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Your iPhone unexpectedly says you’re trying to log in from far away. Time to change your password!

Fri, 2020-05-15 08:00

Your phone buzzes. It says, “Your Apple ID is being used to sign in [via some method] near [place that’s nowhere near you].”

What do you do?

Quick! Unlock your phone, tap Don’t Allow (or click it on a Mac), and immediately change your Apple ID password on whatever device is closest or via the Apple ID website.

Apple’s two-factor authentication (2FA) system for Apple ID accounts deters account hacking by requiring someone both grab your username and password and has access to your phone number or a trusted physical device. This alert about a login is an extra check. After correctly entering your user name and password from a new device, a new web browser, a somewhat different geographic location, or even on a previously authenticated device for reasons Apple doesn’t disclose, all your associated Apple hardware pops up with the message above, or, if already unlocked or on a Mac, “Apple ID Sign In Requested” with additional information and a small map preview.

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Apple TV+ six months later: How does Apple's streaming service hold up?

Fri, 2020-05-15 07:00

Last spring, Apple officially took the wraps off the service we all knew was coming: Apple TV+. A premium streaming service to compete with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and the rest of the increasingly crowded market. The first handful of shows were available on November 1, 2019, with a new show or movie released every few weeks since then.

So how is Apple doing? Half a year in, is Apple TV+ a must-have streaming service, or can you ignore it without missing much? So far, Apple has landed somewhere in-between. If we were giving Apple a letter grade, it would get a “C” with a special teacher’s note: “shows potential.” Apple is doing as well with overall content quality as any of its competitors, has expanded the TV app to more devices, and is priced competitively at $4.99 a month. But content volume is severely lacking, and the service hasn’t found it’s break-out hit yet.

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Bose SoundSport Pulse wireless earbuds review: Chunky runners

Fri, 2020-05-15 06:30

Since the shelter-in-place orders came into full effect, I’ve seen a lot of people in my neighborhood take up running. It’s no wonder: the gyms are closed and people are looking for any excuse to get out of their homes for an hour a day and burn some pent-up energy.

At first glance, these SoundSport Pulse wireless headphones look like a solid choice for comfortable running headphones. They’ve got the power of the Bose brand name behind them, and they feature an integrated heart rate sensor that plays well with popular workout apps like MapMyRun. But when so many other wearables offer the same pulse tracking and integration, I don’t think the beefy SoundSport Pulse headphones do enough to justify their equally beefy $200 price tag.

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How to make your Google/Nest smart speakers, displays, and cameras listen for suspicious sounds

Fri, 2020-05-15 06:00
Thanks to Google’s new Nest Aware plans, Google Home and Nest devices can now keep an ear out for the sounds of smoke alarms and breaking glass.

Aukey SK-M30 Eclipse Bluetooth speaker review: Stylish design and satisfactory sound

Fri, 2020-05-15 06:00
Aukey's SK-M30 Eclipse is an affordable and very attractive Bluetooth speaker. The sound doesn't quite live up to its looks, but it's very good for the price.

Apple is buying a virtual reality company, but don’t expect a headset anytime soon

Thu, 2020-05-14 16:21

As the rest of the world is tightening purse strings, Apple is continuing to spend. After a month of speculation, Apple confirmed that it has purchased NextVR, a startup focused on broadcasting major events in virtual reality.

The Apple spokesperson who confirmed the acquisition to Bloomberg provided little more detail beyond the company’s standard comment: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The NextVR website has been completely stripped of all content and simply states, “NextVR is Heading in a New Direction. Thank you to our partners and fans around the world for the role you played in building this awesome platform for sports, music and entertainment experiences in Virtual Reality.”

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Watchsmith review: Personalize your Apple Watch with custom complications

Thu, 2020-05-14 07:00

Smartwatch owners love being able to customize the appearance of the Apple Watch face. With just a few taps on the screen or rotations of the digital crown, no two wrists look the same. But in typical Apple fashion, that personalization stops just short of perfection, since there’s no way for developers to create truly unique third-party watch faces of their own.

Instead, Apple Watch lovers must rely on an extensive battery of complications to populate favorite watch faces with data relevant to each person. For those looking to go beyond this limitation, there’s now an ingenious app designed to automatically display a wide range of complications on a given schedule throughout the day. It’s the closest we’ll likely come to custom Apple Watch faces.

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How coronavirus is speeding up a la carte cord-cutting

Thu, 2020-05-14 06:00
Coronavirus has accelerated the move to a la carte cord-cutting.

Ring Smart Lighting Solar Pathlight review: Everything we loved about the original model, and less (batteries, that is)

Thu, 2020-05-14 06:00
You'll get the most value from this great path light if you've also invested in—or plan to—other home security devices in the ever-widening Ring ecosystem.

Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide: How to connect an iPhone, display, hard drive, and more to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air

Thu, 2020-05-14 05:00

The new MacBook Pro comes with two or four external ports, depending on the model you pick. And the new MacBook Air has a pair of ports. But those ports are only of one type: Thunderbolt 3, which is compatible with USB-C.

But you probably have devices that use USB-A, Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, HDMI, or something else. How do you connect these devices? With an adapter.

If you’re planning to buy a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, make sure you set aside a considerable amount of cash for the adapters you need. Apple doesn’t include any in the box, except for a power adapter.

Your best bet is to get a combination dock, like the Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter ($60 on Amazon). It connects via USB-C, and includes a USB-C pass-through port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port with 4K (30Hz) support. With this, you don’t have to carry around multiple adapters.

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AirPods Studio, Thunderbolt security, iPhone 12 lineup, and more

Wed, 2020-05-13 16:58

Is Apple expanding its AirPods lineup? Should you be concerned about the recently revealed Thunderbolt security flaw? And what could we see when the iPhone 12 is released this fall? We’ll talk about this and more on this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 698 with Jason Cross, Michael Simon, and Roman Loyola.

Listen to episode 698

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Enter to win a RavPower PD 90W GaN Wall Charger

Wed, 2020-05-13 16:20

To commemorate the upcoming 700th episode of the Macworld Podcast, we’re teaming up with RavPower for a giveaway of their PD 90W Gallium Nitride Wall Charger! There will be three lucky winners of this great device that you can use to charge your MacBook Pro in a shorter amount of time.

To enter for your chance to win, fill out the form below with your name and contact information. The contest begins today and runs through Wednesday, May 26 at 11:59 p.m. PT We’ll announce the winners on the Macworld Podcast at 10 a.m. Pacific on Wednesday, May 27, and on the Macworld Twitter feed.

Visit for more information on the PD 90W GaN Wall Charger and other RavPower products.

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Amazon Prime Day 2020: Everything you need to know about Amazon's shopping extravaganza

Wed, 2020-05-13 13:30
Summer approaches, and with it, Amazon's big "Black Friday in July" deals. Here's what you need to know about the retailer's upcoming sale bonanza.

Photos for macOS stops syncing? Here’s one way to fix it

Wed, 2020-05-13 08:00

It’s easy from the perch of writing the Mac 911 column to appear as if I have all the answer. Dear readers, I do not. I am always delighted to research on your behalf, but sometimes problems fall into my lap that I know will help you all, because I’m unable to find a ready solution and nobody in any forum or on any blog has found an answer, sometimes across many years.

Photos for macOS is a bugbear for many of you, one of the most regular sources of questions. But I encountered a sync problem that no one has written in about, yet I can find a history of frustrated people across the Internet trying to solve it. I did find a solution—but you might not like it!

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How Apple’s rumored iPhone 12 lineup sets the stage for big changes

Wed, 2020-05-13 07:00

The iPhone 12 is shaping up to be one of the most important iPhone releases in a while. Not only is it likely to bring a new design and 5G connectivity, but it will also reportedly split the iPhone into distinct pro and non-pro lines in a much more definitive way than the iPhone 11.

Earlier this week, a report by Jon Prosser spilled a ton of details about the four iPhone models reportedly releasing this year. I had been somewhat skeptical about the addition of another lower-cost model, but Prosser’s details cleared things up for me: In short, this iPhone lineup could be Apple’s smartest ever with huge implications for the future.

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What will the ARM Mac line-up look like?

Wed, 2020-05-13 06:15

For a company with a reputation for sudden bursts of industry-shaking creativity, Apple’s pretty conservative most of the time. The company has a years-long product pipeline, and while we’re beginning to anticipate the 2020 iPhone, its hardware engineers are finishing work on the 2021 model while its component designers are pondering the chips and sensors that will power the device into the mid-2020s.

For so many of Apple’s product choices, a decision now is likely to be a decision that sticks for years to come. Think of how many years it took for the company to backtrack on the butterfly keyboard in the MacBook line, even after it was obvious that it had made a mistake. More to the point, consider the continued existence of the low-end, two-port version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which is largely the consequence of a failed attempt to replace the MacBook Air with the 12-inch MacBook and the low-end MacBook Pro.

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Apple ‘biggest update’ to Logic Pro X in years bring Live Loops, no native iPad app

Tue, 2020-05-12 10:12

On Tuesday, Apple unveiled what it’s calling “the biggest update to Logic since the launch of Logic Pro X” in 2013, bringing it more in line with GarageBand while also adding powerful sampling, sequencing, and editing tools.

Most notably, the X.5 update brings “a professional version” of Garageband’s Live Loops that debuted in January 2016. As one of GarageBand’s most popular features, Live Loops let musicians “play, edit, and arrange musical ideas in real-time” by either selecting from a library of instruments and pre-recorded cells or creating their own sounds. Live Loops works the same on Logic Pro X as it does on GarageBand, though tracks can be “further refined using all of the professional production features in Logic.”

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Eggtronic Wireless Power Bar review: A handy but pricey travel companion

Tue, 2020-05-12 08:00

There are lots of power banks out there, and many of them are quite good. Eggtronic's new Wireless Power Bar is one of the more unique solutions we've seen. It's a 10,000mAh battery pack with a USB-C port capable of 30W output and input, two Qi wireless charging pads, and a pop-out Apple Watch charger. It's a single "all your Apple gear" charger you can throw in your travel bag, without a lot of supporting cables.

Two wireless pads, USB-C, Apple Watch

We've seen power packs with lots of USB inputs and outputs, and we've seen power packs with wireless charging built it. But the Wireless Power Bar has one of the more unique configurations we've ever seen.

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Price points: Do iPhones cost too much?

Tue, 2020-05-12 07:00

Apple has released a low-cost phone so it is now time to complain about how iPhones cost too much.

Wait, what?

Writing for The New York Times, Shira Ovide says “Your iPhone Costs Too Much.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

At $449 for his 2020 iPhone SE with 128GB, The Macalope is pretty sure you’re wrong about that. Of course, Ovide’s not talking about the iPhone SE. And possibly not the iPhone XR, either.

To be fair, maybe the Times has data showing a correlation between the people who subscribe their paper, enjoying it for the Fairfield county wedding announcements and stories of how even hedge fund managers are “feeling the pinch” of this difficult economy and having to sell one of their yachts, and people who buy the most expensive iPhone.

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iPad Pro (2020) review: A modest improvement on a great tablet

Tue, 2020-05-12 06:15

In 2018 the new iPad Pro was bold and sleek, and just what Apple needed to shake up a product line that was starting to show its age. Unlike its predecessors, it featured Face ID, a new and improved Apple Pencil, a USB-C port, thin bezels, and a blazing fast processor.

The 2020 model looks and performs much the same, but now much of the initial excitement has settled. Instead of going for a new design, Apple used this updated model to test drive some technology that may become more important to other Apple products down the line, although it’s not particularly exciting or even well-suited for this particular device. This is unquestionably the best iPad ever made, but the real question is whether all of its flashy features make it the best iPad for you.

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