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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, April 18 at 10 p.m. Pacific

Tue, 2018-04-17 17:45

Apple could start its own subscription news service. What’s it like to use an external graphics card with a Mac? Could a cheaper HomePod be coming soon? We also feature your comments and questions for Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, Dan Masaoka, and Michael Simon in the Macworld Podcast, episode 601.

Watch us live

The Macworld Podcast broadcasts live on the internet on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on Twitter via Periscope or on the Macworld YouTube channel.

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Conceal your files with Hider 2 for Mac -- now 30% off

Tue, 2018-04-17 16:50

Chances are your computer is home to some sensitive files you'd rather not have the world privy to. So, it pays to make sure that your private information stays private. Hider 2 allows you to do just that by giving you the ability to hide and encrypt individual files and folders on your Mac, and it's on sale for over 30 percent off its usual price.

With Hider 2, each file you secure is automatically AES-256 encrypted and password protected, giving you unhindered access to your information while keeping it under digital lock and key. You can create custom groups to keep your data tidy and make in-app notes to keep track of passwords and other sensitive information. Plus, Hider 2 even integrates with Finder to hide data directly from a Finder window.

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Opera is shuttering its VPN app for iOS and Android, sending users to SurfEasy

Tue, 2018-04-17 15:38
Opera has announced that it will be shutting down its VPN app on April 30, but is offering users discounted subscriptions to SurfEasy Total and Ultra plans.

B&H is selling 2017 MacBook Pros and iMacs for $200 off for Tax Day

Tue, 2018-04-17 13:32

It’s Tax Day, and B&H is offering great deals on last year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and 27-inch Retina 5K iMac if you’re looking for something to deduct for next year’s office expenses. Both are selling for $1,599.

I personally use a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and I find it's an impressive and reliable machine (even if I frankly don’t use the Touch Bar all that much). With today’s deal, you’ll be able to pick up the space gray 3.1GHz 13-inch model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for $200 off the usual asking price. To our knowledge, it’s the lowest price that this particular model has ever been listed for.

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Apple is poised to take another swing at news subscriptions and this time it might work

Tue, 2018-04-17 12:22

Raise your hand if you remember The Daily. Back when the iPad still had a 30-pin connection port, Apple teamed up with News Corp. to bring a new type of publication to the burgeoning tablet market featuring exclusive, interactive content, rich animations, and touch-focused games. It cost a buck a week or $40 a year and was delivered to Apple’s Newsstand app on the iPad each morning.

It lasted less than two years.

The biggest problem with The Daily was that it was too middle-of-the-road. Even after the early bugs were squashed, The Daily’s content was too generic to find a dedicated audience, a death knell in today’s 24/7 news culture. But Apple hasn’t given up on making subscription news a feature on iPhones and iPads. Just last month Apple announced it had acquired magazine delivery app Texture, and according to a new report from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, a “premium subscription” news service is on the way.

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Crowd-funded Abode Systems mostly sold to an Italian home-automation group

Tue, 2018-04-17 12:00
Nice S.p.A buys a majority stake in the smart home security startup, but Abode System's founders retain a 25-percent ownership position.

Stream all the things to your TV with this killer deal on a Google Chromecast

Tue, 2018-04-17 10:20

If you're unsure about becoming a cord-cutter, a streaming dongle can be a great way to test the waters without diving in. Google's Chromecast is a fantastic entry-level solution, using an Android or iOS device, PC, or Chromebook as the remote, and allowing you to cast content right from the same device. With a $35 MSRP, it's already in impulse buy territory, but right now, you can get a black Chromecast for just $25 at Target, good for a savings of nearly 30 percent.

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What to do when Image Capture doesn’t see your iPhone and iPad

Tue, 2018-04-17 08:00

Many Mac users rely on the Image Capture app to transfer photos and videos from directly-connected cameras, memory cards, iPhones, and iPads. It’s an alternative to Photos (or iPhoto) if you’re not using iTunes for syncing, manually importing, or using iCloud Photo Library.

But sometimes you may plug in your iOS device and Image Capture fails to show it listed in the left bar that shows devices from which it can acquire media. This appears to happen due to a trust issue. MacOS has been gradually upping how it closes a verification loop between an iPhone or iPad and software on a Mac when you connect the iOS device via USB. That’s good for security—someone might be able to grab your device, plug it in, and rifle through data and media.

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Fibaro Wall Plug with USB review: Does light make right?

Tue, 2018-04-17 07:00
This pricey smart plug offers ground effects and solid energy-monitoring features.

The trust gap: Android’s persistent update problem

Tue, 2018-04-17 07:00

In these trying times it’s nice that we can still rely on certain constants, such as gravity, the almost unbearable hotness of Idris Elba and the fact that Android OEMs will find a way to screw up security if it’s the last thing they do.

Yes, The Verge’s Vlad Savov reports that Android’s trust problem isn’t getting better.

Published today, a two-year study of Android security updates has revealed a distressing gap between the software patches Android companies claim to have on their devices and the ones they actually have.

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Android P's flagrant iPhone X imitation shows how little Google is innovating

Tue, 2018-04-17 06:30
We already now that Android P will be bringing iPhone X-style notch support, but now Google has inadvertently outed a new gesture-based navigation system as well. What happened to Android's innovation?

Anker SoundCore Boost Bluetooth speaker review: This little box delivers more thump that you'd think

Tue, 2018-04-17 06:00
For the price, this 12-hour box sounds very good. It has the punch that many speakers in its class lack, as well as a surprising amount of thump.

eGPU on a MacBook Pro: Is it worth it?: Apple Arcade episode 6

Mon, 2018-04-16 17:29

Not too long ago, running a graphically intensive game like Rise of the Tomb Raider at 60fps on a humble MacBook seemed about as likely as Steve Jobs faking his death. With macOS High Sierra, though, it’s a reality.

Apple’s latest update brought official support for external graphics processing units, which means you can now hook up a high-powered PC graphics card to your Mac and experience breathtaking textures and shadows on a machine that could barely boot the game a few minutes before. It’s potentially revolutionary, but as with so many features like this that we see from Apple, you’ll have to steel yourself for a boatload of complications.

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Best smart bulbs for your connected home

Mon, 2018-04-16 13:33
Today’s smart bulbs are brighter and easier to control than ever, but choosing the right one for your environment remains a challenge.

Apple Watch Series 4 and watchOS 5 rumors: Are third-party watch faces on the way?

Mon, 2018-04-16 13:14

Updated 04/16/18: 9to5Mac is reporting of a hint in the latest watchOS beta that may point to third-party watch faces, but we're skeptical.

Apple has released a new version of the Apple Watch every year since its debut in 2015, and the company seems to show no signs of slowing down. Here we have compiled all the latest rumors, leaks, and reasonably well-informed speculation about Apple Watch Series 4 and the watchOS 5 OS that should come along with it.

We expect them both to be released sometime in the fall of 2018.

The latest: Third-party watch faces may be on the way

We've heard this rumor a few times over the last couple years. Everybody wants app developers to be able to create custom watch faces, as they can on competing smartwatch platforms. Apple has held fast, allowing only Complications to be used in its own built-in watch faces.

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Third-party faces might be more of a curse than a blessing for Apple Watch

Mon, 2018-04-16 12:45

When Apple released the first developer preview of watchOS 4.3.1 last week, the biggest news was that support for first-gen apps will be going away in the fifth version of Apple’s wrist-sized operating system. That’s not likely to affect many apps or users, but it does signal that Apple is developing its wearable platform at a blistering pace, with another round of new APIs and frameworks surely on deck for watchOS 5.

It was reported over the weekend that one of those new APIs might be third-party watch faces, a feature that Apple Watch users have wanted since day one. Hidden in the code for watchOS 4.3.1, 9to5Mac found a reference to a placeholder for “3rd part face config bundle generation” in Apple’s existing NanoTimeKit, which the site interpreted as a sign that Apple would finally loosen its grip on watch faces. That might not be the case, however. As longtime Apple developer Steve Troughton-Smith points out on Twitter, Apple could simply be referring to third-party complications with this log message, as the watchOS SDK already allows bundling for use across a variety of watch faces.

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Record wide-angle HD from your dash with this killer deal on Anker's Roav cam

Mon, 2018-04-16 10:16

Whether you're on a long trip or your daily commute, sometimes you want to be able to go back and see what happened on the road in front of you. That's why a dash cam can become your new best driving companion—and right now, you can get Anker's Roav dash cam for $51 while supplies last, which is the lowest we've seen it and nearly 45 percent off its average price on Amazon.

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Fitbit Versa vs Apple Watch Series 1: Which budget smartwatch is right for you?

Mon, 2018-04-16 09:00

After three years, Apple Watch finally has some competition. Fitbit's new Versa is on sale today, and if you're in the market for a smartwatch that costs less than $300 and up, it's worth considering, even if you're a staunch Apple user. Let's take a look at how it stacks up against Apple's Series 1 Watch.

Fitbit Versa vs. Apple Watch Series 1: Design Michael Simon/IDG

Versa has decidedly softer aesthetic than Ionic, which should appeal to a broader range of buyers.

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How to cancel a subscription on iOS

Mon, 2018-04-16 08:00

Signing up for a service through iOS kind of fun. A menu pops pop, you activate Face ID or Touch ID, and the world’s most satisfying ding lets you know your purchase was successful. It’s simplicity itself.

It’s funny, then, that Apple makes it such a Herculean ordeal to unsubscribe. Unsubscribing forces you to venture into depths of the Settings app that you probably never knew existed, and then through so many extra menus that you might start to worry you’re doing it wrong. Who knows? Maybe Apple wants to make it easy to hide your Tinder Gold subscription from prying eyes, but it’s a pain when you’re just trying to stop an app from sucking money from your wallet every month.

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LIFX A19 (2018) smart bulb review: The Wi-Fi bulb to beat keeps getting better

Mon, 2018-04-16 07:00
Shine on, you crazy lightbulb.

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