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Updated: 16 min 13 sec ago

Nighthawk for Twitter review: Barebones mobile app for less noisy social media

11 hours 17 min ago
Team Nighthawk

Nighthawk’s so-called “Smart Feed” offers a cleaner view of your Twitter timeline in chronological order without ads or sponsored posts.

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Amarey A980 robot vacuum review: Pet hair is no match for this super sucker

12 hours 2 min ago
This inexpensive mapping robot vacuum is a fantastic option for animal owners.

How to clone a macOS Catalina drive

12 hours 17 min ago

Until macOS 10.15 Catalina, Mac users knew: their startup volume was a single volume, just as it appeared! (Okay, for Fusion drive users, there are two physical drives managed by software to appear as a single “disk drive,” but that’s separate from the data organization that is a volume on a drive.)

As I wrote a couple of months ago, Apple relies on a feature in APFS (Apple File System) called “volume group.” This allows macOS to link together two separate volumes to appear as a single drive. Apple chose this method as a way to enhance security, putting read-only system files on one volume and your changeable data, home directory, preference files, and all the rest on another.

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‘Kings of the Castle’ impressions: A gem that loses its shine too quickly

Fri, 2020-01-17 18:45

Someday, perhaps, Nintendo will give us a Zelda game where the princess steals into a castle to rescue Link. In the meantime, though, we can act out a similar scenario with Apple Arcade’s new Kings of the Castle. Here, a dragon named Zantorian has locked away the poor Prince Rupert in a castle and she won’t let him go unless the princess manages to pony up around 250 gems.

Zantorian is actually pretty all right as far as royalty-nabbing dragons go. She positively litters her island with diamonds, which makes me wonder if this is all really some kind of Tom Sawyer scheme to get the princess to clean up what she considers trash. She doesn’t even set a deadline for when the princess needs to turn in the gems, and when the princess drops them off, she accepts them with the nonchalance of someone signing for an Amazon delivery.

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Acquiring minds want to know: A peek inside Apple’s most recent corporate acquisitions

Fri, 2020-01-17 07:15

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it dozens of times: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

When it comes to its corporate acquisitions, Cupertino likes to play its cards very close to its chest. Of course, that doesn’t stop industry watchers from peering at the tea leaves to see if they can divine exactly what the company might be working on.

And, hey, I’m no different than those folks, because Apple does so little to telegraph its plans that even a boilerplate statement confirming an acquisition is a rare peek behind the curtain. Apple CEO Tim Cook said not long ago that the company makes an acquisition every two to three weeks, and not even all of those make it into the public eye. So let’s take a look at the firms that we do know Apple has acquired recently and see what we can glean.

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Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix: The big three streaming services compared

Fri, 2020-01-17 06:00
Which online entertainment service offers cord-cutters the best combination of original content, user interface, and bottom-line value?

iPhone 12 rumors: 'Refreshed' Face ID system and time-of-flight sensors

Thu, 2020-01-16 13:10

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 01/16/20: An analyst from Barclays (via CNBC) predicts the iPhone 12 will have “refreshed” Face ID and a time-of-flight 3D sensor. He further states that the iPhone in 2021 might ditch the Lightning port in favor of exclusively wireless charging.

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How to use your iPhone as an encrypted Google security key

Thu, 2020-01-16 10:28

Android users have been able to use their phones as Google security key for a while now, and now Google is finally making good on the promise to bring the same functionality to the iPhone. An update to the Google Smart Lock app this week turns your iPhone into an honest-to-goodness FIDO2 key, using the Secure Enclave to skip SMS and keep your accounts safe.

It only works with Google accounts so far, but it’s a great tool for security-minded users. Instead of relying on one-time passwords delivered over SMS, you’ll be able to use your iPhone to log into your account on another PC, Mac, or iOS device quickly and securely without spending money on a separate hardware key. This method doesn’t work on Android phones and any browser activity will need to be done using Chrome. Any iPhone with a Secure Enclave will work, which is any phone after the iPhone 5S. (It's unclear if the iPhone 5S supports the feature, as it packs a Secure Enclave but doesn't support iOS 13.)

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Memories of the original iPhone event, Mac pro mode, and more

Thu, 2020-01-16 08:00

When will the 5G iPhone launch? Speaking of launches, do you remember the very first iPhone launch? All this and more on this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 682 with Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Michael Simon.

Listen to episode 682

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Save iCloud storage costs with Family Sharing

Thu, 2020-01-16 07:15

The more images and videos we capture and import, the easier it is to need a higher-capacity iCloud storage plan if we also use iCloud Photos for syncing. With Family Sharing, you can potentially save a modest to significant sum each year by pooling storage across two or more people.

iCloud storage comes in just four tiers: the free 5GB level available to all iCloud users, and then paid tiers of 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB, which cost $0.99, $2.99, and $9.99 per month in the United States.

Family Storage lets you pool 200GB and 2TB plans among the up to six members that can be in a Family Sharing group. (I have often wondered if Apple knows larger families.) While it’s pooled, access remains fully restricted to each member: you can’t see the files of other family members.

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What we might expect from Apple's A14 processor

Thu, 2020-01-16 06:30

We aren’t likely to hear anything about Apple’s new phone processor until September when the company unveils the iPhone 12. But it takes years to design these chips and months to get production ramped up, so the A14 is likely already set in stone and has probably begun test production.

Year after year, Apple’s phone chips have held the crown for overall performance, and despite some big promises from the likes of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, we expect Apple to hold the crown when the new iPhones are released this year.

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ATSC 3.0: How cord-cutters should plan for antenna TV's big upgrade

Thu, 2020-01-16 06:00
ATSC 3.0 (or Next Gen TV) is coming to replace today's over-the-air broadcasts, but it's still very early days.

How to watch the 2020 Super Bowl without cable

Thu, 2020-01-16 06:00
Options abound for checking out all the championship action on whatever screen you choose.

I switched from Android to iPhone: Here's where Apple's phone wins and fails

Thu, 2020-01-16 06:00
What happens when an Android die-hard switches to iPhone? Our Android expert explains where Apple impressed him—and where he experienced major pain points.

Spotify playlists for your pets? OK, we’ll bite

Wed, 2020-01-15 10:25
Spotify's new “algorithmically created” Pet Playlists are designed to cater to you and your pooch, kitty, or even your iguana.

It’s time for new hardware at the center of Apple’s home strategy

Wed, 2020-01-15 07:15

Tech companies are still investing huge amounts of time and energy in smart-home products, as the recent Consumer Electronics Show displayed. A year ago, Apple hired a new head of home products—but it hasn’t yet resulted in a lot of visible changes to Apple’s strategy.

The biggest move so far is Apple’s joining forces with its competitors to form an alliance to encourage smart-home interoperability. That’s a good start, and I’m hopeful that Apple can begin to push HomeKit forward in 2020.

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How Microsoft could improve Windows by being more like Apple

Wed, 2020-01-15 06:30
As Microsoft shuts down Windows 7, it has an opportunity to move Windows into a new era—and it could take a few lessons from Apple on how to do that.

How to use iCloud aliases to send and receive email

Wed, 2020-01-15 06:15

Sometimes it’s useful to have an email address that’s not your primary one. You might want to sign up with a service or use it to subscribe to an email list, and not trust that it won’t be reused and deluged with unwanted mail you can’t unsubscribe from.

Apple lets you set up to three additional email-only identities with, called aliases. That lets you preserve your primary address for whatever purpose you like while having these three alternative identities that you can use to filter email and even delete if you want to abandon the address altogether—not an option with your primary address, which is often the account name for your Apple ID.

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Emporia Vue energy monitor review: Understand your home’s energy consumption without breaking the bank

Wed, 2020-01-15 06:00
The Emporia Vue gives great insight on your home's carbon footprint by monitoring how it consumes electricity.

EZVIZ C6CN pan-and-tilt security camera review: Motion tracking keeps intruder in this camera's sights

Wed, 2020-01-15 06:00
EZVIZ says a built-in motor helps this baseball-sized home security camera keep intruders in sight.