MacWorld

Best Fitbit: We help you choose the right one for your lifestyle

2 weeks ago

As one of the biggest names in fitness trackers, Fitbit is an easy pick for recording your daily steps or sleep patterns. Selecting the best Fitbit model for your needs, however, isn’t quite as simple.

The different Fitbit trackers have a lot of overlap in features, and so it’s not straightforward which one is the “best.” That’s where we come in. We’ve boiled down the options into simple picks that should match most people’s activity levels and styles.

Update 10/8/19: After reviewing the Fitbit Inspire HR and Versa 2, we've chosen new winners for some of our top picks. We've also added a new category: Best Fitbit under $100.

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Alaina Yee

ClamXav 3 review: It’s good, it’s cheap, but it doesn’t beat free

2 weeks ago

After changing from a free app to paid four years ago, ClamXav continues to be a popular choice for protecting Macs. You don’t get a lot of frills with ClamXav, but the price is right and protection is good.

Canimaan Software Ltd., the company behind the popular anti-virus solution, released the latest version of the app, ClamXav 3, in August 2018. The update offers a mild redesign with a more streamlined interface making it easier to use.

ClamXav 3 relies on the open source detection engine ClamAV, which is maintained by Cisco Talos. Overall, protection appears to be good; however, none of the testing houses have released a recent report on ClamAV or ClamXav 3, leaving it up to us to see how it fared.

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Ian Paul

iOS 13 and iPadOS 13: How to use Markup on your screen captures and photos

2 weeks ago

Markup is a hidden powerhouse in iOS and iPadOS. First introduced in iOS 10, the image-annotation tool has added more features and improved its interface. In the latest operating system releases, Markup has had its appearance redesigned and a new we-page capture option added. Using all the options may not be obvious at first glance.

If you want to add a caption to a photo (including speech bubbles), highlight a detail, point at something in an illustration, or add callouts in a screen capture, Markup provides minimal but able tools tailored for quick application and modification.

How to invoke Markup

Whenever you take a screen capture, the OS puts a tiny preview in the lower-left hand corner of the screen as an overlay on your current app for a few seconds. Tap that and you’re brought right into the Markup environment.

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Glenn Fleishman

Report: Icon found in iOS 13.2 beta hints at newly-designed AirPods

2 weeks 1 day ago

We’ve heard whispers of new AirPods for what seems like ages now. Yes, Apple released new second-generation AirPods with longer battery life and hands-free “Hey, Siri” support, but those are not the “AirPods 2” that are so often the subject of rumors and speculation. Those are, as the name makes clear, simply a new update to AirPods meant to replace the existing model.

The eagle-eyed reporters at sites like MacRumors and 9to5Mac have noticed that the just-released iOS 13.2 developer beta contains within its code a totally new AirPods icon. The icon is in the Accessibility Settings folder and contains a reference to the product’s code name: B298. 9to5Mac claims that other code shows that these new AirPods will have different listening modes, including a noise-cancelling feature called “focus mode.”

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Jason Cross

Microsoft's Surface Earbuds put a $249 trackpad in your ears for controlling Office apps

2 weeks 1 day ago

In our age of diminishing headphone jacks, everyone needs a set of true wireless earbuds. So it’s only natural that Microsoft released a pair alongside its new lineup of Surface products at its New York event Wednesday. Named Surface Earbuds, they’re designed to work closely with both Spotify and…wait for it… Microsoft Office.

AirPods knockoffs these ain’t. Where Apple’s wireless earbuds are small and primarily designed to play music, Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds are bulbous circles that look very noticeable when in one’s ears. That’s because the surface of the earbuds are small trackpads that you can swipe to change music tracks or advance slides when giving a PowerPoint presentation.

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Michael Simon

Apple will soon let Siri pick your default messaging and phone apps for you

2 weeks 1 day ago

While Apple has slowly been allowing Siri to integrate with third-party apps—most recently it allowed Spotify to tap into the voice assistant’s vast knowledge for playing music—the experience still pales in comparison to what you get when you use Apple’s own apps. That’s might change soon. Or it might not. It all depends on Siri.

In response to a Bloomberg News story about the iPhone maker’s preferential treatment for its own apps, Apple told the publication that an iOS update later this year will allow Siri to “default to the apps that people use frequently to communicate with their contacts.” If you generally use WhatsApp to contact your friends more than Messages, Siri will eventually switch to WhatsApp when asked to send a text. Apple said the new system will be applied on a per-contact basis and apply to phone calls as well.

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Michael Simon

Apple’s watch faces are slowly improving. Is it time for third-party faces?

2 weeks 1 day ago

Last year, when Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4, I was surprised that the company didn’t bother to update most of its watch faces, and expressed some hope that the company would place more emphasis on faces in the Series 5.

Thanks to the new always-on display, Apple has definitely made watch faces the center of attention in a way they weren’t before. There’s never been a more on-the-nose Apple marketing campaign than the “The Watch Tells Time” video that Apple unveiled during its special event on September 10. And yet, while I want to report that as of 2019 Apple has prioritized the faces of the Apple Watch, I can’t. Instead, it’s given us a few encouraging new faces—and left a mess everywhere else.

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Jason Snell

Inside Apple’s A13 Bionic system-on-chip

2 weeks 1 day ago

Since the very first Apple-designed smartphone chip (the A4 back in 2010), the company has been a force to be reckoned with in mobile silicon design. It was with the A6 a couple years later, when Apple used its own CPU design instead of a licensed architecture, that its performance leadership really started to kick into high gear.

For the last several years, Apple’s CPU has really been untouchable. The A11 Bionic featured not only a custom Apple-designed CPU, but finally ditched the PowerVR-based graphics processor for its own custom GPU. In addition, it introduced the Neural Engine, a custom block of silicon separate from the CPU and GPU, focused on accelerating Machine Learning computations.

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Jason Cross

2019 10.2-inch iPad review: The premier entry-level Apple device

2 weeks 1 day ago

When I first saw the new 7th-generation iPad, I wondered why Apple even bothered to release an updated model this year. Sure, the 10.2-inch display reveals a slight boost in size over last year’s 9.7-inch iPad, and the latest model finally has a Smart Connector, but for all that, this iPad has the same cameras and A10 processor as last year’s model, the form factor hasn’t changed significantly, and it’s even ever-so-slightly heavier. Both models still only come in 32GB and 128GB configurations, and both deliver around 10 hours of battery life. Let’s get this out of the way now: If you have last year’s 9.7-inch iPad, I see no reason to “upgrade” to this one.

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Leif Johnson

Postbox 7 review: A clean, full-featured alternative to Apple Mail for the Mac

2 weeks 2 days ago

Many of us spend more time every day in our email client than in any other piece of software. If you’re in sales, marketing, design, HR, PR, or other professional fields with an “R” in the name, you may have to compose and reply to hundreds of messages a day, customizing many to each recipient and creating attractive or well-formatted messages for mass distribution. Postbox 7 is tailored for people who swim in email and deal with customers, clients, and leads.

That’s not to say there’s not a lot for the rest of us. Even as a writer, I also often handle hundreds of emails a day, and Postbox meets my needs as an advanced alternative to Apple Mail, but one that hides its power through solid, attractive interface design. Postbox looks mild-mannered, but there’s a Supermail waiting to break out as you need it.

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Glenn Fleishman

Beauty marks: The iPhone 11 camera bump

2 weeks 2 days ago

Surely you know the story of the ugly duckling. If you don’t, it goes a little like this: pundits had not yet seen the duckling but they spent months telling everyone that it most assuredly was going to be a very ugly duckling. And then, when it was revealed on September 10th, it turned out it wasn’t a duckling at all! It was a smartphone with a really good camera.

The Macalope’s pretty sure he’s got that right.

If you will recall (or even if you refuse, really), Gordon Kelly of the Forbes contributor network and Institute for the Advancement of Screaming at Pigeons in the Park spent the better part of the spring and summer bemoaning how the iPhone 11 was going to be $10,000 of ugly in a device as low $399 with a qualifying trade-in. Why? Because of the camera bump.

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The Macalope

Apple releases bugfix updates iOS 13.1.2 and iPadOS 13.1.2

2 weeks 3 days ago

After each major fall iOS release, Apple invariably follows up with a series of really small releases that don’t add any features, they just fix some bugs. Despite public beta tests that last for months, some problems simply aren’t found until the new release is running on hundreds of millions of devices (or they simply couldn’t get fixed in time).

The latest such release is iOS 13.1.2, which includes the following fixes:

  • Fixes a bug where the progress bar for iCloud Backup could continue to show after a successful backup.
  • Fixes an issue where Camera may not work.
  • Addresses an issue where the flashlight may not activate.
  • Fixes a bug that could result in a loss of display calibration data.
  • Fixes an issue where shortcuts could not be run from HomePod.
  • Addresses an issue where Bluetooth may disconnect on certain vehicles.

In addition to the iOS update for iPhones, Apple has released iPadOS 13.1.2, which has separate release notes:

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Jason Cross
Checked
16 minutes 21 seconds ago
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