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Samsung's $1,000 Galaxy Note 9 makes Apple's $1,000 iPhone X seem like a bargain

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 12:32

When it comes to rumors, Samsung might have Apple beat. There have been so many leaks about the Galaxy Note 9 over the past few months—some directly from Samsung itself—that when the phone finally landed yesterday, no more surprises remained.

Except the price, that is. Just like the iPhone X, Samsung’s newest phone starts at $1,000 (technically a penny below, but who’s counting), and suddenly we have a race to the top. And it’s one that Samsung is winning hands-down: The top-of-the-line Note 9 costs $1,250, $100 more than the most expensive iPhone X you can buy.

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The Wemo smart light switch is $15 off today

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 10:25
Use either Alexa or Google Assistant to control your lights—no smart bulb necessary.

How to add more contextual search services in macOS

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 08:00

When you select text in nearly any program in macOS and then right-click, a Search With Google option appears. Select it, and Safari comes frontmost with the results of that Google search. But what if you want other options?

Macworld reader Forrest finds this particularly irritating in Apple Mail, given that he’s switched from Google to DuckDuckGo for all his searching.

You should be able to change this in Safari: Safari > Preferences > Search and select one of the four search engines listed there, which includes DuckDuckGo. That doesn’t appear to be working for Forrest, so the following may help.


Safari lets you change the system-wide default for search engine, but only lists four choices.

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Holedown isn't free, but that's partly why it's fun

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 07:00

Martin Jonasson, the creator of the popular ricochet game Holedown, says that the usual business of “freemium” games like cooldowns and consumables rubs him the wrong way. He acknowledges that some games implement free-to-play monetization systems well, but he’s turned off by how they force him to serve “multiple masters.”

“You can’t only focus on making the player’s experience positive [under that model]; you have to ensure there’s some money trickling in as well,” he tells me. “That’s a concern I’m happy to avoid.”

Focusing on the experience alone has paid off. Holedown only costs $3.99, but it’s simple and endlessly entertaining. It isn’t hard: Its main challenges deal with learning how to aim and collecting enough crystals to shoot more balls at once and move on to even deeper planets. It’s a “delightful spectacle of bouncing,” in Jonasson’s own words, and I see no reason to dispute them. It relaxes more than it frustrates, in large part because there’s rarely any question that your failures spring from your own mistakes rather than resisting subtle pushes to cash shops.

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Nuheara IQbuds Boost review: Fine tune and augment your hearing experience

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 06:00
These Bluetooth headphones sound great with music, and they can help compensate for minor hearing loss. Think of them as hearing aid lite.

Corel Painter 2019 review: Corel gets back to basics with an interface- and performance-centric upgrade

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 06:00

When Corel took stock of Corel Painter, the perennial go-to app for digital artistry, the company decided that for the 2019 version, it would concentrate not on flashy headlining new features, but on enhancing app interface and performance.

The new Painter now joins other visual creation and effects software by implementing a dark interface and pairing that with a complete app design overhaul. Painter 2019 also delivers speed boosts and features that simplify and amplify creative workflows. Oh, and there are 36 new brushes and a new brush category.

Compared with last year's upgrade, which showcased complex new brush and texture technologies, Corel's aim with Painter 2019 is more modest, but still solid.

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Which Mac should you buy?

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 17:30

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re thinking about buying a new Mac and may be in need of a little guidance. Fortunately, we’re quite familiar with Apple’s Macs, and we’re happy to help you choose the right Mac for you.

Before we proceed, we should specifically address Apple’s desktop Macs. It’s been a while since the company has updated the Mac mini and Mac Pro. While our advice for each Mac model provides guidance as to which model you should buy, you might actually consider waiting to see if Apple releases a new Mac mini or Mac Pro, or consider buying an iMac.

This buying guide provides an overview of all the Mac models available, and what each model is best suited for. To get more details, you can read the full review by clicking the product name in the product boxes that have mouse ratings.

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Best MacBook: Which Mac laptop should you buy?

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 15:30

You're planning on buying a new Mac laptop. So you head over to your local Apple store, or you peruse the pages of Apple’s website, and you find yourself with money to spend but no idea on which MacBook to buy.

Don’t worry! That’s why we’re here. In this guide, we’ll go over Apple’s current MacBook lineup, point out their differences and similarities, and provide you with the information you need to pick the right MacBook for you. You can get more in-depth information in our reviews of the MacBook and the MacBook Pro.

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Samsung's Galaxy Home smart speaker will combine Bixby with SmartThings

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 14:37
Samsung says its Galaxy Home smart speaker will deliver high-quality audio with an integrated smart home hub.

Get the 2017 21.5" iMac for $200 off at Best Buy today

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 13:25

Best Buy is already offering some cool deals as a part of its Apple Back-to-School Event, but today the retailer is also letting you snag a 21-inch Retina 4K iMac for $1,099.99Remove non-product link as part of its Deals of the Day. That’s $200 off the regular retail price, and you can take an additional $50 off if you happen to be a student.

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Punch up your PC audio! Logitech's powerful Z623 speaker system is $80, its lowest price ever

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:24

The tinny speakers embedded in your computer’s monitor just don’t cut it. A good home speaker system adds punch to your audio, providing immersive, full-bodied sound in movies, music, games, and more. And today, the powerful Logitech Z623 2.1-channel home speaker system is $80, down from a list price of $150 and a standard selling price north of $100. This is the lowest price these ultra-popular speakers have ever been.

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Amazon's 32GB Fire HD 8 Tablet is only $60 today, nearly 50% off

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:35
For 48 hours only, Amazon's dropped the price of the 32GB Fire HD 8 Tablet to $60.

Moving the goal posts: Amazon is always ahead

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 07:00

Apple made it to a $1 trillion valuation last week, beating out Amazon and making a whole bunch of people really mad about it.

Writing for USA Today, Jefferson Graham says “Apple can thank iPhone a trillion times, but it has Amazon to worry about.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Peter.)

Apple crossed the magic line on Wall Street on Thursday to become the first U.S. company worth $1 trillion.

That’s an interesting milestone for a company thought to be coasting on ideas left over by the late Steve Jobs, a firm that hadn't innovated in years.

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Why a la carte TV still isn't happening

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 06:00
A la carte TV is still a distant hope, even as cord-cutting grows.

Polk Audio Command Bar soundbar review: Good sound, with Alexa at your service

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 06:00
The Polk Audio Command Bar mixes well-balanced and beefy sound (the latter courtesy of the included subwoofer) and Amazon Alexa. It works, but Alexa can be recalcitrant when the bar is producing sound.

How to disable My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing without erasing your photos

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 06:00

Macworld reader PJ wrote in to ask about disabling My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing without losing anything. He received dire warnings when he attempted to turn them off. In most cases, you won’t lose anything, but tread wisely.

First, let's go over the three different methods Apple has for sharing and syncing photos. It’s common for Macworld readers to get confused about how the many methods interact—especially in making sure that you retain images (and videos) if you disable a service. The three methods are:

My Photo Stream. My Photo Stream lets you push all the photos you take across your linked devices to all your linked devices, including Apple TV. It’s photos only (not even Live Photos!), not video, and images persist 30 days.

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The best note-taking apps for the iPad and Apple Pencil

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 18:00

With the new 9.7-inch iPad, the Apple Pencil at last comes to the masses. Apple’s recent push to get its scrappy tablet back in schools means you no longer how to shell out mountains of cash if you want to use the iPad like a digital legal pad, and that’s good news for all of us regardless of whether we’re in boardrooms or third-grade history class.

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Best Buy slashes prices for students with its Apple Back-to-School Event

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 16:02

Classes will be starting again soon, and Best Buy’s Apple Back-to-School EventRemove non-product link makes it easy to stuff school bags with Apple gadgets. Many of the best products made by the folks in Cupertino are on sale (although regular iPads and iMacs are conspicuously missing), making this a great time to pick up everything from MacBooks to Apple TVs for good prices. It’s even better if you’re an actual student, as you can also take advantage of Best Buy’s student discountsRemove non-product link.

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

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 14:17
With its advanced mapping, deep cleaning, and intuitive app, the D7 is our favorite high-end robot vacuum.

Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 13:59
Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.