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Project Catalyst reveals Apple’s struggle with the future of the Mac

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 07:00

There’s a old joke about a bad writer blaming his tools—a sad excuse that it was the typewriter and not poor writing skill that was to blame. When macOS Mojave was announced last year, featuring four apps that originated on iOS and had been moved to the Mac by something we now call Catalyst, many of us were quick to blame Catalyst for the strange design quirks of those apps, which seemed simplified in ways that were jarring.

Recent statements by Apple software head Craig Federighi, including his interview with John Gruber during WWDC and a subsequent interview with Jason Hiner of Cnet, make it worth revisiting that assumption.

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Our favorite hidden features in iOS 13

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 06:30

Dark Mode. Privacy enhancements. All-new Maps. There are lots of big new features in iOS 13 to get excited about, but we’re just as excited about the little things: small touches, quality-of-life improvements, and little features that make our daily interactions with our iPhones more joyful.

As we kick the tires of the iOS 13 beta, we’re discovering all sorts of cool little features that didn’t make the stage for iOS 13’s WWDC debut. Here’s a list of some of our favorite hidden gems buried just out of sight in iOS 13.

Silence unknown callers Apple

iOS 13 can send calls right to voicemail, if the number isn’t found in your contacts, messages, or mail.

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Ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control review: Ecobee’s fifth-gen device is its best yet

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 06:00
Nest Who? Ecobee builds our top pick in smart thermostats.

Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i review: This well-built wireless speaker delivers an underwhelming audio performance

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 06:00
Don't be fooled by the distinguished parentage. This pricey Bluetooth speaker from Bluesound has great features, but its sound is a disappointment.

iPadOS changes everything and nothing about Apple’s vision for the tablet

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 06:00

Maybe I’m using it wrong, but when I finally got to install the iPadOS 13 Public Beta on my iPad Air 2, it wasn’t the revelatory tablet experience I was hoping for. It didn’t open my eyes to what the iPad could be or give me any indication that I could use it as my primary computer. Quite frankly, it didn’t feel any less or more like the iPad than was running iOS 12 the day before.

I’m not even really sure why Apple felt the need to change the name. Most likely it’s mainly for marketing purposes—especially since my iPad still informs me that iOS 13 is up to date in the Settings—but a new name generally implies major changes, which iPadOS doesn’t really deliver. Yes, there are more icons on the home screen and a new panel of widgets that brings the Today screen out of its hiding place, but all in all, iPadOS 13 seems more like a capitulation than a revolution.

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Best smart thermostat: Reviews and buying advice

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 06:00
There are so many smart thermostats to choose from today. We'll help you pick the right one.

iOS 13: How to turn on Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 16:30

One of iOS 13’s most highly anticipated changes is also one of its simplest. The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system finally introduces a Dark Mode for your iPhone and iPad’s interface, much as last year’s macOS Mojave finally bought a Dark Mode to Apple’s desktop operating system.

Once it’s on, formerly white interface elements of iOS change to black (or a deep slate gray), and the text shifts to a brighter color for better legibility. That means that many Apple apps (such as Mail and Music) will now put less of a strain on your eyes at night, and there’s a small chance that Dark Mode will even improve your battery life. And, of course, it just looks cool.

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Pages, Numbers, and Keynote productivity apps for iOS and macOS get major update

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 16:10

Fresh on the heels of the release of the public betas for iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina, Apple has updated both the iOS and macOS versions of its iWork apps:\

Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.

Each app comes with its own bag of goodies, but each one now comes with better options for editing lists, charts, and tables—including the ability to create customized bullets. All three apps also let you stylize your text with new outline styles or by filling in the letters with gradients or your own images.

In addition, all of the updates include a "face detection" feature that intelligently positions subjects in photos when you place those photos in placeholders or objects.

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Steam Summer Sale 2019 kicks off with a Grand Prix and some of the best deals in years

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 15:41
The 2019 Steam Summer Sale is one of the better ones in recent memory. Maybe Valve's feeling the heat from the Epic Games Store? Regardless, you win.

Can’t erase your Mac’s startup disk? Try Internet Recovery as a last resort

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 08:00

When you’re trying to wipe an old Mac to set it up fresh or to give it away or sell it, you typically want to erase the drive. Sometimes, you’re thwarted.

The easiest sequence is the following:

  1. Select  > Restart if your Mac is running.

  2. Just as the computer starts, hold down Command-R, which loads macOS Recovery.

  3. Wait until the startup progress bar appears and release the keys. (If you see a globe, skip down to the end of the article.)

  4. When Recovery starts up, select Disk Utility and click Continue.

  5. Make sure you’re selecting your macOS startup partition and not the entire drive, which contains the macOS Recovery partition you’re currently using. Fom the View menu, select Show All Devices.

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OWC unveils its Envoy Pro Ex with USB-C, an external NVMe drive promising 980MBps speed

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 07:00
OWC's Envoy Pro Ex with USB-C is an external NVMe SSD with a weather-resistant case and capacities up to 2TB, as well at 980MBps speed.

Making mountains out of camera bumps: How Apple ruined the 2019 iPhones

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 07:00

At this point should Apple even bother releasing iPhones this fall? We hate them so much already. What’s the point?

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and ipecac concept laboratory, Gordon Kelly tells us who put the bump in the bump bah bump. It was Apple and they ruined the iPhone by doing it.

“Apple Secrets Exposed As Insider Models 2019 iPhone Designs.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

And by “insider” he does not mean someone who works at Apple. So, by “insider” he means “outsider.” Sorry for any confusion.

There’s a popular theory emerging from Apple fans: the company’s ugly new iPhone designs will not look so bad once you get them in hand. But they’re wrong.

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Airthings Wave Mini review: This is a great entry-level air quality monitor

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 06:00
The radon-detecting Wave's little brother is a great way to start checking for airborne irritants.

The best indoor air quality monitors: Identify the pollutants that can compromise your health and comfort

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 06:00
Whether you suffer from allergies or asthma or just want to optimize your indoor environment, these devices will give you insight into the air you're breathing.

Amazon Prime Day 2019: Everything you need to know about Amazon's shopping extravaganza

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 02:11
It might only be summer, but Amazon wants you to pull out your wallet like it's Black Friday. Here's what you need to know about the retailer's upcoming sale bonanza on July 15 and 16.

How to install the iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 public beta

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 14:54

Apple has now officially begun its public beta test of iOS 13. The beta is expected to last until the public release in September, with updates every week or two. We caution you not to install the beta on a critical device—it is often full of bugs and rife with issues like poor battery life. That’s what a beta is for, after all: finding and fixing bugs.

We have lots of details about iOS 13 here, but if all you want to know is how to install it on your iPhone (or install iPadOS 13 on your iPad), follow these instructions.

Back up your device

Before you install any new OS update, and especially before you install a beta, it’s very important to make sure your device is backed up. Apple has a step-by-step guide to backing up your iPhone or iPad; we suggest performing an iTunes backup and creating an encrypted backup. That will ensure that your Health and Activity data is backed up as well.

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First Look: reMarkable writing test vs. Apple Pencil

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 14:00

Macworld’s Leif Johnson takes his writing utensils very seriously. If he’s not writing on pen and paper he’s usually scribbling away on an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil—a tool he’s very fond of.

In this video, Adam surprises Leif with a new product called the reMarkable tablet to test out his writing chops. It’s a 10.3-inch e-ink based tablet made with one goal in mind: a paper-like writing experience. Our review of the reMarkable tablet is coming soon, but in the meantime check out Leif’s initial thoughts in the video.

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macOS Catalina 10.15 Public Beta is now available

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 13:01

Want to run the next version of macOS? You can if you join Apple’s Public Beta program. Apple has a macOS Catalina Public Beta available for anyone willing to try the new version of the Mac operating system before it is officially released.

Here’s what you need to know about the Public Beta.

The latest: macOS Catalina Public Beta now available

Apple has released the latest version of the beta, called macOS Catalina 10.15 Public Beta. New features include new Music, Podcasts, and TV apps; the ability to use an iPad as an external display; Screen Time; enhanced security; and more.

To install, the 10.15 Public Beta, you must be enrolled in the Public Beta program. Then, you can install the update through macOS’s Software Update (About This Mac > OverviewSoftware Update.) 

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iPhone 2019 rumors: Case renders show camera bump, mute slider

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 12:53

What’s in store for the new iPhone in 2019? We won’t officially know until the fall (most likely in September), but until then, you can bet that the rumor mill will be fully operational. This page will keep track of what’s being rumored as new features of the 2019 iPhones, and we’ll provide some analysis and whether or not a rumor seems feasible.

Updated 06/24/19: Renders from case maker Olixar (found at mobile retailer MobileFun) show an iPhone with the expected square camera bump and a new vertically-sliding mute switch.

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The bigger MacBook Pro everyone’s waiting for might be priced more like a desktop than a laptop

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 11:08

Apple might have just updated its 13- and 15-inch laptops with better processors and a tweak to the much-maligned butterfly keyboard, but there might be a completely new model arriving later this year. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to afford it.

Echoing a previous report by Ming-Chi Kuo, IHS Markit analyst Jeff Lin says that Apple is planning to release a 16-inch MacBook Pro in September, marking the first new size for Apple’s flagship notebook since the 13-inch model was introduced in 2009. It would also represent the biggest MacBook since the 17-inch MacBook Pro was discontinued in 2012.

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