News

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

Iota offers no-fee GPS tracking, thanks to long-range RF and your neighbors' Wi-Fi

Locating devices to keep track of your stuff (or even your pets or kids) sure are handy, but they have their limits. Trackers that rely on Bluetooth, like Tile and Proximo, have a relatively small range, so once they're more than 150 feet from your cell phone, you can't see them until they're back in range. GPS trackers, like Tagg for pets and HereO and Filip for kids, can be tracked anywhere, but you also need to pay a monthly fee for a cellular connection to send the data from the GPS chip up to the cloud before

INTERNET

Whiskey is a social lubricant and a social network, thanks to Distiller

Facebook toys with your emotions. Twitter doesn't know what it wants to be. Instagram is lovely to look at, but gives you a serious case of FOMO. Social networks are fraught with such anxiety that we forget they're supposed to be fun. That's where Distiller aims to stand out--because it's impossible for a social network based on booze to make you miserable.

TELECOMMUNICATION

Virgin Mobile Custom will let you customize the perfect cellular plan

Starting next month, Sprint will let you customize a Virgin Mobile cellular plan to your exact specifications. You'll be able to select voice minutes, text messages, and data buckets a-la-carte, as well as add-ons for music and social media apps that let you use them all you want without affecting your "regular" data plan.

SOFTWARE

Microsoft OneNote embraces Mac and iOS users with a raft of new features

Microsoft said late Tuesday that it has added several new capabilities for OneNote for the Mac and iOS, including imported files from email and OneDrive for Business storage.

SOFTWARE

64-bit Google Chrome browser moves into beta

Google's 64-bit Chrome browser took the last step before being formally released, as Google published a 64-bit beta of the browser on Wednesday morning.

SECURITY

Attackers use domino effect to compromise your accounts

Data breach after data breach has illustrated just how weak and ineffective passwords can be for protecting accounts and sensitive information. Many sites and services have implemented secondary security protocols and two-factor authentication, but users frequently use information and email accounts that can be easily compromised--giving attackers a simple way to access your information.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS | MOBILE | SOFTWARE

Kaspersky Internet Security 2015--Multi-Device review: new interface, same excellent protection

Given that the average person owns several Internet connected devices, straight PC security doesn't really cut it anymore. That's why companies like Kaspersky are starting to offer cross-platform solutions for marginally more than their traditional PC-only antivirus programs.

SOFTWARE

TechGenie PC Optimizer review: Maximum advertising, minimal value

Handsomely rendered in the latest Windows 8.x tile-style, TechGenie's PC Optimizer is undoubtedly one of, if not the best-looking Windows maintenance suite out there. The free version offers marginal value--if you're careful with it. But if you fall for the copious embedded advertising, you'll wind up spending well over $100 for utilities you really don't need, then calling iYogi's tech support to undoubtedly spend more. You might want to move on the next review now.

HARDWARE SYSTEMS

Modbook launches Kickstarter campaign for Modbook Pro X Mac tablet

The custom Mac tablet, the Modbook, is back--this time with a souped-up, 15.4-inch display and the latest Mac hardware under the hood.

GAMES

Sony thinks EA's new $5/mo. games subscription plan isn't worth the money

The main question after EA announced its new games subscription program, Access, on Tuesday was "Why Microsoft-exclusive?" It turns out the "exclusivity" in this case might not have been by choice.

Expert Opinion

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Our favorite iOS Apps, July edition

As we do every month, Macworld staffers got together to chat about the best apps they've been using recently. Here are some that have recently captured our imaginations (and perhaps a spot on our homescreens), whether they're tiny apps from budding developers or the top-grossing apps that everyone is using. Our hope is that, while you might recognize some of these apps, others you might never have encountered. All of them, we think, are worth a look.

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Microsoft's productivity drive could kill software as we know it

On Thursday, Satya Nadella charted a new course for Microsoft, focused on interconnectivity and productivity--one where, conceivably, the company's standard-setting Office applications and other products and services could slowly blur into different modes of working with the same data.

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All about DDR4, the next-gen memory coming soon for PCs and mobile devices

New CPU and GPU architectures roil the market pretty much every year--sometimes more than once a year. Yet in spite of the impact that system memory can have on a PC's performance, the industry has relied on the same basic memory architecture for what seems like an eternity--in tech time, at least.

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Apple's HomeKit hub may already be in your house

At Apple's recent Worldwide Developers Conference, the company announced--among a great many other things--HomeKit, a suite of tools for controlling such devices in your home as thermostats, furnaces and air conditioners, smart appliances, lights, cameras, garage-door openers, and security systems. Apple will provide a platform that these devices will be asked to conform to. Do so, and you can control them all from your iOS device.

Editors Pick

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Apple doesn't need its own gadgets to dominate the smart home

If you believe the weekend rumors, Apple will announce a connected-home platform next week at WWDC. But before you get too excited about an iThermostat and an iFridge and an iCamera watching you sleep, consider this: If Apple does get into the home-automation market, that doesn't necessarily mean it'll make smart-home gadgets of its own.

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10 things we want to see in Microsoft's Surface Mini

If Microsoft indeed intends to release a shrunk-down Surface Mini this month, as an invite for a "small" Surface event suggests, merely downsizing the tablet's design to fit an 8-inch frame ain't going to cut it. Sure, the Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 are beautiful pieces of kit, but they're made for big-screen productivity--the Surface Pro is essentially an Ultrabook without a keyboard. That experience won't translate well to a smaller form factor, better suited for content consumption than content creation.

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With this phone, I thee wed: How the Nokia-Microsoft union changes everything

There's no getting cold feet now. On Friday, Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's device business will be official, after months of delays and regulatory hurdles. The remnants of Nokia will get a whopping $7.2 billion. In return, Microsoft will get 32,000 new employees, a legion of Lumias, and oh yeah, those funky Android-based Nokia X phones.

Latest Product Reviews

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MediaBeam: This ultra-cheap streaming stick isn't worth the money

Just what the world needs: another HDMI dongle to compete with Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick. Like those popular devices, Ematic's MediaBeam plugs directly into one of your HDTV's HDMI ports in order to stream content.

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Samsung Gear Live: It's the world's best smartwatch, but probably not for long

The Gear Live is the best smartwatch I've ever used--but that's not a remarkable achievement considering all the crappy-to-middling efforts we've seen from Samsung, Sony and Qualcomm. If I were being generous, I'd say Samsung finally landed on a simple, wrist-friendly interface that does away with messy nested menus and convoluted features like voice calling.

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OnePlus One: You're in control with this ultra-affordable phone

There's a utopian idea behind the OnePlus One: Offer a phone powered by the latest hardware and featuring a wealth of carrier options without any carrier restrictions. If that doesn't grab you, the price tag might--it's $300 for an off-contract 16GB model, about half of what you'd pay for phones boasting similar specs. But does the phone deliver a premium experience?

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App Factory 1.2: Turn your script into a stand-alone app

Editor's note: The following review is part of Macworld's GemFest 2014. Every day (except weekends) from July until September, the Macworld staff will use the Mac Gems blog to briefly cover a standout free, low-cost, or great-value program. You can view a list of this year's apps, updated daily, on our handy GemFest chart, and you can visit the Mac Gems homepage for past Mac Gems reviews.