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Updated: 1 hour 8 min ago

When the Mac mini goes pro, will the pros get Mac minis?

Fri, 08/24/2018 - 06:00

The Apple rumor mill never sleeps. This week, it was Mark Gurman and Debby Wu at Bloomberg who spurred discussion with their somewhat vague report about a new MacBook and a “professional” update to the Mac mini.

Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber has already spent a lot of time ruminating on what said MacBook update might look like and where exactly it fits into Apple’s laptop lineup, but I find myself focusing more on the Mac mini news.

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Best true wireless earbuds: Free yourself from the tyranny of cords

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 13:59

Earbud makers have been busy doing away with wires—a good thing whether or not your phone still has a headset jack. You no longer have to deal with cords if you don't want to. True wireless earbuds connect to one another and your audio source via Bluetooth.

No wires mean no inline microphones or controls, but truly wireless earbuds sound just as good as traditional Bluetooth counterparts (for better or worse). They also boast all of the features we've come to expect from earbuds designed to work with your smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Since Apple’s AirPods became a runaway hit, an endless stream of companies have rolled out their own true wireless earbuds and earphones. As you might expect, not all of them are worth your time or money—so we've got your back with buying suggestions to meet a wide variety of needs.

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This Macintosh-inspired Apple Watch charging stand is on sale for just $9

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 13:31

I mean, c’mon. Just look at this thing. Stop reading this and buy it already.

Oh, all right. If you insist. This is the Elago W3 Apple Watch Stand in its Classic White configuration, and it’s now listed on Amazon for just $9, down from the $10 it’s been selling for over the last few months. (Before that, it sold for up to $16.)

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Reigns: Game of Thrones preview: Who knew the best Game of Thrones game would be so simple?

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 12:16

I swiped right for Daenerys Targaryen. This isn’t Tinder (although I would have swiped right for her in that case, too); it’s the upcoming iOS and Mac game Reigns: Game of Thrones, set for release sometime in October. In this case I’m swiping right to send her off to help Jon Snow slay the undead horde with her Texas-sized dragon, and I see no reason to worry. At last, after so long, she’s on the Iron Throne. She has what she wants in her grasp, and I figure it’s safe to ignore the whimpering cautions of Tyrion Lannister. But her long saga comes to an end barely moments after, her newborn reign cut short by a gruesome mishap on my part.

But it’s not the end of the tale. My failure leads less likely folks to sit upon the throne, whether it’s Tyrion himself or even the humble blacksmith Gendry. With them in the hottest seat of all, I find that some things turn out differently.

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Bring Alexa to college with these awesome back-to-school deals on Echo devices

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 11:52

Now that a new school year is upon us, it's the perfect time to get your dorm room set up with some sweet home tech. To make the decision easier, Amazon has discounted three of its best-selling Echo devices: the Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD is $40 (43 percent off), the 2nd-gen Echo is $85 (15 percent off), and the Fire TV Cube is $90 (25 percent off). You don't need to be a math major to see that those are fantastic prices.

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Community service: Apple isn’t here to solve Tesla’s problems

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 10:00

The Macalope used to find suggestions of Apple buying Tesla utterly ridiculous. But thanks to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s meltdown of late—from declaring one of the rescuers of the trapped Thai soccer team a pedophile to inviting SEC scrutiny after suggesting on Twitter he was taking the company private—he now finds them merely ridiculous.

It is unlikely that Musk wants to step down as CEO of Tesla, so what is the most ridiculous take possible?

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Crazybaby Air Nano review: Tiny wireless earbuds with big problems

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 09:00

Crazybaby’s Air Nano wireless earphones remind us that it’s pretty difficult to make a pair of true wireless headphones that can beat the pricing of Apple's AirPods. 

We're not all that surprised: The associated technology is still pretty fresh and it doesn’t come cheap. Companies who want to take Apple’s wireless darlings head-on thus often end up cutting corners in everything from build quality to audio fidelity if they want to claim similar features to what AirPods offer while still matching Apple’s pricing.

In the case of the Air Nano, the $99 price tag for ostensibly smaller, similarly equipped truly wireless buds looks attractive, but the final product comes comes with too many annoying issues for me to recommend them.

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How to secure dispose of old storage media, like hard drives and SSDs

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 08:00

Macworld reader Phil wisely asks how to erase securely the data on old Macs and external drives before sending them off to electronics recycling centers. He asks about hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), and RAM.

We sometimes feel our digital memories are highly transient, given how readily a disk drive crash or broken device makes them irretrievable. But it’s not so: data lingers! Reports regularly emerge of TV news stations or security researchers buying everything from surplus laptops to old photocopiers that used hard drives for storing documents and finding secrets and personal information in huge quantities.

Any qualified electronics recycling center should make some representation about what happens to your data. Some will disclaim all responsibility. Others have specific polices. In the latter case, you might also wonder if they follow those policies or not, so there’s an element of trust (though some have certifications).

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Como Audio Musica review: This lovingly crafted speaker is all kinds of music to our ears

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 06:00
It’s the Swiss Army Knife of micro stereo systems.

A dockable iPhone? Don’t count on it

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 16:00

This is a weird time in the technology world. The traditional PC, strong for four decades, is on the wane. The smartphone is dominant, devices so powerful that they can rival the power found in those traditional PCs. We’re rapidly exiting the era where devices were differentiated based on raw computing power, and entering one where ergonomics becomes a defining factor.

(No, I’m not saying that there aren’t cases where PCs still have more power than phones. I’m saying that away from high-performance edge cases, the differences are increasingly small.)

If we accept that an iPhone can do most of the work that most people need a computing device to do, where does that leave the iPad and the Mac? It means that they’re defined by their shapes, by how we control them and hold them and look at them. A MacBook is a good choice because it’s got a big screen attached to a hardware keyboard and a trackpad. An iPad is a good choice because it’s got a much larger screen.

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How to get all of the Apple Watch Activity achievements

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 15:16

Updated 08/22/18:  The next limitd Achievement will come on September 1 in celebration of the Redwood National Park's 50th anniversary. 

Achievement badges are a funny thing. You know they’re just a simple little bit of visual flair, they don’t even do anything, and yet for some reason you just have to collect them. Achievements are great motivators, and the achievement badges for the activity tracking on the Apple Watch have inspired many users to get more exercise.

If you want to maximize your badge count, you’re going to watch to chase down as many activity achievements as you can. Most are available year-round, but there are also some time-limited special events to grab, too. Here’s a list of all the activity achievements for the Apple Watch and how to unlock them.

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Mac rumors, iPhone rumors, Apple Watch rumors, and more rumors

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 14:22

Bloomberg says a new Mac mini and MacBook are on its way. The iPhone rumor mill is picking up speed as September approaches. New Apple Watches could be on the way, too. We also feature your comments and questions for Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, Adam Patrick Murray, and Michael Simon in the Macworld Podcast, episode 618.

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This is Nexus, a workout wearable for CrossFit diehards

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 12:16

Fitness tracking doesn’t begin and end with step counts, calorie burn estimates, and annoying nudges to keep moving (Sorry, Fitbit). Some people don’t need any coercion to hit the gym, but they’re still looking for data to quantify their workouts, and push themselves harder. That’s the mission behind Nexus, a CrossFit-tracking platform based on the existing PUSH wearable designed for pro athletes. 

Strap the PUSH band to your forearm, load up a workout program in your Nexus app, then hit the big, green Ready button in the app. Nexus will tap into the band’s three-axis accelerometer/gyroscope to automatically record every single rep across your workout, as well as report on a wealth of performance data directly relevant to CrossFit diehards. 

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Google Privacy Checkup FAQ: How to limit tracking and still use the apps you love

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 11:38

It's been a rough month for Google. A new report by Digital Content Next reveals some troubling news: Android phones, even when idle, send data to Google at an alarming pace. In fact the study found that an Android phone "communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period" with the Chrome browser merely active in the background. That's 10 times more data than iPhones give up.

If that's not enough to scare you, this report comes on the heels of a class-action lawsuit filed after Google was accused of being less than clear about how, when, and where it tracks your location. In response to an AP report that showed Android phones still tracked location even with Location History turned off, Google changed some of the verbiage on its privacy page to be clearer, but it doesn't look like it's going to change its tactics.

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The Arlo Q security camera is within dollars of its all-time low today

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 11:29

Indoor security cameras come in all shapes and sizes, and generally you get what you pay for. Unless you can get a killer deal like the one we found today. Amazon is selling the Arlo Q for $119, down from a list price of $220Remove non-product link, the best price we've seen this year and just a few dollars off its all-time low.

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Roxio Toast 17 Pro review: 64-bit ready, with new multicam editing skills

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 07:00

With the release of Toast 17 Pro (as well as DVD-only sibling Toast 17 Titanium), Roxio is sending a clear message that optical media is here to stay. Following last year’s purely cosmetic overhaul which added a dark UI, the latest version sports an under the hood tune-up. The application is finally 64-bit, in time for the release of macOS Mojave this fall, the last macOS to support 32-bit apps. That means Toast will continue working when macOS goes 64-bit only, but users won’t have to wait that long to reap the benefits.

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Edifier S2000 Pro review: Bluetooth speakers on a whole other level

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 06:00
The excellent-sounding S2000 Pro speakers have more in common with studio monitors than your average bookshelf or Bluetooth speaker. Top notch stuff at a very reasonable price.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro review: For some, its performance will justify its higher price tag

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 06:00
It's more expensive than its battery-powered stablemates, and it requires electrical wiring, but it produces fewer false alerts.

Yes, Pokémon Go works for weight loss, but don’t get too caught up in catching ‘em all

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 06:00

This is part of a series on losing 60 pounds with the help of the Apple’s products and associated apps and accessories. I’m currently 22.6 pounds down since July 25.

I like to feel like I’m doing something when I’m exercising. Oh, I know: The very fact that I’m out moving my legs technically means I’m working toward some far-flung a weight loss goal, but I never like to feel like I’m wasting a moment. I love to cultivate and learn; to gain something in the process of losing. When I’m feeling more responsible, I try to learn new languages or listen to lectures on audio books while filling in my 10,000 steps. Lately, though? I’ve been supplementing my walks with Pokémon Go. Countless friends have told me it makes weight loss fun, and I hungered to try that out for myself.

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