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Epic Games removes 'Infinity Blade,' location tracking in apps, and best Apple holiday gifts

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:22
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For this episode of the Macworld Podcast, we'll be discussing Epic Games' removal of the Infinity Blade series from the App Store and what it says about app maintenance and game preservation. We'll also be discussing The New York Times' report on how apps constantly track your location data, even when using an otherwise secure device like an iPhone. We'll then close by discussing the best Apple products to give as holiday gifts.

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This time for sure: Apple said to be behind again

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 10:00

Apple is missing out yet again and it’s nothing at all like the other times Apple was supposedly missing out but that didn’t actually end up amounting to anything. Unless we’re talking about network speeds.

What?

Oh. The Macalope is being informed that, yes, we’re talking about network speeds.

Gordon Kelly proudly declares that originality has no place at the Forbes contributor network and Institute for the Advancement of Understanding Why There Are So Many Spider Eggs In Your Hair.

“Apple's New iPhones Have An Expensive Nasty Surprise.” (Tip o' the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)

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How’s your iPhone battery health? Use the Battery settings to find out

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 07:00

After Apple received a spate of bad publicity about how it chose to throttle older iPhones with degraded batteries, it apologized and offered a battery replacement program for many phones at reduced cost. But it also pledged to improve how it disclosed to users the state of their battery.

It’s a little hidden, as you have to launch Settings and then tap Battery to see monitoring details. Tap Battery Health, and you see two important stats.

Maximum Capacity measures the peak charge that the battery can hold. (Mine is currently 91 percent after about 14 months of solid use.) It’s normal for this to decline slowly over a period of time, and decline faster the more frequently you run through a charge on your phone.

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iDevices Outdoor Switch review: A premium smart outlet you can use in the yard

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 06:00
This HomeKit-compatible smart outlet is protected from the weather, so you can extend the perimeter of your smart home into in wet and damp locations such as your patio and porch.

Adobe Premiere Rush CC review: Consumer video editor makes fast work of creation and sharing

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 06:00

Premiere Rush CC, a brand new video app from Adobe, emphasizes speed in the creation and sharing of online video targeted to the social media crowd.

Unlike Premiere Pro, Premier Elements, and Premiere Clip (Adobe’s other desktop and mobile video apps), Rush operates across devices with nearly identical desktop and mobile versions that can save all footage in the cloud. Your movie is accessible anytime, anywhere via an auto sync feature that you can enable if you choose, or you can save your video locally. Rush, powered partly by Adobe’s Sensei artificial intelligence framework, is compatible with the latest version of Premiere Pro.

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Best smart plugs: These gadgets will turn any electrical outlet into a smart socket

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:54
With models from Lutron, Wemo, Leviton, iDevices, and others, it can be difficult to know which easy and inexpensive device is best for controlling the lamps and small appliances in your smart home. We’ll help you find the right one.

Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:17
Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.

After another massive Google+ data breach, you should probably delete your profile right now

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:04
Google has announced another Google+ data breach, this time affecting more than 50 million users. So here's how to shut down your profile for good.

Nuheara IQbuds Boost true wireless earphones review: Meh as both music players and hearing aids

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 09:00

Nuheara’s IQbuds Boost are expensive—even at their current street price of $399 ($100 off the MSRP of $499), they still cost lot of money. By comparison, the B&O Beoplay E8, our current pick for best-sounding true wireless earbuds, can be had for $299.

That said, $399 (or even $499) isn't exorbitant for a hearing augmentation appliance. In fact, audiologist-prescribed hearing aids often cost thousands of dollars. The IQbuds Boost are designed to boost one’s hearing for a fraction of the cost of a traditional hearing aid, making them a tempting purchase for anyone who has trouble hearing, but hasn’t yet committed to rigorous testing and ultra-expensive hardware.

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How to save email downloaded to an iPhone or iPad via POP3 or a local iOS mail folder

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 08:00

It’s easy to think that an iOS backup would include all the personal data stored on your iPhone or iPad. But Apple explains in a support page that some things aren’t copied off your phone, because they’re stored elsewhere. This includes “data stored in other cloud services, like Gmail and Exchange mail.”

What if you download messages from an email account to your iOS device and they’re deleted from the server? Those emails are gone for good when your iPhone or iPad is restored from backup or dies. Apple doesn’t mention this in the support note or elsewhere, even though it can affect people who store certain messages locally on their devices instead of synced with a mail server.

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Sony PSZ-RA4T Professional RAID review: Clever portable and rugged design, plus Thunderbolt and USB

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 07:00

Designed with on-location video production in mind, Sony’s PSZ-RA4T Professional RAID is not the fastest RAID box we’ve tested, but it’s certainly fast enough. Made for travel, the PSZ-RA4T is thoroughly ruggedized and especially easy on the eye.

Add the ability of this dual-drive unit to function via Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3.1 on your cohort’s or client’s Windows machine as well as your Mac, and you’ve got a winner.

Design and features

The PSZ-RA4T has enough deft design flourishes that leave no doubt that folks that work with such products supplied more than a little input. Or there’s simply an especially brilliant and practical designer at Sony. Kudos to the company, whatever the scenario.

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Ecovacs Deebot 601 review: Mapping features are missed in this otherwise capable cleaner

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 06:00
This budget robot vacuum has some good features, but navigation skills aren't among them.

Centralite 4-Series Smart Outlet review: This add-on outlet is a tiny treat

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 06:00
Centralite's new smart outlet is an affordable, compact choice for ZigBee ecosystems.

What to do when the Mac App Store says ‘Update Unavailable with This Apple ID’

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 08:00

The Mac App Store (MAS) registers downloaded apps—paid and free—to the Apple ID associated with the store at the time of download. Most people only ever log in with a single Apple ID for app purchases or retrievals, and thus all apps installed on their Macs remain correctly licensed to that Apple ID.

However, it’s possible even using a single Apple ID that you will see an error when you attempt to update certain apps that reads, “Update Unavailable with This Apple ID.” This seems to happen commonly with Apple’s productivity apps: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

The message goes on to say, “This update is not available for this Apple ID either because it was bought by a different user or the item was refunded or canceled.” If none of those conditions are true, you may still see the error in some readers’ (and my family’s) experience. (Why does this happen? Apple hasn’t provided any insight.)

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The 10 Mac games you need to play from October and November 2018

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 07:00
The latest and greatest Mac games

Image by Studio MDHR

It’s been a slow couple of months for Mac games, but luckily we’ve been blessed with quality in the absence of quantity. At last, for instance, the incredible Total War: Warhammer 2 made it to the Mac, along with the punishing platformer Cuphead. But these last two months haven’t just been about year-old ports. We also got to experience some fantastic games at the same time as our PC cousins, such as the collectible card game Artifact, the management sim RimWorld, or the haunting mystery The Return of the Obra Dinn. If you’re looking for some gifts to stuff under your digital Christmas tree, any of the following games will make a fine choice.

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Brinno Duo review: Our favorite peephole camera adds live remote viewing

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 06:00
This security camera mounts to your door's peephole and streams live video to your smartphone and to its own display on the interior side of your door.

Two important ways Apple is preparing for life after the iPhone

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 06:00

Over the many decades of its existence, Apple has faced a lot of challenges. There was the company’s battle against IBM early in the PC era, the seeming dominance of Windows during the 1990s, and even the worry that the company itself might cease to exist in the dark days of 1997.

Lately, though, it seems as though the challenge for Apple might simply be that it’s ahead of its own game. Rumors of slow iPhone XS and XR sales are hard to substantiate, with the company stepping back from providing information on how many smartphones it is selling. But it does seem clear that the amazing growth of previous years is leveling off somewhat, whether because the new phones are more expensive or haven’t wooed customers away from their current phones.

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Neato Botvac D7 Connected review: Building a better (but more expensive) mousetrap

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 21:46
With its advanced mapping, deep cleaning, and intuitive app, the D7 is our favorite high-end robot vacuum.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive goes free-to-play, adds a battle royale mode called Danger Zone

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 17:24
CS:GO finally ditches its archaic $15 price tag and embraces free-to-play, timed with an 18-player battle royale(ish) mode called Danger Zone.

How to use the ECG feature on Apple Watch Series 4

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 15:40

The Series 4 is the first truly big update to the Apple Watch line. It changes everything: the display, size, the shape, the sensors, the processor, the speaker and microphones—you name it. It truly elevated Apple’s wrist-wearable to a new level, but its most exciting new feature has been missing action since the Series 4's September launch.

With today's release of watchOS 5.1.2, though, that feature is finally here. Apple has given us the first smartwatch with a built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) feature (and they say Apple doesn’t innovate anymore!).

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