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Updated: 30 min 44 sec ago

Why you should use a VPN on a public Wi-Fi network

Fri, 2018-11-30 08:00

When you connect to a free or paid public Wi-Fi network, you may notice that some redirection takes place. Instead of taking you to a website you intended to visit or retrieving your email, Apple cleverly inserts a Wi-Fi portal pop-up or screen in both iOS and macOS. On that screen, you can login or agree to terms and conditions for use of the network and proceed.

Apple makes this portal page appear when your iPhone, iPad, or Mac can’t reach an Apple site directly after you joined that network. The operating system understands that something is standing in your way, and it’s almost always a portal page that Apple can repackage to make it easier for you to spot.

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CyberLink PhotoDirector 10 Ultra review: Intriguing alternative to consumer Mac photo editors

Fri, 2018-11-30 07:00

CyberLink PhotoDirector is kind of a sleeper in the Mac pantheon of desktop image editors. It competes with Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Pixelmator, Luminar, and other consumer imagers. CyberLink is mostly associated with Windows, and PhotoDirector is the only cross platform item in the company’s suite of multimedia prosumer apps.

Like many of CyberLink’s Windows apps, PhotoDirector 10 has its own brand of sizzle that may prove appealing to Mac users, especially those interested in turning their photos into works of art.

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JBL Xtreme 2 review: A sturdy Bluetooth speaker that's up for serious partying

Fri, 2018-11-30 06:00
Boasting a weatherization rating of IPX7, JBL's beefy Xtreme 2 portable Bluetooth speaker can deliver the tunes just about anywhere.

Lockly Secure Plus Review: Biometrics comes to the smart lock

Fri, 2018-11-30 06:00
You can open this smart lock with a PIN or your uniquely identifiable fingerprint.

Should Apple have its own search engine?

Fri, 2018-11-30 06:00

In a recent interview with Axios on HBO, Apple CEO Tim Cook was made to answer a very uncomfortable question. He was asked how he squares taking billions of dollars from Google to make it the default search engine for Safari (both on Mac and iOS) with his company’s stance on privacy. Google is certainly not the only company that trades in monetizing your online activity, but it’s one of the biggest. And Google’s search is far from achieving the level of data privacy that Apple demands of its products and services.

Tim’s answer was honest, if not satisfactory.

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B&H slashes hundreds of dollars off 2017 iPad Pros

Thu, 2018-11-29 13:49

Now that there’s a new and significantly improved iPad Pro, B&H is slashing prices on last year’s modelsRemove non-product link. In fact, some of these deals are considerably more impressive than what we saw last weekend.

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Get a pair of 3rd-gen Nest thermostats for $338 at Home Depot, better than Black Friday's lows

Thu, 2018-11-29 11:50

Smart thermostats provide fine-tuned temperature control and can even help you save some money, but they can be a bit of an investment. Today, though, you can grab a two-pack of the awesome 3rd-generation Nest Learning Thermostat for $338 ($169/each) at Home DepotRemove non-product link, down from $498 ($249/each) and among the lowest prices we've seen.

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Apple is selling more iPhone XRs than any other model, but that might not mean much

Thu, 2018-11-29 10:35

During a time when it usually sits back and counts money, Apple is in full damage-control mode. It started with its Black Friday sale, which lasted four days this year instead of one. Then it upped the trade-in value of older phones when you upgrade to the iPhone XR or XS. And now it’s straight up telling us that there’s nothing to worry about.

In an interview with CNET, Apple VP Greg Joswiak said that the iPhone XR “been our most popular iPhone each and every day since the day it became available.” While you can quibble with the term “most popular,” Joswiak clarified his remark to Reuters, telling the publication that the XR is Apple’s “most mainstream product and best-selling iPhone” since it became available on Oct. 26.

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5 things the iPad Pro should steal from the Pixel Slate (and 3 things it shouldn’t)

Thu, 2018-11-29 09:00

The iPad Pro’s closest competitor has arrived. Google’s Pixel Slate is a 12.3-inch Chrome OS-based tablet with slim bezels, no home button, USB-C support, lots of magnets, and a $200 companion keyboard. But for all of their similarities, the Pixel Slate and iPad Pro are quite different. Here are a few things Apple’s should “borrow” from the Pixel Slate for the next revision (and a few it should pass on).

5 things the iPad Pro should steal from the Pixel Slate A second USB port

Like the iPad Pro, the Pixel Slate’s only connection is USB-C (there’s no headphone jack), but Google does Apple one better by adding a second port. No matter which side your outlet is on, you’ll be able to plug in without wrapping the wire around the screen. Google also positions the ports on the bottom rather than the center of the edge, so it looks much nicer when plugged in.

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CleanMyMac X review: Tune-up Mac app hampered by its malware detection

Thu, 2018-11-29 08:00

CleanMyMac X is MacPaw’s catch-all software crud and gunk remover for the Mac. This version swings for the fences, with new features such as a malware scanner, extensions manager, and a universal updater for all of your application programs. This is in addition to CleanMyMac X’s core functions, which include tools for smart cleanup, system junk, mail attachments, iTunes junk, trash bins, a large and old files scanner, privacy scanner, and application uninstaller.


CleanMyMac X's new menu bar menu.

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Couldn’t have said it better: Rumors don’t doom Apple

Thu, 2018-11-29 07:00

You can’t swing a 30-pin dock connector cable these days without hitting a pundit wailing about the Apple doom that the current swath rumors of iPhone production cuts must mean.

Not that The Macalope is suggesting you should do that.

If anyone is watching.

Anyway, while the furry one maintains that you can’t trust these thinly-sourced supply chain rumors, there are seemingly a lot more thinly-sourced supply chain rumors this year than in previous years. Is it smoke or are analysts just smelling burnt toast again? When you add in a particularly bad turn in the market overall and the threat of tariffs on products made in China and, yeah, #AAPL is down quite a bit.

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Kangaroo Motion Sensor review: This home security system only goes halfway

Thu, 2018-11-29 06:00
This home security system sure sounds inexpensive, but it's no bargain.

Amazon's eye for sports could shatter TV as we know it

Thu, 2018-11-29 06:00
Amazon buying regional Fox Sports networks could fulfill our a la carte sports dreams, but at a cost.

How an Apple TV stick could make Apple’s video streaming service an instant hit

Thu, 2018-11-29 06:00

You might have missed it between all the turkey brining and Black Friday sales, but last week The Information reported that Apple considered making a tiny AppleTV “stick” similar to those made by competitors like Amazon and Roku.

Up to now, Apple has been steadfast in holding the line on Apple TV pricing. When the company introduced the Apple TV 4K, it didn’t even drop the price on the fourth-generation model—they’re still both for sale, at starting prices of $149 and $179 respectively.

Compare that to the competition: You can buy a Fire TV Stick for $40 and a 4K version for $50, and comparable devices from Roku cost $30 and $40, respectively. Yes, these sticks are underpowered compared to Apple’s box—Roku’s Apple TV equivalent box is $100—but no matter how you measure it, Apple’s not competitive in the TV box market when it comes to price.

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