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JBL Link 300 review: This Google Assistant-powered speaker delivers multi-room sound and smart home skills

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 08:30
Shake your money maker with the middle of JBL’s Link series of smart speakers.

D-Link Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera review: This one is for smart-home buffs only

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 06:30
D-Link delivers another solid camera, but its app's emphasis on smart-home automation may limit its appeal.

iOS 12: How to use Screen Time

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 06:30

We’re all spending too much time on our phones, so the argument goes, and Apple finally did its part to do something about it. In this case it’s “Screen Time,” a new feature on iOS 12 that tells you how long you’ve been using certain apps on your iPhone or iPad at its simplest, and which lets parents place numerous limits on app usage for kids at its most complex. (Or, if you feel like you’ve been spending too much time on, say, Twitter, you can place those limits on yourself.)

At the end of each week, you’ll get an automatic report detailing how often you or your child used the device, as well as the percentage of time spent on apps with specific categories, such as Social Networking, Games, Entertainment, and Productivity. Alternatively, you can get current information about these stats by visiting Screen Time at any time. With that information, you’ll have a better idea of where you need to place limits.

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How to use the coolest new features in iOS 12

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 06:00

At last, iOS 12 is here, bringing a batch of new features to tinker with. Most (if not all) of these features aren’t exactly earth-shaking, in part because Apple spent much of its development process cleaning up the relatively buggy mess of iOS 11 and turning its sequel into something worthy of the Apple name. In fact, many already exist on competing operating systems in some form or another.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re not fun or useful, nor does it mean that they’re not welcome. We here at Macworld have spent the last several months tinkering with all of these new options in the iOS 12 beta, and over that time a few have emerged as our favorites. Once you get used to them, iOS 11 feels ancient and inefficient by comparison.

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Bad decisions: Judging the iPhone sight unseen

Sat, 09/15/2018 - 07:00

Siri, what is the dumbest kind of poll?

Siri responds that the dumbest kind of poll is one about buying intentions for a device that hasn’t been revealed yet. Also, there are several near you. Would you like directions to the one on De Anza Boulevard?

The day before Apple’s iPhone reveal this week, USA Today sagely told us “Consumers in no rush to upgrade to latest Apple iPhone, poll finds.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick.)

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Where to buy the iPhone Xs and Xs Max

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 16:00

Gone are the days where the iPhone was only available directly from Apple or from AT&T. Today, it’s carried by all major carriers and big retailers, and many of them want to entice you to buy with them by offering special deals. Of course, you can always buy from Apple directly, either in-store or online.

If you haven’t yet put in your order for an iPhone Xs or Xs Max, here’s a summary of some of the deals and promotions offered by different retailers to help you make up your mind. For each, we’ll tell you about any current special deals, when you should consider buying there, and when you shouldn’t.

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Get a 12-inch 512GB MacBook for just $1,000 today

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 13:48

You might think I’m nuts, but the 12-inch MacBook is my favorite MacBook. It’s the model I’m typing this on. It’s as portable as they come. Its keyboard sits refreshingly close to the surface. And today, you can enjoy some of that action yourself with the 512GB 12-inch MacBook that’s on sale for just $999.99Remove non-product link (down from $1,399.99) on Woot.

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Anker's ultra-portable Soundcore Bluetooth speaker is just $26 at Amazon today

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 11:25

Portable Bluetooth speakers help you bring your tunes along wherever you go, and today you can get a popular option on the cheap. Anker’s SoundCore Bluetooth speaker is just $26Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $80. It’s not an all-time low, but it’s tantalizingly close.

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How to fix a 1Password sync problem

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 10:13

If you’re a 1Password user, you likely enjoy the ability to make unique, strong passwords for every account you have to manage or create. Unique passwords make it enormously unlikely that a single breach of a site at which you have an account, even a catastrophic breach, would let attackers leverage that information to log into your accounts elsewhere.

However, there’s a problem seen routinely that’s easy to fix: 1Password sometimes loses its connection to a syncing archive. 1Password has a few ways to keep vaults in sync. Some people use the 1Password.com vault for everything, which allows them to access their passwords from a web browser, as well as from end points, like an iPhone (or Android phone) or desktop computer.

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Best smart thermostat: Reviews and buying advice

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 10:00
There are so many smart thermostats to choose from today. We'll help you pick the right one.

Channels DVR review: This is a powerful DVR for cord-cutters, but it's also an expensive one

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 09:30
Channels DVR gets a lot of little things right, but the price is wrong.

Best DVR for cord cutters

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 09:30
TiVo Roamio OTA vs. Tablo vs. Channel Master vs. Plex: None are ideal, but one might work for you.

The iPhone Xs: An innovation dilemma

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 07:00

In a financial conference call during the last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook described the iPhone X as setting up the next ten years of smartphones. It’s easy to see now what Cook meant by that: this week, the company updated all of its new iPhones to follow the design example set by the iPhone X.

But even as it unveiled the iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone XR, the company ran into a struggle when it came to the iPhone X’s successor, the iPhone Xs. How do you take what was formerly your most advanced iPhone and distinguish it from the rest of your now equally advanced line-up?

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Johnson Controls GLAS smart thermostat review: Hey Cortana, I’m cold!

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 06:00
No smart thermostat is more beautiful, but is that enough to justify a sky-high price tag?

First iPhone Xs Max cases: What you can buy right now

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:19

At 6.5 inches, the iPhone Xs Max is the largest of Apple’s new iPhones, and it offers the largest iPhone display ever. It also offers the largest battery. So it’s not surprising that it’s got a large price to match—$1,099 to start. (See our comparison of the new iPhone Xs Max, Xs, and XR.)

So if you’re planning to buy the iPhone Xs Max, you’ll want a case to protect it. Fortunately, there are already quite a few decent cases out there you can order right now. We rounded up some of our top picks. As more cases become available, we’ll update this article. So watch this space.

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The details you may have missed in Apple’s ‘Gather round’ iPhone event

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 15:52

Apple’s September 12 event revealed the Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone Xs, and iPhone XR. Together, the devices delivered plenty of big, new features to focus on, whether it’s the larger Apple Watch display and its ability to take an ECG, or the fast new A12 processor and improved camera in the iPhones.

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The Echo Plus and Philips Hue bulb are just $100 together today

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 10:27

One of the most popular smart speakers and one of the most popular smart bulbs are bundled up for one low price today—a great starter pack for any smart home. The Echo Plus and Philips Hue bulb combo costs $100Remove non-product link, a steep 39% discount from the $165 list price, and the cheapest this bundle has ever been.

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First iPhone XR cases: What you can buy right now

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 10:05

Apple has announced a fleet of new iPhones. The most affordable of the bunch is the iPhone XR, starting at $749. The 6.1-inch phone has many of the premium features found in the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max, and comes in six different colors. (See why we think the iPhone XR is a worthy upgrade to the iPhone X.)

It might be the more affordable option, but it’s still a significant expense, so you’re going to want a case to protect it. Fortunately, there are already some nice case options to choose from. We rounded up our top picks to help you decide. We’ll add more to the list as new cases become available, so watch this space.

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The Array by Hampton Connected Door Lock operates on Wi-Fi and is powered by the sun

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 09:00
A solar panel in this premium-priced, Wi-Fi-connected deadbolt continuously charges its battery.

An F grade assessment: Pre-judging Apple’s keynote

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 09:00

Apple announced new iPhones and a new Apple Watch yesterday but people were complaining about it before it even happened.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and home of the all-Pixy Stix diet plan, Curtis Silver declared “Apple Frickin’ Better Show The Fudge Up Today As We All ‘Gather Round’.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick and Elliot.)

Guy’s a one-man f-word euphemism factory.

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