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Why is the 2020 iPad Pro such a minor upgrade?

Wed, 2020-03-25 07:15

The first reviews of the 2020 iPad Pro are in, and the results are clear: It’s an awful lot like its predecessor from 2018. While there are a few notable updates—a new ultrawide camera and a LiDAR scanner—it’s not really any faster than the old model.

Which, fair enough. The 2018 iPad Pro was so far ahead of the game that even now I never feel like it’s too slow to handle anything I throw at it. I can see why Apple didn’t feel the need to upgrade the A12X processor much at all.

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Six unfortunate truths cord-cutting newbies should know

Wed, 2020-03-25 06:00
I've encountered a few drawbacks in the year since I cut the cable TV cord.

Securam Touch smart lock review: It might look more at home on a military base, but this fingerprint reader-equipped lock offers solid security

Wed, 2020-03-25 06:00
A high price tag and a rough-around-the-edges app keep Securam’s first consumer lock from being a runaway success.

The best smart lock for a keyless home

Wed, 2020-03-25 06:00
Keys are yesterday’s tech, your smart home needs a smart door lock.

Apple adds new Get Up! weekly playlist to Apple Music

Tue, 2020-03-24 15:31

Apple has added a new programmatically-generated playlist to Apple Music. The new Get Up! playlist is meant to feature “happy-making, smile-finding, sing-alonging music,” according to Apple. As with other weekly playlists, the tracks are chosen by a mix of algorithm and human editors.

You can find the new playlist in the “For You” section of Apple Music. The weekly selection of “For You” playlists, and the days in which they are updated, is as follows:

  • Sunday: Get Up! Mix
  • Monday: Favorites Mix
  • Tuesday: none
  • Wednesday: Friends Mix
  • Thursday: New Music Mix
  • Friday: none
  • Saturday: Chill Mix

It would appear that Apple still has two days to fill in its weekly algorithmic playlist rotation. 

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macOS Catalina: Apple releases 10.15.4 update

Tue, 2020-03-24 15:24

From the desert to the coast: macOS Mojave has given way to the next major version of the Mac operating system, called macOS Catalina. Revealed during Apple’s 2019 WWDC keynote in June, Catalina features some major new features that continues to move the OS forward.

In this FAQ, we’ll give you the general details on macOS Catalina: When it will be release, what Macs are compatible, etc. We’ll add more details to this article as they become available.

Editor’s note: Updated 3/24/20 with information about the macOS Catalina 10.15.4 update.

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YouTube will default to lower-resolution streams in the U.S. to save bandwidth

Tue, 2020-03-24 14:02
YouTube is lowering the default resolution of video streamed in the United States in response to the uptick in network traffic due to the coronavirus. You can still dial up a higher-resolution stream, though.

iOS and iPadOS 13.4 is now available with iPad trackpad and mouse support, iCloud folder sharing, and more

Tue, 2020-03-24 13:20

Apple still has plenty left in store for iOS 13 before moving on to iOS 14 (which we will likely hear about this summer at WWDC). A week after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.3.1, it began beta-testing iOS 13.4. This point release brings several welcome new features.

Update 03/24/20: Apple has released iOS and iPadOS 13.4. 

What’s new in iOS and iPadOS 13.4

iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 add significant new features. For iPad users, you'll get new support for bluetooth keyboards and trackpads, making productivity tasks a lot easier. Developers can now publish apps and in-app purchases as "universal purchases" that work across Mac, iPad, and iPhone. And iCloud folder sharing is finally here.

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Wyze takes aim at Fitbit and Apple with new $25 fitness band and $20 scale

Tue, 2020-03-24 12:03

Wyze made a name for itself back in 2017 when it started selling a minimal cube-shaped security camera for $20. With a team comprised of ex-Apple employees, WyzeCam offered 1080p video, motion and sound detection, night vision, two-way audio, and 14 days of free cloud recording for a fraction of the cost Nest, Ring, and Logitech charged.

Now Wyze is bringing its affordable engineering to smart fitness gear in the form of a $25 activity tracker and a $20 scale. Like the cameras, there’s nothing cut-rate about them other than their price, and they bring many of the high-end features we expect from far pricey devices.

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2020 iPad Pro review roundup: No reason to rush to upgrade

Tue, 2020-03-24 11:40

With iOS 13.4 on the way later today and the iPad Pro set to begin shipping Wednesday, early reviews are beginning to trickle in for Apple’s new tablet and the impressions make it perfectly clear: The new iPad Pro is great but there’s no need to rush to upgrade if you have the previous model. The main appeal is trackpad support, but Apple is bringing that to older models, too. And the new Magic Keyboard—which isn’t available until May—works perfectly fine with the 2018 iPad Pro.

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Copy cats: How the iPad got where it is

Tue, 2020-03-24 09:00

Time may have slowed down lately but it has not stopped completely as Apple has announced new iPads and the ability to use a mouse or trackpad with your iPad in iPadOS 13.4. As is the custom, we must now judge this feature for its moral clarity.

Writing for The Verge, Tom Warren says “Apple finally admits Microsoft was right about tablets.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick.)

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How to bypass Apple’s multi-device two-factor system with Messages auto-fill

Tue, 2020-03-24 08:00

Apple has increasingly required that Apple ID accounts (used for iCloud, purchases, and other purposes) are protected by two-factor authentication (2FA). This two-part system has you enter a password and then enter a code that’s available from all devices associated with the same iCloud account.

You know the drill. A pop-up appears on all devices showing a rough map of where Apple believes the request originated. Tap or click Allow on any device and that pop-up disappears from all the others. On the device from which you approved the map, a six-digit code now appears in a special dialog box. Enter that code as your device, service, or browser second factor.

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Should MacBooks have USB-A ports?

Tue, 2020-03-24 07:15

In 2016, Apple started to excise the good old USB-A port (the rectangular plug you always try to insert the wrong way) with USB-C ports (the little reversible oval) on all its laptops.

It started with the MacBook Pro and the new 12-inch MacBook, which had only one USB-C port that had to be used for both power and peripherals. That was a frustration, but the reasoning for dumping USB-A seemed sound: USB-C was the obvious future. One port that is smaller, thinner, reversible and easier to plug in, that guaranteed high-speed USB 3.0 speeds, and maybe even other stuff like Thunderbolt connectivity.

Just as Apple did when it dropped serial and parallel ports with the original iMac in favor of only USB, it was embracing the obvious future, and pressuring the rest of the industry to keep up.

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How your Apple, WearOS, and Fitbit smartwatch can help track your coronavirus symptoms

Tue, 2020-03-24 06:15

The Apple Watch can’t take your temperature. Neither can an WearOS smartwatch or the Fitbit Versa. During a time when more people than ever are concerned about having a fever, it’s a shortcoming that seems particularly glaring.

It’s not your watch’s fault, however. Skin readings, particularly on the wrist, are less than ideal for monitoring body temperature due to stress, sweat, and other external oscillating factors. For now, any attempts to do so would be inaccurate at best. If you’re worried about whether a lingering cough could be caused by a coronavirus infection, you’ll need to track your temperature the good old fashioned way and then input your results manually in Apple Health or Google Fit for now.

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5 of the most relaxing Spotify white noise playlists for working from home

Tue, 2020-03-24 06:00
If you’re stuck at home and stressing out about the coronavirus crisis, these soothing Spotify playlists can help lower your blood pressure.

How to make voice and video calls using Alexa and your Amazon Echo

Mon, 2020-03-23 17:17
You can use Alexa on your Amazon Echo to make calls without a mobile number or landline? Here's how.

How to get all of the Apple Watch Activity badges

Mon, 2020-03-23 15:52

Achievement badges are a funny thing. You know they’re just a simple little bit of visual flair, they don’t even do anything, and yet for some reason you just have to collect them. Achievements are great motivators, and the achievement badges for the activity tracking on the Apple Watch have inspired many users to get more exercise.

If you want to maximize your badge count, you’re going to watch to chase down as many activity achievements as you can. Most are available year-round, but there are also some time-limited special events to grab, too. Here’s a list of all the activity achievements for the Apple Watch and how to unlock them.

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Apple TV 4K and tvOS: Rumored update with 64GB/128GB storage and Kids Mode

Mon, 2020-03-23 13:45

Apple TV has grown up a lot since its iTV days. It’s not just for video rentals and purchases anymore—Apple TV handles just about anything we watch, from House of Cards to Game of Thrones and Major League Baseball games, and now that also includes Apple TV+ content and Apple Arcade games.

With an extensive library of apps, Siri support, and a drop-dead simple interface, Apple TV is one of the underrated players in Apple’s lineup. Just like all those years ago, it’s still the device that “completes the story” of Apple’s entertainment ecosystem, and even without some of the bells and whistles of its competitors, Apple TV is still one of the best streaming boxes you can buy—from SD to HD to brilliant 4K.

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A bunch of Amazon kids shows are now free even if you're not a Prime member

Mon, 2020-03-23 12:42
Amazon has removed the Prime paywall for dozens of popular family-friendly shows.

Amazon Prime Video is finally getting hip to viewer profiles

Mon, 2020-03-23 11:28
The new Profile Picker for Amazon Prime Video supports up to six profiles, although it's not available in all territories yet.