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Updated: 12 hours 17 min ago

Toyota to finally offer CarPlay in some 2019 models

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:13

If you hop over to Apple's CarPlay site, you'll notice that Toyota is listed among the partner car manufacturers. It's been there for years, in fact.

There's just one problem. Toyota has never produced a CarPlay compatible vehicle. (Nor Android Auto, for that matter.) Instead, the auto maker has stuck steadfastly to its own Entune platform for app integration. 

That's all finally changing with the 2019 Toyota Avalon and and select 2019 Lexus vehicles. Next year's Avalon, with Entune 3.0, will finally support CarPlay, as will select Lexus vehicles with the Enform 2.0 platform. The announcement was part of an overall reveal of the 2019 Avalon at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. 

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Aukey is selling its 12,000mAh power bank for $12 right now

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 13:12

Today’s a good time for getting a deal on mobile charging gear: Aukey via Amazon has dropped the price of its 12,000mAh portable charger to $12. This is one of the cheapest prices we’ve seen.

To get the deal, you must redeem the coupon in the drop-down menu near the current price of $26. At the time of this writing, three deals were available—the one you want is titled “54% off it item(s).”

This charger offers two USB ports with a combined 4.8A output, with Aukey claiming that you can “simultaneously charge two iPads at max speed.” It also features Aukey’s AiPower feature that provides the safest and fastest recharge rate for anything you connect.

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What the iPhone, iPad, and iOS need in 2018

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 07:00

2017 was a pretty great year for iOS. A whole lot of my wish-list items for iPhone and iPad got checked off. And yet, like a kid who got a bike under the tree and still immediately begins assembling a birthday wish list, it’s my job as a columnist to immediately ask Apple what it’s done for iOS lately. Ungrateful, I know, but life goes on: Here’s what I hope to see from Apple in the world of iOS in 2018.

More iPhones

The iPhone X was the banner product of 2017, but it’s still just a first take on a whole new generation of iPhone hardware. In 2018 I’d like to see an upgrade to the iPhone X, sure—ideally retaining the iPhone X name, because who wants to buy the iPhone XI? But I’d also like to see an iPhone X Plus, with a huge OLED screen. Personally, the iPhone X is about as much iPhone as I want to carry in my hand or pocket, but I know a bunch of iPhone Plus users who would love to use a larger iPhone X.

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The latest Wi-Fi mesh router comes from... First Alert?

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 20:04
Showgoers were doing double takes when they saw the smoke-alarm manufacturer exhibiting routers—and smart speakers—at its booth at CES.

Yet another macOS High Sierra bug: Unlock App Store system preferences with any password

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 13:12

Less than two months ago, Apple users discovered a bug in macOS that allowed anyone to log in with root access. Apple apologized and fixed it quickly, but now users on Open Radar have found a similar (but far less severe) macOS password bug.

If you're running macOS High Sierra, try this: 

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on App Store.
  3. If the padlock is unlocked, click to lock it.
  4. Click the padlock to unlock it.
  5. In the prompt, enter your username and any password.

The App Store preferences pane should unlock. We tried it on a new iMac and MacBook Pro, both with macOS 10.13.2, and it worked.

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Staples is selling a 28-inch 4K monitor for $270

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:36

If you've been looking to upgrade to a higher resolution monitor, Staples has a nice deal on a 28-inch 4K model right now: The Dell S2817Q is $270 at the office supplies retailer. That's one of the lowest prices we've seen yet—$12 under the all-time low on Amazon.

The Dell S2817Q is a pretty good 4K monitor for everyday use. Though its design is fairly generic, its 3840x2160 resolution means you can cram a lot of information onto the screen at one time. It also has a fairly wide range of ports—two USB 3.0, two HDMI, one DisplayPort, and one Mini DisplayPort—so both desktop and laptop users will find it easy to connect to.

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Netgear's Arlo Baby camera is now compatible with Apple HomeKit

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 21:30

We really liked Netgear's baby camera, Arlo Baby, when we reviewed it in July, and the device is about to get even better for Apple-centric smart home fans. Netgear announced Monday that Arlo Baby now has Apple HomeKit compatibility.

That means you can pair Arlo Baby with the Apple Home app and access many of the camera's features through your Apple devices. The most important feature is the ability to access the Arlo Baby's live video stream through the Home app or via Siri.

The Home App can also access the Arlo Baby's two-way audio feature and the most recent screenshot captured by Arlo Baby. If you have an iPad ($329 on Apple) or a fourth-generation Apple TV ($149 on Apple) connected to HomeKit, you can also get remote access to the camera's live video and audio.

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An 8TB external hard drive is $160 right now

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 14:42

If you have a New Year's resolution to organize your digital life, then this deal at Best Buy can help. The big-box retailer is selling a WD 8TB easystore desktop external hard drive for $160. That's not quite as cheap as during Black Friday last November, but it's still a good price for this amount of storage.

The WD easystore desktop hard drive offers a USB 3.0 connection with a maximum data transfer rate of 5Gbps. It also comes with WD's software, including an automated backup utility and WD Drive Utilities, which helps you manage your new drive.

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Apple releases iOS 11.2.2 and macOS 10.13.2 updates with Spectre fix for Safari and WebKit

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 13:42

Are you tired of hearing about Meltdown and Spectre yet? Well, get used to it, because the security updates keep on coming!

As we mentioned in our FAQ, Apple has already mitigated the effects of Meltdown on Macs in macOS 10.13.2, and of Spectre in iOS devices in iOS 11.2. But at the time of Apple's first announcement last week, there was still the possibility of exploiting the Spectre vulnerability through Javascript in the Safari browser. Apple promised an update to mitigate that avenue of attack was coming soon.

iOS 11.2.2 is that update. As we’ve explained before, there is no “fix” for Spectre—it’s endemic to the way nearly every modern processor with speculative execution operates. But patches can help mitigate the risk, making it much harder for Spectre to be exploited.

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Samsung's ginormous 'The Wall' TV is the first consumer display to use micro-LED technology

Sun, 01/07/2018 - 21:00
Like OLEDs, mLEDs enable deeper blacks because they don't need a separate backlight.

Belkin's Wemo Bridge finally arrives, bringing Apple HomeKit compatibility

Sun, 01/07/2018 - 20:00
Control Wemo smart home devices via Siri or the Apple Home App, at last.

Netgear's Orbi Outdoor Satellite extends your Orbi home network to the yard

Sat, 01/06/2018 - 08:26

Netgear has a new (and pricey) addition for your Orbi Home WiFi System. The company recently announced the Orbi Outdoor Satellite. As its name suggests the basic idea is to extend your Wi-Fi network beyond the house and into the yard. That way you’ll never again drop your connection while taking out the garbage. The weatherized device is available now with an MSRP of $330.

Netgear says a single Outdoor Satellite adds an additional 2,500 square feet to an Orbi network. Designed for both home and commercial deployment (the latter when paired with Netgear’s Orbi Pro for Small Businesses), the RBK50Y can separate guest and employee traffic. It also offers a dedicated admin network.

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High-profile music exec Jimmy Iovine is said to be leaving Apple Music mid-year

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:57

One of the biggest pieces of Apple’s $3.2 billion Beats purchase had nothing to do with headphones. It was the acquisition of legendary music producer Jimmy Iovine as part of the Apple team, and his high-profile connections and visibility has helped Apple grow its music service into a major player.

But it appears Iovine’s time at Apple is coming to an end. A report by Billboard says the recording giant will leave Apple in August, which just so happens to be when the shares he received as part of the Beats sale fully vest. Iovine joined the company along with Dr. Dre and Trent Reznor, both of whom hold still hold senior positions at the company.

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Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws affect all iOS and Mac devices, but don't panic

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 10:14

We’ve been waiting to hear from Apple ever since we first heard about the far-reaching Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws earlier this week, and the company has finally responded with some not-so-good news: All Mac and iOS devices are affected. That's right, all of them. However, Apple ensures us there's no reason to panic.

As we've been learning all week, Apple explains that the bugs are related to a CPU feature called speculative execution, which seeks to boost speeds by operating on multiple tasks at the same time: “To increase performance, the CPU predicts which path of a branch is most likely to be taken, and will speculatively continue execution down that path even before the branch is completed. If the prediction was wrong, this speculative execution is rolled back in a way that is intended to be invisible to software.” The Meltdown and Spectre exploits would theoretically be able to trick that process in order to gain access to privileged data.

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Kohler has smart kitchen and bath products to show at CES

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 09:00
Kohler is getting into the smart home game in a big way in 2018 with a new Alexa-integrated mirror, smart kitchen faucet, shower control panel, and smart bathroom fixtures.

Intel responds to the CPU kernel bug, claiming its patches will make PCs 'immune'

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 18:37
Intel acknowledged that a CPU kernel bug, being referred to as a side-channel analysis exploit, has the potential to affect chips from ARM and AMD. Patches for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities may carry performance penalties of between 0 and 30 percent.

How the Spectre CPU flaw affects phones and tablets

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 17:02
The CPU flaw isn't just limited to PCs and Macs anymore. The Spectre vulnerability affects mobile devices and your phone is likely at risk. Here's what it is and how you can mitigate the risks.

UK smart home brand Hive announces its first smart indoor camera, the Hive View

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 09:45
The new camera is the centerpiece of a new security-centric smart home pack.

UK smart home brand Hive announces its first smart indoor camera, the Hive View

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 09:45
The new camera is the centerpiece of a new security-centric smart home pack.

The T2 chip makes the iMac Pro the start of a Mac revolution

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 06:30

I’ve spent the last week with Apple’s new iMac Pro, and in most ways it’s just a faster Mac. It's the first pro Mac desktop in over three years and the fastest Mac yet made, granted, but still entirely familiar. And yet in many ways—some noticeable, some entirely invisible—this new Mac is completely different from all past Mac models.

The iMac Pro may be an outlier today, but in the future we’ll probably look back on it as the start of a new era for the Mac, all because of the Apple-built T2 chip it carries inside. Here’s how the T2 makes this iMac Pro unlike all other Macs.

The power behind the throne

The T2 processor isn’t doing the heavy lifting in the iMac Pro—that’s the Intel Xeon processor with between 8 and 14 processor cores. The T2 is the brain behind that brain, running the subsystems of the iMac Pro from a single piece of Apple-built silicon. The result is a simplified internal design that doesn’t require multiple components from multiple manufacturers.

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