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Free design tip: Make it look like what Apple made

Mac World - Sat, 2018-03-31 07:00

Another day, another example of the “natural evolution” of design just happening to, quite coincidentally and certainly without any conscious effort, trending toward, uh, well, looking exactly like whatever Apple made.

Writing for The Verge, Vlad Savov takes a first look at Huawei’s FreeBuds.

“Huawei’s wannabe AirPods look and feel good.”

That’s about all he can say at this point as Huawei hasn’t let anyone listen to anything with them yet.

In Europe, Huawei is pricing the FreeBuds at €159…

FreeBuds. Neither free nor associated with adorable and precocious basketball-playing golden retrievers.

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The best wireless chargers for iPhone X and iPhone 8

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-30 17:02

With the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple has finally joined the wireless charging revolution. For years, many Android users have had the ability to simply plop their phone on a pad to juice it up, but to do that with an iPhone used to require a special (and bulky) case.

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Apple Pencil lag test: New iPad vs. iPad Pro

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-30 14:21

We’re still a few days away from our complete review of the new 9.7-inch iPad, but in the meantime we made a quick lag test video for anyone who wants to see how well it holds up compared to a 2015 12.9-inch iPad Pro. (A newer model currently isn’t in the office.) Our full review will discuss the Pencil’s performance on the 9.7-inch iPad in greater detail, especially since it’s one of the key selling points, but this should help you out if you’re seeking a quick visual comparison.

Put simply, I barely notice any difference between the two while using most Pencil-compatible apps. If anything, the Apple Pencil feels as though it delivers slightly smoother performance in the Notes Plus app on the new 9.7-inch iPad compared to the older Pro. (I also put a brand-new nib on my older Apple Pencil for a more even comparison.)

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VTech VM2251 Video Baby Monitor review: A best friend for new parents

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-30 12:30
The in-home baby camera includes a temperature monitor, automatic night vision, and a sound-activated screen.

VTech VM2251 Video Baby Monitor review: A best friend for new parents

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-30 12:30
The in-home baby camera includes a temperature monitor, automatic night vision, and a sound-activated screen.

This week in games: Red Faction Guerrilla gets 'Re-Mars-Stered,' de_dust2 appears in Far Cry 5

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-30 11:30

I’m pretty sure building de_dust2 in any map-editing tool is the equivalent of running Doom on every device with a screen. It’s mandatory. Mandatory. So it’s no surprise someone already did it with Far Cry 5’s spin-off Arcade mode.

A look at that, plus new trailers for Pillars of Eternity II and Jurassic World Evolution, details on a Red Faction: Guerrilla remaster and one for Mark of the Ninja too, and free copies of Spec Ops: The Line (for a limited time).

This is gaming news for March 26 to 30.

The discounts

Starting this week as always with everyone’s favorite: Free games. This week it’s Humble again giving away the goods, with “the goods” in this case being free copies of Spec Ops: The Line, everyone’s favorite slightly-deeper-than-your-average-shooter shooter. It probably isn’t as impactful in 2018 as it was in 2012—the shooter landscape’s changed a lot. Still, nobody else has even attempted something better yet so...yeah. Pick it up, and fast. The deal only runs until Saturday.

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Cover your home with Wi-Fi on the cheap with Amazon’s one-day TP-Link sale

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-30 10:54

A strong Wi-Fi system is the foundation of any connected home, and Amazon’s one-day TP-Link sale will help you blanket every room without hurting your wallet. With everything from routers to range extenders, this sale offers plenty of options for enabling or enhancing your Wi-Fi connection.

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Cover your home with Wi-Fi on the cheap with Amazon’s one-day TP-Link sale

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-30 10:54

A strong Wi-Fi system is the foundation of any connected home, and Amazon’s one-day TP-Link sale will help you blanket every room without hurting your wallet. With everything from routers to range extenders, this sale offers plenty of options for enabling or enhancing your Wi-Fi connection.

To read this article in full, please click here

AMD Ryzen 5 processors get killer Amazon deals with Zen+ CPUs looming

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-30 09:51

A fresh generation of AMD processors looms on the horizon, and its approach is creating wonderful ripple effects: You can find current-gen Ryzen processors going for wickedly good deals. AMD already dropped Ryzen prices in January, then pushed them down even further this month. Now costs have plunged yet again for two mainstream models if you’re willing to fill out rebate forms.

First up: The 6-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 1600, which we recently used in a mini-ITX Ryzen gaming PC. Amazon’s selling it for $176, or $13 less than its newly reduced price. But a rebate slashes another $20 off, bringing the total down to just $156. That’s not quite as cheap as the low-water mark this sold for during Amazon’s recent one-day PC gaming sale, but that’s an astounding number of cores and threads for the price. This chip originally launched at $220 and was worth every penny even then; Intel’s rival Core i5-8400 costs $179, and its six cores lack multi-threading and can’t be overclocked.  

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Why Apple's new iPad is a better option for schools than a Chromebook tablet

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-30 07:00
Acer's new Chromebook tablet may be a dead ringer for the new iPad, but when it comes to schools, Apple has a key advantage when it comes to privacy.

Why Apple's new iPad is a better option for schools than a Chromebook tablet

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-30 07:00

It only took eight years, but the tablet wars have officially begun. Ever since Apple unveiled its instantly iconic iPad back in 2010, we’ve been waiting for something to challenge it in a meaningful way. And it’s finally come, not in the form of an Android tablet, but a Chrome OS-based one. And the first battleground will be schools.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether tablets will ever actually be a thing in schools, but Apple is certainly moving as if it is. About 24 hours after Acer unveiled the world’s first Chromebook tablet, Apple responded with its own Pencil-compatible iPad that matches Acer’s in just about every way: price, battery life, screen resolution, and portability. I haven’t had a chance to play with one yet, but on paper, Acer’s 9.7-inch Chromebook Tab 10—seriously, who names these things—seems to be a solid option for districts looking for the touch-screen Chrome experience without the bulk of an attached keyboard. It even looks a lot like the iPad, if not for the ugly reflective Acer logo on the front of the Chromebook.

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How to make Time Capsule and networked drives appear for your Mac

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-30 07:00

Macworld reader Timothy purchased a Time Capsule that he wants to use exclusively as a base station with a networked drive, rather than for Time Machine backups. But he’s not seeing the Time Capsule appear on his Mac as an option.

IDG

Finder Preferences might be set to not show network drives.

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Acer Predator Helios 300 review: A well-rounded gaming laptop at a great price

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-30 06:00

With the monstrous Predator 21 X and sleek Predator Triton 700, Acer staked a compelling claim on the high-end market, loading its notebooks with extravagant features and the most powerful portable gaming hardware available. The Acer Predator Helios 300 doesn’t concern itself with fanciful bells and whistles. It’s a straightforward, no-nonsense gaming laptop that delivers a refreshing amount of bang for your buck, starting at $1,100 on Amazon with a Core i7-7700HQ processor and a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.

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Tobii's eye-tracking tech is niche on PCs, but makes virtual reality feel like magic

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-30 06:00

When I got one of Tobii’s eye-tracking devices a few years ago, I didn’t know what to do with it. Tobii bills itself as “the world leader in eye tracking,” and as far as I could tell the claim rang true. The device certainly worked, and I could see it being very useful for people who (for any number of reasons) can’t use a keyboard and mouse.

But Tobii clearly wanted to broaden its ambitions and turn eye-tracking into a more mass-market solution, not an alternate means of interfacing with PCs but a primary means. I tried it. Ubisoft builds Tobii support into all its games, and I played Assassin’s Creed: Rogue with Tobii’s eye-tracker swinging the camera wherever I looked. “Cool tech,” I thought, and then promptly went back to using a mouse and keyboard.

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It’s time for Apple to show iBooks some love

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-30 06:00

When it comes to books, Apple seems to have lost the plot a bit.

Ahead of this week’s education event, one rumor had the company unveiling a revamp in its iBooks Store and iBooks apps. But the event came and went with only passing mentions of ebooks. Recent betas of iOS 11.3 saw the iBooks app’s name change to “Books,” sparking further discussion that an overhaul was imminent, but the final release has kept the name as is.

There are still rumblings that Apple may be planning to make some changes to its ebook offering in the coming months. Late last year, the company reportedly hired an Audible executive (who had also formerly worked at Barnes & Noble) to head up the effort. But with Apple’s latest event over and its next one a couple months away, it’s bound to be a little while before we see any concrete changes.

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How to listen to live baseball games on an Amazon Echo

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 16:47
TuneIn Live and MLB At Bat can stream live baseball on the Amazon Echo and other Alexa devices—but not for free.

Microsoft executive shakeup signals big changes for Windows, Office and more

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 13:55

Microsoft handed the reins of its Windows and Devices team from Terry Myerson to Rajesh Jha on Thursday, part of a series of moves signalling that Microsoft wants to bring a “unifying product ethos” to Windows, Office, and third-party apps.

In an email to employees, chief executive Satya Nadella explained that the future of Microsoft lay in "the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge," Nadella’s new way of describing Microsoft’s mission. Familiar names will help Microsoft get there: Panos Panay, who helped bring the original Surface to market, is now Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, and Joe Belfiore will continue leading Microsoft’s Windows experiences.

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Apple adds thousands of music videos to Apple Music in advance of iOS 11.3 release

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-29 13:09

Back in January, Apple took the unusual step of posting a preview of iOS 11.3. The focus was on new Animoji, health records, and battery health, but it also included a quick shout-out to Apple Music.

“Apple Music will soon be the home for music videos,” it said.

Today, Apple makes good on that promise, as it gears up for the final release of iOS 11.3. Apple has added thousands of new music videos to Apple Music, from all across the musical landscape. This includes new exclusive videos debuting first on Apple Music: “The Space Program” from A Tribe Called Quest, “Colors” from Beck, “Stop Me From Falling” from Kylie Minogue, “Alien” from Sabrina Carpenter and Jonas Blue, and a live performance music video of “Evergreen” from Yebba.

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Hades Canyon NUC review: Intel taps AMD's Radeon Vega graphics for a powerful mini-PC

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 13:03

Intel’s Hades Canyon is more than a simple successor to its Skull Canyon predecessor, an extreme version of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC). When Skull Canyon launched in 2016, it bucked the mini-PC trend of modest specs designed for general computing, instead boasting the absolute latest in hardware for its size: a 45W quad-core processor, integrated graphics capable of 1080p gaming, and a port that supported external graphics. At the time, that ultra-compact mini-PC was unrivaled.

The Hades Canyon NUC brings its own first: a single, Intel-produced chip (code-named Kaby Lake-G) that marries an Intel mobile CPU with an AMD Radeon RX Vega M mobile GPU. It’s silicon that can handle heavy-duty tasks without breaking much of a sweat.

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This lens cleaner keeps your camera spotless for under $5

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-29 10:47

Nothing’s more irritating than snapping the perfect picture only to discover dust and dirt blemishing the image. Wiping your phone or camera with your shirt can work in a pinch, but also leaves tiny fibers scattered across the lens. A cleaning pen can wipe your camera spotless in seconds, and LensPen’s silver UltraPro lens cleaner is on sale on Amazon and Best Buy right now for $4.89, or about 43 percent lower than usual.

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