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Updated: 12 min 9 sec ago

Reverse indicator: The future of the Mac

Sat, 2017-12-09 07:00

Good news, Mac fans! Apple is committed to the Mac for the foreseeable future and you can look forward to a strong product pipeline. How does the Macalope know this? Because John C. Dvorak just wrote that Apple was going to do the opposite.

“Apple Is Ready to Ditch the Mac.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @_HairForceOne, @ElPocho and Stephen.)

Does anyone remember the last time Dvorak was right about Apple? Was it during the Eisenhower administration?

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Sony WF-1000x true wireless headphones review: Amazing sound, lackluster noise-cancelling tech

Fri, 2017-12-08 17:30

If the notion of a $198 set of true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation sounds a little too good to be true, it’s because it is. While Sony’s WF-1000x Noise Cancelling True Wireless Headphones sound great, their ANC functionality and battery life leave a lot to be desired.

Hardware 

Available in black or gold, the WF-1000x are a little larger than some of the other true wireless earbuds that we’ve looked at, like the Jaybird Runs or the B&O Beoplay E8s. Sony hasn’t referenced their exact dimensions online, but I can tell you that they’re smaller than the Bose SoundSport Free—a fact that will be welcomed by a lot of people. Most of each earbud’s 0.24-ounce weight sits outside of your ears while you’re wearing them. To ensure that they stay in place, Sony designed them to nestle far into the ear canal and provided them with rubber stabilization fins for good measure. The WF-1000x ship with four different sizes of ear caps, so most people shouldn’t have a problem making a secure fit, provided the shape of the earbuds allows you to get them into your ears.

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Best Buy is selling a Philips Hue–Google Home Bundle for $199 today

Fri, 2017-12-08 15:07
You get what amounts to a free Google Home if you pick up this bundle.

Apple’s TV app goes live in U.K., France, and Germany

Fri, 2017-12-08 14:16

Previously available only in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Norway, and Sweden, the TV app hasn’t felt like a very important part of the iOS/tvOS ecosystem. Today, its reach extends considerably.

Though Apple has yet to make an official announcement, the TV app has started to pop up on devices in France, Germany, and the U.K. You’ll see it on iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV (4th generation and Apple TV 4K). The list of apps supported by the TV app varies by country; U.K. viewers should see content from BBC iPlayer, ITV, and My5 in addition to services like Amazon Prime Video and Hopster. App updates may be required in some cases. 

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WyzeCam review: $20 home security camera is a real steal

Fri, 2017-12-08 07:30
This unassuming cube packs the most popular features of cameras 10 times its price.

WyzeCam review: $20 home security camera is a real steal

Fri, 2017-12-08 07:30
This unassuming cube packs the most popular features of cameras ten times its price.

The once and future OS for Apple

Fri, 2017-12-08 06:00

For Apple watchers, the company is always a bit like the proverbial duck: floating seemingly calm and placid above the water while paddling furiously just below it. Which is why it’s often hard to gauge exactly what the company is up to, especially when the current is changing.

In the last few weeks, both my colleague Jason Snell and I have looked ahead to what Apple might be envisioning for the future of its devices. I’ve opined on ARM-powered Macs; Jason’s wondered about the possibility of a laptop running iOS. In a recent conversation—on our secret podcast, which you should check out—we started to put some pieces together and conjectured that maybe these aren’t two different stories but rather one larger tale of what Apple’s future might hold.

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Rowkin Micro true wireless earbuds review: Super little, not super great

Thu, 2017-12-07 15:05

Let me make this clear from the get-go: I am not fond of the Rowkin Micro true wireless earbuds. The reason for this is simple: They sound bad—not terrible, but bad. As they cost $130, I feel that it’s reasonable to demand that they at least sound good.

A number of the true wireless options that I’ve reviewed are available for around this same price point—and they sound good or even great. So, I know it can be done.  The crux of the problem, along with the other issues I encountered while using the Micro, stems from the same source: their diminutive size.

Hardware

One of the great things about the Rowkin Micro is that they look like the future. At 0.72- by 1.25-inches and a hardly-there weight of 0.18 ounces, they’re easily the tiniest true wireless earbuds that I’ve had the opportunity to play with. It isn’t possible to stick these things into your ears without feeling like you’re in a dystopian cyberpunk novel. They look like the wireless headphones of the future: small to the point of being almost unnoticeable.  The good news and bad news about these earbuds is that they’re designed to sit so far into the opening of your ear canal that some people could have difficulties getting them out. Once they’ve been inserted, their small size doesn’t leave you much to grab on to.

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Best Buy is selling an 8TB external hard drive for $140

Thu, 2017-12-07 14:02

If you missed out on Best Buy's Black Friday deal on the WD Easystore 8TB external hard drive, you're in luck. Today it's one of the big box retailer's daily doorbusters, though its price tag of $140 isn't quite as cheap.

That's still a very good deal, however. While this Easystore drive is part of Western Digital's exclusive line for Best Buy, its equivalents at Amazon and other retailers are currently selling for about $45 more. This discount also undercuts last week's sale price of $150.

This drive comes with USB 3.0, which WD says allows transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second. As with other WD drives, it comes with WD Backup (the company's automated backup software) to keep all the files on your PC in more than one place.

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Jaybird Run true wireless headphones review: This AirPod competitor packs great sound at a great price

Thu, 2017-12-07 13:20

For $20 more than you’ll fork over for a pair of Apple’s AirPods, you can invest in a significantly better true wireless headphone listening experience. With a customizable equalizer settings, the $180 Jaybird Run True Wireless Headphones sound great, are sweat- and water-resistant, and come with a number of fit options to ensure comfort. For the time being, these are the true wireless headphones that we recommend for most people.

Hardware

Weighing about 0.22 ounces a piece, you won’t mind the weight of the Jaybird Runs. Unlike Apple’s AirPods, which hang off of your ear’s tragus and antitragus, the Jaybird Runs need to be jammed, albeit shallowly, into your ear canal. Not only does this ensure that they’ll stay in your head—even during strenuous activities— but the earbud’s position in your ears will create a tight seal, thanks in part to the included silicon tips (available in a number of sizes). This provides users with some passive noise cancellation—that’s good news for the quality of any audio you’ll listen to, but maybe bad news for some athletes.

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Face-ile arguments: Getting it wrong about Face ID

Thu, 2017-12-07 07:00

Beware, iPhone X users! Unscrupulous developers will soon have access to your precious bodily data!

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and weaponized wrongness foundry, Kevin Murnane asks “What Could Possibly Go Wrong? The iPhone X’s Face ID.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nathan and @designheretic.)

Police are happy to report that the underlying point of this article was found wandering pantsless and confused in a Denny’s parking lot and has been returned to home safely.

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Why Amazon and Google just can't get along

Thu, 2017-12-07 06:00
Amazon Prime Video finally arrives on Apple TV, but don't hold your breath for Chromecast support.

What can Apple learn from its terrible week of bugs?

Thu, 2017-12-07 06:00

What can you say about Apple’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week last week? A macOS security flaw and an iOS bug led to emergency security fixes, rapid OS releases, and the general sense that Apple’s software is having some serious safety and reliability problems.

But why is it happening, and what can be done about it? Unfortunately, Apple’s internal software-development processes are relatively secretive, not to mention incredibly complex. So beyond hoping that a week like this one doesn’t happen again, what can any of us say about it? (I’d certainly be interested in the perspective of someone like Steven Sinofsky, who managed Windows for Microsoft for many years, but unless someone has spent time working on developing an operating system with millions or billions of users, it’s unlikely they’ll understand the ridiculous complexity of these processes.)

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Bragi Dash Pro true wireless headphones review: Packed with high-tech extras, but not worth the price

Wed, 2017-12-06 20:45

For most people, $330 is a lot of money to spend on anything that isn’t groceries, a car payment, or your rent or mortgage. It’s an extravagant amount to pay for a set of headphones. For the price, you’d want them to be as close to perfect as possible. My problem with the Bragi Dash Pro true wireless headphones is that they sound good, but not great—a similar aural experience can be had with true wireless earphones that sell for at least $100 less. To justify their high price, Bragi packed the Dash Pro full of high tech extras, but unfortunately, not everything works as well as it should.

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Amazon Prime Video, tvOS 11.2, iOS 11.2 and your comments and questions: Macworld Podcast episode 585

Wed, 2017-12-06 19:05

Six months after it was announced, Amazon Prime Video is finally on the Apple TV. There are also new features in tvOS 11.2, and iOS 11.2 was released with a bug fix and Apple Pay Cash. We also feature your comments and questions for Leah Yamshon, Michael Simon, Jason Cross, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 585.

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Bose SoundSport Free true wireless headphones review: These splash-proof earbuds will please athletes and audiophiles

Wed, 2017-12-06 18:35

Priced at $249, Bose’s SoundSport Free true wireless headphones cost close to $100 more than Apple’s $160 AirPods. But depending on where and how you plan on using them, we feel that Bose’s first stab at wireless headphones are certainly worth the money.

Hardware

With their 1.25- by 1- by 1.2-inch dimensions, the SoundSport Free were, at the time that this review was written, the largest pair of true wireless headphones that we tested. The size of the headphones comes with a purpose: the SoundSport Free come equipped with buttons built into the ear cups. You get your standard volume controls, a button for pairing the earbuds with a Bluetooth device, and a multifunction button that does a bevy of actions—like accepting/declining incoming phone calls, interacting with Siri or Google Now, or controlling the audio that you’re listening to.

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Apple releases macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update

Wed, 2017-12-06 15:15

Apple on Tuesday released macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, an update to the operating system for the Mac. The update follows recent releases of updates for iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Before installing the update, you should back up the data on your Mac. The update is available in the App Store app, in the Updates section. If you don’t see it, press Command-R on your keyboard to refresh the list. You Mac will need to restart to finish the installation.

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BrandPost: iPhone X Face ID security fails; tricked by 10-year-old, 3D-printed mask, and twins

Wed, 2017-12-06 14:46

Authentication for Apple’s most recent iPhone was recently bypassed by a 10-year-old boy who used Face ID to access his mother’s iPhone X, by a set of twins, by a pair of half-brothers from Britain and even by a 3D-printed mask in Vietnam.

According to Apple’s support page, “the TrueDepth camera captures accurate face data by projecting and analyzing over 30,000 invisible dots to create a depth map of your face and also captures an infrared image of your face.“

The TrueDepth camera system that “accurately maps the geometry of your face” is also used to authorize purchases and payments. If a 10-year-old was able to trick it in a split second to read his mom’s messages, emails, and who knows what else, he could also bypass security and make various payments. The story was meticulously analyzed by Wired.

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Amazon Prime Video finally arrives on Apple TV: Here’s everything you can watch

Wed, 2017-12-06 10:02

Almost exactly six months to the day after Apple promised Amazon Prime Video would be coming to Apple TV, the app has arrived in the App Store. And Prime members everywhere can rejoice.

IDG

Do my eyes deceive me?

To install the new app, head over to the App Store and type “Amazon” (or really just “AM”) and click on the icon. Once it installs, select “Sign in and start watching” if you have a Prime account or “No thanks, start browsing” to see what movies and TV shows are available.

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B&O Beoplay E8 true wireless earphones review: The best in class comes at a steep price

Wed, 2017-12-06 09:00

Let’s get this out of the way: The B&O Beoplay E8 true wireless earphones cost $299. Being both a cheapskate and a music aficionado, I tried, hard, to convince myself that other less expensive true wireless headphones that I’ve tested sound just as good, or better, than the E8s do. But they don’t. If you demand the best possible sound in a compact, wire-free package, these are the headphones to get.

Hardware

The E8 earphones are constructed from lightweight polymer with aluminum accents. As each earbud weighs about a quarter-ounce each, most people won’t find it a burden to have them jammed into their skull for hours at a time—provided they’ll fit. Instead of using rubber fins, or hooking into your ears like other in-ear headphones do, the E8s stay in place by being thrust into the opening of your ear canal. That they come with four different sizes of silicon tips to ensure a secure fit as well as a set of Complyfoam foam tips helps to ensure a good fit—but you might want to buy them from a shop or online store with a solid return policy, just in case.

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