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Updated: 17 hours 3 min ago

The rules of magnetic attraction in Apple products

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 08:00

There was a time when magnets were the most terrifying things in computing. Magnets erased floppy disks and tape cassettes and even hard drives. But in the modern era, magnets are our friends. Apple has used them for various important tasks over the years, from the convenient breakaway charging cable of MagSafe to the sensor that knows you’ve closed your MacBook’s lid—and the attraction that helps keep it closed.

In the last few years, Apple has brought the rules of magnetic attraction to the Apple Watch, the iPhone, and now the iPad. How do they work? You don’t need to know to appreciate what magnets do for modern Apple devices. And that goes double for the new iPad Pro, with its 102 magnets—as cited in Apple’s launch video about the product, no less—and all of the magnetic accessories that go along with it.

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Best MacBook, MacBook Air, and Macbook Pro sleeves: Keep safe and stylish with our top picks

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 07:00

Nobody wants the beautiful aluminum body of their MacBook scuffed or scratched. Fortunately, MacBook sleeves are to the rescue.

Sleeves are a great way to keep your MacBook protected, store it for traveling, or just look classy when you’re carrying your computer around the office.

But there are an overwhelming number of sleeves online for the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. It can be hard to tell which are good quality and worth the money. 

So Macworld is getting hands-on with some of the best-known brands as well as more eclectic designers to pick out the best sleeves for Apple’s line of MacBooks, both new and old models. Watch this space as we’ll be keeping it updated with our favorites.

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The iPhone XR is a great phone but here are three ways Apple can make it even better right now

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 06:30

As I noted in my review, the iPhone XR is a great phone. It has the speed and design of the iPhone XS, a price tag to match the iPhone 8, and battery life to beat them all.

But as good as it is, the iPhone XR isn’t perfect, and the reasons why have nothing to do with hardware. The decisions Apple made with the camera and the screen make perfect sense on the iPhone XR, and neither is a deal-breaker. But there are some things related to the camera and screen that could be changed, and we don’t even have to wait until the iPhone XR2 to get them.

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Samsung Q8FN 4K UHD TV review: A great TV and a comparative bargain

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 06:00
It doesn't come with the One Connect breakout box you get with the Q9FN, but it offers nearly the same performance as higher-end model for $700 less.

iPhone XR review: This iPhone might be the best Apple has ever made

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 06:00

We may never know what the R in the iPhone XR actually means—Apple VP Phil Schiller himself said that the R doesn’t really mean much to Apple. But I have my own guess: reboot.

Before the release of the iPhone X last year, the iPhone 8 was in need of a redesign. It had been some three years since Apple first unveiled its large-screen iPhones, but nothing about them changed much since the iPhone 6. The iPhone 8 brought wireless charging and a better camera, but it didn’t look or feel like a 2017 phone, let alone a 2018 one.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 9 a.m.

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 16:00

The Macworld staff talks about the new iPhone XR, new MacBook Air, and new Mac mini. What’s going on with Apple’s stock price? We also respond to your comments and questions for Leif Johnson, Dan Masaoka, and Michael Simon in the Macworld Podcast, episode 629.

Watch us live

Due to scheduling conflicts this week, the Macworld Podcast will broadcast an hour earlier than its usual time. This episode will air on Wednesday, November 7, at 9 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on Twitter via Periscope or on the Macworld YouTube channel.

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Buy a 9.7-inch iPad at Costco for Black Friday-worthy pricing

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 13:30

If you’re a Costco member, today you can pick up the 2018 128GB 9.7-inch iPad for close to the price of the entry-level 64GB version. The popular wholesale retailer is selling it for just $349.99 in space grayRemove non-product link, silverRemove non-product link, and goldRemove non-product link, down from the regular price of $429. That’s the kind of pricing we’d normally expect to see on Black Friday.

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The best Amazon Echo add-ons and accessories

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 12:48
A few are goofy, but many are great: These mostly inexpensive gadgets can make Amazon’s smart speakers even better.

Step up your fashion sense with the Amazon Echo Look for 50% off

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:56

When it comes to fashion, we can all use a little help. Of course, having a personal stylist is the dream, but the next-best thing is Amazon’s Echo Look. Amazon’s selling the $200 high-tech selfie cam for 50 percent off today, bringing the Echo Look down to $100.

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Find great PC accessories at all-time low prices in Amazon's one-day Logitech blowout sale

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:15

Amazon’s throwing another one-day blowout sale on Logitech PC accessoriesRemove non-product link, including keyboards, webcams, speakers, and mice. While we’ve seen bigger PC accessory sales, this one has some particularly enticing deals.

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Specious reasoning: Punching your ticket on the Apple doom train

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 08:00

In Apple’s quarterly conference call with analysts last week, the company announced that it would no longer be providing unit sales figures for iPhones, iPads and Macs. As was foretold in prophecy (or, in this case, a tweet by The Macalope), the caterwauling about Apple converting to the practice followed by almost everyone else in the industry has begun!

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and home endoscopy hobbyist forum, Peter Cohan brings us “3 Reasons To Sell Apple Now.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Tibor.)

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MacBook Air review: Out with the old and in with the new, for better or worse

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 06:00

Apple says the MacBook Air is “the most beloved notebook ever,” and it’s not wrong. The huge success of the original Air had ripple effects throughout the industry, but it has languished in recent years. For the last three years or so, Apple had kept up with neither technological nor design advances in its most important laptop.

Now, the MacBook Air has finally been brought up to modern Mac laptop standards, skipping forward three generations of Intel processors, adding a Retina display and Thunderbolt 3 ports, and giving us three color options, among other things. But it feels a bit like Apple threw out the baby with the bathwater, jettisoning some features of the MacBook Air that make it so well-loved.

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$799 Mac mini review: Impressive multi-core performance from Apple’s most affordable Mac

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 06:00

It’s been ages since the Mac mini received an update, so we can see how fans of Apple’s smallest Mac would be happy for any improvements. On the flipside, because the mini hasn’t been updated for four long years, you may have convinced yourself that Apple would make dramatic changes—yet the update is pretty much limited to a processor upgrade.

If you were anticipating a major overhaul, your disappointment is understandable. But get over it, because the new Mac mini is a worthy Mac for $799. In fact, in our benchmarks, its performance is fast enough to give the iMac some competition. If you’re buying a new Mac, you should definitely consider the Mac mini, because you could end up saving some money—and still get a soild, fast Mac.

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Leviton Decora Mini Plug-In Outlet (model DW15P) review: Leviton’s Wi-Fi smart plug goes on a diet

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 06:00
Tired of smart plugs that block adjacent outlets? Give this svelte model a try.

Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 06:00
Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.

Apple releases watchOS 5.1.1 to flx Apple Watch ‘bricking’ issue

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 15:38

The release of watchOS 5.1 didn’t go so hot, as some early downloaders on October 30 discovered that the update was “bricking” their devices. Apple quickly pulled the release “as a precaution.” Today, the fix is here in there form of watchOS 5.1.1, and it’s now available for download.

As you might expect, Apple’s patch notes don’t say anything about the bricking issue aside from the usual bit about including “improvements and bug fixes.”

But the patch does come with a new feature—at least if you didn’t have a chance to download watchOS 5.1. As of today, the Apple Watch 4 will now automatically call emergency contacts if it detects that you’ve suffered a hard fall. It was one of the most impressive features when Apple showed off its updated wearable, and we’re glad to see it make the live release. Now we just need to see the promised ECG support.

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Save $50 on the new iPad Pros and MacBook Air ahead of release

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 13:30

Were you thinking you’d have to wait months to see price drops for the new MacBook Air and iPad Pros? Normally I’d agree with you, but today MacMall is offering $50 off both units a couple of days before they even officially ship.

In the case of the MacBook Air, that means you buy the entry-level 8GB, RAM 128GB versionRemove non-product link for just $1,149, down from its retail price of $1,199.

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Start stashing stocking stuffers early with these awesome Amazon Echo Dot deals

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 11:07

Black Friday is just around the corner, but you don’t have to wait until then to grab great deals on stocking stuffers. Today, the 2nd-generation Echo Dot is $30, down from a list price of $40, or you can save $60 when you buy four, bringing them down to just $25 each. And if you’re looking for a child-friendly version, the Echo Dot Kids Edition is on sale for $60, knocking $10 off the usual price. Alternatively, buying two brings them down to $55 each.

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12.9-inch iPad Pro review roundup: The most powerful iPad ever is still just an iPad

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 10:54

It’s a big week for Apple, with the Mac mini, MacBook Air, and iPad Pro all landing on Friday. It’s unlikely you’ll be buying all three—unless you have a few thousand dollars lying around—so you may be trying to decide whether the new iPad Pro is good enough to be your primary device. If the early reviews are any indication, it’s probably not.

But it is the best iPad ever. Reviewers were unanimous in praising the design and new flexibility of Apple’s latest tablet thanks to USB-C, but peripheral support and iOS is still light years away from MacOS. Here’s what they had to say:

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How to use Time Machine to restore photos you’ve deleted from the Mac Photos app

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 08:00

The Mac’s Photos app can take up a lot of storage space—actually, it’s not the app itself that uses up space, but its database of images that you have imported into Photos. So naturally, when you need to free up storage space, one way to do that is to delete photos from the Photos app.

Say you deleted some photos in Photos, but now you need to get those photos back. And what if, after deleting those photos, you added some new ones. So now you want to restore the deleted photos, while at the same time, preserve the just added ones. Can it be done?

Yes, but it requires a little finesse. You will also need an external drive with enough storage to restore your entire Photos Library.

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