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Updated: 11 min 26 sec ago

iOS 11.3 Battery Health FAQ: What it does and how to use it on your iPhone

Wed, 2018-02-07 14:25

The second public beta of iOS 11.3 is available for download, and it brings highly anticipated changes to the Battery settings that let you see your battery health and control throttling. While it doesn’t provide the kind of granular controls some users were hoping for, it will be a welcome addition for people concerned about performance slowdowns. Here’s what you need to know about it:

Can I use it on my phone?

Like the battery replacement program, Apple is limiting the Battery Health settings to the following models:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
So my iPhone 5s is out of luck?

Yup, sorry.

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You can get a 3-port car charger for $7.40 today

Wed, 2018-02-07 13:18

If you've got a smartphone with a fancy new USB-C port—or you own a Nintendo Switch—today's deal will interest you. Aukey is selling a three-port car charger via Amazon for $7.40 when you use coupon code 6DULVOPL.

This charger is usually $20, so you're getting it for 63% off the usual price. Aukey's deal lasts until February 14.

As you might've guessed from the intro, this charger has one USB-C port and two standard USB-A ports. That means it can charge any device you throw at it, including a Type-C device with a Type-C charging cord. No need for adapters or Type-A-to-Type-C cables for your USB-C devices.

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Apple Watch's heart rate sensor can detect diabetes, Cardiogram study finds

Wed, 2018-02-07 10:00

The tiny Apple Watches on our wrists have already saved lives. Not only do they keep us more active, they can also detect a variety of heart diseases without needing any additional bands or accessories. But a new study by Cardiogram is taking it one step further.

The mobile health data company’s deep learning network, DeepHeart, already uses data from the Apple Watch ($429 on heart rate sensor to detect atrial fibrillation, hypertension, and sleep apnea. Now it’s adding a new disease to the list: diabetes. While Apple and Google have been rumored to be working on hardware capable of monitoring glucose levels, Cardiogram’s study used nothing more than machine learning and the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor to detect whether a user has diabetes.

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What’s SATA ’bout? The problem with older laptops and hard drive upgrades

Wed, 2018-02-07 08:00

It was baffling, irritating, and inexplicable. My wife’s mid-2012 MacBook Pro remains in generally good condition, but she started to bump up against the storage limits of its 500GB drive, between iPhone photos and videos and her music collection. She prefers to not use iCloud for sync and storage, especially after watching me wrestle with problems over the years. (It all works fine for me now.)

A drive upgrade seemed a logical and easy course. Apple used to make it relatively easy to pop a new 2.5-inch drive, and this model wasn’t an exception. You pop a few screws on the underside, disconnect the battery (optional, but sensible), and then remove the drive interface cable and a few mounting and locking screws. Reverse the process, and you’re all set.

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5 ways Apple can stop developers from abandoning Apple Watch

Wed, 2018-02-07 06:00

By all accounts, Apple Watch Series 3 is a huge hit for Apple. Over the past year, Apple Watch has steadily increased its sales, with Series 3 models selling at twice the rate of Series 2 last year, according to Tim Cook, and wearables revenue increasing by 50 percent for the fourth straight quarter.

But while people may be buying more Apple Watches than ever before, apps are going in the other direction. In the past few months, several notable apps have departed from the Apple Watch store, among them Amazon, eBay, Twitter, and most recently, Slack. Why? People weren’t really using them.

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16 rugged cases to protect your iPhone X

Wed, 2018-02-07 06:00
Speck Presidio Ultra

Image by Speck

Speck has many variations on its Presidio case, and the most rugged is the $49.95 Presidio Ultra, a two-layered rubbery case sandwiched inside a two-layered hard polycarbonate bumper for four layers of protection. It even covers the buttons and ports to keep out dirt. Speck says it can survive drops of 15 feet.

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Best Buy is selling an 8TB external hard drive for $160 again

Tue, 2018-02-06 17:57

When you need external storage for your PC, you might as well go big: Best Buy has dropped the price of WD's 8TB easystore drive to $160.

The last time we saw this deal was early January, and as we acknowledged last time, this drive was cheaper in November during the Black Friday madness. However, this is still a good price. A similar drive sells for $20 more on Amazon right now.

WD's easystore drive features a promised data transfer rate of 5Gbps over USB 3.0, and comes with WD Backup software if you need help figuring out how to backup your PC's files. Otherwise you can use your favorite backup utility such as Windows 10's File History. This drive also has a two-year warranty.

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HomePod review roundup: 'Room filling,' 'best-in-class' sound, but Siri is 'embarrassingly inadequate'

Tue, 2018-02-06 10:48

With less than 72 hours until its release, the first HomePod reviews are in from a hand-picked group of media outlets, and they’re very positive—as long as you’re buying Apple’s $349 smart speaker for sound quality. The Homepod’s “smarts,” though, leave much to be desired.

That’s not a total surprise, since Siri is woefully inadequate on other devices and Apple hadn’t given us any indication that it has enhanced Siri for HomePod. But in action it’s even worse than we expected. Brian X. Chen of The New York Times laments Siri’s capabilities on the new speaker and concludes that “Siri doesn’t even work as well on HomePod as it does on the iPhone.”

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Why an update badge won't go away on an iOS app

Tue, 2018-02-06 08:00

iOS tries to prevent you from installing apps on your iPad and iPhone that won’t run, but sometimes you’re left with cruft—digital vestiges of the past—that persist and make things difficult for you to sort out what’s wrong.

That appears to have happened to Macworld reader Carol, who has an app called Life Cycle installed on her iPad. The update badge is on her App Store icon, but whenever she tries to install the update, she’s told it’s not compatible with iPad. She writes, “Because it won’t update, there’s always the red circle on it indicating that I need to update.”

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Trouble ahead: Even the small products can ruin Apple

Tue, 2018-02-06 07:00

Apple is oft criticized for relying so much on the iPhone, as it makes up 70 percent of the company’s revenue. That criticism seems odd, though, considering that even lesser product lines can also spell doom for the company. It’s doom opportunities all the way down.

Writing for CNBC, Keris Lahiff brings us the bad news.

“Apple skeptic says company ‘in trouble’ ahead of HomePod launch.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

Is that right? Let us look at the company’s quarterly results announced last week:

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Polk Audio Signa S1 soundbar review: This budget speaker is a big improvement over the built-in audio in most TVs

Tue, 2018-02-06 06:00
Polk’s Signa S1 soundbar and wireless subwoofer offer a super-slim package at a budget price for those wanting to hear what they've been missing from their TV’s built-in audio.

Accessorize your AirPods

Tue, 2018-02-06 06:00

We love our AirPods, and if the millions of sales are any indication, you love them, too. But they’re sort of…plain. Plain white case, plain white buds. Fortunately, there’s a whole cottage industry of AirPod accessories to improve the look—and performance—of your wireless headphones. Here are some of the fun and useful ways to beef up your ‘buds.

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Amazon's Fire HD 8 tablet is $60

Mon, 2018-02-05 14:36
Amazon has a bunch of devices on sale right now, including the Fire HD 8 tablet for $60.

The Kindle Fire HD 8 tablet is $60

Mon, 2018-02-05 14:36
Amazon has a bunch of devices on sale right now, including the Fire HD 8 tablet for $60.

Apple Music overtaking Spotify in the U.S. shows why it needs a free tier more than ever

Mon, 2018-02-05 12:20

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is on track to overtake Spotify in U.S. paid subscribers, a sign that the three-year-old music service is making serious inroads in a highly competitive landscape. The report states that Apple Music has been gaining U.S. subscribers at a 3 percent higher clip than Spotify, a trend that would give Apple's music service a higher subscriber rate by the summer, assuming it continues.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. While it’s hard to know for sure how many subscribers Apple Music has in the U.S., it trails Spotify mightily across the rest of the globe. At last count, Apple had around 36 million subscribers worldwide, compared to Spotify’s 70 million. And that’s with a built-in marketing tool that Spotify doesn’t have: premier placement on the home screen of hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPads sold every year.

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BrandPost: Mac Malware Getting Serious - Security No Longer Optional

Mon, 2018-02-05 11:55

Apple’s operating system recently came under fire from vulnerabilities – both trivial and not – and malware designed to specifically compromise user data and privacy. While macOS users are under the false belief that malware is scarce for Apple’s OS, recent news about the FruitFly malware that’s been around for 13 years has raised new security questions about the likelihood of your Mac getting infected.

One of the most common ways to trick users into installing malware is by rigging popular applications with malicious code. While the Transmission app that delivered ransomware was one of the most noteworthy incidents of 2016 – it was the first time ransomware ever targeted Macs – the Proton app replicated the same attack vector. With more than 1 million downloads, the legitimate Proton app was weaponized with malicious code – in this case, a Remote Access Trojan – to steal data from unsuspecting victims.

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Apple's event calendar: When is the next Apple event?

Mon, 2018-02-05 07:00

Apple doesn’t often participate in big industry-wide events like CES or E3. The most valuable company in the world holds it own events, thank you very much. Several times a year, Apple invites the press and industry professionals out to a theater to hear all about its latest products and services. Apple calls these “Special Events,” and streams them online to its millions of fans.

There’s also WWDC, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, a multi-day event in the middle of the year focused on sessions for developers, helping them make the most out of the latest Apple tools and products. It kicks off with a big keynote that serves to announce new products (typically the latest versions of iOS and macOS, as well as a few hardware products).

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Best smart speakers: Which delivers the best combination of digital assistant and audio performance?

Mon, 2018-02-05 06:00
With models based on Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and others to come, we’ll help you find just the right model for you.

Loupedeck review: Puts Adobe Lightroom Classic CC's controls at your fingertips

Mon, 2018-02-05 06:00

The next time you’re editing photos in Lightroom Classic CC, pay attention to how often your gaze darts to the Develop controls at the right edge of the screen. Nearly every adjustment is a slider, so it’s like watching a tennis match: move the mouse pointer to a specific control, change the value, look back at the image to see the effect you made, repeat hundreds of times.

What if you could retrain your muscle memory and keep your eyes on the photo? The Loupedeck is a physical control panel, roughly the size of a keyboard, studded with dials and buttons that correspond to Lightroom controls. It plugs into a Mac or PC via USB, and works with Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom 6 under macOS 10.10 and later and Windows 7 and later; it’s not compatible with the Lightroom CC application introduced in late 2017.

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Going wrong: The desire to fix the iPhone X

Sat, 2018-02-03 07:00

Let’s face it, the iPhone X is a huge problem! It’s obvious! People are saying it, so it must be true. The only question is how to fix the problem. Luckily, internet talky people are here to tell Apple how. Thank God. Finally someone is giving Apple some free advice.

Writing for Fortune, Mohanbir Sawhney has the goods.

“Here’s Where Apple Went Wrong With the iPhone X.” (Tip o’ the antlers to mylestaylor.)

Oh, good, we’re finally going to get to the bottom of this. OK, sit down everyone. Shh. Quiet. OK, go ahead Mohanbir.

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