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iOS 11 review: Apple’s most ambitious and impressive upgrade in years

Tue, 2017-09-19 06:00

It seems like almost every year Apple crows that the latest iOS update is the greatest one yet. Yes, when you incrementally add features and fix bugs, every new version is fundamentally better than the previous one. But iOS 11 is more than that: This is a substantial upgrade that dramatically transforms iPad productivity while offering a host of new features that have the potential to make the world around us both safer and more entertaining than ever before.

The hype is justified. iOS 11 is Apple’s most ambitious iOS update in some time.

iOS 11: Changes you can’t miss Jason Snell

The new setup feature of iOS 11 saves you time by transferring some data directly from one device to another.

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August Smart Lock Pro and Smart Lock 3rd Generation reviews: The best retrofit lock gets incrementally smarter

Tue, 2017-09-19 00:01
But we can't recommend the second and less-expensive new model.

PayPal is offering a free one-year ShopRunner membership right now

Mon, 2017-09-18 14:45

Successful holiday shopping is all about preparation, and right now you can start getting ready with a free one-year membership for ShopRunner. The only requirement is that you have a PayPal account, and sign-up for your ShopRunner membership using the same email address you use on PayPal.

This is a pretty good deal, as ShopRunner memberships usually costs $79.95 per month, though there are other ways you can get a free account. American Express and select Mastercard cardholders, for example, get complimentary access to ShopRunner as part of their credit card accounts.

If you've never heard of it, ShopRunner is a multi-retailer alternative to Amazon Prime. With ShopRunner you also get free, 2-day shipping, free return shipping, and members-only deals. ShopRunner service works with all kinds of retailers that include technology shops like Newegg, MacMall, and Staples.

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Save 90% on a Lifetime of Ginger Page Grammar Correction App For All Devices

Mon, 2017-09-18 13:37

Not all of us are Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, and thankfully we don't have to be to produce clean and clear writing online. With Ginger Page, you can make sure your writing is of the highest caliber without fretting over typos and confusing grammatical errors. Now on sale for over 90 percent off, you can get lifetime access to this top-rated tool for $69.99

Ginger Page Premium allows you to write with confidence. Using its grammar checker and sentence rephrase tool, you can explore different ways of communicating your message all the while ensuring your writing is correct. Ginger Page also lets you translate your text into 50 different languages and even comes with a built-in trainer to improve your English at your own pace.

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48% off Sycees Plug-in LED Night Light with Dusk to Dawn Sensor, 6-Pack - Deal Alert

Mon, 2017-09-18 09:29

These night lights turn themselves on & off from dusk to dawn, have offset prongs that won't block your second outlet, and feature long lasting LED bulbs that won't make any noticeable impact on your energy bill at only 2.2 Kwh per year. Their frosted white diffuser ring puts out just the right amount of soft light for you to find way in the dark without having to turn on any overhead lights. A pack of 6 is currently discounted 48% down to just $12.59. See this deal on Amazon.

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Bezalel Omnia review: Stylish wireless automobile charger for iPhone 6/7

Mon, 2017-09-18 09:00

Apple has finally integrated wireless charging into this year’s iPhone, but owners of older devices aren’t completely out of luck. With the right case, Qi-compatible charging accessories can work with recent iPhones.

Bezalel’s Omnia ($59.90 on Amazon) wireless car charger is a handsome 2.75 x 3.75-inch plate that clamps onto an automobile air vent. It uses an included 2.5-foot USB-C cable to connect to a dual-port, 5V/3A adapter capable of charging a second wired device at the same time.

Bezalel

Bezalel Omnia delivers wireless iPhone charging to your automobile in a stylish magnetic air vent mount.

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C by GE Sol review: GE has transplanted Alexa’s brain into a funky lamp

Mon, 2017-09-18 07:00
You might love or hate this smart lamp's design, but it's practically a must have if you use C by GE smart bulbs.

How to stop spam emails from reaching your inbox

Mon, 2017-09-18 07:00

Spam—phishing, marketing, and scam emails—is annoying, that we can all agree on. One Macworld reader wants to take the ultimate step is stopping these emails.

Is it possible to set one’s iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad to ensure scam, phishing, and marketing emails are blocked? I’d be grateful for any information you can provide.

Would it were so! Would it were so. Unfortunately, the basis of internet email is that every part of the system more or less mostly trusts every other part. It used to be that every part completely trusted every other part.

That’s one problem, because since server and messages are mostly trusted, scammers, spammers, and aggressive legitimate marketers can’t simply be blocked before the message lands at your email host, the site at which email is accepted for your address. Another is that return addresses can be forged—at least some of the time—because there’s no verification system that ensures an email you receive was sent from the address shown to have sent it. (There are ways for owners of domains and operators of mail servers to specify and validate the only legitimate servers that a return address comes from, but they’re not universally deployed nor perfect.)

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A programmed reaction: Some things just have to be bad

Sat, 2017-09-16 07:00

Apple announced a slew of new things this week and if there’s one thing we can be sure of it’s that it’s all part of an insidious plot to keep you buying more.

Writing for Mashable, Damon Beres says “The iPhone 8 will fuel Apple’s Upgrade Program, and that’s a bad thing.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Tibor Csapo and Patrick Sercel.)

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Face ID on the iPhone X: Everything you need to know about Apple’s facial recognition

Fri, 2017-09-15 19:20

The upcoming iPhone X will use Face ID, technology that unlocks your iPhone X by using infrared and visible light scans to uniquely identify your face. The company says it will work in a variety of conditions and is extremely secure. Though no one outside Apple has yet been able to confirm how well it works.

This brings up a lot of questions about Face ID. We'll work to get answers to you as you ponder whether you want to buy an iPhone X when it starts shipping November 3.

What is Face ID?

Face ID a form of biometric authentication. Rather than a password (something you know) or a security dongle or authentication app (something you have), biometrics are something you are. Fingerprint recognition is also a biometric.

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watchOS 4 FAQ: Everything we know about the Siri face, fitness features, and Music app

Fri, 2017-09-15 13:30

Editors’ note: We’ve updated this story to include an expanded watchOS 4 FAQ.

The Apple Watch might still feel like a new product, but its already on the fourth version of watchOS. And each one has brought some pretty major changes. Version 2 brought nightstand mode and third-party complications, and version 3 introduced the dock, a new Breathe app, and better overall navigation.

However, watchOS 4, unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote in San Jose, is more of a maintenance release than a full new version. Still, it brings some cool new ways to interact with our favorite apps and add a little fun to the screen we see the most. Here’s everything we know so far about watchOS 4, including a few new features that we can’t wait to try.

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How Apple can fix its awful pre-ordering system

Fri, 2017-09-15 11:41

If you were like me last night, you set your alarm for the dead of night. Then when the alarm went off, you wiped the crust from your eyes, opened your MacBook, hit refresh a bunch of times, looked at the clock, cursed Apple, switched to your iPad, spend a bunch of money, and went back to bed.

This is how it’s been for quite some time now. It’s the same horrible process every September, as predictable as a mountain of leaves on your front lawn or a pile of snow in your driveway. There’s no way around it. If you want a shot at owning Apple’s products before anyone else, this is what you need to do.

Listen, I get it, no one is forcing me to get up at 3 a.m. for the privilege of spending hundreds of dollars. But Apple has designed this system for maximum attention at the expense of its most loyal customers. And it needs to change.

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Google Chrome will start blocking noisy autoplay videos in January

Fri, 2017-09-15 10:46
Google Chrome is taking aim at those annoying autoplay videos spreading across the web.

How to share your contact card in iOS

Fri, 2017-09-15 08:00

You’d think that sending your basic contact information to another person with an iPhone would be a simple task, and one that Apple had streamlined. It’s not, and it’s a weird lapse in a company that tries to avoid the kinds of steps to perform a basic operation that Windows software used to abound in.

It’s not that difficult, but it’s more than a tap. But, first, you want to make sure you’ve set up just the information you want to share. If you have a contact card for yourself in which you place private details, such as phone numbers and emails you don’t hand out, you do not want to share that as your standard contact card.

(macOS has an option to turn your “me” card private, where you can pick and choose which fields to share. Oddly, that feature is absolutely missing in iOS. The synced card from macOS doesn’t carry through in terms of sharing only the fields you checked in macOS.)

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3 small announcements that hint at Apple's big future

Fri, 2017-09-15 06:30

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is generally the company’s blueprint for at least the next year, as it shows off improvements to its core platforms. But for the last six years, the company’s fall event has boasted a more tangible realization of that future in the form of a new iPhone.

This year, Apple’s iPhone X made that future overt, with Apple indicating that it was once again skating to where the puck will be. But though that might be the most obvious indication of Apple’s future designs, there were a handful of smaller announcements sprinkled in the keynote that also indicated where the company might be putting its attention in the coming years. 

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Apple Watch and watchOS: Everything you need to know about Apple's most personal device

Thu, 2017-09-14 20:30

Apple Watch Series 3 has arrived, and it could be the model that finally pushes Apple's wearable into the mainstream. After several software revisions, Apple Watch has evolved into one of Apple's major project categories, and a constant cycle of new features and bands keep it feeling fresh and fashionable. Series 3 brings it all together, with health, fitness, and Siri enhancements, and, of course, iPhone independence with LTE. 

But after three generations, you might still be asking: What can I really do with it? The answer might surprise you. Find out and more in this ultimate guide to Apple Watch.

Apple Watch models Apple

Apple Watch comes in several models and colors.

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iPhone Upgrade Program FAQ: How to upgrade your iPhone every year through Apple’s financing plan

Thu, 2017-09-14 16:29

Upgrading to a new iPhone is always an exciting process, but there’s one aspect that’s never fun: the cost. Apple’s latest crop of smartphones are the company’s most expensive yet, with the iPhone 8 starting at $699, the iPhone 8 Plus at $799, and the iPhone X at a whopping $999. Ouch! And that’s only for the base 64GB model—if you want more storage, the 256GB version will cost you more ($1,149 for the iPhone X, $949 for the iPhone 8 Plus, and $849 for the iPhone 8). Toss in an extra $129 to $149 for AppleCare+, and we’re suddenly dealing with some serious sticker shock.

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iPhone X Face ID fail: A feature, not a bug

Thu, 2017-09-14 11:42

When the moment of truth arrived at the Apple event on Tuesday, iPhone X failed. During the world premier of the device’s lauded Face ID biometric security system, it took Craig Federighi three times to get face ID to unlock his demo phone. But don’t worry, Apple says. That’s supposed to happen.

When Federighi began the iPhone X demo, he naturally started with a locked iPhone. “Unlocking it is as easy as looking at it and swiping up,” he said, hoping to magically unlock the phone to whoops and cheers from the audience like when Steve Jobs swiped to unlock the original iPhone. Except that didn’t happen.

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AirPods: New wireless charging case ships in December for $69, according to report

Thu, 2017-09-14 10:21

Apple's AirPods are the company's truly wireless earphones. They're available for $159, and the Apple online store is estimating about a two-week delivery time, but you might be able to track down a pair at an Apple retail store. Maybe call ahead first.

Here's what Apple CEO Tim Cook said about the AirPods during the company's third quarter 2017 financial results call with analysts in August:

We’re also seeing incredible enthusiasm for AirPods, with 98 percent customer satisfaction based on Creative Strategies’ survey. We have increased production capacity for AirPods and are working very hard to get them to customers as quickly as we can, but we are still not able to meet the strong level of demand.

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How the iPhone X and cellular Apple Watch fulfill Apple’s design ideals

Thu, 2017-09-14 10:00

There’s a famous apocryphal quote about how the job of a sculptor is to remove the excess rock to expose the statue that’s waiting inside. There’s a rich idea there about creativity and vision and striving for an ideal that’s just waiting to be realized.

Now, Apple products aren’t sculptures, but if you’ve been paying attention to Apple for any amount of time, you know that it’s a company with a very specific approach to creating and iterating on products. It’s committed to simplicity in its design. New products often arrive with elaborate videos explaining the design philosophy that drives the technological decision-making and execution.

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