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JBL Xtreme 2 review: A sturdy Bluetooth speaker that's up for serious partying

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 06:00
Boasting a weatherization rating of IPX7, JBL's beefy Xtreme 2 portable Bluetooth speaker can deliver the tunes just about anywhere.

Lockly Secure Plus Review: Biometrics comes to the smart lock

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 06:00
You can open this smart lock with a PIN or your uniquely identifiable fingerprint.

Should Apple have its own search engine?

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 06:00

In a recent interview with Axios on HBO, Apple CEO Tim Cook was made to answer a very uncomfortable question. He was asked how he squares taking billions of dollars from Google to make it the default search engine for Safari (both on Mac and iOS) with his company’s stance on privacy. Google is certainly not the only company that trades in monetizing your online activity, but it’s one of the biggest. And Google’s search is far from achieving the level of data privacy that Apple demands of its products and services.

Tim’s answer was honest, if not satisfactory.

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Apple is selling more iPhone XRs than any other model, but that might not mean much

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 12:09

During a quarter when it usually sits back and counts money, Apple is in full damage-control mode. It started with its Black Friday sale, which lasted four days this year instead of one. Then it upped the trade-in value of older phones when you upgrade to the iPhone XR or XS. And now it’s straight up telling us that there’s nothing to worry about.

In an interview with CNET, Apple VP Greg Joswiak said that the iPhone XR “been our most popular iPhone each and every day since the day it became available.” While you can quibble with the term “most popular,” Joswiak clarified his remark to Reuters, telling the publication that the XR is Apple’s “most mainstream product and best-selling iPhone” since Apple started selling it on Oct. 26.

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5 things the iPad Pro should steal from the Pixel Slate (and 3 things it shouldn’t)

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 10:22

The iPad Pro’s closest competitor has arrived. Google’s Pixel Slate is a 12.3-inch Chrome OS-based tablet with slim bezels, no home button, USB-C support, lots of magnets, and a $200 companion keyboard. Sound familiar? But for all of their similarities, the Pixel Slate and iPad Pro are quite different—and not just because Google positions its logo to be right-side-up when docked in a keyboard. Here are a few things Apple’s should “borrow” from the Pixel Slate for the next revision (and a few it should pass on):

5 things the iPad Pro should steal from the Pixel Slate A second USB port

Like the iPad Pro, the Pixel Slate’s only connection is USB-C (there’s no headphone jack), but Google does Apple one better by adding a second port on the opposite side. So, no matter which side your outlet is on, you’ll be able to plug in without wrapping the wire around the screen. Google also positions the ports on the bottom rather than the center of the edge, so it looks much nicer when plugged in.

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CleanMyMac X review: Tune-up Mac app hampered by its malware detection

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 08:00

CleanMyMac X is MacPaw’s catch-all software crud and gunk remover for the Mac. This version swings for the fences, with new features such as a malware scanner, extensions manager, and a universal updater for all of your application programs. This is in addition to CleanMyMac X’s core functions, which include tools for smart cleanup, system junk, mail attachments, iTunes junk, trash bins, a large and old files scanner, privacy scanner, and application uninstaller.


CleanMyMac X's new menu bar menu.

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Couldn’t have said it better: Rumors don’t doom Apple

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 07:00

You can’t swing a 30-pin dock connector cable these days without hitting a pundit wailing about the Apple doom that the current swath of rumors of iPhone production cuts must mean.

Not that The Macalope is suggesting you should do that.

If anyone is watching.

Anyway, while the furry one maintains that you can’t trust these thinly-sourced supply chain rumors, there are seemingly a lot more thinly-sourced supply chain rumors this year than in previous years. Is it smoke or are analysts just smelling burnt toast again? When you add in a particularly bad turn in the market overall and the threat of tariffs on products made in China, yeah, #AAPL is down quite a bit.

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Amazon's eye for sports could shatter TV as we know it

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 06:00
Amazon buying regional Fox Sports networks could fulfill our a la carte sports dreams, but at a cost.

Kangaroo Motion Sensor review: This home security system only goes halfway

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 06:00
This home security system sure sounds inexpensive, but it's no bargain.

How an Apple TV stick could make Apple’s video streaming service an instant hit

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 06:00

You might have missed it between all the turkey brining and Black Friday sales, but last week The Information reported that Apple considered making a tiny AppleTV “stick” similar to those made by competitors like Amazon and Roku.

Up to now, Apple has been steadfast in holding the line on Apple TV pricing. When the company introduced the Apple TV 4K, it didn’t even drop the price on the fourth-generation model—they’re still both for sale, at starting prices of $149 and $179 respectively.

Compare that to the competition: You can buy a Fire TV Stick for $40 and a 4K version for $50, and comparable devices from Roku cost $30 and $40, respectively. Yes, these sticks are underpowered compared to Apple’s box—Roku’s Apple TV equivalent box is $100—but no matter how you measure it, Apple’s not competitive in the TV box market when it comes to price.

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HideIPVPN review: Great if you need a speedy connection via Germany

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 19:03
HideIPVPN is easy to use, but its performance leaves a lot to be desired.

Best VPN services of 2018: Reviews and buying advice

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 15:55
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.

Report: Apple Watch Series 4 ECG coming in watchOS 5.1.2

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 14:33

The Apple Watch Series 4 is Apple’s biggest upgrade for its popular wearable to date, but we’re still waiting for one of its marquee features. In September, Apple made a big deal about the device’s ability to perform an electrocardiogram—abbreviated as ECG or EKG—for your heart by putting your finger on the crown and waiting for 30 seconds. It might be the Series 4’s coolest new trick, but it has perpetually been listed as “coming later this year,” and the year is coming to a close.

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Google Fi wireless service now works with iPhones and most Android phones, but there’s a catch

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 13:54
Google has opened and rebranded its Project Fi service to work on nearly every phone available, but you're really only getting T-Mobile service.

Giveaway: Win a 2018 11-inch iPad Pro!

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 09:00

The new iPad Pro is an incredible machine, and it boasts cool features such as a faster processor, Face ID support, USB-C connectivity, as well as support for a greatly improved Apple Pencil. Normally you’d have to pay at least $799 for one, but we’re teaming up with AnyTrans to give one away to a lucky Macworld reader for the low price of free!

If you win, you’ll specifically get a space gray 11-inch iPad Pro with Wi-Fi and 64GB of storage.

You'll also win a free pre-activated version of the AnyTrans service for transferring, backing up, and managing your data. We especially like AnyTrans because it offers more control over the data you import to your new device than Apple’s own iCloud options.

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How to restore missing photos after downgrading iCloud storage

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 07:00

iCloud storage isn’t expensive, especially compared to Apple’s competitors. If you use iCloud Photos (the new name for iCloud Photo Library), it’s easy to exceed the 5GB of free storage included with iCloud and then outstrip the 50GB ($1 a month)—and the 200 GB tier ($3 a month).

For folks paying for iCloud storage, it might be tempting to cut out those recurring subscriptions and just store media locally—typically on a Mac. But take care in particular if you’re using iCloud Photos: Downgrading your storage plan doesn’t immediately delete photos and videos, but it does make some of them inaccessible.

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iRobot Roomba i7+ review: This robot vacuum empties its own dustbin

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 06:00
Robot vacuums are great timesavers—at least until their small dustbins fill up. The Roomba i7+ is smart enough to empty its own.

Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 10 a.m. Pacific

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 16:30

We’re talking about Apple and the Supreme Court, Apple’s trade-in program and iPhone demand, and Apple’s fluctuating market cap. We also respond to your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Dan Masaoka, and Michael Simon in the Macworld Podcast, episode 631.

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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Best smart sprinkler controller

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 15:13
Whether you’re motivated by water conservation, saving money, a drive to render every aspect of your home smart, or all the above, a smart irrigation controller will scratch that itch.

Battery charges: Apple’s always doing it wrong

Tue, 11/27/2018 - 09:00

Apple has added more iPhones to the list of those that can be subject to battery performance management, proving once and for all that the company is the worst thing since unsliced bread.

(“When will someone invent the knife and rid us of these unbearably uneven pieces of bread?!” our ancestors wailed.)

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and cold monkey fusion research facility, Ewan Spence tells us “Apple Adds Performance Management To Throttle iPhone X Battery.” (Tip o’ the antlers to 5cat.)

Once more, Apple has decided on what is best for everyone with an iPhone as it sneakily adds code in the latest release of iOS 12 to slow down the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X smartphones in a bid to extend the battery life of the handsets.

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