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August 22 2018

02:28
Verizon throttled California fire department's data as it fought wildfires
00:19
Apple CEO Tim Cook donates nearly $5M in company stock to charity

August 21 2018

23:36
Apple TV exec Jen Folse departs Apple for live-streaming startup Caffeine
22:30

The best wireless chargers for iPhone X and iPhone 8

Updated 08/20/18: We've added reviews of the Funxim Fast Wireless Chrarging Pad and the Mophie Charge Stream Pad+.

With the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple has finally joined the wireless charging revolution. For years, many Android users have had the ability to simply plop their phone on a pad to juice it up, but to do that with an iPhone used to require a special (and bulky) case.

To read this article in full, please click here

21:52
IKEA rumored expand HomeKit lineup with new smart plugs in October
21:30

Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. Pacific

Bloomberg says a new Mac mini and MacBook are on its way. The iPhone rumor mill is picking up speed as September approaches. New Apple Watches could be on the way, too. We also feature your comments and questions for Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, Dan Masaoka, and Michael Simon in the Macworld Podcast, episode 618.

Watch us live

The Macworld Podcast broadcasts live on the internet on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Pacific. You can watch on Twitter via Periscope or on the Macworld YouTube channel.

To read this article in full, please click here

21:19
Android collects nearly 10 times more user data than Apple's iOS
21:19

Twitter poll: What's the most you would pay for a powerful new "pro" Mac mini?

Take our poll on Twitter and we'll discuss the results during the Macworld Podcast on Wednesday, August 22 at 10 a.m, Pacific, live on Twitter.

To read this article in full, please click here

19:52
Here are three quick and easy alternatives to Back to My Mac in macOS Mojave
19:15

Apple will drop Back to My Mac in macOS Mojave. Here are some workarounds if you rely on it

With all the new features coming to macOS 10.14 Mojave, there’s actually one feature that’s going away when Apple officially releases the upgrade this fall: Back to My Mac.

As pointed out by MacRumors, beta versions of Mojave started to alert users that Back to My Mac will end soon. An Apple support document (posted on August 9, 2018) confirms that the feature will not be supported in Mojave.

To read this article in full, please click here

18:38
Apple axes Back to My Mac in macOS Mojave
17:29

Dark Sky Update Consolidates Weather Data in a Single Vertical View

Dark Sky’s signature feature has always been its uncanny ability to predict when it was about to rain. The app has a reputation for working better in the US than other parts of the world, and in my experience, it’s not as good at predicting snowfall, but its ability to keep users from getting caught off guard by a sudden storm has garnered it a lot of fans.

Besides an app, Dark Sky is an API that other weather apps use to deliver their data. That means you can experience many of the benefits of Dark Sky by using other weather apps, which is what I’ve done for some time. Dark Sky was once my weather app of choice, but over time, I moved to other apps that used its API and presented weather data in ways I prefer.

Yesterday, Dark Sky's app was updated with a redesign that addresses many of the shortcomings of earlier versions. The main Forecast view now features a higher density of information and visual cues that make it easier to understand predicted weather changes at a glance. It’s a marked improvement over previous versions of the app, but the new focus on a vertical timeline comes with drawbacks that won’t be to everyone’s taste.

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Dark Sky is now divided into four tabs, but most of the day-to-day functionality is found in the first two: Forecast and Map. The Forecast tab is a vertically oriented screen that starts with the current conditions at the top followed by a small radar thumbnail, an upcoming precipitation graph that only appears if there is something to report, hourly forecast, and finally, a 7-day forecast. On my iPhone X, the weather data takes up about 2.5 screens of space. Tap a day in the 7-day forecast, and it expands to show the hourly forecast for that day, extending the vertical space needed even further.

Dark Sky has added custom notifications for nine different weather metrics.

Dark Sky has added custom notifications for nine different weather metrics.

I like having a radar thumbnail near the top of the Forecast tab. It’s zoomed out far enough to see storms coming from hundreds of miles away, which is helpful, and when tapped, Dark Sky switches to its Map tab centered on the location displayed in the thumbnail.

Another new feature is in the section below the graph of the precipitation for the upcoming hour. As with the old version of Dark Sky, this section includes the familiar color-coded vertical bar to show precipitation predictions for the next 24 hours and notes regarding major changes in the weather. Now, however, Dark Sky includes a series of data points on the right-hand side of the screen that track any of nine different measurements. The data is displayed in circles positioned relative to each other horizontally to show how the measurements are predicted to change over time. It’s a clever addition that provides more information in the space available.

Although the new Dark Sky design is predominantly vertical, one place where the Forecast tab relies on horizontal navigation is at the bottom of the new hourly graph. Swiping left and right switches the graph of data points between the nine options available. As you swipe, the datasets smoothly transition from one to the other with a pleasant animation.

Dark Sky also supports horizontal swiping between forecasts for different locations, which can be set up in the app’s settings. Curiously though, the app doesn’t return to your last-viewed location when moving between the Forecast and Maps tabs. Instead, it returns to the location at the top of your saved locations list.

The 7-day forecast, which sits at the bottom of the Forecast tab’s view, is my favorite. It nicely balances the highlights of a day’s forecast, with an ability to drop into predicted hourly details with a single tap on a day.

Dark Sky's familar zoomable Map view.

Dark Sky's familar zoomable Map view.

Tapping the Map tab of Dark Sky opens a view of a globe centered on New York City. After a few seconds, the globe rotates to focus on your current location regardless of whether you were last viewing the weather for that location. It’s an odd behavior that seems to both ignore the location you were browsing in the Forecast tab and require the app to determine your location again each time the Map tab is opened. While it’s fun to idly spin the globe and zoom in and out browsing the weather in other parts of the world, the utility of the Map tab is limited.

The other significant addition to Dark Sky is custom notifications. Any of the metrics tracked by the app can trigger a notification when it’s predicted to rise or drop below a value during the day, night, or anytime. It’s a useful power-user feature, but one that would be even better if it supported multiple values so notifications could be triggered in situations like when temperatures are predicted to rise over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with winds less than 5 mph, and humidity over 80%.

Overall, Dark Sky’s update is solid, despite a few rough edges. There’s more data presented more compactly in one screen, making it easy to access quickly. I’m not entirely sold on the unified vertical timeline though. It requires more scrolling than other weather apps, and everything feels a little crowded.

A good contrast to this approach is Hello Weather. It adopts the chunky headers of Apple Music, Maps, News, and other stock apps, which take up more vertical space, but Hello Weather relies on horizontally swipeable panels in each section to present the same information in less vertical area. It’s an approach I prefer aesthetically that also feels more modern given recent iOS design trends.

Weather apps are a challenging exercise in cramming a lot of data into a relatively small space, which lends itself to a wide variety of approaches. Although I’m not personally a fan of Dark Sky’s predominantly vertical layout, the redesign is undeniably an improvement over prior versions, and the customization options for notifications make this update worthy of another look if you haven’t tried Dark Sky in a while.

Dark Sky is available on the App Store for $3.99.


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16:53

FiftyThree Apps Paper and Paste Acquired by WeTransfer Along with Its Other Assets

FiftyThree, the maker of the iOS apps Paper and Paste, has been acquired by WeTransfer, a file transfer company based in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Paper, FiftyThree’s iPad drawing app, was named iPad App of The Year in 2012. Paste, which is FiftyThree’s iOS presentation app, allows users to create slides collaboratively.

In addition to its apps, FiftyThree is well-known for its creation the Pencil, a BlueTooth stylus that debuted before Apple’s identically-named Pencil. Although the Pencil is not mentioned by name in WeTransfer’s press release, the company is acquiring all of FiftyThree’s assets including intellectual property, which presumably covers hardware too.

WeTransfer provides web and app-based tools for transferring files among its users. In addition to offering a free version of its service, WeTransfer includes a premium paid version of its service and sells ads that appear in its web app. WeTransfer’s CEO Gordon Willoughby stated in the company’s press release that it had acquired FiftyThree to expand its ‘family of obvious creative tools, both on mobile and the web.’

FiftyThree has sought to reassure customers saying that:

For the millions using Paper and Paste, we want to assure you that we are dedicated now more than ever to building and growing both tools. This doesn’t change our path, it only accelerates it — the same great team will continue working on both tools. If you’re a paying Paste or Paper customer, nothing is changing around pricing or functionality in the near term, and we’ll keep you well-informed of any upcoming changes that may impact you. We’ve got a few big ideas cooking that we think you’ll be thrilled about.

I imagine the introduction of Apple’s Pencil took its toll on FiftyThree’s attempt to use hardware to build a sustainable business model. Hopefully, joining forces with WeTranfer will allow Paper and Paste, which are both excellent apps, to continue to be developed long into the future.


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Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it's also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Plus, it's made in Italy.

Join Now
16:45
How to get started with and get more out of the Apple TV 4K
16:00
Analyst downgrades Apple stock, because iPhone X is too popular
15:27
Apple's iPhone could be hit by possible debundling of Japanese phone prices
15:11

Outfit every room in your home with Echo Dots for an all-time low of just $25 apiece today

We've called Amazon's $50 Echo Dot "the Echo most people should buy," and right now you can get a few on a deep discount—when you add three Echo Dots to your cart and enter the code DOT3PACK, you'll save $75Remove non-product link, 50 percent off the list price and the lowest price we've seen.

To read this article in full, please click here

15:10
What to expect from the Apple Watch Series 4, and when it is coming
14:17
Thieves caught in the act of robbing a California Apple Store
14:05

Five things the Mac mini needs to make it a true pro machine

Stop the presses, we have a new Mac mini rumor. Well, at least the germination of a rumor. According to Bloomberg’s very connected Mark Gurman and Debbie Wu, Apple is planning “a professional-focused upgrade to the Mac mini desktop later this year,” and “new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions.”

That’s a lot of words for not really saying anything at all. While Gurman is basically confirming Ming Chi-Kuo’s earlier report that the long-in-the-tooth mini will be getting an update this year, he leaves an awful lot of blanks to be filled in between now and its release, presumably sometime in mid- to late fall. Even if he’s right about the new pro focus, everything else about the new Mac mini remains a mystery.

To read this article in full, please click here

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