rights and undermines our country's founding principles." He says Apple will continue moving forward with encryption and will focus on building products "that keep people's information safe."
More of what Cook had to say during yesterday's speech can be found over at TechCrunch. The Verge has also shared details on the speech.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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