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Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

The future of Apple is playing well with others

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 06:00

Apple’s not known for being the most outward-looking organization. For much of its existence, it’s seemed to project an aura of indifference—verging on ignorance—of what goes on outside its walls. That’s in large part by design: Apple has always had a carefully cultivated veneer of being in a league of its own, eschewing any need to pay attention to what its would-be rivals were up to.

Even when it has deigned to work with others, Apple generally presented an attitude of doing this as a favor to its partners, bestowing some small iota of the Apple brand and mojo upon them. (Remember its deals with Motorola and HP in the 2000s?) There’s no better example than porting iTunes to Windows—arguably one of the best business decisions Apple made, since it brought the iPod to scads of PC users—a move that Steve Jobs famously, if not decorously, described as “giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell.”

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Black & Decker is moving into the smart home with a mesh Wi-Fi router and an innovative home healthcare assistant

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 18:20
Pria is designed to help the elderly age in place, while the Omni mesh Wi-Fi router could be useful for everyone.

A surfeit of wrong: Cold takes on iPhone demand

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 08:00

If there’s one thing we know about the smartphone industry, it is a zero sum game. So, if Apple is down, that must mean that everyone else is up! That’s how zero sum games work, right? It’s just everyone against Apple.

Writing for BGR, Andy Meek suggests that “Apple’s bad news for investors might be good news for Samsung and Huawei.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

Two of Apple’s biggest rivals in the smartphone game likely broke out some bubbly over the past 24 hours in celebration of the good fortune that’s suddenly come their way.

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Apple should drop Intel for AMD

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 07:00

Rumor has it that Apple is planning to produce its own CPUs and GPUs for Macs. Those T2 processors we have today are just a tiny first step—the big leap is to take something like the A12X and build a MacBook around it. It makes sense from the perspective of both power-to-performance ratio and a cost-to-performance ratio. Perhaps more importantly, it puts Apple fully in control of its whole platform, and allows the company to innovate in ways it can’t when it cedes the very heart of its computers to other companies.

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Google just might power the streaming box of your dreams in 2019

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 06:00
Android TV is finally getting its due on consumer streaming players.

Cambridge Audio’s exquisite ALVA TT turntable is the first to support aptX HD for wireless streaming

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 06:00
The British high-end audio manufacturer shows off the most convenient way to enjoy your vinyl collection.

The 6 best iPhone apps for weight loss

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 06:00

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you told yourself that you’re going to lose weight as a New Year’s resolution. Congratulations! The bad news is that there’s a good chance you’re going to fail, at least if thousands of personal anecdotes and studies have any weight.

But these days it’s easier to avoid falling into that trap. The iOS App Store is as stuffed with helpful apps for losing weight as I was stuffed with turkey and bread in the aftermath of Christmas dinner.

These are the best of the bunch. Almost all of them track activity and calories, but a couple go so far as to pester you throughout the day to stay on focus (and some of us need that). I recommend parking them on your home screen, as they’ll be there to glare at you every time you’re tempted to open Uber Eats or check Safari for the hours of the local Chipotle.

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Battlestation alert! This Targus USB-C dock connects four monitors

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 16:22

If you own a notebook equipped with a USB-C port, you’ll want a USB-C hub to enable legacy connectivity with ethernet or an external HDMI monitor. One external monitor. Wait, you want four? Well, Targus has you covered.

At CES 2019, Targus showed off the DOCK520USZ, also known as the USB-C Universal QUAD HD (QVHD) Docking StationRemove non-product link. There’s a slew of regular ports, including four USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C port with power, gigabit ethernet, a 3.5mm audio jack, and so on. What’s unique about this dock, however, is the four 1080p HDMI outputs, which essentially can be used to create a multi-monitor battlestation as the video shows. Because who doesn’t want to plug into four monitors for work and play?

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How to download your Flickr photo library and transfer it to Google Photos or iCloud Photo library

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 12:17

For much of its time under Yahoo, Flickr suffered benign neglect, even though a small team of developers kept it alive and advanced in often tiny increments. After 13 years, Yahoo finally made a solid decision about Flickr, its photo-hosting website: It sold it. 

SmugMug, the professional photography oriented company, bought Flickr in April 2018. On November 1, 2018, SmugMug announced changes to its free and paid (or “Pro”) tier. SmugMug said that the 1TB of storage that Yahoo gave free-tier users is not sustainable and that plan is over. Now, SmugMug will let free-tier users retain 1,000 images and videos of any size (even at the maximum 200MB per image).

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Apple’s 4K TV deals show how the company’s business strategy is evolving

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 07:00

Apple doesn’t officially participate in the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but this year it’s all over the show. That’s because Apple has been cutting deals with major TV manufacturers to embed support for AirPlay 2 (and in at least one case, the iTunes movie and TV stores) in their 4K HDR televisions, and CES is when TV manufacturers make big announcements.

I’ve heard from some people who are baffled about why Apple would make it so that people aren’t forced to buy an Apple TV in order to get access to Apple’s video content. Those people are, quite frankly, thinking about an Apple that no longer exists, namely one that’s committed to making money on high-margin hardware sales.

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HomeKit was a surprise winner of CES 2019. Now Siri needs to get a whole lot better

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 06:00

For a company that’s mired in its biggest stock slump in a decade, Apple sure isn’t wallowing in its poor sales. Without stepping foot in Las Vegas or making a single announcement of its own, Apple is having one of its best CES conferences in years, as companies turned to HomeKit en masse to boost their smart offerings.

While Google Assistant and Alexa controlled their fair share of the CES spotlight, they did little to overshadow Siri. In fact, Apple’s HomeKit was one of the surprise winners of this year’s show, as Sony, LG, GE, Vizio, Belkin, Arlo, Ikea, TP-Link and several others all rolled out products and updates featuring HomeKit integration, an abrupt turnaround from previous shows that all but ignored the iPhone maker’s smart home ambitions.

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SanDisk's Extreme Pro portable SSD is so fast you can edit video on it

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 16:18

While editing a document or spreadsheet directly from a flash drive is trivial, that’s not the case for video, where the interface speed limits performance considerably. WD’s SanDisk thinks they’ve solved the problem with the SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD.

The Extreme Pro uses its internally developed NVMe technology to saturate the USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, with read speeds up to 1 gigabyte per second. That’s fast enough for users to edit video directly on the drive itself, without the need for copying the file from the drive to a local hard drive, then back.

SanDisk said that the company will deliver the Extreme Pro in spring 2019, in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacity points. The company hasn’t released pricing, however, which is fairly typical for storage companies announcing products before they ship.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 10 a.m. Pacific

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 16:00

Apple adjusts its earnings forecast for Q2 2019. The Consumer Electronics Show is full of TVs with AirPlay 2 support. HomeKit is being used by more and more products. We also respond to your comments and questions for Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, Dan Masaoka and Michael Simon in the Macworld Podcast, episode 635.

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AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support is coming to smart TVs, including those from Vizio, Sony, and LG

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 12:19

Apple fans don’t typically have a lot to look forward to from CES, but we were treated to a surprise announcement from Samsung that it will bring the iTunes video store to its smart TVs, complete with Bixby support. But Samsung isn’t the only TV maker working with Apple—AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support are coming to other smart TVs.

Apple has updated its AirPlay page with a focus on TV entertainment and special mention of smart TV support. What’s more, individual TV manufacturers have started to announce support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.

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The Philips Hue lineup expands with three new outdoor fixtures and an outdoor sensor

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 09:00
The outdoor sensor could be a great home security offering, as well as a convenient way to turn on lights when you come home in the dark.

From bad to worse: Bad news leads to simplistic analysis

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 07:00

Apple’s announcement of revised expectations for the most recently ended quarter was met in typical fashion with a flurry of slapdash analysis.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and competitive back waxing circuit, Gordon Kelly provides almost one-stop shopping for ridiculous assertions about Apple’s downward revision.

“iPhone Sales Fears After Apple Slashes Estimates.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Uluroo.)

The leaks were right.

And it only took 10 years of breathless reporting on supply chain Apple doom rumors for them to finally be right! So, it was all worth it.

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Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard with Numeric Keypad review: Good form, unreliable function

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 06:00

Products like the Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard grant us a peek at the Apple that could be—in this case, an Apple that remains enamored with space gray aluminum but also committed to keyboards with generous key travel. And the Satechi keyboard is a decent effort, weighty and pleasant for typing, and it lets you pair it with up to three different Bluetooth devices. Viewed from across the room, it readily looks like it spawned in the mind of Jony Ive.

Yet I never felt a strong connection to the Satechi keyboard, mainly because it always struggled to connect with my Mac.

Maybe we can see this as a reminder that an Apple logo really does translate into quality, but first it’s also important to keep in mind that the logo’s absence lets you pick up what essentially amounts to a passable cousin of the Apple Magic Keyboard 2 with a keypad for a mere $79.99. If that sounds expensive, remember that Apple sells its own space gray version for a stunning $149. You could almost buy two Satechi keyboards for that price.

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Third-generation Meural Canvas is like having an art gallery in your home

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 21:30
Meural scales up the technology in its unique digital displays after being acquired by Netgear.

Sony goes big with 8K and hones its OLED technology

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 20:15
Sony goes 8K UHD with its 98- and 85-inch Z9G models, and it revs its 4K UHD OLED TV from the A9F to the A9G

iPhone 2019 rumors: Everything you need to know

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 19:25

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.

Three-camera system

Updated 1/7/2019 with reports about a three-camera system.

The current iPhone XS has a rear dual-camera setup. Could the 2019 iPhone use three cameras? That’s what was rumored last April. though there wasn’t much detail as to how the three-camera system would work.

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