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Apple releases iOS 12.1.1 with updated eSIM support, Live Photos in FaceTime, and more

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 14:47

Apple has released iOS 12.1.1, a minor update that comes five weeks after the last major public release (iOS 12.1). The update is primarily concerned with fixing minor bugs, but there are a few user-facing changes worth noting.

FaceTime is improved with an easier, one-tap interface to change between the front and rear camera. The previous iOS 12 FaceTime interface was roundly criticized for being needlessly obtuse. You can also record Live Photos from FaceTime calls. 

Those with an iPhone XR will see new support for Haptic Touch on notifications. And all iPhone XR and XS users get more carrier options for eSIM support.

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The Full Nerd ep. 77: Super X-Fi, old-school computers, and an unveiling

PC World - Wed, 2018-12-05 13:15

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung and Adam Patrick Murray are joined by Creative Labs’ Ryan Schlieper to talk about Super X-Fi, old-school computers, and a sneak peek at the newest Sound Blaster!

First the crew discusses Creative’s breakthrough “holographic audio” dongle known as the Super X-Fi, which promises to pack a surround-sound system into your pocket. The Super X-Fi is so impressive, you won’t believe what Adam says about it.

And then in a surprise move, Ryan unveils Creative’s new Sound Blaster AE-9 with a break-out box and a 6-pin PCIe power plug.

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Here are five cheaper alternatives to Apple’s new $39 iPhone XR clear case

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 12:44

The iPhone XR has been out for more than a month, but Apple is only just now getting around to offering a case for it. As expected, it’s clear to show off the natural color of iPhone XR. And also as expected, it’s not cheap.

At $39, Apple's iPhone XR Clear Case costs as much as the colored silicone cases Apple sells for the iPhone XS and XS Max, and you don't get a cool color choice or an embossed Apple logo. Fortunately, you don’t need to look too far to find a cheaper one. It might not be crafted with the same “blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU materials” as Apple’s, but they’ll surely protect your phone from bumps just as well. Here are five of the highest rated alternatives on Amazon right now:

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Steve Jobs-autographed copy of Macworld headed to auction

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 12:10

A copy of Macworld’s first issue that was signed by Steve Jobs will head to auction between December 6 and December 13 on RR Auction, and I’d totally be on that if I had more cash to throw around. Not only is our February 1984 issue one of the better-known artifacts of Apple history, but Jobs’ autograph on this issue is particularly remarkable as he wasn’t fond of giving them out.

RR Auction

First issues of our magazine usually fetch good prices on their own, but RR Auction estimates that Jobs’ signature on this copy will fetch around $10,000.

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Amazon's one-day Logitech sale features 50% off keyboards, mice, and headphones

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 11:41

The right peripheral devices can make or break your entire PC experience, and today you can grab some awesome ones for super cheap. Amazon has a whole lineup of accessories available for half off or better today, from keyboards to headphones and everything in between.

First up is the MK545 Advanced Wireless Keyboard combo for $30, half off its $60 list priceRemove non-product link. This is the Amazon exclusive version of Logitech's awesome MK540—which we gave 4.5 stars out of 5 for its comfortable design and programmable and quiet keys—and comes with a few enhancements over the standard model, namely a textured palm rest and longer mouse battery life (24 month versus 18 months).

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Amazon's one-day Logitech sale features 50% off keyboards, mice, and headphones

PC World - Wed, 2018-12-05 11:41

The right peripheral devices can make or break your entire PC experience, and today you can grab some awesome ones for super cheap. Amazon has a whole lineup of accessories available for half off or better today, from keyboards to headphones and everything in between.

First up is the MK545 Advanced Wireless Keyboard combo for $30, half off its $60 list priceRemove non-product link. This is the Amazon exclusive version of Logitech's awesome MK540—which we gave 4.5 stars out of 5 for its comfortable design and programmable and quiet keys—and comes with a few enhancements over the standard model, namely a textured palm rest and longer mouse battery life (24 month versus 18 months).

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Amazon and Newegg have slashed prices on some of our favorite graphics cards today

PC World - Wed, 2018-12-05 09:56

Amazon’s awesome 12 days of Christmas sale just keeps rolling along. Just two days after its latest gaming hardware sale, a new PC components and accessories sale has landed, and it might be even better for gamers. Our top three deals today are all graphics cards—with an extra special deal from Newegg thrown in, because, well, we can't resist.

First up, is a set of 4GB AMD Radeon RX 580 graphic cards. The plain old Gigabyte Radeon RX 580Remove non-product link and the Gigabyte Aorus Radeon RX 580Remove non-product link are both $185 today. These cards have dual-fans with Gigabyte’s Windforce 2x blade fan design, and they feature the company’s RGB fusion customizable lighting. The Aorus version has a slightly higher clock speed, but both will work fantastically well for no compromises 1080p gaming at 60 frames per second (fps).

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Roku TV Wireless Speakers review: A terrific sonic value for anyone rocking a Roku TV

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 09:30
Theser stereo speakers will tightly integrate with TVs based on Roku OS, and those are the only TVs they're compatible with.

Roku TV Wireless Speakers review: A terrific sonic value for anyone rocking a Roku TV

PC World - Wed, 2018-12-05 09:30
Theser stereo speakers will tightly integrate with TVs based on Roku OS, and those are the only TVs they're compatible with.

Never Lose Track Of Your Keys Again With KeySmart Pro, Now Just $34

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 09:26

Do you or a loved one have trouble finding your phone or keys before heading to work in the morning? No matter how hard you try, you’ll always end up misplacing one or the other, but with a Tile Bluetooth tag, you can easily locate your misplaced phone or keys.

However, if you like to maintain a minimal amount of everyday carry, adding a Tile to your keys will add extra bulk. To solve this, KeySmart and Tile have collaborated to deliver the KeySmart Pro, a key holder with built-in Tile functionality, and you can pick one up in black, red or white for $33.99 with code MERRY15 at checkout.

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This Impressively Powerful Mini PC Is A Great Gift For Under $160

PC World - Wed, 2018-12-05 09:21

Desktop computers are notorious for being bulky, towering machines that take up a ton of desk space and are no fun to transport. The Fusion C Mini PC, however, is looking to change that. You can get it on sale and save an extra 15% when you use the code MERRY15 at check out, lowering the final price to only $153.

The Fusion C is a fully realized personal computer that runs all your favorite productivity apps with ease but is small and lightweight enough that you can take it wherever you go. It’s perfect for students, business professionals on the go, and everyone in between. If you need portable computing power, the Fusion C is exactly what you’ve been searching for.

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How to use iCloud for continuity when restoring from an iOS backup

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 08:00

When migrating from one iOS device to another, iCloud provides continuity. If you’ve already set up a target device and logged into iCloud with the same Apple ID as on the device from which you’re migrating, you don’t lose anything synced with iCloud in the process.

The only thing to watch out for is information you’ve created uniquely on the target device that isn’t stored in the cloud, but you believe is stored on the device itself. Depending on the app, you need to make sure to back that data up.

That can include photos if you’re not using iCloud Photos (formerly iCloud Photo Library), which automatically syncs all your media through iCloud and across iOS devices and Macs logged into the same account. With that feature off, a target device on which you’ve captured or stored any images or videos that you haven’t imported into Photos (or iPhoto) will have all this new media deleted when you restore from another device.

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Online security tools: The holiday gift that shows you really care

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 07:00

In an era of conspicuous consumption, many folks have shifted from material gifts to offering experiences or digital goods. Here’s a digital gift suggestion: Give the gift of security. With free and inexpensive options that pay huge dividends to the recipient, you can be the savviest and most beloved person in the house.

Why give the gift of security? If a friend or relative uses two-factor authentication and a password manager, they dramatically reduce the odds of a hack or breach. Signing up for password-breach notifications and using password management lets them quickly change secrets for exposed accounts. In all, it can save your friends and family from a lot of grief from what seems like an inevitability these days.

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Is Apple’s TV streaming service bound for Apple TV competitors?

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 06:00

Just how big is Amazon’s announcement last week that Apple Music is coming to Echo devices? It all depends on if you see it as something larger about how Apple is prioritizing its subscription services compared to its traditional focus on making money by selling hardware.

The cold war between Amazon and Apple seems to be thawing at last. Amazon’s Prime Video app finally arrived on Apple TV late last year. Apple devices are widely available on Amazon thanks to a new deal between the two companies. And now there’s this new wrinkle, in which Amazon will become the second third-party speaker vendor (after Sonos) to offer support for Apple Music.

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Nanoleaf Canvas Smart Light Squares review: Nanoleaf’s wall lighting goes touch-sensitive

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 06:00
Nanoleaf continues to innovate in the realm of decorative home lighting. It's new Canvas Smart Light Squares open up new opportunities for creating your own illuminated wall art.

Is Apple’s TV service bound for the Apple TV’s competition?

Mac World - Wed, 2018-12-05 06:00

Just how big is Amazon’s announcement last week that Apple Music is coming to Echo devices? It all depends on if you see it as something larger about how Apple is prioritizing its subscription services compared to its traditional focus on making money by selling hardware.

The cold war between Amazon and Apple seems to be thawing at last. Amazon’s Prime Video app finally arrived on Apple TV late last year. Apple devices are widely available on Amazon thanks to a new deal between the two companies. And now there’s this new wrinkle, in which Amazon will become the second third-party speaker vendor (after Sonos) to offer support for Apple Music.

To read this article in full, please click here

Rakuten Kobo Forma e-reader review: Refined experience, flawed package

PC World - Wed, 2018-12-05 06:00

There’s a tug-of-war behind the design of every device you own. Companies strive to find the right balance of size, weight and features based on market research and what’s worked well for them in the past. Rakuten Kobo’s done well with large-format E-Ink devices like the Kobo Aura One over the past few years. With the Forma, Kobo looks to build upon this success by giving digital book lovers more of the same, only more so. It’s larger, lighter, and comes packing more features than the Aura One.

Unfortunately, when you go larger and lighter at the same time, something’s got to give.

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Nanoleaf Canvas Smart Light Squares review: Nanoleaf’s wall lighting goes touch-sensitive

PC World - Wed, 2018-12-05 06:00
Nanoleaf continues to innovate in the realm of decorative home lighting. It's new Canvas Smart Light Squares open up new opportunities for creating your own illuminated wall art.

How fast is 5G? This speed demo gives us an idea

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 20:08

So how fast is 5G, anyway? About as fast as a premium-tier cable modem, according to a live test performed by Qualcomm, Motorola, and Verizon on Tuesday. 

All three companies showed off the technology at the Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, demoing a prototype 5G device on a prototype 5G network. (The entire first day was devoted to 5G.) And according to the test, the modem transferred a gigabyte’s worth of data in 17 seconds. That’s 0.0588 gigabytes per second, or 58.8 Mbps or 470.4 Mbits/s. That’s pretty damn fast.

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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855 mobile chip as it readies for 5G

PC World - Tue, 2018-12-04 18:51

Qualcomm opened its Snapdragon Technology Summit as a cheerleader, evangelizing the 5G wireless technology that’s rolling out worldwide from chipmakers, carriers, and smartphone makers. Qualcomm’s first “5G-ready” smartphone processor will be the Snapdragon 855.

Qualcomm executives provided a “state of 5G” update—part technical summary, part hype. AT&T and Verizon also joined Qualcomm on stage to provide updates on their own 5G rollouts, as well as to promote the new standard. 

Though Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips are built into phones, part of the 5G transition is simply convincing users that 5G is real, that it’s here, and that it’s needed. “Here is the final message: It’s that the entire industry is moving at the same pace for 2019 launches. It is not just about upgrading a mature market, but moving to new business models,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), the company’s chipset business, 

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