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Updated: 14 hours 59 min ago

The best Amazon Echo add-ons and accessories

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 19:46
A few are goofy, but many are great: These mostly inexpensive gadgets can make Amazon’s smart speakers even better.

Best phone mounts and holders for cars

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 17:24
Keep your phone (and your GPS directions) in sight with these mounts.

2020 iPhone rumors: Rear camera to get 3D sensing time-of-flight capabilities

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 13:50

The 2019 iPhone models haven't even been officially announced yet, and we're already starting to see reports about what will be in the 2020 iPhones. We've compiled the most notable ones here, but take these with a big grain of salt. Even if these reports are accurate representations of what suppliers are saying, or come from moles within Apple itself, the company's plans can and do change. There's still plenty of time before the design and features have to be totally set in stone.

Update 07/17/19: A new report from Digitimes claims that Apple has plans to use VCSEL time-of-flight (ToF) sensors on the rear camera of next year's iPhone. 

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Emoji are getting more inclusive on your iPhone and Android phone—even if you're a vampire

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 11:43
Google and Apple have unveiled a preview of the new emoji coming to phones this fall.

iOS 13: How to use Look Around in Apple Maps

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 08:00

It only took 12 years, but Apple Maps will finally get a feature that resembles Google’s Street View when iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 drop sometime later this year. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with macOS.) Look Around works a lot like Street View, but it comes with some attractions of its own, including smoother transition animations and photos that use parallax in order deliver a 3D-like depth you don’t find Google Maps.

It’s also really easy to use, as you can see below.

One catch: Look Around is currently a very limited feature, as you’ll only be able to use it in the United States, and even then you can only use it in places like the Hawaiian island of Oahu and California’s San Francisco Bay Area. Apple is steadily collecting imagery for other locations, though, and you can get an idea of its progress through this page.

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13-inch MacBook Pro review: Updates make the new entry-level models worthy of the Pro name

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 07:00

Apple’s recent revamp of its MacBook lineup makes it a lot easier to understand the target audiences for Apple’s laptops. And with the release of the new 13-inch 1.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro, Apple also made it easier to pick a 13-inch model.

It’s easier now because you don’t have to decide if you’re willing to sacrifice any features when picking an entry-level model over the higher-end ones. Before the newly-updated base model was released, there was a division within the four 13-inch models. Apple offered two entry-level models without the Touch Bar, and two high-end models with it. (The entry-level models were missing some other features, as well, but the main missing feature was the Touch Bar). So when it came down to picking a 13-inch MacBook Pro, you had to consider whether you were willing to give up some features for the lower price.

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V-Moda M-100 Crossfade Master headphone review: The best headphone V-Moda has ever made

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 06:00
The first real collaboration between V-Moda and majority stakeholder Roland delivers sonic refinements and performance improvements in just about every area.

Is it a good idea for Apple to buy exclusive rights to podcasts?

Wed, 07/17/2019 - 06:00

The podcast industry has been flooded with big money over the last few years, as businesses and investors seek to get in on a rapidly growing media business that’s got a lot of room for audience and revenue growth. (Spotify alone is spending $500 million on podcast companies and exclusive content.)

And yet over all this time, the industry’s biggest player hasn’t made any big podcast business moves.

That player is Apple—its Podcasts app is the top podcast player, with 50 to 70 percent of the app market—and its time as a neutral supporter of the industry may be coming to an end. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Lucas Shaw report that Apple is talking to media companies about buying exclusive rights to podcasts.

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Apple highlights new emojis coming this fall to iOS and macOS in celebration of World Emoji Day

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 18:49

Last year, Apple celebrated World Emoji Day (July 17) by giving us a preview of some of the emojis coming to iOS 12 and macOS Mojave in the fall of 2018. This year, Apple’s doing it again.

In February, the Unicode Consortium finalized the Emoji 12.0 list, approving 59 new emojis to be included in our operating systems this fall. Those 59 new emojis include over 170 variants of gender and skin tone to better represent the diversity of people and couples on the planet.

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How to make voice and video calls using Alexa and your Amazon Echo

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 18:20
You can use Alexa on your Amazon Echo to make calls without a mobile number or landline? Here's how.

Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar review: A taste of immersive audio in a spouse-friendly footprint

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 11:10
The first soundbar with DTS Virtual:X technology is impressive, but it's not perfect.

Eero Home WiFi System 2 review: Beacons make this system even easier to install

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:37
Eero's Home WiFi System 2 is one of the most elegant home-networking solutions you can buy, but it’s not the fastest router.

Messages and Maps: Two apps we wish Apple would port from iOS to Mac

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 07:00

With macOS Catalina, Apple is providing a tool for developers (called Catalyst) that makes it really easy to take an existing iPad app over to the Mac. Apple started testing the technology in macOS Mojave last year, by porting over some of its own iOS apps—News, Home, Voice Memos, and Stocks.

This year, Apple expands its list of iOS apps on Mac with Music, Podcasts, TV, Screen Time, and the new Find My app. Those first four apps introduced last year are getting an upgrade, too.

While these are welcome changes, I can’t help but think Apple is missing a huge opportunity. Two of macOS’s most important apps—Maps and Messages—are so far behind their iOS counterparts that we would all be better-served by Apple just porting the iOS app in the same fashion.

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Abode Iota review: Abode streamlines its security hub by integrating a camera

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 06:00
A simple home security solution learns a few new tricks—and gets easier than ever to set up.

Easy solutions: Fixing Apple in one easy step

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 06:00

Jony Ive has left the building and it’s only a matter of time before the building falls down and must be paved over.

Writing for The New York Post, Jonathan Trugman says “Departure of chief designer Jony Ive is rotten for Apple.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick.)

“Why, it seems a clever person might take the name of the company, ‘Apple,’ and use it to great metaphoric effect by comparing it to an actual apple. I believe I am the first to discover this.”

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Amazon Prime Day 2019: The best tech, electronics, PC, and mobile deals

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 16:53

For Amazon Prime Day 2019, the number of deals have increased dramatically. Amazon's competition has grown, too—but still, this annual summer sale has a long way to go before it rivals Black Friday.

Still, during our hours of poring over deals, we found respectable deals in multiple categories—you’ll find everything from chargers to TVs on the cheap. Tech enthusiasts can find a few diamonds in the rough, too. Overall, it'll pay off to check out both Amazon and rivals like Dell, Walmart, and Newegg, especially if you're shopping for a laptop.

Deals will roll out continually over the course of Prime Day (between July 15 12 a.m. PT and July 16 11:59 p.m. PT), so be sure to check this page regularly for updates. We'll update this article as new deals and new pricing information become available.

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The Best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals for cord-cutters

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:50
Amazon Prime Day is a great time to score big discounts on streaming devices, smart TVs, and other cord-cutting gear.

Roku Streaming Stick and Stick+ review: A new remote makes a big difference

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:24
Roku's Sticks get even better with TV controls, voice commands, and 4K HDR video at the high end.

Best media streaming devices

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:16
Roku Streaming Stick vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV, and more. Which streaming device is best for cord cutters? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: This is the media streamer to beat

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 12:12
Amazon's new Fire TV Stick sheds past mistakes and streams 4K HDR video at an unbeatable price.