Monday January 7, 2019 3:42 pm PST by Joe Rossignol
As noted by customers on Reddit and Twitter, and on the blog iPhone in Canada, Apple has begun charging sales tax on the purchases of TV shows, movies, music, and audiobooks in iTunes and Apple Music subscriptions in Canada.
The change went into effect January 1, 2019, with GST, HST, PST, and/or QST collected depending on the province or territory.
In a statement issued to MacRumors, Apple said the tax collection is due to "recent changes in Canadian legislation" and the growth of Apple's business around the world, including Canada, where it has operated for nearly four decades:
As the world's largest taxpayer, we respect the important role taxes play in society. Due to recent changes in Canadian legislation and the growth of our business, sales tax will now be charged on purchases of TV, movies, music and audiobooks. Apple has been operating in Canada for 38 years and we are proud to deliver the best products and services in the world to our customers here.
Apple was already charging sales tax on the purchase of apps and select other digital items in Canada prior to January 1.
Tuesday December 25, 2018 4:00 am PST by Joe Rossignol
App Store & iTunes gift cards have been a popular tech-themed stocking stuffer for years. If you unwrapped one today, we have eight ideas for what to buy across the App Store, iTunes, Apple Books, and beyond in 2018.
App Store & iTunes gift cards can be used to fund an Apple Music subscription, which costs $9.99 per month for individuals, $4.99 per month for students, and $14.99 per month for families of up to six people in the United States. Apple Music offers a free three-month trial in most countries.
Apple Music provides unlimited streaming of over 50 million songs with an active subscription and is available on an iPhone or Android smartphone, iPad, Mac or PC, Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod, Sonos, and Amazon Echo speakers.
To pay for Apple Music with an App Store & iTunes gift card, simply redeem the card and the monthly or annual subscription cost will be drawn from any store credit tied to your Apple ID. If the balance is zero, then Apple Music will be billed to another valid payment method on file, such as a credit card.
App Store & iTunes gift cards can be used towards a variety of other subscription-based services available on the App Store, such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, ESPN+, Tidal, and Dropbox. These subscriptions are available within the apps.
Note that Netflix has experimented with removing the option to pay for a subscription via iTunes for new customers in certain countries.
3. iCloud storage
When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage for photos, videos, and other files. If you need more space, you can upgrade to a larger storage plan, including 50GB for 99 cents per month, 200GB for $2.99 per month, or 2TB for $9.99 per month in the United States. Prices vary in other regions.
To pay for iCloud storage with an App Store & iTunes gift card, simply redeem the card and the monthly cost will be drawn from any store credit tied to your Apple ID. If the balance is zero, then the iCloud storage plan will be billed to another valid payment method on file, such as a credit card.
Prices are based in U.S. dollars and vary in other regions.
5. In-app purchases and game currencies
Spend your App Store & iTunes gift card balance on in-app purchases and game currencies, be it V-Bucks in Fortnite, PokéCoins in Pokémon GO, extra moves in Candy Crush Saga, gems in Clash of Clans, or something else.
6. Holiday movies on sale in iTunes
Many holiday movies are on sale in iTunes for a limited time, including classics such as Home Alone and A Christmas Story.
The Night Before
A Christmas Carol
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Story
The Polar Express
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Ultimate Edition
The Santa Clause
It's a Wonderful Life
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
The Nativity Story
Miracle on 34th Street
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Prices are based in U.S. dollars and vary in other regions.
7. Disney audiobooks
Disney has a variety of audiobooks available on the Apple Book Store, with some free and others priced under $20 in the United States.
8. iMessage sticker packs
If you still have a dollar or two left in store credit after working through this lift, elevate your iMessage game with some sticker packs.
Friday December 14, 2018 8:29 pm PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple this week released iTunes 12.8.1 for OS X Yosemite up to macOS High Sierra. The minor update resolves an issue that prevented iTunes from streaming media to third-party AirPlay speakers, and contains other minor improvements.
However, anyone running OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 specifically should avoid updating to iTunes 12.8.1 for now, as users across the MacRumors Forums, Twitter, Reddit, and Stack Exchange report that the update somehow breaks Safari 10.1.2, the latest version of the browser for OS X Yosemite.
After updating to iTunes 12.8.1, some users have encountered the following error message when opening Safari on OS X Yosemite:
Safari cannot be opened because of a problem.
Check with the developer to make sure Safari works with this version of Mac OS X. You may have to reinstall the application. Be sure to sure to install any available updates for the application and Mac OS X.
One user on Stack Exchange believes that the iTunes 12.8.1 update may update the MobileDevice.framework in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ to a version incompatible with Safari 10.1.2, but the cause is not entirely clear. We've flagged the issue with Apple and asked if and when a fix will be available.
In the meantime, workarounds include using an alternative browser such as Firefox or upgrading to a newer macOS version — of course, those still using OS X Yosemite likely don't want to or can't upgrade. Updating to iTunes 12.9 is not possible on OS X Yosemite, as that version is only compatible with macOS Mojave.
Update - How to Fix
Some users have been able to fix Safari by opening the Finder app, clicking on Go > Go to Folder… in the top menu bar, typing in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ and dragging MobileDevice.framework to the Trash.
Tuesday December 4, 2018 6:24 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
This week, Apple shared a new press release that highlighted the best music, movies, television shows, podcasts, and books of 2018. With the announcement, Apple has now rolled out new sections in each service that highlight these pieces of media under an all-new "Best of 2018" category.
Throughout 2018 we’ve been celebrating the creativity of app developers, musicians, writers and storytellers across the Apple community. As the year draws to a close, we’re thrilled to highlight some of our favorites — and yours. https://t.co/7PWIMiEOdg
You can check out all of the new Best of 2018 collections in the Browse tabs of Apple Music and Apple Podcasts, and the Book Store tab of Apple Books. On iTunes, the section can be found by scrolling down a bit, underneath the New and Noteworthy category.
Starting with Apple Music, the central Browse tab has a few new cards today that celebrate the Artist of the Year (Drake), Album of the Year (Kacey Musgraves' "Golden Hour"), Song of the Year (Cardi B's "I Like It"), and Breakthrough Artist of the Year (Juice WRLD). Apple also accumulates all of this into a centralized Best of 2018 hub that breaks down each artist and album with text by Apple Music's editors.
This area also includes the new Best of 2018 Playlist, which Apple explains was created by dozens of Apple Music editors from all over the world and includes 100 of the best tracks of the year, across genres. There are also Top 100 playlists for the United States and Global, a full list of the top 100 most-streamed albums of the year, a look back at 2018's Up Next artists, and a Beats 1 Radio year-in-review special.
On iTunes, Apple has a Best of 2018 list with all of the movies and TV shows that dominated the year. Films include Black Panther (Movie of the Year), Annihilation, Crazy Rich Asians, Eighth Grade, Green Book, Hereditary, Incredibles 2, A Star is Born, and Won't You Be My Neighbor?
TV shows include Killing Eve, The Americans, Atlanta, Barry, The Expanse, The Good Fight, The Good Place, The Handmaid's Tale, Pose, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Over in Apple Books, Apple highlights An American Marriage, The Library Book, Educated, The Witch Elm, Light It Up, Too Wilde to Wed, When Life Gives You Lululemons, Spinning Silver, There There, and Harbor Me as the best reads of 2018.
The Audiobooks tab also has a Best of 2018 section, including An American Marriage, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Something in the Water, Long Road to Mercy, Becoming, Dare to Lead, Girl, Wash Your Face, Rebound, Calypso, and The Great Alone.
On the Browse tab of Apple Podcasts, a similar Best of 2018 collection can be found. For the best Podcasts of the year, Apple's Podcasts editors chose In the Dark, Caliphate, The Dream, Slow Burn, Dr. Death, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, Bubble, Wolverine: The Long Night, 99% Invisible, Serial, Bundyville, This American Life, Revisionist History, and A Very Fatal Murder.
Apple also highlighted the Most Downloaded Shows of 2018 and Most Downloaded New Shows of 2018 in this section, including Podcasts like The Daily, Pod Save America, and Conspiracy Theories.
You can also check out the best iOS and macOS apps of the year, which we shared in a post last night. Some of the notable apps picked by Apple include Procreate Pocket, Gorogoa, Pixelmator Pro, and Alto's Odyssey.
Apple provides a download page on its website for the special edition of iTunes, which originally had a version number of 12.6.3. Two updates have since been released, including version 12.6.4 and the current version 12.6.5.
As brought to our attention by a MacRumors reader, and confirmed by our own testing, however, iTunes 12.6.5 fails to install on Mac systems updated to the public release of macOS Mojave this week. It also appears that the previous 12.6.3 and 12.6.4 versions do not function properly on macOS Mojave.
It's unclear if Apple does not plan on supporting the special edition of iTunes on macOS Mojave, or simply hasn't updated it yet. In the meantime, Apple Configurator can be used to mass-deploy apps on iOS devices from a Mac.
Wednesday August 22, 2018 11:36 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today added banners to the App Store and iTunes Store on Mac and iOS devices as well as its homepage allowing customers to donate to Mercy Corps to support those who have been affected by massive flooding in Kerala, India.
Flooding began in Kerala earlier this summer with the arrival of monsoon rains, and picked up again on August 8 following days of torrential downpour. Approximately 420 people have died since the flooding began, and more than a million are living in relief camps.
Apple is allowing customers to donate to Mercy Corps using credit and debit cards that are already on file with the iTunes Store and App Store for a no-hassle donation process. Apple customers can donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200, 100 percent of which goes to Mercy Corps.
Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian aid organization that says its mission is to "Alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities."
From the period between August 13 to August 20, Kerala received 18.5 inches of rainfall, an above average amount caused by two bands of heavy rain exacerbated by areas of low pressure in the Western Ghats mountain range, according to NASA.
Rain has started to abate this week, allowing rescue and relief operations to deal with the devastation the flooding has caused.
For those who do not want to donate through Mercy Corps and iTunes, there are other options. The government of Kerala is accepting direct money transfers and has set up a website where people can donate using credit and debit cards.
Apple today added banners to the App Store and iTunes Store on Mac and iOS devices allowing Apple customers to donate to the American Red Cross to support those who have been affected by the fires that have devastated Northern California.
Impacting Shasta County and the town of Redding, the Carr Fire has become the sixth most destructive fire in California's history, ripping through more than 125,000 acres and destroying or damaging over 1,500 homes and buildings. Other smaller fires, such as the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park, are also raging in California due to the hot, dry weather.
The Carr Fire started on July 23 after a car caught fire on California State Route 299. Six people have been killed, including two firefighters. The fire is 39 percent contained at this point, but high winds expected this weekend could hamper efforts to put it out.
Apple is allowing its customers to donate using credit and debit cards that are already on file with the iTunes and App Stores, for a simple, no-hassle donation process. iTunes and App Store users can donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200, 100 percent of which goes to the American Red Cross.
This is the second year that Northern California has been hit with major fires, and last year, Apple donated $1 million towards relief efforts following the fires that devastated Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Rosa, California. Apple also donated another $1 million towards Southern California fire relief efforts back in December.
Fire season in California typically lasts through the late summer and well into October, with scorching temperatures, dry weather, and high winds reacting with dry brush caused by drought. This July, areas in Northern California have seen unusually high temperatures leading to an early start to fire season.
In an email to customers who may be impacted, Apple said it is implementing this change to continue to ensure that their financial information is protected when they make purchases on the iTunes Store or App Store. For emphasis, this appears to be a proactive move, not the result of a security breach.
Given how old the affected software versions are, relatively few customers should be impacted by this move. iOS 4.3.5 and Apple TV Software 4.4.4 were both released in 2011, while macOS 10.8.5 was seeded in September 2013 as the final update to what was then called OS X Mountain Lion.
If you're using one of these versions on your device and need to change your payment method, Apple says to update your device to the latest version of the software. Of course, this may not be possible on older devices that have been phased out, in which case a newer device with newer software must be used.
The full email to customers courtesy of MacRumors reader Rich:
On June 30, 2018, Apple will implement changes to continue to ensure your financial data is protected when you make purchases on the iTunes Store or App Store.
Our records show that you may be accessing the store from an older version of iOS, macOS, or Apple TV software:
- iOS 4.3.5 or earlier
- macOS 10.8.5 or earlier
- Apple TV Software 4.4.4 or earlier
To be able to change your payment information with devices running the software listed above, you'll need to update to a more recent software version.
Apple provides more details, instructions on how to update to the latest version of iOS, macOS, and Apple TV software, and steps to change your payment method, in a support document related to this change.
Apple today updated its iTunes Remote app for iOS devices to version 4.4, introducing a redesigned look and support for the iPhone X, Apple's newest flagship device.
The iTunes Remote app is designed to allow iPad and iPhone users to control their iTunes libraries from anywhere in the home, accessing music, TV shows, movies, Podcasts, playlists, and more. The app can be used to send music to AirPlay speakers and group speakers together to play music in multiple rooms at the same time.
Apple recommends that customers who download the Remote 4.4 update pair it with iTunes 12.7.5, which is the latest version of iTunes on the Mac.
In addition to a redesigned look, the iTunes Remote app update offers unspecified stability and performance improvements.
iTunes Remote can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
Apple's services category has continued to see rapid growth and it is becoming an increasingly important revenue driver for Apple.
In the second fiscal quarter of 2018, Apple's services brought in $9.19 billion in revenue, up 31 percent compared to the $7 billion in revenue services earned in the second quarter of 2017.
For the last several quarters, Apple's services revenue has grown so quickly that Apple sets a new record with each earnings announcement, and the second quarter of 2018 is no exception. Apple's services category includes iTunes, the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and AppleCare.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that in Q2 2018, the App Store, Apple Music, Apple and iCloud set all time revenue records. Apple Music set a new record for both revenue and paid subscribers, which, as was announced recently, has hit 40 million.
Apple's paid subscriptions surpassed 270 million, up 100 million from a year ago and up 30 million in the last 90 days alone.
Recently, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty predicted that over the course of the next five years, services revenue growth will contribute more than 50 percent of Apple's total revenue growth.
Huberty estimated that services revenue is at $30 per device, with just 18 percent of Apple's total device install base subscribing to paid Apple services, leaving a lot of room for growth in the coming years.
Apple in 2016 set itself a goal to double its services revenue by 2020, and the company is well on its way towards hitting that goal. Apple in 2016 earned $24 billion in revenue from services, so the double goal is $48 million.
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