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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Niantic's follow-up to Pokémon Go, launches this Friday

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 11:22

Almost two years after we first heard about it, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is set to work its magic in the United States and the United Kingdom this Friday, June 21. The augmented reality-based game is developer Niantic's long-awaited follow-up to Pokémon Go, and it shares many features in common with the 2016 phenomenon. Australia and New Zealand got to enjoy a beta rollout back in May, and Niantic hinted yesterday that Wizards Unite will launch in other countries later. Considering how long it took Pokémon Go to launch in Japan, though, “later” could mean anywhere from weeks to months.

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Safari on iPadOS 13: The best new features

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 07:00

Since the iPad was introduced in 2010, users have endured the same Safari experience they knew from the iPhone, which fueled jabs that Apple’s tablet was little more than a gigantic version of the iPhone. Interfaces for commonly used sites like WordPress wouldn’t load properly. Google Docs forced you to a dedicated app that lacked features of both the desktop and mobile versions. Sometimes you simply couldn’t see key interface elements that you’d get on the desktop version of a site.

Apple has finally given us a Safari browsing experience that makes it easier to take the iPad seriously as a laptop alternative or replacement. When iPadOS 13 drops sometime this fall, here are some of the treats you can expect.

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Eufy RoboVac 11s Max review: This popular budget vacuum gets increased suction

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 06:00
Eufy's latest robot vac is an even better dirt collector than its predecessor, thanks to more suction and a redesigned dustbin.

The Mac no longer needs compatibility to thrive

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 06:00

Compatibility and interoperability are concepts Apple has ignored or embraced, depending on its situation. To me, it seems that the Mac is about to enter a new era of incompatibility… and I’m okay with it.

When I started using a Mac in 1989, I rapidly discovered that it was essentially incompatible with every other computer in existence. Certainly, it didn’t work with my old Apple IIe, but all the PCs running DOS and Windows on my college campus couldn’t talk to it, either. The Mac of the 90s was populated with tech that was uncommon or unavailable elsewhere—ADB keyboards and mice, Mac serial printers, SCSI drives, AAUI and LocalTalk networking, Mac file sharing, Motorola 680x0 processors, and the rest. It was an enormous liability: If you were in certain markets, in certain industries, needed to attach to certain networks or peripherals, you just couldn't use a Mac.

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Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 06:00
Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.

Can’t download an app update? It might be time to update your Mac

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 08:00

There’s got to be the name for the paradox that occurs when you’re told by the Mac App Store that you both have an update for a free or purchased app and you can’t install it. Maybe it’s the Apprisoner’s Dilemma? You might experience this no-win situation when you see a message that says “[app name] can’t be installed on [device] because [OS X/macOS] version 10.[X] or later is required.”

This situation occurs when you’re running an older version of macOS than the minimum required for the latest version of the program’s updated code. App developers who routinely revise their apps earn our thanks for adding features, keeping them up to date with the latest system changes, and fixing bugs.

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What’s new in Apple Maps in iOS 13

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:00

Apple has a bad reputation with maps. Seven years ago, Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Apple Maps service in iOS 6, and the rollout was nothing short of disastrous. Apple Maps was inferior to Google Maps in every way: features, stability, accuracy, performance—you name it. It took two years to really clear out the bugs, and Apple has spent the last several years languishing behind Google with a dated, less-detailed data set and a dearth of features. About the only thing Apple Maps has going for it is that it respects your privacy.

With iOS 13, Apple Maps may finally turn the corner. Whether it will be a superior mapping solution to Google Maps remains to be seen, but the beleaguered service may finally close the gap enough that you won’t need to bother with installing the Google Maps app anymore. Here’s what you can expect from Apple Maps with the rollout of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 this fall.

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Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500 Wi-Fi turntable review: Stream your LPs to any room in your home

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 06:00
Yamaha's turntable lets you stream your vinyl LPs to any or every room in your home, thanks to its support for the company's MusicCast wireless streaming platform.

Mad Macs: No enthusiasm for the Mac Pro

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 06:00

Apple has failed again to deliver exactly what someone wants! When will the company learn?! It’s very simple: you read the online manifesto and then you get to work! How much simpler could it be?

Writing for The MacObserver, John Khelt decries Apple and its pundit-enablers.

“Mac Pro: All Apologies, Signed Apple Pundits.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Jason and Aaron.)

God I hate Apple pundits.

They never talk about what I want them to talk about. I am the last good Apple pundit.

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2020 iPhone rumors: 5G is coming, LCD is going away, and the XS might get a surprising downgrade

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 11:13

The 2019 iPhone may still be three months away, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is already looking beyond this year’s release. And his crystal ball is showing a major upgrade for 2020.

As reported by MacRumors, the oft-accurate analyst reports that Apple will be sticking with the three-model lineup it introduced with the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR last September, but the sizes may be changing. According to Kuo, the new models will have 5.4-, 6.1-, and 6.7-inch screens, with all models getting the OLED treatment. That would bring the iPhone XR (or whatever it’s called by then) up to speed with the other models.

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The iPhone X notch: It's time for haters to apologize

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 06:30

It’s time, folks. Time to admit Apple was right to introduce the notch for the iPhone X back in 2017. Oh, sure, it was fun to ridicule the little black strip at the time; to see the memes grumbling about how Apple had lost its way and the tweets asserting that Steve Jobs Would Never Have Done This. But just 21 months later, we’re already seeing articles discussing which phones don’t have notches. Even Apple’s most direct rivals have embraced the notch: It sticks out like a black tongue on the Google Pixel 3 XL, and it lurks in the corner of Samsung’s overly ambitious Galaxy Fold. All these months later, Apple’s implementation of it remains, well, top notch.

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tvOS 13 FAQ: All the new features coming to your Apple TV

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 06:30

Apple TV hardware is in an odd place. Apple is more invested in streaming TV than ever, with a new Channels feature to subscribe to premium content right in the TV app (and play it all from Apple’s robust distribution network), and a huge investment in its own premium streaming service, Apple TV+. That service may not be launching until the fall and we don’t know what it will cost, but we know Apple’s got dozens of projects in the works for it.

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TVision by T-Mobile review: This streaming TV service shows promise, but it’s not what cord-cutters want today

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 06:00
If you don’t like making sacrifices in your TV entertainment choices, and it’s available where you live, TVision isn’t a bad deal. But subscribers should be prepared to feel like beta testers.

All the new ways iOS 13 protects your privacy

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 06:00

When iOS 13 launches this fall, our iPhones and iPads are going to get a huge upgrade. It’s packed with features and performance enhancements. And while things like Dark Mode and Siri enhancements are going to grab our attention, maybe the best features of iOS 13 are all the things Apple is doing to help protect our privacy.

Apple’s moved beyond just some sternly-worded updates to App Store policies. With iOS 13, privacy gets right up in your face. You’re going to be better-protected from apps and sites that try to suck up unneeded personal info or track you all over the web and the real world, and you’re going to get constant reminders about bad actors.

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Best antivirus for Mac: Protect yourself from malicious software

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 14:05

Macs may be a far less tempting target for malware and viruses, but they’re not immune from attack. Even if you don’t care about adware or being used as a means to infect users on other platforms, it’s still possible to fall victim to ransomware, password theft, or stolen iPhone backups.

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Reading between the lines of Apple's WWDC announcements

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 06:30

There’s only so much information one can digest in a single sitting. Even a week after Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference wrapped up, we’re still sifting through the details of the company’s announcements. And that’s before the deluge of users even installing the public beta.

But beyond just the features that Apple has included (or hasn’t) in the next versions of its software platforms, there’s also a lot to glean from these announcements about the company’s future plans. In some cases they’re obvious; in others, you just need to read between the lines a little bit. As I pored over Apple’s website, I noticed a few things that made me think about what the folks in Cupertino might have in store.

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Best smart speakers: Which deliver the best combination of digital assistant and audio performance?

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 06:00
With models based on Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and others to come, we’ll help you find just the right model for you.

Why Apple should follow Google's lead and 'leak' the iPhone 11 design early

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 06:00

It’s only June but already the fall smartphone wars are heating up. Apple last week unveiled iOS 13 and with it many of the new features that will grace the next iPhone, and now Google has one-upped the hype machine with an unprecedented reveal of the Pixel 4 months ahead of its presumed launch.

And why not? We all know the Pixel 4 is coming in October, and after YouTube creator Unbox Therapy got his hands on a metal model of new phone and seemingly spilled all the details about the new dual camera and design, it was just a matter of counting the days. So rather than let it play out with rumors and speculation for months like it did with the Pixel 3, Google went ahead and took control the narrative.

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Apple Pencil: All the changes coming in iPadOS 13

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 16:54

Apple didn’t announce any new versions of the Apple Pencil hardware at this year’s WWDC, but it did announce some substantial improvements to how we’ll use it. The stylish stylus only took up a few minutes of Apple’s iPadOS presentation, but those moments were enough to demonstrate that Apple’s transforming it into more of a necessity than a novelty.

Apple is taking care to show that the Pencil isn’t just a tool for artists. Indeed, the WWDC presentation spent more time showing how we might use it in an office environment—in other words, more like a pen and legal pad. Here’s what you can expect when iPadOS drops later in the year.

Better latency, better writing experience

The Apple Pencil already has a very good latency of 20ms, but iPadOS will push that all the way down to 9ms. That means the iPad will do a better job of interpreting your subtle movements while handling the Pencil, which in turn should translate into a writing experience that better resembles writing with a pen. The differences will likely be subtle, but even subtle differences can leave a big impact when it comes to writing.

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Do you need an antenna to cut the cord?

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 06:00
If you're cutting the cord to save money, this guide will help cord-cutters decide if they can save even more by not buying a TV antenna for local channels.