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Anker SoundCore 2 Bluetooth speaker review: Good sound in a super small, very affordable package

PC World - Mon, 2018-04-09 06:00
Compact, with good sound for its size, the SoundCore 2 is a bargain at $39.

Nest x Yale Lock review: Nest’s first smart lock is a solid effort, but it needs refinement

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-09 06:00
Nest’s partnership with Yale is a rocky combination.

Anker SoundCore 2 Bluetooth speaker review: Good sound in a super small, very affordable package

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-09 06:00
Compact, with good sound for its size, the SoundCore 2 is a bargain at $39.

Pages 4 for iOS review: Update adds powerful support for book and complex document creation

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-09 06:00

With Pages 4 for iOS, Apple shifts the app's focus from being a fancy word processor with modest page-layout tools, to something that’s substantially more. Even as the app broadens its range of tasks, Apple also improved existing ones that lagged or were incomplete. As a result, Pages is a stronger overall app, and it also offers greater coordination and parity with the new Pages for macOS.

Pages 4 for iOS: Book creation

Pages 4 now comes with book templates for creating interactive ebooks, providing an end-to-end workflow instead of just an export option. These books can be nearly as richly capable and interactive (with a few exceptions) as those produced by iBooks Author. You can also now create drawings and use the Smart Annotation beta for graphical markup and highlighting with either an Apple Pencil or your finger.

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Stages: The Apple pundit journey of discovery

Mac World - Sat, 2018-04-07 07:00

Breaking with tradition, the Macalope is here to link to a piece that he likes rather than one that has him banging his antlers against his desk.

Poor desk. It never did anything. It deserves a day off.

Jonathan Kim noticed the same thing the Macalope did about evolving opinion of The Verge’s Vlad Savov on Airpods.

“AirPods and the Three Stages of Apple Criticism.”

Yes, just like rockets, pundit opinions can have stages. And both can fail in extravagant and embarrassing explosions.

Kim’s three stages are Anger, which comes after the product is announced and pundits just know they hate it, Blaming the “Victims,” when the product’s success is the fault of those dumb Apple fans, and Acceptance, wherein the pundit realizes, hey, this product is actually good.

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Best smart home systems for a connected domicile

PC World - Fri, 2018-04-06 15:41
Your home is only as smart as the hub that orchestrates everything behind the scenes. These DIY tools are the best of the bunch.

Best smart home systems for a connected domicile

Mac World - Fri, 2018-04-06 15:41
Your home is only as smart as the hub that orchestrates everything behind the scenes. These DIY tools are the best of the bunch.

Get Belkin’s 8-port USB-C dock for MacBooks for $60 off

Mac World - Fri, 2018-04-06 14:14

Everybody loves ports, unless you’re Apple’s design team and you’re designing a new iPad. But if you’re not feeling enough port love on your MacBook, you might want to consider picking up Belkin’s USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD for roughly 27 percent off.

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Microsoft plans to bring native 64-bit apps to Qualcomm-powered PCs, but it'll take time

PC World - Fri, 2018-04-06 13:43

Windows PCs that use the battery-sipping Qualcomm Snapdragon ARM processor are just beginning to roll out, but they include some major caveats. One of them, the inability to run 64-bit apps, doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

According to a Microsoft representative, the company will "share more details" on  a preview of its ARM64 software development kit (SDK) at its Build developer conference at the beginning of May. It’s unclear when the preview version of the SDK will be released, when a final version will debut, or when apps based upon it will roll out to end users.

“We will be sharing more details on the ARM64 SDK Preview at Build,” a Microsoft representative said in a statement. “Applications that are 64-bit only typically want to run natively for performance reasons. As a result we decided to focus our engineering investments on the native ARM64 SDK to enable developers to natively write their application for the device.”

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Snapchat finally delivers those TrueDepth-enhanced AR Lenses

Mac World - Fri, 2018-04-06 13:16

Last September, when Apple announced the iPhone X and its new TrueDepth camera, it demonstrated the capabilities by showing off awesome new Snapchat AR lenses. The same sort of selfie accessories we've seen before—masks and hats and such—would now precisely follow the contours of your face and accurately follow your movements. Neat!

The only catch is, the feature didn’t appear with the release of the iPhone X. Only now, six months later, has Snapchat finally delivered its first TrueDepth-enabled AR lenses.

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This week in games: Free copies of Crusader Kings II, Shadow of War removes loot boxes

PC World - Fri, 2018-04-06 11:40

Did you know in Crusader Kings II you can make a horse become ruler of the Roman Empire? And if that doesn't convince you to pick up a copy of the game for free this weekend, then I don't know anything that will.

More details on that below, plus Assassin's Creed: Origins adds cheat codes, Shadow of War deep-sixes loot boxes, Path of Exile temporarily goes battle royale, Lawbreakers studio Boss Key starts work on a new project, and maybe some Shaquille O'Neal news too.

This is gaming news for April 2 to 6.

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The easy-to-use Ecobee 3 Lite smart thermostat is cheaper than we've ever seen it

PC World - Fri, 2018-04-06 10:34

Smart thermostats help you get temperatures just right in your home, bolstered by handy extras like remote adjustment and the ability to communicate with other devices around the house. Right now, you can get the Ecobee3 Lite smart thermostat for an all-time low price of $144, or about $25 off its average price on Amazon.

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The easy-to-use Ecobee 3 Lite smart thermostat is cheaper than we've ever seen it

Mac World - Fri, 2018-04-06 10:34

Smart thermostats help you get temperatures just right in your home, bolstered by handy extras like remote adjustment and the ability to communicate with other devices around the house. Right now, you can get the Ecobee3 Lite smart thermostat for an all-time low price of $144, or about $25 off its average price on Amazon.

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A 4K, HDR Dell UltraSharp monitor is $240 off, and comes with a $200 gift card

PC World - Fri, 2018-04-06 10:06

High-dynamic range displays deliver stunningly bright colors with deep, dark blacks, and the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update dropping any day now will include enhanced HDR support. But HDR is still relatively new to PCs. If you’re looking to upgrade, Dell’s UltraSharp 27-inch U2718Q 4K HDR monitor is on sale for $500 right now, with something extra to sweeten the deal.

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Apple needs to stop promising new products and start delivering them

Mac World - Fri, 2018-04-06 09:31

At WWDC last year, Apple introduced AirPlay 2, a new wireless protocol that allows users to beam audio to multiple rooms, control speakers through the Home app, and use the Apple TV as a hub for music streaming. Apple partnered with some 14 speaker makers including Bose, Bang & Olufsen, and Denon to bring AirPlay 2 support to a whole new crop of devices, and a developer API even promised third-party streaming apps “could all get in on the multi-room audio fun.”

Ten months later, we’re still waiting for it.

After teasing the feature in the original iOS beta, and then in iOS 11.2 and again in iOS 11.3, Apple has once again signaled that AirPlay 2 will be the main feature of iOS 11.4, which will likely release next month. If it arrives, it will be nearly a full year from announcement to availability.

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How to use Safari’s tab management and bookmark stashing to avoid losing web pages

Mac World - Fri, 2018-04-06 08:00

Some people are born to be tabulous, while others (like me) are mostly anti-tab. I’m referring to the tabbed windows in Safari, which can multiply like rabbits in spring as you Command-click or Command-Shift-click to open links from the window you’re viewing in another. I hear tales of people with hundreds of tabs they leave open, and it gives me the heebie-jeebies—I keep tabs open only as long as I need them.

While your working method is your own and, of course, valid no matter what your choices, there’s a downside to having a lot of tabs: you might accidentally close multiple tabs you need, close a window full of tabs, or suffer a Safari or macOS crash that doesn’t restore your windows. I’ve found Safari remarkably resilient in recent years to crashes of all sorts, and rarely have this problem. But because I don’t have windows full of tabs, even if I lost one, it wouldn’t have the same impact.

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Learning to code with Swift Playgrounds as an adult

Mac World - Fri, 2018-04-06 07:00

Apple thinks it is critically important that everyone learn how to code. It may not help you in your job directly, but it teaches useful skills and creates a basic knowledge of the fundamental workings of the products and tools we all use every day. It’s not just something kids should do at school, but an important part of an ongoing education for adults.

So, the company created an initiative called Everyone Can Code that aims to make it easy for anyone, from kids to adults, to learn the basics of writing code. Naturally, it’s centered around Apple’s Swift programming language rather than, say, C++ or JavaScript. And it all starts with Swift Playgrounds, a cute iPad app that teaches the fundamentals of coding in a way so simple even young kids can grasp it.

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Microsoft's new Cortana chief plans to put her smarts in more places

PC World - Fri, 2018-04-06 06:30

Cortana, where art thou? That’s what PCWorld wanted to know when we spoke with Microsoft’s recently-minted Cortana czar, Javier Soltero, late last week. The digital assistant who made a splash in Windows 10 with her snappy comebacks and silly knock-knock jokes is still offering to help you with your calendar and search. She’s even migrated to mobile apps for Android and iOS. But Cortana hasn’t talked her way into our homes like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have, making her staying power look uncertain.

That’s where Soltero comes in. We sat down with Cortana’s new chief in the wake of a significant management shakeup that will see senior executive Terry Myerson leave, as well as the creation of a new "Experiences and Devices" team that seemingly downplays Windows.

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The new Mac Pro: What can we expect from Apple in 2019?

Mac World - Fri, 2018-04-06 06:30

Exactly a year after Apple called a bunch of reporters to its headquarters to talk about the future of its professional-level Macs, the company is once again putting its stake in the ground. In an interview with TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino, several Apple executives have laid out the thinking behind the as-yet-unannounced Mac Pro, which is expected to debut in 2019.

What’s more interesting than the Mac Pro’s existence, however, is the approach Apple is taking to building it: bringing in actual pro users to see their workflows and figure out how to best accommodate them. It’s a side of Apple that, publicly anyway, we’ve rarely seen.

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Notion home monitoring (2nd Edition) review: Modest upgrades advance a winning formula

PC World - Fri, 2018-04-06 06:00
Improvements in battery life and wireless range, coupled with Nest integration, teach Notion some new tricks.

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