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MacBook Air hands-on: All-new but still very familiar

Tue, 2018-10-30 15:30

Apple didn’t waste any time introducing the new MacBook Air at its Brooklyn event Tuesday, and as such, it was the first thing that greeted me when I walked into the hands-on area.

But for a brand new product that’s been rumored and hyped for years, the MacBook Air is very familiar. It still has the classic wedge design and a dearth of ports. It’s still bigger and heavier than the non-Air MacBook. And it still has something of an identity crisis.

Michael Simon/IDG

When closed, the new MacBook Air is still shaped like a wedge.

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Apple releases Shortcuts 2.1 app with new weather, alarm, timer, and photos functions

Tue, 2018-10-30 14:48

As if Apple weren't busy enough releasing iOS 12.1 and announcing new MacBook Airs, iPad Pros, Apple Pencils, and Mac minis today, it also released version 2.1 of the Shortcuts app.

This isn't just another bug-fix release. Shortcuts 2.1 adds a host of new features that will allow you to create even more powerful and useful automations (and if you don't know how, you can always just grab one from our list of useful Shortcuts).

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iPad Pro Hands-on: The first Apple tablet that actually feels new

Tue, 2018-10-30 14:00

Apple on Tuesday revealed the new iPad Pro, and after the presentation, I got to see the new device up close. Without the Apple logo on the back, the new iPad Pro might be mistaken for a really good iPad competitor. Maybe a Chrome tablet or a Galaxy Tab S. But definitely not an iPad and possibly not even an Apple product.

Even when I picked it up, it still didn’t seem quite as familiar as the iPad. Yes, it’s built well and is as startlingly light and comfortable to hold as the iPad has always been, but there’s a whole new design language here that has more in line with the first iPad than the most recent models. That’s not a criticism. It’s just... different. Based on the Apple logo, however, it’s still a portrait-first device.

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6 ways the iPad Pro refresh makes Apple’s tablet exciting again

Tue, 2018-10-30 13:00

The iPad Pro has long been an impressive device (even if you weren’t we weren’t so hot on that whole “what’s a computer” bit), but if we’re being frank, it had gotten kind of boring. The past few years brought new features and new peripherals like the Apple Pencil, but on the whole it felt little different from the device Steve Jobs showed us in 2010.

That changes today. Apple’s latest iPad Pro retains the feel of the world’s most popular tablet while refocusing it to cater to modern needs and introducing its most significant design change to date. Regardless of whether we’re talking about its ports, its display, or even its means of input, it’s better situated to be a desktop replacement than ever before.

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The new MacBook Air: Everything you need to know

Tue, 2018-10-30 11:49

After years of borderline neglect, the MacBook Air finally received the long-overdue update it deserved at Apple’s Brooklyn event on October 30, dragging the ultra-thin laptop into the modern era with a design overhaul and a Retina display.

The previous MacBook Air felt out-of-place in Apple’s current lineup. It was the only Mac without a Retina display. It still used the old keyboard instead of the new low-profile “butterfly” keyboard. It still had a MagSafe connector for charging and USB-A ports. It still used an ancient fifth-generation Intel Core processor. All of these things have since disappeared from Apple’s laptops, but the MacBook Air held on, waiting for a big redesign.

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Apple finally updates Mac mini with new quad- and 6-core CPUs, space gray case

Tue, 2018-10-30 10:58

The wait for the Mac mini update is finally over. After four years since its last update, Apple on Tuesday announced at its New York City event that the company is delivering a new Mac mini with modern processors and specifications.

The upgrades are spotlighted by quad- and six-core 8th-generation Intel processors, which go by the code name Coffee Lake. According to Apple, the new Mac mini is five times faster than the four-year-old model it replaces.

Apple boosts the maximum amount of memory supported from 16GB to 64GB, and the machine uses 2666MHz SO-DIMMs. The Mac mini also features flash storage that the company says is four times faster than the four-year-old predecessor, and can be outfitted with a maximum amount of 2TB.

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How to save on hit games through Xbox Game Pass

Tue, 2018-10-30 10:06

When it comes to hobbies that are friendly on the wallet, gaming sits somewhere between iPhone frisbee and collecting exotic cars. In addition to the hardware, controllers, and peripherals gamers need to invest in, most new games release with a $60 price tag; and more titles are launching with premium editions that edge closer to the $100 mark. Well worth it in the end, but significant all the while.

This makes gaming on a budget challenging, but it’s by no means impossible, especially now that Microsoft is shaking up the market with Xbox Game Pass.

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Load up on these 32GB USB 3.0 flash drives while they're just $6.50

Tue, 2018-10-30 09:40

Cloud storage and email attachments might have made it easier than ever to shuffle files between PCs, but sometimes, nothing beats the sneakernet. If you need a USB key you can slip in your pocket, Newegg’s selling a 32GB Adata flash drive for just $6.50Remove non-product link with coupon code EMCEPRY22.

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Your Mac’s Photos Library is important. Make a secondary backup of it using sync software

Tue, 2018-10-30 08:00

Making backups of your Mac’s Photos Library are among the more popular questions to Mac 911. It’s not enough for many people to have one backup made by Time Machine; a lot of you also want a manually-created backup that’s more accessible in case something goes wrong. The catch to manually backing up a Photos Library is to use a method that isn’t tedious.

The answer may lie with sync software. Sync software lets you keep files and folders in two locations (or more) up to date with each other. Sync software has been around since the earliest days of the Mac, and I’ve used many sync apps.

My current favorite sync app is ChronoSync. It’s kind of a kitchen-sink program: it can do any kind of thing you could plausibly want to do to keep things synchronized, cloned, backed up, archived, whatever. It requires a little study to master, but it’s worth it. It’s $50 but it has a perpetual upgrade license, and all future improvements are included.

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Picture this: Judging Apple on cameras

Tue, 2018-10-30 07:00

Apple is set to announce new products today but why bother? Everyone knows innovation is dead at Apple.

Over at The Outline, Joshua Topolsky declares “Apple: the second-best tech company in the world.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Žiga.)

Based on a sample size of a couple of camera features.

Apple doesn’t lead the way anymore.

Someone should tell all those Android OEMs that ran out and copied the notch. Hey, dummies! Apple doesn’t lead the way anymore! You’re following the wrong company! A notch isn’t cool! You know what’s cool? Two notches.

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TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip review: The ultimate surge protector for the smart home (or smart home office)

Mon, 2018-10-29 22:38
This smart outlet strip has it all: sophisticated scheduling, power monitoring, and support for voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Microsoft Cortana.

Macworld's November Digital Magazine: Five reasons why you should install macOS Mojave

Mon, 2018-10-29 15:53

Every day, Macworld brings you the essential daily news and other info about all things Apple. But staying on top of that torrent of information can be a constant challenge. One solution: the Macworld digital magazine. 

In the November issue

MacOS Mojave is out. In the November issue we have five big reasons why you shouldn’t wait to upgrade. Got a new iPhone XS? We have a rundown of the ten things you should do first with your new phone. Plus, We pulled out our crystal ball to tell you what we are predicting for a MacBook Air replacement.

Also in this month’s issue:

• MacUser: How Apple’s push to subscriptions could save the App Store and cost you money

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What to expect from Apple’s October 30 event

Mon, 2018-10-29 15:30

On October 18, Apple sent out colorful invitations to a new event, to be held at the Howard Gilman Opera House in the Brooklyn Academy of Music on October 30. Each invitation had its own uniquely stylized Apple logo with the tagline “There’s more in the making.”

One never knows exactly what Apple will announce until they say it on stage, but there are always some strong rumors and leaks ahead of any major product unveiling. And the invitations and the venue provide clues. Here’s what we expect from Apple on October 30.

How to watch the event

Apple will livestream the event from its Events Page. Simply head there shortly before the start time of 10 a.m. Eastern time. 

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Walmart shaves $125 off the 128GB iPad mini

Mon, 2018-10-29 10:04

Between the expanding screen size of the iPhone X series and the latest iPad dropping to $330, the iPad mini almost feels like a forgotten member of Apple’s family. But you’ll want to remember the 7.9-inch tablet today, because Walmart’s selling the 128GB iPad mini for $275Remove non-product link, or $125 off its usual $400 price, with free two-day shipping tossed in for good measure. The deal only applies to the Space Gray version of the tablet.

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Giveaway: Win a Razer Core X eGPU and a graphics card and mouse to go with it!

Mon, 2018-10-29 09:00

We at Macworld have been talking a lot about external graphics processing unit (eGPU) support for the Mac in both macOS High Sierra and Mojave, and we’d like for you to join in on the fun. To that end, we’re teaming with Razer to give away a Razer Core X eGPU. Not only that, the eGPU will come with a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 4GB card and a Razer Atheris Bluetooth mouse. Altogether, that’s a $650 value. And you’ll get it for free.

To sign up to win, all you need to do is sign up through the widget below. You get additional chances to win if you join one of our social media pages, whether it’s Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook (and yes, you get an extra chance for each one).

The contest ends on MondayNovember 12 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. We’ll announce the winners on our Macworld podcast on Wednesday, November 14. 

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Adobe Premiere Elements 2019 review: Movie editor with an AI spin

Mon, 2018-10-29 07:00

The new version of Adobe Premiere Elements may be a bit lighter on new features that most people are used to, but the 2019 version puts a laser focus on automated operations that make quick work of editing your family videos.

With increasing reliance on its Sensei artificial intelligence engine, Adobe assists users with tedious and complex tasks like picking the best photos or videos for a collage or trimming the fat out of movies before splicing them together.

The first place you encounter improved automation is the brand new Home Screen, identical to the one in Photoshop Elements 2019. It lets you access new auto- generated collages and slideshows derived from the photos and videos you loaded into the Organizer, the built-in asset manager that ships with the program. Premiere Elements dives into your photos and videos to create presentable and sharable social media posts, some of which are specifically designed for Instagram and Facebook.

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Amazon Echo Sub review: Add some serious bass to your Echo or Echo Plus speakers

Mon, 2018-10-29 06:00
Amazon's Echo speakers aren't exactly audiophile quality, but adding this inexpensive subwoofer certainly improves their performance.

TiVo Bolt OTA DVR review: More features, but many familiar drawbacks as well

Mon, 2018-10-29 06:00
The new TiVo Bolt OTA gives cord-cutters more features, but it's still missing some modern touches.