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Still doing it: The unkillable iPhone X rumor

12 hours 49 min ago

The rumors have spoken. The iPhone X is a sales failure.

Writing for Forbes (note: not the Forbes contributor network and Church of the Based M.O.D.O.K.), Luke Kelly says “The Key To The iPhone X's Future Lies In China.” (Tip o’ the antlers to The LeeBase.)

Most analysts agree…

…paste tastes delicious.

…that Apple’s most expensive smartphone to date -- the iPhone X -- has not sold as well as had been hoped.

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Fortnite for iOS First Look: It's fun, but desktop players will eat you alive

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 17:48

It hasn’t even been a fortnight since we learned that Fortnite: Battle Royale, Epic Games’ wildly popular multiplayer survival shooter, would be coming to iOS, and yet now it’s already on my iPhone and iPad, running far more smoothly than I’d expect from a freshly-minted beta. Only a comparatively small group of players currently have access, but what I’ve seen so far suggests that Epic wouldn’t have to do much to fling open the gates to the wider public. (You can sign up for the beta here.)

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Logitech's backlit Create keyboard for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is 42% off on Amazon

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 14:23

Apple's own Smart Keyboard for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a pricey $149, and if that's too much to handle for you, you might want to pick up Logitech's Create keyboard case for Apple's 9.7-inch high-powered tablet. Right now it's on sale for just $76 on Amazon, down from its usual price of $130. That's the best price we've ever seen it at.

Much like Apple's own Smart Keyboard, the device connects with the iPad Pro's smart connector so you'll never need to charge the keyboard itself so long as it's with the iPad. The Create is also packed with shortcuts for handy iOS adjustments such as screen brightness and volume controls, and it even comes with a fabric holder for your Apple Pencil. Best of all, it's got backlit keys. Apple's model doesn't. It's also available in blue or plum, but only the black model is heavily discounted.

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Apple is holding an education event on March 27 in Chicago

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 13:19

Apple just sent out invitations to an event on March 27, to be held at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago.

The invitation says very little, in typical Apple fashion, but the image that accompanies it (above) says, “Let’s take a field trip.” In the text of the invitation itself, Apple says, “Join us to hear creative new ideas for teachers and students.”

Clearly, this event is going to focus on Apple products aimed at education. What could those be?

A cheaper 9.7-inch iPad: Rumors of a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad have been circulating for a few months, and a couple new iPad models were approved by the EEC in February.

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Smarten up your dumb devices with this $20, two-for-one smart plug deal

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 09:40

Listen up Echo fans! Today’s a good day to smarten up your outlets at a steal of a price. B&H Photo and Video is offering a two-pack of the Keewifi kisslink Wi-Fi smart plug mini for $20. This plug usually sells for $20 each.

Simply insert these plugs into your existing outlet and follow the set-up instructions on your smartphone using Tuya’s Smart apps for Android and iOS. These plugs don’t require a hub, which makes it easy to set them up without added cost. At the moment, however, the Kisslink plug is only compatible with Alexa devices—not Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit.

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How to delete Time Machine snapshots on your Mac

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 07:00

Time Machine has a nifty way of continuing to keep copies of versions of files as you change them even when it can’t connect to a Time Machine backup volume. It creates local snapshots on your startup volume and other connected HFS+ volumes, and then later transfers these to a Time Machine destination when you reconnect on a network. A Macworld reader has questions about managing these snapshots.

I wrote about this last in 2015, after readers were trying to troubleshoot otherwise inexplicable missing storage on their Macs.

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Airthings Wave review: Real-time radon detection

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 06:00
This device tracks levels of the deadly, odorless gas but at a steep price.

The many skills (and pitfalls) of Siri

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 06:00

Between its ardent defenders and its harshest critics, it’s clear that Siri, Apple’s voice-based intelligent agent inspires strong opinions. If nothing else, that speaks to both the theoretical and practical utility of the virtual assistant, and its importance to Apple going forward.

I’ve written in the past that Siri is going to be the glue of Apple’s ecosystem and that we’re badly in need of a Siri 2.0, especially in regards to the future of the HomePod.

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Amazon is selling a pair of true wireless earbuds for just $33 today

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:48

Thanks to Apple's AirPods, wireless earbuds are fast becoming one of the hottest mobile accessories on the market—but they're not cheap. At least not usually.

If you're itching to try out a pair but don't have $159 to blow, Amazon is selling the Photive TWS-01 Bluetooth-enabled wireless earbuds, which come with their own charging case, for just $33, or about 40 percent off their average selling price. That's especially low when you consider how expensive most true wireless earbuds can be. Our top-rated picks fall anywhere from $100 to more than $300, though many of those have features that you won't get with the Photive TWS-01, such as noise cancellation and AI voice control.

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How to make sure Time Machine works when you upgrade your hard drive

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:00

When you attach a new external drive for your Time Machine backups, or upgrade the hard drive in your Mac (the one that's being backed up), it can cause some confusion for Time Machine. macOS tracks drives with behind-the-scenes numbers, not just their display names, and if you swap drives, this can often confuse Time Machine or result in a prompt asking if you want to inherit an existing backup set for a new drive. If macOS gets it wrong, you have to turn to the Terminal command line and type in text commands to get things back on track.

Macworld reader Richard had a mismatch happen to him when he upgraded to a new Mac by using a Time Machine backup for migration. He was prompted to inherit the old machine’s backup—the one he just used, ostensibly—but macOS picked incorrectly, and shifted him to a completely other backup instead, one from 2012.

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Have fun: No one has to use iOS

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 07:00

Everyone is leaving iOS! OK, a few people. And the Macalope wishes them well.

No, really. Stop winking.

Writing for CNet, Patrick Holland tells you how to “Break up with Apple: The Pixel 2 is the best iPhone upgrade.”

OK, yes, the headline is terrible. It’s a sprinkling of nuts on top of a cupcake. It’s a Kroger Value-brand maraschino cherry in a bourbon cocktail. It’s a Rob Enderle quote in an article about Apple. But, the article is actually a straightforward discussion of the relative merits of each phone.

Yes, you have to take the premise that the iPhone 8 is not under consideration for “reasons,” but it’s clearly stated. Look, we don’t question how Chidi on The Good Place is supposedly speaking translated French in the afterlife but effortlessly speaks flawless American-accented English while working as a professor in Australia while alive, either.

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iMessage: 5 changes we'd like to see in iOS 12

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 06:00

According to some of the latest rumors coming out of Cupertino, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi is on a mission to get iOS to clean up its act. Bugs seem to be dominating much of the conversation around Apple as of late, and so iOS 12 will emphasize polishing what’s there rather than introducing features that make us “think different.”

Federighi would do well to start with iMessage. Even iPhone users who barely know a Lightning port from a lightning bug use Apple’s text-messaging interface on a regular basis, which means that problems there that might have triggered minor PR tremors in other parts of iOS can erupt into full-on quakes. 

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Macworld’s March digital magazine: We review the iMac Pro

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 19:12

Every day, Macworld brings you the essential daily news and other info about all things Apple. But staying on top of that torrent of information can be a constant challenge. One solution: the Macworld digital magazine.

In the March issue

This month’s cover story is our review of Apple’s most powerful Mac, the iMac Pro. The eagerly awaited HomePod is out and we lay out 11 things you need to know before you buy one. Our preview of iOS 11.3 fills you in on all of the new features to come to iOS 11, including new Animoji and better AR.

Also in this month’s issue:

• MacUser: We analyze Apple's product naming scheme

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Report: How Apple squandered Siri's lead over Amazon and Google

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 16:07

A new report from The Information details the development of Siri, based on speaking with a dozen former Apple employees who were responsible for Siri's development and integration. The former employees spoke under condition of anonymity, and they paint an embarrassing picture of mismanagement that has led to the decline of Siri.

In 2011, when the iPhone 4s was introduced, Siri was a game-changer. No other phone had anything like it, and Apple knew it. The iPhone 4s TV ads focused on Siri, with celebrities like Martin Scorsese and Zooey Deschanel talking to their phone ("Is that rain?"). It was magical! Today, Siri's many failures have become a meme, while Alexa and the Google Assistant have raced ahead with greater capabilities and integration with other products and services. Worse, Siri's underperformance is dragging down important new products like HomePod.

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Today only, save $370 on a DJI Phantom 4 Advanced drone from B&H

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 12:49

Drones are pretty nifty devices, but the prices for the best ones can often feel as high as the altitudes the drones can reach. Fortunately, B&H currently has a one-day sale on the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced Quadcopter that lets you pick up the device for $370 off the regular price of $1,199. All total, you'll be paying just $829 as B&H is offering free shipping.

The quadcopter flies at around 44 miles per hour and can stay up in the air for around 30 minutes. It also comes with five sensors for avoiding obstacles, and its 20MP camera can capture 4K video with a range of 4.35 miles.

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This Philips Hue Smart Bulb kit is $20 Off

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 10:57

Smart bulbs are great starting points when creating the connected home of your dreams. Because they connect to Wi-Fi, you can adjust them from an app, and control them via voice commands with your smart speakers. They also offer an awesome level of granular control, whether that means setting them on timers, or controlling their precise brightness levels and color profiles.

For the smart home-curious, Philips has put its entry-level smart bulb kit on sale. The Hue White A19 60W Equivalent Smart Bulb Starter Kit is $44.99 on Amazon now—a significant price drop from its average offering of around $65.

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iMessage: How to pick a reply address in iOS and macOS

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 08:00

Apple keeps improving iMessage synchronization across the many different devices that can be logged into the same account. (Seriously, it’s gotten better.) While the previously promised iMessages in iCloud will finally arrive with iOS 11.3, (in which iCloud is used to sync you iMessages across all your devices) you likely saw improvements with the initial release of iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

But even with better synchronization, Macworld reader Christian has a question about configuration.

If I use iMessage across Macs, iPhones, and iPads, what should I set as my reply address? My phone number or iCloud email?

First off, you can’t per se select your reply address: iMessage seemingly always replies as if you’re sending a message from the address at which you received it. You have to start a new conversation to select a specific address to use or your iPhone’s phone number.

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Bluetooth 5 FAQ: Everything you need to know

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 07:00

Bluetooth is everywhere, and it’s only growing more commonplace. What started as a way to connect dorky-looking headsets has grown into a robust wireless protocol that links everything from headphones to heart monitors, wearables to weather stations.

The latest Bluetooth revision, Bluetooth 5, makes significant improvements, especially to the low energy operation modes. It’s aimed at preparing the technology for the coming flood of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and if you have an iPhone 8 or X, it’s already in your phone. Here are five things you need to know about the latest version of this ubiquitous wireless technology.

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Where Apple’s reinvention of the keyboard may go next

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 06:00

Keyboards are important. While speech-to-text technology has come a long way, I suspect there will always be value in writing one letter after another with your hands. Apple clearly thinks to, too, because in recent weeks there have been reports about several new Apple patents regarding keyboard technology. From those patents to the controversial innovations that drove the latest generation of MacBook keyboards, Apple’s continues to push the boundaries of text input.

So what do Apple’s current technology directions suggest about where the company might be innovating in the future when it comes to keyboards?

A reliable tool

I’ll admit that as a writer, I’m especially opinionated when it comes to keyboards. As a writer friend of mine told me a very long time ago, keyboards are to us what guitars are to rock musicians—they’re the tool of our trade. But even if you’re inputting data into a spreadsheet or writing an email to a friend, most people need keyboards. (Even smartphones and tablets will slide up a software keyboard when you need to tap something out.)

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The best fitness trackers at every price point

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:44

Fitness trackers are some of the best devices you can buy yourself or a loved one—if you think either of you will find activity-tracking useful. There’s no reason to buy a gadget that will just sit in a drawer. But if you’re on the hunt for the best fitness band, there are three things to consider: price, style, and the type of activity you want to track.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a high-quality fitness tracker, but you might not want to spend more than $100 on one, either. And there’s no point buying a band that doesn’t suit your personal style, because you’ll never wear it. Don’t run or swim? A waterproof running watch is the last thing you need.

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