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Updated: 35 min 36 sec ago

Why the iPhone is more expensive than ever

Wed, 2018-09-19 06:00

In the aftermath of last week’s Apple announcements, it’s so easy to refer to the $749 iPhone XR as a low-price, bargain model, in contrast to the $999 iPhone Xs and the $1,099 iPhone Xs Max. But just three years ago, $749 was what Apple charged for the most expensive new iPhone in its product line, the iPhone 6s Plus.

It’s never been more expensive to walk into an Apple store and walk out with an iPhone. Changes in the way wireless carriers approach their customers have led, unsurprisingly, to changes in the buying behavior of those same smartphone users. The change in buying patterns then affects Apple, which makes its own changes to compensate.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, Sep. 19, at 10 a.m. Pacific

Tue, 2018-09-18 16:00

iOS 12 is here, so let’s talk about our favorite features. The first wave of iPhone Xs reviews are out. We also respond to your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 622.

Take our poll

Bought a new iPhone? Which one? Let us know in our Twitter poll and we’ll discuss the results on the show.

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Bought a new iPhone? Which one? Let us know in our Twitter poll

Tue, 2018-09-18 15:59
Let us know in our poll, leave a comment, and we'll discuss the results on the Macworld Podcast on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m Pacific, live on Twitter.(twitter.com)

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Google Maps is finally compatible with Apple CarPlay

Tue, 2018-09-18 15:18

Since its introduction four years ago, Apple fans have been pleading for the ability to use third-party maps program with CarPlay. Apple’s phone-powered in-dash infotainment software has a lot going for it, but being stuck with Apple Maps was definitely not a feather in its cap.

With iOS 12, our worries are over. Not only is Apple Maps getting dramatically better, but CarPlay is getting an official mapping interface for third-party developers. It takes more than the iOS update to enable CarPlay support, though. The mapping apps themselves need an update.

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iOS 12.1 beta 1 is available for developers

Tue, 2018-09-18 14:10

Just 24 hours after the public release of iOS 12, Apple has kicked out the first developer beta of iOS 12.1. Developers can head developer.apple.com to download the beta or add the beta profile to their devices. If you still have the developer beta profile installed after upgrading to iOS 12, your device will download it automatically as a regular iOS 12 update.

If you were in the developer beta for iOS 12 and do not want the 12.1 beta, head to Settings > General > Profile on your device and delete the iOS 12 beta profile.

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Anker's popular Roav Dash Cam C2 is a few dollars away from an all-time low on Amazon today

Tue, 2018-09-18 12:06

Dash cams come in all shapes and sizes, but they're a must-have gadget you want to keep a close eye on the road ahead of you. Today you can get a popular one on the cheap: Anker's Roav Dash Cam C2 is $47.59, down from a list price of $120Remove non-product link and very close to an all-time low.

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iPhone XS, XS Max review roundup: Beautiful and ‘the best yet,’ but maybe wait for the XR

Tue, 2018-09-18 10:03

With the iPhone XS and XS Max set to hit shelves on Friday, the first round of reviews from those Apple deemed worthy to get one early has arrived. And of you haven’t already pre-ordered, you might want to continue waiting.

That’s pretty much what we expected when Apple unveiled its new iPhones last week. As you can tell by their names, the XS and XS Max are visually indistinguishable from last year’s iPhone X, save for the larger screen on the Max. Other than those extra pixels (which will cost you an extra hundred bucks) and a new gold color, the improvements over the iPhone X are all on the inside, and that might make it a tricky upgrade, especially for people who bought an iPhone X last year.

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Vizio Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos review: This speaker covers all the bases

Tue, 2018-09-18 08:00
This soundbar features immersive audio for movies, Chromecast for multi-room audio, and Google Assistant support for voice control.

A total letup: The Apple Watch Series 4

Tue, 2018-09-18 07:00

It’s almost a full week after Apple’s event and the Macalope still hasn’t dug out from the pile of goofball predictions made before it.

Writing for Inverse, Mike Brown said the “Apple Watch Series 4 Leaks Indicate That a Messy Letdown Is in Store.” (Tip o’ the antlers 5cat.)

Yeah that whole freaking electrocardiogram in a smartwatch was such a letdown, wasn’t it?

What was it that tipped Brown off to the letdownening that most certainly happened?

…a leaked product shot has already indicated that Apple still isn’t sure what to do when giving a user extra screen space on their wrist.

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Logitech Crayon review: An Apple Pencil alternative that can take a punch

Tue, 2018-09-18 06:00

Crayon, if you don’t know, happens to be the French word for “pencil.” It’s a fitting name for Logitech Crayon, which takes the concept of the Apple Pencil and approaches it from a different angle, specifically one centered on the rough-and-tumble playfulness we associate with “crayon” in English.

When it was originally announced, sales of Crayon were to be only to schools using the 2018 9.7-inch iPad. But on September 12, Apple and Logitech opted to let the rest of the public in the party, and it’s a useful tool for the right kind of iPad user. It’s a little more pragmatic than the Apple Pencil. It’s certainly tougher. But most importantly, it only costs $69.99—nice, considering that the Apple Pencil costs a full $30 more.

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Withings is back with the Steel HR Sport, a connected GPS hybrid watch that lasts 25 days

Tue, 2018-09-18 03:01

Withings couldn’t have picked a more opportune time to make its return. With the Apple Watch Series 4 set to release in just a few days, interest in wrist wearables couldn’t be higher, and to celebrate its re-arrival, Withings is launching a new Sport version of its popular Steel HR wearable. 

Apple fans are intimately familiar with the French maker of high-end devices such as scales, baby monitors, and sleep trackers, but for the past two years the company has been languishing under the Nokia Health umbrella with no new product to speak of. Now that the company is independent again, it’s putting a renewed focus on design and intelligence, and the Steel HR Sport is the first fruits of the company’s new direction. A hybrid watch with a classic style and swappable bands, the Steel HR gives you the benefits of a smartwatch without any of the drawbacks: It has 25-day battery life, an analog display, heart-rate monitor 50M of water resistance, and connected GPS, a first for the line. 

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The Shortcuts app for iOS 12 is now available—make sure you grab it!

Mon, 2018-09-17 13:30

One of iOS 12’s greatest new features is Siri Shortcuts: the ability for apps to tie into Siri by letting you make custom Siri phrases to perform in-app actions. Siri may still have a long way to go on answering general questions, but this sort of customizable deep tie-in with apps makes it a lot more useful.

Going hand-in-hand with that feature is a new app from Apple called Shortcuts. If you’re familiar with Automator on the Mac, this is essentially the iOS equivalent of that. You use the app to create step-by-step series of automated actions, tying together multiple phone features and various inputs into a single script you can summon with a custom Siri phrase.

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iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5 are now available

Mon, 2018-09-17 13:16

Following months of beta testing, Apple has released its latest operating systems for mobile, TV, and Apple Watch to the general public. Get ready for an afternoon of downloading and device restarts as you update your gear to iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5.

The latest Mac operating system, macOS Mojave, is scheduled for release on Monday, September 24.

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Power up everything for just $17 with this deal on Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger

Mon, 2018-09-17 11:32

Finding an open outlet to charge multiple devices can be a pain, even in your own house. That's where multi-port USB chargers can save the day, and today you can get one big enough to charge everything in your house for cheap: Amazon is selling Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger for just $17Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $45 and just pennies off an all-time low.

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Charge everything for $17 with this deal on Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB fast charger

Mon, 2018-09-17 11:32

Finding an open outlet to charge multiple devices can be a pain, even in your own house. That's where multi-port USB chargers can save the day, and today you can get one big enough to charge everything in your house for cheap: Amazon is selling Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger for just $17Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $45 and just pennies off an all-time low.

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JBL Link 300 review: This Google Assistant-powered speaker delivers multi-room sound and smart home skills

Mon, 2018-09-17 08:30
Shake your money maker with the middle of JBL’s Link series of smart speakers.

Forget tariffs, Apple highest luxury tax ever has already pushed prices to the breaking point

Mon, 2018-09-17 07:00

By now, everyone’s had a chance to check out the new iPhones and Apple Watches, study the differences, read reactions, and figure out which one they’re going to buy. And Apple has no doubt already sold millions of millions of them since pre-orders went live early Friday morning.

If you bought one, you might have noticed something: you’re paying more. In some cases a lot more. Apple’s newest iPhone and Apple Watch lineup are its most expensive ever—as Tim Cook would say, “by far”—and based on the latest pre-order shipping estimates, customers so far seem more than happy to pay them. In fact, if you order a 512GB iPhone Xs Max right now, you probably won’t get it until October. The same goes for the new Apple Watch, even the sky-high Hermes models.

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iOS 12: How to use Screen Time

Mon, 2018-09-17 06:30

We’re all spending too much time on our phones, so the argument goes, and Apple finally did its part to do something about it. In this case it’s “Screen Time,” a new feature on iOS 12 that tells you how long you’ve been using certain apps on your iPhone or iPad at its simplest, and which lets parents place numerous limits on app usage for kids at its most complex. (Or, if you feel like you’ve been spending too much time on, say, Twitter, you can place those limits on yourself.)

At the end of each week, you’ll get an automatic report detailing how often you or your child used the device, as well as the percentage of time spent on apps with specific categories, such as Social Networking, Games, Entertainment, and Productivity. Alternatively, you can get current information about these stats by visiting Screen Time at any time. With that information, you’ll have a better idea of where you need to place limits.

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D-Link Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera review: This one is for smart-home buffs only

Mon, 2018-09-17 06:30
D-Link delivers another solid camera, but its app's emphasis on smart-home automation may limit its appeal.

How to use the coolest new features in iOS 12

Mon, 2018-09-17 06:00

At last, iOS 12 is here, bringing a batch of new features to tinker with. Most (if not all) of these features aren’t exactly earth-shaking, in part because Apple spent much of its development process cleaning up the relatively buggy mess of iOS 11 and turning its sequel into something worthy of the Apple name. In fact, many already exist on competing operating systems in some form or another.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re not fun or useful, nor does it mean that they’re not welcome. We here at Macworld have spent the last several months tinkering with all of these new options in the iOS 12 beta, and over that time a few have emerged as our favorites. Once you get used to them, iOS 11 feels ancient and inefficient by comparison.

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