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Updated: 12 min 11 sec ago

Is iOS’s Do Not Disturb While Driving driving you around the bend? Change its behavior

Thu, 2019-07-11 08:00

People interacting with their phone while driving have been implicated in an enormous number of accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 3,166 people were outright killed as the result of distracted driving in 2017.

Apple added the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature in iOS 11 as a tool to help reduce distractions without you have to take extra steps. It leaves Siri enabled among a few other features. But the DND-While-D feature can trigger automatically when you’re not in the driver’s seat. You might be a passenger in a car or in another mode of transportation.

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iOS 13's new Optimized Battery Charging feature explained

Thu, 2019-07-11 07:00

If you have several-years-old iPhone, or know someone who does, you’re probably aware of the fact that the battery life is a lot shorter than when it was new.

The rechargeable batteries in today’s electronics degrade over time and become less capable of holding a charge or delivering the same peak power.

This caused Apple to limit the performance of older phones in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns, which led to class-action lawsuits, and ultimately a rather good $29 battery replacement program.

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Sling TV would be great if it wasn't so chintzy

Thu, 2019-07-11 06:00
Here's what Sling needs to be the best streaming service for cord-cutters.

Kangaroo Motion + Entry Sensor review: This motion-sensing entry detector needs more tricks up its sleeves

Thu, 2019-07-11 06:00
Kangaroo’s new sensor is an enticing entry-level choice given its no-tools, no-hub setupd and $30 price tag. But sensors on their own can't provide a complete picture of what’s happening in your home.

SoundSource 4 review: The Mac audio control app Apple should have made

Thu, 2019-07-11 06:00

For all the advancements Apple has made over two decades with the Mac operating system, it’s surprising how little attention core features like menu bar audio control have received. Traditionally little more than a convenient way to adjust volume without opening System Preferences, beginning with macOS 10.12 Sierra the basic slider was embued with the ability to also switch between output devices—and inputs too, by first holding down the Option key.

If you’re thinking, “there must be a better way,” you’d be right. Rogue Amoeba, the creators of awesome audio solutions like Audio Hijack and Fission, have taken the wraps off SoundSource 4, a more powerful way to control sound coming and going from your Mac, no matter which application you’re using.

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Zoom removes local server, allows uninstalls via patch following security backlash

Wed, 2019-07-10 13:13

Zoom has released a patch for its Mac app that removes a localhost web server from your Mac and allows users to manually uninstall the app from the menubar after a serious flaw was discovered. In a Medium post earlier this week, security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh disclosed a vulnerability in the app that could allow a website to access your Mac’s camera without your knowledge or permission. You can download the patch here.

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The 5 iPhone and iPad games you need to play from June 2019

Wed, 2019-07-10 11:35
June’s best iOS games

Image by Hitcents

June turned out to be a great month for software announcements from Apple itself at WWDC, and luckily we got a few great releases on the iOS App Store as well. For one, Niantic’s long-awaited Harry Potter-themed followup to Pokémon Go finally made it to iOS, and we also got some fantastic ports of beloved games from other systems. June also gave us a couple of retro-styled games that are perfectly suited to the quick bursts of gameplay that the iPhone excels at.

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MacBook Air: Why didn’t it die?

Wed, 2019-07-10 07:00

Sixteen months ago I wrote a eulogy, of a sort for the MacBook Air. My all-time favorite Apple laptop was a living fossil, a non-Retina USB-A laptop in a sea of shiny new Apple tech. Apple had done a minor processor update to keep it on life support and there were rumors that another one was in the offing. The long goodbye was becoming endless.

But something funny happened on the way to the abattoir: The MacBook Air not only got a reprieve and a Retina upgrade, but with Tuesday’s update to the Apple laptop line, it’s killed off both of its its putative replacements.

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iLife Shinebot W400 review: this robot mop is a diligent scrubber

Wed, 2019-07-10 06:00
This bot brings the elbow grease many robot floor mops lack.

Why your next smart bulb might have Bluetooth inside

Wed, 2019-07-10 06:00
While the Zigbee wireless standard has traditionally ruled the roost when it comes to wireless smart bulb protocols, Bluetooth appears to be gaining momentum.

iOS 13: How to quickly connect to Bluetooth devices

Wed, 2019-07-10 06:00

You've got YouTube or your favorite music app open and are ready to kick back, when you realize your favorite Bluetooth headphones aren't connected to your iPhone anymore.

So you have to leave your app, find and open the Settings app, go into the Bluetooth menu, connect to your headphones, then close it all and go back into your app. What a pain. 

In iOS 13, you can connect to paired Bluetooth devices right from Control Center, so you don't have to leave your app! Here's how:

  1. Open Control Center (Swipe down from the upper-right corner on an iPhone with no Home button. Swipe up from the bottom on an iPhone with a Home button.)

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How to back up your Google Photos library now that Google Drive auto-sync has shut down

Wed, 2019-07-10 05:59
Google is shutting down the ability to sync your Google Photos library automatically to Google Drive, but you can still keep a backup of your pics. Here's how.

The 12-inch MacBook is dead, and it will be missed

Tue, 2019-07-09 15:00

Apple officially killed off the scrappy, portable 12-inch MacBook and I’m wallowing in my grief. It certainly wasn’t a laptop for everyone, but it was the perfect MacBook for me and people like me—namely, carless writers who need access to a laptop for edits and quick stories within a moment’s notice regardless of where they are. I was waiting to buy a new one until Apple released a new model—preferably one with the membrane-padded keyboards we find in the latest MacBooks, but now I may content myself with the latest 2017 model with the best processor so I can get as much life out of it as I can.

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Apple slashes prices on Mac storage upgrades

Tue, 2019-07-09 14:49

Apple did more on Tuesday than streamline the MacBook lineup. It also dramatically reduced the price of many storage upgrades across all Macs, including MacBooks, iMacs, and even the new Mac mini.

In the wake of falling SSD prices, Apple’s surcharge for bigger drives was particulalry egregious. With these price drops, they are still a bit above the norm, but back into the realm of reality.

For example, upgrading the Mac mini’s 128GB drive to the maximum 2TB used to be a $1,400 upgrade, now it’s $1,000. The base model MacBook Air used to have a 1.5TB option for $1,100, now replaced by a 1TB option for $600. The 2TB SSD option for the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro was $1,200, now it’s $1,000 (and that entry-level system got Touch Bar, Touch ID, and a big processor upgrade, too).

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Apple releases iOS 12.4 beta 6

Tue, 2019-07-09 13:42

Apple released iOS 12.3 in the second week of May, bringing us its new TV app with Channels subscriptions. Just days later, it started releasing betas to developers for another point release, iOS 12.4.

Those who are part of Apple’s developer program can register a device for developer betas by heading to Those who are not in the developer program can register their devices for public beta releases by visiting while using the device on which they wish to run the beta software. While many beta releases are stable and even include new bug fixes, we suggest you do not run beta releases on your primary device.

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Amazon and Google declare truce, allow YouTube and Prime video streaming on each other’s devices

Tue, 2019-07-09 13:18
Google is finally allowing a native YouTube client to be installed on Amazon devices, as well as Prime Video streaming to Chromecast dongles.

Zoom Mac app flaw sparks serious security concerns—and it’s up to you to fix it

Tue, 2019-07-09 11:18

If you’ve ever downloaded the Zoom app to participate in a video conference, your Mac may be at risk—even if you’ve already deleted it. In a Medium post, security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh discovered a serious flaw that could allow a website to access your Mac’s camera without your knowledge or permission.

As Leitschuh explains, the vulnerability stems from Zoom’s quest for simplicity. As the service works, you can just send anyone a Zoom meeting link which will in turn automatically open the Zoom client installed on their machine. In case you’ve deleted the app, Zoom keeps a localhost web server running silently on your Mac, Leitschuh said, so the Zoom client will reinstall when a link is clicked without requiring any user interaction on your behalf besides visiting a webpage.

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Apple kills the MacBook and non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro as part of a major laptop shakeup

Tue, 2019-07-09 10:25

In a move timed for the back-to-school shopping season, Apple has made some significant changes to its MacBook lineup as it looks to streamline its options for students and make the Touch Bar mandatory.

Most notably, the 12-inch MacBook has been discontinued, marking the end for what was once seen as the future of Apple’s notebook. Launched in 2015 as Apple’s thinnest and lightest computer, it featured just a single USB-C port and a new rose gold color to match the iPhone. It hadn’t been updated in more than two years, and was actually more expensive than the newer MacBook Air, which launched in October. The previous-generation MacBook Air with a non-retina screen has also been eliminated.

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How to quickly join Wi-Fi networks in iOS 13

Tue, 2019-07-09 07:00

Joining a new Wi-Fi network is a task we do surprisingly often. At coffee shops or restaurants, at friends or neighbor’s houses, on flights... given how common it is, it’s sort of surprising that Apple waited until iOS 13 to make the task easier.

Instead of opening the Settings app and Wi-Fi menu, you can now join Wi-Fi networks right from the control panel, which means you don’t even have to leave the app you’re in. It’s really simple, here’s how it works.

  1. Open Control Center (Swipe down from the upper-right corner on an iPhone with no Home button. Swipe up from the bottom on an iPhone with a Home button.)

  2. Tap and hold, or 3D touch, on the wireless connections block in the upper right.

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How to automatically delete the web activity and location history data in your Google account

Tue, 2019-07-09 06:30
Google has launched a new privacy setting that lets you automatically delete your location and web activity data. Here's how to do it.