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Updated: 18 hours 4 min ago

Best mesh Wi-Fi routers: Reviews and buying advice

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 12:47
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.

That’s right: You can’t turn off Personal Hotspot in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 08:00

If you’re a regular user of the Personal Hotspot feature for iPhones and cellular-equipped iPads, you might wondered where the off setting went in iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1. It’s gone, but it’s not an error and you’re not just missing it.

Apple in that release—not in iOS 13.0, but the 13.1 release for both platforms—rethought how it expresses Personal Hotspot’s use philosophically. In previous releases, you had the on-demand Personal Hotspot that could be turned on, put on standby, or turned off. There was also an Instant Hotspot feature, which allowed any of your iCloud-connected devices to select the Personal Hotspot even if it were set to Off or Off, But Discoverable.

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With Catalina, the Mac leans on Apple’s other devices

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 07:00

Ever since the introduction of the iPod in 2001, Apple has had to navigate the intricacies of a multi-device ecosystem. In the earliest of days, that meant dealing with the iPod as an ancillary media device, reliant upon a Mac (or later a PC) for everything from activation to syncing media.

Over the last twelve years, the Apple ecosystem has gotten only more complex, with the addition of iPhones and iPads, the Apple TV, the Apple Watch, AirPods, the HomePod, and more. And while the Mac may be the elder statesperson of this assemblage, it’s found its responsibilities decentralized. No longer does the iPhone or iPad require a Mac just to function; newer devices like the Apple Watch and HomePod never have.

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Roku Ultra (2019) review: It's all about the buttons

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 06:00
The Roku Ultra is the best high-end Roku streamer yet, but there's a lot more room for improvement.

The 10 best Apple Arcade games (so far)

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 06:00
The best Apple Arcade games

Image by Leif Johnson/IDG

You’ll find dozens and dozens of games in Apple Arcade, and—wonder of wonders—almost none are bad. Some games are better than others, though, so here’s a list of the 10 games you should start with. These games weren’t necessarily made with the biggest budgets or by the biggest studios, but they’re games that are endlessly replayable and stick in your head.

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Apple product rumors for 2020, macOS Catalina is here, your hot takes, and more

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 08:00

2020 could be a very interesting year for Apple and its users. The next major update to the Mac operating system is finally here. Plus, your hot takes! That and more are all in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 671 with Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, and Roman Loyola.

Giveaway: Win a brand-new iPhone 11 Pro Max and a copy of AnyTrans

Macworld has teamed up with AnyTrans—the iPhone manager that helps users transfer, manage, and back up their iPhone content from one place—to give away a free 64GB space gray iPhone 11 Pro Max to one lucky Macworld reader, along with a lifetime license of AnyTrans.

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How to take advantage of the photo-editing tools in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 07:00

The Photos app for macOS has improved substantially since its introduction, especially in the variety and sophistication of its image editing tools. On the iPhone and iPad, Photos lagged considerably. But with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple offers a distinct catch up with its image editing tools, even exceeding the Mac version in a couple regards.

Let’s look at what’s new and how to best use these new tools to crop, revise, and enhance images after capturing pictures.

What’s new in Photos editing

Apple changed and expanded the controls available while editing, while also improve the way in which each control is accessed and modified.

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Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 06:00
Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.

Where's the "Low Data Mode" for streaming TV devices?

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 06:00
Features like Apple's Low Data Mode and Google's Data Saver should also apply to streaming TV devices, where data caps are an unfortunate reality.

iPhone touch gestures and commands—no Home button, no problem!

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 06:00

During the first decade of the iPhone’s existence, the Home button was a reliable constant. Then, with the iPhone X, it suddenly disappeared, and since then, all the new iPhones (the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone 11, and iPhone 11 Pro) have featured edge-to-edge displays with no Home button. 

What’s more, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro don’t have 3D Touch. So Apple has adapted iOS to make it easier to use without a Home button or pressure-sensitive touches. Here’s a quick guide to all the new gestures and button combinations you’ll need to use a modern iPhone with iOS 13.

Return Home: Let’s start with the most basic of Home button features: returning to the home screen. Just swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Easy!

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Apple’s best analyst just predicted the 2020 product pipeline of our dreams

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 11:06

Hot on the heels of his iPhone 12 report, dead-on Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) is back with a new prediction for Apple’s 2020 plans, and they’re very intriguing. Among the new products on the docket are a new iPhone SE, a redesigned MacBook Pro keyboard, an iPad Pro with a rear time-of-flight camera, and a pair of Apple AR glasses.

That’s a lot to absorb, so let’s break it down. First Kuo reiterates that his sources say a new iPhone SE is coming. That’s not a surprise, since he provided details about that very phone a couple weeks ago, but after years of rumors, it’s starting to look like it might actually happen.

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Ausounds AU Stream ANC review: Impressive sound and active noise cancellation

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 08:00

Active noise cancellation is still a rarity when it comes to true wireless earbuds, and it’s generally an expensive feature, to boot. Enter the Ausounds AU Stream ANC earphones, a pair of relatively compact and comfortable Bluetooth earbuds that pack in impressive sound, a water-resistant design, and solid noise-cancellation abilities for a reasonable $150 price tag. We do have a few quibbles, however, including a so-so charging case, the lack of aptX support, and the fact that the microphones occasionally pick up wind noise.


Measuring about 1.7 inches long and weighing about 0.4 ounces (for the pair), the black AU Stream ANC earbuds are slightly longer and about twice the weight of a pair of Apple AirPods, although that’s not to say that the earbuds (which are each equipped with 13mm titanium gold drivers) are anywhere near heavy.

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8 hidden features of macOS Catalina

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 07:00

MacOS Catalina is here, and with it, a bunch of top-line features: Mac Catalyst, new apps, Sidecar, Screen Time, and Voice Control. But as you might expect, Catalina also includes dozens of small feature changes that are worth investigating. Here are a few of the most interesting hidden features in macOS Catalina.

Home theater at last

For the first time, the Mac will have access to the 4K HDR versions of popular movies and TV shows. This comes courtesy of the new TV app—but it has limits. All Macs introduced in 2018 or later are capable of playing videos in HDR and Dolby Vision formats for high dynamic range, and can play audio encoded with the high-quality Dolby Atmos format.

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Xfinity Flex review: Comcast’s “free” streaming hardware/service combo is a work in progress

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 06:00
It’s a clever customer-retention gambit, but neither the hardware nor the service is best in class.

Vizio SB36514-G6 Home Theater Sound System review: Impressive sound, but we had Chromecast issues

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 06:00
We loved its true surround sound and immersive Dolby Atmos effects, but the Vizio SB36514-G6 gave us trouble when it came to iOS 13 and Chromecast.

How to use the over-capture feature in the new iPhone camera to crop and adjust images later

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 06:00

The new iPhone 11 series of phones brings a new way to frame and shoot photos that gives you flexibility after you’ve snapped that shot. The iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max all bring in detail outside your framed preview from the next widest lens as you point at a scene in both portrait and landscape.


In the Camera settings in iOS 13, you need to switch on Photos Capture Outside the Frame to use the over-capture feature.

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Best smart lock for a keyless home

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 22:02
Keys are yesterday’s tech, your smart home needs a smart door lock.

Owlcam review: The easiest, classiest, most phone-centric dash cam on the market

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 19:42

When it first shipped, the Owlcam broke new ground by cherry-picking the best ideas from the competition and adding an excellent trick of its own: uploading incident video in real time to the cloud. It’s also easily the slickest consumer experience in the market, with some real top-notch design flourishes. 

But at $349 on Amazon plus a yearly subscription (the first year is included), it’s pricey over the long haul. It’s also highly co-dependent with your phone. If neither of those factors bothers you, it’s the real deal.

Note that this is actually our second look at the Owlcam. We tested what was basically a shipping beta, then known as the Owl Car Cam, just over a year ago. It lacked key features such as Android support, some of which were added after that review. Reviewed here is the mature product.

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

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 19:06

Your Apple gear wasn’t cheap. And if you drop your iPhone, your iPad stops turning on one day, or you smack your Apple Watch into something and shatter it, 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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How to buy a refurbished Mac, MacBook, iPhone, or iPad from Apple

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 17:42

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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