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Updated: 1 year 9 weeks ago

Airthings Wave Mini review: This is a great entry-level air quality monitor

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 06:00
The radon-detecting Wave's little brother is a great way to start checking for airborne irritants.

The best indoor air quality monitors: Identify the pollutants that can compromise your health and comfort

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 06:00
Whether you suffer from allergies or asthma or just want to optimize your indoor environment, these devices will give you insight into the air you're breathing.

Amazon Prime Day 2019: Everything you need to know about Amazon's shopping extravaganza

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 02:11
It might only be summer, but Amazon wants you to pull out your wallet like it's Black Friday. Here's what you need to know about the retailer's upcoming sale bonanza on July 15 and 16.

How to install the iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 public beta

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 14:54

Apple has now officially begun its public beta test of iOS 13. The beta is expected to last until the public release in September, with updates every week or two. We caution you not to install the beta on a critical device—it is often full of bugs and rife with issues like poor battery life. That’s what a beta is for, after all: finding and fixing bugs.

We have lots of details about iOS 13 here, but if all you want to know is how to install it on your iPhone (or install iPadOS 13 on your iPad), follow these instructions.

Back up your device

Before you install any new OS update, and especially before you install a beta, it’s very important to make sure your device is backed up. Apple has a step-by-step guide to backing up your iPhone or iPad; we suggest performing an iTunes backup and creating an encrypted backup. That will ensure that your Health and Activity data is backed up as well.

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macOS Catalina: Everything you need to know

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 17:00

From the desert to the coast: macOS Mojave will soon be giving way to the next major version of the Mac operating system, called macOS Catalina. Revealed during Apple’s 2019 WWDC keynote in June, Catalina features some major new features that continues to move the OS forward.

In this FAQ, we’ll give you the general details on macOS Catalina: When it will be release, what Macs are compatible, etc. We’ll add more details to this article as they become available.

When will macOS Catalina be released?

MacOS Catalina will be released during the fall of 2019. In the recent past, Apple has released the new major new versions of macOS in late September, and they’ll probably stick to that plan again.

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How to get all of the Apple Watch Activity badges

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 12:19

Achievement badges are a funny thing. You know they’re just a simple little bit of visual flair, they don’t even do anything, and yet for some reason you just have to collect them. Achievements are great motivators, and the achievement badges for the activity tracking on the Apple Watch have inspired many users to get more exercise.

If you want to maximize your badge count, you’re going to watch to chase down as many activity achievements as you can. Most are available year-round, but there are also some time-limited special events to grab, too. Here’s a list of all the activity achievements for the Apple Watch and how to unlock them.

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How to delete large files for Steam and other apps

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 08:00

The Steam system for games makes it easy to purchase and download games onto a variety of devices you own across multiple computer platforms. Steam acts as a combination of platform, offering some gaming features available to all the apps it supports, and a purchase and copy-protection system. The key part, though, is that when you download a Steam game, the program code is wrapped up and loaded in a way that Steam can use.

However, to macOS, each game can still seem sort of like a standalone app. That becomes important only when you’re trying to clean out storage on your Mac to free up space.

One of the easiest ways to find items that you no longer need is to select  > About This Mac, click the Storage tab, and then click Manage. A window appears that calculates storage consumed across several categories, and lets you select items to delete directly.

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What’s new with the keyboard in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 07:00

The default Apple keyboard hasn’t really changed a lot over the last few years. The iPad got a “flick” gesture in iOS 11 to reduce the need to press Shift so often, and we’ve seen some tweaks here and there, but there hasn’t been a substantial improvement to the keyboard in a long time.

With iOS 13, Apple is making a series of welcome improvements that should go a long way toward appeasing those who have given up on Apple’s keyboard in favor of a third-party one. It’s not a holistic rethinking of the keyboard, but rather a number of welcome quality-of-life improvements.


The most immediately noticeable improvement to the iOS keyboard (besides a dark theme for Dark Mode) is surely the new QuickPath typing method. This is Apple’s version of swipe typing, found in lots of third-party keyboards such as Gboard and Swiftkey, and on most Android phones.

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Sonos Amp review: This is the best Sonos music streamer by far (even if it’s not right for everyone)

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 06:00
The Sonos Amp is a great-sounding and supremely flexible amplifier that's a superb choice for your home theater or for critical listening. And it will drive just about any type of passive loudspeaker you'd care to use.

Judges named the best high-end TV at the Value Electronics TV Shootout during CE Week 2019

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 06:00
The 15th annual faceoff between flagship TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony revealed that picture quality continues to improve while performance differences continue to dwindle.

3 products that would be hits for Apple if the company made them

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 06:00

Being a big business is all about making choices. Even the most successful, most profitable company can’t pursue all possible avenues. Decisions have to be made, even if they mean ignoring a segment of the market that might address some consumers.

Such is the reality with Apple. It can’t possibly make all of the products that its customers want—it just does’t have the time, money, or people. But some of the choices that Apple has made about products to not pursue have been surprising. Especially when it seems as though the market in question is desperately in need of a solution that would be right up Apple’s alley.

Earlier this month, during the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, I noticed a few places where it seemed as though Apple was missing out on an opportunity. Some of these might be cases where the company has decided it doesn’t want to be in a specific business, and some might merely be a case of a future product not being ready yet—from the outside, there’s really no way to tell. But here are three cases in which it seems like an Apple product or service might be a welcome alternative to what exists, if not something that fills a gap no one else seems to be addressing.

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite won’t dethrone Pokémon Go, but it’s just as magical

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 19:27

Pokémon Go thrived on the joys of simple discovery and exploration. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, as befits a game inspired by the goings-on at an imaginary elite school, requires learning so many extra features that it sometimes feels more like taking a class.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It does probably mean that its extra dose of complexity will keep developer Niantic’s game from achieving the same pinnacle of popularity as its 2016 blockbuster, but its appeal lies in offering the best bits of Pokémon Go’s experience for a different sort of crowd. After spending some time with Wizards Unite, I’m fairly certain I number among them.

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Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 13:50
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.

Apple issues voluntary recall of 15-inch MacBook Pro

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 13:11

Apple on Thursday announced a voluntary recall for owners of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. If you bought such a laptop between September 2015 and February 2017, it could have a battery that is at risk of overheating. Apple will replace the battery in these laptops for free.

To see if your laptop is part of the recall, click on the Apple () menu and select About This Mac. In the overview section of the About This Mac window that appears, you should see the operating system as the main header. Just underneath that is the listing for your Mac. If it says, “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015),” take note of the serial number. Then go to Apple’s website and submit the serial number to see if your 15-inch MacBook Pro is part of the recall.

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is now available in the U.S. and U.K.

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 12:45

After weeks of beta testing in Australia and New Zealand, the next big “walk around in the real world, collecting and battling things” game from the makers of Pokémon Go finally got an official release date earlier this week. That date? June 21 in the U.S. and U.K., with additional countries to follow.

Surprise! Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available now, a day early, in the App Store. It’s free with in-app purchases ranging from $0.99 to $99.99, because of course it is. You’ll need at least an iPhone 5s or later and iOS 10 or later to play.

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Adobe Lightroom now available through Apple’s Mac App Store

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 09:00

Apple on Thursday announced that Adobe Lightroom is now available in the Mac App Store. An app for creative professionals who work in photography, Lightroom comes with a full set of tools for managing thousands upon thousands of photos, as well as editing tools for retouching and fine-tuning.

There’s no difference between the MAS version of Lightroom and Adobe’s version that you get directly from the company; the features are the same. Like the Adobe-sold version, the MAS version is sold as subscription-based software after a 7-day free trial. After that, it’s $9.99 per month, which puts you in Adobe’s Lightroom plan that includes 1TB of Creative Cloud file storage and access to the mobile and web versions of Lightroom. 

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iPhone 2020 rumors, Aspyr game compatibility, OS betas, your hot takes, and more

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 08:00

iPhone rumors—for 2020! Fresh new OS betas! Will your Aspyr games work in the future! And your hot takes! That’s all in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

The is episode 656 with Michael Simon, Leif Johnson, and Roman Loyola.

Listen to episode 656

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Everything new in CarPlay in iOS 13

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 07:00

It’s hard to believe CarPlay is already five years old. As a system for letting you control your iPhone with your car’s in-dash touchscreen display, it started off a little rough. Not only was Apple’s software lacking, but it wasn’t supported in nearly enough car models.

These days, CarPlay is everywhere. Apple’s polished up the experience, and car makers have figured out that nobody wants their own proprietary software—drivers want to use the maps, music, contacts, and messaging built into their phones.

With iOS 13, Apple is making the first really dramatic change to the CarPlay interface since the beginning. Coupled with a few helpful new features and Siri capabilities, it’s going to make CarPlay support a very important factor in new car purchases for iPhone users. Here are the major changes to CarPlay coming in iOS 13.

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No, your smart TV isn't catching viruses

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 06:00
A misguided tweet from Samsung instigates more pearl-clutching over smart TVs.

Use TripMode to press pause and conserve data on iCloud and other sync over a cellular hotspot

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 06:00

Data synchronization is a way to ensure that you’re always up to date across all your devices, no matter what changes, and you typically get an online backup as an extra.

But when you’re using a cellular-connected Wi-Fi hotspot, such as the Personal Hotspot on an iPhone or iPad, you might want to press pause on iCloud and other sync operations. The sync services can’t tell whether you’re connected via a Wi-Fi network directly to the internet or you’re using a cellular relay.

Many third-party sync and backup service offer a way to pause. That’s sometimes a button or menu option that let’s you pause until you later choose to resume; other times, it’s a specified period of time after which sync or backup starts up automatically

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