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Apple TV Channels FAQ: Services, pricing, availability, and everything else you need to know

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 12:47

When Apple released iOS 12.3, it refreshed the TV app and added a feature called Apple TV Channels. Channels lets you subscribe to third-party streaming services like CBS All Access or HBO, right from within the TV app. You can watch that content in the TV app, served directly from Apple, without the need to install other apps.

Here’s everything you need to know about which services are available as Apple TV Channels, what they cost, and how they work.

Updated 01/09/20: Updated the list of Apple TV Channels to include the latest offerings.

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‘Dark Souls’ on an iPhone? ‘Pascal’s Wager’ shows it’s not as crazy as it sounds

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 10:45

The “Crazy Ascetic” boss killed me during my first battle with him, and you know what? I was glad. It showed that Pascal’s Wager—coming January 16 to iOS—has some real cred as a viable Dark Souls stand-in on the iPhone. And here’s the kicker: I knew I died because I got cocky and not because of any failing on the game’s behalf. That’s proper Souls.

I’ve played virtually all of FromSoftware’s brutally difficult “Souls” games from 2009’s Demon’s Souls to last year’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and so I came prepared for the punishment TipsWorks’ upcoming game threw at me in a preview build for around two of its roughly 20 hours. I waited out the rhythm of the ascetic’s three heavy attacks, and then I rushed in and swiped him a few times with my sword before jumping away. I dodged his followup attacks with carefully timed taps of my PlayStation DualShock 4’s “X” button and guzzled health potions in the rare moments when I had a breather. And considering that Pascal’s Wager borrows liberally from a series that tells you to “Prepare to Die,” I wasn’t all that surprised to find myself crushed when he slammed back to earth after a leap to the skies. So far, so Dark Souls.

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iPhone and iPad rumors, Intel’s new CPUs and Thunderbolt 4, your hot takes, and more

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 08:30

Will the iPad Pro get a three-lens camera? We’ll talk about it, plus iPhone rumors, Apple TV+ and the Golden Globes, and your hot takes. All this and more on this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 681 with Jason Cross , Leif Johnson, and Roman Loyola.

Listen to episode 681

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Luminar 4 review: AI brings huge creative possibilities to affordable image editor

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 06:15

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have made a huge impact on software in recent years, but nowhere more prominently than digital photography. Any image editing app worth its salt has implemented at least a little of this technology to manipulate pixels in ways we could only have imagined a decade ago.

A cross between longtime favorite Adobe Lightroom and more powerful sibling Photoshop, Luminar 4 is a Mac image editor which relies heavily on AI technology to accomplish previously complicated tasks with ease. The result is an application designed for photographers who want to quickly enhance photos without a steep learning curve or the fiddling that typically comes with it.

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Cord-cutting in 2020: The race for a unified streaming guide is on

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 06:00
Helping users navigate a sea of streaming apps will be one of cord-cutting's big trends this year.

TiVo's unreleased Roku and Apple TV apps are "in limbo"

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 17:35
TiVo's Roku and Apple TV apps are on the backburner as TiVo's priorities shift.

How to buy a refurbished Mac, MacBook, iPhone, or iPad from Apple

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 17:25

Looking for a way to save some money on the latest Apple products? Consider a refurbished MacBook, refurbished iPhone, or refurbished iPad from the Apple Certified Refurbished store. A refurbished product is just like a new, but at a lower price.

Here’s a quick guide with links to the best deals you can find on the refurb store, along with a FAQ guide if you want to know more about the ins and outs of the Apple Certified Refurbished store and buying a refurbished MacBook, desktop Mac, iPhone, or iPad. We make a recommendation of what to buy, but feel free to check out the store inventory to find the right model for you.

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Apple TV app is coming to LG, Sony, and Vizio TVs

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 13:04

Updated 01/08/20: An Apple press release states that Sony and Vizio TVs will also get the TV app this year, though no specific dates or models are mentioned.

At the CES show last year, LG (along with other TV manufacturers) announced that many of its new TV models would support HomeKit and AirPlay 2. This year, the company is going much further. In a press release announcing its new 2020 TV models, LG announced that the Apple TV app is coming to the webOS smart TV platform.

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iTunes Match can be a problem for switching Apple ID countries

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 08:30

With the anniversary of iTunes Match about to hit a few weeks ago, I wrote a column explaining how to download your matched music and cancel the service before its renewal date if you no longer needed it. But I left out one detail.

You can cancel the renewal of iTunes Match, but the expiration will remain a year from the last renewal. If you recently renewed, that could mean you have 364 days to take advantage of the details in my column.

That’s great if you want the time, but it’s a problem if you’re trying to accomplish something quite different: changing the country associated with your Apple ID. Apple will let you change your country so you can make purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, and other digital stores associated with the country to which you’ve switched.

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How to set up Family Sharing on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 07:15

Apple introduced Family Sharing way back in iOS 8, but we wouldn’t be surprised if you ignored it so far. It allows you to share iCloud storage and purchases, but that comes with some caveats that have made it undesirable for many. The biggest problem is that, if you share iTunes and App Store purchases, then every purchase from every family member are always charged to the “organizer” account—family members literally have no way to make any purchases on their own.

While Apple should definitely address that shortcoming, there are now far more reasons to enable Family Sharing than even a year ago. Apple’s new subscription services—Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade—all support Family Sharing at no additional cost. Apple Music can be shared for an extra $5 per month, and new features like Screen Time and Apple TV Channels can be shared, too. 

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Why the iPad needs to embrace mice and trackpads

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 06:15

Last week, Brydge, the company that makes my favorite add-on keyboard for the iPad, announced a new iPad Pro accessory that includes both a keyboard and a trackpad. Adding external pointing devices to the iPad wasn’t possible until iOS 13 added support for Bluetooth mice as a part of the Assistive Touch suite of accessibility features.

While some will consider the mere possibility of adding a mouse or trackpad to an iPad to be sacrilege, I prefer to see it as an additional option that can improve the iPad’s flexibility in certain circumstances. However, Apple’s support for external pointing devices is very much a first draft. It needs to continue pushing this feature forward in iPadOS 14—and in doing so, the platform could reap some surprising rewards.

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Intel's new 'Thunderbolt 4' spec quickly turns into a confusing mess

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 13:16
Intel's upcoming Tiger Lake chip includes a new feature called Thunderbolt 4, which almost immediately has become bogged down by vague terminology.

Apple TV+ original shows, series, and movies: Patricia Arquette joins the cast of Severance

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 13:01

Apple is planting its own flag in the streaming wars with Apple TV+, its in-house streaming service that features only original programming—no reruns of hit TV shows or last year’s blockbuster movies.

The company is said to be spending several billion dollars a year on original programming. That’s a lot of TV! It’s nothing compared to the $12 billion Netflix spent on content in 2018, but it’s still a very big investment.

What can you get for all that money? Apple is attracting some of the best talent in TV and film production, including huge stars and directors, and locking down the television and movie rights to best-selling books.

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How to cope with a FileVault recovery key disappearing while you write it down

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 08:15

FileVault is an extraordinary bit of macOS technology. Introduced years ago, it encrypts the entire contents of your startup volume so that when the data is at rest—when your Mac is powered down—the drive is effectively full of garbage nonsense to anyone who doesn’t possess either the password to an account authorized to log in via FileVault or the special recovery key set when you turn FileVault on.

When you use the Security & Privacy preference pane’s FileVault tab to enable this encryption, macOS prompts you with two choices:

The TiVo Stream 4K is an unexpectedly exciting media streamer

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 08:00
The TiVo Stream 4K wants to make sense of all your streaming services.

Spark for iOS review: Free app delivers superior mobile email experience

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 07:15

Although Apple Mail has improved over the years, weak spots remain where the app could use further refinement. Notifications are one such inadequacy—iCloud and Outlook accounts notwithstanding, Mail won’t automatically push incoming messages to devices as they arrive, instead fetching them at infrequent, less convenient intervals.

Push notifications for every email account is just one of many reasons to install Spark 2.5 on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. This free email client app helps stay focused on what’s important with the Smart Inbox feature, which intelligently gathers incoming messages from multiple accounts into a single view, categorizing them as personal, newsletter, or notification so emails from real human beings are placed front and center.

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Pumping the brakes: Apple’s car ambitions

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 06:15

Welcome to 2020, the year Apple will fail to deliver the Apple Car.

Yes, just five years ago reports were saying Apple would start producing cars by 2020. And guess what year it is?

Okay, The Macalope just told you so of course you’d get it. But we all know what you’re still writing on your checks. If you’re Gary McGee of Fort Wayne, Ind., you’re writing obscenities in the memo field. Knock it off, Gary. Grow up. You’re 35. Just act like it for once. And, no, Ellen does not think it’s funny. That’s the tired laughter of someone who’s given up.

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Belkin teams with Devialet to build the SoundForm Elite smart speaker and wireless charger

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 22:00
It’s no surprise that Belkin would make a device charger, but a high-end speaker is something else entirely.

Next-generation Bluetooth LE Audio improves sound quality and battery life, and adds audio sharing

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 21:00
The Bluetooth SIG unveiled Bluetooth LE Audio, a new set of Bluetooth capabilities coming to devices and public venues within the next 12 to 18 months.

16-inch MacBook Pro upgrade on the way: Intel teases 5GHz, 8-core 16-thread Comet Lake mobile processors

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 14:30

Apple recently released the 16-inch MacBook Pro, complete with a handful of welcome design features like an improved Magic Keyboard and slimmer display bezels. With Intel’s 9th-generation “Coffee Lake” processors featuring up to 8 cores and 16 threads, it’s plenty fast.

But we can probably expect it to get a little faster this year. At CES, Intel teased its new ”Comet Lake H” series 10th-generation processors. These are higher-wattage (45W), higher-performance versions of the 10th-generation Comet Lake mobile processors announced last year. That 45-watt power envelope is perfectly suitable for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. It uses Intel’s current 9th-generation 45-watt mobile processors, after all.

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