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Updated: 3 years 24 weeks ago

How to set up Medical ID on your iPhone

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 14:32

Updated 10/21/20: There have been a few tweaks to the Health app interface. This article has been updated to reflect them.

There are plenty of iPhone features that feel like you just can’t live without them. But there is one that can literally save your life: Medical ID.

If you get into an accident or otherwise become unconscious or unresponsive, a first responder can pick up your phone and place an emergency call. But they can also tap the Medical ID button to be taken to a screen that shows important information about you: Age, blood type, allergies, medical conditions...whatever information you wish to share that may help a medical professional to treat you properly.

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First iPhone 12 teardown tibits: Smaller batter, thinner display, new logic board

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 13:42

The iPhone 12 is still a couple of days away from reaching the eager hands of the general public, but lucky YouTuber Hic Tech got his hands on an early model. So he took the whole thing apart. As spotted by 9to5Mac, the short teardown is much lighter on the details that the in-depth analysis we typically get from iFixit, but it still reveals a few interesting tidbits about the new phone.

The battery is extremely small: If you thought the iPhone 11’s 3011mAh battery was small, wait till you see the iPhone 12’s battery. According to the video, it’s just 2815mAh, way smaller than the 4,000mAh battery inside the Galaxy S20 and other Android phones. Early benchmarks suggest that battery life is roughly the same as the iPhone 11 (and a couple of hours less when using 5G), but it’s still disappointing.

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iPad Air (2020) review roundup: The right price, design, and performance for most people

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 11:25

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro aren’t the only Apple devices shipping to customers this week. There’s also the brand-new $599 iPad Air that launched last month, and based on the early reviews, it’s going to be a runaway hit.

The biggest change in the 2020 iPad Air over the prior model is the design. The new tablet takes its cues from the iPad Pro and eliminated the home button, slims the bezels, and flattens the sides. It also adds an array of new color options, all of which impressed Laptop Mag’s Phillip Tracy, who wrote: “Something about the Air gives off cool retro vibes. It could be the rounded machined aluminum corners, sculpted like an old Mercedes racing car, or that single prominent circular camera lens above a small mesh microphone. Whatever it is, the iPad Air’s elegance helps to offset the industrial aesthetic.”

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How to prepare your digital assets in case of death

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 08:00

Mac 911 has received a sadly unsurprising number of emails this year from people whose loved ones have passed away, and who are left with computers, mobile devices, and cloud accounts that contain memories, legal documents, and much more.

I have written previously about various aspects of survivorship for Apple products and its ecosystem, but it’s worth extending and collecting that in one place, given the number of questions many of you have.

Make a plan before it’s too late

Most of us feel macabre talking about death, but dealing with the fussy details ahead of time can solve endless problems later. It’s especially true with digital resources, as giant technology firms, including Apple, may not be responsive to your queries when someone’s gone.

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The A14 processor brings big improvements to the iPhone and beyond

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 07:00

The future is here. Yes, this week marks the release of the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPad Air. But it’s also the week we all finally get to meet Apple’s latest processor design for the first time. The A14 is here, and it’s going to be playing a major part in the entire Apple universe for the next year.

Why it’s important

The iPhone would probably continue to be a popular product even if its speeds were comparable to top-end Android phones. But we haven’t had to test that theory in a while, because ever since Apple began designing its own processors, it has accelerated away from the competition.

For the last few years, by the time the new iPhones and Apple-designed A-series processors have arrived, the fastest smartphones available on the Android side have yet to match the performance of the previous fall’s iPhone. Yes, it’s true—Apple has lapped the field. And since Apple is the only phonemaker who can use Apple’s processors, it provides Apple with a huge advantage over all its competition.

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Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) review: The new Dot delivers a revamped look and (slightly) better sound

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 06:00
The latest Echo Dot is technically the best Dot yet, but only by a narrow margin.

Macworld's November digital magazine: Apple Watch SE reviewed

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 19:18

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 November issue

In November we review the Apple Watch SE. Is it the right watch for your wrist? We compare the SE to the Series 3 and Series 6. Find out everything you need to know about Apple One, Apple’s new subscription bundle. Plus, make your Chromebook look like a MacBook.

Also in this month’s issue:

• MacUser: Want to run Mac OS 8 on your Mac? Now you can. Plus, what Apple's new 'everything' gift cards mean to iTunes deals

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Apple releases iOS 14.1 with support for iPhone 12, 10-bit HDR, and bug fixes

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 17:34

Apple has release iOS 14.1, a sort of intermediary release between the big iOS 14 release a month ago, and the iOS 14.2 release currently in beta testing. This iOS version didn’t go through the normal public beta testing process, but it also doesn’t really add a lot of important new features for those who don’t have an iPhone 12.

The one significant new feature is 10-bit HDR playback and editing. Those with an iPhone 8 or later can play and edit 10-bit HDR videos in the Photos app (recording 10-bit HDR videos is only possible on iPhone 12). Beyond that, this release is full of bug fixes.

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Will it stick? We tested Apple’s new MagSafe charger on everything but the iPhone 12

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 17:00

We ordered new iPhone 12s last Friday and we still have to wait until they arrive, but the MagSafe Charger arrived early. So while we wait for our phones to arrive, we decided to test it out on, well, anything we could find.

The results were a little surprising. While the handheld puck will charge most things that are enabled with Qi charging, we could only get a max of 5W speeds no matter which power adapter we connected to the MagSafe, including Apple's new 20W charger. And some devices that we thought it could charge—like the Apple Watch, for example—wouldn’t.

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Apple releases HomePod software update 14.1 with Intercom and other enhancements

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 15:18

Apple has released an update to its HomePod software. Version 14.1 adds support for the upcoming HomePod mini as well as the new Intercom feature for all HomePods and a handful of Siri enhancements.

Release notes

The full release notes for HomePod software update 14.1 are as follows:

Software version 14.1 includes support for HomePod mini and new Siri and Intercom features. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

HomePod mini

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HomePod: What you need to know about Apple's smart speaker lineup

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 14:50

Apple’s HomePod (originally rumored to be called Siri Speaker) is a smart speaker with Wi-Fi capabilities intended to compete against Amazon Echo devices and Google Home—although it’s more expensive. Revealed during Apple’s 2017 WWDC keynote, Apple’s senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller boasted about HomePod’s audio quality, its built-in room sensors, and the integration with Apple Music.

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Apple Music TV launches quietly, streaming curated music videos and more 24/7

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 14:09

Without so much as a press release, Apple has unveiled a new 24-hour-a-day music video channel. Simply called “Apple Music TV,” the service currently streams nothing but one music video after another, all day, every day.

You’ll find Apple Music TV in the TV app under the Watch Now section, and in Apple Music in the Browse tab. 

You don’t get to pick which videos to watch or make a playlist of them (that feature already exists in Apple Music). Rather, this is a curated stream of videos chosen by Apple, sort of like a music video radio station. 

Though we currently haven’t seen anything other than one music video right after another, Apple seems to have grander plans for the new stream. The promo text in Apple Music say the station will contain “the best videos, interviews, and more,” which sounds an awful lot like the heyday of MTV. Hopefully, Apple will stop with some great music news and interviews mixed in with primarily music videos, instead of diving head-first into reality TV.

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DOJ sues Google: Let's break down the government's case

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 13:36
The U.S. Department of Justice and several states have sued Google, alleging that the search provider uses its dominant position on the desktop and on mobile to preserve its market share to the detriment of competitors.

You can now stream Xbox games to your iPhone

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 13:12

You can now stream Xbox games to your iPhone! Does this mean that Apple has loosened its App Store restrictions that all but prohibit any sort of game streaming service? Unfortunately, no. Rather, an update to the Xbox app allows gamers to connect to and stream from their own home Xbox. 

It’s a great new feature, but it’s not really cloud gaming.

Updated 10/20/20: The new Xbox app is now available on the App Store, enabling remote play from your own Xbox console.

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Nest Secure review: This security offering carries a premium price tag

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 13:04
Save your pennies if you want to adopt Nest’s sleek—yet limited—security offering.

Philips Hue Lily outdoor spotlight review: The perfect highlight for your outdoor landscaping

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 12:59
This addition to the outdoor Hue line will really draw attention to your garden (so make sure your plants look their best).

Philips Hue Calla outdoor pathway light review: A sophisticated outdoor lighting system

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 12:58
Philips takes its Hue smart lighting outdoors with this elegant and well-built pathway light.

iPhone 12 Pro review roundup: Slightly more premium with a better camera

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 11:42

While the top-of-the-line Max model won’t be shipping for a few weeks, Apple has sent one of the its iPhone 12 Pro model to reviewers, but this might not be the one you want. Apple has loaded up the iPhone 12 with so many features this year, there isn’t all that much left to set the iPhone 12 Pro apart.

The Verge’s Nilay Patel wonders if “the small list of extra features justifies a roughly $200 price bump from the standard iPhone 12.” He found the stainless steel rim picked up more fingerprints than the iPhone 12’s aluminum one but he liked the “the squared-off design” and the “excellent” screen, though he wished for a higher refresh rate. He also found the cameras to be “remarkable impressive,” especially night mode portrait shots, with “balanced colors and great details.”

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iPhone 12 review roundup: Elegant, extraordinary, and future-proofed

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 10:29

The iPhone 12 arrives in stores on Friday, and the early reviews are in. As expected, people love the new models. From the new design to the display, cameras, and 5G support, the iPhone 12 is a massive improvement over the iPhone 11 and brings Apple’s entry-level phone that much closer to Pro status.

Writing at CNET, Patrick Holland says the “extraordinary” iPhone 12 has “a bold, striking look without any frills,” but he was most impressed with the speed. The iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic processor recorded the highest scores of any phone he ever tested, and he found the addition of both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G “brilliant” and “impressive,” as he writes, “even if you don’t experience fast 5G speeds now.” In his testing on Verizon’s new nationwide network, he was able to top 100Mbps and make HD FaceTime calls.

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Flume 2 Smart Home Water Monitor review: Performance improvements give the 2nd-gen Flume a big leg up

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 09:00
Compatible with 98 percent of water meters, Flume 2 solidifies its place as one of the best ways to keep tabs on your water usage.