September 17, 2018

The first iPhone XS sample photos are predictably gorgeous

Since Apple's iPhone event last week, much of the discussion about the new iPhones the company announced is about which one to buy. The "regularly-priced" iPhone XR doesn't give away many points to the more expensive iPhone XS, to the extent that some analysts think the iPhone XR will cannibalize sales of the iPhone XS. The biggest difference between the two devices is likely to be the camera. The iPhone XS has a similar-but-upgraded version of the dual-lens camera from the iPhone X, while the iPhone XR is rocking an upgraded single-lens setup. Is it worth paying $300 for a camera upgrade? That's between you and your wallet, but the first in-the-wild sample images are here to help. There are two sets of sample images floating around right now. The first is from Austin Mann, a renowned travel photographer who seems to always get his hands on new iPhones early. With that kind of access, it's worth remembering that this isn't a camera review; it's an example of what the hardware can do under completely ideal circumstances. You can check out the full gallery of high-res shots over on Flickr. The second set of images are more varied and, I think, give a better example of what the iPhone XS can do under more normal circumstances. They come from Pete Souza, the former White House photographer under President Obama. He took a bunch of pictures around Washington DC and shared them with the UK's Daily Mail.

'Smart phones have turned everyone into a photographer but they haven’t necessarily turned everyone into a “good” photographer,' he told Dailymail.com. Again, the full set of images are available on the Daily Mail's website.

September 17, 2018

How to install the public version of iOS 12 if you’re still on the beta

After months of frustrating and occasionally perilous beta testing, iOS 12 is finally available to the masses. Apple's performance-based software upgrade is available as an iTunes or over-the-air download, and anyone running iOS 11 can make the jump to iOS 12 right now. For users who have been on the beta profile for the last few months, the update won't come with any big surprises. The iOS 12 GM release was already pushed to beta testers last week, which means they've been benefiting from the same performance enhancements for days. But if you've been on the iOS 12 beta program for the last few months, the update to iOS 12 for the general population brings a rare opportunity to downgrade easily. If you have the iOS 12 beta profile installed right now, you'll keep on getting beta software updates as Apple begins testing iOS 12.1 beta. If you've had enough of the beta life, you can easily downgrade right now. All you have to do is go into Settings-->General, and scroll to the bottom where you should see an option called Profiles. Click on that, and you should see the iOS 12 Beta Software Profile. Click on that, and you should see a screen with the details of the profile. Hit Remove Profile, and you'll no longer be getting iOS 12 beta software updates. You'll want to reboot to make sure, but it's an extremely painless process. Normally, downgrading from the beta involves doing a full reset of your device from iTunes, but right now, since iOS 12 beta and general users are on the same version of the software, downgrading just takes a few moments of your time.
September 17, 2018

iOS 12 is available for everyone to download right now

It's going to be a big week for Apple. Two little devices called the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will be hitting shelves later this week, but right now, everyone else can get a virtually brand-new iPhone for free. That's because iOS 12, an update that promises to bring significant performance improvements to older iPhones, is available to download right this second. Apple has taken a rare break from rolling out new features to focus on performance in iOS 12. The bulk of the changes are things you won't really notice, like faster app opening and more stable performance. There are still a handful of new features, however, like an overhauled Photos app, the awesome new Measure feature, and a Screen Time digital nanny to help you control your electronics obsession. Installing iOS 12 on your compatible device really couldn’t be easier. The first step is obviously to back up your device using either iTunes or iCloud. Once that’s done, you’ve got two options for the installation. The more tedious method is to connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your computer and install the update using iTunes. You’ll download the iOS 12 file more quickly this way, but it’s still annoying. The easier method is to simply go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device and then follow the instructions to download and install iOS 12 over the air (OTA). The best news about iOS 12 is that it's available for every single device that can run iOS 11, which means iPhones all the way back to the iPhone 5S. Not sure if that includes you? The full list is below:
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch 6th generation
The full patch notes are below:

iOS 12 brings performance improvements and exciting new features to iPhone and iPad. Photos introduces new features to help you rediscover and share the photos in your library, Memoji—a new, more customizable Animoji—make Messages more expressive and fun, Screen Time helps you and your family understand and make the most of the time spent on devices, Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri, augmented reality becomes even more engaging with the ability for developers to create shared AR experiences, and new privacy features help protect you from being tracked on the web. This update introduces new features and improvements to:

Performance

  • iOS has been enhanced for a faster and more responsive experience across the system
  • All supported devices see improved performance, going back to iPhone 5s and iPad Air
  • Camera launches up to 70 percent faster, the keyboard appears up to 50 percent faster and typing is more responsive*
  • Apps launch up to twice as fast when your device is under heavy workload*

Photos

  • New For You tab helps you discover great photos in your library with Featured Photos, Effect Suggestions, and more
  • Sharing Suggestions proactively recommend sharing photos taken at events with the people who are in them
  • Search enhancements make it easier to find your photos with intelligent suggestions and multiple keyword support
  • Search for photos based on the place, business name, or event where you were when you took them
  • Improved camera import with faster performance and a new large preview mode
  • RAW support for editing images

Camera

  • Portrait mode improvements preserve fine detail between subject and background when using Stage Light and Stage Light Mono effects
  • QR codes are highlighted in the camera frame, making them easier to scan

Messages

  • Memoji, a new, more customizable Animoji, make Messages more expressive with personalized characters that are diverse and fun
  • Animoji now also include T. rex, ghost, koala, and tiger
  • Make Memoji and Animoji wink and stick out their tongue
  • New camera effects bring Animoji, filters, text effects, iMessage sticker packs, and shapes to the photos and videos you capture in Messages
  • Animoji recordings can now capture up to 30 seconds

Screen Time

  • Screen Time provides detailed information and tools to help you and your family find the right balance of time spent with apps and websites
  • See the time spent in apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received, and how often devices are picked up
  • App limits help you set the amount of time you or your child can spend in apps and on websites
  • Screen Time for kids lets parents manage how their child uses iPhone and iPad right from their own iOS devices

Do Not Disturb

  • Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location or calendar event
  • Do Not Disturb during Bedtime hides all notifications from your lock screen while you sleep

Notifications

  • Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
  • Instant Tuning gives you control over your notification settings right from the lock screen
  • New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Center without interrupting you

Siri

  • Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri
  • Add shortcuts using the “Add to Siri” button in supported apps, or in Settings > Siri and Search
  • Siri suggests shortcuts on the Lock screen and in Search
  • Get motorsports results, schedules, stats and standings for Formula 1, Nascar, Indy 500 and MotoGP
  • Search for photos by time, location, people, topic or recent trips to find relevant photos and Memories in Photos
  • Translate phrases in more languages, with support for over 40 language pairs
  • Check facts about celebrities, such as when they were born, and ask questions about food, including calories and nutrient content
  • Turn flashlight on or off
  • More natural and expressive voice now available in Irish English, South African English, Danish, Norwegian, Cantonese and Mandarin (Taiwan)

Augmented Reality

  • Shared experiences in ARKit 2 let developers create innovative AR apps you can experience together with friends
  • Persistence enables developers to save and reload experiences right from where you left off
  • Object detection and image tracking gives developers new tools to recognize real world objects and track images while they move through space
  • AR Quick Look extends AR throughout iOS, letting you view AR objects with built-in apps like News, Safari, and Files and share them with friends with iMessage and Mail

Measure

  • New augmented reality app to measure objects and spaces
  • Draw lines across surfaces or in free space to measure, and tap on a line’s label to see more information
  • Automatically measure rectangular objects
  • Capture, share and markup screenshots of your measurements

Privacy and Security

  • Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
  • Suppresses ad retargeting by reducing advertisers’ ability to identify iOS devices uniquely
  • Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
  • Reused passwords are flagged in Settings > Passwords & Accounts
  • Security code AutoFill presents one-time security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
  • Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
  • Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device

Apple Books

  • All-new design that makes discovering and enjoying books and audiobooks easy and fun
  • Reading Now makes it simple to get back to the book you’re currently reading or find great recommendations for what to read next
  • Add books to the new Want to Read collection to keep track of what you’d like to read next
  • The Book Store makes it easy to find your next favorite read with new and popular selections from our Apple Books editors and recommendations chosen just for you
  • The new Audiobooks store helps you find immersive stories and informative nonfiction books narrated by your favorite authors, actors, and celebrities

Apple Music

  • Search now supports lyrics so you can use a few of the words to find a song
  • Artist pages have an easier to browse design with a personalized station of any artist’s music
  • The new Friends Mix is a playlist of songs you’ll love from everything your friends are listening to
  • New charts to show you the daily top 100 songs in countries around the world

Apple News

  • Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics
  • The new sidebar on iPad and Channels tab on iPhone make it easy to jump straight to your favorite publications and discover new ones

Stocks

  • All-new design lets you easily view stock quotes, interactive charts, and top news on iPhone and iPad
  • Top Stories section includes articles selected by Apple News editors to highlight the latest news driving the market
  • Read Apple News stories right in the app, formatted to look great on iPhone and iPad
  • Watchlist includes color-coded sparklines that let you see daily performance at a glance
  • See an interactive chart for every ticker symbol, plus key details including after-hours price, trading volume, and more

Voice Memos

  • All-new design with improved ease of use
  • iCloud keeps your recordings and edits in sync across all of your devices
  • Available on iPad with support for both portrait and landscape orientation

TV

  • Get notified when movies and TV shows are available to watch in Up Next
  • Share your favorite movies, TV shows, and sporting events with universal links

Apple Podcasts

  • Now supports chapters for shows that include them
  • Skip 30 seconds or to the next chapter with forward and back buttons in your car or on your headphones
  • Easily manage new episode notifications from the Listen Now screen

Accessibility

  • Live Listen now works with AirPods to help you hear more clearly
  • RTT phone calling now works with AT&T
  • Speak Selection now supports using the Siri voice to speak text that you have selected

Other features and improvements

  • Camera effects in FaceTime transform your look in real-time
  • CarPlay adds support for third-party navigation apps
  • On supported campuses, use contactless student ID cards in Wallet to access buildings and pay with Apple Pay
  • Website icons can appear in tabs on iPad by enabling them in Settings > Safari
  • Weather includes air quality index in supported regions
  • Quickly swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go home on iPad
  • Swipe down from the top right to access Control Center on iPad
  • Mark Up includes a palette of additional colors and options to change line width and opacity for each tool
  • Battery usage chart in Settings now shows your usage for the last 24 hours or 10 days, and you can tap a bar to see app use for that period of time
  • On devices without 3D Touch, touch and hold the keyboard Space bar to turn your keyboard into a trackpad
  • Maps adds support for indoor maps for airports and malls with indoor positioning in China
  • New definition dictionary in Hebrew, and bilingual dictionaries in Arabic and English, and Hindi and English
  • New English thesaurus
  • Automatic software updates allow iOS updates to be installed automatically overnight
September 17, 2018

Photos and videos show Hurricane Florence’s terrifying aftermath

Although Hurricane Florence's immediate impact on the Carolinas wasn't as bad as some people expected, the rains that have been falling on the East coast for the last few days have brought flooding that seems decidedly Biblical. Wilmington, North Carolina, a city with a population of 110,000 people and an international airport, has been cut off from the rest of the world by flood waters. People have already died, and were it not for the heroic actions of hundreds of volunteers, more lives would be in peril. The power and danger of slow-moving flood water isn't as easy to visually grasp as, say, a news reporter braving vicious winds to demonstrate the effect. But thanks to professional and amateur photographers, you can at least get some sense of the devastation that Hurricane Florence is leaving in its path. The flooding is coming from rivers, rather than the ocean, thanks to the feet of rain that have fallen since Thursday night. In Wilmington, the roads, airport, and sea port are all closed, with no way in or out of the city. Power is still out for the majority of residents, and the ongoing flooding will make it difficult for the power company to begin work to restore downed lines. The Cape Fear river is not predicted to crest until Tuesday or Wednesday, so there's no immediate hope on hand for residents. https://twitter.com/ReedTimmerAccu/status/1041498108071497729 https://twitter.com/ReedTimmerAccu/status/1041382228184498176 https://twitter.com/LaurelCoons/status/1041004689230323713 Food, water, and gasoline are still in short supply for residents who remained. A curfew is in place, with residents instructed to stay off the streets between 8PM and 6AM to mitigate looting. Residents are still queuing at the few remaining stores (and restaurants) that are open: The effects of flooding are also being felt well outside of Wilmington, with much of North and South Carolina also affected: https://twitter.com/WRALSarah/status/1041691616904458245 https://twitter.com/wchs8fox11/status/1041665919624175618 https://twitter.com/robferdman/status/1041682292526264320
September 16, 2018

AT&T says 5G is going to bring carrier-locked phones back in a big way

5G will be making its proper mobile debut next year, according to everything we've heard. That means 5G smartphones -- and hopefully, they'll be real smartphones, not just tablets that we're calling phones -- running on real, mobile 5G networks that subscribers can sign up for. 5G promises much faster speeds and higher capacity, not to mention more consistent performance, so networks have been hyping up its arrival for yearas. But according to AT&T VP of radio networks and device design Gordon Mansfield, the arrival of 5G smartphones will bring some unintended consequences, at least in the short run. Speaking to PC Mag, Mansfield revealed that the unique demands of 5G will mean that initially, 5G smartphones won't be transferrable between networks. You know what that means: Carrier-locked devices are back, baby! The bad news comes courtesy of the current fragmented state of 5G, in which all the different carriers will be relying on different frequencies for their 5G signals. The hardware in smartphones, meanwhile, won't be advanced enough to easily support all the carriers' frequencies at once:
"It's not because there isn't a desire and we don't want to" have cross-compatibility, Mansfield explained. It's just that nobody has figured out how to cram the 28GHz 5G that Verizon and T-Mobile are using, and AT&T's 39GHz 5G, into one box yet. And while T-Mobile and Verizon are using similar 28GHz bands, T-Mobile is also putting 5G on the 600MHz band, which Verizon is not.
That's the bad news. The good news is that Mansfield sees the issue being resolved in the near future. "As an industry, that will be very quickly overcome; I don't think the single band introduction from the millimeter-wave point of view will last very long," he said. More than anything, the issue underscores how long it's going to be until 5G is as standardized and ubiquitous as 4G LTE currently is. Verizon is rolling out the first commercial "5G" service next month in a handful of cities, but even that is only a temporary stopgap: Verizon is using a proprietary version of 5G, and it's going to have to change out all the equipment for standardized versions within a year or two.
September 15, 2018

Please don’t buy an iPhone X right now

If you were doing something boring and normal like sleeping last night, you probably missed that iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max pre-orders kicked off at 3AM Eastern Time last night. The new iPhones will be in stores in a week, which means we've officially entered the dangerous twilight zone where a handful of misinformed (or desperate) people are going to buy an iPhone X for an eye-watering amount of money, either out of ignorance or need. Don't be one of them. Apple has done something unusual this year, entirely killing off the 2017 iPhone X in favor of new and shinier models. Normally, when a new flagship comes out, Apple simply discounts the previous-year model, and it becomes the "cheap" iPhone option. This year, that isn't going to happen, because in addition to the iPhone XS, Apple also launched the iPhone XR, a $749 iPhone for people who don't care about things like OLED vs LCD. But the iPhone XR doesn't go on sale until October, and the iPhone XS isn't in stores until September 21st. In the meantime, carriers and third-party sellers are trying to get rid of their iPhone X models with a modest discount: AT&T, for example is selling the iPhone X for $899 right now. A $100 discount on a phone that, until last week, was Apple's best iPhone doesn't sound too bad. But unless you absolutely have to walk out of a store right now, today, with the very best iPhone you can get your hands on, there is not one single valid reason to buy the iPhone X right now. The reason why not is very simple: the iPhone XR, which will be out in a month, is substantially cheaper and better than the iPhone X. Sure, it has an LCD screen rather than the theoretically better OLED, but Apple's LCD screens have always been fantastic, and nothing is about to change. The iPhone XR has exactly the same Face ID sensor as the iPhone X, the same form factor, the same waterproofing and wireless charging, and it actually has a much better processor. In fact, there's two things that the iPhone X has that the iPhone XR doesn't: 3D Touch, and a dual-camera setup on the back. If you're the kind of pereson who actually cares about having 3D Touch on their phone, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that you're also the kind of person who can wait an extra week to get an iPhone XS for almost the same price as an iPhone X. The dual-camera setup will be missed on the iPhone XR, but the single camera that Apple has put on the iPhone XR is better in its own right than the camera on the iPhone X, and the iPhone XR can also do Portrait Mode photos, which was the reason to buy an iPhone X in the first place. So if you can somehow find and iPhone X for $500 this week, then sure, go for it. It's still an excellent phone, and it's not going to be much worse than the iPhone XS or XR in any noticeable way. But if you can wait a week or a month, you can either have a much better phone for the same price, or a slightly better phone for significantly less money. That's one hell of a no-brainer.
September 14, 2018

Google’s search engine for China censors results for ‘democracy,’ ‘human rights,’ or ‘free speech’

Early in August, a report from The Intercept claimed that Google was working to make a China-friendly version of its search engine that would censor results to make the government happy. A number of Google engineers quit the company after learning about this particularly egregious breach of Google's "don't be evil" policy, and now yet another report from The Intercept reveals exactly what Google was willing to censor. According to the site's sources, "Google compiled a censorship blacklist that included terms such as “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize” in Mandarin."  Working with China to make a customized version of its search engine wouldn't be the first time that a tech company has kowtowed to an authoritarian government to remove content that it objects to -- for example, Apple made sure that the LGBTQ pride watch face for the Apple Watch wouldn't show up in Russia -- but the subject matter that Google was willing to block in China seems much broader:
The search engine would be operated as part of a “joint venture” partnership with a company based in mainland China, according to sources familiar with the project. People working for the joint venture would have the capability to update the search term blacklists, the sources said, raising new questions about whether Google executives in the U.S. would be able to maintain effective control and oversight over the censorship.
The report says that Chinese authorities would even have the ability to replace "weather and air pollution data" with Beijing-approved numbers, which if true would move Google particularly close to acting as an arm of the state-run media. Equally troubling is the allegation that Google would help the government identify anyone who dared search for a term that was on the government blacklist:

Sources familiar with the project said that prototypes of the search engine linked the search app on a user’s Android smartphone with their phone number. This means individual people’s searches could be easily tracked – and any user seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google.

More than anything, the report -- which is well worth reading in full -- shows the extent that even the biggest tech companies will go to in order to capture a share in a major emerging market. It's easy to argue that if Google doesn't acquiesce, a local firm will just do so anyway, but clearly Google's own employees think it's worth keeping the moral high ground.
September 14, 2018

T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T are all offering huge discounts on the iPhone X

Pre-orders for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max opened last night, and if you were hoping to score a new iPhone on launch day...well, let's just say you should start lining up now. Delivery dates have already slipped to a month after launch for some models, and the trend is likely to keep getting worse. Part of the cause for the rapid sell-out is that three of the four major wireless carriers are already offering unusually aggressive promotions on the new iPhones. Verizon and AT&T will both give you $700 off a second device if you buy two phones, and T-Mobile just announced that it's offering the same deal. Sprint, on the other hand, is offering a completely free 18-month lease with a qualifying trade-in, which means that iPhone 7 users could upgrade to a brand-new iPhone XS without actually spending any money. The deals from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all nearly identical. In all three cases, you have to buy two new iPhones, namely the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus. You can mix and match models, so the first phone can be an iPhone XS and the second an iPhone 8. Both devices have to be bought on 24-month installment plans or leases, and a new line of service has to be added. In T-Mobile's case, you also get a free extra line of service after adding one -- so, for example, if you already have two lines on T-Mobile, and add a third to qualify for the offer, you'll get a fourth line for free. T-Mobile only announced its offer this afternoon, well after the other carriers -- and after pre-orders went live -- making it look like a highly reactionary promotion. If you don't want two iPhones, then Sprint's lease deal will probably be the best. It's certainly the cheapest way to upgrade from an existing iPhone to an iPhone XS, given that most of the other trade-in offers only get you $300 off the retail price. Most of all, it's unusual to see such aggressive promotional pricing before a new iPhone has even hit stores. Demand for iPhones is traditionally so high at launch that people are queuing around the block to pay full price for one, and resellers on Craigslist and eBay are often able to charge a premium for the first few days after launch. Either carriers are estimating that demand will be lower than usual for the iPhone XS, or at least some of the networks are desperate to show some subscriber growth this quarter. Either way, it's good news for anyone who just wants a new iPhone.
September 14, 2018

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max pre-orders are about to go live: Everything you need to know

I hope that you're wide-eyed, bushy-tailed, and thoroughly caffeinated, because pre-orders for Apple's new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4 are about to go live. Because Apple enjoys messing with people's sleep schedules, the pre-orders will open at exactly 3:00AM ET/12:00AM PT today, September 14th. Given how things have gone in the past, we expect stock to remain available for a matter of minutes, so you're going to have to work fast.

Yes, that means that you’re going to have to get up in the middle of the night (or just stay awake staring at pictures of the new gold color for several hours), but it sure beats waiting in like for 24 hours like a sucker. We’re expecting stock to last for minutes, at the most, so you’ll need to work fast.

Traditionally, the fastest and easiest way to get a phone (from Apple at least) is through the iOS Apple Store app. You’ve still got a few minutes until pre-orders open, so take the time to make sure the app is updated, you’re logged in with your Apple ID, and all your shipping and payment information is up to date.

There’s also the option of going through Apple’s own website. In the past, it’s taken a few minutes to load and crashed under the number of people trying to log in, but it’s probably worth trying both at the same time if you’re determined.

Pre-orders are also available through the wireless carriers, which is often the easiest way to get a phone if stock is more limited on Apple's website or app. You can  preorder the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max using installment plans on any one of the four major US wireless carriers, namely Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Whichever way you decide to go, make sure you re-enter your credit card and shipping info long before preorders go live to be safe. Also, memorize the security code on your credit card in case you need to enter it again during the preorder process.

Here are the links to the carrier pre-order pages:

We have information on all the installment pricing in a separate post here, and the regular prices of all the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models are below:

iPhone XS

  • 64GB iPhone XS: $999
  • 256GB iPhone XS: $1,149
  • 512GB iPhone XS: $1,349

iPhone XS Max

  • 64GB iPhone XS Max: $1,099
  • 256GB iPhone XS Max: $1,249
  • 512GB iPhone XS Max: $1,449
September 13, 2018

iPhone XS pre-orders aren’t even open, but Verizon already has a killer deal

Pre-orders for Apple's new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max open at 3:00AM Eastern Time on Friday, September 14th, and if things go like usual, it's going to be hard to get even one new iPhone XS. Stock is usually limited for the first month or so of a new iPhone release, so we don't normally see good deals on the new iPhones until after Christmas time. But this year, Verizon is breaking with tradition and offering a massive discount to anyone willing to buy two iPhones direct from the carrier. All the usual terms and conditions apply, but if you're an eligible Verizon customer willing to sign away the next two years of your life, you can get $700 off your second iPhone when you buy at least two new iPhones on installment plans. The deal is pretty simple: buy two qualifying iPhones from Verizon on installment plans, and you'll get $700 off the second device. Qualifying iPhones are the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8+, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. This isn't quite a buy-one-get-one-free deal -- that's what you get for smartphones being so expensive these days! -- but it is a bonafide massive discount on a pair of new iPhones. Given that the only other deals you can really get right now are on trade-ins, which are often not great value given what you have to trade in, Verizon's deal is going to be difficult to beat. The offer is available for new and existing customers, but the catch is that you have to buy both phones on installment plans and add at least one new line of service. If you're an existing customer, adding a frivolous line of service is going to wipe out most of the savings from the deal. Obviously, that isn't an issue for a new customer, or someone who legitimately needs a new line. There are also a couple of other deals on new Apple products, including a bundle on buying a new iPad or Apple Watch:
  • You can get a guaranteed $100 minimum trade-in with the purchase of an iPhone Xs, Xs Max, 8, or 8+ on Verizon device payment. Discount will be applied as bill credits over 24 months.
  • If you buy any iPhone on Verizon's device payment plan, you qualify for $100 off any iPad with a device payment plan or $50 off an Apple Watch on device payment plan.
  • For a limited time, get 25% off select Beats products with the purchase of any iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch at Verizon. Or get 25% off select Beats products with a new subscription to Apple Music through Verizon. After signing up during the promotional period customers will receive an email with a barcode the next day which is redeemable for the Beats discount.