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Hands-on: Respawn's Medal of Honor revival for Oculus Rift nails WWII, but lacks little VR extras

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 14:36

Back in 2017 Respawn revealed it was working with Oculus on a virtual reality game. Two years and a couple of Oculus Connects later, we finally have details. And true to their word, Respawn is not making Titanfall VR—nor is this related to Apex Legends or Star Wars. It’s far weirder than any of those, I think.

Respawn’s resurrecting Medal of Honor.

Once more unto the breach

Resurrecting classic Medal of Honor, I should specify. After two Call of Duty: Modern Warfare-chasing reboot entries—and then a seven-year hiatus—Respawn’s taking the series back to its World War II roots for the first time since 2007’s Medal of Honor: Airborne.

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2020 iPhone rumors: The iPhone 4 design might be making a comeback

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 11:23

The 2019 iPhone models haven’t even been officially announced yet, and we’re already starting to see reports about what will be in the 2020 iPhones. We’ve compiled the most notable ones here, but take these with a big grain of salt. Even if these reports are accurate representations of what suppliers are saying, or come from moles within Apple itself, the company’s plans can and do change. There’s still plenty of time before the design and features have to be totally set in stone.

Update 09/25/19: Ming-Chi Kuo says a new design is on the way inspired by the iPhone 4.

iPhone 4-style redesign incoming?

We've still got a long way to go until the iPhone 12 makes its debut, but there's already a reason to be excited. Analyst Ming Chi-Kuo says that whole next year's iPhone will be getting a serious design overhaul. He's light on specifics, but he compares it to the iPhone 4, which just so happens to be one of the best iPhone designs of all time. Specifically, Kuo says "the front and rear 2/2.5D glass are still used, but the metal frame surface will be changed to a similar design to the iPhone 4, replacing the current surface design."

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2020 iPhone rumor suggests dramatic iPhone 4-style overhaul for next year’s models

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 10:17

The new iPhones have only just gone on sale—in fact our review of the iPhone 11 Pro just went up today—but we already have a rumor about the next iPhone from an extremely reliable source.

In his latest research note, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the 2020 iPhone, which will presumably be called the iPhone 12, will have a design that is “significantly” changed from the iPhone 11. Apple introduced the current design two years ago with the iPhone X, and after a slew of copycats, it no longer feels as fresh or exciting as it did.

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GE Ultra Pro Signal Finder HD Amplified Antenna review: Cool LEDs, crappy performance

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 08:00
The LEDs are intended to help you find the ultimate antenna placement. And you’ll need ‘em.

Best TV antennas for cord cutters 2019: Tested for real-world signal strength

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 08:00
Ready to cut the cord? You’ll need a quality antenna to pick up digital broadcasts. Here are our recommendations for best indoor and outdoor TV antennas.

GE Ultra Pro Signal Finder HD Amplified Antenna review: Cool LEDs, crappy performance

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 08:00
The LEDs are intended to help you find the ultimate antenna placement. And you’ll need ‘em.

Best TV antennas for cord cutters 2019: Tested for real-world signal strength

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 08:00
Ready to cut the cord? You’ll need a quality antenna to pick up digital broadcasts. Here are our recommendations for best indoor and outdoor TV antennas.

iPhone 11 Pro review: Nothing ‘Pro’ about it, just the best iPhone ever

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 07:00
Nothing about this phone justifies its ‘Pro’ designation, but it nails the fundamentals better than any iPhone ever.

iPhone 11 Pro review: Nothing ‘Pro’ about it, just the best iPhone ever

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 07:00

If you were to ask people what they want in a new smartphone, they would probably say they want it to be fast, have a long-lasting battery, be nice and durable, and have a really awesome camera.

It just so happens that’s what you get with the iPhone 11 Pro. It’s also what you get with the iPhone 11, which costs $300 to $400 less than the Pro. The Pro is certainly an upgrade, but it doesn’t do a lot to justify its “Pro” moniker or very “Pro” price.

Still, the iPhone 11 Pro is a tremendous iPhone, with some noticeable (and not-so-noticeable) improvements over last year’s iPhone XS. As good as it is at what it does, it’s hard not to think Apple could have done more to justify the big price gap over the iPhone 11 and the “Pro” name that comes with it.

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Review: The All-new Kindle Oasis upgrades to warmer light and lighter weight

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 06:30

The very name of Amazon's “All-new Kindle Oasis” would seem to herald a radical overhaul. Thankfully, the changes to Amazon’s top-shelf e-reader are far less dramatic. Beyond the introduction of a new color-adjustable front light that can warm or cool the screen’s illumination, the All-new Kindle Oasis remains strikingly similar to its predecessor. And that’s good news. It's still the best e-reading experience you can buy. 

The all-new Kindle Oasis no impulse purchase, though. The base level device, which includes 8GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity, starts at $250 if you’re willing to tolerate “special offers”—i.e. advertisements—displayed on your lock screen. Prices rise steadily from there. That same unit is available without ads for $270. A 32GB model with Wi-Fi runs $280 with special offers and $300 without. Finally, a 32GB model that adds free cellular connectivity and includes special offers costs $350. Three months of Kindle Unlimited are included for free with all of these; you'll be charged $10 a month if you choose to keep it thereafter.

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With iOS 13.1, Shortcuts gets a lot more powerful

Mac World - Wed, 2019-09-25 06:00

With Tuesday’s release of iOS 13.1, Apple’s included Shortcuts app takes a major step forward with the addition of automation triggers, features that let you control your iPhone, iPad, and HomeKit setup like never before. Of all the features added to Shortcuts in iOS 13, this one has the most potential. And for iPad users, Tuesday’s release grants access to a major Shortcuts upgrade that will make it easier to create and edit automations on iPadOS.

First, the big update

iPadOS 13.1 is the entryway to all of the new features that arrived last week on the iPhone in iOS 13.0. This includes some great additions to Shortcuts, most notably a revamping of how each individual item in a shortcut accesses previous items.

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Acer Aspire 5 (A515-43-R19L) review: A budget AMD Ryzen 3 workhorse with middling battery life

PC World - Wed, 2019-09-25 06:00

If this particular model of the Acer Aspire 5 looks familiar, it's probably because it's been sitting atop Amazon’s laptop bestseller list for months. It’s easy to understand why. With a list price of $350 but usually selling for closer to $310, this AMD Ryzen 3-powered Aspire 5 packs some enticing features for the price, including a Full-HD 15.6-inch display, a slim-and-trim chassis, and solid performance when it comes to day-to-day computing tasks.

That said, a Windows 10 laptop this inexpensive has its compromises. In this case, we're talking a scant 4GB of RAM and a cramped 128GB solid-state drive, while battery life falls significantly short compared to similar Aspire 5 models that don’t cost much more. Indeed, if you stretch your budget just a tad, you can get an Aspire 5 (such as the Core i3-powered Aspire 5) that'll last considerably longer without a power adapter. 

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Microsoft wants you to help test its Project xCloud game streaming service

PC World - Tue, 2019-09-24 19:01

Google’s set to usher in video game streaming this year with Stadia, but Microsoft’s competing service Project xCloud isn’t far behind. During today’s Inside Xbox stream, Microsoft announced a public test of the service that kicks off in October. You can sign up here with your Microsoft account, if you’re interested.

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Your smart device could have Alexa and Cortana and Spotify—and a whole lot more

PC World - Tue, 2019-09-24 15:45

A cluster of digital assistants you’ve probably never heard of—plus Spotify, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana—are part of a new initiative enabling multiple wake words on a single device, including those running Windows 10.

Essentially, you’ll be able to ask a generic device for a particular service directly, such as telling Spotify to play a particular song. Today, assistants like Alexa serve as a concierge of sorts, requiring you to tell them to play a particular song using Spotify, as opposed to YouTube or some other service.

In fact, the new Voice Interoperability Initiative (VII) seems tailor-made for Windows 10 19H2, which includes the capability for multiple digital assistants to live on the lock screen. Originally, the target candidates were Microsoft’s own Cortana, of course, and Amazon Alexa, which went through a prolonged courtship before Alexa became integrated inside Windows 10. (You should be able to type or tell Cortana to launch Alexa inside the search bar right now. In 19H2, you should just be able to say “Hey Alexa” to trigger Amazon’s assistant.) 

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Windows 10's 19H2 Fall 2019 Update takes possibly its last step before a formal release

PC World - Tue, 2019-09-24 13:53

Windows 10’s Fall 2019 feature update, known colloquially as “19H2,” is moving from uncertainty to near-reality. On Tuesday Microsoft started pushing it out to the entire Release Preview ring of its Windows 10 Insider program.

Microsoft first began deploying Windows 10 build 18363.385 (19H2) at the end of August to the first, Slow ring of its Insider program, one of its three Insider rings. The company left the second Fast ring for the more substantive Spring 2020 feature update, also known as 20H1. 

Microsoft traditionally prepares to release a feature update by sending it to the Release Preview ring, the third and most conservative testing ring of its Windows 10 insider program. In early September, Microsoft said that it was sending build 18363.385 to 10 percent of its Release Preview ring. Now everyone on the Insider Preview ring is getting it, leaving a general release as the next major step.

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Windows 10: What to expect in the next two releases

PC World - Tue, 2019-09-24 13:21

The next two Windows 10 updates, code-named “19H2” and “20H1,” reflect Microsoft’s recent decision to split the major Windows 10 feature releases into two: a full-fledged update, with new features, and a secondary patch update. We’ve already had the major “19H1” update, known officially as the May 2019 Update, so we’re now looking forward to the minor 19H2 patch and then the major 20H1 feature release. Here’s what we know so far about both of them.

As of July 2019, the upcoming 19H2 feature will focus on “quality enhancements,” while the “20H1” feature will return to more substantive improvements. If the latter hews to Microsoft’s usual schedule, it’ll drop in March or April of 2020. Interim beta builds will provide further hints about what’s coming, and we’ll continue to cover them. Meanwhile, here’s where we stand on each release as of early August:

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iOS 13.1: The first iOS 13 update is out now

Mac World - Tue, 2019-09-24 13:14

Apple's unusual fall OS release schedule continues. On Tuesday, just five days after the release of iOS 13, Apple has released iOS 13.1. Apple started beta tests of this release weeks ago, before iOS 13 was even released (an unprecedented move). 

This first major update to iOS 13 brings several features that didn't make the initial iOS 13 release. 

Updated 09/24/19: Apple has released iOS 13.1 for iPhones, along with iPadOS 13 and tvOS 13.

How to install iOS 13.1

Installing iOS 13.1 is easy. You'll eventually be prompted to update, but if you want to force the update as soon as possible, head to Settings > General > Software Update to begin the download and installation. If you're running iOS 13, we recommend updating as soon as possible. The iOS 13.1 release appears to be more stable and bug-free than the initial iOS 13 release.

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How to stop your Apple Watch from waking you up while sleeping

Mac World - Tue, 2019-09-24 08:00

The new Apple Watch is here and while it has an always-on display, ECG sensor, and a compass, there’s one long-awaited feature it still doesn’t have: sleep tracking. But it’s not just the lack of a native sleep app. Apple has no mechanism in place for recognizing when you’re wearing your watch in bed, so even if you’re using a third-party sleep app, your watch might wake you or your partner up with vibrations and screen wakes.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Until Apple builds into the Apple Watch an automatic do not disturb while sleeping feature, you’re going to have to add your Apple Watch to your bedtime routine. But fret not, there are a few easy fixes.

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iPadOS 13: 8 cool new features you should try out first

Mac World - Tue, 2019-09-24 07:00

For years now the operating system Apple uses for its tablets has been evolving into a distinct beast, and this year Apple embraced that shift by forging iPadOS 13 from the framework of iOS 13. It’s still recognizably iOS 13, mind you, so don’t expect to flip on your iPad this week and find an interface that resembles what you’d find on a MacBook.

On the other hand, iPadOS 13 certainly does a lot to take the iPad seriously as a MacBook replacement. File management has improved, websites in Safari usually look much like they do on a desktop, and the home screen is more more useful.

There’s a whole bundle of stuff we think you should try out, but here’s what should take priority. First off, though: Make sure you update all your apps before digging too deep into the update.

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Why you can stop paying for antivirus software

PC World - Tue, 2019-09-24 06:30

You don't need to pay for antivirus software anymore. Microsoft’s Windows Defender, a free service that’s built right into Windows 10, is now as good as the paid antivirus/antimalware solutions that have been collecting your money for years. There, we said it. 

Many PC users became accustomed to paying for antivirus software for two reasons: Good, free alternatives were scarce, and Microsoft offered minimal protection via Windows, ceding the category to Norton, Kaspersky and a host of other third-party vendors. Windows’ first antimalware efforts were so abysmal that testing agencies like AV-comparatives.org and AV-test.org used Defender as the baseline (i.e., junk) level of performance. In December, 2013, for example, AV-test.org tested how well 23 antivirus vendors blocked real-world malware samples using Windows 8.1. Microsoft finished dead last

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