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Updated: 44 min 48 sec ago

iOS and iPadOS 13.5 now available with COVID-19 contact API, FaceTime and Face ID tweaks

Wed, 2020-05-20 13:35

Having released iOS and iPadOS 13.4 on March 24 with big new features like trackpad and mouse support for iPads and iCloud folder sharing, Apple is moving on to its next minor release.

Apple released iOS 13.4.1 without a beta test, and then started realeasing beta versions of 13.4.5 that primarily included only bug fixes. On April 29, without ever releasing 13.4.5, Apple released what it calls “beta 3” of iOS 13.5. So, Apple just renamed the usual 13.4.5 release with an upgraded version number as it included more significant features. 

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The iPhone 12 might not include EarPods in the box and that’s OK

Wed, 2020-05-20 10:53

We’ve been sharing a bunch of rumors lately about what the iPhone 12 will include, but now we have one about what it might lack. According to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is considering the removal of Lightning EarPods from all models of the iPhone 12 in an effort to spur AirPods adoption.

Before we debate the merits of this rumor, a little history: Apple made the “courageous” decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 back in 2016 and took a bit of heat for it even though it included a 3.5mm-to-Lightning dongle in the box and a pair of Lightning EarPods. The free dongle went away in 2018 with the launch of the iPhone XS in 2018 and now it looks like the EarPods will follow suit.

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Three ways the iPad beats the Mac

Wed, 2020-05-20 07:00

In the argument between people who embrace the iPad to get work done and people who stick to their Macs, I’m firmly Team Both. For a few years now, I’ve used an iMac at my desk and an iPad Pro everywhere else.

Committing to the iPad to get work done has always involved some compromise. There are moments when I’m working away on my iPad and I realize that there’s something I need to do that would be done far more easily on my Mac. Those moments are a lot less frequent they were even a couple of years ago, but they do exist.

What’s funny is that in the last year or so, I’ve noticed an increasing number of incidents when I find myself sitting at my desk, staring at my iMac, realizing that the task I need to perform would be done far more easily on my iPad.

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Meural Canvas II review: If you can’t go to the art museum, bring the art museum to you

Wed, 2020-05-20 06:00
Calling the Meural Canvas II a digital picture frame does the product a major disservice. If you love to gaze at art, this device can bring the great works into your home.

iPhone SE vs Android’s best: Can a $399 iPhone really outperform $3,000 in Android phones?

Wed, 2020-05-20 06:00

When comparing phones, you generally want them to be in the same league. These days that might mean there’s a few hundred dollars separating the models—like the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, or the Galaxy S20+ and the OnePlus 8 Pro—but everyone knows the $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra will trounce a $400 Galaxy A51.

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Report: Apple to beef up Apple TV+ catalog with licensed content

Tue, 2020-05-19 13:11

A new report from Bloomberg claims that Apple is changing up its strategy for the  Apple TV+ streaming service. Until now, Apple has pitched the service as only for original content you can’t find anywhere else. Now, according to the report, the company will bolster its original series and movies with a bit of licensed content.

We recently did a six-month check-in with the service, which launched on November 1, 2019. After watching nearly everything Apple TV+ offers, we concluded that the overall quality is fine, and the price is competitive ($4.99 a month and a year free with most new Apple device purchases), but the volume of content makes it hard to justify.

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Apple’s AR glasses come into focus with rumored specs, price, and launch date

Tue, 2020-05-19 12:20

It’s no secret that Apple is working on a project that leverages the power of ARKit and LiDAR into a sleek wearable for your face, and we might have some actual information about them now courtesy of the newest leaker on the block.

In his latest Front Page Tech video, Jon Prosser spills some details about Apple’s AR project that we hadn’t heard before.

They look like regular glasses: One of the biggest hangups about Google Glass was the weird design that looked a little Androidy. AR glasses that look like regular glasses would be an immediate game-changer. Prosser says the original prototypes are made of plastic, but metal frames aren’t out of the question. However, if you’re hoping to get a pair of Apple sunglasses, Prosser says tinting messes with the display.

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A tale of two Apple Stores (the first two)

Tue, 2020-05-19 11:00

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the spring of 2001—a year that had not yet turned sour beyond belief—in which Apple chose to open its very first two retail stores. These two would be the first of some 25 stores opening later in the year.

In that age of uncertainty, many thought Apple’s dip into retail waters was an act of supreme foolishness. But as Apple is wont, they did it anyway. The choice turned out to be a wise one indeed.

In Virginia, some 500 people lined up in the pre-dawn hours of the morning of May 19 for a chance to be the earliest inside the first Apple retail store open to the public. The queue of Apple die-hards grew throughout the day until it reached over 1000. Security guards were on hand to make sure the throng did not violate fire codes regarding maximum occupancy.

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Best Buy is selling HomePod for $100 off today

Tue, 2020-05-19 09:49

When HomePod launched for $349, it was an expensive smart speaker. When the price dropped to $299 last year, it was slightly more palatable. At today’s discount, it’s a downright steal. Best Buy is selling Apple’s HomePod smart speaker for $200Remove non-product link in white or space gray and the lowest price we’ve seen since March.

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Nifty File Lists review: Easily turn files and folders into metadata spreadsheets

Tue, 2020-05-19 08:00

When it comes to batch renaming or altering file and folder attributes, few utilities do it better than A Better Finder Rename and A Better Finder Attributes. (Due to Apple restrictions on using “Finder” in the name, Mac App Store users know them as Better Rename and File Multi Tool instead.) Developer Frank Reiff’s latest file-related software has nothing to do with manipulating data, but rather generating lists from it.

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Market making: Too many iOS exploits

Tue, 2020-05-19 07:00

More reports of iOS security flaws are circulating so let us now turn to the staid analysis of the Forbes contributor network and unicycle refurbishing plant.

Zak Doffman says “New Apple Security Blow: If You Have An iPhone, Look Away Now.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick, Don and @designheretic.)

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TiVo Stream 4K review: A reboot for streaming (and for TiVo)

Tue, 2020-05-19 06:00
TiVo is justifiably famous for building DVRs, but what does it know about media streamers?

Best media streaming devices

Tue, 2020-05-19 06:00
Roku Streaming Stick vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV, and more. Which streaming device is best for cord cutters? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.

Apple requires masks and temperature checks as U.S. stores begin to reopen

Mon, 2020-05-18 11:15

If the Apple Store near you is planning to reopen this week, it won’t be business as usual. Apple has implemented a series of guidelines to keep customers and employees safe as it navigates a world still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus.

First and foremost, Apple is requiring face coverings “for all of our teams and customers,” which will be provided if needed. Additionally, temperature checks will be conducted at the entrance and “posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms—like cough or fever—or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID‑19.”

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Apple Watch Pride Edition bands pair straps with custom faces for an all-over rainbow

Mon, 2020-05-18 10:18

To celebrate the upcoming Pride month that starts in June, Apple has announced a new collection of watch bands to show your support for the LGBTQ community.

While Apple has been selling Pride bands since 2017, this is the first year Apple is selling two bands. The Sport Band version mimics last year’s design, with six vertical stripes running the length of the strap. The colors blend into a new digital watch face that will be offered as part of the upcoming watchOS 6.2.5.

The Nike Sport Band edition is much more subtly, with an all-white design accented by colored holes. The top of the watch features red, orange and yellow while the bottom is adorned with green, blue, and violet accents. The companion analog watch face features a white logo and white hands, with matching colored dots representing the hours.

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Logitech unveils HomeKit Secure Video-enabled Circle View security cam

Mon, 2020-05-18 09:00
This $160 follow-up to Logitech’s Circle 2 will support HomeKit Secure Video as soon as it ships.

Konnected Alarm Panel Starter Kit review: Ditch your outdated alarm panel, but re-use all its sensors

Mon, 2020-05-18 06:00
With this tiny circuit board, you can incorporate your old-school wired sensors into most any modern smart home system.

HoudahGeo 6 review: Mac geotagging app now plays nice with Apple Photos

Mon, 2020-05-18 06:00

No matter how many cameras get added to future iPhones, Apple is unlikely to ever match the quality of images captured by a true single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. With the market for point-and-shoot cameras demolished, smartphones have been deemed good enough for most, while enthusiasts and pros will always hold out for optical image sensors and interchangeable lenses.

One downside is that most affordable digital SLRs ship without built-in GPS, making it more of a headache than it should be to add accurate geolocation metadata to photos taken with such cameras.

HoudahGeo is a Mac app for adding, editing, or removing GPS metadata from digital photos, including those taken with DSLR cameras that lack the ability to capture latitude, longitude, and altitude data on their own. This can be done manually by searching for a known address, landmark, or city, using reference photos taken with a GPS-enabled smartphone, or importing geographic data from a mobile app or hardware track logger.

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Major security flaw found in Thunderbolt Macs and PCs: Should you be worried?

Sat, 2020-05-16 05:00

Security researcher Björn Ruytenberg with the Eindhoven University of Technology recently published a report detailing a series of serious security vulnerabilities in Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3, collectively called “Thunderspy.”

They affect every single computer with a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 port, including old-style port connectors and new Type-C connectors, whether the computers are running Windows, Linux, or macOS.

How badly does this security flaw impact Mac users? Should you freak out about someone hacking into your MacBook the next time you get up from your desk to refill your coffee?

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Low-cost iPads with bigger screens and faster chips could be coming

Fri, 2020-05-15 10:38

Hot on the heels of the launch of the new iPad Pro and Magic keyboard, Apple is reportedly readying new iPads models at the low-end of the spectrum as well.

A report by oft-accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kup of TFT Securities says Apple will be launching two new sizes of iPad later this year: a 10.8-inch iPad and an 8.5-to-9-inch iPad mini. Both of those sizes are bigger than Apple’s current lineup, which includes the 10.2-inch iPad, 10.5-inch iPad Air, and 7.9-inch iPad mini.

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