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Updated: 3 hours 39 min ago

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro: What’s the big deal?

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 07:00

We have the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, so we’ll talk about our impressions of the new laptop. Plus, we’ll respond to your hot takes and a lot more on this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 676 with Jason Cross , Leif Johnson, and Roman Loyola.

Listen to episode 676

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Nest Wifi review: A mesh Wi-Fi system and smart speaker mashup for Google Assistant fans

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 06:25
Google's idea to blend a smart speaker with a Wi-Fi access point isn’t new, but the only other one you can buy is powered by Alexa.

Best mesh Wi-Fi routers: Reviews and buying advice

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 06:25
Few elements of your home’s infrastructure have a bigger impact on your tech life. We recommend mesh Wi-Fi routers for most people, and we’ll help you find just the right one for your needs.

This free tool helps cord cutters escape from bloated TV bundles

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 06:00
MyBundle.TV is a new tool for cord-cutters to compare streaming services.

What to do when your external Mac display isn’t showing up or displaying color casts

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 06:00

My external monitor was having a moment. It powered up when I woke my iMac from its standby mode with pink-hued tone over everything. While this was vaguely aesthetically pleasing, it wasn’t particularly beneficial and I thought it would wear on me.

My first thought was that some internal circuitry had cracked and pink was its overlaid color from now on. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Sometimes, external monitors don’t sync up perfectly with a Mac when they are turned on or woken from a standby state. In other cases, the display isn’t recognized by your Mac at all, which thinks it has one (or more) fewer monitors connected to it and relocates windows and icons. These situations seem to happen more frequently with older monitors, but readers regularly report all sorts of oddnesses.

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Roboform Everywhere review: Solid password security

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 14:35
This password manager offers a simple interface and straightforward features.

Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight review: $100 is cheap if it saves your house from burning down

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 11:19
It plugs into an AC outlet, alerts you to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and contacts you via an app with a recording of the sound. A few false alarms aside, this security device is a smart buy for any home.

Those awful retail playlists might soon be powered by Apple Music

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 11:15

The next time you walk into your favorite store and hear a faint pop song just loud enough to stick in your head all day, it might be Apple Music to blame. A new program called Apple Music for Business aims to deliver “exciting new playlists in every genre, and for any mood or moment” to retail stores all over the world. Or to put it another way, all the Panic! At the Disco and the Jonas Brothers your ears can handle.

Apple is partnering with the PlayNetwork for its new venture to build playlists of current, non-offensive tracks “to help you develop a solid music strategy and build a custom sound for your brand.” Apple promises the service will “freshen up your sound and keep your brand current in the minds of customers with frequently updated playlists.”

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Apple is finally building a TV app for Windows because it still doesn't care about PCs

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 09:54

To paraphrase Steve Jobs, Apple fans stuck in Windows hell might soon be getting another glass of ice water. A new job listing spotted by neowin suggests that Apple is looking to build versions of Apple TV and Apple Music for Windows 10 and possibly even Xbox One. But don’t be fooled: If Apple really cared about Windows, we would’ve been hearing about this in 2017, not late 2019.

The LinkedIn post for a “creative” Senior Software Engineer calls for a candidate with “strong skills in the areas of application design, solid API design principles and a strong understanding of customer and workflow issues” who has “a history of shipping large volume consumer product successfully.” That and the fact that you’d be working for the Apple Media Apps team makes it pretty clear that Apple is working on versions of its Apple TV and Apple Music apps for Windows 10. The listing also says knowledge of UWP is a plus, so that could mean Xbox is in line for Apple apps, too.

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AirPods Pro is just the start of Apple’s audio-processing revolution

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 07:00

I’ve been loving my AirPods Pro since I got them a few weeks ago. I was originally an AirPods skeptic—I never liked the way EarPods fit or sounded—but their wire-free convenience made me a believer. The AirPods Pro took it further with the introduction of noise-cancelling technology that allows me to use them when I’m vacuuming, mowing the lawn, or flying, and their clever Transparency mode lets me stay in tune with my surroundings when I need to.

But this is just the beginning. I agree with my colleague Dan Moren that the features of AirPods Pro hint at Apple’s future in augmented reality tech. As Apple increases the amount of processing power that it can fit into AirPods, Transparency mode is a huge hint of the audio-processing possibilities to come.

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Braven BRV-XL Bluetooth speaker review: Meaty, beaty, big and bouncy—and with a built-in bottle opener, too!

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 06:00
Zagg says this large weatherproof Bluetooth speaker is "Rocky Mountain Tested."

Cancelling iTunes Match? Here’s how to download your iCloud Music Library before you do so

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 06:00

If you’re like me, you signed up for iTunes Match almost as soon as it was announced exactly eight years ago. The service cost $25 per year then and now, and it solved two separate problems for iTunes Store music buyers.

First, iTunes Match provided high-quality versions from the iTunes Store of any songs that iTunes could match against your collection of ripped music or music acquired from other sources. Second, it synced all your music, matched or not, across all your iCloud-linked devices. Now, this caused oceans of problems for mismatches, but that’s a separate topic.

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Macworld's December Digital Magazine: Apple Watch Series 5 reviewed

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 17:45

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 December issue

The December issue of Macworld features our review of the Apple Watch Series 5. We also review the new 10.2-inch iPad, Apple’s premier entry-level device. We’ve got all the new (and hidden!) features in macOS Catalina.

Also in this month’s issue:

• MacUser: How to create a bootable macOS Catalina installer drive

• MacUser Reviews: Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac, Soulver 3

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The new Apple Maps expands to the West and parts of the Midwest

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 12:57

In the summer of 2018, Apple announced a dramatic overhaul of its mapping data. Not necessarily the Maps app (though that got a lot of new features in iOS 13), but the underlying data detailing the geography and locations of the world.

The new maps are comprised of brand new data obtained by Apple itself, rather than a mashup of different third-party data sources. It’s not only much more detailed and accurate, it’s far faster and easier for Apple to update, providing a much better foundation for the future. The new maps rolled out first in northern California, with promises to add more area, region by region, until the entire U.S. was covered by the end of 2019 (after which Apple would start rolling out updated maps through the rest of the world).

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 review: AI-powered image editor does wonders

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 07:00

Over three decades, the revolutionary Adobe Photoshop has become an industry standard synonymous with image editing and manipulation. Even if you’ve never used it, you know what it is.

But the full potential of the Photoshop app isn’t for everyone. Despite being more affordable in a monthly Creative Cloud subscription, the feature-packed user interface and advanced tools can overwhelm novice users. That’s why Adobe offers a pared-down version earmarked for regular folks, which steps out of big brother’s shadow this year with several impressive new tricks.

Image sensei

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 marks the sixteenth Mac release (technically 18.0, versions five and seven were Windows-only) of the annual consumer-focused edition, stripping away most of the complexity in favor of a hand-holding approach to image manipulation. If you’ve been vexed trying to perform relatively simple tasks in Photoshop, then Elements is for you.

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Best TVs: Our top picks, plus plain-language explanations of the most important specs and features

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 06:00
There are plenty of great smart TVs. Our guide cuts through the alphabet soup to tell everything you need to know to buy the one that's right for you.

Philips Hue Smart Button review: Drop a switch for your Hue lights just about anywhere

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 06:00
This toggle button is surprisingly capable, but it can’t control other smart lighting systems.

Samsung Q60R 4K UHD smart TV review: The QLED color experience for less

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 06:00
The Q60R delivers Samsung's full quantum dot color experience and lux QLED features at an affordable price point. But there are trade-offs

Upgrading to a 5G phone: When's the right time?

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 06:00
With 5G expanding to more cities and more phones, we'll help you decide when to upgrade your 4G handset.