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iPhone XR FAQ: Everything you need to know about Apple’s new ‘budget’ iPhone

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 06:00

The iPhone XR represents what may be a change of heart for Apple. In the past, buying Apple’s “budget” alternative to its flagship phone releases usually involved living with some sort of sacrifice in features or build quality, saddling them all with a “last year’s news” stamp of inferiority. That reached an extreme in 2017, as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus looked wildly different than the iPhone X, with its fancy Face ID, notch, and tiny bezels.

With the iPhone XR, though, Apple is effectively letting users pick up the same phone as the flagship model with a savings of $250. It still supports wireless charging and Face ID. It’s got the same processor. It even looks much the same. The only real difference is the type of display that’s used and the absence of a rear telephoto lens. Are those deal-breakers? We’ve made this guide to help you decide.

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Neato Botvac D7 Connected review: Building a better (but more expensive) mousetrap

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 20:44
With its advanced mapping, deep cleaning, and intuitive app, the D7 is our favorite high-end robot vacuum.

I just bought another of these Belkin 10-outlet surge protectors for $20 and you should too

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 11:11

Update X3: And it's gone again.

Update X2: You can buy this surge protector but it's backordered. Just click the Amazon link under "Other sellers on Amazon."

Update 2:10 p.m.: This surge protector is sold out at Amazon. We'll update this post if it comes back in stock.

Surge protectors might not be as sexy as SSD and graphics cards deals, but they’re a necessary part of any PC setup. And we couldn’t let this one pass you by: Amazon is selling the Belkin 10-outlet surge protector for just $20 todayRemove non-product link, the lowest price we’ve seen for this strip in years.

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Problem inflation: Apple's mole hills made into mountains

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 08:00

There are problems and then there are Apple problems. Apple problems, of course, are always the worst.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and school of interpretive Dance Dance Revolution, Gordon Kelly says “Apple 'Confirms' iPhones Have A Serious Problem.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

Oh, are they bursting into flames in such high numbers that they’re going to have to be recalled? No! It’s worse.

The camera smoothing is set too high.

There’s a lot to like about the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max while, in my opinion, the budget-friendly iPhone XR is the best of the bunch.

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Scoring our iOS 12 wishlist

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 07:00

Back in March, long before Apple introduced iOS 12 at WWDC, we compiled a wishlist of features we hoped the new OS would provide. That sometimes feels like a lifetime ago for us thanks to the long beta period, but we have to remember that for most users iOS 12 is brand new.

With iOS 12.1 set to release very soon, Apple will have delivered on nearly every feature it promised at WWDC and at its September event. Only the Apple Watch’s ECG function remains on the table.

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Best Halloween cult classic movies for streaming

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 06:00
20 cult movie favorites from Halloweens past will give you thrills and chills from the safety of your living room.

The live TV streaming issue no one's talking about

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 06:00
How some live TV streaming services make a chore out of ad skipping.

iPhone XR: Hands-on and first impressions

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 06:00

The iPhone XR is available for pre-orders now and it officially arrives in stores on Friday. I got my hands on one Wednesday and after using it for a few hours, my initial impression is that it’s going to be a mainstream hit that pleases buyers while also improving Apple’s bottom line. Let’s dive in.

It’s got the looks

This is a gorgeous phone. It’s available in six colors, and while the black and white models look very much like the phones Apple has been releasing for the last few years, the blue, coral, Product(RED), and yellow models absolutely do not. When laying screen up on a table, you can still see the colored aluminum frame around the edges. But flip it over—or hold it in your hand—and the shiny glass colored back pops out with enormous personality. I took possession of the coral model, which lies somewhere between pink and orange on the spectrum, and it’s spectacular.

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Elder Scrolls Online: Murkmire review: At last, love for the lizards

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 13:44
Elder Scrolls Online’s latest DLC, Murkmire, delivers the best look we’ve had at Argonian culture to date.

Best home weather station: Which one should be your personal meteorologist?

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 12:45
Home weather stations are getting more accurate and sophisticated all the time. Follow our buyer's guide to ensure you're not left in the cold or soaking wet.

Mac mini: Does a recent report mean we’ll see new models next week?

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 12:38

The Mac mini is Apple’s entry-level desktop Mac. It’s slower than Apple’s other desktop computers—the iMac and the Mac Pro—but it remains fast enough for general-purpose use. Apple targets first-time Mac users with the Mac mini, but longtime Mac users like the price and use the Mac mini as a server or an entertainment Mac connected to a TV.

Editor’s note: Updated 10/24/18 with a EEC report showing that Apple may release new Macs next week.

Mac mini: Rumors of an upgrade

Apple is holding an event on October 30, so the speculation has picked up on what may be announced. Consomac and MySmartPrice noted that recent Eurasian Economic Commission regulatory filing by Apple state that the company lists 8 new desktop computers, 3 of which as new. The listing shows models A1993, A2115, and A2116, unfamiliar models that could indicate that Apple is going to release new Macs, though it's unclear if they are iMacs, Mac minis, Mac Pros, or iMac Pros.

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iMac: Update could be in the works for Apple’s Oct. 30 event

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 12:30

The iMac is a direct descendant of the very first Mac, and it’s often the computer that longtime users think about when they think about the Macintosh. The iMac’s all-in-one design is popular and iconic.

The iMac is great for both novices and demanding users. It can handle general-purpose and heavy-duty tasks equally well. It’s ideal for someone who needs to buy a complete computer setup (keyboard, mouse or trackpad, and display) and wants to maximize workspace efficiency.

The current iMac lineup was released in June 2017 during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, and the iMac Pro was released in December 2017. If you’re in the market for an iMac, this guide will help you make the right choice. Apple has two versions of the iMac: the standard iMac and the iMac with Retina display.

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How to quickly manage and delete your Google search history

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 11:04
Google is rolling out new settings in Chrome and other browsers that make it easier to manage and delete your search history. Here's how to find them.

Amazon's huge one-day sale slashes prices on external storage, flash drives, and SD cards

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 09:34

Amazon’s dropping the prices on all kinds of portable storage todayRemove non-product link as one of its daily deals. The sale covers mostly WD and SanDisk products (WD owns SanDisk) with a smattering of G-Technology options (also owned by WD). We’ve sifted through it all to highlight our top picks from the sale, which ends just before midnight Pacific time on Wednesday.

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How to use multiple drives with Time Machine for redundant backups

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 08:00

When you create a backup system for your data, duplication is the best course of action. I don’t mean duplicating the files—that’s a requirement—but duplicating the destinations to which files are bound.

Every form of backup media is destined to fail, and despite high reliability from cloud-backup services, you can’t put all your faith that any of them will always be perfect. Even a system with “five nines” of reliability (99.999 percent) may suffer a loss, and the universe might pick you to experience that loss.

The rule of thumb is summarized as 3-2-1: three copies of your data, two of them local, and one offsite. One copy is your live version on your active drives; one can be a Time Machine backup; and the offsite one can be either a cloud backup, or your files stored somewhere securely and regularly rotate with the local backup.

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 2019 review: New automated features rely on AI

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 07:00

If you are the designated family memoirist, you can count on Adobe Photoshop Elements 2019 to give your run-of-the-mill photos a bit of a kick. The latest version of 2019 vintage does a good job of augmenting automated aspects of the program while giving the opening sequence a fresh coat of paint.

Increasingly, Adobe’s creative apps rely on Adobe Sensei, the company’s artificial intelligence engine and the first thing you’ll notice when launching Photoshop Elements 2019 is the brand-new Home Screen. This light, airy window into the Elements world presents you with the new Auto Creations feature, a series of photo and video collages and slideshows generated from the content you added to the Elements Organizer.

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AcuRite Atlas weather station review: It comes to market almost two years late, but it was worth waiting for

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 06:00
This is one of the best home weather stations you can buy, but the one area it's lacking is in smart home integrations.

Fitbit Charge 3 review: Smarter than the average fitness tracker

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 06:00

In an age of smartwatches with cellular chips and near edge-to-edge screens, the Fitbit Charge 3 is something of a throwback. It doesn’t have a color screen. You can’t install third-party apps. It doesn’t even store music.

But even without many of the things that make a smartwatch, well, smart, the Charge 3 may as well be Fitbit’s flagship device. The Ionic and Versa have higher price tags and more features, but the Charge 3 is the perfect balance of smartwatch and fitness tracker. Rather than trying to chase Apple or Samsung with large-screened devices that can answer calls, turn off the lights, and play games, the Charge 3 is just smart enough to be relevant in a crowded wearable field.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m. Pacific

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 16:45

The iPhone XR is available for pre-orders and the first reviews have hit the web. Apple says a fix is coming for portrait photos. What do we think will happen at the Apple event on October 30? We also respond to your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 627.

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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Apple’s original TV shows and series: Steve Carell joins Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon morning show drama

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 15:22

Apple is said to be spending as much as $1 billion over the course of 2018 on original TV programming. That’s a lot of TV! It’s not the $8 billion Netflix is going to spend, but it’s still a huge commitment.

What can you get for a billion dollars? Well, some simple math gives us 200 episodes at $5 million a piece (a reasonable per-episode price for high-end TV). But we’re not likely to actually see 10-20 shows with 10-20 episodes each, all costing around that much. For starters, that billion dollars has to cover a lot more than per-episode production costs.

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