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Apple iPad (2020) and iPadOS 14 review

So yeah, it would appear the convergence of Apple’s Mac and iPad software is well underway. There’s one more thing we need to talk about, though: the Apple Pencil. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed this iPad uses Apple’s first-gen stylus from five years ago, but at least iPadOS 14 gives you more ways to use it. The most notable Pencil-focused addition is Scribble, which lets you just start writing in any text field. From there, iPadOS does its best to render your chicken scratch into machine-readable text. You don’t have to get your pen strokes smack in the middle of the field either! As long as you’re close, iPadOS will figure out where you actually meant to write and take it from there.  Engadget Now, I’ll be the first to admit my penmanship ranges from pretty good to doctor-level illegible depending on how fast I’m going, but I’ve been surprised by how accurate the results have been. Of course, mistakes happen, and thankfully it’s easy enough to fix errors with a cluster of on-screen controls that appear at the bottom of the screen. This is my one quibble with Scribble: If you flub a URL or a Google search term, having to move your hand down to those controls can get you out of a groove pretty quickly. I know how minor this sounds, but if you’re like me and make back-to-back typos all the time, the back-and-forth gets old fast.  The smart move would’ve been…Continue readingApple iPad (2020) and iPadOS 14 review

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This week’s best deals: The first Apple Watch Series 6 discount and more

Buy Series 6 (40mm space gray) at Amazon – $385 Buy Series 6 (40mm silver) at Amazon – $385 Buy Series 6 (44mm gold) at Amazon – $415 Buy Series 6 (44mm silver) at Amazon – $415 Buy Watch SE (GPS + Cellular 40mm) at Amazon – $320 13-inch MacBook Pro Dana Wollman / Engadget Amazon still has the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 512GB SSD for $200 off right now. The sale comes from a combination of a discounted starting price and a $50 coupon that will be applied automatically at checkout. That brings the price down to $1,599, which is an all-time-low for the laptop that just came out in May. We gave the new 13-inch MacBook Pro a score of 87 for its colorful Retina display, much-improved Magic Keyboard and solid battery life. Buy MacBook Pro (512GB) at Amazon – $1,599 Amazon Fire tablets Valentina Palladino / Engadget Amazon’s latest Fire tablets are on sale right now — the Fire HD 8 is $70, the HD 8 Plus is $90 and the HD 10 is $110. These prices are only $10 more than the tablets’ all-time-lows, making it a decent opportunity to grab one if you can’t wait for when we think Amazon Prime Day will be in the future. We gave the Fire HD 8 a score of 81 thanks to its decent performance, strong battery life and new USB-C charging port (all of the new Fire tablets have this, finally). Fire tablets are not your…Continue readingThis week’s best deals: The first Apple Watch Series 6 discount and more

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Apple reportedly bought the topic-based podcast app Scout FM

Apple has purchased Scout FM, an app that makes it easy to find podcasts tailored to your tastes, according to Bloomberg. Rather than just letting you choose individual podcasts, Scout FM curates them based on your listening history. Much like YouTube or TikTok, its AI algorithms adjust to your preferences over time, removing things you tend to skip. Apple confirmed the acquisition, which reportedly happened earlier this year. The app used to be available on iOS (including CarPlay), Android and Alexa, but Apple shut it down on all platforms shortly after the deal was made. Source linkContinue readingApple reportedly bought the topic-based podcast app Scout FM

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Google server problems took out Gmail and other services briefly

It feels unusual to see internet problems that aren’t related to someone trying to pre-order gaming equipment, but this evening users on the East and West coasts of the US experienced issues accessing Google services like Gmail, Google Docs, and even YouTube. As noted on trackers like DownDetector, the issue seemed to peak at about 9PM ET. Eventually Google’s server status updated to note the issue, and said it was resolved fully by around 10 PM. In a statement to Engadget, a Google Cloud spokesperson said “We experienced a short service disruption affecting several products including G Suite, and are now recovering.” Source linkContinue readingGoogle server problems took out Gmail and other services briefly

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iOS 14 update fixes a bug that reset your browser and mail defaults

One of the notable changes in iOS 14 is that it finally allowed users to set new default apps for their web browser and email. Chrome, Firefox, Gmail and others are already taking advantage of the setting, but after the update rolled out last week, many iPhone and iPad owners noticed their devices would go back to the original settings after a restart. This afternoon Apple pushed out iOS 14.0.1 and iPadOS 14.0.1, which addresses that issue. If you haven’t received it already then you should be able to nab the download by manually checking for an update, which 9to5Mac shows is around 171MB to download. Other tweaks in the update address camera previews, problems connecting to WiFi, and a problem that could block images from the widget for Apple News. tvOS and watchOS have also received small bug fixes, so go ahead and update everything Apple just to be sure you’re covered. Source linkContinue readingiOS 14 update fixes a bug that reset your browser and mail defaults

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GameStop will have more $499 PS5s available to pre-order on Friday

If you didn’t get a chance to snag a PlayStation 5 when initial pre-orders went live last week, you’ll have a chance to try and buy one tomorrow. GameStop says it will have additional PS5 stock available to pre-order on September 25th both online and in store. We are pleased to announce that further quantities of PS5 consoles will be made available to pre-order at https://t.co/hfsGYTcy0V and in GameStop stores tomorrow, Friday 9/25. pic.twitter.com/EbRMkAe5RW — GameStop (@GameStop) September 24, 2020 In a subsequent tweet, the retailer said it’s working on securing more Digital Edition units for people to pre-order, but tomorrow’s availability will only include the more expensive $499 model with disk drive. Neither tweet mentions when online pre-orders will go live. So we’ve reached out to the company for more information and we’ll update this story when we hear back. Source linkContinue readingGameStop will have more $499 PS5s available to pre-order on Friday

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Amazon’s latest Echo speaker has an all-new spherical design

Last year’s Echo was a complete home run for Amazon — it delivered excellent sound quality and responsive microphones for a relatively inexpensive $100. So how can it make the flagship Alexa speaker any better? By transforming the shape into a sphere, and bringing in all of the smart hub features from the Echo Plus. It’s still $100, but now it looks even more like something ripped from a sci-fi film. Developing… Source linkContinue readingAmazon’s latest Echo speaker has an all-new spherical design

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Apple’s brand-new iPad is down to $299 on Amazon

For those unaware, the 8th-generation iPad is the newest version of Apple’s entry-level tablet. This model was announced at last week’s hardware event (along with new Apple Watches) and replaces the 7th-generation model but keeps same, affordable $329 starting price. We have yet to fully review the 8th-generation iPad but our own Chris Velazco liked what he saw during the limited amount of time he spent with the tablet for our hands-on. The latest iPad hasn’t changed much in the way of design, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, it looks a little dated when compared to other iOS devices, but we like its large, 10.2-inch display that continues to support the first-generation Apple Pencil. Also, many will appreciate the everlasting, physical Home button with TouchID that still adorns its bottom bezel. The biggest changes are inside the tablet as Apple upgraded the processor to its A12 Bionic chipset. That’s a big improvement over the A10 chip inside the previous version. It makes the new iPad noticeably faster and smoother, not to mention better equipped to handle multitasking features in iPadOS 14 and mobile games that require a heftier GPU. The A12 Bionic chipset also includes Apple’s Neural Engine, so the new iPad should be better at handling machine learning-related tasks. We’ll have a full review of the 8th-generation iPad soon, so you can always be super safe and wait to buy one until the official verdict has been handed out. However, the new tablet is an unquestionable…Continue readingApple’s brand-new iPad is down to $299 on Amazon

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Google’s Nest Audio speaker revealed early by Walmart

One of the products Google is expected to unveil at its September 30th event is a Nest Audio speaker. You don’t have to wait until that day to confirm that it does indeed have a Nest branding and to see what its packaging looks like, though: Twitter user Marcos Frausto has posted photos of the device’s box, which was prematurely displayed in a Walmart. As 9to5Google notes, the box, which looks like most Made by Google product packaging, confirms that the product is named Nest Audio. This leak comes after Google itself gave the publication an official photo of the speaker and after WinFuture found renders of the device in white and charcoal. Clearly, the tech giant doesn’t have a lot of secrets to divulge about the speaker on the 30th anymore. Looks like walmart jumped the gun on the unreleased speaker from google. @Google @Walmart @madebygoogle #NestAudio #GoogleNest #Leak #HeyGoogle @MKBHD pic.twitter.com/aUrExg0Cwx — Marcos Frausto (@SweetDaddy69) September 24, 2020 While the Walmart display didn’t a put a price on the product, WinFuture’s Roland Quandt unearthed a Lowe’s product listing that put its price at $100. As of this writing, the page still exists complete with a description for the speaker, but it doesn’t show how much the device is anymore. Part of the description reads: Source linkContinue readingGoogle’s Nest Audio speaker revealed early by Walmart

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TikTok ask the court to prevent a US ban from taking effect

As TechCrunch points out, public reports by ByteDance and Oracle have differed on the terms of the proposed deal, and the president has made public statements that he would not approve any deal where the Chinese company retained partial ownership of the app. ByteDance has applied for an export license in China to facilitate the deal, assuming it is approved. NPR reporter Bobby Allyn posted a declaration submitted by new TikTok CEO Vanessa Pappas, which lays out many of her arguments for an injuction. The CEO cited the harm that could be done if the app is banned, even if it’s later reinstated, including notes on what happened when a ban went into place in India. TikTok also argued that the pending action has caused millions of dollars in lost business deals, as well as dozens of prospective employees declining to join the company. Source linkContinue readingTikTok ask the court to prevent a US ban from taking effect