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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Thursday, July 12, at 8:30 a.m. Pacific

Thu, 2018-07-12 02:21

There’s a lot to talk about in regards to Apple products. Join us with your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 613.

Watch us live

This show will be live on Thursday, July 12, at 8:30 a.m. Pacific. Due to scheduling conflicts, this week’s show strays from our usual broadcast time. The regular time for the live broadcast of the Macworld Podcast is on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on Twitter via Periscope or on the Macworld YouTube channel.

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Sonos update adds AirPlay 2 support

Wed, 2018-07-11 15:37

On Wednesday, Sonos released support for Apple’s AirPlay 2, giving a dramatic boost in functionality to certain Sonos smart speakers via a software update. If you’ve got a Sonos One, Beam, Playbase, or second-generation Play:5, you’ll need to update your Sonos iOS app and then use the new app to install the software update.

This is a big step forward in flexibility for Sonos products—keep in mind that Sonos speakers don’t do Bluetooth or AirPlay 1, so they’ve been pretty firmly locked in their own universe unless you added a dongle or ran a software bridge. But once a Sonos speaker gets AirPlay 2, you can do a lot more than just play audio directly to that speaker from a Mac or iOS device.

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Are pigs flying? Because Apple is reportedly updating the Mac mini this year

Wed, 2018-07-11 13:42

It’s time to get excited, Mac fans. As reported by 9to5Mac, oft-accurate Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities is back with another report on Apple’s ambitions for 2018. In addition to the expected iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch updates, Kuo says, Apple is reportedly planning to update one of the most beloved and forgotten members of the Mac lineup: the Mac mini.

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Take an impressive $24 off refurbished AirPods today at Best Buy

Wed, 2018-07-11 13:38

If you don't mind buying refurbished units, it's a good day to get your ears on some AirPods. As one of its Deals of the Day, Best Buy is currently selling a refurbished set of Apple's beloved true wireless earbuds for just $135.99, down from the usual price of $159.99. They're Geek Squad refurbished rather than Apple refurbished, but on the bright side, Best Buy's generous return and exchange policy still applies.

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iPad 2018 rumors: 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros with Face ID expected this fall

Wed, 2018-07-11 12:50

Updated 7/11/18: Uncommonly accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple is preparing 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros with no home button and Face ID.

When it comes to the tablet market, there’s the iPad and there’s everybody else. Apple dominates the market, especially in the premium price range. To hold on to its position, Apple has been kept things fresh with new models like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and new technologies like Apple Pencil and ProMotion.

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Put Alexa in your car with this awesome Prime sale on Anker's Roav VIVA 2-port USB charger

Wed, 2018-07-11 10:41

Amazon is continuing its week of pre-Prime Day sales with a killer deal on an awesome car charger. Anker's Alexa-enabled 2-port USB Roav VIVA is on sale on Amazon today for $34 for Prime members, down from a list price of $60 and the lowest price we've ever seen.

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How to get Amazon Prime for free for Prime Day

Wed, 2018-07-11 09:30
Prime Day starts on Monday, July 16. If you're not a Prime member already, here's how to become one without paying a cent before the big day.

MacOS: How to change the default app for a file

Wed, 2018-07-11 07:00

Back in the pre-Mac OS X and macOS days, Apple’s System 9 and earlier relied on hidden metadata to associate files with apps. File extensions, those bits of text that follow a period at the end of a file (like .doc, .html, or .jpg) were optional, although often used for compatibility with other platforms and with web. On the web, file extensions are effectively mandatory so a browser knows how to handle a file appropriately.

Macworld reader Rick would like to monkey with that. He has a number of HTML templates, but to differentiate them from his production .html files, he puts the suffix .tt on them instead. Browsers don’t recognize these files by default. There’s a way to force an association between a file type and an application, but that application still has to recognize the extension.

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Ecobee Switch+ review: This powerful smart light switch is an Amazon Echo in disguise

Wed, 2018-07-11 06:00
It’s not perfect, but who wants another hockey puck just to talk to Alexa?

9 iPhone apps for better-looking selfies

Wed, 2018-07-11 06:00
Facetune 2 (free, in-app purchases available)

Image by Jackie Dove/IDG

Facetune 2 is all selfies all the time, and as a specialist in beautifying faces, this app gives you the look you seek, whether it’s a natural expression for a business portrait or a more airbrushed and glamorous shot for friends and family.

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Best true wireless earbuds: Free yourself from the tyranny of cords

Tue, 2018-07-10 19:57

Earbud makers have been busy doing away with wires—a good thing whether or not your phone still has a headset jack. You no longer have to deal with cords if you don't want to. True wireless earbuds connect to one another and your audio source via Bluetooth.

No wires mean no inline microphones or controls, but truly wireless earbuds sound just as good as traditional Bluetooth counterparts (for better or worse). They also boast all of the features we've come to expect from earbuds designed to work with your smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Since Apple’s AirPods became a runaway hit, an endless stream of companies have rolled out their own true wireless earbuds and earphones. As you might expect, not all of them are worth your time or money—so we've got your back with buying suggestions to meet a wide variety of needs.

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Best wireless routers: Reviews and buying advice

Tue, 2018-07-10 17:00

A great wireless router is an essential element of tech life, whether you’re building out a smart home or you just want the best experience streaming music and video at home. We pick the best models here, because even those of us fortunate enough to have ethernet drops in every room have devices—smartphones and tablets, for instance—that depend on Wi-Fi to connect to the home network if not the internet.

Wi-Fi router cheat sheet

Our quick-hit picks:

Twin and sometimes conflicting demands for high performance and ease of use are powering a thriving and rapidly evolving market. Innovation is one of the biggest upsides of this dynamic, and confusion its biggest downside. Today’s hero could be tomorrow’s has-been, as established brands like Linksys and Netgear try to one-up each other while simultaneously fending off new challengers such as Eero and Luma. But it’s those challengers who have innovated the most, starting with Eero, the first manufacturer to bring mesh networking to the consumer router market.

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Got Wi-Fi coverage troubles? Take $50 off one of the best home mesh systems today

Tue, 2018-07-10 15:41

If you’ve got a large home, you’ve likely noticed that it’s a hassle to get good Wi-Fi signals in every room. To improve the coverage, you need to good router mesh system. Fortunately, right now Amazon is selling the wonderful Netgear Orbi Home Mesh Wi-Fi System—the compact version—for just #249.48. That’s $50.51 (or 17 percent) off the usual asking price of $299.99.

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How to use iOS 12's new animated Activity stickers for Messages

Tue, 2018-07-10 14:50

Apple continues its emphasis on health and fitness features in iOS 12 and watchOS 5. Apple Watch users can enjoy new workout types and auto workout tracking, for example, and they can challenge other Watch users to week-long Activity Challenges duels.

On the phone side, iOS 12 makes talking about fitness more fun with a new set of animated Stickers in the Messages app. Here's how to find and use them.

IDG Finding Activity stickers

The new Activity stickers are located in the same place where you'll find most Messages apps.

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3 reasons why Microsoft's Surface Go beats Apple's iPad (and 3 reasons why it doesn't)

Tue, 2018-07-10 11:13
Microsoft's new Surface Go has its sights squarely set on the iPad. But is it a real competitor to Apple's tablet dominance?

Belkin's $230 USB-C Express Dock is down to $99—and even less if you're an Amazon Prime member

Tue, 2018-07-10 10:59

If you could use a few more connections on your laptop on your MacBook or PC, Belkin's USB-C 3.1 Express Dock, which comes equipped with a 3.3-foot USB-C cable, can provide up to eight ports. Amazon is selling is for $99 today, a sharp discount from its $229 list price and by far the lowest we've seen it. And if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can save another 20 percent, bringing it down to an unheard-of $80.

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Get a Lifetime of VPN Unlimited for Just $39.99

Tue, 2018-07-10 10:42

With the potential of Internet service providers selling off your browsing info, protecting your data has become more essential than ever. A lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited can help by safeguarding your online activities and sensitive business information. Normally $500, you can get a lifetime subscription today for just $39.99 today. 

VPN Unlimited hides and encrypts your data from prying eyes, which is ideal when you're connected to public WiFi, regardless of whether you're sitting in a coffee shop or an airport.

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Best media streaming devices

Tue, 2018-07-10 10:30
Which streaming box is best for cord cutters? And what's the skinny on streaming sticks? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.

iOS 12: How to customize grouped notifications

Tue, 2018-07-10 07:00

If you ever ask an Android user what they dislike most about iOS, Apple’s notification system almost always enters the discussion. Before iOS 12, we’d get individual notifications for every little thing, while for years Android decluttered its home screens by smartly grouping notifications.

With iOS 12, Apple finally gets its own version of grouped notifications. Even better, you can customize which apps have grouped notifications and which don’t. After all, some apps benefit more from individual notifications than others. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Press Notifications.
  3. Find the specific app you’d like to customize the notifications for, and press it.
  4. On this screen you can do all kinds of things with your notifications, but for our purposes, we want to scroll down to Notification Grouping. Press it.
Leif Johnson/IDG

I’m only picking on Messages here because it’s the app I get the most notifications from. As you can see, I keep most turned off.

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