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Updated: 25 min 57 sec ago

Apple Arcade is already straying from its original promise

Thu, 2020-03-19 06:30

Today marks the six-month anniversary of Apple Arcade, and Apple’s subscription-based gaming service has every reason to be booming. It’s got over 100 games, it costs only $4.99 a month, and Apple is offering this package at a time when much of the world is sequestered indoors and saving money out of fears of a financial crisis.

And yet Apple barely mentions the service in public anymore. New releases of Apple Arcade games rarely make ripples on social media. It’s still too early to say “Game Over” for Apple Arcade, but this is as good of a time as any to wonder what went wrong and figure out how Apple could improve the situation.

There is some hope for Apple Arcade, partly because there has been a noticeable change in its direction. The situation was a little direr just a month ago, as ahead of the half-year mark you could already find some outlets proclaiming doom and gloom in the wake of Apple Arcade’s contemporary releases and the service’s seemingly slow adoption rate. But late last month, Apple managed to kickstart a tad more interest in the service with the release of Crossy Road Castle, which essentially gave Apple Arcade its own version of Super Mario Bros. Two weeks later, it followed up with Roundguard, a fantasy dungeon crawler that draws liberally from Peggle. Notably, both of these games “feel” more like traditional mobile games than the bulk of what came before them in Apple Arcade, which may signal a shift in strategy from the folks in Cupertino. I can’t say I’m exactly happy with it, but at this point I’m ready to admit it might be the smart way to go.

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Six streaming video options that let cord-cutters stream movies together

Thu, 2020-03-19 06:00
"Watch together" apps: How to watch Netflix, YouTube, and more with faraway friends.

Apple’s new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and more

Thu, 2020-03-19 06:00

Apple on Wednesday released a bunch of new products. We talk about what we’ll see in the new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and more. That’s all in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 690 with Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Michael Simon.

Listen to episode 690

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Chris Martin, John Legend, and other artists are performing impromptou live concerts online amid the coronavirus crisis

Wed, 2020-03-18 14:55
While the growing coronavirus crisis forces the cancellation of one concert after another, musicians have taken to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to bring their fans together.

5 ways the new iPad Pro changes everything about Apple’s vision for the tablet computer

Wed, 2020-03-18 12:07

If there was any doubt that Apple had an event planned for this month, Apple's surprise announcement of the new iPad Pro Wednesday morning confirms it. With a slew of new features and enhancements, the new iPad Pro is more than just your usual refresh. It charts a whole new course for the iPad and draws a clear line between the consumer and the pro iPad.

The new iPad Pro brings over all of the “pro” features from the prior model—USB-C, second-gen Apple Pencil support, ProMotion display, Face ID—but it also comes packed with a bunch of next-gen features that take it to a whole new level and make it ever closer to becoming the hybrid device we’ve always wanted it to be.

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Mac mini: New model offers twice the storage for the same price

Wed, 2020-03-18 11:15

The Mac mini is Apple’s smallest desktop Mac. It may not be as fast as Apple’s other desktop computers—the iMac and the Mac Pro—but it remains fast enough for general-purpose use, and even for pro apps. The Mac mini not only appeals to first-time Mac users, but longtime Mac users like the price and use the Mac mini as a server or an entertainment Mac connected to a TV.

Editor’s note: Updated 3/18/20 with information about the new Mac mini.

Mac mini: Apple increases the storage

Apple updated the Mac mini on March 18 with increased PCIe-based SSDs in the standard configurations. The $799 model now includes 256GB (up from 128GB), and the $1,099 model has 512GB (up from 256GB).

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Apple's new MacBook Air packs a better keyboard and a dramatically lower price

Wed, 2020-03-18 09:34

There might not be any retail stores to visit for a while, but that’s not slowing Apple’s roll. On Wednesday morning, Apple launched a brand new MacBook Air with more storage, more speed, and a better keyboard, all for hundreds less than the current model.

With a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 or i5 processor, Apple claims the new MacBook Air delivers “up to two times faster CPU performance and up to 80 percent faster graphics performance” than the previous MacBook Air. Both base models have lower clock speeds than their predecessors (1.1GHz vs 1.6GHz), but the new chip architecture, Intel Iris Plus Graphics, and LPDDR4X memory should deliver a noticeable boost.

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Don’t want your email addressed auto-completed in Safari? Here’s how to disable it

Wed, 2020-03-18 08:00

The Safari browser in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS can automatically retain information entered in fields on websites you visit and then automatically complete it on your next visit. This can be great! You don’t have to re-enter the same information, like an account name or email address.

However, it’s tedious when you don’t want the same information re-entered each time. There’s a simple way to disable this, but since it’s not available on a site-by-site basis, it’s a nuclear option. You can disable it always or not at all. (AutoFill is typically used to mean filling forms by selecting a profile or items from a list; autocomplete usually results from starting to type into a field, and having previously entered matches appear among which you can select.)

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Apple may or may not switch Macs over from Intel to AMD, but it should

Wed, 2020-03-18 06:15

Over a year ago, I argued that Apple should replace Intel with AMD in its Mac lineup. Today, the choice seems even clearer. From low-power laptops to the big iron in the Mac Pro, Apple would be well-served to consider AMD alternatives to Intel CPUs.

The Mac Pro: Threadripper 

The Mac Pro is a big, expensive, high-power system made for heavy multithreaded workloads. So Apple equips it with Intel Xeon workstation processors, from the 8-core, 16-thread W-3223 to the 28-core, 56-thread W-3275M. The cheapest, slowest model retails for $750 and has a thermal design power of 160 watts, and that scales up to almost $7,500 and 205 watts on the high end.

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15 movies cord-cutters can stream for free while waiting out the coronavirus

Wed, 2020-03-18 06:00
Great home entertainment doesn’t need to be expensive—if you don’t mind putting up with ads.

Angelcare Baby Breathing Monitor with Video review: An easy way to ensure your child's sleep safety

Wed, 2020-03-18 06:00
This video monitor also tracks the subtle movements of your child's respiration.

The best video baby monitors: Keep eyes—and ears—on your bundle of joy

Wed, 2020-03-18 06:00
Today's baby monitors are more capable—and more complex—than ever. Here's how to find the right one, so you and your baby can get some sleep.

Tips for the Mac user new to working from home

Tue, 2020-03-17 15:30

We live in strange times. I’d wager that a lot of you are now working from home, either for the first time or for a lot longer than you’re used to. I used to work in an office more or less every day, but for the past five years I’ve been working in my garage every day. As a result, I’ve learned a lot about the tools, techniques, and behaviors that can help you work more efficiently on your Mac or iPad from home. I hope what I’ve learned can help you be more productive and healthier at home.

Give your Mac more screen space

If you’re used to working from a Mac with a big monitor and are now working from a laptop, you may be frustrated by a lack of screen space. If you’re using macOS Catalina and you have a recent-model iPad running iPadOS 13 handy, you can convert the iPad into a second display to give you more screen space.

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These 7 movies will be available online early to help ease your coronavirus anxiety

Tue, 2020-03-17 11:39
Emma, The Invisible Man, Birds of Prey, and more will be available to rent or buy from streaming services way ahead of schedule.

Sonos will release a brand-new operating system in June

Tue, 2020-03-17 09:00
Sonos S2 will support high-resolution audio, increased audio bandwidth, and more, but older components won't be compatible.

Fantastical 3 for iOS review: Powerful calendar app worth the subscription price

Tue, 2020-03-17 07:15

Nothing stirs the ire of app owners like a developer switching business models. For example, going from “pay once, use forever” to monthly or annual subscriptions. Of course, in software there’s really no such thing as “forever” because without future updates, an app that works one day could be rendered obsolete the next by an operating system upgrade.

Such is the dilemma faced by modern app developers. During the App Store “gold rush” a decade ago, iPhone owners would happily pay up front for quality (or even not-so great) apps, apparently under the misguided conception they’d receive free updates forever. Flash-forward to the present, and most apps are now free to download, with developers relying on advertising, in-app upgrades, or controversial subscriptions to provide sustainable income.

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How to turn your iPhone or Android phone into the ultimate work from home device

Tue, 2020-03-17 06:30
Go from time sucker into a productivity tool.

Bad news roundup: Evaluating Apple’s current rough patch

Tue, 2020-03-17 06:15

Apple’s stock is down on bad news for the economy due to the coronavirus. Suppliers are slowly getting back to work in China as Apple has been forced to close stores in other countries. This, of course, leads us to one question: is this the end times for Apple?

Perhaps. Clearly the only winners here are…

[squints at printout]

…”open” and Linux on the desktop.

Sorry, that’s just a page The Macalope tore out of The Technology Pundit’s Handbook a few years ago. He’s not sure if it’s still accurate. However, we could see a return of the Zune as mid-2000s nostalgia sweeps through Millennials.

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Best headphones: Our top picks for personal listening

Tue, 2020-03-17 06:00
Whether you're looking for an over-the-ear, on-ear, or in-ear model, we'll help you find the perfect pair.

DALI IO-6 Wireless Hi-Fi headphone review: Wonderful, warm sound awaits buyers of these noise-cancelling cans

Tue, 2020-03-17 06:00
Exceptional sound quality and noise reduction combine with solid construction and enviable comfort in this top-notch headphone.

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