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How to use Sidecar to make your iPad a secondary Mac display in macOS Catalina and iPadOS

Wed, 2019-07-03 06:00

If your Mac is running macOS Catalina, you can now use your iPad as a secondary monitor with the new “Sidecar” feature. It’s ridiculously easy to set up wirelessly through AirPlay.

First, a few notes. Unlike with some existing third-party screen-sharing apps such as Air Display 3, you can really only use your fingers on the display for simple actions such as scrolling through text.

The Apple Pencil works as a “mouse,” though—and that includes using it to alter and create images through the full version of Adobe Photoshop while we’re waiting on the proper iPad version to appear. Apart from the Apple Pencil, interaction involves a number of shortcuts on the borders of the interface—and you can press these with your fingers. Notably, Apple also includes relevant Touch Bar actions when someone is using an app on the iPad through Sidecar, so in Safari, for instance, you’ll see the visual toggle for the different tabs.

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Best DVR for cord cutters

Wed, 2019-07-03 06:00
TiVo vs. Tablo vs. Channel Master vs. Plex: None are ideal, but one might work for you.

iOS 13 and iPadOS 13: Apple releases beta 3 to developers

Tue, 2019-07-02 14:34

Apple’s huge WWDC developer conference kicked off on Monday, and as expected, the company took the wraps off iOS 13. It’s the next major revision for one of the most important and influential operating systems of all time, with iOS used daily on over a billion iPhones and iPads. It looks to be a doozy.

Here are all the major new features that iOS 13 will bring to your iPhone and iPad when it releases this fall, along with details about supported devices and how to join the beta test to try it out early.

Update 07/02/19: Apple has released the third developer beta of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. This build will likely become the second public beta release, which may release as early as tomorrow, or as late as next week.

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Ive got a story to tell: Differing views on Apple’s exiting designer

Tue, 2019-07-02 10:00

Big news from ye olde iPhone shoppe last week as Apple announced that Jony Ive would be leaving the company to run his own design firm. Get ready to be sprayed in the face with a firehose full of hot takes.

First, let’s go to Vice, where Jason Koebler says “History Will Not Be Kind to Jony Ive.” (Tip o’ the antlers to SamT and @designheretic.) History and Jason Koebler.

And why is that?

He leaves a legacy of pushing [Apple’s] products toward disposability and unrepairability, a choice that has reverberated across the consumer electronics industry.

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iPadOS 13: How to use the floating digital keyboard

Tue, 2019-07-02 07:00

Here’s a truth we’ve had to endure for the iPad’s entire lifespan until now: The bigger the iPad, the bigger the frustration of typing on the screen when you’re holding the tablet like a clipboard. One hand had to hold up the iPad, leaving the index finger of your other hand to hunt and peck its way across the QuickType keyboard on the expansive screen. It certainly didn’t help that the normal keyboard is simply bad for presentation because it obscures around a fourth of the screen.

Apple originally attempted to solve this problem by letting you split the keyboard in two halves, but Apple is removing that feature with iPadOS 13. That’s because iPadOS 13 introduces a better option: Now there’s a floating iPhone-sized keyboard that can freely move to any spot of the display. Unlike the iPad’s digital keyboard in its default configuration, this smaller floating keyboard even supports the swipe-typing feature Apple is bringing to the iPhone with iOS 13.

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Ecovacs Deebot 500 review: This budget-priced household helper is a solid choice

Tue, 2019-07-02 06:00
With app control plus Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, this robot vacuum packs a punch for the price.

Getting Time Capsule failure warnings? Here’s what you can do

Tue, 2019-07-02 06:00

Apple no longer sells its Time Capsule, a combination of a backup drive, Time Machine, and an AirPort Extreme Base Station. However, many are in use, and some components inevitably fail, especially the internal hard drive.

If you receive an error on a Mac using the Time Capsule for Time Machine backups that you can no longer back up to it, you can try to work your way out of the problem by using AirPort Utility.

Warning! This approach erases all the backup snapshots stored on your Time Capsule. There may be no way to recover them—hence the error—but you should perform full Time Machine backups or disk clones of all devices that used the Time Capsule for archiving files, as well as trying step 4 below.

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Best power banks of 2019: The top USB portable chargers for your phone

Mon, 2019-07-01 13:24
These USB battery packs from Anker, Mophie, Xiaomi, and others will keep your Android or Apple phone charged while you're on the go.

iOS 13: How to use a mouse with your iPad or iPhone

Mon, 2019-07-01 07:00

A vocal number of heavy-duty iPad users have begged for mouse support on the iPad for years, and that support is finally coming with iPadOS 13 this fall. A little surprisingly, iOS 13 also brings mouse support to the iPhone.

It’s not so surprising, though, that Apple chose to bury it deep within the iPhone and iPad’s Accessibility settings. And when you do hook up a mouse through a Bluetooth or wired connection, you’ll still have to deal with an ugly circular cursor that’s meant to mimic a human fingerprint and a few interface complications. We’re glad the feature’s here, but it doesn’t quite work the way we’d hoped. (It is, after all, designed as an Accessibility feature.)

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Bose Home Speaker 300 review: A versatile smart speaker begging to be compared to the Sonos One

Mon, 2019-07-01 06:00
The newest (and smallest) addition to Bose’s smart speaker line sounds sweet, speaks both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and encourages the building out of a Bose-based multi-room audio system.

JustPlay review: Slick media player shines where QuickTime Player is weak

Mon, 2019-07-01 06:00

For modern Mac users, the imminent demise of venerable QuickTime 7 is unlikely to ruffle too many feathers. After all, the media player lacked the simplistic elegance of successor QuickTime X, despite richer codec support and pro capabilities like the ability to add and remove audio tracks. Worse yet, Apple has yet to bring feature parity to the updated QuickTime Player a decade after its introduction.

This glaring oversight paves the way for third-party Mac media player apps like JustPlay, a lightweight alternative capable of playing nearly any kind of video or audio you can throw at it, from Apple-friendly MP4 and MOV (including ProRes) to pesky AVI and MKV files, all without conversions or installing codecs.

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15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program FAQ: Everything you need to know

Fri, 2019-06-28 09:20

Apple has announced a recall for “a limited number of older generation” 15-inch MacBook Pro models due to a possible fire risk. Here’s how to determine if your model is affected and how to get it fixed:

Why is Apple issuing the recall?

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission “has received 26 reports of the laptop’s battery overheating, including five reports of minor burns and one report of smoke inhalation, as well as 17 reports of minor damage to nearby personal property.”

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Jony Ive’s departure from Apple is an even bigger test than losing Steve Jobs

Fri, 2019-06-28 08:00

On Thursday, Apple announced that design chief Jony Ive was departing as an employee of Apple after almost 30 years with the company, during which he spearheaded the design for iconic products ranging from the iMac to the iPhone. It doesn’t appear to have been a hostile departure, as Apple’s official press release states that Ive is forming an independent design company which will count Apple among its primary clients.” Technically we’re not yet looking at a totally Jony Ive-free Apple, but it’s easy to get the impression that we might as well be.

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The crazy one: 10 wild, bold, and daring Apple designs only Jony Ive could dream up

Fri, 2019-06-28 07:00

Less than 10 years after Steve Jobs passed away, Apple is faced with another difficult transition. Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s design guru since the days of the Newton MessagePad, announced that he will be leaving the company as an employee to form an independent design company, of which Apple will be a client.

While he’s not leaving altogether, his departure from Apple Park will leave an indelible mark on the company, not unlike the iPhone, iPad, and iMacs he leaves behind. Here are 10 of Jony Ive’s most daring designs.

eMate 300 Ryan Schultz

Back before the Blueberry iBook was a thing, Jony Ive designed a super-portable laptop with a curvy design, translucent case, and clamshell cover called the eMate 3000. Aimed at the education market, it was a short-lived outlier in a sea of boring beige and black cases, but it gave us a peek into the mind of the man who would blow our minds with the iMac just a year later.

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12 essential movies to stream over Fourth of July

Fri, 2019-06-28 06:00
Celebrate the holiday weekend with these odes to patriotism, summer, and the American spirit.

6 ways to find the perfect TV show or movie on Netflix

Fri, 2019-06-28 06:00
Picking just the right Netflix video for a given night isn’t the chillaxing experience it could be. Find out how to take a deep dive into Netflix’s collection of movies and TV episodes, slicing and dicing its categories to pinpoint the perfect video.

Features that should be in Apple’s upcoming OS releases but aren’t

Fri, 2019-06-28 06:00

As we get further away from this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the reality of Apple’s latest OS upgrades are beginning to sink in. That’s even more the case this week, as the release of Apple’s public betas for iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS arrived slightly earlier than expected.

Of course, betas, like the future, are always in motion, and there’s no guarantee that what we see now is what will end up shipping in the fall—but usually the tweaks between then and now are on the minor side, more about stability and usability than big foundational changes.

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Design guru Jony Ive is leaving Apple

Thu, 2019-06-27 17:14

Apple on Thursday announced that Sir Jony Ive, the company’s Chief Design Officer, is leaving the company. Ive will be forming his own design company, of which Apple will be a client.

“After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer,” said Ive in a statement released by Apple. “Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple’s history,”

Leading Apple’s design teams now are Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design. Both will report to Apple COO Jeff Williams.

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Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide: How to connect an iPhone, display, hard drive, and more to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air

Thu, 2019-06-27 15:25

The new MacBook Pro comes with two or four external ports, depending on the model you pick. And the new MacBook Air has a pair of ports. But those ports are only of one type: Thunderbolt 3, which is compatible with USB-C.

But you probably have devices that use USB-A, Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, HDMI, or something else. How do you connect these devices? With an adapter.

If you’re planning to buy a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, make sure you set aside a considerable amount of cash for the adapters you need. Apple doesn’t include any in the box, except for a power adapter.

Your best bet is to get a combination dock, like the Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter ($60 on Amazon). It connects via USB-C, and includes a USB-C pass-through port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port with 4K (30Hz) support. With this, you don’t have to carry around multiple adapters.

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Best smart bulbs for your connected home

Thu, 2019-06-27 12:29
Today’s smart bulbs are brighter and easier to control than ever, but choosing the right one for your environment remains a challenge.