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Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

Roku TVs from TCL to get hands-free voice control in 2019

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 15:00
TCL is making Roku TVs with hands-free voice control and 8K resolution.

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

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 13:29

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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Apple's iPhone privacy billboard is a clever CES troll, but it's also inaccurate

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 10:41

Even without a booth, Apple is looming large over CES. Literally. In a giant billboard that went up on the side of the Springhill Suites Marriott hotel near the Vegas strip late last week, Apple is touting the privacy features baked into the iPhone, telling people, “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

It’s a clever and effective ad that plays off the classic Vegas slogan. And it’s timely. In an age of regular data breaches and scary hacks, privacy and security have become a really big deal. Apple has made privacy a major component of its iPhone sales pitch for years, so while the ad might not mention Google, Samsung, or Amazon, it’s clearly aimed at trolling Apple’s biggest rivals and their somewhat laissez-faire approach to privacy.

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If macOS's Migration Assistant fails, here are other ways to move accounts

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 07:00

This past Christmas, my kids received new Mac laptops. We managed to keep their previous computers working for seven years, but these new Macs will see my kids through to college and maybe beyond. New Macs meant that we had to move all their files from the older computers to the new ones.

The old machines both had macOS High Sierra installed, and the new ones have the current macOS, Mojave. Following Apple’s instructions, I started migration on both older systems to both newer ones. (It made for a lot of smiles and laughs as family members passed through the room with four Macs all chugging away at once.)

Both computers gave errors at the end of multi-hour migrations, though one pair of computers appeared to have fully transferred data. The other pair did not; it seemed to have transferred apps and system preferences, but left out the main user. This may have been due to that user having parental controls set, though Migration Assistant doesn’t warn of that being a problem, nor is there a mention in any support notes from Apple.

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New Year’s resolutions for iPhone users

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 06:00

The turn of the year is when we take stock of our habits and strive to do better. Many people pledge to improve their health with diet and exercise. Others make a commitment to the environment, like composting. For some, this is the year they’ll finally quit smoking.

But kicking bad old habits and starting good new habits should extend to your digital life, too. Our iPhones are ever-present tools that we spend so much of our waking hours with, so it’s important to cast our self-improvement gaze on how we use them, too. Here are five New Year’s resolutions for iPhone users that will help you form lasting good technology habits.

Curb excessive use with Screen Time

Apple gave us quite a gift in iOS 12 with Screen Time. It’s more than parental controls: It’s a tool anyone can use for insight into how much they’re using—or over-using—their iPhone or its apps. If you didn’t turn on Screen Time when you first installed iOS 12, you should do so now. It doesn’t really make a difference in battery life, and it doesn’t do anything by default other than give you interesting information about how you use your iPhone.

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Wemo debuts redesigned (and cheaper) in-wall smart switches at CES

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 06:00
Wemo unveils new single-pole and 3-way switches include native Apple HomeKit support at CES.

Apple will launch iTunes video app on Samsung Smart TVs this spring—and it’ll support Bixby

Sun, 01/06/2019 - 14:22

Apple and Samsung are friends again. In an announcement ahead of this week’s CES, the two former rivals have announced that an iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will launch on Samsung Smart TVs. Samsung says the app will launch on 2019 Smart TVs in the spring and it will also be available via a firmware update to 2018 sets.

This is a hell-freezes-over level of news. Apple has been notoriously guarded with access to iTunes movies and TV shows, even limiting authorizations to five computers and 10 total devices. It’s never allowed third-party home entertainment devices to stream movies or shows directly through iTunes before. With this partnership, however, Apple is allowing iTunes purchases and rentals to be made and viewed on a Samsung product with virtually no restrictions.

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PDFelement Pro 6 review: A professional PDF editor at an affordable price

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 07:00
Business-ready features and an uncluttered interface make the PDFelement Pro 6 PDF editor a joy to use.

5 ways to fix slumping iPhone sales

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 07:00

After years and years of prognosticating doom and gloom for Apple, the analysts finally got it right: iPhone sales are slumping. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and there was enough smoke to suggest that Apple’s quarter would be a dumpster fire for iPhone sales. Tim Cook placed much of the blame on China in a letter to investors, and while there may be some truth to that, plenty of other factors contributed to the declining sales. Here are five reasons why the iPhone hit a sales snag and how Apple can fix them all.

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Apple’s revenue drop is about China and more

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 06:00

All anybody is likely to be talking about for the next week or so is Apple’s admission that it’s going to miss its guidance for the first quarter of 2019. We won’t get any more information until the company’s next quarterly financial results, due out on January 29, and the winter is genuinely a dreary time for any other significant Apple news.

So, yeah, let’s jump right in. The water’s fine.

The China Syndrome

Apple’s been betting big on China for the last several years, a fact borne out both by Tim Cook’s repeated visits to the region and his fairly consistent declarations of the fact on those quarterly conference calls. The reason for that is pretty simple: the biggest opportunity for Apple’s growth is in the world’s second-largest economy, where there’s a rapidly increasing middle class that is looking to spend money on consumer goods.

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Philo review: A valuable alternative to the average TV bundle

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 02:05
By cutting out broadcast and sports networks, the Philo streaming TV service provides cord-cutters lots of channels for not a lot of money.

LG to ship 8K UHD OLED and LCD smart TVs this year, many powered by a new Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 15:13
LG will ship its first 8K UHD OLED and LCD TVs in 2019, and nearly all will get a boost in processing power. Two-fold in some instances.

Best headphones: Our top picks for personal listening

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 12:45
Whether you're looking for an over-the-ear, on-ear, or in-ear model, we'll help you find the perfect pair.

5 ways Apple's awful quarter could impact the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in 2019 and beyond

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 12:00

Apple’s new year isn’t off to a great start. Instead of celebrating another stellar quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote a lengthy letter to investors warning about subpar iPhone sales and an overall dip in revenue to the tune of about $6 billion. That mean Apple is only going to make around $84 billion in revenue over the 3-month holiday quarter, an impressive number for sure, but one that represents a five percent dip from the same quarter last year and confirmation that all is not right in Cupertino.

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How iOS’s Wi-Fi Assist works and how it can affect your cellular bill

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 08:00

Added in iOS 9, Wi-Fi Assist recognizes when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, but have a poor or erratic signal. When this happens, Wi-Fi Assist kicks over automatically to cellular for foreground apps to keep data flowing. This feature is enabled by default.

Wi-Fi Assist automatically excludes third-party audio and video streaming, and doesn’t relay data from apps working in the background. Nonetheless, some users wound up with surprising cellular bills when they thought they were on Wi-Fi networks—it turned out Wi-Fi Assist used cellular data because the Wi-Fi connections were marginal. (U.S. carriers have largely switched to a fixed or flexible monthly maximum after which your cellular data rate is throttled to a very slow speed, so surprise bills are less likely.)

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Dullsville: Nobody likes iPhones

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 07:00

Yesterday Apple revised down its guidance for the fourth calendar quarter, admitting that—due to a variety of factors—the company had “fewer iPhone upgrades than we had anticipated.” Apple now expects its revenue to be down about 5 percent from the same quarter the previous year.

Congratulations, nay-sayers! You stuck with it for… [checks calendar]… ten years of iPhone shipments and you’re finally a little bit right. This quarter will not be a record. It’ll “only” be Apple’s second-best in history.

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Cord-cutting in 2019: What to expect in a pivotal year

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 06:00
Big changes for cord-cutting lay ahead in 2019.

2019 iOS wishlist: Better iPhone prices, smaller phones, and iPad software updates

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 06:00

I’m on the record with my hopes and dreams for the Mac in 2019; for my money, it’s going to be a huge year of change on the Mac side. But what about on iOS, home of Apple’s two best-selling products, the iPhone and iPad?

Not to worry. I’ve got hopes and dreams there too. There’s much to do, so let’s dive in.

An iPhone reckoning?

As I write this, Apple has just announced that it’s missing its initial forecast for the holiday quarter 2018 based in large part on lower than expected iPhone sales.

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Apple cuts Q1 2019 earnings estimates, blames everyone but itself

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 17:33

Trading for Apple stock halted briefly on Wednesday afternoon as Tim Cook issued a letter providing revised guidance for the company’s first-quarter 2019 earnings estimates. The new estimates are as follows:

  • Revenue of approximately $84 billion
  • Gross margin of approximately 38 percent
  • Operating expenses of approximately $8.7 billion
  • Other income/(expense) of approximately $550 million
  • Tax rate of approximately 16.5 percent before discrete items

Most of the numbers are not very different from the guidance the company issued back in November, but there is one big change—revenue is projected to be down about $5-9B from the company’s previous $89-93B estimate.

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Can’t figure out how to type a character on a Mac? It’s time for the virtual keyboard

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 07:00

As a long-time Mac user, I once had to rely on Key Caps, an early Mac helper that would show you where special characters hid on a keyboard. Holding down Option and Shift-Option would reveal the secrets of π and ‰ and accent marks.

That feature never disappeared, though it did recede from view, and was renamed Keyboard Viewer. You may rarely need it—except when you’re trying to type a key that your keyboard doesn’t allow or you can’t find.

IDG

Keyboard Viewer shows you “key caps.” You can click to “type.”

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