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Updated: 40 min 27 sec ago

Betas forever? Why Apple’s move to iOS 13.1 makes sense

Wed, 2019-08-28 07:00

On Tuesday, Apple released a new iOS beta for developers, and it was a bit of a shocker, because it wasn’t an iOS 13 beta, but an iOS 13.1 beta. This raises a lot of issues about how Apple is approaching its impending releases of new hardware, its relationship with beta testers, and how it approaches overall software quality.

Not the first time

This is hardly the first time Apple has yanked features it promised when unveiling an new iOS release at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Last year, Messages in the Cloud was pulled, and Group Facetime and AirPlay 2 also didn’t make it to the ship date, only to return later in the year.

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JBL Link Bar review: A soundbar, Google Assistant, and Android TV rolled into one big compromise

Wed, 2019-08-28 06:00
The JBL Link Bar combines a soundbar with Google Assistant and Android TV, but not without major drawbacks.

Ring Smart Lighting Floodlight Wired review: A terrific supplement to the Ring Floodlight Cam

Wed, 2019-08-28 06:00
Ring smart lighting products aren't always the prettiest hardware you can deploy on and around your home, but they will enhance its security.

Mullvad review: A VPN that's all about privacy

Wed, 2019-08-28 06:00

When it comes to a VPN that protects your privacy, Sweden-based Mullvad is the best we’ve ever seen. The company wants to know as little about you as possible and doesn’t require an email address or even a password. Instead, the company randomly generates a unique code for your username. This username sans password is what you use to top off the credits on your account, and log in to the desktop apps.

Note: This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

If you’re worried about not having a password, Mullvad says it’s statistically very safe. “A newly created Mullvad account number is a 16-digit decimal...This allows for a total of 8.99 quadrilion possible account numbers,” the company said in a 2017 blog post. “Assuming our customers are actively using 100,000 different accounts with us, one would need to guess on average 45 billion times in order to find a working account. This is practically impossible.”

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Best soundbars to improve your TV's audio

Wed, 2019-08-28 06:00
Find the best soundbar for music and movies and that's the perfect fit for your budget.

iOS 13 and iPadOS 13: Apple releases unexpected iOS 13.1 developer beta

Tue, 2019-08-27 13:52

Apple’s huge WWDC developer conference kicked off on Monday, and as expected, the company took the wraps off iOS 13. It’s the next major revision for one of the most important and influential operating systems of all time, with iOS used daily on over a billion iPhones and iPads. It looks to be a doozy.

Here are all the major new features that iOS 13 will bring to your iPhone and iPad when it releases this fall, along with details about supported devices and how to join the beta test to try it out early.

Update 08/27/19: Apple has released an unexpected developer beta built of iOS 13.1. Developers running iOS 13 beta are updated to this branch, it's not a separate beta profile. This is quite unusual; Apple typically waits for a final public release of iOS before testing point releases with developers or the public.

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WoW Classic is a step back in time—and a step back for World of Warcraft

Tue, 2019-08-27 13:22
World of Warcraft Classic splits the MMO into two different games, and so shatters its unique sense of history and community.

Siri and Spotlight now providing new web answers to U.S. users

Tue, 2019-08-27 13:10

As much as Siri has improved over the years, it is still frustratingly poor at simply giving you an answer to a general question. For certain bits of data, Siri will have the response, but you far too often see “I found this on the web” together with a collection of links.

If we wanted to do a web search, we wouldn’t be asking Siri!

Fortunately, it looks as though a big change may be on the way to improve this situation. First noticed by users on Reddit, it appears as though questions typed into Spotlight will now deliver a specific “Web Answer” result from a wide variety of sites, along with a “Report a Concern” link.

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Of frying pans and fires: Despite mistakes, Apple’s still better on privacy

Tue, 2019-08-27 08:00

One of the favorite tropes of the serial jerkery The Macalope covers is the repeated insistence that any one event taken in isolation from everything else will doom Apple forever.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and Carnival Barker Academy, Gordon Kelly says “Apple Just Gave 1.4 Billion iPad, iPhone Users A Reason To Leave.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Daniel and SamT.)

Like they needed another.

Earlier this month, Facebook gave its 1.3 billion users the perfect reason to delete their accounts. Now Apple appears has done the same for its 1.4 billion iPhone and iPad users worldwide.

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iOS 13: Don’t forget to customize your iMessage profile. Here’s how

Tue, 2019-08-27 07:00

Beginning with iOS 13, you can automatically beam your preferred name and photo (or Memoji) to other iOS users when they chat with you in the Messages app—although they can choose whether to use them or not. Not only does this option let your friends and contacts see you as you want them to see you, but it also eradicates some of the more tedious steps of adding new people to your Contacts app.

Here’s how to do it.

How to set a custom name and photo through the Messages app

You can set this up straight through the Messages app, which is super convenient when you want to swap photos on the fly. You’ll have to do a little extra leg work for the first-time setup (which is what we’re focusing on here), but it’ll get a lot simpler afterward.

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Monoprice Monolith desktop balanced headphone amplifer review: A high-value, high-performance audio component

Tue, 2019-08-27 06:00
This desktop headphone amp with THX AAA technology will bring out the best performance from your headphones.

Imagining a mid-range iPhone

Tue, 2019-08-27 06:00

Apple’s phones are among the most expensive phones you can buy, especially for something that is ostensibly supposed to be a “mainstream” product. Apple, it could be argued, doesn’t even attempt to make a mid-range iPhone.

Apple makes the best phones it can, prices them such that the company makes a healthy profit, and if that’s too expensive, you can just buy last year’s model...or the one before that.

There’s a constant simmering furor from those who lament the passing of the iPhone SE. A large contingent of prospective iPhone buyers would be happy for a new SE, that follows the same formula: cram last-year’s hardware into some old design, preferably as small as possible, and sell it at a discounted price. Some may argue that the iPhone XR (and whatever this year’s replacement will be) makes the SE obsolete, but at a starting price of $749 and with a screen size over six inches, I think there’s plenty of room in the lineup for a new iPhone that sits well beneath it.

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Apple releases macOS Mojave 10.14.6 Supplemental Update

Mon, 2019-08-26 16:27

Apple on Monday released the macOS Mojave 10.14.6 Supplemental Update. According to the release notes, the update:

  • Resolves an issue that may cause certain Mac notebooks to shut down during sleep
  • Fixes an issue that may degrade performance when working with very large files
  • Addresses an issue that may prevent Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, and GarageBand from updating

Apple also has a support document that details the security fixes in the Supplemental Update.

The company also released the iOS 12.4.1 Update, the tvOS 12.4.1 update, and the watchOS 5.3.1 update.

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iOS 12.4.1 update now available

Mon, 2019-08-26 15:58

Apple on Monday released iOS 12.4.1, an update to the operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The notes with the update don’t say much, only that the update “provides important security and stability updates.”

You can find more detail about the update in an Apple support document. The update patches a vulnerability that allowed jailbreaking of an iOS device. This vulnerability was actually patched in an older version of iOS 12, but it was reopened recently.

How to install iOS 12.4.1

Before installing the update, it’s a good idea to back up your device.

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iPad Pro may get time-of-flight 3D sensors in 2020 before iPhone, report claims

Mon, 2019-08-26 12:53

We’ve heard plenty of rumors that suggest the 2020 iPhone will have time-of-flight 3D sensors for its rear camera, but a new report from South Korea’s The Elec (via MacRumors) suggests we’ll soon see them in the 2020 iPad Pro, too. We may even see them sooner, as the report claims Apple plans to release the models in March of 2020.

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Trying to make an old Apple display work with your new Mac ? It’s no longer worth it

Mon, 2019-08-26 08:00

“I have an old Apple monitor,” several readers write each week. “How can I hook it up?” We’ve written a number of articles about connecting each of the generations of Apple monitors, from the DVI-based models through DisplayPort-only configurations and finishing with the last generation, which relied on Thunderbolt 2:

EZVIZ CTQ6C pan-and-tilt camera review: Smart motion tracking keeps intruders in sight

Mon, 2019-08-26 07:00
This camera locks on to movement while recording to capture more complete evidence of a crime.

Five features that would actually make the iPhone a ‘pro’ device

Mon, 2019-08-26 07:00

It might finally happen. After years of rumors, this year might finally be the one when Apple releases an iPhone Pro, following in the footsteps of the iPads, Macs, and mice that came before. And I am so ready for it.

While it might seem like Apple throws the Pro suffix around like so many lowercase letter I’s, there’s actually a method to the madness. The MacBook Pro brings more power and ports compared to the non-Pro notebooks. The iPad Pro adds a bigger screen, USB-C, and Face ID, not to mention a completely new industrial design. And the Mac Pro is simply a beast.

An iPhone Pro would be a totally different animal. Apple has always separated its highest-tiered models with larger screen sizes and better cameras, but a pro modifier would signify something greater—or at least that’s what I hope it means. Here are five features I hope to see in the iPhone Pro.

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11 Apple Card features you can get elsewhere—and 4 you can’t

Mon, 2019-08-26 06:00

As slick as the Apple Card is, its features are unique only in their mix, presentation, and integration into iOS. Doing business elsewhere doesn’t mean you miss out on real-time fraud alerts, payment reminders, cash back and the like.

In fact, the majority of the Apple Card’s defining features have been around for ages, and odds are they’re available in a credit card you already possess. That’s particularly so if it was issued by one of large banks—Chase, American Express, Discover, Citibank, Capital One, or Bank of America.

Pitting those companies’ approaches against Apple’s doesn’t result in exact equivalents, of course. For example, while most credit cards from a single big bank come with the benefits we’ve outlined below, not every one does; you’ll need to verify the specific card you have or want has what you seek. Some features also require manual set up. And a handful of features can’t be replicated at all.

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Google Calendar sync with Mac and iOS is broken

Fri, 2019-08-23 16:32

A few days ago, something broke with Google’s calendar synchronization as it works in macOS and iOS. Complaints abound on Google’s support forums, but no solid answers have emerged at this writing.

Many people have tried a variety of techniques, like changing events, removing cached local calendar data in macOS, and other tactics. None have worked, or only work briefly before the calendar disappears again.

We’ll update this article when a solution appears. But never fear: It’s not just your account or device.


Google Calendar sync is currently broken, but it’s not your fault! (Screen blurred for user privacy.)

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