Twitter tweaks timelines by prioritizing ‘most important’ tweets – but it’s opt-in for now

In a blog post today, Twitter has announced that it is beginning to roll out changes to its timeline, prioritizing ‘important’ tweets, but it’s not replacing the standard chronological timeline. Read more…

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Apple Pay Coming Soon to Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A and Au Bon Pain

Apple Pay is now available at more than 2 million retail locations, with merchants such as Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A and Au Bon Pain set to accept the system in stores imminently, reports The Business Times.

Online clothing retailer Zappos.com also added Apple Pay to its iPhone and iPad apps on Tuesday, following a number of requests from customers to use the feature.

The announcement by Apple comes alongside news that the mobile payment service exceeded the company’s goal to make it available at 1.5 million locations by the end of 2015. In-app purchases using the service also more than doubled in the last six months of 2015 compared with the first half, says the company.

Despite the upbeat announcement, Apple still has work to convince U.S. customers to use Apple Pay at retail stores. According to a survey by consumer researcher Pymnts and InfoScout, 16.6 percent of people who own newer iPhones tried Apple Pay in October, an increase from 9 percent in November 2014.

Apple Pay is set to expand to China early this year, making it the fifth country to adopt the payments service since its U.S. launch in October 2014. The service expanded to the United Kingdom in July 2015, followed by Australia and Canada last November in partnership with American Express. Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain are also expected to gain support later this year.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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Apple Ceases Free iTunes Radio Streaming Worldwide

Apple today officially ended free streaming of its iTunes Radio channels worldwide, incorporating the catalogue of stations into its subscription-based Apple Music service.

The change follows Apple’s announcement earlier this month that its free radio-listening feature would be discontinued at the end of January but would remain available to Apple Music subscribers.

As of this morning, iOS Music app users who tap on a radio station are bounced to a screen prompting them to join Apple’s premium streaming music service.

Likewise, iTunes users on a Mac who attempt to access the stations or create their own are met with a dialog window asking them to „Get on Our Wavelength“ and join Apple Music.

Users with an iTunes Match subscription are also no longer able to access the stations. However, Apple’s Beats 1 radio channel remains available to iTunes users worldwide as a free listening option.

Apple had quietly continued to offer ad-supported iTunes Radio stations in the United States and Australia even after the launch of Apple Music on June 30, 2015. However, after the company’s decision to wind down its mobile iAd platform, the feature was already being limited in other regions to those who pay for Apple’s streaming music service.

iTunes Radio was originally released with iTunes 11.1 and iOS 7 as a free ad-supported service, offering music discovery through featured and genre stations provided by Apple or through the creation of new stations based on a specific artist or song.

Tags: iTunes Radio, Apple Music, iAd
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Apple Ending Ad-Supported iTunes Radio Stations at End of January

As part of the winding down of its iAd platform, Apple today sent out a notice to customers who listen to its radio service letting them know the radio feature is being discontinued at the end of January.

In the email, Apple says that Beats 1 radio will be the only free listening option available to those who do not subscribe to the Apple Music service. Customers who listen to radio stations sans ads with an iTunes Match subscription are also receiving the emails and will no longer be able to listen to radio stations as an iTunes Match perk.

Apple has quietly continued to offer ad-supported iTunes Radio stations in the United States and Australia even after the launch of Apple Music, but with the end of its current iAd platform on the horizon, the feature will be limited to those who pay for Apple Music going forward. Customers in Australia are receiving emails stating the radio service will end on January 29, while U.S. customers are receiving emails that suggest it will no longer be available as of January 28.

Earlier this week, BuzzFeed reporter John Paczkowski said that Apple was working towards dismantling its in-house iAd sales team in favor of a more automated platform. This afternoon, Apple announced the end of its iAd App Network, and it’s likely there will be additional changes to products and services as the iAd platform is revamped.

Tags: iTunes Radio, Apple Music
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MacRumors Giveaway: Win an Automatic Adapter or Get a 20% Discount

Automatic has partnered with us for our next giveaway, graciously offering one Automatic Adapter that provides information about your car's status and performance and your driving habits via a companion app. The Automatic adapter was first announced in early 2013 with recent updates last year bringing a second-generation adapter with additional functionality and the release of an SDK and App Gallery to allow other apps to use data gathered by the adapter. The Automatic Adapter retails for $99.95

The Automatic Adapter connects to a car via its ODB-II diagnostic port, which is found on most newer cars sold in the US since 1996 (Automatic offers a car compatibility checker on its site). The Adapter gathers information on mileage, gas consumption, and driving performance by analyzing braking and acceleration. It can also check engine warning codes and provide information on what's wrong. If a collision is detected through the Adapter’s accelerometer, a Crash Alert is triggered and emergency services can be contacted automatically via the paired smartphone (this feature is available in the US only).

In addition to its own free companion iPhone app [Direct Link] (an Android app is also available), the Automatic Adapter can share its information with other apps in its App Gallery, which includes apps that track mileage for business expense purposes to smart home and fitness applications. For example, a Nest smart thermostat can be triggered to adjust the temperature at home based on your car’s location so it automatically warms or cools as you leave or arrive.

To enter to win the Automatic Adapter, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter your email address. Your email address will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and coordinate the delivery of the Adapter. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will run from today (January 15) at 12:00 pm Pacific time through 12:00 pm Pacific time on January 22. The winner will be chosen randomly on January 22 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address. The prize will be shipped to the winner for free.

Automatic is also offering a discount code to MacRumors readers that will take 20% off all purchases made at the company’s online store. MacRumors readers can enter code macrumors20 at checkout to receive the discount.

Tags: Automatic, giveaway
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YouTube Accuses T-Mobile of Downgrading All Video With Binge On Program

YouTube this morning provided a statement to The Wall Street Journal criticizing T-Mobile’s recently introduced Binge On program and accusing T-Mobile of throttling all video and not just the video of its Binge On partners.

Launched in November, Binge On is a T-Mobile video service that allows T-Mobile subscribers to watch video from content partners without it counting against customer data plans. The catch is that it uses a proprietary data compression algorithm to stream the video in 480p. While Binge On can be disabled, using the feature requires partner video to be watched in 480p, which T-Mobile calls „DVD quality.“

T-Mobile has 24 partners for Binge On, including Netflix, HBO, Sling TV, and more, but YouTube has not signed up to participate. Despite the fact that YouTube is not partnering with T-Mobile, the company says its video streams are still being downgraded to 480p quality, a problem YouTube would like fixed.

YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., said T-Mobile is effectively throttling, or degrading, its traffic. „Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent,“ a YouTube spokesman said.

The Internet Association also backed up YouTube’s claim, stating that T-Mobile’s Binge On service „appears to involve the throttling of all video traffic, across all data plans, regardless of network congestion.“

T-Mobile did not address YouTube’s complaints when questioned by The Wall Street Journal, instead giving a blanket statement about Binge On. Customers love „free streaming video that never hits their data bucket“ and „the quality of their video experience and the complete control they have.“

The United States Federal Communications Commission is looking into Binge On along with free data services from AT&T and Comcast. While there is no formal inquiry at this time, the FCC has asked the three companies to answer some questions about their free data practices. YouTube’s accusations could further spark the FCC’s interest, especially as some consumer advocates believe that programs like Binge On violate net neutrality rules.

Tags: T-Mobile, YouTube
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Apple Adds New Flyover Locations in U.S., Mexico and Europe

Apple today added 11 new Flyover locations to Apple Maps on Mac and iOS, highlighting landmarks and features across several countries including France, Spain, Mexico, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States.

For those unfamiliar with the Flyover feature in Apple Maps, it lets users see photo-realistic 3D videos of select locations, with tools for zooming, panning, and rotating to get a closer look at notable landmarks and points of interest. Some of the locations listed may have previously been available as Flyover destinations, but were just added to Apple’s list of Flyover locations.

The full list of new Flyover locations:

– Monument Valley, Arizona

– Detroit, Michigan

– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

– Pensacola, Florida

– Mazatlán, Mexico

– Annecy, France

– Gorges de l’Ardèche, France

– Antwerp, Belgium

– Münster, Germany

– Pamplona, Spain

– Utrecht, Netherlands

Flyover was introduced alongside iOS in 2012, but over the last three years, Apple has steadily added new Flyover locations to the Maps app. Earlier this year, Apple updated some major Flyover locations with real-time animated landmarks, making the Flyover experience even more immersive. Many Flyover locations have an additional City Tour feature that walks users through different landmarks in each city.

Tag: Apple Maps
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