You’ll soon be able to control IKEA’s affordable smart lights with Assistant, Alexa, and Siri

We’ve been hearing a lot about how Google Home and Amazon Echo can control our smart appliances and devices, but for many of us, they’re still out of reach. Spending a couple hundred dollars on smart light bulbs or thousands on a new oven aren't exactly impulse buys, especially if we’re just buying them to try out voice control.

But now there’s a much cheaper alternative for smart home newbies. Thanks to IKEA, just about anyone can install smart lighting in their homes and manage them with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri. The Swedish furniture company announced in a press release that you will soon be able to control its affordable line of smart lights with the smart speakers and assistants you already have.

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Apple’s updated Android ‘Switch’ campaign explains why people move to iPhone

Apple and Android may forever be locked in a fight for mobile domination, but they take very different approaches to their quest for market share. On the one hand, there are more than 2 billion active Android devices in use around the world. On the other, Apple makes gobs of money from selling just a handful of handsets.

But like the PC wars of the 90s, Apple isn’t content with such a slim slice of the market. While it has had a Move to iOS app in the Play Store for a while now, Apple is now taking the fight directly to Android users with a new campaign devoted to switching.

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K’ablekey review: Versatile iPhone flash drive doubles as Lightning charge cable

Lightning-equipped flash drives have made transferring files between desktop and mobile devices a little easier, but all such products share the same limitation: They can only be used with a third-party companion app, and most of those aren’t very good. Until Apple graces us with true mobile file manager functionality, this is as good as it gets.

Key ring storage

French startup PKparis makes the best of this situation with the inspired K’ablekey, a versatile flash drive sold in a trio of configurations: 16GB (the model reviewed here), 32GB, and 64GB. Storage capacity aside, each model is identical, with a rounded metal hub that separates into a pair of wedges connected by a plastic-coated cable just a hair over two inches in length.

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How to sync past events in your Calendar on your iPhone and Mac

Elliott updates past events in his calendar when his itinerary or other details change. However, during a recent two-week trip:

I was in a country where there were no Internet connections. When I came home, I made the correction on my iMac because I wanted to have a correct record of the itinerary changes. I notice all my devices would not update because it was a past event.

mac911 calendar ios sync setting IDG

iOS lets you change the look-back sync duration.

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Scare tactics: Apple must live in fear

If it’s not one thing it’s another.

After hearing for months about the very popular and highly successful Android Echo—which people love and sells very well, certainly much better than the Apple Watch which is a failure—it turns out the real threat is not the Echo! How can this be when it is so beloved and moving like the proverbial hotcakes?

Well, let’s go to CNet to see what the current freakout is about.

“Apple should be afraid of Google. Very afraid.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Wira Adiyaska and Chris.)

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Today at Apple could make Apple’s growth troubles a thing of the past

The Apple Store has always been more than a place to buy stuff. From the moment the first location opened its doors at Tyson’s Corner in Virginia, its main purpose was to create an environment where people could gather to talk, test, and learn about all things Apple.

There were no pushy salespeople urging you to take advantage of the latest limited-time offer or time limits imposed on trying the products on display. Apple encouraged people to linger at the counters and spend a little more time at the stores, and that philosophy influenced the evolution of the store design, as software aisles gave way to casual seating and checkout lines were replaced with roving scanners.

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25% off Pac-Man Connect and Play With 12 Classic Games – Deal Alert

Bandai's Pac-Man Connect and Play brings back your favorite classic video games right to your television. Connect the included cords directly into your television A/V jacks, and head back in time. Featuring 12 Classic games like: Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Bosconian, Galaxian, Mappy, Super Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, New Rally X, Pac & Pal and Xevious. Not to mention, Pac-Man 256, which offers fans the chance to play the coveted level once made unavailable due to a bug in the program of the supposedly never-ending game. The list price of $19.99 has been reduced 25% down to $14.96 on Amazon, where it's currently listed as a #1 Best Seller. Get your Father's Day shopping done right now. See this deal on Amazon.

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This concept video shows some great improvements for iOS 11

 2017 is no different — I still hate concept videos. But Federico Viticci and Sam Beckett teamed up once again to design some of the changes they’d like to see with iOS 11. It’s more convincing than your average concept video. In particular, this video focuses on iOS for the iPad. The Shelf is an interesting new feature. You can pull it down from the top of the screen and… Read More

60% off AUKEY USB-C to HDMI Adapter, 4k 1080p Support – Deal Alert

Nike unveils new Day to Night Apple watch bands

New Apple Music subscribers in some countries won’t be able to rock out for free

Even if you hate the design and navigation, one thing has been clear since Apple released its Music streaming service to the world at WWDC 2015: it has the best introductory offer in the business. But like all good things, it looks like that might be coming to an end.

Several outlets have spotted that Apple’s website in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland is now showing that new Apple Music subscriptions will cost a buck rather than nothing. New customers still get the same three months of music, but now their iTunes accounts will be charged 99 cents, euros, and francs, respectively.

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47% off Pecham Vertical Stand for PS4 with Cooling Fan and Dual Controller Charging – Deal Alert

Keep your PS4 or PS4 Slim compact, organized and functioning properly with this vertical stand from Pecham. It features an integrated cooling fan, dual controller changing and a USB hub for powering & charging your phone or other devices as needed. Pecham's stand currently averages 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 185 people on Amazon (82% rate the full 5 stars: read reviews here), where its list price of $29.99 has been reduced 47% to just $15.99. See this deal now on Amazon

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Save 24% on Amazon’s Echo Dot By Buying Certified Refurbished Right Now – Deal Alert

Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable to deliver stereo sound to the speakers you choose. Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. Echo Dot can hear you from across the room, even while music is playing. When you want to use Echo Dot, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Dot responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you're closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception). Buying a certified refurbished Dot typically saves you 10%, but right now Amazon is offering a 16% discount on that discount, so you'll be paying just $37.99 -- a total 24% Continue reading "Save 24% on Amazon’s Echo Dot By Buying Certified Refurbished Right Now – Deal Alert"

9 augmented reality iPhone apps you should try

A new view of the world
Pokemon Go

Image by Niantic

Pokémon Go may be the popular face of augmented reality (AR) apps—upon its debut last July, the game became an instant international obsession—but it was hardly the first AR effort. Augmented reality, which has been around the edges of popular consciousness for many years, is all about what you see and how and under what circumstances you see it. Unlike virtual reality (VR) where you are literally transported into another world, AR is still the real world, with an extra added something.

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JBL E55BT wireless headphone review: These modestly priced cans deliver strong features and good sound

JBL’s E-Series headphones are designed to bring the company’s signature sound in a range of headphone models with a focus on style. At the top of the E-series lineup sits the E55BT wireless headphones. If you're looking to grab some signature JBL sound for less than $150, these headphones might just be your ticket.

Like all E-Series models, the E55BT comes in five bold monochromatic options: black, blue, red, teal, and white (my review pair happened to be red).  Included accessories are Spartan. There's a 3.5mm audio cable and a microUSB charging cable, but no carrying case or even a 1/4-inch adapter.

The JBL E55BT is a circumaural, or over-the-ear, design. The headband is wrapped in a soft, two-tone cotton mesh, with the underside of the headband a darker color than the top. Sizing is adjustable in typical click-stop increments. I had no problems getting a good, snug Continue reading "JBL E55BT wireless headphone review: These modestly priced cans deliver strong features and good sound"

Apple’s new iCloud security requirements: How it affects you and the software you use

If you use iCloud for email, calendar events, or contacts with any apps other than those made by Apple, and you haven’t upgraded the security on your account to use two-factor authentication (2FA), syncing and other interaction will fail starting June 15. That’s when Apple imposes a new security requirement that requires unique passwords for all third-party software that works with iCloud accounts. That includes apps like BusyContacts, Fantastical, and Thunderbird, to name a few of hundreds, as well as online services that sync with iCloud or retrieve email.

That sounds a lot more secure, but there’s less there than meets the eye. Apple’s method of allowing third-party access has significant flaws in containing abuse if one of these unique passwords gets discovered. There’s a better way with its own set of problems, but Apple doesn’t appear to be moving in that direction. (Here’s our how-to guide on setting up Continue reading "Apple’s new iCloud security requirements: How it affects you and the software you use"

JBL E55BT wireless headphone review: These modeslty priced cans deliver strong features and good sound

JBL’s E-Series headphones are designed to bring the company’s signature sound in a range of headphone models with a focus on style. At the top of the E-series lineup sits the E55BT wireless headphones. If you're looking to grab some signature JBL sound for less than $150, these headphones might just be your ticket.

Like all E-Series models, the E55BT comes in five bold monochromatic options: black, blue, red, teal, and white (my review pair happened to be red).  Included accessories are Spartan. There's a 3.5mm audio cable and a microUSB charging cable, but no carrying case or even a 1/4-inch adapter.

The JBL E55BT is a circumaural, or over-the-ear, design. The headband is wrapped in a soft, two-tone cotton mesh, with the underside of the headband a darker color than the top. Sizing is adjustable in typical click-stop increments. I had no problems getting a good, snug Continue reading "JBL E55BT wireless headphone review: These modeslty priced cans deliver strong features and good sound"