Beats Pill+ Bluetooth Speaker in White Discounted to $116 at Target and Amazon

The Beats Pill+ Bluetooth speaker has received a notable discount today at two retailers, with the White model specifically getting marked down to one of the lowest price points seen for the device. At both Target and Amazon you can get the Beats Pill+ in White for $116.99, which is over $30 lower than the speaker’s more common sale price of $150. When it first launched in 2015, Apple sold the Beats Pill+ for $230.

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The only other color that appears slightly lowered in price as well is Black, but on Target the color has sold out at the time of writing, and on Amazon every other color option is $149.00 and above (you’ll have to add the speakers to your cart to see how much they are). Elsewhere at retailers like Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart, and Newegg the speaker sits at around a similar $149.00 price point, while Apple still sells it for $179.95.

In other Beats sales, Newegg’s official eBay store has the Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones for $197.00, down from $299.00. Colors available include Gloss Black, Gloss White, Rose Gold, and Gold, and there is a limit to three headphones per customer.



The next best prices can be found at Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon, which all have the headphones for about $219.99. Like the Beats Pill+ deal, discounts on the Beats Solo3 headphones at these retailers are mostly focused on one color of the device, this time in Black.

For more discounts on Beats and other products — including a UE Megaboom sale going on right now at Best Buy — be sure to visit our Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Apple Tops Fortune’s List of World’s Most Admired Companies for 11th Consecutive Year

Apple has topped Fortune‘s annual list of the World’s Most Admired Companies for the 11th consecutive year.

Apple finished ahead of Amazon, the runner-up for a second consecutive year, while Google’s parent Alphabet, Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, and coffee chain Starbucks rounded off the top five.

Apple topped the list in every category, such as innovation, quality of management, social responsibility, use of corporate assets, financial soundness, quality of products and services, and global competitiveness.

The rankings were determined by some 3,900 executives, directors, and securities analysts who selected the 10 companies they admired most. More on Fortune‘s methodology:

As we have in the past, Fortune collaborated with our partner Korn Ferry on this survey of corporate reputations. We began with a universe of about 1,500 candidates: the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue, along with non-U.S. companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database that have revenues of $10 billion or more. We then winnowed the assortment to the highest-revenue companies in each industry, a total of 680 in 29 countries. The top-rated companies were picked from that pool of 680; the executives who voted work at the companies in that group.

The complete list includes 50 companies, ranging from other tech giants like Microsoft at 7th and Facebook at 12th to iconic brands like Coca-Cola at 18th and McDonald’s at 37th. On the upside, both Adidas and Lockheed Martin made it onto the list for the first time. Meanwhile, GE plummeted from 7th to 30th.

In terms of technology companies, Apple ranked sixth in Thomson Reuters‘ first-ever list of the Top 100 Global Technology Leaders.

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Facebook Doubling Down on Stories Format By Testing Ability to Post From Desktop

Facebook is testing a feature that will let users post stories on Mac and PC, in an effort to further make the ephemeral sharing feature stick on the platform. Once the test rolls out wide, Facebook users will be able to click an “Upload Photo” button to share pictures and videos to their story, or “Open Camera” to record a story with a webcam.

Images via TechCrunch


The test also includes “much more prominent placement” for stories on desktop, where they will now sit on top of the News Feed — similar to their location on the iOS app — instead of in the sidebar. TechCrunch reported that all of this amounts to a new effort in “doubling down” on the stories format, despite the fact that most users have responded critically to the addition, and its poor performance last year caused the company to slightly tweak the app’s user interface in an attempt to boost usage.

While some normal users might remain hesitant to use stories, it’s believed Facebook’s introduction of stories onto its desktop website could lead to “brands, event promoters, and group admins” embracing the format more. For users that visit Facebook daily on the web, the company said that the site will remain easy to navigate.

“We are always working to ensure people can easily navigate and enjoy Facebook, regardless of how they connect,” a Facebook spokesperson tells me. “We are testing the option to create and share Stories from Facebook on desktop and are also testing moving the Stories tray from the top right corner to above News Feed, just like on mobile.” Previously you could only consume Stories on web that had to be created on mobile. For now, a small percentage of users will see this new posting ability and design.

Facebook’s push for stories is also centered around the company’s preparation to launch more augmented reality features in the future. With stories launching on the web, Facebook’s 24-hour post sharing format will now be able to sync across its iOS and Android apps, desktop site, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, making it easier for users to share one story on multiple platforms.

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Intel: Problem in patches for Spectre, Meltdown extends to newer chips

(Reuters) – Data center computers with Intel Corp’s newer chips might reboot more often than normal because of problems with the patches issued to fix the so-called Spectre and Meltdown security flaws, the company said on Wednesday.

Airbnb Debuts ‘Pay Less Up Front’ Checkout Option to Lower Initial Cost of Bookings

Vacation and apartment rental service Airbnb this week launched a new way for its customers to cut down the initial cost of expensive bookings for an Airbnb location.

Called “Pay Less Up Front” and available on iOS, Android, and the web, the feature allows guests to choose to pay for part of their trip at the time of booking in the form of a 50 percent deposit “in most cases.” When their check-in date draws closer, the app will send the guest a notification and then they’ll have to pay for the rest of the trip.



The checkout update is Airbnb’s first major overhaul to guest payment options, and prior to the feature Airbnb users had to pay for the entirety of their trip immediately. In testing, the company said that 40 percent of its guests chose Pay Less Up Front and were willing to opt for higher-value bookings due to the payment plan. The update also satisfied hosts, who saw more booking activity on costlier listings and improved lead times to prepare locations for guests.

Pay Less Up Front helps our hosts as well. Given the ability to pay in installments, hosts won’t lose out on bookings from cash flow-sensitive guests who prefer not to pay the entire amount up front. What’s more, we’ve found that Pay Less Up Front encourages bookings further in advance: Compared with ordinary bookings, the Pay Less Up Front payment option led to bookings with nearly double the lead time, helping hosts to secure and manage bookings more easily.

There are two requirements for Pay Less Up Front: the total stay for the listing has to cost $250 or more, and it must be booked at least 14 days ahead of the check-in date. If these requirements are met, guests should start seeing Pay Less Up Front as a checkout option now on Airbnb’s iOS and Android apps, as well as on the desktop and mobile web versions of the site.

Tag: Airbnb

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Canadian charged with running LeakedSource.com, selling stolen info

TORONTO (Reuters) – A Canadian man accused of operating the LeakedSource.com website, a major repository of stolen online credentials, appeared in a Toronto court on Monday charged with trafficking in billions of stolen personal identity records.

WeChat Users Again Allowed to Send Tips After Apple and Tencent Reach Deal

Apple and Tencent, the company that owns the popular WeChat messaging app, have reached a deal that will let WeChat users resume sending in-app tips to content creators, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple first asked Chinese social networking apps to disable tipping functionality back in May 2017 as it violated App Store rules. Tipping, Apple said, was a form of in-app purchase that should be subjected to the same fees as other in-app purchases.



In June, Apple officially updated its App Store Review Guidelines and began allowing tipping, but as an in-app purchase, ensuring the company received its full 30 percent cut. Another tweak was made in September, however, officially allowing Apple users to send monetary gifts to other users without Apple taking a cut.

Tencent initially refused to reimplement tipping as an in-app purchase because in WeChat, tipping is a free service provided to customers to build engagement, with Tencent receiving no portion of the money.

Tipping will soon resume in WeChat, though, as WeChat creator Allen Zhang said on Monday that the company had reached an accord with Apple. Details are scarce, but Zhang said WeChat will tweak its platform so tips are paid to individual content creators.

“In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features,” Mr. Zhang said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Tencent. “We now all share a mutual understanding and we’ll soon bring back the “tip” function.”

With little detail available on the deal established between Tencent and Apple, it’s not clear if Apple will be receiving a cut of tips sent between WeChat users, but the tipping feature should soon be returning to the app.
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Facebook changes News Feed, investors click on ‘sad’

(Reuters) – Shares of Facebook Inc fell more than 4 percent on Friday and were on track for their worst session in more than three months after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced changes that he said would hit user engagement in the near term.