Deals: Up to $500 Off 2017 MacBook Pro at Best Buy and $100 iTunes Gift Cards for $85 at PayPal

Best Buy today kicked off its latest discount event, marking down prices on MacBook Pros, Apple TVs, Beats headphones, and more for two days only. For students who don’t mind purchasing last year’s MacBook Pro models, Best Buy’s new sale is particularly noteworthy since you can get as much as $350 off certain configurations and an extra $150 off with Student Deals.

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.

The cheapest model available is the 13-inch/8GB RAM/256GB SSD/3.1 GHz configuration, priced at $1,399.99 for students and parents of students, down from $1,799.99. Check out more of the MacBook Pros and other products on sale in the list below, and head over to Best Buy to place your orders before the offers expire tomorrow, July 17 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

  • MacBook Pro – Students save up to $500 / as low as $1,399.99

  • Apple Watch Series 3 – Save $50 / $279 for 38mm Aluminum and $309 for 42mm Aluminum

  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus – Save $200 when you buy and activate on a monthly installment plan

  • Apple TV – Fourth generation for $139.99, down from $149.99

  • BeatsX – $94.99 in select colors, down from $149.99

  • DJI – Save up to $300 / Mavic Pro Quadcopter Fly More Combo for $999.99, down from $1,299.99

  • UE Roll 2 – $45.99, down from $99.99

  • Linksys – Velop Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System (3 Pack) for $399.99, down from $479.99

If you’ve been waiting for the next 15 percent discount on App Store and iTunes gift cards, PayPal’s Digital Gifts eBay store today has launched its newest sale. For a limited time, anyone with a PayPal account can get a digital $100 iTunes gift card for $85, and you’ll receive the code for the iTunes credit via email within a few hours after the purchase.



The credit will only be valid on purchases made on the United States App and iTunes stores. PayPal’s iTunes gift card sales are limited and typically tend to last for a day or two, so be sure to visit PayPal’s Digital Gifts eBay store and place your order soon if you want to stock up on some iTunes credit, or send it as a gift to a friend or family member.

Today is also the beginning of Amazon Prime Day, which has a collection of Amazon’s own devices discounted this morning and will see an official kickoff later today at 3 p.m. ET. We’ll be keeping track of many of Amazon’s best tech sales in a live blog that will go up later today, and for more information on the latest discounts and offers be sure to head to our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Apple Watch Series 3 Featured in Three New ‘Close Your Rings’ Ads

Apple has shared three new Close Your Rings ads on its YouTube channel in Australia, highlighting the Activity app on Apple Watch.



The fast-paced, 15-second videos each feature a different person — Eric, Atilla, and Yocelin — as they go about their busy days, closing their Move, Exercise, and Stand rings on the Apple Watch Series 3 in the process.

Eric bikes, walks his dog, purchases seafood, cooks, walks the stairs, and dances. Atilla runs, swims, plays table tennis, and shops. Yocelin plays basketball, dances, draws, tries on new clothes, and practises yoga.







Apple has been using the slogan “Close Your Rings” as part of a fitness-oriented marketing campaign for the past few years, including a series of Apple Watch Series 2 ads last year and a dedicated page on its website.

Apple Watch users can close the Move ring by hitting their personalized daily goal for active calories burned, close the Exercise ring by completing at least 30 minutes of daily activity, and close the Stand ring by getting up and moving around for at least one minute during 12 different hours in the day.

Apple Watch users can also complete Monthly Challenges and earn Achievements badges by repeatedly closing the rings in the Activity app, and compete with friends and family, making it a motivating feature for many wearers.

These ads likely represent one of the final marketing campaigns for the Apple Watch Series 3, with new larger-display Series 4 models expected in September. The videos have yet to be uploaded to Apple’s main YouTube channel in the United States, or elsewhere, but they likely will be soon.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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How to Use the New Photos App Features in iOS 12

In iOS 12, Apple has introduced some new features to the Photos app that aim to make it easier for you to search, share, and enjoy your photo collection. Here’s how to make the most of them.

The most prominent addition in the Photos app is a new For You tab, which replaces the old Memories and Shared tabs and brings together their features – along with any iCloud Shared Albums you may have – in a single scrolling panel.

For You Tab: Sharing Suggestions

Top of the For You tab is where your latest Sharing Suggestions appear. If the app recognizes someone in the photos it will ask if you want to share the collection with them, otherwise an option to “Share with friends?” is shown.

The great thing about sharing photos this way in iOS 12 is that if your friends have any pictures that are from the same event, time, or location, they will also be prompted to send those back to you, allowing you to fill any holes in your collection.



Tap the Sharing Suggestions card and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can choose the pictures you want to share. Tap Select and then tap any photos you don’t want to include, or choose Deselect All and then tap the ones you want to share.

Choose Next to select people in your contacts that you want to share the pictures with. Tap Share in Messages when you’re done – just note that anyone with access to the shared photo link will be able to view the photos.

For You Tab: Memories

Immediately below Sharing Suggestions you’ll find Memories, which curates various photos and videos you’ve taken in the past into specific memory collections. Without any steps required on your part, Memories gives you an automatic homemade movie from these past family gatherings or vacations.

Tap a memory and you’ll see a list of all the photos and videos contained in the memory (tap Show More to see more than a summary), the geographic location the pictures were taken, nearby photos, and related memories you might be interested in.



If you press the play button to begin viewing a memory, you can also use a number of customization options to edit it. For more on editing memories in Photos, see our dedicated tutorial.

Note that tapping Select on this page and deleting a photo doesn’t just remove it from the memory, but also deletes it from your iPhone and iCloud Library. The last two options at the very bottom of the screen let you favorite the memory or delete it permanently.

If your device supports 3D Touch, you can also hard press on any memory in the For You tab to get a preview of its contents, and then swipe up for options to add it to your favorite memories, delete the memory, or block it.

For You Tab: Shared Album Activity

At the bottom of the For You tab is any Shared Album Activity related to your iCloud account.



This lists iCloud albums shared by you as well as albums shared with you by other users. From here you can view photos and videos, “like” them with a thumbs up, and read comments or add your own.

How to Use Enhanced Search

In iOS 12, the Photos search function in the Search tab is more intelligent than before, so it’s easier to find the most relevant photos to you from events, people, or places.



You can also combine multiple search terms to narrow down your results. Simply start typing a person’s name, a date, a place, or a word like “cat”, “beach”, “waistcoat”, or “selfie”, and the Photos app will offer up similar or identical indexed search terms that you can tap to add to the search field.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
Tag: Photos

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Apple Restructures Sales Team in India Amid Sluggish Growth

Apple sold fewer than a million iPhones in India in the first half of 2018, according to Bloomberg. The company has suffered slowing sales in the world’s second largest smartphone market, which has reportedly seen three high-ranking sales executives leave Apple as the company restructures its operations there.

Among the executives who’ve departed are its national sales and distribution chief, the head of its commercial channels and mid-market business, and the head of telecom carrier sales, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. Apple’s Indian sales team is now undergoing a restructuring, one of the people said.

Apple has a 2 percent market share in India, according to Counterpoint Research. It sold 3.2 million iPhones in the country in 2017, but high tariffs on imported electronic devices continue to push consumers toward cheaper alternatives from Xiaomi, Samsung, and other phone makers. In February, India announced the latest tax increase on imported mobile phones from 15 percent to 20 percent, and that came under two months after the previous increase.

Last year, Apple started manufacturing the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S in India in an effort to exempt the phones from import duties and reduce their price, but the company’s facilities have yet to start running at full capacity. Apple doesn’t manufacture its latest iPhone models domestically, so they still incur import levies.

“iPhone India sales were weak in the first half of 2018 and, even if they show a big jump in the traditionally strong second half, Apple will still fall short of last year,” said Neil Shah, a research director with Counterpoint who spoke to Bloomberg.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has made upbeat comments about the company’s performance in the Indian market, despite Apple’s sluggish growth and single-digit market share.

Cook believes that young, aspiring Indians will look to upgrade their devices as they move up the socio-economic ladder, but sales have yet to reflect that prediction. Apple has also faced criticism for the poor performance of core services like Apple Maps and Siri in India, suggesting the Apple ecosystem has yet to align well to the usage and value of Indian users.

Tag: India

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Apple Says Third-Generation Keyboards Exclusive to 2018 MacBook Pro

Last month, Apple initiated a Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro, after determining that a “small percentage” of the keyboards in 2015-2017 MacBook and 2016-2017 MacBook Pro models may experience keys that feel “sticky,” repeat, or do not respond in a consistent manner.



Apple did not identify a cause for the issues, which they call “behaviors,” but they’re believed to be caused by dust and other particulates becoming stuck in the butterfly switch mechanism underneath keycaps.

Apple has been servicing affected keyboards free of charge, with the process involving the replacement of one or more keys, or the whole keyboard. For the MacBook Pro, the replacements are second-generation keyboards — often the 2017 variant with slightly different markings on the Control and Option keys.

Then, last week, Apple surprised us with new 2018 MacBook Pro models that feature an “improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing.” These models are not eligible, at least not now, for Apple’s service program.

Apple hasn’t directly acknowledged whether the quieter, third-generation keyboards dually address the keyboard issues, but iFixit discovered the 2018 MacBook Pro has a thin, silicone barrier underneath each key, which they believe are intended to prevent the dust and crumbs from getting stuck.

iFixit discovered a thin, silicone layer underneath keys on the 2018 MacBook Pro


For this reason, some customers have been hoping that Apple will start swapping out second-generation keyboards with third-generation keyboards, as part of its service program, but MacRumors has learned that isn’t the plan.

When asked if Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers will be permitted to replace second-generation keyboards on 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models with the new third-generation keyboards, if necessary, Apple said, no, the third-generation keyboards are exclusive to the 2018 MacBook Pro.

Hopefully, in that case, it means that Apple has quietly tweaked the second-generation keyboard to be more reliable. It wouldn’t really make sense for Apple to replace keyboards with ones that are just as prone to break again, especially if the third-generation keyboards offer a fix.

One possibility is that the third-generation keyboards aren’t backwards compatible with 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models to begin with. The keyboard is actually one part of a larger component called the “top case,” which has a glued-in battery, and this part may have changed slightly in 2018 models.

Of course, it is possible that a few customers who send in their 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro may end up with a third-generation keyboard in rare circumstances, should it prove to be compatible, at the discretion of Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers. We’ll have to wait and see.

To initiate a repair, head to the Contact Apple Support portal, select Mac → Mac notebooks → Hardware Issues → Keyboard not working as expected → Bring in for Repair and book an appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. Remember to back up your Mac before any servicing.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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