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Sony reveals new noise-cancelling headphones and an outdoor smart speaker at IFA

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 07:15
Sony has made its WH-1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones more comfortable, and it's showing one of the first outdoor speakers to feature Google Assistant integration.

How Apple’s push to subscriptions could save the App Store and cost you money

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 07:00

You may think you own that application you just downloaded, but chances are good you merely license it. If Apple has anything to say about it, that fact may soon have a much bigger impact on your wallet.

Recently, Business Insider reported on a “secret” meeting last year between Apple and some iOS app developers. Apple apparently encouraged the developers to switch from one-time, standalone purchases to a subscription-based model.

The move is reportedly intended to give developers a more stable source of recurring revenue. It would also, of course, provide that recurring revenue to Apple as well, which takes a 30 percent cut on the first year of subscriptions, and 15 percent thereafter.

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HDHomeRun Premium TV could be the holy grail for antenna users

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 06:00
HDHomeRun's live TV streaming service has antenna integration and an uncompromising DVR, but also some weirdness.

The 10 Mac games you need to play from August 2018

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 06:00
August's Mac games

Image by Warner Bros. Interactive

Some months can be pretty slow for new Mac games, but thankfully, August 2018 wasn’t one of them. Our starter list for this month’s roundup was more than double this size, and by the time it was all said and done, we had a strong list of critically acclaimed indie gems, bigger-budget crowd-pleasers, and other offbeat curios in the mix.

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Samsung and LG are bringing 8K smart TVs to market

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 22:00
Samsung and LG both announced 8K TVs at IFA; Samsung the 85-inch Q900 with picture tweaks and a database of upscaling templates, and LG an 88-inch OLED

Macworld's September Digital Magazine: The best apps for the Apple Watch

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 19:27

Every day, Macworld brings you the essential daily news and other info about all things Apple. But staying on top of that torrent of information can be a constant challenge. One solution: the Macworld digital magazine. 

In the September issue

This month you will find our picks for the 20 best free and paid Apple Watch apps. We take a first look at the new Coffee Lake-based MacBook Pro laptops; see how much faster they really are. See how Apple is starting to throw out its rulebook as it charts a path for the future. Do you like taking selfies? We pick 9 apps to make them better-looking.

Also in this month’s issue:

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Sonos Amp is the most important new product the company has launched in years

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 12:01
It's not a powered speaker, and it's aimed primarily at customer installers. But audio enthusiasts should still be excited about Sonos’ first new product since going public.

These discounted Beats urBeats3 wired earbuds don't need a dongle to work with your iPhone

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 10:57

The Beats brand might be best known for its Bluetooth headphones, but it also makes some great wired buds too. And since they're own by Apple, they even have a Lightning option, so iPhone users don't need to remember your dongle. Today Amazon is selling the urBeats3 wired earphones for up to 40 percent off its $100 MSRP, with a variety of colors on sale in either Lightning or 3.5mm plugs, all of which are all-time lows:

Lightning 3.5mm

No matter which pair you choose, the urBeats3 earbuds promise great sound in the stylish package we've come to expect from Beats. A durable metal exterior is designed to withstand your busy life, while the cable is meant to be tangle-free, so you can avoid annoying detangling after throwing them in your bag. You can also switch between songs and take calls using the remote on the cable, so you can leave your phone in your pocket.

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Saddleback Boot Leather iPhone Case review: These boots were made for talkin’

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 08:00

I initially scoffed at the name of Saddleback Leather’s “Boot Leather” case for the iPhone X. The phrasing sounded a little too precious, especially when so many other leather Mac and iPhone accessories get long fine with no such flashy descriptors, but I see what the deal is now that I have it in my hands.

Put simply, it’s a toughie. It’s probably best displayed to the accompaniment of an Ennio Morricone soundtrack. The thick, full-grain leather (which sometimes intentionally still shows the scars and nicks of the beast it came from) looks far better suited to deflecting scorpion stings in West Texas deserts than hugging the briefcases of hedge fund managers on Wall Street. If Billy the Kid had owned an iPhone, this is probably the case he would have used.

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What does the future hold for Apple’s MacBook Air?

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 07:00

Back in March I wrote a column for Macworld called “MacBook Air: Why won’t it die?” I got a lot of angry feedback from people who apparently read the headline and not the article and evisioned me as the executioner of their beloved laptop.

I’m about as far away from that as I could possibly be. I have loved and used the MacBook Air from the time the first one shipped ten years ago. My point back in March was actually that Apple has been trying to kill the MacBook Air for a few years now—ever since the 12-inch MacBook was first released—but has never managed to finish it off.

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Gate Smart Lock review: When smart lock meets camera, homeowners win

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 06:00
While the design feels like a beta, this ingenious product raises the bar of what smart locks can do.

Eufy RoboVac 30 review: A robot vacuum for beginner budgets

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 06:00
It's an excellent cleaner, but Eufy's latest robot vac doesn't distinguish itself enough from the 11s to justify its higher price tag.

Imagining an Apple All Access plan

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 06:00

Microsoft just launched Xbox All Access, a novel way to buy an Xbox console together with its related services without putting down any up-front money. For a single monthly fee you get an Xbox console, two years of Xbox Game Pass (more than 100 games, including Microsoft Studios’ big hits), and two years of Xbox Live Gold (the multiplayer gameplay service and a couple of free older games each month).

The costs are reasonable: you pay $22 a month for an Xbox One S, or $35 a month for an Xbox One X. The One S bundle saves you a decent chunk of change, the One X saves you only a little. But the big advantage is that it gets people into the Xbox ecosystem, hardware and services, with no upfront cost.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 10 a.m. Pacific

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 16:30

What should we expect from Apple’s upcoming A12 processor? We also respond to your hot takes and feature your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 619.

Give us a hot take

For the show on Wednesday, we want to hear your hot takes on anything Apple related. Post your hot take on Twitter and we may respond to it on the show.

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Another High Sierra update is now available for the 2018 MacBook Pro

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 14:18

Apple on Tuesday released a supplemental update for users of the 2018 MacBook Pro. This is the second macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra supplemental update for this particular laptop. The first supplemental update was released in July to address throttling issues that affected performance.

Apple’s release notes only state that the update “improves the stability and reliability of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.”

Before installing the update, users should perform a back of the laptop. Once that is complete, you can get the update through the App Store. You can also download the update by visiting Apple’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update 2 support page and then click on the Download button.

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Get an external monitor for your MacBook Pro for just $100 today

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 13:10

As much as I love working with Apple's gorgeous all-in-one displays, I'd be lying if I said I didn't find that working with multiple monitors boosts my productivity significantly. Fortunately, there's no need to drop several hundred (or thousand) dollars on another Apple display if you want to go that route. Today, in fact, you get pick up Acer's G247HYL display as one of Amazon's Deals of the Day for just $100 (down from $149.99).

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Smarten up your home lighting for cheap with deals on Wemo dimmer switches and Philips Hue bulbs

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 10:48

Add some smarts to your home lighting system today with Amazon deals on a few essential lighting items. First is a two-pack of Wemo dimmer switches; usually $80 apiece, you can get the pair for $100. Also on sale: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 bulbs for $40 each, down from $50.

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Samsung Portable SSD X5 review: Wickedly fast, portable Thunderbolt 3 storage

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 10:00

Once Apple finally introduced support for third-party NVMe drives in macOS 10.12 Sierra, NVMe over Thunderbolt storage became only a matter of time. And for a while, the path to external storage nirvana was a bit of a rocky road—but the bumpy ride is over now thanks to Samsung’s Portable SSD X5, a ready-made NVMe over Thunderbolt 3 storage solution that delivers blazingly fast 2GBps-plus read and write speeds

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How old can your version of iOS be before upgrading?

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 08:00

Macworld reader Dave writes in on behalf of his wife, who is apparently happy with the iOS that shipped on her iPhone 6s. But she now has an iPhone 8 Plus, and wants to move the background from old version of iOS to the latest, running on her new device. He wonders if there are any pitfalls.

It’s an interesting question, and one I wasn’t able to find a definitive answer to.

The iTunes and iCloud backups typically contains a relatively small amount of specific data, like encrypted passwords or file settings, and largely comprise either media files or instructions on what to sync or download from where, including apps.

First, it’s obvious that you can update in place from iOS whatever to the latest version. That’s the basis of upgrading, of course. And because you’re advised to make a backup before upgrading, Apple has ensured that a previous iOS backup can be applied to a later iOS release. (You can also take a backup from a later version of iOS and install it on a device that hasn’t been updated to that release, but it can be a little more involved.)

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Alternate reality: Where Apple is behind on AR

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 07:00

Well, here we are in 2018 and everyone is using virtual reality and augmented reality and we are all certainly enjoying our VR and AR lifestyles that come from the few vendors that have locked up the market, are we not? Sad that Apple got left out on this revolu-

Oh, sorry, The Macalope was looking at the wrong universe. He really has to stop gazing into the Flame of All-Seeing before starting to write these pieces. That was what happened in universe 3629/A, the VR/AR universe. Right next to the universe of cats in hats. In our universe, companies are still waiting for the technology to be better.

Writing for CNet, Ian Sherr says “Here's what happened to Microsoft's Xbox VR gaming headset.”

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