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Updated: 38 min 10 sec ago

Make your home smarter with these great deals on popular TP-Link W-Fi plugs and switches

Mon, 2019-01-07 12:13

Making your home smarter home doesn't have to be expensive. And today it's downright cheap. B&H Photo is running a sale on TP-Link accessories that can save you up to 50 percent on popular plugs, switches, and Wi-Fi accessories—as long as you remember to clip the coupons before you check out.

First up is a two-pack of the HS105 Wi-Fi Smart Plug Mini. Normally selling for $25 each, you can get a pair of these plugs for $28Remove non-product link, a savings of 44 percent. The Wi-Fi smart plug mini allows you to turn any dumb device into a smart one by letting you turn devices off and on remotely and schedule usage times and away mode. You can also hook it up to Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free operation with a smart speaker.

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Apple's iPhone privacy billboard is a clever CES troll, but it's also inaccurate

Mon, 2019-01-07 10:41

Even without a booth, Apple is looming large over CES. Literally. In a giant billboard that went up on the side of the Springhill Suites Marriott hotel near the Vegas strip late last week, Apple is touting the privacy features baked into the iPhone, telling people, “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

It’s a clever and effective ad that plays off the classic Vegas slogan. And it’s timely. In an age of regular data breaches and scary hacks, privacy and security have become a really big deal. Apple has made privacy a major component of its iPhone sales pitch for years, so while the ad might not mention Google, Samsung, or Amazon, it’s clearly aimed at trolling Apple’s biggest rivals and their somewhat laissez-faire approach to privacy.

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If macOS's Migration Assistant fails, here are other ways to move accounts

Mon, 2019-01-07 07:00

This past Christmas, my kids received new Mac laptops. We managed to keep their previous computers working for seven years, but these new Macs will see my kids through to college and maybe beyond. New Macs meant that we had to move all their files from the older computers to the new ones.

The old machines both had macOS High Sierra installed, and the new ones have the current macOS, Mojave. Following Apple’s instructions, I started migration on both older systems to both newer ones. (It made for a lot of smiles and laughs as family members passed through the room with four Macs all chugging away at once.)

Both computers gave errors at the end of multi-hour migrations, though one pair of computers appeared to have fully transferred data. The other pair did not; it seemed to have transferred apps and system preferences, but left out the main user. This may have been due to that user having parental controls set, though Migration Assistant doesn’t warn of that being a problem, nor is there a mention in any support notes from Apple.

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New Year’s resolutions for iPhone users

Mon, 2019-01-07 06:00

The turn of the year is when we take stock of our habits and strive to do better. Many people pledge to improve their health with diet and exercise. Others make a commitment to the environment, like composting. For some, this is the year they’ll finally quit smoking.

But kicking bad old habits and starting good new habits should extend to your digital life, too. Our iPhones are ever-present tools that we spend so much of our waking hours with, so it’s important to cast our self-improvement gaze on how we use them, too. Here are five New Year’s resolutions for iPhone users that will help you form lasting good technology habits.

Curb excessive use with Screen Time

Apple gave us quite a gift in iOS 12 with Screen Time. It’s more than parental controls: It’s a tool anyone can use for insight into how much they’re using—or over-using—their iPhone or its apps. If you didn’t turn on Screen Time when you first installed iOS 12, you should do so now. It doesn’t really make a difference in battery life, and it doesn’t do anything by default other than give you interesting information about how you use your iPhone.

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Wemo debuts redesigned (and cheaper) in-wall smart switches at CES

Mon, 2019-01-07 06:00
Wemo unveils new single-pole and 3-way switches include native Apple HomeKit support at CES.

Apple will launch iTunes video app on Samsung Smart TVs this spring—and it’ll support Bixby

Sun, 2019-01-06 14:22

Apple and Samsung are friends again. In an announcement ahead of this week’s CES, the two former rivals have announced that an iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will launch on Samsung Smart TVs. Samsung says the app will launch on 2019 Smart TVs in the spring and it will also be available via a firmware update to 2018 sets.

This is a hell-freezes-over level of news. Apple has been notoriously guarded with access to iTunes movies and TV shows, even limiting authorizations to five computers and 10 total devices. It’s never allowed third-party home entertainment devices to stream movies or shows directly through iTunes before. With this partnership, however, Apple is allowing iTunes purchases and rentals to be made and viewed on a Samsung product with virtually no restrictions.

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Charge your devices quickly and cheaply with half off this 18W USB-C PD charger

Fri, 2019-01-04 11:10

We all know how important it is to keep our devices charged up. But all too often, the chargers that come in the box are too weak to fill up our phones as fast as we'd like (we're looking at you Apple). Today's deal solves that problem: Amazon is selling the Aukey USB-C PD 18W charger for just $11Remove non-product link with the code HWCPT8E8, a 50 percent savings off its $22 list price and the lowest price we've ever seen. It's so low, in fact, that you can buy two for $7 less than Apple charges for one.

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PDFelement Pro 6 review: A professional PDF editor at an affordable price

Fri, 2019-01-04 07:00
Business-ready features and an uncluttered interface make the PDFelement Pro 6 PDF editor a joy to use.

5 ways to fix slumping iPhone sales

Fri, 2019-01-04 07:00

After years and years of prognosticating doom and gloom for Apple, the analysts finally got it right: iPhone sales are slumping. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and there was enough smoke to suggest that Apple’s quarter would be a dumpster fire for iPhone sales. Tim Cook placed much of the blame on China in a letter to investors, and while there may be some truth to that, plenty of other factors contributed to the declining sales. Here are five reasons why the iPhone hit a sales snag and how Apple can fix them all.

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Apple’s revenue drop is about China and more

Fri, 2019-01-04 06:00

All anybody is likely to be talking about for the next week or so is Apple’s admission that it’s going to miss its guidance for the first quarter of 2019. We won’t get any more information until the company’s next quarterly financial results, due out on January 29, and the winter is genuinely a dreary time for any other significant Apple news.

So, yeah, let’s jump right in. The water’s fine.

The China Syndrome

Apple’s been betting big on China for the last several years, a fact borne out both by Tim Cook’s repeated visits to the region and his fairly consistent declarations of the fact on those quarterly conference calls. The reason for that is pretty simple: the biggest opportunity for Apple’s growth is in the world’s second-largest economy, where there’s a rapidly increasing middle class that is looking to spend money on consumer goods.

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Philo review: A valuable alternative to the average TV bundle

Fri, 2019-01-04 02:05
By cutting out broadcast and sports networks, the Philo streaming TV service provides cord-cutters lots of channels for not a lot of money.

LG to ship 8K UHD OLED and LCD smart TVs this year, many powered by a new Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor

Thu, 2019-01-03 15:13
LG will ship its first 8K UHD OLED and LCD TVs in 2019, and nearly all will get a boost in processing power. Two-fold in some instances.

B&H is selling 2017's iPad Pros for the lowest prices we've ever seen

Thu, 2019-01-03 13:57

The previous-generation iPad Pros are still wonderful devices, and at the moment the best thing about them is that you don’t have to worry if they’re suddenly going to bend on you. And right now B&H is selling both the 10-inch and 12.9-inch models for the lowest prices we’ve seen to dateRemove non-product link, with discounts ranging from $200 to $280. That’s better than all of the deals we saw on Black Friday.

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Amazon has slashed the price of Foscam's ultra-secure R2 camera to an all-time low

Thu, 2019-01-03 11:55

If one of your resolutions is to worry less in the new year, it might be time to invest in home security. And this Amazon deal can help: Today the Foscam R2 home security camera is on sale for $56Remove non-product link, down $29 from its list price of $85 and an all-time low.

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5 ways Apple's awful quarter could impact the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in 2019 and beyond

Thu, 2019-01-03 10:00

Apple’s new year isn’t off to a great start. Instead of celebrating another stellar quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote a lengthy letter to investors warning about subpar iPhone sales and an overall dip in revenue to the tune of about $6 billion. That mean Apple is only going to make around $84 billion in revenue over the 3-month holiday quarter, an impressive number for sure, but one that represents a five percent dip from the same quarter last year and confirmation that all is not right in Cupertino.

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Samsung's spectacular 860 EVO, our favorite SSD, is cheaper than ever at Amazon today

Thu, 2019-01-03 09:20

One of our favorite solid state drives is available at a great price today. Amazon is selling the 500GB Samsung 860 EVO for $68.40, after you clip a 5 percent off coupon just below the price on the product page. Ostensibly a $110 SSD, the historic all-time low for this drive on Amazon was $71 and the current price is $72. 

Any way you slice it, this is a great cost for a great drive. Today’s deal is for the standard 2.5-inch form-factor version of the Samsung 860 EVO. There is an M.2 version as well, but at this writing it was much more expensive at $98. Both the 2.5-inch and M.2 versions use a SATA III interface.

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How iOS’s Wi-Fi Assist works and how it can affect your cellular bill

Thu, 2019-01-03 08:00

Added in iOS 9, Wi-Fi Assist recognizes when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, but have a poor or erratic signal. When this happens, Wi-Fi Assist kicks over automatically to cellular for foreground apps to keep data flowing. This feature is enabled by default.

Wi-Fi Assist automatically excludes third-party audio and video streaming, and doesn’t relay data from apps working in the background. Nonetheless, some users wound up with surprising cellular bills when they thought they were on Wi-Fi networks—it turned out Wi-Fi Assist used cellular data because the Wi-Fi connections were marginal. (U.S. carriers have largely switched to a fixed or flexible monthly maximum after which your cellular data rate is throttled to a very slow speed, so surprise bills are less likely.)

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Dullsville: Nobody likes iPhones

Thu, 2019-01-03 07:00

Yesterday Apple revised down its guidance for the fourth calendar quarter, admitting that—due to a variety of factors—the company had “fewer iPhone upgrades than we had anticipated.” Apple now expects its revenue to be down about 5 percent from the same quarter the previous year.

Congratulations, nay-sayers! You stuck with it for… [checks calendar]… ten years of iPhone shipments and you’re finally a little bit right. This quarter will not be a record. It’ll “only” be Apple’s second-best in history.

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Cord-cutting in 2019: What to expect in a pivotal year

Thu, 2019-01-03 06:00
Big changes for cord-cutting lay ahead in 2019.

2019 iOS wishlist: Better iPhone prices, smaller phones, and iPad software updates

Thu, 2019-01-03 06:00

I’m on the record with my hopes and dreams for the Mac in 2019; for my money, it’s going to be a huge year of change on the Mac side. But what about on iOS, home of Apple’s two best-selling products, the iPhone and iPad?

Not to worry. I’ve got hopes and dreams there too. There’s much to do, so let’s dive in.

An iPhone reckoning?

As I write this, Apple has just announced that it’s missing its initial forecast for the holiday quarter 2018 based in large part on lower than expected iPhone sales.

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