Apple fixes a host of bugs for iOS, Apple Watch and HomePod


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Don’t look now, but you’ll have a lot of updating to do if you live deep in the Apple ecosystem. Apple has released updates that tackle a host of issues for iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and HomePod. For iPhone and iPad users, iOS 12.1.3 mostly addresses specific but annoying bugs. It’ll prevent photos from displaying artifacts when you send them from a share sheet, prevent some CarPlay systems from disconnecting from newer iPhones and solve audio distortion if you use external audio input devices with the latest iPad Pro. It likewise addresses a problem scrolling through images in Messages while looking at the Details view.

Via: CNET

Greetings from CES 2019!


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It feels like CES only just ended, but we’re back in Las Vegas for the 2019 edition and we couldn’t be more excited. Just like always, there will be plenty of cars, TVs and smart appliances. But, we’re here to separate the wheat from the chaff and bring you only the best (or at least the most interesting) tech from CES 2019. The show floor hasn’t even opened yet and already several companies have made a splashincluding Apple, which continues to skip the event in any official capacity. But that hasn’t stopped it from grabbing some attention.

Of course, you don’t want to miss out on all our liveblogs, our three epic days of live stage shows which all culminates with the official Best of CES awards on Thursday at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.

The best gadgets of 2018


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It’s difficult to think of 2018 as a year with anything worth celebrating. But despite all the bad news the year dealt us, there were successes — if you know where to look. In all corners of tech, we saw wins big and small. There were advances in obvious categories like laptops, smartphones and the connected home, but we also looked outside the mainstream for some of the more surprising gems. Think mini synthesizers for music nerds, retro emulators for nostalgic gamers and e-readers for modern book snobs. Humanity also collectively triumphed, as our space exploration programs broke new frontiers this year and we began to confront the increasingly real question: Should we all just move to Mars?

2018 may have been a stinker of a year, but many of its developments laid the foundation for improvements next year. We’re just two weeks away from what is hopefully a much Continue reading “The best gadgets of 2018”

Death by push notification


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Attention is the main prize of the internet. Everyone is fighting for it, and the phone is the prime battleground. The most potent of weapons in this war is the incessant, whining notification trying to pull your attention away from whatever you are actually doing and into some other app.

The notification may also be a major source of modern technological madness, due to the harmful cognitive consequences of having one’s focus continually shattered and reset. A recent study found that a majority of users who made a deliberate choice to turn their notifications down as part of an enforced break were not likely to turn them back on. This got me wondering: What would happen if I cranked them in the opposite direction? What might I learn about how phones are reshaping minds? What might I learn about my own mind?

Apple Mac Mini review (2018): A video editor’s perspective


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The Mac Mini has had a rough few years. Its last update, in 2014, was disappointing. After offering quad-core CPUs on the 2011 and 2012 editions, the 2014 model was stuck with a dual-core CPU. This meant it was actually slower at some tasks than the computer it was supposed to replace. Add in the fact that aside from storage it was not upgradable, and you had a computer that left a lot of users unhappy. Amazingly, until last month the 2014 Mini was still available on Apple’s web store for $500. The lack of updates over the past four years left a lot of us wondering if we’d ever see a new model.

Fortunately, Apple has rectified the situation with the 2018 Mini. This new model retains the unibody design that we loved on the 2014 edition but sports a sleek space-gray color — a first for Continue reading “Apple Mac Mini review (2018): A video editor’s perspective”

Apple adds faster AMD Vega graphics options for 15-inch MacBook Pro


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Apple has acted on its promise to give the 2018 MacBook Pro a much-appreciated graphics performance boost. You can now configure the higher-end 15-inch laptop with Radeon Pro Vega 16 or 20 GPUs that, if you ask Apple, deliver up to 60 percent faster processing power for tasks like 3D modeling and GPU-accelerated video edits. Both options come with 4GB of memory, so your choice boils down to the level of computational power you want.

Via: The Verge

Source: Apple

Apple says T2 chip can limit third-party repairs for recent Macs


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Yes, the reports were true — Apple’s T2 chip can potentially restrict third-party Mac repairs. The company confirmed to The Verge that the co-processor can limit third-party repairs for certain components on recent systems, likely including the iMac Pro and MacBook Air. Apple didn’t provide a full list of affected parts or say which machines were covered, but the T2 could regulate repairs for the logic board (aka motherboard) and Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Source: The Verge

ICYMI: Catch up on a busy week of Engadget reviews


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It has been a busy few weeks when it comes to product announcements, and that means we at Engadget have been reviewing a number of new devices. This week alone we shared our thoughts on laptops from Lenovo, Microsoft, Apple and ASUS, breaking down what each does well and what we think needs some work. We also took a look at the new iPad Pro — which might as well be a laptop, given its price and the way Apple is positioning it — and, for a change of pace, BMW’s “hybrid supercar,” the i8 Roadster.

Apple announces repair programs for iPhone X, MacBook Pro problems


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As it tends to do, Apple has chosen a Friday evening to announce programs that will replace flawed components on a couple of its devices. First up is a display module replacement program for the iPhone X. Some owners have been reporting touch issues since the phone debuted, and according to Apple a failed part in the display could cause the following problems:

  • The display, or part of the display, does not respond or responds intermittently to touch
  • The display reacts even though it was not touched

If your touchscreen is finicky on an “eligible device” then it will be replaced for free, although there might be a charge for things like a cracked display. The replacement program covers your iPhone X for three years dating back to when it was originally purchased.

Via: 9to5Mac, MacRumors

Source: 13-inch MacBook Pro SSD, iPhone X Display Module

Mac mini teardown uncovers all of the tiny desktop’s updates


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The long-overdue Mac mini update looks similar on the outside, but how much has it changed on the inside? Quite a bit — though you’ll be glad to hear some things have stayed the same. iFixit has torn down the diminutive desktop, and it’s evident that Apple made only very strategic changes to the system’s internals. It’s still relatively easy to get inside the system by popping off the bottom and sliding out the entire motherboard. And when Apple said the memory was upgradable (unlike the 2014 model), it wasn’t kidding. There’s a shield to prevent interference, but it’s easy to remove and install your own RAM sticks.

Source: iFixit

Apple MacBook Air review (2018): A good buy and a tough call


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I’m going to let you in on a secret: In the lead-up to Apple’s big Mac-and-iPad event last month, Team Engadget had a pre-written story ready to go in the event that Apple finally killed off the Air line. Needless to say, that article never saw the light of day.

Instead, that keynote marked the debut of a long-overdue, next-generation MacBook Air. Like the older edition (which is still on sale, by the way), this one has a 13.3-inch screen, a wedge shape and aluminum surfaces. Everything else is changed. Retina display with much thinner bezels? Check. Apple’s newer “butterfly” keyboard? Yep. Touch ID and louder speakers? Yes and yes. A stripped-down selection of ports? Sigh.

In many ways, it’s the machine that Air holdouts have been waiting for, and I ultimately believe it’s going to please a lot of people. But with a starting price that sits just Continue reading “Apple MacBook Air review (2018): A good buy and a tough call”

iPad Pro 12.9 review (2018): The future of computing?


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The iPad Pro line has been around for three years now, and Apple has been adamant that it embodies the company’s vision for the “future of computing.” That’s as big a claim now as it was when Tim Cook first made it, but with the release of the new iPad Pro, it’s finally starting to feel like Apple is making good on its word.

Consider this: The 2018 iPad Pro is sleeker, faster and more flexible than any other tablet Apple has ever made. At first glance, this new generation of iPads is the first we’ve seen that actually comes close to being able to replace a traditional laptop. It’s just that good. But is it good enough? Or, rather, is it good enough in the right ways? That really depends on your priorities: artists and other creative professionals will be utterly thrilled, but the rest of us Continue reading “iPad Pro 12.9 review (2018): The future of computing?”

iFixit takes a peek inside the new MacBook Air


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You know the drill — new hardware arrives and iFixit pulls it apart. Apple’s revised MacBook Air just hit the shop table, so you can look inside while figuring out which of the company’s portable computing solutions fits your lifestyle (if any of them do). A peek inside confirmed Apple’s butterfly keyboard setup with silicone gasket that reduces noise and — just coincidentally — contaminants from breaking things, as well as a battery cell that can be replaced without swapping the laptop’s entire top casing with the keyboard and trackpad.

Source: iFixit

A weekend with the new MacBook Air


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It’s a gray, blustery Saturday, and I’m curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee and the new MacBook Air. The laptop is warming my legs, but not uncomfortably so. I’m trying my best not to drip breakfast blend onto this pristine keyboard. I only unboxed this machine on Friday afternoon, which means that in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when this story goes live, I will have had it for less than three days. That’s not quite enough time for a full review, but rest assured, I am working on it. In the meantime, I’ve been testing the new Air the way it was meant to be used: as an everyday laptop for the masses. What follow are some preliminary impressions. Pour yourself some coffee and join me.

iPad Pro (2018) preview: Early signs point to a powerhouse with potential


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Apple’s newly updated iPad Pro is, to put it bluntly, a spectacular bit of hardware. In fact, it’s so spectacular that we haven’t been able to completely put it through its paces yet. Frankly, there’s so much going on here that to try and pretend we could thoroughly test it in the four days we’ve had it would be a disservice to you and anyone else considering buying one. After all, these machines don’t come cheap: The model we’ve been testing is the fully specced-out 12.9-inch Pro with 1TB of storage, and once you factor in the keyboard case and a new Apple Pencil, you’re looking at more than $2,000. To really decide if something like that is worth it, we needed a little more time.

That’s why we’re saying to hell with embargoes and holding off on publishing our full review for a few more days. Don’t worry: Continue reading “iPad Pro (2018) preview: Early signs point to a powerhouse with potential”

Apple will stop reporting how many iPhones, iPads and Macs it sells


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For Apple watchers, being able to look at how many devices Apple has sold in a given quarter can be a valuable way to gauge the company’s performance, and those numbers can be helpful when trying to figure out if Apple’s strategies are panning out. Those days are sadly over. At the end of his prepared remarks during the company’s Q4 earnings call, CFO Luca Maestri said Apple would stop reporting sales of its devices — iPhones, iPads, Macs and all — as of the December quarter. In other words, Apple is done talking about how much hardware it sells completely, and it seems like this change is going to stick.

Apple, hear me out: iPad XR


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Every iPad Pro released thus far has been met with a similar reaction from the press. There’s an acknowledgement that the device is technologically impressive and predictably the “best” tablet from the company we’ve seen thus far — but that’s always followed by questions about who it’s for, and whether it can replace a “real” computer.

Well, Apple is trying to quell those questions once and for all this year. The combination of an impressive external redesign and new internals that sound ludicrously powerful should make the new iPad Pro lineup more capable than ever before. Unfortunately, though, Apple continues to raise the iPad Pro’s price, putting it out of reach for almost anyone who isn’t using the tablet day in and day out to get serious work done. Yes, the iPad Pro has always been expensive, but with a minimum entry price of $800, these new iPads aren’t just Continue reading “Apple, hear me out: iPad XR”

Why the new MacBook Air isn’t ‘a bigger MacBook’


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The announcement of the MacBook Air yesterday means that a large portion of Apple’s laptops are powered by Intel “Y” processors. The fanless 12-inch MacBook was the first to include one of these low-power chips. The new MacBook Air is the second, but this time Apple is using it quite differently.

Because Apple doesn’t post model numbers for the processors in its laptops, it’s difficult to know what exactly is going on inside them. This is compounded by the fact that the company now has three computers — the 12-inch MacBook, the entry-level MacBook Pro, and the new Air — in the same price range, all configurable with “dual-core i5” processors. If you’re thinking of buying one of Apple’s “cheap” laptops, it’s worth knowing what makes them different from one another.

Blackmagic’s Mac-friendly eGPU Pro adds Vega 56 power for $1,199


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Blackmagic’s first Apple-oriented external GPU was helpful for pros who needed more graphics power for their MacBooks, but it was a tough sell when you were paying $700 for strictly middling Radeon Pro 580 graphics. However, the company is back a few months later with a somewhat better value. Its newly launched Blackmagic eGPU Pro melds the familiar Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with much faster Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics. It’s nearly twice as fast as the original, the company said, and promises up to a 22X performance boost over the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s Intel-based video. That’s a huge deal for GPU-aware creative apps, and might even make it a viable choice for more intensive games (what intensive games exist on the platform, anyway).

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Blackmagic Design, Apple

Microsoft Office will get a dark mode for macOS Mojave


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Microsoft Office users on macOS Mojave are in line for a welcome update, as a dark mode is on the way. However, you might need to wait a little while before Microsoft makes it a little more comfortable for most users to hash out their masterpiece novel in Word in the middle of the night. The mode just went live for Insider Fast testers, according to Office product manager Akshay Bakshi.

Via: The Verge

Source: Akshay Bakshi (Twitter)