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Updated: 19 min 32 sec ago

Sick of NBC's vapid Olympics coverage? Use a VPN and you can watch the BBC's coverage instead

Mon, 2018-02-12 22:00
Now that Opera has changed the way it offers its free, unlimited VPN, you'll need to seek out other options to watch the Olympics online via a foreign broadcaster.

How Apple's Startup Security Utility and Secure Boot works

Mon, 2018-02-12 07:00

With the appearance of the fancy new iMac Pro, Apple has also added some new startup options available exclusively on this model. If you’re a new owner, here’s how the new Startup Security Utility works at providing enhanced protection against people who might gain physical access to your computer.

It’s available only through macOS Recovery, Apple’s current name for the mini-operating system on a separate partition on your startup macOS volume that you can start up from in order to fix problem on your main partition. It’s been a huge help since it was added way back in Lion, and it’s become more advanced and reliable over time.

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The best smart home devices that work with Alexa

Mon, 2018-02-12 06:00
Amazon’s Echo smart speakers are most powerful when paired with third-party smart home hardware. These products earned our highest raitings.

Double or nothing: Certain standards only get applied to Apple

Sat, 2018-02-10 07:00

If you’ve been in an induced coma for the year… well, congratulations. That sounds pretty sweet. But to catch you up on the connected home speaker wars, here’s how it’s gone while you were out:



That’s about all you missed. And some good TV but you can catch up on that.

Pundits are falling over each other like non-adorable but still stupid puppies in a big, dumb basket to lament Apple’s decision to position the HomePod as a high-end speaker system rather than a cheap home AI system. It may be a fair criticism that Apple’s not really competing as well as it should be in the home virtual assistant market, which will be a problem when home automation starts to really take off (it hasn’t yet).

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First Look: Unboxing the Apple HomePod

Fri, 2018-02-09 20:00

Apple’s HomePod started shipping on Friday, and Macworld got its hands on one. On Friday afternoon, we broadcasted a live unboxing of the HomePod and fielded a ton of great questions from the viewing audience. You can watch a replay of the event in the video above.

Macworld’s Jason Cross is working on the review of the HomePod, so stay tuned to for the latest.

Macworld’s next live video will be the Macworld Podcast on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. You can watch on the Macworld Facebook page, on Twitter via Periscope or on YouTube.

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Apple adds live news listings to TV app on iOS and Apple TV

Fri, 2018-02-09 13:57

Apple has updated the prominent Watch Now section of the TV app to feature live news channels. iPhone and iPad users with iOS 11.2.5 and Apple TV users with tvOS 11.2.5 will see the change immediately.

Finding the new section is easy. From the Watch Now tab, scroll down past the Up Next section to the What to Watch recommendations. This list is dynamic, but it currently shows a row of TV shows and movies, then a PyeongChang 2018 row for Winter Olympics coverage. Below that is the new News row. Multiple channels are represented, with a red "Live" banner on the thumbnail image.


To watch a live news feed, you'll need that network's own news app.

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ZMI PowerPack 20000 review: A speedy charger for your USB-C MacBook or MacBook Pro

Fri, 2018-02-09 07:00

Before the USB Power Delivery 2.0 spec became reality, battery packs maxed out at a charge of about 15 Watts (5 volts at 3 amps). PD 2.0 increased the max to 100W, but most of the batteries implementing PD 2.0 strike a balance of performance, heat, cost, and compactness by outputting about 30W. Some recharge at the same rate while others are much slower.

However, the PD 2.0-based ZMI PowerPack 20000 ($80) offers 40 watts of power over USB-C to charge laptops while they’re in active use. And the 72 watt-hour/20,000 milliampere-hour PowerPack 20000 recharges itself at 45W. It’s faster in both directions than nearly every USB-C battery pack on the market.

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Romantic movies to stream this Valentine’s Day

Fri, 2018-02-09 06:00
Here are 20 great movies to watch with the one you love.

SnapPower SwitchLight review: Better than any nightlight

Fri, 2018-02-09 06:00
Don’t stumble around in the dark looking for the light switch.

6 things to do to prepare for the Apple HomePod

Fri, 2018-02-09 06:00

If you’ve pre-ordered a HomePod, the big day has finally arrived. Now all you need to do is wait for your the delivery person to show up at your house, slowly pull it out of the box, and get your groove on. But while you wait, you can make sure you’re all set up for HomePod’s arrival. Check off the following items on your list and you won’t have to do much when HomePod arrives except enjoy the music:

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Ahead of the Oscars, Apple offers $19.99 movie bundles and discounts

Thu, 2018-02-08 17:44

The Oscars are a little less than a month away, and Apple wants to get you into the spirit (and maybe sell a few Apple TV 4K boxes) with Oscar-themed discount bundles on award-winning films.

There are eight "award winning bundles," each priced at $19.99 and consisting of four movies. Five bucks a film isn't a bad price to own a movie on iTunes—that's about what you normally pay to rent one.

In addition to the bundles, Apple has discounts on a number of past major award winners. Here's the list of what's on offer.

$19.99 award-winning movie bundles

Classic Best Picture CollectionGone With the Wind, Casablanca, An American in Paris, Ben-Hur

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How to watch the Olympics in 4K HDR

Thu, 2018-02-08 17:40
If you have the right hardware and pay TV subscription, you can catch some of the action from the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 4K and HDR (high dynamic range).

First Look: Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition cleverly condenses the epic RPG for iOS

Thu, 2018-02-08 15:30

You’ll find loads and loads of Final Fantasy games on the App Store—18 of them, by my count—but nearly all of the ported classics from past consoles are two decades old or more, even if the graphics have been polished a bit. Meanwhile, the newer mobile-exclusive entries are widely hit-or-miss in quality, with none as essential as the numbered classics.

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iOS source code leak could be the worst Apple's ever had to deal with

Thu, 2018-02-08 09:46

Apple is used to fighting leaks about its upcoming products and OS releases, but it’s never had to deal with anything like this before. An anonymous user on the popular code-sharing server GitHub has posted a major component of the iOS source code for all to see, and some experts are fearing it could be “the biggest leak in history.”

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What you can and can't restore through an iOS backup in iTunes

Thu, 2018-02-08 08:00

A terribly sad email came in from Macworld reader Sharifa:

I deleted an iPhone back up from iTunes by mistake and have been trying all day to retrieve it. I lost all my honeymoon pics!

iTunes backups of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch don’t contain apps and some kinds of media. They contain settings and certain kinds of documents stored within apps, and may contain images stored in an iOS device’s Camera Roll. Some apps that use iCloud or other cloud-based sync mark their local content as not needing to be backed up, since it can be restored by logging back into an account or resyncing.

If you use iTunes for iOS backups, Apple doesn’t store:

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Insufficiently good: The bad news about the iPhone X

Thu, 2018-02-08 07:00

Tim Cook. You remember that guy? Turns out—who knew?—he’s still running Apple. Can you even believe that?

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and stuffed animal tea party but with actual bears that have just eaten too much, Ewan Spence brings us the “bad news”.

“iPhone X Failure To Ignite Passion Is Bad News For Tim Cook.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

The iPhone X was expected to lead a resurgence in Apple’s market share…

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It's time for accountability from streaming TV bundles

Thu, 2018-02-08 06:00
Streaming TV viewers shouldn't have to learn about reliability problems the hard way.

Siri: What Apple needs to do to improve its voice-activated digital assistant

Thu, 2018-02-08 06:00

The HomePod is coming Friday, and with it, even more attention is being paid to Siri, Apple’s voice assistant that serves as its primary interface. The early HomePod reviews are in, and most of them suggest the device is an excellent speaker that’s hampered by Siri’s limitations.

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HomePod early reviews, Apple Watch apps, iOS 11.3 Battery Health, and your comments and questions: Macworld Podcast episode 591

Wed, 2018-02-07 17:00

The first round of HomePod reviews are out. Developers are leaving the Apple Watch. The beta of iOS 11.3 with Battery Health settings will be released soon. We also feature your comments and questions for Michael Simon, Jason Cross, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 591.

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

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iOS 11.3 Battery Health FAQ: What it does and how to use it on your iPhone

Wed, 2018-02-07 14:25

The second public beta of iOS 11.3 is available for download, and it brings highly anticipated changes to the Battery settings that let you see your battery health and control throttling. While it doesn’t provide the kind of granular controls some users were hoping for, it will be a welcome addition for people concerned about performance slowdowns. Here’s what you need to know about it:

Can I use it on my phone?

Like the battery replacement program, Apple is limiting the Battery Health settings to the following models:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
So my iPhone 5s is out of luck?

Yup, sorry.

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