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Updated: 48 min 5 sec ago

Apple updates GarageBand and Logic Pro X with iCloud File Sharing and Touch Bar support

2 hours 32 min ago

Apple has made its music editing software more robust.

On Wednesday, Apple updated GarageBand for iOS and Pro Logic X for macOS, giving users the ability to share projects between the two music editing apps via iCloud File Sharing. This means that users can record music and share the recordings over the cloud to be edited in either app. Previously, you could import GarageBand recordings into Logic Pro X, but not vice versa. GarageBand has been designed to be more consumer-friendly, whereas Logic Pro X caters to the pro level.

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iPhone 8 rumors: New depth sensors to power facial recognition and AR

4 hours 13 min ago

The iPhone 7 you got for the holidays still has that new-iPhone smell, but that won’t stop anyone from speculating about next year’s iPhone. After all, 2017 marks the iPhone’s 10th birthday, so Apple is reportedly gearing up to make its anniversary edition extra special.

We’ll keep track of the latest rumors and how plausible they are, and we’ll put them in one spot (this one!) so you can bookmark this link and just pop on over when you want to read the latest.

If you passed on the iPhone 7 to wait for the iPhone 8—or the iPhone 7s or whatever name Apple decides to use—it sounds like next year’s phone could be the design refresh you were waiting for. Just don’t expect the headphone jack to return.

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Podcast 542: They’re always listening

5 hours 27 min ago

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the world with an electronic device right now who isn’t concerned about a combination of criminal, troll, and overreaching government trying to crack their security and vacuum up their data. For some practical advice, host Glenn Fleishman is joined by Jonathan Zdzriarski, an iPhone forensics expert with extensive experience working with law enforcement, who is also the developer of the file-access-monitoring app, Little Flocker.

Glenn and Jonathan start with a brief follow-up on the Consumer Reports’ battery testing revision, and then discuss many ways of securing different aspects of your computing and networking setup.

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23% off TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp, (Dimmable, Touch Control, 5 Color Modes, USB Charging Port) - Deal Alert

8 hours 9 min ago

The TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp is adjustable and dimmable for multiple brightness settings, making them ideal for home and office use. Say goodbye to old incandescent light and faintly illuminated working space, and say hello to this elegantly designed, modern looking and energy-efficient source. Designed to blend naturally into any scene and provide flicker-free and ghost-free lighting that is pleasant and comfortable to your eyes. Even after long hours of use, your eyes will feel less fatigue than with traditional types of lighting. With a slight touch from your finger tips, you can switch through 7 brightness level to fine tune your illumination.  This light also allows you to plug in your eReader, tablet, or smartphone into the built-in USB port.  With nearly 3,000 reviews on Amazon, it averages 4.8 out of 5 stars (read reviews). Its typical list price of $29.95 has been reduced by 23% to $22.99. See the discounted TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp now on Amazon.

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The Week in iOS Accessories: Cool cases

11 hours 12 min ago
The week's best accessories

Image by IDG

This week we include the best new cases in our roundup. See new offerings from Twelve South, elago, and more. Read on!


Image by Elago

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49% off 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna With 50 Miles Range - Deal Alert

11 hours 53 min ago

This super thin HD antenna averages 4 out of 5 stars from nearly 3,700 people on Amazon (read reviews). With a regular price of $46.99, this 49% discount puts the list price at $23.99

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Satechi Aluminum USB 3.0 Hub + Card Reader review: Easy access to USB 3 ports for your Mac

12 hours 12 min ago

Apple’s iMac (as well as its discontinued Thunderbolt Display and Cinema Display) are cool, clean-looking devices. But to me, the sleek appearance comes with one annoyance that I call the “Mac reach around.” When you need to plug in a USB device or a SD Card, you have to reach around to the back of the display. You can’t reach around blindly, either; you have to either turn the iMac or display around to get to the ports, or, if you can’t do that (like if your iMac or display is mounted to to a wall), you have to contort your body in a way to see the ports.

For most people, this is a minor annoyance in the overall scheme of things, and if you never need to plug in anything, it’s not an issue at all. But as someone who tests a lot of gear as well as use thumb drives and portable hard drives, it’s a pain. Front-facing ports would be very helpful, but Apple will never do that. So it’s time to turn to an external USB hub.

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Angry Birds Blast isn't explosively fun, but it's not bad either

13 hours 12 min ago

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

Angry Birds mania is seemingly past its prime, although the nearly $350 million worldwide gross of last year’s The Angry Birds Movie seemingly ensures that the franchise will keep hanging around for a while. In recent years, however, rather than keep iterating upon the familiar pull-and-fling formula (aside from the solid Angry Birds 2), Rovio has mostly delivered an array of spinoffs that bear little resemblance to the main games. 

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3 tools to help you keep your new year's resolutions

14 hours 42 min ago

We’re several weeks into the new year, right around the time when folks start struggling with their resolutions—if they haven’t already abandoned them altogether. That’s because resolutions require more than good intentions and will power. You need to systematically create new habits.

The good news is there’s an abundance of online tools to help you out. Below are three favorites, each using a slightly different method of motivation. Whether your goal is to read more, lose weight, save money, or something else, these apps can help you pave a path to success and see you all the way to the finish line.

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AirPods wish list: 3 ways Apple can make its Bluetooth earphones even better

14 hours 42 min ago

Apple’s AirPods launch wasn’t exactly smooth. A months-long delay led to rumors as to why that delay happened—could it be that the Bluetooth accessory Apple designed as the perfect complement to its headphone jack-free iPhone 7 wasn’t ready for prime time? But Apple started shipping AirPods in late December, just before the holidays, and has since captured 26 percent of the wireless headphone market. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the earphones are a “runaway success” and that Apple is making them as fast as possible.

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The backdoor that never was, and how to improve your security with WhatsApp

15 hours 12 min ago

The headline in the Guardian last week was certainly eye-catching: “WhatsApp vulnerability allows snooping on encrypted messages.” The allegation was that a newly discovered flaw could allow messages you’d sent to a known and confirmed party through a highly secure method could be replayed, or sent again to other parties that could insert themselves as trusted recipients.

It turns out, almost none of this is accurate or represented in a way that will help WhatsApp users improve their security. This doesn’t mean that WhatsApp is created perfectly (nor do I allege the Guardian have an agenda). A few months ago, I explained how to configure WhatsApp to be as secure as possible, because defaults and prompts made it more likely that you could have your messages intercepted by criminals or by mass or targeted surveillance from security agencies. For example, the app encourages you to backup your messages on a server, which removes the end-to-end encryption protection of the messaging system; you have to know to say no.

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App Store prices will be higher in the U.K. to reflect post-Brexit exchange rates

Tue, 2017-01-17 15:28

The Brexit vote is beginning to have an impact on iOS users in the U.K.

Apple is raising App Store prices by about 25 percent to reflect exchange rate fluctuations following the Brexit vote in the U.K. According to 9to5Mac, $0.99 apps in the US will cost £0.99 in the U.K., up from £0.79. An app previously priced at the £1.49 tier will now costs £1.99. Prices in the U.K. App Store already include a 20 percent VAT sales tax.

In-app purchases will also be affected, for example the “All Worlds” upgrade in Super Mario Run is going from £7.99 to £9.99. However, subscriptions will remain the same price for the time being. Apple notified iOS developers that the pricing surge will occur in the next seven days.

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OS X El Capitan gets a supplemental security update

Tue, 2017-01-17 12:45

Still using OS X El Capitan on your Mac? If so, then you should know that Apple has released a supplemental security update for your Mac. According to Apple, the update “fixes a kernel issue that may cause your Mac to occasionally become unresponsive.”

The update originally was released in December 2016, but on Tuesday it was reissued. Users can get the update by launching the App Store app and then checking for updates. You can also download the update from the web; users who did not initially install the update can download the standard security update, while users who have the original update from December installed can download the supplemental update.

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Evernote overhauls its iOS app with focus on speed and simplicity

Tue, 2017-01-17 10:00

In its quest to make you more organized and productive, popular note-taking app Evernote grew a bit bloated. The app’s speed, or lack thereof, is a common thread in user reviews. Evernote just released a redesigned iOS app that aims to address those complaints, plus make your notes a little easier on the eyes.

The first thing you’ll notice when you launch Evernote version 8.0 is the new home screen, which picks up right where you left off with your most recent notes at the ready. The note preview allows you to see which notes have a lot of content and which contain just text. Then there’s the new navigation bar pinned to the bottom of the app, where you can jump into all notes, search, see shortcuts, or view your account. A green plus icon in the center of that new menu bar lets you immediately start a new note, and a long press on that icon lets you swipe up to capture an audio note, a photo, or add a reminder.

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43% off TP-Link Smart LED Wi-Fi Light Bulb, Dimmable and Alexa Compatible - Deal Alert

Tue, 2017-01-17 09:29

TP-Link has discounted its 50W smart bulb 43% to just $19.99. Use the Kasa app to turn on/off or dim from anywhere in the world. Set up a schedule, set the mood, and even control with your voice via an Alexa-enabled device such as Echo or Dot. Reviewers rate 4 out of 5 stars (see reviews) on Amazon, where you can get yourself one (or more) for just $20, a good deal considering it typically lists north of $20 and sometimes $30 with various online retailers. See the discounted TP-Link smart LED bulb on Amazon.

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Twitter's Vine dies today, so download your videos pronto

Tue, 2017-01-17 08:49

It’s the end of the Vine. On Tuesday, January 17, Twitter’s video-sharing platform is morphing from the popular social network spin-off to an integrated part of Twitter.

As part of the changeover, the Vine app will become Vine Camera. With the new app you’ll be able to record and edit six-second videos, and then save them to your phone’s camera roll or upload them to Twitter.

The impact on you at home: January 17 is the last day you’ll be able to download your Vines via the mobile app or the website. After Tuesday, will become an archival site where you’ll be able to view Vines, but the downloading feature will be turned off. If you’re seeing this notice after the download function is shut off you might try a third-party solution to grab your Vines—though we can’t guarantee they’ll work.

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69% off Phaiser BHS-730 Bluetooth Sweatproof Sport Earbuds, Magnetic - Deal Alert

Tue, 2017-01-17 08:12

Phaiser's BHS-730 Bluetooth Sport earbuds are both highly rated and dramatically discounted on Amazon. Averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 7,800 people (read reviews), the list price of $160 has been reduced a significant 69% to just $50.  The BHS-730 uses the highest quality hardware, as well as Bluetooth 4.1 and A2DP stereo transfer protocols to produce bigger bass, lighter-than-air treble, and perfect phone call clarity every time. Bullet-shaped Comply T-400 M memory foam tips provide total isolation from external noise. It's designed to withstand the toughest environments, and the earbuds are made from Aviation Grade Aluminum-Magnesium-Alloy which doesn't add weight. And a LiquipelTM Nano-Coating means it can be dropped into water and will live to see another day. The BHS-730's are magnetized, so they stick to each other and stay securely around your neck when you need to take them out of your ears. Along with the earbuds you get a generous 7 sets of ear tips, a 60-day "no questions asked" return policy, and a lifetime sweatproof warranty as well. See the discounted Phaiser BHS-730 now on Amazon

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50% off J5 Tactical V1-Pro Ultra Bright 3 Mode Flashlight - Deal Alert

Tue, 2017-01-17 07:21

Heavy duty, compact and tough as nails. Perhaps the last flashlight you'll ever need. That's how J5 Tactical describes their V1-Pro. A super bright 300 lumens LED produces an intense beam of light up to 600 feet with high, low and strobe modes. It can take a beating, is weather resistant, and works for hours on a single AA battery. With nearly 6,000 reviews on Amazon, it averages 4.5 out of 5 stars (read reviews). Its typical list price of $29.95 has been reduced by 50% to $14.95. See the discounted J5 Tactical V1-Pro flashlight now on Amazon.

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Secur SP-6000 Ultimate Solar Charger review: Power to spare while off the grid

Tue, 2017-01-17 07:00

Camping is a great way to disengage from modern fast-paced, always-on lifestyles by basking in the great outdoors. I had no choice but to live “off the grid” one weekend last summer when the incompatible power at our campsite left us with no way to power up smartphones and tablets.

Naturally, I had the foresight to bring at least one portable battery, but once that was depleted we had to make do with an occasional sip of DC power from our truck. Having learned this lesson the hard way I’ll come better prepared next time, with a portable solar charger that will keep the outdoor fun going for days.

Open-air power

The Secur SP-6000 Ultimate Solar Charger ($125) packs dual six-watt solar panels and a rechargeable 10,000 mAh Lithium battery into a rugged premium case weighing 20.4 ounces. When closed, the 6.0 x 10.5-inch SP-6000 is small enough to fit into most backpacks, tote bags, or even larger purses.

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How to stop macOS Photos from re-uploading all your images and videos

Tue, 2017-01-17 06:00

Steven Bradley writes in with a serious problem with Photos for macOS and iCloud Photo Library. He installed MacPhun’s Luminar and at some point after that, Photos decided to re-upload the 15,000 photos and videos he has stored in iCloud Photo Library while he’s at a winter home with slower broadband. He says:

Photos reports that it is still uploading 11,655 items. I checked my iCloud account online and it shows just over 15,000 items, so at least it is not adding duplicate items to iCloud.

Do you have any idea why the Photos app is uploading files that have already been uploaded and is there anyway to stop it?

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