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Updated: 17 hours 47 min ago

Apple Watch takes another step toward independence with a rumored on-wrist App Store

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 11:09

The Apple Watch took a huge step toward being a standalone device with the addition of LTE on Series 4, and now it could take another one. In a report on Bloomberg News, Mark Gurman says Apple will bring a full App Store app in watchOS 6, letting users search and install apps right on their wrists.

According to the report, the App Store app will let users “download apps on the go,” but it’s unclear how it would work. For one, there are thousands of apps to navigate on a very small screen, and for another, Apple currently requires the full version of the companion app to be installed on an iPhone. Nor is it clear which series of Apple Watch would support the App Store. But whatever the case, it’s a welcome change from the current method, which is entirely handled by the iPhone and quite inelegant.

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Major leak reveals iOS 13’s biggest secrets: revamped apps, handy new features, and a Sleep Mode

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:22

With just a month to go until WWDC, it was only a matter of time before Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman spilled the beans on what to expect at the event, and today we have it. In an extensive report, the well-connected leaker outlines several new apps and major changes coming to the iPhone and iPad. From the looks of it, iOS 13 could be the biggest release since the controversial iOS 7 overhaul.

The most intriguing new rumored feature is called Sleep Mode. According to the report, it will be an upgraded version of the underused Bedtime tab in the Clock app. When enabled, Sleep Mode will automatically turn on Do Not Disturb, darken the Lock Screen, and mute all notifications, so you’re not disturbed by buzzing and beeping during the night. Gurman also says Bedtime—which currently tracks time that you spent in bed, but not how much you slept or moved—will offer more extensive sleep tracking, possibly portending the arrival of Fitbit-like sleep tracking on the Apple Watch. 

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3 easy ways to create animated GIFs on your iPhone

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 07:00

The ancient GIF format isn’t going away anytime soon. With the birth of social media and memes, the three-decade-old format for lightweight, looping, sound-free animation has found a new lease on life. There are better formats for capturing animation, but none so widely supported.

You don’t need fancy editing software on your PC or Mac to make a GIF. All you need is your iPhone. While there are lots of ways to make a GIF with your iPhone, these three should cover most of your needs.

Save Live Photos as GIFs

Live Photos capture a couple seconds of animation on either side of the picture you take. Hold down on them, and you can see it animate. To capture Live Photos, press the concentric circles at the top of the camera app.

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Best TVs: Our top picks, plus plain-language explanations of the most important specs and features

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 06:01
There are plenty of great smart TVs. Our guide cuts through the alphabet soup to tell everything you need to know to buy the one that's right for you.

Hisense H8F 4K UHD TV (2019) review: Better color, better blacks, and better HDR

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 06:00
Hisense's H8F has upped its game with array backlighting, more vivid color, and true HDR pop.

Klipsch The Three review: This high-quality wireless speaker wraps Google Assistant in mid-century modern design

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 06:00
With support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Google Assistant, this speaker is a beautifully crafted speaker, but it carries a premium price tag.

Upgrading an older iMac’s PCIe SSD: Third-party solutions that save you beaucoup bucks

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 06:00

I love Retina iMacs. So much so that I took a chance and bought a used 2015 low-end Core i5 iMac with a 1TB Fusion Drive (which combines a 24GB NVMe SSD and a 1TB hard drive)—a machine that’s actually slower than my 2012 Core i7 iMac. I bought it with upgrading in mind, which is where the fickle finger of fate came into play.

I wanted to upgrade the iMac’s NVMe SSD with something that offered more space but was relatively less expensive (in other words, not sold by Apple). I found conflicting info about the upgrade, though. Authoritatively stated advice such as “You’ll kill the machine and possibly yourself” was hardly useful (not to mention, completely incorrect), while “Well, it worked in my 2017 [iMac]” provided hope, but no specifics.

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Apple’s heavy hand with parental-control apps is about trust, not anti-trust

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 12:31

After a public back-and-forth between the New York Times and Apple VP Phil Schiller over the allowance of Mobile Device Management-powered parental control apps in the App Store, the Gray Lady is once again training its sights on Apple in a new op-ed calling for regulators to “take a close look at the iPhone App Store.”

The un-bylined piece lays out a case for the United States government to take action against Apple over “anti-competitive behavior” since “the company controls what a user can or cannot do on their own iPhone.” Toward the end of the piece, the Times asks, “Why is one company in charge of vetting what users can or cannot do on their phones, especially when that company also makes apps that compete in a marketplace that it controls?”

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WaterField Designs iPad mini Travel Case review: A mini marvel for a mini iPad

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 09:00

Now that you’ve got a new iPad mini, why not carry it in style? Few cases afford such a pleasant mix of utility and style as WaterField Designs’ new iPad mini Travel Case, which shields the tablet and features slots for holding everything from the Apple Pencil to your AirPods and charging cables. It barely takes up more room than the tablet itself, and it’s small enough to slip comfortably into an airline seat pocket.

It’s attractive, but it certainly looks like a high-end “travel case”—specifically one that I might stow a toothbrush in along with a few vials of hotel shampoo. Maybe that’s because of the little nylon loop in the upper left, which you can slip your finger in to minimize the chances of dropping the case while it’s in your hand. Maybe it’s because of the zippers, whether it’s the long one that extends for around 15 inches around two side of the case or the almost 9-inch that stretches across the front.

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What the future looks like for the Mac, iPad Pro, and Apple Watch

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:00

Apple’s quarterly financial conference calls are always an opportunity to peer into the minds of a company that is famously tight-lipped about its intentions. And while most attempts to suss out future plans from the Cupertino-based company are met with an weary sigh and a polite dismissal, Apple is not above letting details of its own choosing slip out.

This most recent quarter was no exception and, especially when it came to the Apple product lines that aren’t the iPhone. As rare as those tea leaves are, we can’t help but use them as a jumping off point to theorize about decisions the company might make or might be thinking about making. So let’s take a look at a few of Apple’s non-iPhone product lines and see where they may be headed.

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Best water leak detectors for smart homes

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:01
Fires can be devastating, but water damage is a far more common risk. These smart devices will alert you if your home springs a leak, so you can take action quickly.

Best surge protector: Reviews and buying advice

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:01
Far better than ordinary power strips, these products will protect your expensive electronics from dangerous power spikes. We'll help you pick the right one for your home or small office.

SimpleSENCE Home Leak & Freeze Detector review: No hub, no frills

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:00
The SimpleSence water leak detector only does the basics, but it does them well.

Family Sharing is broken, but Apple could easily fix it

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:00

Apple’s got a bunch of new services on the way. News+ just launched. Apple TV+ is coming this fall. So is Apple Arcade. By the end of this year, the only way to experience the best of the Apple ecosystem will be to subscribe to one or more of these services, probably along with current services like expanded iCloud storage or Apple Music.

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Eve Energy Strip review: HomeKit support is a plus, to be sure, but this surge protector is absurdly priced

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 06:00
A hundred bucks for three HomeKit outlets? You do the math.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launches in Australia and New Zealand

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 13:50

The next big location-based game from Niantic Labs, the company that brought us Pokémon Go, is now available—if you happen to live in Australia or New Zealand.

Users in those countries can head to the App Store or Google Play to download the game and start playing right now. The rest of the world can do nothing more than go to and sign up to be notified when the game is formally available in their location.

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Apple’s Q2 2019 results, the battle with parental control apps, better iPhone video on Android, and your hot takes

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 08:00

On the show, we talk about Apple’s recent financials and Apple’s battle with parental control apps. Plus, Michael Simon shows us how to preserve video quality when sharing videos between iPhones and Android phones, and we wrap up the show with your hot takes from the Macworld social media feeds.

This is episode 649 with Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Michael Simon.

Listen to episode 649

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Seagate IronWolf 110 2.5-inch SSD: Up to 4TB of NAS storage designed to last, but a lot of cash

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 07:46

While Intel’s Optane SSDs set the standard for longevity ratings by letting you write a ludicrous 18 terabytes for every 1GB of memory on board, there are NAND-based SSDs that will endure beyond the norm.

One such drive, Seagate’s new TLC-based IronWolf 110 SSD, is rated for just under 2TBW (TeraBytes Written) for every 1GB of capacity—two to four times the norm for a consumer drive. The endurance is indicative of the 110’s intended role in NAS boxes, where it’s bound to see heavier workloads, though the drive is also well suited for PC users who want above-average reliability.

Models and price

The IronWolf 110 SSD is available in five capacities for roughly 25 to 30 cents per gigabyte. In addition to the 1.92TB capacity we tested ($490 on Amazon),  the drive comes in capacities of 240GB ($93 on AmazonRemove non-product link), 480GB ($148 on AmazonRemove non-product link), 960GB ($276 on AmazonRemove non-product link), and 3.82TB ($980 on AmazonRemove non-product link). Those are the prices listed on Amazon as of 4/30/2019; Seagate had not provided pricing at the time of this writing. Considering the five-year warranty and high TBW ratings, that’s not bad at all. You could go cheaper, but not with the same guarantees. 

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How Apple TV Channels prices compare to native apps like HBO Now, Showtime, and CBS All Access

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 07:00

Apple’s newly redesigned TV app, coming in iOS 12.3, isn’t exactly packed with new features. The layout has changed a little, but it’s really the same TV app we’ve had on our iPhones and Apple TV boxes for a couple years now.

The new app is all about access, not features. It’s going to appear on smart TVs, Roku, and Fire TV. It’ll even come to the Mac this fall.

It’s also the place where you’ll find new ways to subscribe to content. Apple TV+ will showcase Apple’s original shows and series starting this fall, and Apple TV Channels let you subscribe to other streaming providers from right within the TV app. It’s just like Amazon Prime Video Channels or Roku Channel Premium Subscriptions.

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New Blu-ray and DVD releases: Get your favorite movies on disc

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 06:00
These nine movies are now available on DVD and BD.