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Updated: 56 min 58 sec ago

How’d that turn out? Revisiting some Apple-killing technologies.

Tue, 2020-02-18 06:15

It’s time once again to play the new game show that’s sweeping the nation: How’d THAT Turn Out?, in which we look back at predictions of things that were totally going to own Apple and see how that turned out.

(Please note that The Macalope is free to make up as many fake game shows as he likes and is under no obligation to follow up on them later.)

First up: The prediction that Apple Pay had no chance.


“Apple Pay is on pace to account for 10% of all global card transactions.”

Ignore the projection part of this. The projections analysts make are often comically, hilariously, pants-falling-down-ingly, tumbling-into-a-barrel-full-of-cod wrong. For example, The Macalope’s favorite projection was the one made in 2011 saying—and here the the horny one is legally obligated to tell you to clear your mouth of any liquids, food stuffs or confetti before reading further—that Windows Phone would overtake Android by the end of 2015.

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Anker Nebula Soundbar—Fire TV Edition review: Great Fire TV and Alexa functionality, but so-so sound

Tue, 2020-02-18 06:00
This 2.1-channel soundbar comes with Fire TV and Alexa onboard, but we weren’t impressed by its mediocre audio.

Apple announces that it will miss Q2 forecasted revenue due to the coronavirus

Mon, 2020-02-17 17:00

Apple on Monday announced that it will miss its forecasted revenue guidance for the second fiscal quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic. The company had projected revenue for the quarter between $63 and $67 billion, and gross margin between 38 and 39 percent.

In a released statement, Apple stated that it is, “experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter due to two main factors.”

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iPadOS 14 wish list: 5 ways Apple could make the iPad even better

Mon, 2020-02-17 07:15

With iPadOS 13, Apple made it easier to take the iPad seriously as a laptop replacement. Suddenly, that “What’s a computer” ad didn’t sound quite as wacky as it did the year before.

But Apple could do a little better. iPadOS 13 revealed an Apple that’s willing to include features like mouse support that would have seemed unthinkable in iPads only a couple of years before. Apple should keep the ball rolling now that it’s set it in motion.

Here are a few suggestions for how Apple could go about that. I don’t want Apple to sacrifice the iPad’s identity as a device with more versatility than, say, a Microsoft Surface, so you won’t catch me saying that Apple should just let us boot macOS on its tablet. If Apple takes these steps, though, I’d be willing to consider ditching my MacBook for good.

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PureVPN review: We like it, especially on sale

Mon, 2020-02-17 06:15

People usually subscribe to a VPN service for specific reasons. They want to stream Netflix outside of the U.S., protect their communications over open Wi-Fi, or participate in file sharing for TOTALLY LEGITIMATE REASONS.

Understanding that’s how people use a virtual private network, PureVPN, officially based in Hong Kong, provides a list of servers based on those common use cases. Instead of asking you where you want to connect and sending you on your way, this service first asks what you want to do. PureVPN provides five options: stream, internet freedom, security/privacy, file-sharing, and dedicated IP—the latter requires an extra fee.

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Maximus Answer DualCam Video Doorbell review: That second camera is for keeping an eye on parcels

Mon, 2020-02-17 06:00
This is a good video doorbell, but you’ll need a subscription to get the most value from it.

What to look for in the next iPad Pro

Fri, 2020-02-14 07:15

As February marches us ever closer to, well, March, it's time to pop our heads once again into the rumor mills to see what's being churned out.

March is often the time that Apple will make its first big announcements of the year, but they tend to be less cookie-cutter than WWDC or Apple's annual September shindig. In 2019, we got a Services-focused event that introduced Apple Arcade, Apple Card, Apple News+, and Apple TV+. The year before that there was a 9.7-inch iPad at an education-focused event.

As March grows near, rumors have started to coalesce around one Apple product line that seems poised for a refresh: the iPad Pro. Already speculation has begun over what might be due for Apple's high-end tablet tablet. While the main iPad was updated last September, the iPad Pro's most recent revamp was in October of 2018, making it ripe for some new features. Here's what might be in store.

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How to take better screenshot selections in macOS

Fri, 2020-02-14 06:15

Making screenshots of parts of your Mac display can be a valuable tool when you’re trying to remember settings or a sequence of actions or explain them to someone else. I know that I’m an oddball as a technology writer, as I’m constantly capturing pieces of a screen in order to write these columns. But my correspondence with readers over many years reveals that a lot of you also use built-in (and in some eras, third-party) screenshot tools.

Also over many years, Macworld has covered the basics and advanced features, but Apple has kept monkeying with how screen captures work, so here’s a fairly full refresh including a few secrets I only learned days ago from Twitter.

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Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Fri, 2020-02-14 06:00
Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.

The Criterion Channel review: The movie-streaming service for discerning cord-cutters

Fri, 2020-02-14 06:00
It will never displace Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, but the films—mostly classics, international fare, and cult-faves—rotating through this service are not to missed.

Yeedi K600 robot vacuum review: Excellent cleaning without complexity

Fri, 2020-02-14 06:00
This no-frills robot vacuum is a great option for first-timers.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is the iPhone moment folding phones have been waiting for

Thu, 2020-02-13 08:57
I got to use the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip for an hour and it changed my whole perception of folding phones.

Samsung's Unpacked event, 'iPhone SE 2' rumors, iOS 13.4, and more

Thu, 2020-02-13 07:15

On Tuesday, Samsung announced its new foldable Galaxy Z Flip, its new Galaxy S20 models, and its Galaxy Buds Plus. Does it mean anything for Apple? Also, we tackle some of the rumors about the so-called "iPhone SE 2" and explore the changes coming in iOS 13.4. All this and more on this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 685 with Jason Cross and Leif Johnson.

Listen to episode 685

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Stop AirDrop in iOS with Screen Time

Thu, 2020-02-13 06:15

AirDrop is a remarkable technology for allowing easy transfer of items (like photos and URLs) among people using iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It’s also a great way to receive unsolicited pictures in public places, sometimes of typically private parts of human anatomy (that’s a link to the New York Times, so no NSFW pictures if you click).

You can disable AirDrop on your iOS device easily enough via Settings > General > AirDrop where you can tap Receiving Off. You can also swipe to display the Control Center in iOS 11 and later, long press on the networking card, and then long press on the AirDrop icon. This reveals the same options as the Settings menu.

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Cord-cutters: Here's how to audit your streaming TV subscriptions so you don't waste money

Thu, 2020-02-13 06:00
Avoid sneaky subscription charges by checking out these links and tools.

Amazon Echo Flex review: This tiny plug-in speaker puts Alexa in places where other Echo devices won’t go

Thu, 2020-02-13 06:00
Just plug the compact and inexpensive Echo Flex into a wall outlet and start chatting with Alexa.

Why is Apple rolling out new OS features in February?

Wed, 2020-02-12 07:15

We’ve come to expect Apple to roll out new operating-system features on an annual cycle. Announce in June, ship in September or October, and spend the rest of the fall and spring fixing bugs and adding the features that didn’t get finished in time.

But this month, Apple rolled out new prerelease versions of its operating systems that are more than just bug fixes and make-goods on last June’s promises. (Though it’s still nice to see that folder sharing seems to finally be coming to iCloud Drive.)

I’m all for surprise late-winter gifts from Apple, but I have to ask the obvious question: Why now?

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3 Samsung Galaxy S20 features Apple should borrow for the iPhone 12 (and three it shouldn't)

Wed, 2020-02-12 06:15

Apple fans might think the Galaxy S20 is more eye-roll than innovation, but the fact of the matter is Samsung’s latest phones are packed with cutting-edge features. From the 108-megapixel camera on the Ultra model to the speedy Infinity display, there are more than a few features I’d love to see Apple adopt and improve in the next iPhone— and a few I absolutely don’t want.

Lossless zoom

The iPhone 11 Pro’s telephoto camera is nice and all, but let’s face it: 2X zoom isn’t all that impressive in 2020. Neither is 5X digital zoom. But thanks to a mix of optical zoom, digital zoom, and AI (Samsung calls it “Hybrid Optic Zoom”), Samsung has figured out a way to deliver 10X lossless zoom on the S20—twice what the iPhone 11 can do digitally. Apple made great strides with night mode on the iPhone 11, and it’s time to do the same with zooming on the iPhone 12.

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Simplehuman Rectangular Sensor Can review: Have we taken voice control too far?

Wed, 2020-02-12 06:00
Sensors in this fancy trash can recognize voice commands and gestures, no smart speaker needed.

Activision Blizzard just pulled its games from Nvidia's GeForce Now, and that sucks

Tue, 2020-02-11 17:21
Activision Blizzard's storied PC franchises can no longer be played on Nvidia's awesome GeForce Now gaming-from-the-cloud service. That's a major bummer.