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Updated: 40 min 37 sec ago

iPhone XS, XS Max review roundup: Beautiful and ‘the best yet,’ but maybe wait for the XR

Tue, 2018-09-18 10:03

With the iPhone XS and XS Max set to hit shelves on Friday, the first round of reviews from those Apple deemed worthy to get one early has arrived. And of you haven’t already pre-ordered, you might want to continue waiting.

That’s pretty much what we expected when Apple unveiled its new iPhones last week. As you can tell by their names, the XS and XS Max are visually indistinguishable from last year’s iPhone X, save for the larger screen on the Max. Other than those extra pixels (which will cost you an extra hundred bucks) and a new gold color, the improvements over the iPhone X are all on the inside, and that might make it a tricky upgrade, especially for people who bought an iPhone X last year.

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Vizio Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos review: This speaker covers all the bases

Tue, 2018-09-18 08:00
This soundbar features immersive audio for movies, Chromecast for multi-room audio, and Google Assistant support for voice control.

A total letup: The Apple Watch Series 4

Tue, 2018-09-18 07:00

It’s almost a full week after Apple’s event and the Macalope still hasn’t dug out from the pile of goofball predictions made before it.

Writing for Inverse, Mike Brown said the “Apple Watch Series 4 Leaks Indicate That a Messy Letdown Is in Store.” (Tip o’ the antlers 5cat.)

Yeah that whole freaking electrocardiogram in a smartwatch was such a letdown, wasn’t it?

What was it that tipped Brown off to the letdownening that most certainly happened?

…a leaked product shot has already indicated that Apple still isn’t sure what to do when giving a user extra screen space on their wrist.

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Logitech Crayon review: An Apple Pencil alternative that can take a punch

Tue, 2018-09-18 06:00

Crayon, if you don’t know, happens to be the French word for “pencil.” It’s a fitting name for Logitech Crayon, which takes the concept of the Apple Pencil and approaches it from a different angle, specifically one centered on the rough-and-tumble playfulness we associate with “crayon” in English.

When it was originally announced, sales of Crayon were to be only to schools using the 2018 9.7-inch iPad. But on September 12, Apple and Logitech opted to let the rest of the public in the party, and it’s a useful tool for the right kind of iPad user. It’s a little more pragmatic than the Apple Pencil. It’s certainly tougher. But most importantly, it only costs $69.99—nice, considering that the Apple Pencil costs a full $30 more.

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Withings is back with the Steel HR Sport, a connected GPS hybrid watch that lasts 25 days

Tue, 2018-09-18 03:01

Withings couldn’t have picked a more opportune time to make its return. With the Apple Watch Series 4 set to release in just a few days, interest in wrist wearables couldn’t be higher, and to celebrate its re-arrival, Withings is launching a new Sport version of its popular Steel HR wearable. 

Apple fans are intimately familiar with the French maker of high-end devices such as scales, baby monitors, and sleep trackers, but for the past two years the company has been languishing under the Nokia Health umbrella with no new product to speak of. Now that the company is independent again, it’s putting a renewed focus on design and intelligence, and the Steel HR Sport is the first fruits of the company’s new direction. A hybrid watch with a classic style and swappable bands, the Steel HR gives you the benefits of a smartwatch without any of the drawbacks: It has 25-day battery life, an analog display, heart-rate monitor 50M of water resistance, and connected GPS, a first for the line. 

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The Shortcuts app for iOS 12 is now available—make sure you grab it!

Mon, 2018-09-17 13:30

One of iOS 12’s greatest new features is Siri Shortcuts: the ability for apps to tie into Siri by letting you make custom Siri phrases to perform in-app actions. Siri may still have a long way to go on answering general questions, but this sort of customizable deep tie-in with apps makes it a lot more useful.

Going hand-in-hand with that feature is a new app from Apple called Shortcuts. If you’re familiar with Automator on the Mac, this is essentially the iOS equivalent of that. You use the app to create step-by-step series of automated actions, tying together multiple phone features and various inputs into a single script you can summon with a custom Siri phrase.

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iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5 are now available

Mon, 2018-09-17 13:16

Following months of beta testing, Apple has released its latest operating systems for mobile, TV, and Apple Watch to the general public. Get ready for an afternoon of downloading and device restarts as you update your gear to iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5.

The latest Mac operating system, macOS Mojave, is scheduled for release on Monday, September 24.

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Power up everything for just $17 with this deal on Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger

Mon, 2018-09-17 11:32

Finding an open outlet to charge multiple devices can be a pain, even in your own house. That's where multi-port USB chargers can save the day, and today you can get one big enough to charge everything in your house for cheap: Amazon is selling Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger for just $17Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $45 and just pennies off an all-time low.

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Charge everything for $17 with this deal on Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB fast charger

Mon, 2018-09-17 11:32

Finding an open outlet to charge multiple devices can be a pain, even in your own house. That's where multi-port USB chargers can save the day, and today you can get one big enough to charge everything in your house for cheap: Amazon is selling Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger for just $17Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $45 and just pennies off an all-time low.

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JBL Link 300 review: This Google Assistant-powered speaker delivers multi-room sound and smart home skills

Mon, 2018-09-17 08:30
Shake your money maker with the middle of JBL’s Link series of smart speakers.

Forget tariffs, Apple highest luxury tax ever has already pushed prices to the breaking point

Mon, 2018-09-17 07:00

By now, everyone’s had a chance to check out the new iPhones and Apple Watches, study the differences, read reactions, and figure out which one they’re going to buy. And Apple has no doubt already sold millions of millions of them since pre-orders went live early Friday morning.

If you bought one, you might have noticed something: you’re paying more. In some cases a lot more. Apple’s newest iPhone and Apple Watch lineup are its most expensive ever—as Tim Cook would say, “by far”—and based on the latest pre-order shipping estimates, customers so far seem more than happy to pay them. In fact, if you order a 512GB iPhone Xs Max right now, you probably won’t get it until October. The same goes for the new Apple Watch, even the sky-high Hermes models.

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iOS 12: How to use Screen Time

Mon, 2018-09-17 06:30

We’re all spending too much time on our phones, so the argument goes, and Apple finally did its part to do something about it. In this case it’s “Screen Time,” a new feature on iOS 12 that tells you how long you’ve been using certain apps on your iPhone or iPad at its simplest, and which lets parents place numerous limits on app usage for kids at its most complex. (Or, if you feel like you’ve been spending too much time on, say, Twitter, you can place those limits on yourself.)

At the end of each week, you’ll get an automatic report detailing how often you or your child used the device, as well as the percentage of time spent on apps with specific categories, such as Social Networking, Games, Entertainment, and Productivity. Alternatively, you can get current information about these stats by visiting Screen Time at any time. With that information, you’ll have a better idea of where you need to place limits.

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D-Link Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera review: This one is for smart-home buffs only

Mon, 2018-09-17 06:30
D-Link delivers another solid camera, but its app's emphasis on smart-home automation may limit its appeal.

How to use the coolest new features in iOS 12

Mon, 2018-09-17 06:00

At last, iOS 12 is here, bringing a batch of new features to tinker with. Most (if not all) of these features aren’t exactly earth-shaking, in part because Apple spent much of its development process cleaning up the relatively buggy mess of iOS 11 and turning its sequel into something worthy of the Apple name. In fact, many already exist on competing operating systems in some form or another.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re not fun or useful, nor does it mean that they’re not welcome. We here at Macworld have spent the last several months tinkering with all of these new options in the iOS 12 beta, and over that time a few have emerged as our favorites. Once you get used to them, iOS 11 feels ancient and inefficient by comparison.

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Bad decisions: Judging the iPhone sight unseen

Sat, 2018-09-15 07:00

Siri, what is the dumbest kind of poll?

Siri responds that the dumbest kind of poll is one about buying intentions for a device that hasn’t been revealed yet. Also, there are several near you. Would you like directions to the one on De Anza Boulevard?

The day before Apple’s iPhone reveal this week, USA Today sagely told us “Consumers in no rush to upgrade to latest Apple iPhone, poll finds.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick.)

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Where to buy the iPhone Xs and Xs Max

Fri, 2018-09-14 16:00

Gone are the days where the iPhone was only available directly from Apple or from AT&T. Today, it’s carried by all major carriers and big retailers, and many of them want to entice you to buy with them by offering special deals. Of course, you can always buy from Apple directly, either in-store or online.

If you haven’t yet put in your order for an iPhone Xs or Xs Max, here’s a summary of some of the deals and promotions offered by different retailers to help you make up your mind. For each, we’ll tell you about any current special deals, when you should consider buying there, and when you shouldn’t.

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Get a 12-inch 512GB MacBook for just $1,000 today

Fri, 2018-09-14 13:48

You might think I’m nuts, but the 12-inch MacBook is my favorite MacBook. It’s the model I’m typing this on. It’s as portable as they come. Its keyboard sits refreshingly close to the surface. And today, you can enjoy some of that action yourself with the 512GB 12-inch MacBook that’s on sale for just $999.99Remove non-product link (down from $1,399.99) on Woot.

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Anker's ultra-portable Soundcore Bluetooth speaker is just $26 at Amazon today

Fri, 2018-09-14 11:25

Portable Bluetooth speakers help you bring your tunes along wherever you go, and today you can get a popular option on the cheap. Anker’s SoundCore Bluetooth speaker is just $26Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $80. It’s not an all-time low, but it’s tantalizingly close.

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How to fix a 1Password sync problem

Fri, 2018-09-14 10:13

If you’re a 1Password user, you likely enjoy the ability to make unique, strong passwords for every account you have to manage or create. Unique passwords make it enormously unlikely that a single breach of a site at which you have an account, even a catastrophic breach, would let attackers leverage that information to log into your accounts elsewhere.

However, there’s a problem seen routinely that’s easy to fix: 1Password sometimes loses its connection to a syncing archive. 1Password has a few ways to keep vaults in sync. Some people use the 1Password.com vault for everything, which allows them to access their passwords from a web browser, as well as from end points, like an iPhone (or Android phone) or desktop computer.

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Best smart thermostat: Reviews and buying advice

Fri, 2018-09-14 10:00
There are so many smart thermostats to choose from today. We'll help you pick the right one.

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