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Updated: 9 hours 29 sec ago

The real winners: You won’t believe who’s supposedly beating Apple

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 09:00

In all the hoopla over Apple’s new phones and the recently alleged data breaches reported by Bloomberg and refuted by many, it’s nice to know that we can figure out who the real winners are.

Let The Macalope just look at it here…

[puts on reading glasses, squints at paper]

Says “BlackBerry and Nokia.”


OK. Yes. That certainly makes sense.

[takes off glasses, puts down piece of paper, lies down in a forest and lets the trees slowly subsume him]

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How to get out of iOS public beta program

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 08:00

Apple encourages people with the time and tolerance for mild risk to join its iOS and macOS public beta programs each summer after it announces updates the Worldwide Developer Conference. This year’s batch were remarkably stable and consistent, which offered a great experience.

Even though iOS 12 is officially here, if you're still in the beta program, you will get beta of iOS 12 updates. For example, Apple recently gave notice that a 12.1 beta would be installed if beta program participants had auto-updates turned on. How to get off this update conveyor belt? Macworld reader Jason wrote in with just that question.

It’s easy:

  1. Open Settings and navigate to General > Profile.
  2. Tap the iOS 12 Beta Software Profile.
  3. Tap Remove Profile.
  4. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  5. Tap Remove to confirm.

If you want to re-enroll, visit the Apple Beta Software Program page and follow the steps to install that profile again.

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Google's lost year in TV

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 07:00
Despite a new Chromecast and Android TV box, Google seems starved for ideas.

iDevices Thermostat review: This inexpensive smart thermostat works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, too

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 07:00
Whether your smart home uses an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomePod, this budget-priced thermostat will fit right in.

6 improvements we’d like to see in the Apple Pencil 2

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 06:00

You might be excited about the new rumors dropping for the upcoming iPad Pro refresh, but I’m here salivating over the crumbs of info regarding the next Apple Pencil. To be frank, they’re not particularly filling: Monday’s report from 9to5Mac mainly claimed the next stylus would be easier to pair with an iPad, much as we see with the AirPods and HomePod. That’s cool and all, but the more I think about it, the more I’m surprised this feature wasn’t in at launch.

I’m not surprised the details are so scant. After all, the Apple Pencil is already close to perfect. The heft is spot-on. It comes closer to translating the feel of a real pen or pencil than any other stylus I’ve used. I feel as though I’m creating something, rather than merely using a tool for input.

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Report: Apple to give away its original TV programs, offer third-party subscription 'channels'

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 17:46

Apple has been hard at work building a stable of original TV content: shows, series, and movies. Though the company hasn’t officially announced any of its shows (beyond the maligned Planet of the Apps and the currently-running Carpool Karaoke), the Hollywood trade press has uncovered more than two dozen projects in various stages of development.

Now, CNBC claims to have insider information regarding how much Apple’s new video service will cost and how it will be structured. And it’s good news for those who already have Apple products: It’s going to be free

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Best iPhone XR cases: Top picks in every style

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 17:07

Apple has announced a fleet of new iPhones. The most affordable of the bunch is the iPhone XR, starting at $749. The 6.1-inch phone has many of the premium features found in the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max, and comes in six different colors. (See why we think the iPhone XR is a worthy upgrade to the iPhone X.)

iPhone XR cases: Our top picks Our quick-hit recommendations. Read this article to find out what makes these cases stand out.
    1. Grip Clear View
    2. Symmetry Clear View
    3. Presidio Stay Clear View
    4. Evo Check View
    5. Flex Switch Carbon Fibre View
    6. Impact Case for iPhone XR View
    7. Strada Series Folio View
    8. Vintage Leather Wallet View
    9. Bella Fino View
    10. Wood Case View
    11. Limitless 2.0 Wood Case View
    12. SuperSkin View
    13. Thin iPhone XR Case View

It might be the more affordable option, but it’s still a significant expense, so you’re going to want a case to protect it. Fortunately, there are some very nice case options to choose from. We rounded up our top picks to help you decide. We’ll add more to the list as new cases become available, so watch this space.

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USB-C on the iPad Pro: What it could mean for users

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 15:00

The rumors of new iPad Pros keep swirling. Most recently we got a report from 9to5Mac saying that the new iPads would break with past models in several ways, including support for a new Apple Pencil, removing a physical home button in favor of Face ID, replacing the Smart Connector with a new magnetic connector, and replacing Lightning with USB-C.

Would this the beginning of a transition away from Lightning? Or is it another way for Apple to reinforce that the iPad Pro is more like a computer and less like an iPhone? Moving the iPad Pro to USB-C is potentially a huge move—though it’s also potentially a whole lot of nothing. Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

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Google Pixel 3 XL vs Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max: Which $1,000 phone is worth it?

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 12:30
The iPhone XS isn't so lonely anymore: The Google Pixel 3 XL has joined the Galaxy Note 9 in the four-figure realm. But how does it stack up?

These massively popular Bluetooth sport headphones are only $17 today

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 11:03

A reliable pair of wireless sport headphones can bring your playlist to your workout, but finding a reliable set at an affordable price can be tricky. Today, though, Mpow’s ultra-popular Flame Bluetooth headphones are $17 on Amazon, which matches their lowest-ever price.

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Amazon's luxurious Kindle Voyage e-reader is $105 off in this today-only refurbished deal

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 10:08

E-readers are a fantastic way to breeze through novels. It turns books into completely searchable documents that you can highlight, bookmark, and make notes on.  Amazon’s luxurious Kindle Voyage elevates the experience even more, and for today only, the online retailer is selling this front-lit Kindle (refurbished) for $95 instead of the $140 it usually charges for a certified refurbished unit, and well below the $200 you'll pay for a new model.

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It’s time to switch your Mac backups from Time Capsule to Time Machine volumes

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 08:00

The Apple Time Capsule seemed like a great idea when it was unveiled about a decade ago. It was a Time Machine network backup target that also embedded a Wi-Fi gateway and ethernet sharing. Perfection, even if it was a little too expensive: It came with Apple technical support and warranty.

But it didn’t play out with the promise it had. An internal drive that you can’t physically remove or upgrade is a problem when it crashes or loses data, something that has happened to many Macworld readers. There’s no Disk Utility for Time Capsule. And if the Time Capsule hardware or the drive died, you could not swap that drive out without a lot of fuss.

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The iPhone XS Max is making me neglect my iPad

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 07:00

I haven’t used my iPad Pro in days. In fact, I kind of forgot it existed, as last week I guiltily realized I’d buried my longtime daily writing companion under a pile of papers as though it were a random piece of trash.

But the guilt passed quickly. Within seconds my attention had already turned back to my new iPhone XS Max, a device that does many of the tasks my iPad Pro does more comfortably and efficiently. And I highly doubt I’m alone in that thinking.

A world in an inch

Nothing about the iPhone XS Max won me over quite like its gorgeous 6.5-inch display. That’s “only” a diagonal inch larger than the iPhone 8 Plus, but that extra inch makes the iPhone XS Max good enough for activities that used to leave me reaching for my iPad. Heck, it sometimes makes my iPad feel superfluous. That extra inch blurs the transition line between the iPhone and the iPad, to the point that I feel confident in saying it effectively eliminates any chances of a iPad mini reboot.

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Google Home Hub hands on: Is there an Echo in here?

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 22:00
The Google Home Hub isn't just a competitor to the Amazon Echo, it's also one of best smart speakers I've ever seen.

Google’s new products look great, but they’re still no threat to Apple

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 18:45

Google just announced its suite of new hardware for 2018, including the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones, Pixel Slate tablet, and Home Hub smart display. They look like great products for those who are committed to the Google ecosystem.

But there’s nothing about them that should cause Apple to start sweating yet. As impressed as we may be by some of what Google showcased on Tuesday, nothing about these products leads us to believe that they’re going to cause a significant shift of users away from Apple’s. iPhones, iPads, and HomePods aren’t going to suffer any significant sales losses from Google’s latest.

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Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, October 10 at 10 a.m. Pacific

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 17:30

Apple has made several strong denials about any possibility that the Chinese has hacked the company’s servers. More iPad Pro rumors surface, and Google released some new products. We also respond to your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 625.

Watch us live

The Macworld Podcast broadcasts live on the internet on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on Twitter via Periscope or on the Macworld YouTube channel.

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MacBook Pro Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide: How to connect an iPhone, display, hard drive, and more

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 14:39

The new MacBook Pro comes with two or four external ports, depending on the model you pick. But those ports are only of one type: Thunderbolt 3, which is compatible with USB-C.

But you probably have devices that use USB-A, Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, HDMI, or something else. How do you connect these devices? With an adapter.

If you’re planning to buy a new MacBook Pro, make sure you set aside a considerable amount of cash for the adapters you need. Apple doesn’t include any in the box, except for a power adapter.

Your best bet is to get a combination dock, like the Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter ($60 on Amazon). It connects to the MacBook Pro via USB-C, and includes a USB-C pass-through port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port with 4K (30Hz) support. With this, you don’t have to carry around multiple adapters.

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GE Lighting's new C by GE smart lighting starter kit features the Google Home Mini

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 14:35
The $55 kit includes one of C by GE’s Bluetooth smart bulbs pre-paired with a Google Home Mini.

Grab this leather Apple Watch band for less than $5

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 13:56

Leather Apple Watch bands don’t have to cost a fortune, particularly if you get them from a brand besides Hermès. Consider, for instance, this gray Apple Watch band from Top4cus on Amazon. If you enter the code XMIK7F5E at checkout, you get either the 42/44mm or 38/40mm version for just $4.20. Not bad, considering it normally sells for $14.00.

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Google Home Hub: Top 5 features, and how it stacks up to Echo Show

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 13:55
Google aims to strangle the new Echo Show in its crib, but its new smart display could also cripple hardware partners like JBL and Lenovo.