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Here comes the next wave of cord-cutting

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 06:00
Cord-cutting has dramatically transformed TV, but the biggest changes are coming up next.

How 'free' Wi-Fi hotspots can track your location even when you aren't connected

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 06:00
Some free Wi-Fi hotspots are tracking the locations of users who've signed on even if they're no longer connected. PCWorld investigates how this happens.

Apple’s charging at least 20% more for every product this year and we’re all going to pay it

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 06:00

After Tuesday’s “More in the Making” event, Apple has officially rolled out its full suite of products for 2018 and beyond. It’s an impressive slate of Macs, iPhones, and iPads, and they will no doubt top many a wish list during the holiday season.

Now that we know exactly what Apple will be selling for the next 12 months, a disturbing trend has emerged, one that gives new meaning to the word “more.”

First, let’s take a look at last year’s entry-level pricing for new products:

  • iPhone 8: $699
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch: $649
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch: $799
  • Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS: $329
  • Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS + Cellular: $399
  • Mac mini: $499
  • MacBook Air: $999

Those are all expensive for sure, but not necessarily luxury. And now take a look at this year’s prices:

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Apple pulls watchOS 5.1 update

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 15:03

Apple released watchOS 5.1 on October 30, in conjunction with iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, and macOS Mojave 10.14.1. The update added the same 70 new emoji found in iOS 12.1, audio Group FaceTime, and a new “color” watchface.

Today, Apple has pulled the 5.1 update after reports from some users that it is “bricking” their Apple Watches. A small percentage of users are getting stuck in an endless boot loop when applying the update.

Apple has acknowledged the problem and issued the following statement:

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Best media streaming devices

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 13:49
Roku Streaming Stick vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV, and more. Which streaming device is best for cord cutters? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.

B&H drops prices for 2018 MacBook Pros

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 12:15

While everyone’s attention is focused on the MacBook Air, B&H is quietly shaving hundreds of dollars offRemove non-product link the 2018 models of the 15-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pros.

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The spacious 1TB SanDisk Ultra SSD is one of the best drives you can buy, and it's cheaper than ever

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 11:11

We all know the pain of having a sluggish computer or—worse—running out of drive space, but today, you can boost your storage and performance with a sweet SanDisk deal on Amazon. The spacious SanDisk 1TB Ultra SSD is $144, the lowest price it’s ever hit.

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Apple adds iPhone 8 and iPhone X to the list of phones it might throttle one day

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 10:30

Just when you thought battery gate was safely in the past, Apple has reminded us that it’s never really going to go away. As first reported by The Verge, Tuesday’s release of iOS 12.1 brought an under-the-radar “feature” that may raise the eyebrows of iPhone 8 and iPhone X users.

According to the iOS 12.1 release notes, Apple has brought its “performance management feature” to iPhone 8 and iPhone X. You’ll find the same language on Apple’s iPhone Battery and Performance support page. What it means is that now all iPhones up to the latest XS and XR models have a built-in setting that “dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and can choose to turn it off.” You won’t be able to see the feature and it won’t actually do anything yet, but one day it might.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: This is the media streamer to beat

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 09:00
Amazon's new Fire TV Stick sheds past mistakes and streams 4K HDR video at an unbeatable price.

5 things we wish we could change with the new MacBook Air

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 07:00

At long last, there’s a new MacBook Air! The most beloved of Apple’s laptops, after being largely neglected for several years, has gotta a total makeover. Apple says, “every part of the product has been redesigned and re-engineered.”

That’s good, right? It’s the MacBook Air we love, without the low-res display and huge silver bezels? With a processor that isn’t three years old? With more than eight gigs of RAM?

Yes, it’s all those things and more, but with all the new positive changes come a handful of real disappointments. Here are the five things bugging us most about the new MacBook Air.

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Fluance Ai40 Bluetooth speakers review: DSP power delivers sonic goodness

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 06:00
Fluance's Ai40's are affordable Bluetooth bookshelf speakers that sound great thanks to subtle psychoacoustic tricks applied by a DSP.

8 ways the Apple Pencil 2 is better than the original

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 06:00

Provided you ignored the awful charging process, the Apple Pencil was a marvel of design—a stylus that looked, felt, and wrote much like an actual pen or pencil. That’s not to say it didn’t need some improvements (as we outlined in a wishlist earlier this month), but adding them seem to run the risk of overcomplicating the simple elegance that made the Pencil such a joy to draw and write with.

But with the Apple Pencil 2, Apple shows that it can significantly improve one of its trademark minimalist products without sacrificing much of its design’s power. Almost every new feature counts as an improvement over the previous model (although with some caveats). The only real drawbacks are the $30 price boost and the inability to use the Apple Pencil 2 with any device save the two new iPad Pros.

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macOS Mojave: Apple releases 10.14.1 update with support for Group FaceTime

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 17:30

Apple next major revision to its Macintosh operating system is called macOS Mojave. The company revealed the update at its 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and it features several user interface improvements to make the experience on the Mac better.

In this FAQ, we’ll give you the general details on macOS Mojave: When it will be release, what Macs are compatible, etc. We’ll add more details to this article as they become available.

Editor’s note: Updated 10/30/18 with the release information for macOS Mojave 10.141.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 10 a.m. Pacific

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 16:00

The Macworld staff talks about the announcements Apple made at its Tuesday event: the new iPad Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Air. We also respond to your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, Dan Masaoka, and Michael Simon in the Macworld Podcast, episode 628.

Watch us live

The Macworld Podcast broadcasts live on the internet on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on Twitter via Periscope or on the Macworld YouTube channel.

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MacBook Air Hands-on: All-new but still very familiar

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 15:30

Apple didn’t waste any time introducing the new MacBook Air at its Brooklyn event Tuesday, and as such, it was the first thing that greeted me when I walked into the hands-on area.

But for a brand new product that’s been rumored and hyped for years, the MacBook Air is very familiar. It still has the classic wedge design and a dearth of ports. It’s still bigger and heavier than the non-Air MacBook. And it still has something of an identity crisis.

Michael Simon/IDG

When closed, the new MacBook Air is still shaped like a wedge.

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Apple releases Shortcuts 2.1 app with new weather, alarm, timer, and photos functions

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 14:48

As if Apple weren't busy enough releasing iOS 12.1 and announcing new MacBook Airs, iPad Pros, Apple Pencils, and Mac minis today, it also released version 2.1 of the Shortcuts app.

This isn't just another bug-fix release. Shortcuts 2.1 adds a host of new features that will allow you to create even more powerful and useful automations (and if you don't know how, you can always just grab one from our list of useful Shortcuts).

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iPad Pro Hands-on: The first Apple tablet that actually feels new

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 14:00

Apple on Tuesday revealed the new iPad Pro, and after the presentation, I got to see the new device up close. Without the Apple logo on the back, the new iPad Pro might be mistaken for a really good iPad competitor. Maybe a Chrome tablet or a Galaxy Tab S. But definitely not an iPad and possibly not even an Apple product.

Even when I picked it up, it still didn’t seem quite as familiar as the iPad. Yes, it’s built well and is as startlingly light and comfortable to hold as the iPad has always been, but there’s a whole new design language here that has more in line with the first iPad than the most recent models. That’s not a criticism. It’s just... different. Based on the Apple logo, however, it’s still a portrait-first device.

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The new MacBook Air: Everything you need to know

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 13:10

After years of borderline neglect, the MacBook Air finally received the long-overdue update it deserved at Apple’s Brooklyn event on October 30, dragging the ultra-thin laptop into the modern era with a design overhaul and a Retina display.

The previous MacBook Air felt out-of-place in Apple’s current lineup. It was the only Mac without a Retina display. It still used the old keyboard instead of the new low-profile “butterfly” keyboard. It still had a MagSafe connector for charging and USB-A ports. It still used an ancient fifth-generation Intel Core processor. All of these things have since disappeared from Apple’s laptops, but the MacBook Air held on, waiting for a big redesign.

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6 ways the iPad Pro refresh makes Apple’s tablet exciting again

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 13:00

The iPad Pro has long been an impressive device (even if you weren’t so hot on that whole “what’s a computer” bit), but if we’re being frank, it had gotten kind of boring. The past few years brought new features and new peripherals like the Apple Pencil, but on the whole it felt little different from the device Steve Jobs showed us in 2010.

That changes today. Apple’s latest iPad Pro retains the feel of the world’s most popular tablet while refocusing it to cater to modern needs and introducing its most significant design change to date. Regardless of whether we’re talking about its ports, its display, or even its means of input, it’s better situated to be a desktop replacement than ever before.

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MacBook Pro: Apple to offer Radeon Pro Vega graphics option in November

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 12:30

The MacBook Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop. It offers top-notch performance for demanding users who need processing power and are willing to spend top dollar for it.

The current version of the MacBook Pro was released in July 2018. The new laptops have the same design as the previous version, but the laptops feature new processors that provide a speed boost. Learn more about the MacBook Pro by reading about its main features below.

The latest news about the MacBook Pro: New graphics coming in November

Apple didn’t formally make this announcement during its October 30 event, but it was revealed in the press release for the new MacBook Air. The company says that in November, the MacBook Pro will have the Radeon Pro Vega available as a graphics option. Apple says that the new options are “up to 60 percent faster” for demanding video and graphics work.

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