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Wi-Fi 6 FAQ: What it is, why you should care, and when it might come to Apple products

Tue, 2018-10-09 06:00

Since the beginning, Wi-Fi network standards have been designated by a set of numbers and letters only an engineer could love. 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, 802.11ac (there are two letters now?)… how can you possibly expect regular users to know what they’re buying or connecting to?

In a stunningly rational move, the Wi-Fi Alliance (the industry group that sets Wi-Fi standards) has decided to dump the confusing alphabet soup and go with simple version numbers.

The networking standard previously known as 802.11ax will now be known as Wi-Fi 6, and it’s coming in 2019. Here are some answers to common questions about the new standard.

What’s with the new numbers?

The Wi-Fi Alliance has decided that simply using IEEE standard designations on products is probably a little too confusing. Now, instead of seeing routers with “802.11n” and “802.11ac” and such, you’ll see simple generational numbers like “Wi-Fi 3” and “Wi-Fi 5.” Those 802.11 numbers are still there, but they’re not meant to be used in marketing and user-facing menus. It’s the kind of decision they should have made two decades ago.

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Google is shutting down Google+ after it exposed user data and neglected to tell anyone

Mon, 2018-10-08 15:12
After The Wall Street Journal reported that Google had hid a Google+ breach for more than six months, the company announced it was shutting down the service for consumers.

Apple releases iOS 12.0.1, fixing iPhone XS charging and Wi-Fi bugs

Mon, 2018-10-08 13:26

Apple has released the first update to its iOS 12 operating system. Every iOS 12 user can now upgrade to iOS 12.0.1, while iOS 12.1 is still in beta,.

To grab the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

This release doesn’t add any new features, but it fixes a few annoying bugs discovered since the release of iOS 12, like the “.?123” key position getting flipped on the iPad keyboard. There are also a couple of bug fixes aimed at fixing problems with the new iPhone XS, including the infamous charging bug and an issue where the phones would connect to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks even with 5GHz networks were available. 

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Make your own DIY smart home kit with these great deals on an Echo, smart plug, and smart switch

Mon, 2018-10-08 12:38

With seemingly endless smart tech available today, it can be a little daunting to set up a smart home. Even intro bundles can be tough to sort through. But today, a few discounted devices can help you DIY your way to a setup of your own. TheTP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug is $17Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $40 and less than $2 off its all-time low. The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch is $50Remove non-product link, good for $10 off its $60 MSRP and the best price we've ever seen. And to bring it all together with voice control, the 2nd-gen Amazon Echo is $80Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $100 and matching an all-time low.

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TaoTronics 40-inch soundbar review: How low can you go?

Mon, 2018-10-08 08:30
A 40-inch soundbar for just $90? If your budget is tight and you can live with its quirks, TaoTronics offers a very inexpensive solution for improving your TV's sound.

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) review: Better in every way, and better than every other smart display

Mon, 2018-10-08 08:00
It’s a major step up, but Amazon still doesn’t have the best smart speaker.

Why does Apple’s two-factor sign-in think you’re hundreds of miles away?

Mon, 2018-10-08 08:00

Apple’s two-factor authentication (2FA) is a boon for anyone who wants to be sure that even if their Apple ID or iCloud password were stolen or found out, an intruder would still need a piece of equipment associated with the account to complete the login. These trusted phone numbers and trusted devices offer good deterrence.

When you log in to an iCloud account, the Apple ID site, or an Apple app that gives you account access or lets you make purchases, you’re prompted on a trusted device if you haven’t been challenged in a while at the software location at which you’re logging in. It’s in two parts: first, iOS and macOS show a tiny map and Don’t Allow and Allow buttons. If you tap or click Allow, you then get a six-digit code you can enter to complete the login.

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AirPods knockoffs tested: Sometimes you get what you pay for

Mon, 2018-10-08 06:00

When Apple debuted the AirPods in September of 2016, everybody scoffed at the seemingly exorbitant $159 price. Since then, scores of other true wireless earbuds have been released, and it turns out that all the good ones cost that much or more. Apple was giving us a bargain, and we just didn’t realize it.

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The $100 Oontz Angle 3 Ultra Bluetooth speaker is on sale for nearly 75% off today

Fri, 2018-10-05 12:06

Picking the right Bluetooth speaker can be an exercise in futility, but today Amazon is making it easy. The popular Oontz Angle 3 Ultra is on sale for $27Remove non-product link, the best price we've ever seen and nearly 75 percent off its $100 MSRP.

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Bait and fix: Apple is basically forcing you to get AppleCare for your new MacBook Pro

Fri, 2018-10-05 09:50

The new MacBook Pros aren’t cheap. The least expensive 13-inch model costs $1,800 and goes all the way up to $6,700 for the maxed-out 15-inch model with a 2.9GHz Intel Core i9 processor. And now there’s a hidden catch that might make them way more expensive.

Along with the high price tag and any dongles you may need to purchase to get your old USB-A devices up and running, you might be in for a rude awakening if you try to fix your new MacBook Pro. As reported by Motherboard, Apple has introduced new software locks with its new laptops that “will render the computer ‘inoperative’ unless a proprietary Apple ‘system configuration’ software is run after parts of the system are replaced.”

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The HomePod’s growing pains

Fri, 2018-10-05 07:00

Nearly six months into having a HomePod, I made a decision to have it stop listening to me.

If you’re thinking to yourself “Well, that sounds like a fairly central feature of the device?” you’d be right. I now essentially have a very nice but rather expensive AirPlay 2 speaker. But this decision came after a steady and measured observation of how I used Apple’s smart speaker, what it does right, and what it does...less than right.

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Logitech K600 TV review: A keyboard for the couch

Fri, 2018-10-05 06:00
Logitech's keyboard-trackpad combo gets a hand from thumb-friendly navigation options.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max review: It’s time for older iPhone owners to jump on the X bandwagon

Fri, 2018-10-05 06:00

Long-time iPhone users should be familiar with the iPhone product release cycle by now. Usually, it works like this: Apple releases a major product, then the following year is the “s” generation of iPhones that offer incremental upgrades. In this case, the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are the incremental upgrades to last year’s iPhone X.

The iPhone X was an exciting release, so what can the iPhone XS do to follow it up? It does plenty, but if you currently own an iPhone X, you’ll probably be fine with sitting this model out and waiting to see what happens next year. If you own an older iPhone, now’s the time to upgrade. You’ll be glad you did.

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Best home security camera: Keep an eye on the home front

Thu, 2018-10-04 16:00
A boom in wireless security cameras is inspiring a movement in DIY home surveillance. Follow our buying guide and read our reviews to find the best option for you.

Apple strongly denies Bloomberg’s Chinese hacking report

Thu, 2018-10-04 14:28

On Thursday, Bloomberg published a bombshell article uncovering an extraordinary hardware hacking effort by state-sponsored Chinese agents. “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies” details successful efforts by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to implant tiny chips into the motherboards of servers made by Super Micro, to compromise those systems and give them access. It’s an extensive piece of reporting, too complex to fully summarize here. To really understand all the details, you should read the original article.

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Get 2017 MacBook Pros at B&H for $200 to $900 off

Thu, 2018-10-04 13:12

Love MacBook Pros but loathe Apple’s rather astronomical retail prices? Today’s your lucky day. Head over to B&H Photo and you’ll find that the retailer is slashing hundreds of dollars off the prices of various models of the 2017 MacBook Pro. In the most extreme case, you can knock off as much as $900.

As you might expect, the price drops aren’t quite so extreme for the entry-level models, but they’re still impressive. Consider these two 13-inch MacBook Pros, which you can pick up for $200 off the listed price.

Want a bigger screen and more power? You’ll be happy to know you can also pick up some comparatively affordable MacBook Pros for impressive discounts. Here are a couple of our favorites.

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Accidentally merged a set of photos in iCloud Photo Library? Here’s a fix

Thu, 2018-10-04 08:00

When everything works as expected in iCloud Photo Library, you not only have access to all your images and videos on every device logged into the same iCloud account, but they’re all backed up by Apple, too.

However, disorder can enter this perfect realm unintentionally. Macworld reader Jack and his girlfriend—let’s call her “Jill”—tripped into a situation when she logged into his Apple ID to install an app he’d purchased. (Sure, technically, that’s not how Apple wants you to share apps. It would rather people use Family Sharing, but that feature remains weak and inconsistent, and I understand when people are driven to use this alternate approach.)

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Android Confidential: The LG V40 is a better G7, with an OLED display and an extra camera

Thu, 2018-10-04 07:00

LG is kicking off Android’s jam-packed October with the V40 ThinQ. It’s LG’s fourth phone this year, following the V30S, G7 and V35, and I’ll admit I didn’t have high hopes for it. After the tremendous G6, LG lost its focus a bit. It was starting to look like it had forgotten how to make exciting phones.

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Nothing up my sleeve: MacBook Pro complaints

Thu, 2018-10-04 07:00

When it comes to Apple, there are no small complaints, only small minds that do not understand that every small complaint is another sign of the company’s slide in quality.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and #1 Caillou fan club homepage on the internet, Ewan Spence tells us the “2018 MacBook Pro Design Has Made A Mistake.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick.)

Oh, no! Is it the keyboard? Is it USB-C, which is a rather confusing jumble of capabilities that hasn’t really caught on yet?


Alongside the announcement of the new MacBook Pro machines earlier this month, Apple also announced the availability of a new leather MacBook Sleeve.

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Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones review: The epitome of effective active noise cancellation

Thu, 2018-10-04 06:00
Sony's third-generation noise cancelling headphones surpass Bose's QuietComfort 35 II in every way.