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Dec
01

So, Are Apple’s New M1-Based Macs Any Good?

So, Are Apple’s New M1-Based Macs Any Good?

In November, Apple unveiled its new M1 chip and three new Macs that use it: the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. The M1-based MacBook Air replaces the previous Intel-based MacBook Air, but with the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac mini, Apple continues to sell some Intel-based models with beefier specs—most notably a higher memory ceiling.

Even though Apple makes impressive performance claims for the new Macs, the community was still somewhat skeptical. Were these new Macs as fast as Apple said? Would they be limited in some other way? And the biggest question of all, should we be buying untested M1-based Macs or tried-and-true Intel-based models? Now that these new Macs are shipping and people have had a chance to try them, let’s address these and other questions so you can plan your future Mac purchases appropriately.

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407 Hits
Dec
01

Take a Few Minutes to Lock Down Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Take a Few Minutes to Lock Down Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Even beyond its often controversial behavior in the 2020 US presidential election, Facebook continually makes news headlines for its numerous privacy and security problems. Most notable, of course, were the 50 million Facebook profiles gathered for Cambridge Analytica for the 2016 election. Closer to home, the company pushed a VPN service in the Facebook iOS app that collected all your mobile data traffic for Facebook. After pressure from Apple, Facebook pulled the VPN but reused it for the Facebook Research program, which paid users as young as 13 for their data. Apple caused that to be shut down too.

Facebook has also silently shared user data with other tech giants, received confidential health data from other apps without users’ informed consent, and stored hundreds of millions of Facebook and Instagram passwords in an unencrypted form, among much else. The criticisms of Facebook go on and on.

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477 Hits
Dec
01

Want to Send Holiday Cards This Year? Try Building Them with Motif for Photos

Want to Send Holiday Cards This Year? Try Building Them with Motif for Photos

In 2018, Apple dropped support for creating print projects from within Photos, including greeting cards, calendars, and books. Instead, Apple allowed other print-service companies to build Photos Project extensions that gave users the same sort of capabilities. At first, they didn’t match up with what Apple had previously provided, but they’ve improved over time.

It’s the holiday card season again, and given how little we’ve all been able to see friends and family, we expect a lot more people will be sending cards this year. You’re welcome to use Mimeo Photos, Shutterfly, Fujifilm Prints & Gifts, Mpix, or WhiteWall, but we’re going to focus on Motif, which generally performed well in our testing.

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477 Hits
Dec
01

Overwhelmed by Apps? Use iOS 14’s App Library to Manage Your Home Screens

Overwhelmed by Apps? Use iOS 14’s App Library to Manage Your Home Screens

Many of us have been using iPhones for years, and apps we bought or downloaded long ago molder in corners of our Home screens. Even if you haven’t played Flappy Bird in years, its pixelated icon still stares glumly at you every time you peer at its Home screen, and it’s far from alone. To find out how many apps you have, go to Settings > General > About and look next to Applications. So where are they all?

Unless you’re one of those highly organized people who keeps every app in a folder (we’re jealous), you probably have quite a few Home screens holding all those apps. The first one or two may be nicely laid out, with your most frequently used apps close at hand. But after that? We can never find little-used apps on the fourth or sixth Home screen. Instead, we search for such apps—swipe down on a Home screen and type a few characters from its name. But wouldn’t it be nice to see an alphabetically sorted list of all your installed apps?

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358 Hits
Nov
02

New Back Tap Feature in iOS 14 Provides Two Customizable Shortcuts

New Back Tap Feature in iOS 14 Provides Two Customizable Shortcuts

We all have things we do regularly on our iPhones, whether it’s checking the weather, searching Google, or invoking the magnifier. Apple has long provided ways of making your most common actions easier to access. You might put an app on your Dock, open Control Center, or take advantage of the triple-press Accessibility shortcut. With iOS 14, Apple has opened up a new and customizable way of triggering actions: Back Tap.

With a double or triple tap on the back of any iPhone 8 or newer running iOS 14, you can invoke any one of a variety of actions, including custom Shortcuts. Sorry, Back Tap isn’t available in iPadOS 14.

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417 Hits
Nov
02

Home Screen Widgets Take Center Stage in iOS 14

Home Screen Widgets Take Center Stage in iOS 14

A significant new feature in iOS 14 is Home screen widgets, information-rich tiles that share space on a Home screen with app icons. iPhone users familiar with Google’s Android smartphone operating system have long clamored for widgets because they provide quick information at a glance, without having to launch an app or swipe right on the Home screen for Today view.

In fact, you could think of iOS 14’s Home screen widgets as having escaped Today view—which is still there and provides access to a scrolling list of widgets that you choose. Widgets do need to be updated for iOS 14 to live on the Home screen and appear at the top of the Today view list. Older widgets remain accessible at the bottom of Today view, and you can add and remove them by tapping Edit at the very bottom of the Today view screen.

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