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eBay Debuts New Sitewide Coupon Letting You Take 15% Off an Order Today Only

eBay this morning has debuted a new 15 percent off sitewide coupon for its shoppers, which will last until 6:00 p.m. PT tonight. This means that for the next ten hours you can save 15 percent off a minimum purchase of $25 across eBay, although there are the usual exclusions of warranties and protection plans, coins and paper money, gift cards and coupons, and real estate.

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

You’ll have to use the coupon within a single transaction, and it will be capped at a maximum value of $100. To use the discount, head to eBay and browse, add items that total over $25 to your cart, and enter the coupon code PICKSOON in the checkout screen. eBay shoppers with an address located in the United States, Canada, Latin America, or the Caribbean are eligible for the coupon.

eBay’s sitewide coupons are a great chance to save on a huge variety of products, which can include Apple MacBooks, iPads, iPhone cases, Apple TV 4K, and more. Another good idea for the sitewide coupon is looking for discounts on HomeKit items, including the Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm Smarter Kit, the iDevices Switch and Outdoor Switch, Philips Hue’s range of products, and more.

As with any eBay shopping, unless the item is being sold by an official retailer’s eBay store — like Best Buy’s Nanoleaf Aurora kit — it’s important to remember that buying off of eBay does come with some risk. To be safe, remember to check the seller’s item sold count and positive feedback rating. It’s also typically useful to see if the images provided appear to be taken by the seller and not used from stock imagery of the product.

Head to eBay and eBay’s Daily Deals pages to start shopping, and remember that the PICKSOON coupon code will expire tonight at 6:00 p.m. PT. You can also find more information on other sales happening throughout the week in our Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple DealsTag: eBay
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Five Apple Stores to Reopen This Saturday With Modernized Designs

Apple has announced that five of its retail stores across the United States and Australia will reopen this Saturday, September 29. Four of the stores have moved to new locations, while one has been renovated.

Apple Scottsdale Fashion Square via The Arizona Republic/Storeteller

  • Apple Lehigh Valley: An expanded Apple Store is opening in the outdoor section of Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, near Allentown, on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. local time.
  • Apple Deer Park: An expanded Apple Store is opening in the outdoor Deer Park Town Center shopping complex in Deer Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. local time.
  • Apple Scottsdale Fashion Square: A new Apple Store opens at the Scottsdale Fashion Square shopping mall in Scottsdale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. local time. Apple’s nearby store at Biltmore Fashion Park will be permanently closed after Friday.
  • Apple Green Hills: Apple has renovated its store at The Mall at Green Hills in Nashville, Tennessee. The store reopens in its existing location on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. local time.
  • Apple Robina: A new Apple Store is opening in the Robina Town Centre shopping mall in Robina, Australia, roughly 50 miles south of Brisbane along the Gold Coast, on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. local time. Apple’s existing location in the mall will be permanently closed after Friday.

Apple has been modernizing its chain of over 500 retail stores since 2015, as part of an initiative led by Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts and design chief Jony Ive. The remodeled stores often gain additional square footage, which many locations desperately need due to ever-increasing customer traffic.

Apple’s latest retail design typically includes large glass doors, large video screens for product marketing and in-store events, and wall-mounted sequoia wood shelves called Avenues for smaller products and accessories.

These reopenings will occur eight days after the launch of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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iPhone XR Receives FCC Approval Ahead of October 19 Pre-Orders

Apple received approval from the FCC today to sell the iPhone XR in the United States, ahead of pre-orders next month.

Apple can now remove the following fine print from the iPhone XR product page on its website, although it has yet to do so:

iPhone XR has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. iPhone XR is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.

iPhone XR pre-orders begin Friday, October 19, with the first deliveries to customers and in-store availability starting a week later, on Friday, October 26. The colorful device starts at $749 in the United States.

With a $250 lower price point, the iPhone XR doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max. Some of the trade-offs include an LCD rather than OLED display, an aluminum instead of stainless steel frame, and a single rather than dual rear camera. Read our full comparison.

Nevertheless, the iPhone XR has the same A12 Bionic chip as the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and its advertised battery life is longer than both of those devices. It also has a nearly edge-to-edge display with a notch, Face ID, a glass back, wireless charging, Portrait Mode with Depth Control, and Smart HDR.

Given its many similarities to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, priced from $999 and $1,099 respectively, many tech reviewers have suggested waiting for the less-expensive iPhone XR. Orders begin in three weeks.

As far as FCC approval is concerned, it is a routine step before the launch of any new iPhone, as Apple waits until the last minute to receive approval from the necessary regulatory agencies, presumably to avoid leaks.

Related Roundup: iPhone XRTag: FCCBuyer’s Guide: iPhone XR (Caution)
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Cardiogram Partners With Life Insurance Company to Offer Apple Watch Owners No-Cost $1,000 Accidental Death Plans

Apple Watch app Cardiogram, which is designed to provide you with more information on the heart rate readings obtained from the Apple Watch, is teaming up with Greenhouse Life Insurance Company and Amica Life to offer up to $1,000 worth of accidental death insurance to Apple Watch owners.

Cardiogram users can get the deal starting today through the Cardiogram app for iOS. The offer is available in Wisconsin, Arizona, Indiana, and Georgia, and will be expanding to other states in the future.

Greenhouse Life Insurance Company, launched from RGA, and Amica Life are the latest insurance companies to embrace the Apple Watch. Health and life insurance providers have been increasingly incorporating data from wearable devices into their plans to encourage preventative care.

Companies like John Hancock and Aetna, for example, provide discounted Apple Watch devices to their customers, encouraging them to be more active to improve health.

“Ultimately, life insurers save dollars by saving lives,” said Brandon Ballinger, co-founder of Cardiogram. In multiple clinical studies, Cardiogram has validated the accuracy of its artificial intelligence-based algorithm, DeepHeart, to detect multiple chronic conditions – including hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes and atrial fibrillation – using the heart rate sensor on consumer wearables. “This launch is a step toward using wearables to improve health. One of the first challenges we faced was to distill the complex world of life insurance into a simple set of screens that ordinary people can understand on their phones.”

The Cardiogram accidental death insurance plan provides coverage in the case of a fatal accident. It is not as comprehensive as full coverage life insurance, but it does not require a medical examination. Customers who opt into a free $1,000 plan have the option to upgrade to $100,000 to $500,000 worth of coverage for $9 to $41 per month.

In addition to the Apple Watch, the program is also available for all devices that support Cardiogram, which includes accessories from Garmin and those that run WearOS from Google.

Cardiogram can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Cardiogram
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Apple Updates Logic Pro X and MainStage 3 With New Features

Apple today updated Logic Pro X, its software designed for professional audio editing. Version 10.4.2 of Logic Pro X introduces several useful new tweaks and updates to Logic Pro X features.

Users can now relocate the Sound Library to an external storage device if desired, and Smart Tempo is able to analyze tempo data across multi-track recordings to define a Project Tempo. Smart Tempo also now analyzes the tempo of MIDI performances recorded without a metronome, and a new mixer mode lets channels strip fader and pan controls.

A full list of everything that’s new in the Logic Pro X update is below:

– The Sound Library can be relocated to an external storage device
– Smart Tempo can analyze tempo data across multi-track recordings to define the Project Tempo
– Imported multi-track stems can follow or define Project Tempo
– Smart Tempo now analyzes the tempo of MIDI performances recorded without a metronome
– Alchemy provides drag and drop hot zones that let you select re-synthesis and sampling options while importing audio
– Alchemy allows numerical editing of parameter values
– Dragging one automation point over another now aligns them vertically
– New mixer mode allows channel strip fader and pan controls to be used to set send level and pan
– Automatic Slurs can be applied to selected notes in the Score Editor
– Add a photo to track or project notes to help remember key session details or studio hardware settings
– This update also contains numerous stability and performance improvements

Apple has also updated MainStage 3, which accompanies Logic Pro X and is designed to turn the Mac into a live rig. A long list of new features have been added to MainStage, as outlined in the release notes listed below:

– Channel Strip MIDI input inspector allows any MIDI CC data to be filtered, transformed or passed through
– Text notes can be added to the bottom of channel strips
– The Metronome is now fully configurable, with separate settings for Bar, Group, Beat, and Division
– This update also contains numerous stability and performance improvements

Sound Library
– The Sound Library can be relocated to an external storage device
– 2 vintage brush kits for Drum Kit Designer
– More than 800 new loops in a variety of instruments and genres
– New Visions library for Alchemy adds 150 cinematic presets

– ChromaVerb is a sophisticated new algorithmic reverb with a colorful, interactive interface for creating rich acoustic spaces
– Space Designer offers a new design and a scalable, Retina interface
– Step FX adds rhythmic multi-effect processing using 3 powerful step sequencers and an X/Y pad
– Phat FX makes your tracks bigger and bolder using 9 effects that add warmth and punch to your sounds
– The Vintage EQ Collection provides 3 accurate models of vintage analog EQs from the 1950s to the 1970s
– Studio Strings and Studio Horns are deeply sampled, realistic ensemble instruments with custom articulation controls
– Mellotron is now available as a standalone instrument plug-in
– Retro Synth now offers 18 different filter models
– The length of individual steps in the Arpeggiator plug-in are adjustable
– Loopback now applies a small crossfade at each loop cycle to reduce the likelihood of clicks or other audio artifacts

– Alchemy provides drag and drop hot zones that let you select re-synthesis and sampling options while importing audio
– Alchemy allows numerical editing of parameter values
– Alchemy adds 12 new synthesized formant filter shapes
– Alchemy now offers a side chain input that can be used as a source for envelope followers
– Alchemy includes an automatic time align feature for improved morphing
– New additive effects in Alchemy expand the options for filtering and modulating sound

Logic Pro X can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $199.99. [Direct Link]

MainStage 3 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $29.99. [Direct Link]
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How to make calls on the HomePod

If you have a HomePod and an iPhone, we have good news: You can now make calls from the HomePod, too. Apple has recently equipped the HomePod and Siri with all they need to turn the HomePod into a phone speaker whenever you want. Interested? Here’s how to make, take, and transfer calls with your HomePod.

Prep steps

Step 1: Before you begin, update your iPhone and your HomePod. Your HomePod will typically install software updates automatically, but you can open up the Home app to make sure. Tap the round Home icon in the upper left corner and select Software Update to check. When any updates have been applied, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2: Double check to make sure your iPhone is on the same Apple account and wireless network as your Homepod.

Step 3: Head to your iPhone and go to Settings. Look for Siri & Search, and make sure the options for Listen for Hey Siri and Press Home for Siri are turned on (or just one of them, depending on how you prefer to use Siri). Then open up the Home app, go to your HomePod Settings, and make sure the same options are turned on there.

Step 4: While you are in the Home app and working on HomePod settings, look for the feature that says Personal Requests, under the Siri on HomePod label. Make sure that Personal Requests is turned on, this guarantees that Siri can handle the job.

Calling someone

Step 1: Make sure your iPhone is reasonably close by and turned on.

Step 2: Say, “Hey Siri, call [person’s name]. This needs to be the right name for a contact that your iPhone can recognize, which is something to consider if you like giving people cute nicknames in your contacts list. Also keep in mind that the full name is best, since you might have someone else with the same first name in your contacts.

Step 3: Talk! When finished, you can say, “Hey Siri, hang up” or words to that effect, and the call will end.

Someone is calling you

Step 1: Get within speaking range of your HomePod and say, “Hey Siri, answer my phone.”

Step 2: Talk! When you are done with the conversation, you can say, “Hey Siri, hang up.”

Step 3: Did you not make it to the HomePod in time? You can also say, “Hey Siri, who just called?” to get more information about the caller without having to take out your phone.

Transferring to HomePod in the middle of a call

Step 1: Tap the audio button on your phone. It looks like a speaker and a Bluetooth signal together. A list of available, wirelessly connected devices will pop up on the bottom of your iPhone. Look for the name of your HomePod and select it.

Step 2: Watch for a green light on your HomePod. When the green light comes on, the call has been connected and you can resume it.

Note: For all of these methods, you can still use your iPhone to control the conversation when necessary. Tapping the mute button, for example, will mute on the conversation on the HomePod as well. This is why it’s a good idea to keep your phone close at hand!

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9 of the most unusual wellness wearable devices

Packed with everything from an FDA-cleared EKG reader to an assortment of smart fitness tracking tools, the Apple Watch Series 4 is currently the toast of the health-conscious wearables world.

But there are plenty of other, more experimental wellness wearables out there — able to do everything from take blood to monitoring how much UV light we soak up. Here are some of the most intriguing.

A Fitbit for alcohol

Did you recently find yourself in front of your computer at some ungodly hour, maxing out your credit card buying multiples of every new Apple device. There are two possible options: Either you’re a massive fan with a whole lot of disposable income or you were very drunk. If it’s the latter, you might want the join the line for alcohol-monitoring wearable created by Milo Sensors.

Called Proof, it’s a wearable device that will tell you when you’ve had too much to drink — like a Fitbit that tells you to ease up on the booze. It does this by tracking the alcohol molecules present in the skin. While it’s not available to buy just yet, according to its creators it will be capable of measuring intoxication levels far more rapidly than a regular breathalyzer.

A blood-sipping wearable

No, it’s not some kind of medieval monastic device to remind you about human suffering. Instead, this eMosquito wearable pierces your skin at regular intervals to take and analyze blood samples.

Created by researchers at Canada’s University of Calgary, it’s intended as a wearable for diabetes sufferers — which will mean the wearer no longer has to stop and think about pricking their finger for a blood sample. It’s still a work in progress, but in the future the team hopes it might also prove valuable for carrying out other tests, too, such as genetic testing or cancer screening.

An anti-UV smart wearable

If you’re the kind of rugged individuals who prefers their smart, health-tracking wearable to come in the form a tattoo instead of a smartwatch, the folks at San Francisco-based LogicInk have you covered. They have developed a smart temporary tattoo, worn on the skin, which changes color as it’s exposed to sunlight.

The tattoo features a design consisting of three concentric rings, created from proprietary inks, which gradually transitions from white to purple. When all three have gone purple, wearers know they’ve reached their daily UV limit.

A tattoo that monitors your insides

LogicInk aren’t the only people making smart health-tracking wearables in the form of tattoos. Researchers at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed Dermal Abyss, a system of biosensitive inks which change color with changes in the body.

These inks can effectively measure the concentration of glucose, sodium, and pH in the skin’s interstitial fluid, which surrounds cells. The idea of tattoos to measure internal health is still at a relatively early stage, but it could be an immensely helpful (and non-invasive) way of offering up early warnings signs about changes in a person’s health.

Helping people avoid falls

The new Apple Watch is capable of telling when a person has fallen down and calling for help. But a wearable device created by researchers at Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de València aims to make sure that they don’t fall down to begin with. Called FallSkip, it’s a custom smart waistband which works in conjunction with a mobile app.

By analyzing a person’s balance and gait patterns, coordination, reaction time, and muscle strength using an in-built accelerometer and gyroscope, it awards a score indicating a person’s chances of falling in the near future. The team hopes that the wearable will one day be a standard tool in every physician’s clinic to help optimize care for the growing elderly population.

Aiding people with autism


Unlike some of the other projects on this list, this one isn’t so much a new wearable device as it is a new medical application for an existing one — in this case, Google’s ill-fated Google Glass. At Stanford University, researchers have been investigating ways that Google’s headset could be used by people with autism to identify the expression displayed by the people they are interacting with.

This is something that those on the autistic spectrum can have particular difficulty with. It’s not meant to be used in all social situations, but rather as a training tool at home, with users matching up emojis to acted-out emotions on the part of a parent or caregiver. It can also help to promote eye contact.

A pollution-tracking device

Whether it’s keeping track of how many steps we take or monitoring our heart rate, today’s mainstream wearables can monitor plenty of information about ourselves. But what about the world around us? An intriguing device called the PocketLab Air promises to keep everyone informed about the levels of carbon dioxide and ozone, particulate matter, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, altitude, dew point, heat index, and light intensity in their area.

This can then be shared to create a crowdsourced information map, potentially prompting changes in our individual behavior (where we go), but also bigger changes — like collecting the data that could show schools that they might consider creating a “no-idling zone” to protect the health of their students. Strictly speaking, this is more of a “carryable” than a wearable, but we’re counting it since the whole idea is that you take it with you wherever you go!

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How to fast charge your iPhone

The arrival of the new iPhones means there has never been a better time to grab yourself a slice of Apple’s pie, whether you’re looking to grab one of the newest iPhones around or take advantage of the lowered prices for older iPhone models.

But while Apple’s specs and iOS 12 ensure that your day-to-day performance will be silky smooth, there are parts of the experience that won’t be as fast as you’d expect. Apple’s iPhones have supported fast charging for a while now, but unlike many Android counterparts, Apple has never included a fast charger with an iPhone. Unfortunately, getting your hands on a fast charger for your iPhone 8 or above does require you to spend a bit more cash.

But there are a lot of chargers out there, and it might not be clear which one you should grab to charge your iPhone super-fast. Don’t worry, we’ve done the legwork and the research to find out. Here’s how you can fast charge your iPhone, from the 8 to the XS Max.

What is fast charging and why can’t my charger do it?

We’ve written a comprehensive guide to fast charging, but suffice it to say here that fast charging allows for power to be transmitted to your iPhone’s battery faster than would be possible with a slower charger or from your computer or laptop. However, while the phone is able to regulate the amount of charge that it receives, it needs to have a charger that can send it enough power.

How much faster is fast charging? Apple claims that fast charging will refill up to 50 percent of your iPhone’s battery in just 30 minutes. Charging speeds that fast mean you can say goodbye to overnight charging entirely.

But, the 5W charger that comes with most Apple iPhones is not able to fast charge. It’s able to supply power fast enough to recharge an iPhone eventually, but it’s not able to transmit charge fast enough to charge up anything larger, like an iPad.

Most iPads come with a 12W charging block instead. If you own an iPad you can use one of these to soup up your iPhone’s charging rate — there’s no harm in doing so, and it won’t harm your phone in any way, since the phone will never take more charge than it can handle. However, Apple’s iPhones from the iPhone 8 onwards are capable of an even faster rate of charging, and getting that speed requires an even stronger charger.

Apple’s official fast charger

While Apple doesn’t supply a fast charger with any of its iPhones, it does recommend a way for you to get access to fast charging easily by purchasing a new cable and charger for your device. This is far from the least expensive option, but if you’re happy to spend the money to get your charger straight from Apple, here’s what you need.

The cable

Unfortunately, the cable you received with your iPhone won’t cut it for fast charging. Apple’s fast charging system uses USB-C — the advanced version of USB that’s now used in many Android phones. USB-C is capable of transmitting power faster than older USB standards, and fast charging on iPhones requires a USB-C to Lightning cable.

Apple offers an official Apple USB-C to Lightning cable for $19, and getting your hands on one is as simple as popping into your nearest Apple Store or ordering from Apple’s online store.

Buy it now from:


The power adapter

Like the official cable, the charger needs to be something a little special, too. It’s a 30W adapter with a USB-C port, rather than the usual USB-A port.

Happily, some of you might already have one of these knocking around — and that’s because it’s part of the charger that comes with many of Apple’s MacBooks. Most MacBooks made from 2015 and later use USB-C compatible charging blocks, and you can use one of these to fast charge your iPhone.

If you’re rocking a MacBook Pro, then you might have a charger that’s even more powerful than the 29W or 30W varieties, but Apple has confirmed that even the 61W and 87W versions are safe to use with your iPhone 8 or newer phone. Remember, the amount of power being drawn is regulated by your phone, so it will never draw more than it can handle — the charger can’t force your phone to accept a wattage it can’t handle.

If you don’t already have one of these adapters lying around, then picking them up is fairly easy. Like the cable, head over to your nearest Apple Store or head online and find the 30W USB-C Power Adapter for $49.

Please note: If you are buying an adapter just for iPhone fast charging, don’t buy an adapter stronger than 30W. iPhones can only take charge up to 30W, so a more powerful charger would just cost more money and not offer any extra benefit.

Buy it now from:


The cheaper options

As you might have noticed, Apple’s fast charging package comes in at the princely sum of $68. While iPhones aren’t exactly budget devices themselves, that’s still a hefty amount of dollar. Thankfully, Apple doesn’t hold a monopoly where iPhone fast charging is concerned, and you can get cheaper options from elsewhere that will do much the same job at a much lower price.

Please note: We haven’t tested the below products, so use at your own risk.

You might struggle to find a reliable USB-C to Lightning cable for much less than Apple’s asking price, but it’s the charging adapter where you’ll find the biggest savings. You can grab anything with a USB-C port and enough power, but make sure it supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) and stick to reputable brands.

A good choice is this 30W USB-C wall charger. It costs just $26, saving you $23, is well reviewed and comes from Anker, a reputable accessory company. You should be fairly secure using this as your iPhone’s fast charger, and it will work perfectly with Apple’s cable.

Buy it now from:


If you really need to avoid buying Apple’s cable for whatever reason, there are alternatives. Aukey’s USB-C to Lightning cable will save you a dollar, and will supposedly fast charge an iPhone. You might be able to find even cheaper cables, but we recommend being careful where cables are concerned, as a cheap or low-quality cable can cause major issues or even become a fire hazard.

Buy it now from:


Look mom, no wires

Finally, what about fast charging via a wireless charger? Well, while it’s possible to get a faster charging wireless pad, the technology hasn’t yet reached the point where it can outpace the best wired chargers out there. However, if you’re still interested, check out our favorite wireless chargers to find some great options.

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ECG Feature on Apple Watch Could Take Years to Be Approved in the United Kingdom

Earlier this month, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4 with a new electrocardiogram (ECG) feature that measures the electrical activity of your heartbeat, providing you with a heart rhythm classification that can be shared with your doctor. The feature isn’t out yet, but it will be limited to Series 4 models in the United States later in 2018.

Today, 9to5Mac shared a potential time window for the launch of the ECG feature in the United Kingdom. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) explains that the process starts by examining Apple’s documentation surrounding the ECG feature and performing an audit of the quality assurance system.

While this step doesn’t appear to be lengthy, the proceeding steps could make the process longer. MHRA says it would require Apple to perform a new clinical investigation to judge the effectiveness of the ECG on Apple Watch, but Apple would likely not be able to use any of the data from the studies it’s already completed because MHRA requires companies to notify the regulator in advance of a study.

Once the study is submitted, MHRA has 60 days to approve it (which may become longer if the regulators have further inquiries for Apple), and then Apple can begin the study. These last few steps are what the MHRA say “could potentially add years” onto the debut of the ECG in the UK.

You may need to carry out a clinical investigation as part of the process to obtain a CE marking for your medical device. You must inform MHRA if you are planning to do this at least 60 days before starting your investigation [providing] some basic details about the investigational device, the intended population, the type of study, and estimated application date.

The last factor could be the most time consuming and could potentially add years onto the CE marking process.

Despite the potential for years-long approval, Apple may find ways to expedite this process. While the United Kingdom remains part of the European Union, it’s possible that Apple could receive approval from a broader regulatory body and sidestep the MHRA’s processes.

In the United States, Apple has obtained de novo FDA clearance for the ECG feature in the Apple Watch Series 4 and the feature that can send a notification if an abnormal heart rate has been detected. However, FDA clearance is not the same as FDA approval and the FDA does not recommend that the ECG feature be used by those under 22 or those who have already been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

The FDA warns that Apple’s ECG app is not designed to replace traditional methods of diagnosis or treatment and is intended for informational use only. The Series 4 is the first ECG product being offered over the counter directly to consumers.

Elsewhere, Apple has said it is working with Health Canada to bring the ECG functionality to the Canadian market, although no timeline has been specified.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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Is the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro still worth buying in 2018?


Best answer: The NVIDIA Shield TV Pro offers 500GB of storage packed into an otherwise identical form factor as the standard 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV. Whether that added storage is worth it is up to you, but it’s still the best Android TV box you can buy in 2018. NVIDIA has done a great job of offering software updates that continually make the Shield TV better than before, and the 16GB is a great option for any habitual streamer.

  • Amazon: NVIDIA Shield TV Pro ($299)

The Shield TV Pro is what you make of it


The NVIDIA Shield TV Pro stands atop NVIDIA’s Android TV lineup as the premium offering, with it’s biggest differentiating feature being the 500GB of internal storage. In terms of performance, it’s going to operate just the same as the non-Pro model including support for 4K TVs. But all that extra space gives you more room for making the Shield your own in countless ways.

The extra internal storage included with the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is only worth the money if you plan to make the most of it.

As popular as media streaming has become in 2018, there’s still something to be said for the simplicity of offline content. Let’s say you’ve got a massive library of movies, TV shows, and music — with the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro, you can load all that great stuff on and enjoy it using Plex, an outstanding media player that’s included with each Shield. Also included with the Shield TV Pro is the Plex Media Server app which lets you keep your media library instantly accessible on the Shield, and streamable to other devices (phones, tablets, video game consoles, etc.) running the Plex app.

But maybe you’re eyeing the Shield TV because it’s great for gaming. There are a ton of great games available across the Google Play Store, NVIDIA Games, and GEFORCE Now libraries, along with NVIDIA GameStream which lets you stream games from your PC to your Shield. With all that storage space, you’re also able to set up retro emulators and then load up the Shield with all your legally acquired ROMs.

That’s the true strength of the Shield TV Pro — the versatility to make it your own with your favorite media, games, and apps and the portability to easily set it up anywhere. On the software side, the Shield TV Pro has received regular updates with NVIDIA doing a good job of keeping the Shield experience fresh and exciting with new features continually added over the past three years.

You pay $100 for an extra 484GB

Deciding whether to spend an extra $100 on the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro will ultimately come down to the importance of having that extra storage on hand. It’s way more convenient to never have to worry about your Shield running out of storage, especially if you plan to continually load up content to enjoy offline.

You’ve still got options for expanding storage if you opt for the 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV. While the newest model did away with the microSD slot, you’re still able to mount extra storage via USB flash drive — and the 128GB SanDisk Ultra Fit ($31) is a sizeable and affordable solution.

Bottom line

The NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is worth the extra money if you know you’ll absolutely make use of all that extra storage space. Whether you want to load it up with offline media or a ton of awesome games, the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is right at home as the core of your home media entertainment.

Our pick

NVIDIA Shield TV Pro


$299 at Amazon

Control your smart home with your Shield.

The latest Shield bundle includes a SmartThings Link that connects via USB to convert your Shield into a Zigbee and Z-Wave smart home hub. This lets you connect and control an ever-growing number of compatible smart devices right from your couch. A great deal that makes the Shield that much more useful.

You could upgrade the standard version



Starting at $177 at Amazon

DIY for extra GBs.

You can save by getting the 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV — and we’d recommend either the Smart Home or Gaming bundles if you do because the value is there. From there, all you need is some external storage.

SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB 3.0 Flash Drive

$31 at Amazon

Feels like it’s wearing nothing at all!

This ultra-slim flash drive is the perfect way to add an extra 128GB of content to your Shield. Load it up on your computer, then install it in the back of your Shield and you’re off to the races!

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