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Updated: 28 min 4 sec ago

If your iPhone started crashing at midnight on Dec. 2, iOS 11.2 will fix it

Sat, 2017-12-02 08:53

It’s like Y2K all over again for iPhone users. When the clock struck midnight on December 2, 2017, many iPhones that were running iOS 11.1.2 began inexplicably rebooting and crashing. But if you’re one of the affected users, there’s already a fix.

The bug involves iOS’s “local” notifications, alerts that happen on your iPhone rather than Apple’s push notification service. It’s difficult to know which apps use local notifications and which use remote notifications, but one example is meditation app Headspace, which sends users daily reminders to relax and breathe. Any app that sends local notifications could be a culprit.

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If you don’t have anything nice to say about AirPods, write it up

Sat, 2017-12-02 07:00

Looks like somebody’s mother got a cherished chestnut backward so it’s time to take a look at some ranting about AirPods.

Writing for U.K.’s Metro, Alex Hudson says “Thank you Apple for making it much easier to spot a*seholes.” (No link because that’s positively screaming “LINK TO MEEEEE!”, as was every quote the Macalope pulled from this piece which used Tynt to dump in the URL of the piece as well. So… NOT TODAY, SATAN!)

Yes, people enjoying listening to things sure are unbearable jerks, aren’t they? As opposed to the people who run around judging others by what they’re wearing.

The earbuds batched in with iPhones are terrible.

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Best Buy is selling two Google Home speakers for the price of one today

Fri, 2017-12-01 13:35

Best Buy has a nice two-for-one deal today: Right now, you can get two of Google's voice-activated smart speakers for $130. It's not clear when the deal will end, but it appears to be a daily doorbuster that will likely expire by the end of the day.

While the Google Home hasn't typically budged from its $129 price tag, the smart speaker has seen a lot of discounts lately--in addition to this deal, it's $79 right now on the Google Store. Google's Echo competitor is a great choice for people who are already integrated into Google's ecosystem. (For example, you can use it with Google's Chromecast streaming device to call up Netflix videos via voice commands.) It also works with a number of third-party smart home device makers including Honeywell, Logitech Harmony, Nest, Philips Hue, SmartThings, and TP-Link Smart Home.

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Best soundbars

Fri, 2017-12-01 10:08
Find the best soundbar for music and movies and that's the perfect fit for your budget.

Best Fitbit: We help you choose the right one for your lifestyle

Fri, 2017-12-01 09:00

As one of the biggest names in fitness trackers, Fitbit is an easy pick for recording your daily steps or sleep patterns. Selecting a specific Fitbit model, however, isn’t quite as simple.

The different Fitbit trackers have a lot of overlap in features, and so it’s not straightforward which one is the “best.” Moving up the scale in price doesn’t necessarily mean you get all the features of the cheaper trackers plus additional ones.

That’s where we come in. We’ve boiled down the options into three simple picks that should match most people’s activity levels and styles.

Best Fitbit: Fitbit Charge 2

Most people who want a fitness tracker are best matched with a general, all-purpose device that records steps, sleep, and heart rate. The Fitbit Charge 2 does all that well, and offers more on top of it: In addition to basic step tracking, continuous heart-rate monitoring, and sleep tracking, you also get automatic exercise tracking, silent alarms, and reminders to exercise and to practice mindful breathing.

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How to set up Medical ID on your iPhone

Fri, 2017-12-01 08:00

There are plenty of iPhone features that feel like you just can’t live without them. But there is one that can literally save your life: Medical ID.

If you get into an accident or otherwise become unconscious or unresponsive, a first responder can pick up your phone and place an emergency call. But they can also tap the Medical ID button to be taken to a screen that shows important information about you: Age, blood type, allergies, medical conditions...whatever information you wish to share that may help a medical professional to treat you properly.

Setting it up is a snap, but you may not have thought about it because you access it through the Health app rather than Settings. 

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No man's land: The lack of MacBook middle ground

Fri, 2017-12-01 06:30

Recently, in taking stock of my primary computing hardware, I noticed an interesting trend: Over the course of the last year, I’ve swapped out almost all of the devices that I use every day. I replaced a 2011 iMac with a new 2017 5K model. My iPad Air 2 got superseded by a 10.5-inch iPad Pro. And, of course, my iPhone 7 was turned in for an iPhone X.

Some of this is the nature of the job. When you write about tech, people want to know about the latest and greatest devices, and there’s not much to say if you don’t have access to those devices. But some of it is about your own usage, too. That iMac was getting too long in the tooth for some of the things that I do every day (namely podcast editing); I wanted to get an Apple Pencil, which didn’t work with the Air 2… and so on.

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Samsung HW-MS750 Sound+ soundbar review: It’s great for music, but you’ll want the optional sub for movies

Fri, 2017-12-01 06:00
Music sounds fantastic on Samsung’s flagship soundbar, but it needs more oomph for soundtracks.

Which Mac should you buy?

Fri, 2017-12-01 03:01

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re thinking about buying a new Mac and may be in need of a little guidance. Fortunately, we’re quite familiar with Apple’s Macs, and we’re happy to help you choose the right Mac for you.

Before we proceed, we should specifically address Apple’s desktop Macs. It’s been a while since the company has updated the Mac mini and Mac Pro. While our advice for each Mac model provides guidance as to which model you should buy, you might actually consider waiting to see if Apple releases a new Mac mini or Mac Pro, or consider buying an iMac.

This buying guide provides an overview of all the Mac models available, and what each model is best suited for. To get more details, you can read the full review by clicking the product name in the product boxes that have mouse ratings.

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BrandPost: Sophisticated Mac OS Malware Uses Trust and Developer Certificates

Thu, 2017-11-30 13:32

If the ransomware incident involving the tampered Transmission app in late 2016 started something, it’s that threat actors are now getting interested in compromising Mac OS users.

Recent events involving the Proton remote access Trojan (RAT distributed through the popular Elmedia media player software) show cybercriminals are actively targeting highly popular applications – an app with more than 1 million downloads in this case – to maximize their chances of infection.

There’s no reason to assume Mac malware will fade away. If anything, we’ve learned that attackers are active in their use of popular applications to smuggle data-stealing malware. Supply chain attacks that involve compromising the app vendor’s website and replacing the legitimate app with a tampered one are now a fact, as compromising websites is usually just a matter of persistence. Finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in webpages to allow unauthorized access can be more effective than finding a zero-day vulnerability in Mac OS.

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With new EKG monitor and Heart Study app, Apple Watch could one day save your life

Thu, 2017-11-30 13:10

We’ve all heard stories about how Apple Watch has helped people lose weight and get in shape, but two new initiatives could turn it into an essential, life-saving tool.

Back when Apple Watch Series 3 was announced in September, COO Jeff Williams talked about a new joint study with Stanford Medicine that will use Apple Watch to detect arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythms, and notify users who may be experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib). Now Apple is ready to open it up to the public via the Apple Heart Study app.

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Not this time: Apple really does screw up

Thu, 2017-11-30 08:00

It is backwards day here at Macalope Worldwide Headquarters and our sponsor is none other than Apple, Inc.! (Disclaimer: not actually a sponsor.) Yes, the Macalope isn’t here to skewer pundits today but Apple itself. If you haven’t heard, Apple shipped High Sierra with a serious security flaw, one people are amusingly referring to as the “iamroot” vulnerability, in reference to the plant guy from the comic book movies with the guy from that show. The plant guy’s catch phrase, the Macalope believes, is “WHAAAAZZZZZUUUUUUP?!”

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14 essential tips and tricks to master the iPhone X

Thu, 2017-11-30 07:00

You just got your shiny new iPhone X. It’s the phone of the future, today! You got it all set up and even picked up a few new iPhone X-optimized games.

Now it’s time to take your iPhone X mastery to the next level. These tips will help you work through some of the interface quirks and point out features about which you may not have known.

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The demise of net neutrality isn't the biggest threat to the cord-cutting movement

Thu, 2017-11-30 06:00
With or without net neutrality rules, the FCC handed an unfair streaming video advantage to big internet service providers like Comcast months ago.

The case against building an iOS laptop—and why it might happen anyway

Thu, 2017-11-30 06:00

Last week I wrote about how Apple should make an iOS laptop, and unsurprisingly, a lot of people reacted strongly to that suggestion! The conversation made me consider where iOS needs to be improved, especially in the context of laptops, but also more broadly, whenever external input devices are connected. So let’s take another dip into the pool of speculation about where Apple is headed with iOS and the Mac and whether they’re on a collision course.

There are a lot of interesting arguments against Apple making an iOS laptop. (I’m going to call it “the iBook” as a placeholder, since I’ve been a fan of Apple re-using that name since the iPad was just a rumor.)

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The iPhone X vs. Black Friday, Apple patches the High Sierra ‘root’ bug, and your comments and questions: Macworld Podcast episode 584

Wed, 2017-11-29 19:51

According to a recent report, Apple sold 6 million iPhone X units over Black Friday weekend—and it wasn’t even at a sale price! Plus, we talk about the latest High Sierra bug, what’s next for Face ID, and more. We also feature your comments and questions for Leah Yamshon, Michael Simon, Jason Cross, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 584.

Here are relevant links to get more info on the stuff discussed on the show.

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BrandPost: Adware – The Most Prolific Form of Malware on macOS

Wed, 2017-11-29 17:10

Years ago, Apple fans believed Macs were safe from malware. Now, everyone from regular users to power users to Apple itself knows that’s simply not true.

Cybercrime is on the rise, so the idea of malware increasingly targeting the mostly overlooked macOS make sense. In recent years, Apple has created a variety of security layers in a bid to strengthen the security of its desktop OS and protect its users.

With the new macOS High Sierra, encrypting your data with FileVault can keep ransomware at bay. Gatekeeper makes downloading new apps safer. And Safari, the web browser that ships with every Mac, now has intelligent mechanisms to thwart advertisers engaging in cross-site tracking.

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How to unlock your iPhone on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Virgin Mobile

Wed, 2017-11-29 15:16

Update 11/29/17: Virgin Mobile has changed its iPhone unlocking policies.

The days of being tied to a single carrier with a locked phone for months on end are all but over. Where we once were forced into 24-month contracts with devices that were useless on any other network, nowadays your wireless carrier must unlock your phone if you request it.

Seriously, they do. It’s actually a law. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act makes it so any phone purchased after 2015 will work with any carrier, so your provider can’t keep your phone tied to their network because they feel like it. However, there are some terms and conditions that you’ll need to follow before you can pop another SIM into your phone, and of course they vary by carrier.

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Find your Apple devices to be intrusive? Here’s how to turn it down on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Wed, 2017-11-29 08:00

Macworld reader Sherry wants Apple to leave her alone. She’s disabled Siri and doesn’t use iCloud Photo Library. But she finds Apple seems to be paying attention in ways she doesn’t like.

She writes:

I was distressed to see an item tentatively added to my calendar after texting about it with a friend. Also I have recently been presented with “memories” from Apple of photos and where they were taken. Although I have nothing to hide, I don’t want this kind of intrusion on my privacy. Also, is there a way to wirelessly sync my iPhone and iPad photos to my Mac without using the iCloud library?

I have a few answers for her.

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The 10 Mac games you need to play from November 2017

Wed, 2017-11-29 07:00
November's Mac games

Image by Codemasters

It’s that time of year, and chances are good that your next few weeks will be packed with spending time and money on gifts for loved ones. But while that’s all well and good, you should also gift yourself something to keep yourself entertained over the next few weeks: a new game to savor on your Mac. 

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