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Ember Ceramic Mug and Ember Travel Mug reviews: Smart at home, less so on the road

Tue, 2019-07-09 06:00
The Ember Ceramic Mug and Travel Mug are expensive, but they just might be worth the investment.

Unidentifiable differences: Apple and Google’s stances on privacy

Tue, 2019-07-09 06:00

If a company steals your privacy right in front of your face and everyone else’s faces and it gets caught on camera and then they also get recorded selling the information to third parties, isn’t Apple just as bad for not doing that?

Writing for The Guardian, Jack Schofield tries to answer an admittedly difficult question.

“Can I buy a phone that doesn’t use anything from Google or Apple?” (Tip o’ the antlers to Justin.)

To read this article in full, please click here

Got 1.5GB to spare? Apple’s Texas Hold’em is back on iOS

Mon, 2019-07-08 15:07

It’s been a year of big software-related surprises in the Appleverse, and today we’ve got another one for you. In celebration of the App Store’s 10th anniversary, Apple’s own Texas Hold’em card game has finally made its way back to the iOS App Store after an eight-year absence. For that matter, we’ve got another surprise—this “simple” card game weighs in at 1.5GB. Yikes. When we originally reviewed it in 2008, we warned you about the “huge 128MB download size.”

Apple restored the game to the App Store using the same listing, so it’s kind of funny to see reviews that were written 10 years ago, as though the game had vanished and reappeared thanks to a Thanos-style snap. Texas Hold’em looks about the same, but sports improved graphics—which probably have a lot to do with the massive file size—and you can play at 10 locations ranging from Vegas to a “garage” with posters for the iMac G4 hanging from the wall.

To read this article in full, please click here

5G FAQ: What is 5G and when is it coming to the iPhone

Mon, 2019-07-08 07:00

The marketing machine for 5G is just getting warmed up. AT&T arguably fired the first shot when it started re-labeling some of its 4G LTE service “5G Evolution,” complete with a “5G e” logo in the status bar of some phones. Soon, 5G will be everywhere you look. All four major carriers are going to spend billions of dollars hyping up “5G” and trying to convince you that, one, you need it, and two, their carrier has the best 5G.

It’s all going to be needlessly confusing, too. The carriers will bamboozle us with big bandwidth numbers, coverage maps, and confusing claims that have little to do with reality.

Here’s what you really need to know about 5G and how it’s going to impact you as an iPhone user.

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Magpie review: Visual note-taking iOS app for sharing with family and friends

Mon, 2019-07-08 06:30

My wife uses her iPhone camera to create reminders for clothes she might buy, interesting household decorations, and what have you. The problem is, over time her Photos library fills up with so many shots, it becomes impossible to find anything among pictures of our kids, pets, and family events.

A more narrowly focused version of services like Evernote or Pinterest, Super Useful’s Magpie fuses photos with notes, maps, prices, and links so you can not only find them in the future, but easily share with others. It’s a great way to save gift ideas, clothes, home décor, and most anything else you might normally snap with your iPhone or iPad.

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Fluance AB40 Soundbase review: This speaker delivers a bona fide theater experience in any room

Mon, 2019-07-08 06:00
This $250 soundbase has a big footprint that delivers equally big sound.

Best soundbars to improve your TV's audio

Fri, 2019-07-05 15:36
Find the best soundbar for music and movies and that's the perfect fit for your budget.

LG SL8YG soundbar review: Generally excellent sound quality, though only in certain circumstances

Fri, 2019-07-05 11:00
This soundbar has some significant limitations, especially for such a high price.

Jony Ive is gone, but he won’t take Apple with him

Fri, 2019-07-05 07:00

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here we are, once again debating whether or not the departure of a single prominent Apple employee signals doom for the company. This time it’s designer extraordinaire Jony Ive who’s leaving the company, though the reception to his exit is decidedly mixed. Some feel Ive is the embodiment of an Apple that’s placed too high a value on form over function; others worry that the company won’t be able to keep delivering world-class design without him. Neither of these is precisely true—and they’re definitely not both true.

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Your Time Capsule has died. How can you wipe its data?

Fri, 2019-07-05 06:00

A few days ago, I explained how to extract data from a Time Capsule networked drive and Wi-Fi router if you received a warning that you couldn’t back up to it as a destination. That was a “logical” solution, offering advice on archiving and reformatting.

But as Time Capsule age, they’re more likely to fail: the drive dies, the circuit board goes wonky, or the power supply poops out. If you can’t get the Time Capsule to power up or respond, how do you deal with the physical element of its drive? With a dead Time Capsule, you can’t easily extract the hard disk, either to recover it or erase it if you want to pass the unit on—or to destroy it to render the data unrecoverable.

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Kuo: Scissor-switch keyboards to return in 2019 MacBook Air, 2020 MacBook Pro

Thu, 2019-07-04 11:51

Few if any of Apple’s recent designs have been so vocally reviled as its butterfly keyboards for the MacBook. But according to a new report from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (as reported by 9to5Mac), Apple may at last be reverting to the scissor-switch design for this year’s MacBook Air and 2020’s MacBook Pro.

This doesn’t mean that Apple is simply bringing back the beloved keyboard it used in older MacBooks. Instead, Kuo claims the new keyboards will have a fresh design that includes glass fiber for reinforcing the keys. Interestingly, Kuo suggests that such a scissor-switch design should cost Apple less to make, although I’ll caution that we’ll have to wait to see if that translates into savings at the consumer level.

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Best iPhone XR cases: Top picks in every style

Thu, 2019-07-04 08:00

More than six months into its lifespan, the best iPhone to buy is still the most affordable of the bunch: the iPhone XR, starting at $749. The 6.1-inch phone has many of the premium features found in the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max, and comes in six different colors. (See why we think the iPhone XR is a worthy upgrade to the iPhone X.) It might be the more affordable option, but it’s still a significant expense, so you’re going to want a case to protect it. Fortunately, there are some very nice case options to choose from. We rounded up our top picks to help you decide. We’ll add more to the list as new cases become available, so watch this space.

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Best Mac remote access apps

Thu, 2019-07-04 06:00

Sometimes—maybe often—you need to access your Mac, but you’re not sitting in front of it. You might be an office away, across town, or on the other side of the world. For decades, the fix for this involves an ever-changing mix of remote-access software that can pierce network complexities, allowing you to remotely control or observe a computer. More modern flavors can pass along audio inputs and output, transfer files, and allow remote peripheral access.

In this round-up of remote-access software, I look at products that have the right mix of features and price to consider for personal, non-commercial use and for small business.

For multiple users who need to control a few computers

With LogMeIn Pro, remote access can be installed on one or two computers. But an unlimited number of different users can access those computers. It’s the right option for a small business that has software with a single-seat license or with massive files installed on a computer, and that wants multiple employees who aren’t on site to have access, or to have cross-platform access.

To read this article in full, please click here

TeamViewer review: Great remote-access system for personal use, but priced high for most business purposes

Thu, 2019-07-04 05:40

TeamViewer is a powerful remote-access tool designed for large-scale use, and combining remote screen control, remote file access, and robust ability to share the observation or control of screens among users. It bundles in text, audio conferencing, and video conferencing, and a single-user license allows the remote control of unlimited computers.

It’s also the most generous company out there where personal use is concerned. TeamViewer allows unlimited use of the full version of its software for non-commercial purposes, which the company offers a clear definition of (no direct or indirect revenue or business support).

To read this article in full, please click here

Splashtop review: affordable remote access app with core remote access options

Thu, 2019-07-04 05:20

With a focus on just providing solid remote-access tools, Splashtop is far less expensive than its closest competitors, which include features that many users may not need, such as file storage, password management, and full-blown conferencing tools.

That approach appears to allow Splashtop to offer pricing that makes sense to individual users as well as some categories of business user. Splashtop Business Solo at $5 a month (billed at $60 a year) lets a single user access two computers. It offers a range of expected remote-access features, including remote printing, playing remote audio locally through client software, and managing a system with multiple moderns.

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LogMeIn Pro review: The right remote access when you have many users that need to control a few computers

Thu, 2019-07-04 05:00

LogMeIn provides straightforward remote access to a computer’s screen and files from a smartphone, tablet, or other computer. The company orients its approach around the number of computers available to control in a given account, rather than users.

With the LogMeIn Pro flavor of the service, remote access can be installed on one or two computers. But an unlimited number of different users can access those computers. It’s the right option for a small business that has software with a single-seat license or with massive files installed on a computer, and which wants multiple employees who aren’t on site to have access, or to have cross-platform access.

To read this article in full, please click here

Apple’s event calendar: When is the next Apple event?

Wed, 2019-07-03 15:37

Updated 07/03/19: Now that WWDC is over, we don't expect another Apple event until September.

Apple doesn’t often participate in big industry-wide events like CES or E3. The most valuable company in the world holds its own events, thank you very much. Several times a year, Apple invites the press and industry professionals out to a theater to hear all about its latest products and services. Apple calls these “Special Events,” and streams them online to its millions of fans.

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Can’t download photos from your iPhone to your Mac? It could be a trust issue

Wed, 2019-07-03 08:00

Your Mac needs to trust your iPhone or iPad—and vice-versa. Apple added a Trust button to iOS years ago that appears when a device is connected to a computer, requiring a phone or tablet be unlocked and the connection confirmed. This was another layer in attempting to ensure that a device’s owner really wanted that computer to have access.

However, you can run afoul of this provision. My dad wrote to me from a small island on Greece recently after he’d swapped in a Greek carrier’s SIM for his unlocked AT&T iPhone. While voice, text, and data worked fine, whenever he plugged his iPhone into his laptop, he neither received a Trust dialog nor could get his phone’s images to appear as available with iTunes, Photos, or Image Capture.

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Should you run the iOS 13 beta?

Wed, 2019-07-03 07:00

The iOS 13 public beta is out now, and it look like a smorgasbord of all the things we ever wanted. Dark Mode! Siri support for music apps! Better video editing! Overhauled Maps! A swiping keyboard! Smaller downloads!

It’s really tempting to pop over to and jump on the beta bandwagon. (For more on how to install the beta, and how to uninstall it, read our guide.)

But you might want to pump the breaks a bit. Running beta software has sometimes serious consequences, and not all the wonderful features of iOS 13 are even available yet in the beta. To help you decide if you should participate in the iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 public beta, we prepared this short guide.

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FitzyTV review: A neat but shaky workaround for streaming TV annoyances

Wed, 2019-07-03 06:00
FitzyTV addresses some streaming TV annoyances, but adds some of its own along the way.