Buy last year's 9.7-inch iPad at Walmart for 25% off

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If you’re in the market for an iPad (and you can’t see yourself using an Apple Pencil), you shouldn’t rule out last year’s 9.7-inch model. Sure, its near-identical modern-day cousin is hogging the spotlight these days, but that relative lack of attention means steep cuts on the 2017 variety grow more common by the day. Normally these discounts only get you down to $280 or so (down from the usual retail of $330), but Walmart is currently offering the 2017 32GB 9.7-inch iPad for an impressive $249.

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Boost your storage with these great deals on giant portable flash drives

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Flash drives keep cramming more and more storage capacity into their pint-sized, portable packages, and right now there are a couple of deals to get you a ton of space for very low prices.

If your devices support USB Type-C, SanDisk’s Ultra Dual Drive is the deal for you. The one on offer packs a huge 256GB of capacity for $65, its lowest price ever on Amazon. It comes with two plugin ends; one is a USB Type-C connector and the other is a traditional USB, so you’ll be able to transfer files between different types of devices easily at speeds up to 159MB/s. It also gives you access to the SanDisk Memory Zone app, which helps you manage device memory in the cloud. And while we haven’t tried this particular flash drive, its 4.1 stars out of 5 with almost 600 Amazon user reviews shows that this is a winner.

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13-inch MacBook Pro battery replacement program FAQ: What it is and how to use it

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It’s been a rough year for Apple’s batteries. After announcing a program to replace batteries in the iPhone 6 and 7 earlier this year, Apple has now launched a program to swap them out in the 13-inch non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro (affectionately known as the “MacBook Pro ESC” due to the presence of actual function keys). So if you have a laptop that’s been dying out mid-way through your day or just noticed some performance oddities, you might be able to get your battery replaced with a new one. Here’s everything you need to know about the new program:

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Get a RavPower Qi wireless charger for $9 today, the cheapest we've seen it

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Best DVR for cord cutters

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TiVo Roamio OTA vs. Tablo vs. Channel Master vs. Plex: None are ideal, but one might work for you.

The best rugged cases for the iPhone 8 Plus

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The best calculator apps for the iPhone and iPad

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Believe it or not, Apple still does not support the iPad with its basic Calculator app. And as much as nerds love their calculator watches, there’s no support for Apple Watch, either. If you want advanced features like graphing or unit conversion, you’re going to need to look elsewhere, too.

There are certainly plenty of good reasons to grab a third-party calculator app that supports your iPhone, iPad, and maybe even Apple Watch. Fortunately, there are dozens of calculator apps in the App Store. Unfortunately, there are dozens of calculator apps to consider.

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The Elder Scrolls Online's Summerset expansion doesn't shy from the dark sides of elves

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The first chap I meet in the Summerset Isles is an elf with a Sean Penn face who gripes about how he’s missing out on a wine tasting because some local Wood Elves “offed” the vintner, because of course. This, after all, is the closed beta for The Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset expansion ($40 on Amazon), which whisks us off to the ancestral homes of the High Elves, a magical land crammed with haughty wizards, Neuschwanstein-like villas, and flora that likely would have been at home in Eden. Whatever. This dude just wants his wine, and I can appreciate that.

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SE-ing the forest: Apple’s cheap phone strategy

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Buy a highly-rated portable Bluetooth speaker on Amazon for $27.09

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At this point I think it’s safe to say the HomePod isn’t a massive hit, and the $349 price tag likely has a lot to do with that—to say nothing of the way it basically locks you into Apple Music. Still, Bluetooth speakers are fun, especially when they’re portable. If you’d like to get your hands on a highly rated one for far less cash, Tronsmart is selling its portable T6 25-watt dual-driver speaker on Amazon for just $27.09, down from the usual price of $41.99.

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iPhone 2018 rumors: iPhone SE 2 coming in May without a headphone jack

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Updated 04/20/18: Japanese blog Mac Otakara spoke with some iPhone case makers at a trade show who expect the new iPhone SE to have the same size and shape, but without a headphone jack.

Now that we’re well into 2018, rumors about the next iPhone have started to pile up. We’ll keep track of everything that’s being said and analyze what seems feasible in this article so you can keep up with the latest iPhone gossip.

New iPhone SE in May, without headphone jack

According to the Mac Otakara blog, the new iPhone SE is due to release in May and will not have a headphone jack.

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Q Acoustics' all-new 3000i speaker lineup promises to extend the company's bang-for-the-buck hi-fi tradition

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Refinement, not revolution, takes center stage in this redesign.

Try out Alexa's new custom skills with this great deal on an Echo Dot

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Optimize Your Wi-Fi Connection With A Lifetime Of NetSpot Pro, Now 80% Off

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Few things match the frustration that comes with a spotty Wi-Fi connection. And, despite your best efforts to troubleshoot them on your own, these networks can be fickle beasts that cut out for seemingly no reason at all. NetSpot Pro arms you with the tools to deep dive into your Wi-Fi network, diagnose its problems and optimize your connection, and lifetime licenses are currently on sale for 80 percent off the usual price.

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How to find your FileVault recovery key in macOS

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The FileVault option in macOS is a fantastic way to enhance the security of your data at rest. It’s full-disk encryption (FDE), meaning that your entire startup volume is locked away when macOS is shut down (not just sleeping) using strong encryption. Without the password that unlocks an account on your Mac that’s authorized to log in with FileVault, there’s no effective way to bring that computer to life.

That’s a problem, however, if you forget the password to all the authorized account or, in some cases I’ve received a few emails about, something goes wrong and the Recovery Disk—used both for “cold start” logins to macOS and to diagnose problems on your startup volume—demands a login that doesn’t work.

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SkylinkNet Alarm System Starter Kit Plus review: Built by techies, for techies

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It’s short on handholding, but SkylinkNet’s SK-250 kit is a good-enough security offering (though not recommended for beginners).

Yes, eGPUs boost Mac game performance, but limitations abound

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Folks with more coding knowledge than I have (and a greater willingness to potentially brick a $2,400 machine) have been hooking up external graphics cards to Macs for years, but the support now come bundled into macOS 10.13.4 High Sierra. In layman’s terms, Apple officially supports some graphics cards that you’d normally only find in a bulky PC tower—so long as you have a separate external chassis to stick them in and a Mac with Thunderbolt 3.

I hoped eGPU support would be revolutionary. Beyond that, I hoped it’d allow me to break with PCs entirely, as I really only use them for gaming these days. Anyone who watches Apple Arcade knows I’ve been a little frustrated with the current state of Mac gaming, and an external graphics card struck me as an easy way to circumvent the limitations of Apple’s built-in processors.

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Astell&Kern Kann review: This high-resolution digital audio player delivers sweet sound, but with a steep price tag

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An intoxicating sonic experience from a hi-res audio player that's as heavy as it is expensive.

Apple’s new model: Please subscribe

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Over the past year or so, Apple’s spent a lot of time talking up its Services division—which includes not only Apple Music, but also the likes of iCloud, the iTunes Store, and Apple Pay—and for good reason. Analysts have been paying a lot of attention to Apple’s Services, not least of all because it’s shown solid growth, even at times when other segments of Apple’s financial results have been more lackluster.

So you can bet that Apple’s not about to walk away from the services business anytime soon. In fact, if recent reports are any indication, the company is devoting even more effort to the segment, with at least two brand new services in development and the shifting of two of its biggest storefronts to a more subscription-focused angle.

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How to create private Alexa skills without code

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Amazon's Alexa Skills Blueprints let anyone with an Alexa device make household skills.

Amazon's custom Alexa Blueprints skills show how far ahead of Siri and Google Assistant it is

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Amazon has released a super-easy tool for anyone to make their own Alexa skill, and you won't find anything like for Siri or Google Assistant.

How to get all of the Apple Watch Activity achievements

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Updated 04/19/18: Apple has announced the Earth Day badge for 2018.

Achievement badges are a funny thing. You know they’re just a simple little bit of visual flair, they don’t even do anything, and yet for some reason you just have to collect them. Achievements are great motivators, and the achievement badges for the activity tracking on the Apple Watch have inspired many users to get more exercise.

If you want to maximize your badge count, you’re going to watch to chase down as many activity achievements as you can. Most are available year-round, but there are also some time-limited special events to grab, too. Here’s a list of all the activity achievements for the Apple Watch and how to unlock them.

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Today only, get a refurbished 12-inch gold MacBook for just $780 on Amazon

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How to recover an iCloud account when a factor for two-factor authentication goes missing

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Two-factor authentication (2FA) is highly recommend with your Apple ID, especially for iCloud or iTunes and App Store purchases, there’s one drawback: you need access to a second factor, or you might wind up losing everything associated with your account.

Normally, this shouldn’t be a problem. The second factor for Apple’s system is always at least one Mac or one iOS device plus a phone number (one that receives either text messages or voice calls, so a landline is an option). It would seem an unlikely scenario in which you lost all of that at once.

You can also add other phone numbers as backups, which is what my wife and I have done with each other’s cell numbers. Even if we lost access to our devices and our own numbers, we could still log in. (Telephone numbers can be reassigned, and hackers sometimes socially engineer or otherwise shift them for identity theft or worse purposes.)

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Turn a single USB-C port into three USB ports and Ethernet with this $20 adapter

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Modern laptops never seem to have quite enough USB ports for all your plug-ins. Hook up a mouse, plug in a flash drive, and suddenly you’ve got no room for anything else. And as more laptops adopt USB-C ports, some items won’t plug in at all. A port hub can fix both problems, and right now you can get an AmazonBasics USB-C to three-port USB hub for $20, the lowest we’ve seen it and nearly 20 percent off its average price.

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The Sbode M400, one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers, is 20% off today

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These days, it seems there are more Bluetooth speakers on the market than songs to play on them, and finding a good one for a good price can be tricky. The Sbode M400 Bluetooth speaker, one of our favorites, fits the bill: It's normally only $50, looks good, and is packed with high-end features. And today on Amazon, it's even cheaper. With this coupon, you can get 20 percent off the Sbode M400 Bluetooth speaker today while supplies last, bringing it down to just $40, the lowest price we've ever seen.

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The price is right: The iPhone X is working out for Apple

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More bad news for Apple as Counterpoint research has released its estimates of quarterly smartphone market profit share numbers. Turns out Apple took only… let’s see…

[squints at report]

…86 percent of the profit in the smartphone market.

Huh. Well, the horny one isn’t sure how this is bad news for Apple but just give pundits a few hours and they’ll think of something. Probably having to do with how there’s only 14 percent more profit share to take and then what will Apple do?!

It’s worth taking a closer look at this report because it’s an intriguing look into “How are pundits not tired of being wrong all the time?”

“iPhone X Alone Generated 35% of the Total Handset Industry Profits in Q4 2017.”

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Best antivirus for Mac: Protect yourself from malicious software

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McAfee Total Protection for Mac review: Thin on features and weak on security

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McAfee Total Protection is priced for home users as part of a suite licensed for up to 10 Macs and PCs for just $45 for the first year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver enough at that price, much less its cost of $100 for subsequent years—especially compared to one of our top picks, which has a similar price with no later rate increases.

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Sophos Home Premium for Mac review: Up-to-date features at an unbeatable price

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Sophos released its latest version of what it simply calls Sophos Home (free) and Sophos Home Premium (paid) just before we began testing, and as such it may have a leg up on competitors that have revisions in progress. As it stands, the set of features, cloud-based configuration, and price make it the outstanding entrant in the field.

On its anti-virus performance, it’s not perfect, but it’s close. AV-TEST found it detected 98.4 percent of macOS malware, over 95 percent of macOS PUA, and over 99 percent of Windows malware. Those scores could be marginally better, but these databases are constantly being updated. During our real-world tests, it knocked out macOS malware as soon as it was unzipped from an encrypted archive. It also prevented us from loading web pages with malicious software via the WICAR test site.

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