Macworld March 2020

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United States
12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
it’s time for new hardware at the center of apple’s home strategy

Tech companies are still investing huge amounts of time and energy in smart-home products, as the recent Consumer Electronics Show displayed. A year ago, Apple hired a new head of home products—but it hasn’t yet resulted in a lot of visible changes to Apple’s strategy. The biggest move so far is Apple’s joining forces with its competitors to form an alliance to encourage smart-home interoperability. That’s a good start, and I’m hopeful that Apple can begin to push HomeKit forward in 2020. Last year, I suggested that Apple make a new version of the Apple TV and HomePod that works as a TV soundbar. I’d still like to see that product. But now, for 2020, here’s another hardware suggestion: Apple can contribute to the smart-home industry and its own bottom line by…

10 min
apple really doesn’t want us thinking about touchscreen macbooks—and sidecar proves it

I’ve been using iPads for so long that my hands automatically expect to do some things when I see one, even when I’m using one as an external display for my MacBook with Apple’s new Sidecar feature. But Apple only indulges this muscle memory so far. When I’m “running” macOS on my 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Sidecar, I can reach over to the iPad’s display and use my fingers to scroll through websites in Safari or documents in Pages. I can even use some iPadOS multi-touch gestures, and Sidecar performs these fluidly when the Mac and iPad are on the same network. If I’m just scrolling, it’s wonderfully convenient. But if I use my finger to try to click a link on that same page? Nothing. I have to waste time either…

2 min
intel’s new ‘thunderbolt 4’ spec quickly turns into a confusing mess

One of the key features of Intel’s upcoming “Tiger Lake” processor, the next-gen Thunderbolt 4, may not be as evolutionary as the name implies. To begin with, Intel didn’t reveal all that much about the new “Tiger Lake” chip, due to ship sometime “this year.” The new chip will deliver “double-digit” performance gains—though over exactly what, we don’t know—as well as a “huge leap” in graphics performance. Tiger Lake is also characterized as a “10nm+” chip. The other feature, Thunderbolt 4, was characterized as “4x the performance of USB 3” in a promotional slide. But it appears that the new I/O spec isn’t as fresh as its title would imply. Part of the confusion should be assigned to the USB Implementor’s Forum, which last spring released a nearly inscrutable branding strategy. USB 3.0…

4 min
apple’s ‘the morning show’ didn’t win a golden globe but it’s still the best show on tv right now

Just like the iPod, the critics got it wrong. Apple might not have won the coveted best drama award for The Morning Show at the Golden Globes, but the first season was nothing less than one of the best I’ve ever seen, streaming or otherwise. That’s despite a barely-fresh Rotten Tomatoes score and some truly scathing reviews that nearly convinced me to write it off altogether. Slate’s Inkoo Kang called it “a giant, faultlessly tasteful gift box filled mostly with packing peanuts.” Ian Thomas Malone labeled it “an elaborate disaster.” Even our own Leif Johnson wrote that the first few episodes had him “wanting to hit the snooze button.” Between that, the humdrum trailer, and my general disinterest in behind-the-scenes dramas, I didn’t rush to see The Morning Show. In fact, I…

4 min
adobe photoshop elements 2020: ai-powered image editor does wonders

Over three decades, the revolutionary Adobe Photoshop has become an industry standard synonymous with image editing and manipulation. Even if you’ve never used it, you know what it is. But the full potential of the Photoshop app isn’t for everyone. Despite being more affordable in a monthly Creative Cloud subscription, the feature-packed user interface and advanced tools can overwhelm novice users. That’s why Adobe offers a pared-down version earmarked for regular folks, which steps out of big brother’s shadow this year with several impressive new tricks. IMAGE SENSEI Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 marks the sixteenth Mac release (technically 18.0, versions five and seven were Windows-only) of the annual consumer-focused edition, stripping away most of the complexity in favor of a hand-holding approach to image manipulation. If you’ve been vexed trying to perform relatively…

6 min
samsung cj791 qled: thunderbolt meets curvy, ultra widescreen display with quantum dots

Apple makes some darn fine displays, but the company doesn’t offer an ultra wide model. If you want extra horizontal screen space for productivity or gaming, or just a panoramic viewing experience, you need something like Samsung’s $800, curved, ultra wide CJ791. Quantum dots make colors super-accurate, and it has enough ports to function nicely as docking station. DESIGN AND FEATURES With a resolution of 3440 by 1440 spread over 34 inches of width and approximately 14.5 inches of height (21:9 ratio), the CJ791 doesn’t offer quite the pixel density of most Apple displays, but it’s close enough that you likely won’t care. Put another way, it’s not quite Retina—you can see the pixels if you sit too close, but it didn’t take long to get over that and appreciate the extra…