These MacBooks will hit Apple’s dreaded ‘vintage and obsolete’ list soon

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The new MacBook Air has more graphics power than it appears at first. Photo: Apple
Remember the 11-inch MacBook Air? Probably not.
Photo: Apple

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models that launched in 2013 and 2014 will reportedly be placed on Apple’s list of “vintage and obsolete products” at the end of April.

Despite what the name implies, this doesn’t mean these devices just became useless. Instead, it’s going to be harder to get them serviced.

YouTube wants to take on TikTok with upcoming ‘Shorts’ feature

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2020 is the year everyone wants to be TikTok famous.
Big tech is setting its sights on taking down TikTok.
Photo: Aaron Yoo/Flickr CC

TikTok, the popular video-sharing app that is especially popular among young people, is going to get some fresh competition from Google later this year.

Google is reportedly planning to create its own version of TikTok with a new Youtube feature called “Shorts” that will live inside the platform’s apps on Android and iOS.

Save on 2019 iPad mini, AirPods, smart home tech [Deals & Steals]

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DS-Apr-1-20
And save 19% on the terrific Split Pad Pro for Nintendo Switch.
Photos: Apple, Hori, Ecobee, Eufy

It’s rare we see decent discounts on Apple’s latest iPad mini. And yet, the 7.9-inch device is by far the best compact tablet on the market. Grab yours today from B&H Photo and enjoy up to $50 off.

That’s just one of the awesome offers in today’s Deals & Steals roundup that will help you tackle self-isolation and working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. Other highlights include:

Find all these discounts and more in today’s Deals & Steals roundup.

Cloudflare’s Warp, a free and fast VPN for Mac, enters beta testing

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Cloudflare Warp for macOS
Warp for macOS, now in beta, promises a fast and free VPN.
Photo: Cloudflare

Cloudflare on Wednesday began beta testing a macOS version of Warp, its virtual private network currently offered only on iPhone. The VPN encrypts all internet traffic for the Mac it’s installed on, helping to protect the user’s privacy.

VPNs add security, but are often slow. Cloudflare promises its service is fast. And it’s free.

Amazon Prime Video finally embraces in-app purchases on iPhone and Apple TV

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primevideo
Amazon Prime Video is ready to play nice with Apple users.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon is making some huge changes to how it handles rentals and movie purchases for its Prime Video app on Apple devices.

Starting today, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV users can rent or buy movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime Video without being directed to a website first to avoid Apple’s tax on in-app purchases.

Grab these pricey creativity apps and use them for free during the pandemic

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Ableton and Logic Pro X free app trials: Nothing says
Nothing says "unbridled creative frenzy" like a mass of tangled cables.
Photo: Ableton

Being stuck at home with nothing to do but watch the world collapse around us is kind of a downer, but there are some upsides. One is that people are getting creative. Like, literally creative — making more music, writing and sharing videos. The other silver lining is that app-makers are offering big discounts and extended trials for some amazing apps.

For instance, Apple now offers a free, three-month trial of its music-production app, Logic Pro X. And Ableton just matched this offer with its Live Suite.

US deploys 500,000 iPhones for 2020 census

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iPhone 8 red
iPhone 8 is being put to work for the 2020 census.
Photo: Apple

Most Americans are used to celebrating April Fools’ Day on the first day of April, but there’s another hugely important holiday happening today that you probably don’t know about: Census Day.

The decennial holiday kicks off on April 1, which is an important reference date for the census as enumerators attempt to count how many people there are in the country and where they live. This time, census takers are turning to the iPhone 8 instead of pencil and paper to get the job done.

Innovative Apple Watch band lets runners monitor speed and heart rate at a glance [Review]

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EdgeGear Shift review: Seeing your Apple Watch while jogging is far easier with this Apple Watch band for runners.
Seeing your Apple Watch while running is far easier with the EdgeGear Shift.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The design of the wristwatch hasn’t changed on over 100 years, but EdgeGear has an alternative that makes it easier for runners to see their Apple Watch while on the go. The Shift is not like any band you’ve worn before, as the Watch is held near the base of your thumb, not in the middle of your wrist.

I took the EdgeGear Shift on a few runs, and can report on how it performed in the real world.