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Updated: 5 hours 20 min ago

Three things that probably won’t show up at next week’s Apple event

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 07:00

Welcome to the calm before the storm. Apple is readying its announcements for its annual fall event next week and the rumors and whispers have started to coalesce around what we’ll likely see trotted out: new iPhones, including better camera features, new Apple Watch case materials, and a Tile competitor that will let you track your wallet, keys, and so on.

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HDHomeRun Scribe Quatro and Servio review: Great video quality, but clunky software

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 06:00
HDHomeRun's whole-home DVR hardware, the Scribe and Servio, streams broadcasts in native quality on the cheap, but the software is still too crude.

Agenda 6 review: Note taking gets supercharged with calendar events, reminders

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 06:00

Apps for taking notes are plentiful these days, and often free. Apple Notes is one every Mac and iOS device owner owns but often overlooks, due in large part to its former reputation as a barebones, skeuomorphic scratchpad. Thanks to a slew of recent enhancements like text styling, formatting, attachments, checklists, and tables, Notes is now a pretty capable piece of software.

One thing Apple Notes still can’t do is tightly integrate with calendar events, iCloud or otherwise. Then again, neither can many others, with the exception of Agenda—and once you’ve gotten a taste for this method of organization, you’ll find it hard to return to plain, undated notes.

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Apple launches Apple Music web app beta

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 17:51

One of Apple Music’s most obvious missing features has been the inability of subscribers to listen to your library, playlists, or radio selections without using the iOS app, Android app, or iTunes (soon to be Apple Music in macOS Catalina). Without a web-based experience, it was harder to play your tunes from computers or mobile devices you don’t own and sharing on social media felt limited.

It was such an obvious missing feature that a recent unofficial web player attracted a couple hundred thousand users.

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Ears-on with the Sonos Move Bluetooth speaker: Portable Sonos sound with Alexa and Google Assistant onboard

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 09:00
The audio gurus at Sonos have finally jumped into the portable Bluetooth speaker arena, and from what we’ve seen—and heard—the Move should be worth the wait.

Printer preference pane freezing? Here’s how to reset macOS’s printing system

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 08:00

Usually when we’re yelling at printers, it’s at the printers themselves, not the software. They’re out of ink, have a page jam, or—if you’re printer is old school—flashing PC LOAD LETTER. But sometimes, it’s your Mac that’s giving you trouble.

On occasion and for discernable reason, your Printers & Scanners preference pane could wind up empty, and every action you take causes a spinning rainbow cursor or extremely long delays on the order of minutes. This happened to me recently, and a survey of people’s post across many forums provided no better explanation as to why than my own suppositions.

Your first move is easy:

  1. Control-click in an empty area in the Printers list.

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Apple Sept. 10 event preview, sleep tracking on the Apple Watch, your hot takes, and more

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 07:00

Apple’s big event is next week—let’s talk about it! Is sleep tracking coming to the Apple Watch? Plus, your hot takes! That and more are all in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

This is episode 666 with Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Michael Simon.

Listen to episode 666

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Roku and Amazon have different ideas about over-the-air DVR

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 06:00
Over-the-air DVR might always be a niche, even as antennas make a comeback.

Jaybird Tarah Sports Earbuds review: For the price, the base model is ‘good enough’

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 06:00

What do cars and a MacBook Air have in common? They both come with tiered pricing. Your new car could roll off of the lot with its manufacturer’s base-level interior or you can pay to swank out your seats in rich Corinthian leather (which mostly came from a tannery near New Jersey, but that’s beside the point.) Investing in the least expensive version of the latest MacBook will land you a great little laptop. But spending a little bit more will set you up with more RAM and additional storage. Jaybird’s Tarah Wireless Sports earphones are a little bit like that.

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Report: Apple event may contain 'One more thing,' upgraded Apple TV on the way

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 13:47

As we approach the big September 10 reveal of the iPhone 11, the rumor mill shows no signs of slowing down. The latest rumblings indicate that Apple will have a “One more thing” surprise in store for us, and could be on the verge of releasing an updated Apple TV. These may or may not be related.

Twitter tipster CoinX has accurately leaked several Apple products (or details of them) over the last couple years. The account doesn’t tweet often, but it updated on September 4 to quote Steve Jobs’ famous “One more thing...” line.


Over the years, several (but not all) Apple events have ended with a new product or service that was introduced by Steve Jobs, later Tim Cook, saying that "there’s one more thing...” Some such announcements have been minor (the iPod nano, iTunes Match) but most, especially recently, have been major product announcements. The only “One more thing...” announcements in the last five years were the Apple Watch, Apple Music, and the iPhone X.

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A 2019 iPhone wish list

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 12:30

We’re less than a week away from Apple’s latest fall media event, and that means it’s the last opportunity for us all to straddle the worlds of cold, hard reality and the fantastic scenarios where everything we dream about Apple releasing could still happen.

I generally prefer to dwell in reality, but I accept that sometimes my hopes get the best of me and a little bit of wish-casting sneaks into my cold, hard analysis. Admitting that is probably the first step on a long road to recovery. In the meantime, however, here’s a mostly reality-based look at what I’m hoping to see from Apple next week.

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Fresh rumors raise the possibility of the iPhone SE making a return

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 10:30

As we all anxiously wait for Tuesday’s unveiling of the iPhone 11, the rumors are already pouring in about next year’s phones. Today’s isn’t about the iPhone 12, however. It’s about the little phone that won’t go away: the iPhone SE.

Apple may have retired the iPhone SE with the launch of the iPhone XS last year, but a Nikkei Asian Review report claims it will be coming back. According to the publication’s sources, Apple is planning to launch a lower-cost iPhone in spring 2020 to help bolster sales in the face of strong competition from Huawei and Samsung.

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Roku adds a soundbar and subwoofer to its audio lineup

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 09:00
Roku has announced the October availability of a soundbar that doubles as a streaming device, as well as a subwoofer that pairs with it and the company's existing wireless speakers.

Roxio Toast 18 Pro review: Lacks a compelling reason to upgrade from version 17

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 08:00

Although we live in a world dominated by streaming media, many consumers still prefer the old-school charm of optical discs for archiving cherished memories. Whether it’s a wedding video, family vacation, or other life event, it can be handy to create a Blu-ray Disc or DVD you can stash on a shelf or hand off to friends and loved ones.

Burnt toast

When it comes to burning optical discs, Roxio has catered to Mac users longer than most anyone else. It’s a tradition that continues—for better or worse—with the release of Toast 18. Available in standard ($100) or Pro ($150) editions, the core Toast Titanium app has remained largely unchanged in recent years, aside from much-needed 64-bit compatibility and dark mode support.

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What to do if you’re worried about the legitimacy of a downloaded software installer

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 07:00

You should almost always download installers for apps, drivers, or other software directly from the site operated by the software’s developer. However, sometimes developers rely on third-party sites to host their files. Or you might encounter a situation like mine: I was unable to reach a company’s site recently, as it was temporarily down, and I found a driver I needed on a third-party update site.

This might leave you a little concerned as to whether the installer was legitimate or at least provided by the developer. Some download sites have been known to package real software updates with adware that, when installed, serves up unwanted advertising or rewrites links on pages to redirect who receives credit for ads you see or click on.

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Bond Bridge by Olibra review: Bringing smart-home tech to dumb ceiling fans

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:00
Make your dumb ceiling fan or fireplace smart today with this Wi-Fi bridge, and it might enable you to do the same for your air conditioner and other appliances later.

It's football season! These second-screen apps make NFL games even more fun to watch

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:00
Bringing you everything from stats to game-time snacks, these apps are as indispensable as your TV remote.

NFL without cable: A cord-cutter’s guide for the 2019 pro football season

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:00
Whether you've cut the cord or are sticking with cable, our guide will show you all the ways you can watch America's favorite sport on TV, including Monday Night Football and NFL RedZone.

The best wireless chargers for iPhone

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 18:35

Beginning with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple added wireless charging to the iPhone. That continues with the iPhone XS and iPhone XR.

Wireless charging isn’t always a great substitute for plugging in, but it’s a very convenient way to keep your phone topped off through most of the day. A wireless charger on your desk means no more plugging and unplugging throughout the day and a full charge when you head home from work. A wireless charger next to your bed makes it easy to grab and go in the morning, or just pick up your phone to “check one thing” without fussing with the lightning cable.

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Geekbench 5 is released with all-new tests, modes, and scores

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:27

Primate Labs has release a major new update of its popular Geekbench performance measurement tool. Geekbench 5 comes three years after the release of Geekbench 4 and features all new test methods, workloads, and a new measurement scale. As such, it should be a much more accurate representation of modern workloads on modern hardware, and the scores are not at all comparable with those from Geekbench 4.

We often use Geekbench here at Macworld to give an overall picture of the CPU and GPU compute performance of iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It’s one of the few cross-device and cross-operating-system comparable benchmarks available; while it doesn’t paint a perfect picture of the difference in performance between an Intel chip running Windows, an Android phone with a Qualcomm processor, and an iPad with Apple’s custom silicon, it is one of the best synthetic benchmarks available to at least attempt to make such a comparison.

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