News

BUSINESS ISSUES | NETWORKING

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How to find the hotels, beaches and airports with the best Wi-Fi

Hotel chains like the Radisson, Hilton, and Doubletree usually end up near the top of the list of approved places to stay for business trips. But if you're looking for high-speed Wi-Fi, you might be better off avoiding them.

MOBILE | NETWORKING | CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

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Fitbit narrowly misses becoming the first activity tracker for Windows Phone

With Fitbit's release of a native Windows Phone app on Monday, Microsoft has taken the first steps of its marathon to catch up to Android and iOS in wearables.

NETWORKING

T-Mobile slashes family data plan prices, but not for good

T-Mobile is once again trying to stick it to AT&T with cheaper data plans for families, but this time it's only a promotional offer.

INTERNET

Airbnb gets down to business by helping you expense work travel

Airbnb has come a long way since its inception as a site to find a couch--or an air mattress--to crash on. Now that you can rent everything from a spare room to a vacant castle, it's time for the hospitality company to embrace its corporate future.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS | MOBILE

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Microsoft readies Windows Phone 8.1 update with smart covers and big-screen support

Microsoft is taking a few more cues from Android in the next update for Windows Phone.

SOFTWARE

Google Docs gains better track-changes integration with Microsoft Office

Google made collaborating with colleagues who use Microsoft Office a bit easier on Friday, bringing Microsoft's Tracked Changes into the world of Google Docs.

MOBILE | NETWORKING

London will have 5G by 2020, says Boris Johnson

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has revealed that a 5G mobile network will be rolled out across the capital by 2020, allowing Londoners to download a film in less than a second.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

Windows Phone 8.1's awaited interactive lock screens are here, but they're rough

When Microsoft's Joe Belfiore officially revealed Windows Phone 8.1 onstage at Build all the way back in April, the very first thing he talked about was the operating system's newfangled ability to support interactive live lock screens. Fast forward four months: As Windows Phone 8.1 starts rolling out to users, Microsoft has released the very first live lock screen app in the Windows Phone Store, albeit in beta form.

MOBILE

Contactless payments to launch on London public transport this year

Customers will be able to use a range of different contactless payment method on London public transport in September.

INTERNET

Uber squashes hack that unveiled secret passenger ratings

Late Sunday night, software engineer Aaron Landy penned a Medium post that changed the way regular Uber passengers see themselves. Landy discovered a hack that allowed the car-hailing app's users to see their ratings--the numerical score drivers assign riders based on their behavior. It was a major, if brief, game-changer.

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.