Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m. Pacific

The iPhone XR is available for pre-orders and the first reviews have hit the web. Apple says a fix is coming for portrait photos. What do we think will happen at the Apple event on October 30? We also respond to your comments and questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, and Dan Masaoka in the Macworld Podcast, episode 627.

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.

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Apple’s original TV shows and series: Steve Carell joins Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon morning show drama

Apple is said to be spending as much as $1 billion over the course of 2018 on original TV programming. That’s a lot of TV! It’s not the $8 billion Netflix is going to spend, but it’s still a huge commitment.

What can you get for a billion dollars? Well, some simple math gives us 200 episodes at $5 million a piece (a reasonable per-episode price for high-end TV). But we’re not likely to actually see 10-20 shows with 10-20 episodes each, all costing around that much. For starters, that billion dollars has to cover a lot more than per-episode production costs.

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Apple describes ‘beautygate’ iPhone XS bug, says it will be fixed in iOS 12.1

Shortly after the release of the iPhone XS, users began to notice that photos taken with the front-facing camera have a somewhat softer appearance than those taken with previous iPhones. It’s almost as if Apple is intentionally applying a “beauty filter,” a popular optional feature in a lot of camera apps. 

And because we all apparently can’t think of anything more clever than to put -gate after every screwup, bug, mistake, malfeasance, or conspiracy, it became known in the community as “beautygate.”

iphone xs selfie 02 Jason Cross/IDG

The iPhone XS does indeed smooth out selfies a bit.

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You Can Get A Lifetime Of VPN Unlimited For Just $40 (90% Off)

One of the marvels of modern technology is free Wi-Fi almost wherever you go. This is useful when you have urgent calls and emails to take, or if you just want to download a game or stream your favorite show. However, public hotspots are targets for hackers vying for your private data, so you shouldn’t access these networks without adequate protection. With a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited, you can protect your devices for only $39.99.

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You Can Get A Lifetime Of VPN Unlimited For Just $40 (90% Off)

One of the marvels of modern technology is free Wi-Fi almost wherever you go. This is useful when you have urgent calls and emails to take, or if you just want to download a game or stream your favorite show. However, public hotspots are targets for hackers vying for your private data, so you shouldn’t access these networks without adequate protection. With a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited, you can protect your devices for only $39.99.

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iPhone XR review roundup: Worth the wait

Apple’s iPhone XR ($749+ preorder at Apple.com) officially releases on Friday, but the first wave of reviews landed today. Those lucky enough to get an early look at the new handset all agree on one thing: It was worth the wait. While plenty of people have spent a thousand dollars and up on the iPhone XS and XS Max, those who held out might very well end up with an extra $250 in their pocket.

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No Huawei: Apple’s non-competition

Things are happening in the smartphone market! Time to try to make it somehow about Apple.

Writing for very nice people over at Business Insider, Shona Ghosh tells us of the great disappointment.

“The Android phone maker that is more popular than Apple isn't selling its new iPhone rival in the US.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Mickey.)

You might be wondering why Apple is in the headline of this story that has to do with another phone vendor. Well, see, this other smartphone vendor sells more phones than Apple. So, while this story really has nothing to do with Apple, Apple’s in the headline so Business Insider can get in a kick at it. That’s why.

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New MacBooks: What we want vs. what we’ll (probably) get

Download Any Mac App You Want With SetApp, Now $69

If you just got your hands on a shiny new MacBook Pro, you probably can’t wait to load it with all of your favorite apps. The App Store has thousands of apps, many of which are free. However, some apps require a subscription or a full purchase to reap their benefits, and you’ll never know whether you’ll truly enjoy an app until you’ve had the chance to use it.

In most cases, it’s impossible to avoid paying a premium for well-designed apps, but with a Setapp subscription, you can enjoy a library of curated apps for a $69 a year.

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iOS 12.1 beta 5 is available for developers

Apple wasted no time jumping on the first point release of it's latest mobile operating system, releasing the first beta just 24 hours after the release of iOS 12. The iOS 12.1 beta continues, but is moving along rapidly and we expect the final release sometime in October. It re-introduces Group FaceTime, fixes bugs, adds emojis, and includes a number of hints about new iPads that we may see this fall.

Updated 10/22/18: iOS 12.1 beta 5 is now available for developers. 

Developers can head developer.apple.com to download the beta or add the beta profile to their devices. Non-developers who want to be part of the public beta test can head to beta.apple.com using the device on which you want to run the beta, where you can sign up and download a beta profile. If you still have the beta profile installed after Continue reading "iOS 12.1 beta 5 is available for developers"

What to do when FileVault won’t turn on

After a recent inexplicable problem on my MacBook, in which macOS would complete loading but never get past the blank screen before the Desktop appeared, I had to revert to a clone. (Even reinstalling macOS didn’t work.) I then upgraded to Mojave. Somewhere in there, an important piece of macOS “fell out,” metaphorically.

Apple added the concept in 10.13 High Sierra of a “secure token” to the first account created in macOS on installation or after upgrade as part of the process that allows you to use FileVault. There’s almost no information about this feature, and there’s no way to determine from macOS’s graphical features whether an account has it set.

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