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Updated: 49 weeks 4 hours ago

Phone features: Android is not for everyone

Tue, 11/03/2020 - 08:00

Today, through the power of metaphor, we will see that you are phoning all wrong.

Writing for CNN, David Goldman says “The iPhone is for people who drive Toyota Camrys.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @desingheretic.)

Goldman’s point is that Apple makes iPhones designed to appeal to the largest swath of people possible. This differs from Android because if you’re a refresh rate fetishist you can buy an Android device with a crazy high refresh rate. If you’re a folding phone fetishist, you can get a folding phone. A phone with a corkscrew? Uh, probably? The Macalope hasn’t looked. The point is, there are all kinds of Android devices and only a few kinds of iPhones. Advantage: Android.

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Remo+ DoorCam 2 review: The easiest way to monitor your front porch

Tue, 11/03/2020 - 07:00
This battery-powered wireless camera slips over the top of your door and can be up and running in minutes.

Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice for Mac users

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 19:15

With the internet abuzz with privacy concerns and the potential changes coming to net neutrality, you’ve likely heard about virtual private networks, better known as VPNs. When used correctly, a VPN can greatly strengthen your online privacy, assist in keeping your personal information secure, and even spoof your location in the world—allowing you to access websites or services that would otherwise be off limits due to region-locking.

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MacBook Pro FAQ: New models to be introduced next week with Apple silicon

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 17:22

The MacBook Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop. It offers top-notch performance for demanding users who need processing power and are willing to spend top dollar for it. Learn more about the MacBook Pro by reading about its main features below.

Editor’s note: Updated 11/2/20 with a Bloomberg report that Apple silicon MacBook Pros will be announced next week. The rest of this FAQ covers currently-available MacBook Pro models that use Intel processors.

The latest rumor about the MacBook Pro: New Apple silicon models to be revealed on November 10

Apple sent invitations to the media for a ”One more thing” online event on November 10 at 10 a.m. Pacific. Bloomberg reports that this event will feature Apple’s first Macs equipped with the company’s own processors instead of Intel’s. Bloomberg says that Apple is working on new 13- and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a MacBook Air. The laptops won’t have major design changes besides the new CPU.

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Apple may replace your AirPods Pro for free even if they’re out of warranty

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 14:17

If you rushed out to buy a pair of AirPods Pro wireless earbuds when they launched in October 2019 and didn’t buy AppleCare+, the warranty just ran out, unfortunately. But if your AirPods Pro aren’t sounding their best, Apple might still fix them for free.

Apple has launched the AirPods Pro Service Program for Sound Issues, which covers all AirPods models made before October 2020. According to the support page, “a small percentage of AirPods Pro may experience sound issues.” Apple says impacted models may exhibit one of these issues:

Apple plans “One more thing” event for November 10 to show off its new Macs

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 13:34

Apple has one more thing to show us before 2020 is up. In an invitation to members of the press Monday morning, Apple announced that it will hold its third event of the fall on Tuesday, November 10 at 10 a.m. PT, where it’s been widely rumored that new Macs with Apple silicon-based processors will make their debut.

As usual, there are few clues to speak of in the invitation, which consists of Apple’s trademark rainbow of colors shining behind a black Apple logo, but the phrase “one more thing” has a long history at Apple’s keynotes. Steve Jobs used the phrase to tack on surprise announcements to the end of presentations, including the Power Mac G4 Cube, iPod shuffle, and the MacBook Air, while Tim Cook used the tagline to unveil the Apple Watch, Apple Music, and the iPhone X.

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Apple TV app on its way to Xbox and Playstation consoles

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 12:55

Update 11/02/20: Microsoft has announced that Apple TV is coming to Xbox consoles on November 10.

Apple is spreading its TV app everywhere. It’s on smart TVs, Fire TV, and Roku set-top boxes, in addition to being found on nearly all of Apple’s devices: iPhones, iPads, Macs, and of course Apple TV hardware. You can find a full list of devices here.

But there’s one place that customers frequently access streaming services that Apple hasn’t yet tackled: game consoles. If current reports are true, that may be about to change.

Microsoft has officially announced that it's upcoming next-generation Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, in addition to supporting all the current streaming apps for Xbox One consoles, will gain an Apple TV app starting on launch day (November 10). The app allows you to sign up directly within the app with a seven-day free trial for new subscribers. The Apple TV app will also be available on Xbox One consoles.

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How to manage alarms based on your sleep pattern in iOS 14

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 09:00

You might have noticed in iOS 14 that you can set your iPhone to be more attentive to when you go to sleep and when you wake, and let it try to help you stay consistent by setting a regular alarm for you. These improvements in the Health app’s Sleep section build on previous sleep tracking and wake-up alarms, but add more nuance. This replaces the previous Bedtime feature.

The best place to start now is in the Health app. Tap the Sleep section in Summary (or use Browse to find Sleep settings), tap Sleep Schedule, and then tap the switch. Now you can set parameters, though iOS may suggest them. You can tap Edit Schedule to choose a custom sleep/wake schedule by day or tap Add Schedule for Other Days to create one for days not covered by your existing schedules.

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What opportunities are there for Apple during the pandemic?

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 08:00

As a rule, Apple is a company that is judicious about what opportunities it takes, and which ones it leaves to others. The company is famous for saying “no” to way more ideas than it says “yes” to, with the understanding that this process makes the products it does choose to build that much better.

But that doesn’t mean that the company never misses a trick. On the contrary, there are more than a few markets where an Apple presence would be a welcome one, especially in places where the company can lend its considerable heft to providing either a strong example, or meaningful competition.

And, as Tim Cook pointed out during last week’s financial results call, the current world situation has opened the door to new challenges and new opportunities, as we’re forced to innovate to find solutions to the problems we all face today. Given that situation, it seems like there are definitely some pandemic-influenced areas where Apple could make a significant difference.

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Marshall Major IV headphone review: On-ear sonic sweetness

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 07:00
On-ear headphone pads are smaller and sit on top of rather than over your ear. It's more comfortable than you might think, and the Marshall Major IV's excellent sound helps the experience.

The Mac has its best quarter ever, and Tim Cook teases the future

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 20:00

It’s tough to keep track of time in the middle of a global pandemic, but apparently three months has passed since Apple’s last quarterly earnings report. So here we are again, with Apple executives reporting record revenues almost sheepishly while going to great lengths to praise their co-workers and customers for their resilience during trying times.

As usual, in Apple’s hourly conference call with financial analysts, there are a few interesting things that stick out of the talk of OpEx and OI&E and other financial industry buzzwords. Here are some of them.

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Apple One: What you need to know about Apple’s services bundle

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 17:17

Apple has several subscription services available, and now you can save some cash by signing up for Apple One, a pricing plan that bundles Apple’s services together for discounts. In effect, it replaces expensive a la carte pricing with cheaper pricing bundles.

Here’s what you need to know about Apple One.

Updated 10/29/20 with news that Apple One will be available starting on Oct. 30

What services are available in Apple One?

All of Apple’s services are available for bundled pricing: Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, Apple Music, Apple News, Apple TV+, and iCloud. (Apple Fitness+ will not be available until late 2020.)

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Apple somehow sold $9 billion in Macs last quarter

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 17:02

Despite navigating its first fourth-quarter without a new iPhone in a nearly decade, Apple still managed to eke very slight growth. The company posted revenue of $64.7 billion versus $64 billion during the 2019 quarter, even with a significant dip in iPhone sales.

For the three-month period ending September 26, 2020, Apple sold $26.4 billion worth of iPhones, down roughly 20 percent from last year, when the iPhone 11 was launched. Early estimates are that the iPhone 12 is selling very well, however, so that figure should rebound nicely next quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season.

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Apple One service bundles will be available on Friday, Oct. 30

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 16:59

Last September, Apple revealed the Apple One services bundles, a set of plans that package Apple’s services together at prices that are lower than if you signed up for each service individually. The Apple One bundles are finally going to be available on Friday, October 30.

Apple offers three bundles:

  • Individual: ($14.95 per month): includes Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple TV+, and 50GB of iCloud storage for one user. This plan offers a $6 savings per month over a la carte pricing.

  • Family: ($19.95 per month): includes Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple TV+, and 200GB of iCloud storage. Can be shared with up to six family members (yourself and five others). This plan offers an $8 monthly savings over a la carte.

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Does a Time Machine drive need to be always on with a Mac?

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 08:00

Time Machine is designed to back up your selected volumes every hour, writing any changes you’ve made into a new snapshot that captures only the differences between the previous backup. (Apple software, like Pages and Numbers, and a lot of third-party software create a version every time you save, providing backups within apps much more frequently than hourly.)

But some readers wonder what happens if they don’t keep their Time Machine drives powered up all the time. Apple designed Time Machine to be resilient, so it doesn’t skip a beat if one or more of the destination volumes you use for backups isn’t always available.

The ideal situation is that any drive you use is always plugged in and thus backups always happen while it’s on. This is particularly useful—maybe critical—if your Mac acts as a networked Time Machine destination for other computers on the network, as they may be backing up at times you’re not using your Mac—if a partner is working late or one of your kids is writing their term paper at 2 a.m.

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iPhone 12: Our impressions on Apple’s new smartphone

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 07:00

Apple started shipping the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro. We have the new phones, and on this episode of the Macworld Podcast, we talk about our expereince with the phones. Do we like them? Hate them? Stay tuned and find out.

This is episode 719 with Jason Cross, Michael Simon, and Roman Loyola.

Listen to episode 719

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T-Mobile's new streaming TV bundle makes a lot of sense

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 06:00
TVision by T-Mobile is cheaper and more flexible than other live streaming options.

Enbrighten Outdoor Plug-in Wi-Fi Smart Switch review: Good price, poor performance

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 06:00
This simple outdoor smart plug is hampered by erratic operation.

Apple’s Clips 3.0 update features a new interface, more stickers and soundtracks, and HDR recording

Wed, 10/28/2020 - 12:46

Apple on Wednesday released Clips 3.0, a major update to the iPhone and iPad app for making short videos, slideshows, and school projects that can be shared through Messages or on social media. Clips 3.0 is available for free through the App Store.

Clips 3.0 brings a major interface redesign, where you can now record in landscape mode and the interface adjusts accordingly, rather than only being able to shoot in portrait mode. The browsers for Effects, Media, and Projects have also been redesigned so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for. New effects include eight stickers, six arrows and shapes, and 25 soundtracks, in addition to what was offered before.

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Apple Watch Activity badges: Veterans Day challenge is coming up on November 11

Wed, 10/28/2020 - 12:05

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 want 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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