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Updated: 48 min 3 sec ago

A pox on one of your houses: Thinking Apple should fix everything

Tue, 2019-04-09 09:00

Did you know that Apple is responsible for everything bad in technology? Even the stuff that’s actively made worse every day by its competitors? Well, it’s true.

Writing for The New York Times, Farhad Manjoo decries “The Incredible Shrinking Apple.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @jeeeemspriggs and Jason.)

Steve Jobs wanted to put a ding in the universe. Today, Apple wants to ding your pocketbook.

To be fair, Steve Jobs definitely wanted to ding your pocket book, too. The Macalope doesn’t know if you’ve heard, but Apple Products Cost Too Much™, and have for years and years.

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Face ID isn’t working with my sunglasses. What do I do?

Tue, 2019-04-09 07:00

One of the most common complaints from fresh converts to Face ID is that it “doesn’t work” when you’re wearing sunglasses. Not everyone has this problem—it depends on the sunglasses—but early on I fell prey to it myself while wearing my gargantuan Ray-Ban aviators.

Thankfully, there’s a simple setting that makes it a lot easier for Face ID to recognize your mug when you’re sporting your favorite shades (although it comes at the expensive of sacrificing a bit of security). Here’s how you do it.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Face ID & Passcode. Press it.
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Scroll down to the toggle that says Require attention for Face ID and switch it off.
  5. That’s all! Face ID should now work when you’re wearing most sunglasses.

This also speeds up Face ID in general.

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Apple TV+ doesn’t need to be innovative to be a huge success

Tue, 2019-04-09 06:30

When Apple announced its new TV+ service (coming this fall at an unspecified price), it trotted out a parade of celebrities from Steven Spielberg to Jason Momoa, and made me feel ill with a very overwrought trailer about the all-important impact of storytelling. What it didn’t do is show us more than a few scant seconds of any of its many, many original TV shows and movies. It was as if Apple was less concerned with letting us see what we’d be paying for and more concerned with presenting Apple TV+ as a service that would change the world.

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Sinopé Sedna water-leak protection kit review: This electronic valve is less expensive, but only semi smart

Tue, 2019-04-09 06:00
This electric valve can’t analyze your water system the way some of its competitors will, but it might react to a leak more quickly than those smarter devices.

Fluance Fi20 Bluetooth speaker review: Stylish good looks and rich sound unfortunately marred by boomy bass

Tue, 2019-04-09 06:00
The price is delightful, and it looks great, but those two pluses can't overcome this speaker's overblown low end.

B&H Photo is selling the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular for as little as $269

Mon, 2019-04-08 13:16

You’ll get the most out of the Apple Watch if you buy the model with GPS and cellular, as you won’t need to keep your iPhone nearby for most apps to work properly. Unfortunately, these models are usually prohibitively expensive. Today is an exception, though, as B&H is selling the Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS and cellular with prices starting at $269Remove non-product link. That’s around $110 less than you’ll see this model selling for at other sites, such as Apple itselfRemove non-product link.

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Netflix app drops AirPlay support on iOS, citing support for third-party devices

Mon, 2019-04-08 13:13

Do you enjoy kicking back on the couch and beaming a little Queer Eye from your phone to your TV? Can’t wait for another season of GLOW or Stranger Things this Summer?

Well, you’re going to have to be content with using the Netflix app on your Apple TV, smart TV, the website on your Mac, the app on your game console, or cable box, or any of the other fifty billion ways to watch Netflix, because AirPlay support is officially gone from the iOS app.

Late last week, Netflix removed the ability to use AirPlay without notice or explanation. A support document on the Netflix site simply said, “Airplay is no longer supported for use with Netflix due to technical limitations.”

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IKEA just put a Sonos speaker in a table lamp

Mon, 2019-04-08 11:00
The Swedish furniture maker also partnered with Sonos to build a low-cost wireless bookshelf speaker.

Speed up your Wi-Fi with this $47 TP-Link smart router that listens to Amazon's Alexa

Mon, 2019-04-08 09:34

If you’re not happy with the Wi-Fi router your ISP gave you, there’s a great deal today on an affordable and highly rated router. The TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 Smart WiFi router is $47 on Amazon when you clip the extra $10 off coupon on the product page, located just underneath the sales price.

That extra discount makes this price the all-time low for the Archer A7 on Amazon. If the coupon doesn’t show up for you, $57 is still a great price for this router, which usually sells for $65 to $70.

The Archer A7 features three external antennas promising a good signal of 802.11ac, dual-band Wi-Fi for up to 2,500 square feet. It’s also packed with bandwidth prioritization “quality of service” (QoS) technology to ensure intensive uses like online games and 4K Netflix streams get the best experience possible on your network. 

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How to better protect yourself from robocalls on your iPhone

Mon, 2019-04-08 07:00

Automated calls that offer unwanted or illegal products or that attempt to defraud you are known as robocalls. And they have risen into the billions in recent years. The FCC is trying to fight it as are the telephone carriers, who waste large sums of money trying to block such calls legally from their networks and have to field millions of angry questions from subscribers.

(Some robocalls are legal and desirable: school announcements, doctor appointment reminders, and automated messages from companies that you do business with and gave permission to call you.)

Part of the problem is that FCC rules limit the way in which telcos can prevent calls from passing over their networks. That’s to prevent phone operators from blocking competitive companies. But it also ties their hands a bit regarding fraud.

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New Blu-ray and DVD releases: The latest, greatest movies to enjoy on disc

Mon, 2019-04-08 06:00
Streaming movies is fine and all, but high-quality Blu-ray discs packed with extra features make watching your favorite movies at home a special treat.

AKG Y500 Wireless headphone review: Ultra-compact on-ear headphones for audiophiles

Mon, 2019-04-08 06:00
These on-ear wireless headphones sport an ultra-compact, folding form factor and good wireless features, but their wired performance is where they really shine.

Apple’s ‘courage’ to remove the headphone jack has created a brave new world

Mon, 2019-04-08 06:00

It was barely two years ago when we lamented the loss of the headphone jack on the iPhone. The iPhone 7 had just arrived with a gorgeous jet black color, a solid-state home button, and a dongle in place of the 3.5mm headphone jack. At the iPhone 7 introduction, Apple VP Phil Schiller talked about having the “courage” to make the change, to leave the headphone jack behind.

At the time it was kind of cringe-worthy. Rather than try to convince the audience of the benefits of wireless charging or the annoyances of wired earphones, Schiller basically told the audience that they might not understand now, but one day they will. You could hear the snickers in the auidence when he said that removing the headphone jack required the “courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.” It sounded ridiculous. All we could see was the inconvenience ahead.

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Apple’s ProRes RAW format gains traction with third-party developers

Sat, 2019-04-06 11:00

In 2018, Apple released a new video codec called ProRes RAW, which allowed for smaller files sizes than the previous ProRes codec produced, but with the high quality of uncompressed RAW video. One trick with releasing a new codec is getting it adopted by third-party developers and the professional community.

There seems to be movement in ProRes RAW adoption, though. At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show that kicks off on Saturday, four companies announced that they are including ProRes RAW support in their products starting on April 8.

Best smart lock for a keyless home

Fri, 2019-04-05 19:05
Keys are yesterday’s tech, your smart home needs a smart door lock.

Save hundreds of bucks on MacBook Air, HomePod, and iPhone with Best Buy’s new Flash Sale

Fri, 2019-04-05 13:57

Best Buy is kicking off the weekend with style with an impressive Flash SaleRemove non-product link featuring a wide range of Apple products. The headliner deal is a hefty discount on the latest MacBook AirsRemove non-product link, but you’ll also find a good deal on the HomePod in line with Apple’s recent price drop. If you want a good deal on the iPhone X, that’s on the table, too.

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Embrace the convenience of wireless charging with this killer deal on a Qi-certified Anker pad

Fri, 2019-04-05 11:13

Wireless charging lets you simply plop your phone on a mat and walk away, free from the need to fumble with frustrating cables. It makes charging easy! If you haven’t adopted your own wireless setup—or if you’d like to add another—today’s the day, with an Amazon sale on the Anker PowerWave charging pad bringing its price to $16.79, down from a list price of $26 and the lowest we’ve seen it.

This charging pad’s round, flat design comes with an anti-slip surface to grip your device while charging, keeping it firmly in place. Its high-speed charging abilities will power your phone up quickly even through a case, with charging power at 5W as a standard charge, 7.5W for iPhones, and 10W for Samsung, LG, and Sony phones.

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Blanket your home in Wi-Fi with these excellent Netgear Orbi mesh router deals

Fri, 2019-04-05 09:46

It’s a great day to get a brand new or almost brand new Netgear Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system, depending on how much you want to spend. Amazon is selling the Orbi RBK23 mesh system for $250 after applying a $40 coupon just below the price on the product page. That discount makes this the lowest price the system’s hit in 2019. 

The Orbi RBK23 features three mesh units, including a router and two satellite extenders covering up to 6,000 square feet. Each unit also has two ethernet ports if you need a wired connection for more than just a desktop PC. 

The second Orbi system on sale today is a refurbished version of the Netgear RBK50-100NAR Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system for $180. Sold as new, it typically sells for $300. This package only has two units–a router and satellite extender–that cover up to 5,000 square feet, but it offers faster throughput speeds than the three-unit version. We reviewed this version of the Orbi system back in January 2017 and really liked it at the time. It offers strong Wi-Fi performance and a dedicated 4x4 radio backhaul, but it does have a larger footprint than many other mesh systems due to the size of the hardware.

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Why your Photos and iPhoto libraries take more space on a Mac’s external drive

Fri, 2019-04-05 08:00

When you have an older iPhoto library and a newer Photos library on your Mac and you copy both libraries to an external drive, you might notice that they collectively occupy a lot more space than they do on an internal drive. Why is that? It comes down to hard links, a way of conserving storage.

When Apple released Photos for macOS in 2015, it had to have a transition plan for iPhoto libraries. iPhoto libraries could be imported and converted, but with a twist. Instead of copying all the source images, Apple used hard links, which allow a file to occupy a single place on a disk and be referenced in multiple folders as if it existed uniquely there. (You can read more about hard links in “Upgraded to Photos? Here’s what you can do with that old iPhoto library.”)

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Three Apple products in the danger zone

Fri, 2019-04-05 07:00

Goodbye, AirPower! We hardly knew ye.

It’s only early April and it’s already been a tough year for Apple. Besides the admission that the company simply could not ship the wireless charging pad that it had been teasing for a year and a half, there was also the restatement of the company’s holiday quarter results, and an Apple event featuring TV content that showed remarkably little of that content, leaving some folks scratching their heads.

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