Macworld Podcast: Join us on Wednesday, February 20, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific

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On this episode of the Macworld Podcast, we talk about analyst Ming Chi-Kuo and his predictions for the Mac, iPhone Apple Watch, and more. We also talk about your comments, and your questions for Jason Cross, Leif Johnson, Roman Loyola, Dan Masaoka, and Michael Simon. This is episode 641.

Watch us live

This week, we're moving our broadcast time to Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. Pacific. The Macworld Podcast usually 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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The iPhone SE is available on Apple’s online Clearance Products store

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Apple’s iPhone SE disappeared from the iPhone lineup last fall, when the company introduced the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. But it keeps reappearing in Apple’s online Clearance store. It’s back again, and who knows how long inventory will last.

You can’t find the iPhone SE at the retail Apple Store, though you may be able to find one at a carrier store. If you’ve wanted one but had no luck through the methods above, now’s your chance. Since it’s on clearance, stock on these phones is limited.

Here's what's available.

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iOS 12.2 beta 3 is available to developers

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After releasing iOS 12.1.3 with a few minor bugfixes, Apple has has moved on to iOS 12.2. The first beta was released to developers on January 24, 2019, with the first public release following on the 28th.

Registered developers can download the iOS beta profile by visiting developer.apple.com/download using the device on which they want to run the beta. Non-developers can enter the public beta program by visiting beta.apple.com on the device they wish to enroll in the beta.

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Best TV streaming service: YouTube TV vs. SlingTV vs. Hulu vs. PlayStation Vue, and all the rest

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Is Sling TV better than Hulu, or should cord-cutters subscribe to PlayStation Vue? Or YouTube TV? We compare all the TV streaming services, and one rises to the top.

Anker's awesome SoundCore Bluetooth speakers are even cheaper in Amazon's one-day blowout

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Bluetooth speakers help you kick out the jams no matter where you are, and today, Amazon’s throwing a one-day saleRemove non-product link with steep discounts on three superb wireless Anker speakers. The Anker SoundCore 2 is $28, down from a list price of $40; a two-pack of SoundCore Flare stereo speakers is $70, down from a list price of $110; and the SoundCore Boost is $56, down from a list price of $79. You’ll need to act quick if you’re interested though, as this Amazon Deal of the Day expires at midnight.

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Do your taxes for cheap! H&R Block Tax Software Deluxe is on sale for just $18

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This isn’t something many people like to think about in February, but tax time is fast approaching. Even if your plan is to procrastinate until just a few hours before the deadline on Monday, April 15 today’s deal is well worth picking up. Amazon is selling the H&R Block Tax Software Deluxe plus State 2018 package for just $18. It was more recently selling for $35, though was also available earlier in February for $25. Today’s deal is available for the disc version for PC and Mac, or the separate digital copies for PC and Mac.

Any way you slice it today’s offer is a great deal. With this software package you get a special offer that adds 5 percent to your refund total if you choose to get it on an Amazon gift card. It also comes with unlimited access to real-time chat with a “tax expert,” and in-person audit representation if things go south.

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Mission Workshop Rhake VX Weatherproof Laptop Backpack review: The perfect bag for a rainy day

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The Rhake Weatherproof Laptop Backpack from Mission Workshop entered my life during one of the wettest weeks in months, so of course I subjected the 22-liter rolltop bag to a trial by flooding. I tossed in my expensive 15-inch MacBook Pro along with our iPad Pro and another MacBook. Beyond that, I stuffed it with my AirPods, my iPhone, my Bose QuietComfort 35s, a jacket, a book, and even a Satechi keyboard. (I was already impressed that it could hold all this junk.)

In this manner I braved a deluge for several blocks toward the train station, armed with nothing besides the Rhake and a trashy umbrella. Half a mile on, I was soaked. Water seeped into uncomfortable crevasses in my jeans. But when I unrolled the Rhake at home, I found everything inside as dry as a Steven Wright routine. So let’s get that out of the way: If you want a bag that lets MacBooks giggle at hurricanes—this is it, chief. The only catch is that sometimes its design interferes with its convenience.

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C by GE C-Start Smart Switch Motion Sensing+Dimmer review: GE stuffs this smart switch full of features

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But do motion sensing, light sensing, and dimmer features justify the hefty price tag?

Misleading indicators: Correlation is not causation

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Apple’s glory days are all behind it and the way you can tell is that the company is more efficient at selling iPhones than it used to be.

Wait, what?

Writing for The Motley Fool, Natalie Walters asks “Are We Past the Golden Era of iPhone Launches?” (Tip o’ the antlers to Mickey.)

Most likely, but not for the reasons you think. The “golden era” of iPhone launches Walters refers to was back when people lined up but actually bought fewer iPhones than they do now.

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MacBook Pro: Everything you need to know about Apple’s pro laptop

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The MacBook Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop. It offers top-notch performance for demanding users who need processing power and are willing to spend top dollar for it.

The current version of the MacBook Pro was released in July 2018. The new laptops have the same design as the previous version, but the laptops feature new processors that provide a speed boost. Learn more about the MacBook Pro by reading about its main features below.

Editor's note: Updated 2/18/19 with the speculation from analyst Ming Chi-Kuo.

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Apple’s best analyst just gave his 2019 predictions and suddenly I’m super hopeful for the future

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Just when you though 2019 was going to be all about Services, spot-on analyst Ming Chi-Kuo has predictions about Apple’s hardware plans—and they are big. As reported by 9to5Mac, new iPhones, Macs, iPads, and even the iPad touch are reportedly due for a refresh before the year’s up, and we might even finally be able to buy an AirPower.

And it’s not just updates, Kuo also predicts Apple will be releasing some brand new products along the way, including some tantalizing new Macs. According to the report, Apple is planning a downright blitz in 2019, and it’s hard to not get exciting at what could be in store.

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Laser Egg 2+ review: This all-in-one air quality monitor tracks a pair of indoor pollutants

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With PM2.5 and TVOC monitoring plus weather readings, this device could help you breathe easier.

Which Mac should you buy?

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If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re thinking about buying a new Mac and may be in need of a little guidance. Fortunately, we’re quite familiar with Apple’s Macs, and we’re happy to help you choose the right Mac for you.

This buying guide provides an overview of all the Mac models available, and what each model is best suited for. To get more details, you can read the full review by clicking the product name in the product boxes that have mouse ratings.

MacBook Air

Models for sale were originally released October 2018.

What is it? The MacBook Air is Apple’s affordable line of laptops. Apple currently offers three 13-inch models.

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Best smart lock for a keyless home

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Keys are yesterday’s tech, your smart home needs a smart door lock.

Thunderbolt 3 adapter guide: How to connect an iPhone, display, hard drive, and more to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air

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The new MacBook Pro comes with two or four external ports, depending on the model you pick. And the new MacBook Air has a pair of ports. But those ports are only of one type: Thunderbolt 3, which is compatible with USB-C.

But you probably have devices that use USB-A, Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, HDMI, or something else. How do you connect these devices? With an adapter.

If you’re planning to buy a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, make sure you set aside a considerable amount of cash for the adapters you need. Apple doesn’t include any in the box, except for a power adapter.

Your best bet is to get a combination dock, like the Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter ($60 on Amazon). It connects via USB-C, and includes a USB-C pass-through port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port with 4K (30Hz) support. With this, you don’t have to carry around multiple adapters.

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Buy this $45 Netgear modem and stop paying your Internet provider's sky-high monthly rental fees

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Paying your internet service provider to rent a modem gets pretty expensive as the months roll on—but it doesn’t have to. Using your own modem lets you kick those fees to the curb. Today, a discount-coupon combo brings Netgear’s CM500 modem down to $45 on Amazon from a list price of $63. With many ISPs charging around $10 per month for modem rentals, this deal will pay for itself in no time.

Netgear’s modem works with all major ISPs, so compatibility with your current service shouldn’t be a problem. It’s also compatible with any Wi-Fi router, so you won’t have to buy all-new connectivity gear unless the modem supplied by your Internet provider doubles as your router. A simple set-up process makes it easy for even the tech-uninitiated to get connected, while 16x4 channel bonding helps speeds even at peak usage times.

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Ever president: A cord-cutters guide to the best President's Day movies available for streaming

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Presenting 12 great movies with presidents both fictional and real, both flawed and revered.

Three hurdles Apple’s rumored news service will have to overcome

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Apple’s plans to launch a subscription service for news are, by this point, an open secret. Just under a year ago, the company announced its acquisition of existing magazine subscription service Texture, which Apple executive Eddy Cue quickly revealed would be folded into the existing Apple News app.

Since then, the news service has mostly been absent from the limelight, generally taking a backseat to the more prominent news leaking out around Apple’s upcoming video streaming service. But as recent reports have started to filter out that the news service and TV service may be announced by Apple at the same event in March, combined with rumors about the revenue split between Cupertino and its periodical partners, the news service is suddenly back in the front seat—as are the challenges that it will face when it eventually sees the light of day.

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Best true wireless earbuds: Free yourself from the tyranny of cords

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Earbud makers have been busy doing away with wires—a good thing whether or not your phone still has a headset jack. You no longer have to deal with cords if you don't want to. True wireless earbuds connect to one another and your audio source via Bluetooth.

No wires mean no inline microphones or controls, but truly wireless earbuds sound just as good as traditional Bluetooth counterparts (for better or worse). They also boast all of the features we've come to expect from earbuds designed to work with your smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Since Apple’s AirPods became a runaway hit, an endless stream of companies have rolled out their own true wireless earbuds and earphones. As you might expect, not all of them are worth your time or money—so we've got your back with buying suggestions to meet a wide variety of needs.

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Master & Dynamic MW07 true wireless headphones review

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When it comes to tech, we pay for the compromises that we’re willing to live with. Apple’s AirPods, for example, are reasonably priced, pair effortlessly and sound... okay. But they let in a ton of outside noise and their design makes them uncomfortable to wear for long listening sessions. Jaybird and Bose have brought truly wireless earbuds to market that are designed to appeal to athletes. But they favor situational awareness over passive noise cancellation and compromise good looks for durability.

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Best USB car chargers for your phone

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We put a variety of USB car chargers to the test to find the best ones for keeping your smartphone powered on the go.

How to enable HDR in your Ring security camera

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Ring is adding an HDR (high dynamic range) feature to its cameras, but it doesn't come switched on by default.

Ring Alarm is the best security-focused smart home system you can buy. Today it's cheaper than ever

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We all want to make sure our homes stay safe from intruders and other threats, and a smart security system can provide peace-of-mind and a watchful eye to your connected home. Today, you can get the excellent five-piece Ring Alarm system for $159 on Amazon, down from a list price of $199 and the lowest we’ve ever seen it.

This DIY-style starter kit comes with five pieces to build out your own home security system. The base station provides connectivity between your system, Wi-Fi, and your mobile device, while the range extender makes sure that signal reaches all your system’s components. The keypad allows you to arm and disarm your system, as you’d expect. Finally, motion and contact sensors will warn you of movement and open doors or windows. You can also control your system from anywhere using the mobile app or use voice control when you connect to an Alexa-enabled device.

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Back up every you own with this gigantic 10TB WD external hard drive for $130 off

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World Backup Day is just a few weeks away, and on March 31, every tech website on the planet will remind you to backup your data. Today, you can get a jump on the annual nag by picking up a desktop backup drive with a massive amount of storage for cheap.

Best Buy is selling the WD Easystore 10TB USB 3.0 external hard drive for $170Remove non-product link, a $130 discount off the drive’s suggested selling price, but to get the deal you have to sign-up for Best Buy’s free online membership. If you have a spare email address where you don’t mind receiving marketing email from Best Buy then signing up for the extra discount is well worth it. Amazon has a similar drive available for $230, for example, and Best Buy is selling this to non-Best Buy members for a sale price of $200 right now.

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The 7 best free Safari extensions for the Mac

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Browser extensions add specific capabilities to Safari by reading and modifying web content to promote an integrated browsing experience that’s tailored to your needs. There are two places to find Apple-approved Safari extensions: The App Store and the Safari Extensions Gallery webpage.

With Safari 12 on macOS Mojave and iOS 12, Apple revised the way its native web browser operates with extensions. Whereas in the past, you could easily download an extension from a developer, today you must download and install a Mac app or an Apple approved extension from the Safari Extensions Gallery page. The gallery is still operative for browser versions as far back as version 9, and is still considered a safe way to download and install Safari extensions. Regardless of the browser version, all apps from the App Store and Gallery page can update automatically.

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Qobuz review: A music streaming service on the verge of greatness

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The service finally comes to the U.S. after being exclusive to Europe for the last 10 years.

Apple is making the same old mistakes with its over-the-top Services demands

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The reports of Apple’s Services as a savior seem to have been greatly exaggerated. A whole mess of information about Apple’s strategy for its publishing and video services leaked this week, and it paints a troubling picture of the iPhone maker’s approach. In short: Pay up or get out.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was demanding a 50 percent cut of its upcoming all-you-can-read publishing service, significantly higher than the 15 percent publishers are now paying Apple on renewing iTunes subscriptions. That was following by a CNBC report that claimed HBO was balking at the terms of Apple’s excessive fees for its new video service, which will supposedly include a mix of original content and premium channels. With that service, Apple is reportedly seeking its usual 30-percent slice of subscription pie.

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Cut the cord, or else!

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As cord-cutting grows, folks who stick with cable and satellite are getting squeezed.

Your hot takes on the Macworld Podcast

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Apple’s event calendar: When is the next Apple event?

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Updated 02/13/19: Bloomberg reports that Apple will unveil a video streaming service on March 25. This reports comes a day after BuzzFeed News claimed that Apple will hold an event on March 25 to unveil its news subscription service.

Apple doesn’t often participate in big industry-wide events like CES or E3. The most valuable company in the world holds its own events, thank you very much. Several times a year, Apple invites the press and industry professionals out to a theater to hear all about its latest products and services. Apple calls these “Special Events,” and streams them online to its millions of fans.

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