How to get 6 months of Apple Music for free, no purchase necessary

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HomePod Mini U1

Apple Music works beautifully on Apple devices, plus there’s an app for it across a range of platforms, including Android.
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Apple Music is one of the best music streaming services available, especially if you’re someone who uses an iPhone and other Apple products. Right now, new members can get their first six months of Apple Music for free from Best Buy. That’s double the regular trial period that Apple gives subscribers directly.

The service offers access to over 75 million songs, hundreds of curated playlists, radio shows, and more. You can use it to download songs for offline listening, stream music across all your devices, and even find occasional album exclusives. Apple Music usually costs $10 a month for ad-free streaming with advanced features like lossless audio and Dolby Atmos, but eligible college students and Siri users can get specific plans for as little as $5 a month.

If you’re new to the service, there’s no better way to start than with six free months. We’ve outlined how to snag your own Apple Music trial, below. 

How to get 6 free months of Apple Music

  1. Go to Best Buy’s website and sign up for an account with the store.
  2. Add the “Free Apple Music for six months” digital download to your cart.
  3. Go to your cart and check out.
  4. Wait for a digital code to be sent to the email address linked to your Best Buy account.

Once your trial ends, your Apple Music subscription will auto-renew for $10 a month, which can be cancelled anytime. This deal is only good for new Apple Music members.

It’s not clear how long Best Buy’s promotion will be available. It started in May 2021, and is still running now. 

Apple Music works beautifully on Apple devices, plus there’s an app for it across a range of platforms, including Android.
Originally $9.99 | Save 100%


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These are the 50 top stocks that members of Congress own

Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Sara Jacobs, Van Taylor, and Susie Lee in front of Exxon Mobil, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft lgoos.
  • More than 220 members of Congress held individual stocks in 2020.
  • We analyzed hundreds of congressional financial disclosures to find the most popular investments.
  • Apple was the most popular, with Microsoft, Disney, Alphabet, and Amazon close behind.

More than 40% of members in Congress, or more than 220 representatives and senators, own individual stocks, collectively holding at least $225 million in stock assets, Insider has found.

Those in Congress are prohibited from using insider information to profit from the stock market. But it is legal for them to buy and sell individual stocks — a policy that can result in potential conflicts of interest in legislators’ financial dealings.

Tech stocks were the most popular

Those in Congress favor tech stocks, Insider’s analysis showed. Apple, the top stock and one of the hottest investments in recent years, was held by 72 members, or more than 13% of Congress.

Microsoft, the second-most-popular stock, was held by 64 members, followed by Disney and Alphabet, tied with 45 owners. Close behind was Amazon, owned by 44 members.

Together, the five companies spent $48 million on lobbying in 2020, according to OpenSecrets. PACs linked to the five companies along with the companies’ employees made an estimated $89.9 million in federal political contributions during the 2020 election cycle, which includes the calendar year 2019.

 

Leading investments include big lobbying forces, from pharma to oil to defense

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology giants are also popular investments for elected officials.

Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, the makers of COVID-19 vaccines, were the most-held pharmaceutical stocks in Congress in 2020, owned by 44 and 37 members, respectively.

Congress’ stock trades in particular are worthy of scrutiny. Despite a law requiring members to quickly and publicly disclose when they buy and sell stocks and corporate bonds, Insider found that many have failed to comply, often disclosing trades late, if at all.

Lawmakers’ personal financial interests sometimes intersect with their public duties.

Reps. Robert Wittman, a Republican from Virginia, and Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, owned Exxon Mobil stock. Both lawmakers sit on the House Committee on Natural Resources, which is responsible for overseeing various elements of the fossil-fuels industry. Overall, 36 members of Congress owned Exxon Mobil stock in 2020, making it the 12th-most-owned stock in Congress.

Insider also discovered that some members of Congress held stocks that their committees have direct influence over, such as 15 members sitting on the House and Senate Armed Services committees who are simultaneously invested in defense contractors.

Shares of Alibaba, a multinational Chinese tech firm with ties to the country’s ruling Communist Party, were owned by 20 members of Congress, including Republican Sens. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Roger Marshall of Kansas, two outspoken critics of China’s government. Both senators this year violated the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 by not properly disclosing some of their stock trades.

 

How we analyzed Congress’ financial disclosures 

Insider this autumn collected and analyzed financial disclosures filed by each member of Congress, making them searchable and sortable whereas they previously were not. Covering 2020 — a year in which the world’s richest people witnessed their fortunes grow substantially — the reports provide the most recent comprehensive overview of each member’s financial assets.

They revealed at least $2.6 billion in wealth held by federal legislators.

Senate and House members file their disclosures in different formats. Insider used natural-language-processing software — including an algorithm that analyzes text — to help determine the most commonly traded stocks in the House.

Insider’s analysis did not include four members of Congress whose disclosures were uniquely complicated, incomplete, illegible, or long, comprising hundreds of pages of handwritten or scanned documents. Those members are Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and Republican Rep. Harold Rogers of Kentucky. A cursory review of their filings showed that Khanna, Schrader, and Rogers held extensive stock portfolios, and that they or immediate family members frequently traded individual stocks in 2020.

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Apple’s budget 5G iPhone will accelerate sales and catapult the stock past a $3 trillion valuation, according to JPMorgan

An Apple store.
An Apple store.

  • Apple’s expected launch of a budget 5G iPhone SE will accelerate its sales cycle in early 2022, according to JPMorgan.
  • The bank raised its price target on Apple to $210, representing potential upside of 17%.
  • Apple’s stock price is less than 1% away from hitting a $3 trillion market valuation on Monday.

Apple’s upcoming launch of a budget 5G iPhone SE will accelerate its sales cycle and help drive its market valuation to well above $3 trillion, according to a Monday note from JPMorgan.

The bank reiterated its top pick status for Apple heading into 2022 and raised its price target to $210, representing potential upside of 17% from Friday’s close. A move to $210 would catapult Apple well into $3 trillion market value territory, with the iPhone maker less than 1% away from hitting that milestone for the first time ever on Monday.

Apple’s stock price needs to hit $182.85 for the $3 trillion market valuation to be reached. Shares traded at $181.72 in early Monday trades.

“We believe that there are more upgrades to consensus iPhone shipments still to come with the iPhone SE with 5G capability to launch soon in early 2022, which has the potential to drive upgrades from the installed base of old iPhones as well as switchers from an installed base of low- to mid-end Android phones,” JPMorgan explained.

The bank estimates there are more than 300 million iPhone users that are overdue for an upgrade, and more than 1.4 billion low- to mid-end Android phones in use. 

The expected launch of a sub-$500 iPhone with 5G capability in 2022 will boost investor expectations of Apple’s 2022 product lineup, as many were expecting a weaker product cycle earlier this year, according to JPMorgan. The bank believes Apple could sell more than 30 million iPhone SE units in 2022, bringing its total 2022 unit forecast to 250 million.

Apple’s original iPhone SE was launched in the spring of 2016, but infrequent model updates have led analysts to assign little weight to the potential launch of an upgraded version of the phone on a more frequent basis. Apple released an upgraded iPhone SE model in 2020, without 5G capability.

“We expect Apple to upgrade the iPhone SE with 5G connectivity in 1H22, and also make it a frequent annual upgrade going forward, driving further its already demonstrated strategy of encompassing a wider range of price points,” JPMorgan said. 

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7 ways to use your AirPods Pro’s controls to take advantage of all their features

airpods pro
Once you pair them, AirPods Pro offer a lot of features.

  • You can control your AirPods Pro by squeezing the earbud stems, speaking aloud, and more.
  • Squeezing your AirPods Pro’s stems lets you control music, answer calls, and change the noise cancellation mode.
  • Pairing the AirPods Pro with an iPhone gives you even more control over how they sound and function.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

AirPods are incredibly minimalistic. They’re smaller than your finger, and don’t have any buttons. To the untrained eye, they might just look like cheap scraps of plastic.

But AirPods — and especially AirPods Pro — have a lot of features baked into them. The white plastic itself is touch-sensitive, and you can control your music with just a squeeze.

Here’s a full guide to your AirPods Pro’s controls, and how to unlock all their features.

Playing and pausing music

Almost all of your AirPods Pro’s basic controls are based around the force sensor, a small touchpad built into the stem.

To use the force sensor, you need to lightly squeeze the stem. Just tapping or pressing it won’t do anything.

What happens when you squeeze depends on how many times you do it.

AirPods Pro Force Sensor
The force sensor is the small indent on either stem.

Squeeze the stem once to play or pause whatever’s currently playing. If you’re receiving a call, squeezing once will answer it.

Squeeze the stem twice to fast-forward to the next song. If the app you’re using doesn’t support this, squeezing twice won’t do anything. And if you’re receiving a call, squeezing twice will reject it and send the caller to voicemail.

Squeeze the stem three times to rewind, either to the beginning of the current song or to the last one. If the app you’re listening to doesn’t support this, squeezing three times won’t do anything.

Controlling noise cancellation

One of the AirPods Pro’s signature features is Noise Cancellation mode. Both earbuds have a small microphone that picks up outside noise, and then suppresses it with “anti-noise.” It’s great for blocking out background noise if you need to focus while wearing your AirPods.

On the other hand, you can also use Transparency mode. Transparency does the exact opposite, using the microphones to help you hear what’s going on around you even while your earbuds are in. 

Squeeze and hold the AirPods’ stem to switch between Noise Cancellation mode and Transparency mode. You’ll hear a light ding when the change goes through.

You can also change between them by opening your iPhone’s Control Center, pressing and holding the volume meter, and then tapping the Noise Control option at the bottom.

Talking to Siri

Siri is easy to activate, even without AirPods. But setting up your AirPods Pro unlocks new features.

First of all, you can wake Siri with your AirPods just by saying “Hey Siri” out loud, followed by your request. So if you want to know the weather, for instance, say “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?”

Apple Airpods 3
You can talk to Siri without using your hands.

You can also set up Siri so it’ll automatically read you any message you receive while you have your AirPods on. Open the Settings app, tap Notifications, and then tap Announce Notifications.

Once you’ve turned it on and have your AirPods connected, Siri will read out any text message you receive, along with messages from a variety of third-party chatting apps. 

And when Siri finishes reading the message, your AirPods will listen for a few seconds so you can respond. Just tell Siri that you want to reply, and then say what you want to reply with.

Activating spatial audio

Spatial audio is a feature that makes your AirPods imitate a real surround sound system

You can turn on spatial audio by opening your iPhone’s Control Center, pressing and holding your finger on the volume meter, and tapping the Spatial audio icon at the bottom of the screen.

Here you can turn on Fixed or Head Tracked spatial audio. Fixed makes the audio surround you, but it sounds the same on all sides. Head Tracked makes it so the sound will change if you move your head, as if you were listening to a single speaker in front of you instead of headphones.

Alternatively, select Off for a standard stereo sound.

Customizing your AirPods’ controls and name

What we’ve described so far are your AirPods Pro’s default controls. But you can edit some of these features from the Bluetooth menu.

Head to your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu and connect your AirPods, then tap the i icon next to their name. This will open a menu where you can change their settings.

Use the Press and Hold AirPods section to change what happens when you squeeze your AirPods’ stems. By default it’ll turn Noise Cancellation on and off, but you can set it to activate Siri instead.

Turning on Automatic Ear Detection will pause whatever you’re listening to when you take an AirPod out of your ear.

And Connect to This iPhone is useful if you have multiple devices paired to your AirPods, like an iPad and Macbook. Set this to Automatically, and your AirPods will connect to whatever device you’re using as soon as you turn it on. Set it to When Last Connected to This iPhone, however, and the AirPods will only connect to the device you last used them with.

Finally, tap Name at the top of this page to change your AirPods Pro’s name. This is the title it’ll show up with in the Bluetooth menu.

The menu on an iPhone where a user can change their AirPods' settings.
There are a variety of menus, options, and settings to configure on this page.

Charge your AirPods Pro and check their battery level

You’ll charge your AirPods Pro by placing the earbuds into their case, closing it, and then either connecting it to a Lightning cable (the same kind of charger that the iPhone uses) or a Qi-certified wireless charging pad. When you start charging your AirPods, the case’s LED light will glow either orange (meaning that it needs more charging) or green (meaning that it’s fully charged).

You can check how much battery your AirPods and case have by opening the case near your iPhone, or by using the battery widget. Check out our article on how to enable the battery widget if you don’t already have it.

Pick the right AirPods Pro tips for your ears

Unlike other AirPod models, the AirPods Pro have plastic tips that are supposed to bend to the shape of your ears. But everyone has slightly different ears, and the default tips won’t always fit. That’s why every new pair of AirPods Pro come with three sets of plastic eartips, each one a different size. 

You can remove your AirPods’ current tips by pinching firmly and pulling them off the earbuds. It takes some force, but don’t worry — they’ll pop off without issue.

To attach the new eartips, line up the oval on the edge of the tip with the oval on the AirPods’ speaker, then press the tip into place.

If you’re not sure which size ear tip to use, take the Ear Tip Fit Test. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone and open the Bluetooth menu, then tap the i icon next to their name. In the menu that opens, select Ear Tip Fit Test.

You’ll be led through a series of short exercises that test how well the AirPods fit in your ear. At the end of the test, it’ll tell you if your current eartips make a “Good Seal” or if you need a different size.

How to change AirPod Pro Tips   6
If you’d like to take the test again, tap the blue “Play” button.

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Microsoft offered to bring top Xbox games like ‘Halo’ to iPhone if Apple would loosen its App Store rules, court docs reveal

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • Apple’s App Store doesn’t allow video game streaming services like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.
  • Microsoft offered to bring major first-party games, like “Halo,” to the iPhone for access, court documents show.
  • Apple refused the offer, Microsoft said, and Game Pass only works through the iPhone’s web browser.

Last year, as Microsoft was gearing up to turn its wildly popular Xbox Game Pass service into the world’s first “Netflix for gaming” service, it was privately negotiating with Apple to get the service onto iPhones.

That’s according to emails between Microsoft corporate vice president of business development Lori Wright and several Apple staffers unearthed by The Verge from legal documents related to Apple’s lawsuit with “Fortnite” maker Epic Games

Even though Microsoft offered to bring major Xbox games to Apple’s App Store, Apple apparently wouldn’t budge and refused to allow the service onto the App Store in any form.

“Our proposal for bringing games through individual apps was designed to comply with App Store policies,” Xbox cloud gaming head Kareem Choudhry told The Verge. “It was denied by Apple based on our request that there be a single streaming tech app to support the individual game apps.”

On the contrary, Apple said in a statement: “Unfortunately, Microsoft proposed a version of [Game Pass] that was not compliant with our App Store Review Guidelines, specifically the requirement to use in-app purchase to unlock additional features or functionality within an app.” 

In-app purchases, or IAPs, have been a major sticking point for Apple’s App Store rules.

Through the App Store, anything sold must pass through Apple’s payment system where Apple usually takes a 30% cut — and Microsoft’s games have IAPs that circumvent that system, Apple said.

Choudhry rejected that assertion to The Verge, saying, “The reasons for rejection were unrelated to in-app purchase capabilities.” Apple didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Apple and Microsoft had a public spat over Xbox Game Pass on iPhone last year that resulted in Apple rolling out a new policy for video game streaming services that would require each game on a service to be individually approved before being allowed on the App Store.

“The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers,” an Apple spokesperson told Insider last year. “Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.”

Though Microsoft publicly pushed back on the policy, and said at the time that “this remains a bad experience for customers,” the newly reported documents suggest it was privately willing to play by Apple’s App Store rules. 

For now, the only way to access Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming on an iPhone or iPad is through the web browser.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The 6 best kids’ tablets in 2021 for learning at home, playing games, and streaming entertainment

Prices are accurate at the time of publication.

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Collage of the best tablets for kids, including iPad, Amazon, Fire 8 and Samsung Galaxy Tablet 2x1

There are a few advantages that the best tablets for kids have over regular tablets that make them much more ideal for young users. Sure, you can always go for whatever tablet is on hand and within your budget, but parents know that it takes more than availability and affordability to make kids happy.

Although much like regular tablets with access to a diverse catalogue of content, these kid-friendly tablets often put a lot more emphasis on apps, games, movies, and shows that cater to kids. That’s really the key here; otherwise, the kids will get bored within minutes. Of course, having parental controls is also important to keep your kids away from harmful content and control screen time, as is having an affordable price tag and a robust build – preferably something with a rugged housing and long battery life. 

You’d be wise, therefore, to invest in one of the best tablets for kids. It’ll entertain and educate your kids for a couple of hours or less a day, allowing you a bit of time to take care of your other responsibilities or just have a much-needed breather. Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches tech products. Here are our top picks below.

Here are the best tablets for kids:

Best tablet for kids: Apple 10.2-inch iPad, $329 on Apple
The 10.2-inch iPad is the best tablet for kids with a big screen, loads of apps and games, and long battery life.

Best small tablet for kids: Apple iPad Mini, $499 on Apple
The perfect size for a portable tablet, the iPad Mini also packs a punch and offers access to a vast library of apps and games.

Best Android tablet for kids: Samsung Galaxy Tab A, $149.99 0n Best Buy
The Galaxy Tab A8 offers kids Android in all its glory with Google Play Store access.

Best value tablet for kids: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, $139.99 on Amazon
A big screen without a big price tag and a library of age appropriate content make the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition a solid choice.

Best small value tablet for kids: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, $89.99 on Amazon
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is affordable, packed with age appropriate fun, and offers effective parental controls.

Best tablet for very young kids: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition, $59.99 on Amazon
Affordable, durable, and ready to entertain your young children, the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition is a good first tablet.

Best tablet for kids

ipad 2019 10.2 cyber monday deal
The 10.2-inch iPad is great for kids with its big screen, many apps, and parent-friendly features.

The 10.2-inch iPad is the best tablet for kids with a big screen, loads of apps and games, and long battery life.

Pros: Easy to use, large screen, loads of kid-friendly content available, long battery life, excellent performance, compatible with Apple Pencil

Cons: Expensive, parental controls not as extensive, doesn’t come with a bumper case

Apple’s tablets have long ruled the roost, and deservedly so, as they offer elegant design, slick software, and strong performance. All those combined make the 10.2-inch iPad our top pick of the best tablets for everyone, not just the small humans.

As a kids’ tablet, however, the 10.2-inch iPad is easy to use, has up to 10 hours of battery life, and comes in an aluminium body that is reasonably tough – though a rugged case is still advisable especially if younger kids are its primary users. The real star of the show here is its display, which is bright, sharp, and responsive. 

Because of Apple’s extensive app and iTunes libraries, there’s no shortage of kid-friendly content to choose, from educational apps and games to music, movies, and TV shows created for kids. 

Since individual pricing for movies or games can be steep, you should consider subscription services like Apple TV+, and you can always install Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming services that you’re signed up to. Apple Arcade also offers a selection of quality games like Sneaky Sasquatch, free of adverts or in-app purchases, for $5 per month. 

A great choice if you’re already invested in Apple’s ecosystem, the 10.2-inch iPad will also let you share content with the whole family and manage certain security settings easily from your iPhone using Apple’s parental controls. 

Storage in the 2020 version is limited to 32GB in the base model, however the fresh 2021 base model – which we’re testing now – comes with 64GB to start. You’ll have to get the $480 iPad with 256GB of storage if you plan on storing lots of games and other content locally on the iPad itself. Still, if you have the budget for the standard 10.2-inch iPad, a case, and kids content, there’s no doubt this is the best tablet for kids of all ages.

Best small tablet for kids

Apple_iPad_Mini

The perfect size for a portable tablet, the iPad Mini also packs a punch and offers access to a vast library of apps and games.

Pros: Powerful, portable, long battery life, and a huge choice of high-quality apps and games, compatible with Apple Pencil

Cons: Very expensive, parental controls are limited

The iPad Mini may be diminutive in stature, but it’s still a mighty tablet with plenty of processing power and long battery life. Plus, it’s portable for parents already overwhelmed with stuff to carry and much easier for small hands to manage than larger tablets.

Just like the regular iPad, the iPad Mini has an elegant aluminium body that will likely survive some knocks, though you should still plan to buy a rugged case if you want to minimize scratches, dings, and a cracked screen. The screen is sharp and vibrant, though its compact 8-inch size makes it more ideal for reading than playing games or watching movies. This compact screen size also makes it more difficult for drawing activities with the Apple Pencil, if this is a consideration. 

As with the 10.2-inch iPad, the iPad Mini makes the most sense for families with other Apple devices because you can configure things like screen time limits or approve app installations at any time and wherever you are on your iPhone. You can also share subscriptions or content with the whole family across your Apple devices. However, you do have a lot of work to do with getting your parental controls configured to filter content, limit screen time, block apps, and restrict purchases. 

The iPad Mini is also very expensive, starting from $400 for the 5th generation and $500 for the newest 6th generation, and is even more than the basic iPad. (We’re currently testing this model for future buying guide consideration and a full review.) You also have to factor in a protective case and content purchases on top, which makes the iPad Mini a relatively pricey option. The good news is that extra cash gets you a bit more storage in the base model at 64GB as well as a better front-facing camera. 

If budget isn’t a problem, any kid would love to own an iPad Mini, especially older kids and teens.

Best Android tablet for kids

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

The Galaxy Tab A8 offers kids Android in all its glory with Google Play Store access.

Pros: Google Play Store access, affordable, great performance 

Cons: No bumper case, battery life could be longer 

While Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition isn’t currently available, there’s still the Galaxy Tab A8, which is essentially the same tablet only without the bumper case and Samsung’s Kids Interface. Still, the Galaxy Tab A8 offers the same access to the Google Play Store where you’ll find a ton of kid-friendly apps, games, and other content.

With its 8-inch screen and 1,280 x 800 resolution, it’s just visually appealing for kids, not to mention comparable to the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition in terms of performance and design. However, its parental controls aren’t as in-depth, and it doesn’t come with a bumper case, like you’d find on Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. It also costs $60 more. 

The good news is that you can always invest in a hardy kids case, and Google’s Play Store doesn’t require a subscription to access its innumerable apps and content. In fact, the Google Play Store’s vast catalogue on its own can be a big reason to pick the Galaxy Tab A8 over the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. If you’re familiar with Android and don’t want to deal with a new operating system like Amazon’s, this will be an excellent option.

If you want something akin to the Amazon Kids+ hub that you’d find on Amazon’s Fire HD Kids Edition tablets, there is Samsung’s Kids, which costs $7.99/month. This subscription service does offer curated movies and TV shows, games, and books for children 3 to 8 years old, which means that it can be a good service if you’re looking for an easy button to find apps and content for your kids within that age range. 

The Galaxy Tab A8 comes with 32GB of built-in storage, which can be expanded fairly cheaply up to 512GB with a microSD card. While we recommend this as the best raw Android tablet for kids, we also think a tablet of this spec profile should have longer battery life, especially with its lower-end screen resolution.

Best value tablet for kids

Amazon_Fire_HD_10_Kids_Edition
Originally $199.99 | Save 30%


A big screen without a big price tag and a library of age appropriate content make the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition a solid choice.

Pros: Easy to set up, great parental controls, big screen, curated content, affordable price, expandable storage

Cons: Amazon Appstore is limited, subscription costs after the first year, not waterproof

The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids is the biggest member of Amazon’s Fire tablet family, boasting a 10.1-inch display that’s plenty sharp and bright. To make it extremely kid-friendly, it’s encased in a thick, child-proof case, which redirects the speakers to the front and has a fold-out stand on the back to prop the tablet in landscape for watching movies hands-free. 

Amazon has put a decent processor in this tablet and 3GB of memory (RAM), so it doesn’t suffer from the same lag and delay that can plague some of its smaller tablets. There’s also 32GB of storage out of the box with room to expand up to 1TB via microSD card, and it even boasts decent battery life, a USB-C port for charging, and a brand new 5MP rear camera. That’s all while being slightly lighter than its 2019 predecessor.

What elevates this tablet for kids above others is the fact you get one year of Amazon Kids+ with your purchase for access to thousands of movies, books, TV shows, games, and apps that are specially curated and totally age-appropriate. You can also add your own choices to the mix, whether it be Minecraft or Netflix

The parental controls Amazon offers are also the best around. You have a one-stop settings panel where you can fine-tune limits on different activities, like blocking games after half an hour a day while still allowing reading, filter content by choosing precisely what to allow, and schedule downtime. 

The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids costs $200. After the first year, the Amazon Kids+ subscription costs $2.99 per month for Prime members. You can also just drop Amazon Kids+ altogether, but you’re limited to the Amazon Appstore for apps and games, and it has a much smaller selection than either Apple’s or Google’s offers.

Best small value tablet for kids

Amazon_Fire_HD_8_Kids_Edition
Originally $139.99 | Save 36%
Originally $139.99 | Save 36%


The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is affordable, packed with age appropriate fun, and offers effective parental controls.

Pros: Easy to set up, effective parental controls, up to 12-hour battery life, curated content, expandable storage

Cons: Amazon Appstore is limited without an Amazon Kids+ subscription

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids is a solid, portable tablet that comes with many of the same advantages as its bigger sibling, the Fire HD 10 Kids. You’ll enjoy access to the same comprehensive parental controls, enabling you to specify precisely what your child has access to and when they can use their tablet. 

You get a year of Amazon Kids+ subscription, offering curated content that includes books, movies, TV shows, apps, and games all especially chosen for different age ranges. There’s also a 2-year, worry-free warranty, which means that Amazon will replace the tablet even if your child broke it accidentally.

The Fire HD 8 has an 8-inch screen with a respectable 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution, which works out to a decent 189 pixels per inch (ppi). The display is bright and legible, though it does fall well short of the display in the HD 10, which boasts 224 ppi. Still, it’s smaller form factor might be something younger kids would prefer.

Compared to the HD 10, the Fire HD 8 also has a somewhat slower processor, but Amazon says it has 30% better performance than the previous HD 8 generation, which was serviceable at best. Otherwise, the HD 8 comes with 2GB of RAM as well as the same 12-hour battery life as the HD 10. It also comes with a rugged, child-proof bumper case that has a useful kickstand.

Once again, there’s 32GB of storage, which isn’t a great deal, but there is also room for expansion up to 1TB, which gives you a relatively cheap way of adding extra storage.

At $130, even with some of the cons I’ve highlighted, the Fire HD 8 Kids is a real bargain and makes an excellent gift for younger children between the ages of five and nine years old.

Best tablet for very young kids

Amazon_Fire_7_Kids_Edition
Originally $99.99 | Save 40%
Originally $99.99 | Save 40%


Affordable, durable, and ready to entertain your young children, the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition is a good first tablet.

Pros: Very affordable, solid design, curated content, child-proof case

Cons: Slow performance, low resolution display, Amazon Appstore is limited without Amazon Kids+ subscription

If you want a device that’s going to be safe and capable of standing up to a three-year-old, this is it. The Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition comes with an excellent protective case with a kickstand on the back, so your child can easily prop it anywhere to watch cartoons.

The Fire 7 Kids Edition comes with a host of age-appropriate, curated content through the Amazon Kids+ subscription service, which unlocks TV shows, movies, books, apps, and games starting at $2.99/month for Prime members and $4.99/month for non-Prime members. With this service, you can also set an age range, enabling the tablet to serve up a constantly changing menu that fits that age group. 

Amazon’s excellent parental controls and two-year worry-free warranty give you real peace of mind, which is especially important with younger kids. 

There are caveats here, however. The 7-inch screen has a disappointing resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels, which translates to just 171 ppi. It’s still sharp enough for comfortable reading and watching movies, but it’s also a somewhat dull display that can be a problem if your kids are using it on road trips. 

Performance-wise, its irritating delays and sluggish response are par for the course with a slow processor and just 1GB of RAM. The battery life is also limited, and it only has a mono speaker — both the HD 8 and HD 10 have stereo speakers. 

With that said, compromises at this price are inevitable and children under five years old aren’t likely to notice these issues anyway. All things considered, there’s no other tablet on the market that offers such a well-rounded package for so little. At $100, this is still a smart choice if you’re looking for a first tablet for a very young child.

What else we considered

kids using app tablet car

Considering the number of options, we’ve done our due diligence at appraising a whole lot of them before finalizing our list. These are the kid-friendly tablets that didn’t quite make the cut.

  • LeapFrog Epic: The strength of this tablet is educational content designed for younger kids, but a lot of the best content costs extra. Performance is poor, with frequent lag, and it has a low-resolution screen.
  • Dragon Touch KidzPad Y88X 7: This lesser-known tablet comes pre-installed with 20 Disney audiobooks, includes a rugged case and a screen protector, and is affordable at $99. Unfortunately, its barely responsive touch screen and terrible picture quality will put a damper on the whole experience.
What we look for in a kids’ tablet

You’d be surprised at the number of kid-friendly tablets available out there all promising top-notch performance and a solid selection of content. Of course, some deliver better than others, which is why we carefully vet each one:

Internals

We first take a look at each tablet’s processor (CPU), memory (RAM), and storage drive. These are the things that make or break its performance. Whereas a powerful CPU and speedy RAM can make a kid-friendly tablet run fast and smoothly, a less powerful chip and slow memory can make it sluggish and less responsive. Having enough storage space to keep all their favorite apps installed is also vital, as is having room for storage expansion. 

Rugged build

The one thing you absolutely must take into consideration is just how rugged a tablet is. Kids are generally less careful about their devices, and accidental spills, drops, and knocks are bound to happen. A tablet that’s built to be resistant to all those is ideal. Many of these tablets for kids come with a rugged hard case, and sometimes a screen protector built-in. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that something without a rugged case is out of the question. A quick search should give you a plethora of sturdy case options should you opt for that.

Kid-friendly content

The one big thing we’re looking for when whittling our list down is the amount and quality of kid-friendly content on hand. We want to make sure that your kids have access to top-notch content that is just as entertaining as it is educational. Many tablets for kids come with affordable subscription services for curated kid content that are essential to the experience. Those that don’t offer such subscriptions must have plenty of kid content, apps, games, and educational apps available in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

Parental controls

When it comes to kids and the Internet, all parents want to make sure that they have all the tools to protect their kids. This is why we also check the parental controls. We make sure that each tablet has all the basics covered, including having the ability to filter out age-inappropriate content, restricting access to certain content, putting time limits on usage, and limiting or preventing purchases.

Common kids’ tablet FAQs

What size is best for a tablet for kids?

Ideally, the smaller the tablet, the easier for smaller hands to handle. However, the size of the tablet also depends on your kid’s preference and type of usage, as well as how portable you’d like their tablet to be. After all, you might end up having to carry that tablet when they’re not using it.

If they enjoy using it for educational games and activities, a smaller screen size should do nicely. If they prefer watching YouTube videos, movies, and shows on it, they might benefit from a bigger screen. Older kids might prefer such a screen as well, as they might use it for homework and school projects.


What resolution is best for a tablet for kids?

These days, it’s getting harder and harder to justify a 720p screen, let alone anything lower. We’re already living in a 4K world. In fact, there are already 8K displays out there, albeit very few. So, even if there are still kids tablets out there that come with lower resolution screens, we wouldn’t recommend them.

You’ll be doing your kids a favor by opting for something with a 800p display or higher. You might be able to get away with something lower if you’re on a budget – but only if it’s only slightly lower than 720p. Amazon’s Fire tablets for kids are typically 800p, but if you want something higher, we’d go for one of our Apple picks.


Are tablets that come with a rugged case waterproof?

Not necessarily. More often than not, these kid-proof rugged cases are really only built to withstand drops and bumps. Some third-party cases might offer some level of protection against dust and small spills. However, even those that come with Amazon’s Fire tablets for kids do not promise water- and dust-proofing.

Glossary of Terms

  • Apple Pencil: Apple’s wireless stylus pen is specifically designed to work with its line of iPads. Meant to improve your experience and add more functionalities to those tablets, the 2nd generation Apple Pencil works with the current generations of iPad Pros, Minis, and Airs.
  • Resolution: A tablet’s display resolution is its screen’s pixel count on one line along its horizontal and vertical axis. The Fire HD 8 Kids, for example, with a 1,280 x 800 display resolution has 1,280 pixels on any of its single horizontal lines and 800 pixels on any of its single vertical lines. The higher these numbers are for a given screen size, the sharper and clearer a display is.
  • microSD card: A smaller version of an SD card, a microSD card is a removable memory card that lets you store your files and carry them wherever you go. These tiny cards are often used by smaller devices to expand their storage.
  • RAM: Short for random access memory and often referred to as a device’s “memory”, this is where all the data that your device needs to run an application, a game, or even a file is stored on a short-term basis so that the processor can access it quickly.
  • PPI: This term stands for pixels per inch. In other words, a display’s PPI is the number of pixels in one inch or 2.54 cm. Usually, the higher this number or the higher the pixel density, the sharper the display is.
  • CPU: Short for central processing unit, a CPU or processor is the hardware responsible for executing instructions and carrying out your device’s tasks. Essentially, this is the brain of your kid’s tablet.
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Thieves are using Apple AirTags to track luxury vehicles to owners’ driveways before stealing them, police say

Apple Event April 2021
An Apple AirTag.

  • Police in Canada have warned that thieves are using Apple AirTags to track high-end vehicles.
  • York Regional Police said thieves would track the vehicles to owners’ driveways, then steal them.
  • Apple’s AirTags are intended to help users locate lost personal objects.

Police in Canada have warned that thieves are using Apple AirTags to track luxury cars before stealing them.

York Regional Police said in a statement Thursday that since September, officers had investigated five incidents in which suspects surreptitiously placed AirTags in “out-of-sight areas” on high-end vehicles while they were parked in public places. The thieves then tracked the target vehicles to their owners’ homes, broke into them, and stole them, police said.

Apple released AirTags in April 2021, touting them as a handy device for owners to tag and track their belongings should they ever go missing. The devices use Bluetooth signals to connect to Apple’s “Find My” network.

York Regional Police advised vehicle owners to “inspect your vehicle regularly and call police if you notice any suspicious potential tracking devices.”

The police also recommended that owners park their cars in locked garages, use steering wheel locks, and install locks on their car data ports to reduce the risk of theft.

Apple declined to comment when contacted by Insider about the thefts.

The company rolled out privacy updates for AirTags in June, including one that would make the tracking devices beep at random intervals when separated from their owners. 

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Warren Buffett’s Apple stake just hit a record $152 billion — but the investor missed out on another $8 billion by selling shares

warren buffett
Warren Buffett.

  • Warren Buffett’s Apple stake soared in value to a record $152 billion on Tuesday.
  • Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway would have a $173 billion position if it hadn’t sold any Apple shares.
  • Berkshire has more than quadrupled its money after investing $36 billion in the iPhone maker.

Warren Buffett’s Apple stake surged in value to a record $152 billion on Tuesday, as the technology stock climbed as much as 4% to $172 a share. The famed investor has more than quadrupled his money on the iPhone maker in a few short years, despite leaving about $8 billion on the table by trimming his position.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway spent about $36 billion amassing just over 1 billion Apple shares between 2016 and mid-2018, adjusted for the 4-to-1 stock split last year. However, it slashed its holding by 12% to 887 million shares by the end of 2020. That figure was unchanged as of September 30 this year.

Berkshire pocketed about $11 billion from its Apple stock sales in 2020, Buffett noted in his latest shareholder letter. The company netted another $2 billion or so from its disposals between the third quarter of 2018 and the end of 2019.

If Berkshire hadn’t sold any shares, its Apple stake would be worth as much as $173 billion — $21 billion more than its current value. Subtract the roughly $13 billion cashed out by Buffett and his team, and they potentially missed out on $8 billion in unrealized gains.

Buffett acknowledged during Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting in May that he likely erred in pruning his Apple stake.

“That was probably a mistake,” he said, adding that his business partner and Berkshire’s vice-chairman, Charlie Munger, had advised him not to trim the position.

Apple is by far the largest holding in Berkshire’s US stock portfolio, accounting for 43% of its total value of $293 billion at the end of September. The tech bet is worth more than the next four biggest positions — Bank of America, American Express, Coca-Cola, and Kraft Heinz — combined.

Berkshire’s 5.4% stake in Apple makes it the company’s second-largest shareholder after Vanguard, the index-fund titan. Buffett’s company received a $785 million dividend from Apple this year, and pocketed an average of $776 million a year from the investment between 2018 and 2020. 

Buffett has championed Apple on several occasions. He called it “probably the best business” he knows in a CNBC interview last year, and labeled it a “family jewel” in his latest shareholder letter. He also described Apple CEO Tim Cook as “one of the best managers in the world” at Berkshire’s annual meeting this year, and underscored the widespread passion for Apple products and how many people view them as indispensable.

Read more: Mario Gabelli has racked up a 7,000% gain on Berkshire Hathaway stock. The billionaire investor explains why he likes Robinhood, still backs Warren Buffett, and worries about the Fed taper.

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How to find your Apple Music Replay, a list of your favorite songs of the year so far that updates each week

An iPhone displaying the Apple Music logo.
Apple Music Replay is a year-in-review for your music.

  • Apple Music Replay gives you a playlist with the 100 songs you listened to most so far this year.
  • Unlike Spotify Wrapped, Apple Music Replay updates every week to track your listening habits as the year goes on.
  • You can only access Apple Music Replay in a web browser, but you can save the playlist to listen to in the app.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Every year, Spotify users go wild for Spotify Wrapped, the feature that shows you your favorite songs of the year. But Apple Music users don’t have to wait a year, because Apple Music Replay updates every week.

Apple Music Replay is a feature that tracks which songs you listen to the most every year. It updates every week, making it a great and consistent way to record your musical tastes over time.

Here’s how to find your Apple Music Replay and save it as a playlist to your library.

How to find your Apple Music Replay and save it

Strangely, you can’t initially access your Apple Music Replay through the Apple Music apps. Instead, you’ll need to use a web browser.

1. Head to the Apple Music Replay website. If you don’t see anything, make sure you’re logged in and have your ad blocker turned off.

2. Click Get Your Replay Mix.

The Apple Music Replay page. The "Get Your Replay Mix" option is highlighted.
Generate your “Replay Mix” by clicking the button.

3. Apple Music will calculate what you listened to this year. Once it’s done, you’ll get a full list of your favorite songs, along with how often you listened to each. It only tracks songs that you can listen to through Apple Music — any local songs you’ve added to your library won’t show up.

4. Click + Add to save the current playlist to your library. It’ll get saved exactly as it is now, so if it changes in the future, you’ll need to re-add it.

An Apple Music Replay playlist. The "Add" option is highlighted.
Click “Add” to save your Replay playlist.

5. If you head to the bottom of the page, you can find your Replay list from past years too.

Once you save your playlist, it’ll appear in all your Apple Music apps, meaning that you can listen on your phone too.

An Apple Music Replay playlist in the iPhone Music app.
Saving the playlist puts it into your iPhone’s Music app.

Check back every week to see how your Replay list changes. It’ll reset at the start of each new year.

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How to bypass the Activation Lock on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch

iPhone iPad
Bypassing the Activation Lock on your Apple device is simple — if you have the password.

  • Activation Lock is a feature on Apple devices that’s meant to prevent theft.
  • To disable the Activation Lock on your device, you need to log into the device’s Apple ID account.
  • If you don’t have access to the Apple ID account, you’ll need to ask Apple for help.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Activation Lock is a feature that has probably done more to prevent iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch theft than any other security measure. Once locked, it’s nearly impossible to use the device without knowing the right Apple ID password. You can’t even erase its data — it’s totally locked down.

But while this is great for protecting your data if the device gets stolen, it’s a problem if you legally own a device that’s still got an Activation Lock. 

There are only two ways to disable the Activation Lock on your own, and you’ll need the Apple ID password for both. Here’s how it works.

How to bypass the Activation Lock with an Apple ID or passcode

To do this, you need the Apple ID email and password for whatever account is associated with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch. If you don’t have it, contact the seller or former owner to get it.

The screenshots below show how to do this on an iPad, but the steps are about the same on all devices.

1. Turn on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch and go through setup. When you see the Activation Lock screen, enter the Apple ID email and password. 

The Activation Lock screen on an iPad.
Enter the correct Apple ID email and password.

2. Alternatively, if you’re given the option, tap Unlock with Passcode and enter the passcode that the device used to use. This lets you set up the iPad without connecting to any Apple ID.

The Activation Lock screen on an iPad, asking the user to enter a passcode.
If asked, you can enter the device’s passcode too.

Once you get past the Lock and have your device set up, you can disable the Activation Lock by heading to your device’s Apple ID menu and signing out of the account you’re logged into. Create a new Apple ID for yourself and log into that instead.

And if you ever plan to sell your device in the future, be sure to sign out of your Apple ID again so the next owner doesn’t face an Activation Lock of their own.

How to bypass the Activation Lock remotely using Find My

If the person who knows the password isn’t nearby, they can unlock it remotely through the iCloud website.

1. Have the password owner log into their Apple ID account on the iCloud website, and then select Find iPhone.

2. Click All Devices at the top of the screen and select the device that needs to be unlocked. 

The Find My menu on the iCloud website, with the list of connected devices open.
Select the device you need to unlock.

3. Click Erase iPad or Erase iPhone and confirm by clicking Erase again. The owner might have to enter their Apple ID password again.

The Find My menu on the iCloud website, with the "erase device" option highlighted.
You’ll need to erase the device to remove the Lock.

4. When asked if you want to enter a phone number and message for people who find the iPad, just click Next without entering anything.

5. Click Remove from Account.

The Find My menu on the iCloud website, with the "Remove from Account" option highlighted.
Disconnect the device from your account.

This will reset the device to factory conditions, without the Lock. You can set it up for yourself now.

Ask Apple to bypass the Activation Lock

If you simply can’t get access to the Apple ID password, then unfortunately you don’t have a lot of other options. 

It’s possible that Apple will help erase the device and unlock it for you. You’ll need to have some proof that you’re the legal owner of the device, and that proof needs to include the device’s serial number, IMEI or MEID.

If you’ve got the documentation and are ready to erase the device, head to their Activation Lock support page and fill out the forms. Just note that there’s no guarantee that they’ll help you, even if you fill everything out correctly.

The "Request Activation Lock Support" page on the Apple website.
You’ll need to know some information about your device to unlock it.

Dave Johnson contributed to a previous version of this article.

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