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Updated: 32 min 58 sec ago

Great Father’s Day gifts for tech-loving dads

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 06:00
Skip the slippers and the tie—give dad the gift of technology this year.

VTech VC931 HD Pan and Tilt Home Monitoring Camera review: Solid security at an affordable price

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 06:00
It lacks some sexier features, but it has nearly all the ones that matter most.

How Messages in the Cloud protects SMS (and how it doesn’t)

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 06:00

Apple recently released the long-awaited Messages in the Cloud feature through updates to iOS and macOS, and Macworld provided a how-to guide to enable it on your devices, and some warnings about the time it takes for your devices to upload all the cached messages they maintain.

Macworld reader Lowell had a few questions that aren’t on the how-to front and which Apple doesn’t fully address in its FAQ on the subject.

Lowell wonders about regular text and multimedia messages (SMS/MMS) being encrypted, and how much storage is freed up in iCloud (not just on devices) by pushing everything to the cloud.

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How to watch the NBA Finals without cable

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 17:34
How to watch all the hardwood heroics without paying for a cable subscription.

How to create and edit Memoji in iOS 12

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 15:37

The release of the iPhone X was accompanied by a fun feature for the TrueDepth camera: Animoji. The adorable cartoonish animated emoji were an instant hit, with early adopters creating "Animoji karaoke" music videos, skits, movie scenes, and more.

iOS 12 expands on Animoji in some important ways, like tripling the recording length to 30 seconds and adding new faces and improving facial recognition. But the most important change is a new feature called "Memoji" that lets you create an Animoji of yourself. In the Animoji menu, you can customize a cartoon avatar that will appear in your Animoji list and work just like the Animoji characters, following your facial movement. Here's how you make your own Memoji.

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Best VPN services of 2018: Reviews and buying advice

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 14:50
Surfing the web through a virtual private network (VPN) can keep your identity and data safe and secure online. We show you what to look for in a VPN and help you pick the best one for your needs.

Grab a $100 App Store and iTunes gift card at Costco for just $84

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 13:47

Costco regularly discounts App Store and iTunes gift cards for a substantial amount, and, well, it’s that time again. If you log on to your Costco account today, you can get a $100 iTunes gift card for just $84.49 or a $25 card for just $21.49, good or $10 and $2.50 less than the wholesale giant's usual prices, respectively.

These deals are usually popular, and it’s not hard to see why. Discounted gift cards essentially allow you to give someone a gift that’s worth more than you paid for it—and remember, Father’s Day is less than a week away. And you just want to keep it for yourself, well, that's cool too.

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Fitbit’s Ace tracker for kids could be the ultimate weapon in the fight against smartphone addiction

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 13:04

While Apple and Google are battling smartphone addiction by limiting the time kids spend using their gadgets, Fitbit hopes to get little ones hooked on theirs—in a good way. Today parents can purchase Fitbit’s first fitness tracker specifically designed to help kids put down their phones and stay active.

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Apple Watch Series 4 rumors: No more mechanical buttons

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:34

Updated 06/11/18: The latest rumor says the next Apple Watch (or maybe the one after that) won't have buttons that move. For everything on watchOS 5, check out our FAQ.

Apple has released a new version of the Apple Watch every year since its debut in 2015, and the company seems to show no signs of slowing down. Here we have compiled all the latest rumors, leaks, and reasonably well-informed speculation about Apple Watch Series 4.

No more mechanical buttons

A “source with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans” has told FastCompany that Apple plans to outfit the Apple Watch with buttons that do not move, but rather simply sense the touch of a finger. The Haptic Engine would then be used to give the button the feel of a click.

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How to watch the FIFA 2018 World Cup without cable

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 06:00
Our cord-cutter's guide will ensure you don't miss a moment of the world's most popular sporting event.

1Password 7 for Mac review: Password manager with small improvements that add up

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 06:00

1Password 7 for Mac has a variety of small improvements and a fresher design that add up to a nice bump justifying the version number. But because its maker, AgileBits, switched to a subscription model as its dominant method of offering software, the company is clearly less obsessed with including the kitchen sink, as it tries to offer ongoing updates and new features between major releases to justify the cost to current subscribers. And that’s fine: a rush to cram features—some half-baked—into new versions of software where developers rely heavily on upgrade fees as part of their revenue cycle doesn’t benefit users.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset review: Don't leave this elf on the shelf

Sat, 06/09/2018 - 07:00

I’m stepping through a portal on the heels of a young elf woman who looks roughly my own age, or at least as close as you get when you’re dealing with a race that thinks of our pitiful lifespan like we think of dog years. And it’s your normal, everyday magical portal—no big deal, right? But on the other side of the portal I face a woman racked with the lines and worries of a wasted life. I hear her despair at seeing my relatively young face. And yes, it’s her: The trip through the portal felt like seconds for me, but she’s been over here on the other side, trapped and wandering in the lovely ruin we’d come to study for more decades than I’ve even been alive.

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The shouting: What’s left when WWDC is over

Sat, 06/09/2018 - 07:00

What would Apple do without a host of pundits coming out in the days after its announcements to let the company know what it did wrong? The Macalope suspects the company would like to one day find out, but today is not that day.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and summer school for beginner and intermediate air guitar, Ewan Spence declares that “No New iPhone At WWDC Is Apple's Big Mistake.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Alex, Dan and Philip.)

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watchOS 5: Walkie-talkie, workout improvements, Podcasts, and a smarter Siri

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 16:37

At the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple took the wraps off the latest version of its Apple Watch operating system: watchOS 5. Apple has made big improvements to its wearables platform with each major new release, and it looks like watchOS 5 will be no exception. It doesn’t give us everything we hoped for, but with neat new features like Walkie-Talkie, workout improvements, better notifications, and smart Siri changes, it should further Apple’s already substantial lead in the smartwatch category.

Here are all the features of watchOS 5, and instructions on how to get it on your Apple Watch.

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Celebrate Dark Mode with this $50 Sphero Star Wars droid from Best Buy

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 14:56

Normally I fill this space with tips about the hottest deals on Apple’s own products, but for this Friday, let’s have some fun, shall we?

Today Best Buy is selling the R2-Q5 app-controlled droid from Sphero for just $50, down from the original price of $200. For a bit of comparison, it’s currently selling for $84.99 on Amazon (and there are a few left in stock). If your dad’s anything like me, it’ll make a great Father’s Day gift.

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Stream all the 4K things for cheap with $20 off the Roku Ultra today

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:31

Streaming television is fast becoming the norm, but as any cord-cutter will tell you, you can't get great streaming services without a great device to play them on. Roku leads the charge when it comes to service availability, and right now you can get the popular 4K-ready Roku Ultra on Amazon for $80, down from an MSRP of $100.

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Apple and Google harden their smartphones against hackers and governments

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 08:00

Google and Apple regularly make changes to Android and iOS to improve the integrity of the hardware running those operating systems, making it less likely that an unauthorized party could gain access to data stored on them. Two changes, one in beta and one in a shipping device, up the ante for criminals, companies, and governments who have found ways or might force ways of bypassing protections.

Google stops trusting itself

Apple and Google both use secure components within their devices to store critical data in a manner that prevents extraction and deters physical tampering. For Apple, that’s all modern iOS devices; for Google, that’s currently only its Pixel 2 models, though Android P will allow other device makers to built this in. The secure module stores elements like credit-card numbers for payment, and the characteristics derived from fingerprints that are used to validate access to a device. Apple calls its module Secure Enclave, while Google doesn’t have a capitalized term for it.

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ZVOX AccuVoice AV200 TV Speaker review: This compact soundbar accentuates voices

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 06:00
Say what? The ZVOX AccuVoice AV200 TV Speaker's hearing-aid technology makes voices easier to hear.

WWDC 2018: Apple’s counterintuitive business moves

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 06:00

There’s a great scene in my favorite Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street, where a Macy’s sales manager is shocked to overhear the department store Santa Claus send a distraught mother to a competitor to buy a toy. But what starts as a fireable offense ends up becoming a marketing strategy, as Macy himself realizes that, counterintuitively, there’s a benefit to being seen as a store that cares more about its customers than its profits.

Apple, it seems, has taken this philosophy to heart. The company has always put forth the image that it cares more about surprising and delighting its customers than about cold hard cash, and on occasion it seems to make decisions that would otherwise seem counterintuitive to the capitalistic idea of simply raking in as much money as it can.

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Get a MacBook Pro for less than $1,000 during Best Buy's Father's Day sale

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 16:11

If you haven’t got that special dad in your life a Father’s Day gift, fear not—Best Buy is here with great deals on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the Apple TV 4K, and Beats headphones.

The star of the show is easily the $300 discount you can take off the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and you can push that up to $350 if you qualify for student pricing. With that kind of discount, you can get the 128GB 13-inch MacBook Pro for just $999.99 (down from $1,299.99) and the 256GB model for just $1,199.99 (down from $1,499.99). None of these models come with the Touch Bar, but the general consensus is that it’s a gimmick at best. You’ll be fine.

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