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Scout’s $99 video doorbell promises to detect people rather than cars

PC World - Wed, 2019-07-17 09:00
The makers of a new, bargain-priced smart doorbell claims it's found a better way of detecting people on your doorstep, as opposed to cars or critters.

iOS 13: How to use Look Around in Apple Maps

Mac World - Wed, 2019-07-17 08:00

It only took 12 years, but Apple Maps will finally get a feature that resembles Google’s Street View when iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 drop sometime later this year. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with macOS.) Look Around works a lot like Street View, but it comes with some attractions of its own, including smoother transition animations and photos that use parallax in order deliver a 3D-like depth you don’t find Google Maps.

It’s also really easy to use, as you can see below.

One catch: Look Around is currently a very limited feature, as you’ll only be able to use it in the United States, and even then you can only use it in places like the Hawaiian island of Oahu and California’s San Francisco Bay Area. Apple is steadily collecting imagery for other locations, though, and you can get an idea of its progress through this page.

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13-inch MacBook Pro review: Updates make the new entry-level models worthy of the Pro name

Mac World - Wed, 2019-07-17 07:00

Apple’s recent revamp of its MacBook lineup makes it a lot easier to understand the target audiences for Apple’s laptops. And with the release of the new 13-inch 1.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro, Apple also made it easier to pick a 13-inch model.

It’s easier now because you don’t have to decide if you’re willing to sacrifice any features when picking an entry-level model over the higher-end ones. Before the newly-updated base model was released, there was a division within the four 13-inch models. Apple offered two entry-level models without the Touch Bar, and two high-end models with it. (The entry-level models were missing some other features, as well, but the main missing feature was the Touch Bar). So when it came down to picking a 13-inch MacBook Pro, you had to consider whether you were willing to give up some features for the lower price.

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Google Pixel 3a review: A budget phone that acts like a premium flagship

PC World - Wed, 2019-07-17 06:09

The Google Pixel 3a makes a strong case for tossing out the spec sheet. On paper, it looks like yet another boring budget smartphone, with a middling processor, single front and rear cameras, and a bare-minimum 1080p screen. But in your pocket, you might just mistake it for a premium phone.

Part of the reason why is because, well, it’s a Pixel. Specifically, it looks a lot like the notchless Pixel 3 and the rumored design for the Pixel 4, and of course, it runs the latest version of Android. But while the high-priced G-stamped phones always left something to be desired when it came to design, the $399 Pixel 3a looks like a budget phone but acts like a premium one. It’s almost like Google has been setting us up for this all along.

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V-Moda M100 Crossfade Master headphone review: The best headphone V-Moda has ever made

Mac World - Wed, 2019-07-17 06:00
The first real collaboration between V-Moda and majority stakeholder Roland delivers sonic refinements and performance improvements in just about every area.

Is it a good idea for Apple to buy exclusive rights to podcasts?

Mac World - Wed, 2019-07-17 06:00

The podcast industry has been flooded with big money over the last few years, as businesses and investors seek to get in on a rapidly growing media business that’s got a lot of room for audience and revenue growth. (Spotify alone is spending $500 million on podcast companies and exclusive content.)

And yet over all this time, the industry’s biggest player hasn’t made any big podcast business moves.

That player is Apple—its Podcasts app is the top podcast player, with 50 to 70 percent of the app market—and its time as a neutral supporter of the industry may be coming to an end. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Lucas Shaw report that Apple is talking to media companies about buying exclusive rights to podcasts.

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V-Moda M100 Crossfade Master headphone review: The best headphone V-Moda has ever made

PC World - Wed, 2019-07-17 06:00
The first real collaboration between V-Moda and majority stakeholder Roland delivers sonic refinements and performance improvements in just about every area.

Nextbase 422GW dash cam review: Superior video and versatile design, lacking only infrared

PC World - Wed, 2019-07-17 05:00

Nextbase’s new GW modular series, including the $230 422GW reviewed here, have raised the bar for dual-channel dash cams. They’re pricey, but feature an HDMI port that, besides outputting video, accepts any one of three $100 rear cameras: a cabin view (interior) module, a traditional rear-window mounted unit, and a unique telephoto rear module that captures what’s behind you without the hassle of wiring, or obscuring your view.

Beyond that, there’s phone connectivity, Alexa, GPS, and a touchscreen. If it weren’t for the lack of infrared lighting for interior night captures, the 422GW would be hands-down the best dash cam I’ve ever tested. For my purposes it still is, but if you’re driving a taxi or patrol car at night, the unit’s interior captures aren’t going to cut it. 

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How to build a killer PC for cheap with Amazon Prime Day deals

PC World - Tue, 2019-07-16 20:22

My, how far we’ve come in half a year. RAM and SSD prices have dropped so much that in combination with Amazon Prime Day’s PC component sales (and Newegg’s thunderous response), you can build a budget gaming PC that’s FreeSync-ready and includes Windows for $300.

This upgraded version of my $272 Black Friday gaming PC has a better motherboard, faster RAM, and double the amount of RAM and storage. Not shabby for an extra $40, and us being in the middle of the year. You don’t even need to live near a Micro Center to get this price, either—nor are you limited to this one budget build. A plethora of CPU deals and a handful of GPU deals are available for folks with larger pockets.

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Apple highlights new emojis coming this fall to iOS and macOS in celebration of World Emoji Day

Mac World - Tue, 2019-07-16 18:49

Last year, Apple celebrated World Emoji Day (July 17) by giving us a preview of some of the emojis coming to iOS 12 and macOS Mojave in the fall of 2018. This year, Apple’s doing it again.

In February, the Unicode Consortium finalized the Emoji 12.0 list, approving 59 new emojis to be included in our operating systems this fall. Those 59 new emojis include over 170 variants of gender and skin tone to better represent the diversity of people and couples on the planet.

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How to make voice and video calls using Alexa and your Amazon Echo

Mac World - Tue, 2019-07-16 18:20
You can use Alexa on your Amazon Echo to make calls without a mobile number or landline? Here's how.

How to make voice and video calls using Alexa and your Amazon Echo

PC World - Tue, 2019-07-16 18:20
You can use Alexa on your Amazon Echo to make calls without a mobile number or landline? Here's how.

How to play music you own on an Amazon Echo

PC World - Tue, 2019-07-16 17:57
Play your own MP3 collection on an Amazon Echo or other Alexa devices using Plex or My Media.

AMD has a loaner program for third-gen Ryzen PCs that won't boot

PC World - Tue, 2019-07-16 14:39

Because of limitations in a motherboard's BIOS, third-generation Ryzen chips may not boot with older AM4 motherboards. The solution? An exchange program that can solve what's essentially a chicken-and-egg problem for users building their first Ryzen PC.

The problem can be traced back to the motherboard's UEFI/BIOS. AMD pledged to make the AM4 socket backward-compatible all the way to the original Ryzen. Unfortunately, the amount of code necessary to accommodate all of the various microprocessor permutations has stretched the limits of what AM4 motherboards can handle.

That's presented two issues. First, the latest X570 boards have dropped support for older chips like the first-generation Ryzen because of these limitations. But the opposite is also true: Consumers who buy the latest third-generation Ryzen processor may find themselves unable to boot their new chip when it's paired with a cheap, legacy motherboard, including those powered by an X370 and B350 chipset. 

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Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar review: A taste of immersive audio in a spouse-friendly footprint

PC World - Tue, 2019-07-16 11:10
The first soundbar with DTS Virtual:X technology is impressive, but it's not perfect.

Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar review: A taste of immersive audio in a spouse-friendly footprint

Mac World - Tue, 2019-07-16 11:10
The first soundbar with DTS Virtual:X technology is impressive, but it's not perfect.

Eero Home WiFi System 2 review: Beacons make this system even easier to install

PC World - Tue, 2019-07-16 10:37

Note: During Amazon's Prime Day sale you can get theEero mesh Wi-Fi system is on sale for a whopping 50 percent off. At $199 you can blanket your home with Wi-Fi at an incredible price. See all our other picks of the the best Prime Day deals.

The second-generation Eero Home WiFi System is even easier to set up than the first, thanks to wireless access points called Beacons that plug straight into AC outlets. It’s also more powerful, thanks to a new Qualcomm mesh Wi-Fi router chipset and a tri-band Wi-Fi radio. Eero says the $399 kit reviewed here is suitable for a three- to four-bedroom home, and I agree. The router delivered triple-digit throughput in every room of my 2800-square-foot home—more than enough bandwidth to support several HD video streams simultaneously.

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Eero Home WiFi System 2 review: Beacons make this system even easier to install

Mac World - Tue, 2019-07-16 10:37
Eero's Home WiFi System 2 is one of the most elegant home-networking solutions you can buy, but it’s not the fastest router.

Messages and Maps: Two apps we wish Apple would port from iOS to Mac

Mac World - Tue, 2019-07-16 07:00

With macOS Catalina, Apple is providing a tool for developers (called Catalyst) that makes it really easy to take an existing iPad app over to the Mac. Apple started testing the technology in macOS Mojave last year, by porting over some of its own iOS apps—News, Home, Voice Memos, and Stocks.

This year, Apple expands its list of iOS apps on Mac with Music, Podcasts, TV, Screen Time, and the new Find My app. Those first four apps introduced last year are getting an upgrade, too.

While these are welcome changes, I can’t help but think Apple is missing a huge opportunity. Two of macOS’s most important apps—Maps and Messages—are so far behind their iOS counterparts that we would all be better-served by Apple just porting the iOS app in the same fashion.

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New BittBoy V3 review: The best option for retro gaming on the go

PC World - Tue, 2019-07-16 06:30

The New BittBoy V3 is a handheld retro gaming emulation device that looks like Nintendo’s classic GameBoy—but has hardware powerful enough to play NES, Genesis, and even Playstation 1 games. For $70 (including an 8GB micro SD card) it offers great battery life, a nice screen, and consistent emulation. As of this writing we’re also seeing some great summer discounts. It’s a relatively easy option for those who like to take some favorite video games on the road, as long as you’re willing to deal with a few drawbacks.  

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Small device, mighty power

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