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Updated: 17 hours 2 min ago

Apple describes 'beautygate' iPhone XS bug, says it will be fixed in iOS 12.1

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 13:42

Shortly after the release of the iPhone XS, users began to notice that photos taken with the front-facing camera have a somewhat softer appearance than those taken with previous iPhones. It’s almost as if Apple is intentionally applying a “beauty filter,” a popular optional feature in a lot of camera apps. 

And because we all apparently can’t think of anything more clever than to put -gate after every screwup, bug, mistake, malfeasance, or conspiracy, it became known in the community as “beautygate.”

Jason Cross/IDG

The iPhone XS does indeed smooth out selfies a bit.

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iPhone XR review roundup: Worth the wait

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 11:32

Apple’s iPhone XR ($749+ preorder at Apple.com) officially releases on Friday, but the first wave of reviews landed today. Those lucky enough to get an early look at the new handset all agree on one thing: It was worth the wait. While plenty of people have spent a thousand dollars and up on the iPhone XS and XS Max, those who held out might very well end up with an extra $250 in their pocket.

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No Huawei: Apple’s non-competition

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 07:00

Things are happening in the smartphone market! Time to try to make it somehow about Apple.

Writing for the very nice people over at Business Insider, Shona Ghosh tells us of the great disappointment.

“The Android phone maker that is more popular than Apple isn't selling its new iPhone rival in the US.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Mickey.)

You might be wondering why Apple is in the headline of this story that has to do with another phone vendor. Well, see, this other smartphone vendor sells more phones than Apple. So, while this story really has nothing to do with Apple, Apple’s in the headline so Business Insider can get in a kick at it. That’s why.

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Best subscription-free smart home devices

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 06:00
Subscription fees can double the cost of a smart-home gadget after a few years. Shop smart and consider one that won't be a monthly drain on your finances.

Ecovacs Deebot N79S robot vacuum review: Some advanced features at an affordable price

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 06:00
This budget-priced robot vacuum includes some advanced features, including voice control via Amazon Alexa and a robust smartphone app.

New MacBooks: What we want vs. what we'll (probably) get

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 06:00

Apple’s holding an event on October 30, and we assume that new iPad Pros—with a new iPhone X-style design and Face ID—will be the star of the show. We’ve also heard rumors of a new MacBook, and this would certainly be the right time to announce it.

Real leaks of new MacBook design and features have been hard to come by. There was a Bloomberg report this summer outlining a few broad strokes, and not a whole lot else.

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Best smart speakers: Which deliver the best combination of digital assistant and audio performance?

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 13:50
With models based on Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and others to come, we’ll help you find just the right model for you.

AppleCare+: Everything you need to know about Apple’s extended warranty program

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 12:30

Your Apple gear wasn’t cheap. And if you drop your iPhone, your iPad stops turning on one day, or your Mac’s hard drive just ups and dies on you, getting it repaired probably won’t be cheap either.

Apple includes a one-year limited warranty with all hardware so if there’s a manufacturing defect, you’ll be covered. To also protect against accidental damage, plus extend the original warranty for longer and enjoy free tech support, you can opt to purchase AppleCare+. Here’s what it is, what it covers, and what you can expect to pay. Is AppleCare+ worth it? Only you can decide for your own situation, but this should be everything you need to know to make a smart choice.

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Google Home Hub review: The least-expensive smart display is one of the best

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 07:00
Google definitely got the price right, even if the Google Home Hub can't make video calls.

What to do when FileVault won't turn on

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 07:00

After a recent inexplicable problem on my MacBook, in which macOS would complete loading but never get past the blank screen before the Desktop appeared, I had to revert to a clone. (Even reinstalling macOS didn’t work.) I then upgraded to Mojave. Somewhere in there, an important piece of macOS “fell out,” metaphorically.

Apple added the concept in 10.13 High Sierra of a “secure token” to the first account created in macOS on installation or after upgrade as part of the process that allows you to use FileVault. There’s almost no information about this feature, and there’s no way to determine from macOS’s graphical features whether an account has it set.

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Best universal remote control

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 06:00
Which remote control is the best companion for your smart TV and the rest of your entertainment system.

Logitech Harmony Hub review: The essential kit for turning your phone into a TV remote

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 06:00
Logitech's Harmony Hub is like a command center for your various home entertainment gear and smart home appliances, which you can control using your phone or Alexa voice commands.

Logitech Harmony 665 review: The best standalone remote for most environments

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 06:00
Logitech's standalone Harmony 665 universal remote offers great value, with plenty of flexibility and power for entertainment buffs.

Logitech Harmony 350 review: Only the basics in a universal remote

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 06:00
Logitech's Harmony 350 universal remote is amazingly affordable at less than $40 retail, but a powerful upgrade isn’t much more costly.

Logitech Harmony Companion review: Enhancing the Logitech Hub with a simple, physical remote

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 06:00
Logitech's Harmony Companion extends the power of the standalone Harmony Hub, and is a good value for users with basic entertainment and smart-home needs.

Logitech Harmony Elite review: The top of the line in universal remotes

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 06:00
Logitech's Harmony Elite is the premier universal remote for smart home and entertainment enthusiasts.

Where to buy the iPhone XR

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 15:41

Gone are the days when the iPhone was only available directly from Apple or AT&T. Today, it’s carried by all major carriers and big retailers, and many of them want to entice you to buy with them by offering special deals. Of course, you can always buy from Apple directly, either in-store or online.

If you haven’t yet put in your order for an iPhone XR, here’s a summary of some of the deals and promotions offered by different retailers to help you make up your mind. For each, we’ll tell you about any current special deals, when you should consider buying there, and when you shouldn’t.

Note that, unlike the iPhone XS or XS Max, you can’t preorder an unlocked SIM-free iPhone XR from Apple (or anyone else) as of October 19. If this model follows the typical pattern, SIM-free unlocked phones will be available a month or two after the initial sale date.

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Apple is selling select 4K movies on iTunes for just $5

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 13:05

The weekend is finally here, and now that temperatures are dropping, it’s a good time to consider staying inside and watching good movies. And just in time, Apple is selling an assortment of Digital 4K UHD movies on iTunes for just $4.99.

It’s a small sale, though, and you won’t find any true blockbuster movies in the mix. Even so, the movies run the gamut from heavy action to heavy drama so you have a good chance of finding something you like. Here’s what’s on the table:

If you don’t mind doing without the glory of 4K, Apple is also including several regular digital HD in the same sale. These are:

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Nearly every iPhone XR is still in stock but don't be fooled: It'll still sell like crazy

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 11:21

If you're like me, you set your alarm for an ungodly hour this morning to make sure you got the iPhone XR model, capacity, and color you wanted. (In my case it was Verizon, 128GB, and blue.) Five hours later, nearly every possible combination is still in stock. While several colors are unavailable for store pickup, the only model I could find that wouldn't arrive on time are a couple T-Mobile models in yellow, coral, and red.

That might come as a surprise to iPhone watchers who expect every single model to sell out within minutes of its availability. After all, that's been the case with pretty much every iPhone that came before. By the morning of September 14, for instance, nearly every available iPhone XS Max had been claimed, with many iPhone XS models seeing waits of one to two weeks as well. The same was true with last year's iPhone X. Even some iPhone 8 models showed longer ship times within minutes of their online availability.

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Amazon is selling these tiny 32GB SanDisk flash drives for less than $11 each

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 11:03

It’s always a good idea to keep a spare flash drive on hand to help you move and store data in a pinch. Today, you can choose one of two 32GB SanDisk flash drives for less than $11, making that preparedness and convenience cheap.

The SanDisk Cruzer Fit is $7.48 todayRemove non-product link, down from a list price of $16 and its lowest price. This tiny USB 2.0 drive features a built-in LED light so you can tell when your drive is working. It also provides an extra layer of security through its compatibility with SanDisk’s Secure Access software. This drive is a hit on Amazon, with 4.5 stars out of 5 across more than 12,000 user reviews.

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