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10 augmented reality apps for iPhone and iPad you should be using right now

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 06:00

Apple wants us to believe that augmented reality will be a transformative technology. I want to believe it. It sure as heck feels like it has better potential than virtual reality, which still strikes me as little more than a means of escaping the world by sticking your eyes to a sweaty box. AR, though, can add wonder to the mundane. It can provide information at a glance that we could otherwise only guess at (especially when Google Lens finally makes a full debut on the iPhone). And yes, in some cases, it can even make the world more fun.

But even in its flashiest keynotes, Apple struggles to show us any compelling reason why we should embrace AR technology now. With that in mind, here's a list of AR apps from the App Store that best show what AR technology is currently capable of, and how it’s evolved from the simplistic days of Pokémon Go. Whether you want to learn how to waltz or feed donuts to mythological creatures, you’ll find something to like here.

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Siri in macOS 10.15 might finally be able to set alarms and timers (plus Shortcuts and Screen Time)

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 12:38

After unveiling some of the major new features expected in iOS 13 earlier this week, Guilherme Rambo of 9to5Mac is back with a report on macOS 10.15—and it looks like it might be a substantial upgrade. While we learned earlier this week that Apple was reportedly developing a way to allow Mac users to use their iPads as a secondary display, Friday’s rumor dump lays out several more ways Apple is planning to merge the iOS and macOS platforms.

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When iTunes says to “restore your iPhone,” do you have to?

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 08:00

You have a perfectly functioning iPhone and you plug it via USB to a Mac. When you switch to iTunes, you see the message:

iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPhone “phone name”. Go to the Summary tab in iPhone preferences and click Restore to restore this iPhone to factory settings.

Depending on how recent your last iTunes or iCloud backup of your device is, this might be a little panic inducing. Do you really need to restore your phone?

It’s unlikely. I and others have routinely experienced a bug in which this message appears even when our iPhones (and iPads) are perfectly fine. The solution is extremely simple: quit iTunes and relaunch it. If that transient bug is what you’re experiencing, iTunes now properly recognizes your iOS device.

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WatchOS 6 wishlist: 6 features to take Apple Watch to the next level

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 07:00

The Apple Watch is the most popular watch in the world, and the most popular fitness tracker, and the most popular wearable. It’s bigger now than the iPod ever was, and growing steadily.

As great as the Apple Watch already is, there are obvious avenues for improvement. Some of the things we all want, like multi-day battery life, will surely require new hardware. But many of our desires could be fulfilled in a new version of watchOS. As Apple gears up to talk about the new features of watchOS at this year’s WWDC in June, here are some of the features I hope watchOS 6 brings to the table.

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Primephonic app review: The unrivaled classical music streaming service comes to Android and iOS

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 06:00
Primephonic's mobile app for iOS and Android delivers the best parts of its classical music service to smart devices—with one glaring omission.

Mysa Smart Thermostat review: Rendering electric heat stylish and smart

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 06:00
A beautifull smart thermostat for baseboard, radiant, and fan-forced convector heaters.

Three ways Apple’s own Marzipan apps can benefit macOS

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 06:00

As the Nobel Prize laureate once sang, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

2019 is a big year for Apple, and at the forefront of the questions circling around the company is the future of macOS. Last year’s demonstration of “Marzipan” technology—letting iOS apps run on the Mac with little alteration—shook the foundations of what many people considered a Mac app.

Long time Mac users are, understandably, nervous about what this could imply for the future of their chosen platform. Will apps get “dumbed down” and features lost? Will developers eschew Mac-specific programs for the ease of deploying one app everywhere? As Mac users, we’re used to feeling dour and grim about what’s to come, especially those of us who lived through the dark times of the mid-1990s.

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Update: Facebook passwords for hundreds of millions of users were exposed to Facebook employees

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 15:30
Facebook confirms that user passwords from Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram were being stored in a readable format on Facebook servers. Hundreds of millions of accounts will be notified accordingly.

Samsung Galaxy Folds are already breaking, proving Apple is right to wait for a foldable iPhone

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 11:43

Instead of a press release filled with glowing reviews and flowery superlatives, Samsung is doing a bit of damage control the week before its next-generation Galaxy Fold is due to hit stores. As it turns out, the $2,000 device might not be ready for prime time, as numerous early reviewers posted pics and videos of their devices in various stages of ruin.

In some cases, the screen protector was accidentally removed, creating issues with the polymer display. But many of the problems were issues that appeared to be quality control related, an embarrassing problem for a phone that’s being touted as the next big thing. And that’s not to mention the crease, bulkiness, or buggy software.

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iOS 13 rumors, Apple and Qualcomm, how to disable Live Photos, and your hot takes

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:00

In the latest episode of the Macworld Podcast, we talk about the Apple and Qualcomm court settlement, iOS 13 rumors, Disney+, and more. What companies should Apple buy? We talk about that in our feature discussion. Plus, Leif has a two-minute tip, and we wrap up the show with your hot takes from the Macworld Twitter and Facebook feeds.

This is episode 647 of the Macworld Podcast with Leif JohnsonRoman Loyola, and Michael Simon.

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How to retain an Apple ID while switching your iCloud email address

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:00

What if your iCloud.com address receives so much spam or other unwanted email that it’s useless to you and you want to abandon it? If it’s also your Apple ID account name, you might think you were out of luck. Apple doesn’t let you change an Apple ID’s email account login to any other address if it ends in icloud.com, mac.com, or me.com.

Apple does let you add email aliases that end in @icloud.com, but these aliases can only receive email. They can’t be converted into an Apple ID login.

However, iCloud.com’s Mail interface can let create a mail rule that can offer what you need while also preserving your Apple ID account. You simply push all incoming mail to the iCloud address you no longer want to use into the trash.

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Stream these 12 movies to celebrate Easter, Passover, and the rebirth of spring

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 07:00
Whether you're a cord-cutter, a cord-never, or you're sticking with cable, you'll want to check out these great entertainment suggestions from TechHive's resident film critic.

How to use Apple Maps to find retailers that take Apple Pay

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 06:00

Apple Pay support continues to spread, both to more U.S. retailers and to more countries. But still, it’s not yet so commonplace that you can just assume you’re going to be able to pay with your iPhone anywhere you go.

With the upcoming Apple Card, the 2 percent cash back rate is predicated on paying with Apple Pay, so finding retailers that accept it is going to be more important than ever.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to see if you can pay with your iPhone at that store, restaurant, or other retailer: just check Apple Maps.

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An iPhone 8 body with updated specs could be a hit, but it’s no iPhone SE

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 18:30

Despite the relative unpopularity of small-screened phones throughout the world, there remains a strong cry among diehard fans for a new iPhone SE. A dedicated cadre of iPhone users simply want a small phone at a lower price, with modern technology inside.

If a new report from Economic Daily News is true, there is no new iPhone SE in the works—at least, not in the current 4-inch form factor—but there may be a similar “new wine in old bottles” product on the horizon.

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Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 17:29
Surfing the web through a virtual private network (VPN) can keep your identity and data safe and secure online. We show you what to look for in a VPN and help you pick the best one for your needs.

Best smart speakers: Which deliver the best combination of digital assistant and audio performance?

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 15:05
With models based on Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and others to come, we’ll help you find just the right model for you.

Report: Apple to combine Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps, develop Tile-like like tracker

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 13:37

Where other tech companies seem hell-bent on secretly tracking you and everything you do, Apple may be set to flip the script and give you the ability to track all your stuff.

At least, that seems to be the case if a new report from 9to5Mac is true. Citing “people familiar with its development,” the report claims that Apple is working on a project code-named “GreenTorch” that will combine Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps. Engineers at Apple are apparently already testing the new app.

The combined app won’t cut any features from the existing apps, and in fact will expand them a little. A new capability called “Find Network” will allow your devices to be tracked even if not connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network. Presumably, this would work the way Tile trackers do: using an iBeacon-like Bluetooth network of Apple devices.

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Anker's Roav Bolt brings Google Assistant to your car's 12V socket, even with an iPhone

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 11:30
Anker's new Roav Bolt brings Google Assistant and a pair of USB ports to your car for $50.

How to disable Live Photos on your iPhone or iPad

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 09:00

Live Photos are a cool but inessential feature of the iOS photography experience that preserve the moments before and after you take a photo, including the sound. They’re great for bringing a particular photo “to life,” and they’re especially excellent for making your own GIFs from photos—but they also take up a lot of storage space. The files are usually twice as big as those for a regular photo. That can be a big problem for your photo storage, considering that Apple keeps Live Photos on by default.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to turn the feature off, and you can easily (and temporarily) switch it back on if you want to take a specific shot as a Live Photo. First, I’ll show you how to keep your Camera app from automatically taking Live Photos, then I’ll show you how make Live Photos act like regular photos when you share them with other iOS users.

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Why iOS apps will make the Mac a better place... eventually

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 08:00

Who knew that a report that Apple was replacing iTunes with new apps brought to the Mac from iOS would open a Pandora’s Box of Mac angst?

But it’s really not that surprising. 2019 promises to be a huge year of change for the Mac, in large part because this fall’s macOS release will open the floodgates to apps originally designed for iOS. When you compare the features of an iTunes (conceived for the Mac of nearly two decades ago) with Music (built for the iPhone and retrofitted for Apple Music), it’s hard not to feel like the Mac is about to get dumbed down.

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