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Disney+ sets a high bar for Apple TV+

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 16:36

Disney has finally taken the wraps off its streaming service, Disney+. The service will launch on November 12, 2019 in the U.S. and follow overseas at a later date. Priced at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year (a 20 percent discount), it appears to offer exceptional breath of content and value, which hast earned it high praise from both investors and cord-cutting fans online.

Everyone from exhausted parents to Star Wars fanatics is chomping at the bit to sign up, and Apple would do well to take notice as it fleshes out its own Apple TV+ service.

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How to buy a refurbished Mac, MacBook, iPhone, or iPad from Apple

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 14:28

Looking for a way to save some money on the latest Apple products? Consider a refurbished MacBook, refurbished iPhone, or refurbished iPad from the Apple Certified Refurbished store. A refurbished product is just like a new, but at a lower price.

Here’s a quick guide with links to the best deals you can find on the refurb store, along with a FAQ guide if you want to know more about the ins and outs of the Apple Certified Refurbished store and buying a refurbished MacBook, desktop Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

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Apple combats subscription scams with new ‘Confirm Subscription’ dialog

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 12:59

Apple has reportedly added a new feature to the App Store in an attempt to stem the tide of scam subscription purchases.

First publicized by developer David Barnard on Twitter, any In-App purchase that is a subscription will have an additional confirmation box after the purchase is approved. The box reads:

Confirm Subscription

The subscription will continue unless cancelled in Settings at least one day before a subscription period ends.

Apple has suffered a bad rash of subscription scams lately, with apps that contain seemingly reasonable in-app purchases that look like you’re buying a one-time thing, when in fact you’re buying a recurring monthly (or weekly) subscription. It’s easy to accidentally approve the purchase without looking closely enough to see what you’re agreeing to.

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How to use iCloud to help manage Photos libraries too large for an internal Mac drive

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 08:00

In a recent column, “How to cope with a Photos library too big to fit on an internal Mac drive,” I explained that there aren’t any methods supported by Apple that let you have a Photos library at full resolution on a Mac if the library can’t fit on your internal drive with the spare room you need—or exceeds the drive entirely.

Macworld reader Matt wrote in with a terrific workaround that offers an approach much closer to what other readers were looking for: one copy of a Photos library set up with iCloud Photos that’s only thumbnails and stored on your internal drive, and a second iCloud Photos-linked copy that’s linked to an external drive.

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When 2FA isn’t 2FA: How Apple’s iCloud authentication system fails to protect your account

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 07:00

With an iCloud account and an Apple device, two-factor authentication is quite different than it is on any other device or account. As is the Apple way, 2FA on your iPhone or Mac is baked into the device you own, setting up a system that is theoretically as secure as a security key. Except when it’s not.

Here’s how it works. When you’re trying to log into your iCloud or Apple Music account account on your iPhone, you’ll first be prompted to enter your password. Once that is recognized, you will then be asked to input a code that has been sent to one of your trusted devices, say an iPad. You’ll get a message on your iPad informing you that someone is trying to log into your account and asking whether you want to allow it. Then you’ll receive a six-digit code that you’ll enter into the boxes on your iPhone.

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Now on Blu-ray: The latest movie releases on disc

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 06:00
For movie lovers, a Blu-ray disc offers image quality, special features, and collectability that you can't get from streaming. Here are 10 new contenders for your BD / DVD collection.

The iTunes break up: What will happen to our favorite features?

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 06:00

For a company that maintains multiple major operating systems, has its own productivity suite, and even developed one of the most popular web browsers in use, there was a time that the piece of software most identified with Apple was also perhaps the one most viewed as a necessary evil.

I speak, of course, of iTunes.

Yes, the music-playing/device syncing/media-buying/podcast-listening (and so much more) app was at one time not only a brand unto itself, but also an almost universal experience, as one of the few pieces of Apple software that was ported to Windows computers.

But iTunes may not have much time left on its clock. In recent days, speculation has hinted that the upcoming version of macOS will instead feature separate apps for music, podcasts, TV, and so on, likely based on their iOS counterparts. But those apps lack a lot of iTunes's more powerful features.

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How to watch the NBA Playoffs without cable

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 19:00
How to watch all the hardwood heroics without paying for a cable subscription.

The 5 iPhone and iPad games you need to play from March 2019

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 12:00
March's best games

Image by Bethesda

Winter was a quiet season for iOS gaming, but the scene is flourishing once again with the arrival of spring. By far the biggest new title is The Elder Scrolls: Blades (although it actually dropped on April 1), which is Bethesda Softworks’ long-awaited iPhone game that’s set in the same universe as Oblivion and Skyrim. It’s cool, but some players are feeling more stabbed by the payment model than by the swords.

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The odd case of ‘I D.o.n.t.’ autocorrection in iOS

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 08:00

The phrase sui generis just means, roughly, “in a class by itself.” It’s often used in a positive way to describe a person. “Marie Curie was sui generis: a chemist of outstanding and unique ability.”

For technical issues, it’s rarely desirable to be one of a kind. Or even two.

One Macworld reader and another person who posted to a website’s forums appear to be alone in the world in at least asking for help with a problem: when they type “I don’t” in iOS, the autocorrect algorithm drops in “I D.o.n.t.”

Neither of them has ever typed that. Neither has a text substitution set for this in Settings > General > Keyboards > Text Replacements. Both have tried everything listed in a previous Mac 911 column, “How to fix autocorrect in iOS.”

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iPhone Other storage: What is it and how do you delete it?

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 07:00

You’re trying to download and install the latest iOS release, or take some photos, or download that cool app your friend told you about, and your iPhone says the storage is full.

You’ve already deleted every app you don’t think you need, and there’s still not enough space. So you look at your iPhone storage in Settings page and, sure enough, your iPhone’s storage is full. Worst of all, a huge chunk of it is just categorized as Other. What’s that supposed to mean? How do you get rid of it?

The Other storage is mysterious and confusing, and there’s no one answer that works for everyone, but hopefully this guide will help you deal with this problem.

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6 steps to solving your streaming video problems

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 06:00
Got buffering or other streaming video issues? Here's a step-by-step troubleshooting guide.

Arlo Ultra review: This very expensive security camera delivers super-sharp 4k video

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 06:00
It stumbled out of the gate, but Arlo's high-end, high-res indoor/outdoor security camera is another winner.

The best tips and tricks for getting the most out of your HomePod

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 06:00

The HomePod is enjoying a bit of a resurgence now that Apple has slashed the price by $50, and I suspect a lot of you are wondering what you can do with Apple’s essentially buttonless smart speaker.

Let’s get this out of the way: No, it still doesn’t do as many things as your average Alexa-powered speaker. It can, however, do a heck of a lot more than it could do at launch thanks to a couple of big patches Apple rolled out last year—though many features aren’t obvious. Follow the tips below, and you’ll find that HomePod can feel like a member of the family, after all.

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Two-factor authentication explained: How to choose the right level of security for every account

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 02:51
Everything you need to know about two-factor authentication so you choose the right method for every account you own.

Best smart plugs: These gadgets will turn any electrical outlet into a smart socket

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 13:59
With models from Lutron, Wemo, Leviton, iDevices, and others, it can be difficult to know which easy and inexpensive device is best for controlling the lamps and small appliances in your smart home. We’ll help you find the right one.

How to get all of the Apple Watch Activity badges

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 12:36

Achievement badges are a funny thing. You know they’re just a simple little bit of visual flair, they don’t even do anything, and yet for some reason you just have to collect them. Achievements are great motivators, and the achievement badges for the activity tracking on the Apple Watch have inspired many users to get more exercise.

If you want to maximize your badge count, you’re going to watch to chase down as many activity achievements as you can. Most are available year-round, but there are also some time-limited special events to grab, too. Here’s a list of all the activity achievements for the Apple Watch and how to unlock them.

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AirPower aborted, Netflix, iPad reviews, and your comments and questions

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 08:00

In the latest episode of the Macworld Podcast, we’ll talk about some of the major recent Apple headlines, including the end of AirPower. We reviewed the new iPad Air and iPad mini, which we'll talk about in our feature discussion. Plus, Leif has a two-minute tip, and we’ll wrap up the show with your hot takes from the Macworld Twitter and Facebook feeds.

This is episode 646 of the Macworld Podcast with Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, and Roman Loyola.

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Spotlight: Don’t take your Mac’s powerful search engine for granted

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 07:00

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 15 years since Apple first announced Spotlight as a banner feature of Mac OS X Tiger. In fact, Spotlight has been around so long that I suspect that most Mac users take it for granted, not entirely understanding just how broad its purview is and how powerful it can be at finding the stuff that’s on your Mac. Whole books could be (and have been) written about Spotlight, but let me take you through a few details that you may have never learned.

More to the search bar

Spotlight is a search engine that runs on your Mac. In the background, the Spotlight metadata engine is scanning new and changed files on your computer—and it’s not just looking for the names of your files, but is cataloging information about their contents. Spotlight indexes the text of every document it can find, and knows details about the compression formats of video files, the focal length of a digital photo, and much more.

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Q Acoustics Concept 300 loudspeaker review: Grand sound in a compellingly intriguing package

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 06:00
The company’s engineers and designers tweaked every imaginable aspect—including the stands—to enhance the performance of these high-end speakers.