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Dahlia Home Review: Finally, I can repurpose my old iPhone as a smart home hub (said no one ever)

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 06:00
Here’s a truly innovative solution in search of a problem.

Amarey A800 robot vacuum cleaner review: This budget robot vac delivers premium performance

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 06:00
Your floors won't collect dust but your stand-up vacuum might.

How Apple Arcade could make Apple a major player in gaming

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 18:43

Apple’s new gaming service is called Apple Arcade, which you, O loyal Macworld reader, may recognize as the name I use for my column on Mac and iOS gaming. I suppose we can effectively declare the column dead.

It’s a cool name, though, and what Apple showed us on stage at its “Show time” event looks like a cool service. Beginning sometime in the fall, you’ll be able to pay Apple an unspecified subscription fee that grants access to around 100 “new and exclusive” games. None of the games will have in-app purchases, and they will only be playable on iOS devices and Macs. All of the games will be accessible offline.

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Best media streaming devices

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 17:50
Roku Streaming Stick vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV, and more. Which streaming device is best for cord cutters? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.

The Apple TV+ video streaming service: 8 burning questions

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 17:47

At long last, Apple on Monday took the wraps off of its new TV service. It’ll be called Apple TV+ and will include a variety of shows from the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Kevin Durant, and Rupert Grint. Several of the major players were on hand at the event to outline their vision, and Apple basically billed the service as the greatest collection of talent ever assembled on television.

But after the songs, standing ovations, and flowery rhetoric was complete, we didn’t learn much about Apple’s new service that we didn’t already know. It may be the first time Apple has confirmed that it is indeed working on its own original content, but that was hardly a secret. Apple didn’t actually answer any of the questions we have about Apple TV+, which are many. For example...

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The best Amazon Echo add-ons and accessories

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 17:46
A few are goofy, but many are great: These mostly inexpensive gadgets can make Amazon’s smart speakers even better.

The new Apple TV app and Apple TV Channels: 9 things you need to know

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 16:52

After months of speculation, rumors, and leaks, Apple has finally taken the wraps off its plans for the future of TV, and it comes in two parts: There’s a new subscription service coming this fall called Apple TV+, and an overhaul of the Apple TV app, coming this spring.

We've covered Apple TV+ in a separate article, but here’s what you need to know about the new TV app, and the way Apple hopes it will change streaming and become the new destination for cord cutters.

A new design, but not many new features

Though the TV app has a newly refreshed design, you’ll recognize many features from the current app. The Up Next section—which shows a list of next episodes for shows you’ve watched, as well as TV shows or movies you stopped in the middle off—is still there. So are the sections for TV Shows, Movies, Sports, Kids, and your Library of shows or movies you own.

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The Apple Card may be the most revolutionary announcement Apple made at its 'Show time' event

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 16:41

We might not have gotten a new iPhone or AirPower at Monday’s "Show time" event, but Apple did unveil a new product: It’s called Apple Card, and it's sure to shake things up.

Building on the success of Apple Pay, which will be available in more than 40 countries by the end of 2019, Apple Card—which consists of both a service and a sleek, thin, titanium card—dispenses with the usual confusion around credit cards to simplify and streamline financial transactions, as well as create an experience unlike any other card on the planet.

It just might be the most revolutionary announcement Apple made on Monday. Apple said that by the end of the year Apple Pay will be responsible for more than 10 billion transactions since its inception, but Apple Card promises to be more than just another tab in your digital wallet. It’s smarter, simpler, friendlier, and more fiscally transparent than any credit card out there—including Apple’s own Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards.

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7 reasons why we can't wait to try Apple News+

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 16:39

The focus of Apple’s “It’s show time” event may have been TV entertainment services, but the company made a big splash right out of the gate with the announcement of Apple News+. As the name implies, it’s a premium version of Apple News that offers more content than you’ll get with the free app—all with a focus on magazines.

Specifically, for $9.99 a month, you and your family get access to more than 300 magazines and other publications ranging from National Geographic to Wired to The Wall Street Journal. We’ll dig deeper once we’ve spent time with Apple News+, but for now, here’s what intrigues us the most.

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Best home security camera: Keep an eye on the home front

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 13:27
A boom in wireless security cameras is inspiring a movement in DIY home surveillance. Follow our buying guide and read our reviews to find the best option for you.

Apple's 'Show time' event: 10 surprises we might see

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 10:42

With just hours to go before Apple’s Show Time event kicks off at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park, news reports are starting to answer lingering questions about what Apple will reveal—assuming the reports are true, of course. A flurry of leaks, rumors, and teases from Bloomberg, Recode, the Wall Street Journal and Apple itself have raised the stakes and piqued our curiosity about the event, which kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific. Here's what we know so far.

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How to conserve mobile data by turning off iTunes and other downloads in iOS

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 07:00
IDG

Disable cellular-based downloads in iTunes & App Stores.

If you find you’re using unexpected amounts of cellular data with your iPhone or iPad, according to your carrier, you can check Settings > Cellular in iOS to view usage. (The current period listed is since the last time you swiped to the bottom—and you may have to swipe a very long way—and chose to reset statistics.)

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How to make the most of Roku voice controls

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 06:00
Everything you need to know about controlling Roku with Alexa, Google Assistant, or your voice remote.

Ninety7 Sky Tote Portable Battery Base review: Take your second-gen Amazon Echo anywhere

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 06:00
Here’s an inexpensive way to carry the Alexa digital assistant with you everywhere.

IVPN review: The WireGuard protocol made easy for Mac users

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 06:00

Hang around in the world of VPNs long enough, and you’ll inevitably hear about Wireguard, a new VPN protocol that’s supposed to deliver fast transfer speeds and be easy to implement. To try it out, however, you need to be running a Unix-y system such as macOS or Linux, find a VPN service supplying WireGuard, and then get it up and running via the command line.

That all changed when IVPN implemented WireGuard in 2018 as a beta option in its macOS app. IVPN warns that the protocol is still under development, and you shouldn’t use WireGuard “except for testing or in situations where security is not critical.” Nonetheless, the protocol is available and it’s easy to use, so we gave it a try to see how it works, and what IVPN can offer.

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