This week’s top stories: Apple Music launches on Amazon Echo, a major Philips Hue update, more

In this week’s top stories: A closer look at the Apple Watch Series 4’s Heart Rate app, aggressive new in-store iPhone marketing, Apple releases iOS 12.1.2 and watchOS 5.1.3 to beta testers, and more.



Philips this week released a “finally” update to its Hue lights. With this week’s update, Hue lights are better able to handle power outages. In the past, Hue lights would come back on at full brightness following a power outage, no matter the state they were in before. Now, Hue lights can be configured to return to their previous state following a power interruption.

Earlier this week, we explained how the Apple Watch Series 4 Heart Rate app is able to take “faster reading with higher fidelity using the Digital Crown. With watchOS 5.1.2, the Heart Rate app uses the Digital Crown for heart rate measurements, as opposed to the infrared light-based technology used previously.

As part of its continued marketing of iPhone trade-in deals, Apple launched an aggressive new in-store campaign. This marketing effort uses displays at Apple’s retail stores to promote iPhone trade-in deals. Read more here.

In an unprecedented move, Apple launched its own discounts on HomePod this week. The company is offering Apple Music subscribers the ability to save on HomePod purchases as part of a holiday promotion running until tomorrow.

Qualcomm and Apple continued their heated legal battle this week. China granted an iPhone import and sale ban, but iPhones remain on-sale in the country. Apple also said it will release an iOS update in China to address the patents involved in the Qualcomm legal case.

Last but not least, Apple Music officially launched to Amazon Echo devices yesterday. With this support, you can now connect your Apple Music account to Alexa and use it as your default music library source. Read more in our hands-on right here.

These and the rest of this week’s top Apple stories below…

iOS | macOS | tvOS | watchOS |

iPhone |

Mac + iPad Pro |

Apple Watch |

Top Apple stories, retail |

Accessories |

Top Apple stories, company |

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This week’s top videos |

9to5Mac Daily |

Listen to a recap of the top Apple news of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Happy Hour Podcast #203 |

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss 9to5Mac’s exclusive iPhone XS Smart Battery Case story, a limited HomePod discount holiday strategy, Qualcomm’s effort to block iPhone sales in China, location privacy on iOS apps, Apple Watch Series 4 heart rate features and battery life, the wait for an update on AirPower, and much more.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Making The Grade |

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.

Holiday shopping at 9to5Toys |

As always, we’ll have all of this year’s best holiday shopping deals and news over at 9to5Toys. If you’re not yet following us on Twitter, be sure to lock that in.

We also have a new 9to5Toys iOS app that’s now available for FREE. Customizable alerts, Apple Watch compatibility and more ensure that you’ll be up to date on all of the best deals throughout the holiday shopping season.

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Featured in top image: Dell 38-inch UltraSharp Curved Monitors, Grovemade’s Desk Shelf System, Nixie Tube Clock, Apogee Quartet, KRK VXT6 Studio Monitor speakers, Classicbot Classic Vintage Mac Toy. Read about the setup over on 9to5Toys as part of the ‘Behind the Screens’ series. 


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