Low-priced ‘iPhone SE’ reportedly near imminent release

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iPhone 9
The iPhone SE update is launching soon.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

After months of waiting, the successor to the iPhone SE is allegedly ready to launch any day now.

Apple is supposedly ready to accept orders for its new entry-level iPhone “as soon as tomorrow” according to a new report from 9to5Mac that claims if the launch doesn’t happen on Friday, it will be “very soon.”

HBO unlocks 500 hours of free content, but not Game of Thrones

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You'll have to subscribe to HBO Now to see Game of Thrones.
You'll have to subscribe to HBO Now to see Game of Thrones.
Photo: HBO

HBO is joining the wave of companies that are offering free access to their content to placate everyone sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting on April 3, the HBO Now and HBO Go apps will offer freebies to anyone the doesn’t already have a paid subscription. The trove of over 500 hours of free content includes all seasons of The Sopranos, Silicon Valley, The Wire and Ballers. But if you’re hoping to finally catch up Game of Thrones for free, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

FCC eyes boosting Wi-Fi speeds by opening 6GHz spectrum

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home Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi over the 6GHz spectrum, if approved, could offer up to 2Gbps wireless connections.
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr

The FCC will vote April 23 on a proposal to expand Wi-Fi to the 6GHz band. If approved, the move would add almost five times the bandwidth to the short-range wireless networking standard used by MacBooks, iPads, and virtually every other mobile device. That could bring faster Wi-Fi connections, with less interference from nearby computers.

SXSW Film Festival goes free on Amazon

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SXSW
SXSW 2020 isn't going down quietly.
Photo: Amazon

SXSW 2020, one of the biggest annual conferences covering the convergence of music and film, was canceled last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic last month, but it’s getting a brief second life online.

Amazon Prime Video is partnering with SXSW to offer on-demand streaming of the films that were set to debut at the festival in Austin, Texas. Anyone with an Amazon account will be able to watch the movies for free for 10 days as part of the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection.

Apple leaks AirTags name in support video

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airtags
Oops! Whoever did this is getting fired.
Photo: Apple

The official name of Apple’s Bluetooth tracking tiles leaked online on Thursday and Apple only has itself to blame.

Apple published a new iPhone support video on YouTube the educates customers on how to erase your iPhone that made reference to ‘AirTags’ that have been rumored to be coming down the product pipeline since last year.

This suede sport band for Apple Watch looks sharp but is ready for action [Review]

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Mifa's Hybrid Sports Leather Apple Watch Band is an inexpensive but classy strap.
Mifa's Hybrid Sports Leather Apple Watch Band is an inexpensive but classy strap.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Mifa’s Hybrid Sports Leather band for Apple Watch is a steal at $25. Not only is it made from genuine vintage suede, it has a sweatproof silicone backing that makes it as comfortable to wear as the softest sports band.

The layering of materials makes Mifa’s band one of my favorite Apple Watch straps. It’s lightweight, soft and comfortable — and it looks dressy but is designed for action.

5 Zoom alternatives to keep you connected during COVID-19 crisis

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Zoom definitely isn't your only option for videoconferencing. Check out these Zoom alternatives, including Houseparty.
Zoom definitely isn't your only option for videoconferencing.
Photo: Life on Air

Zoom might be the best video-conferencing app, but that’s a bit like saying Facebook is the best social network. It might be true 1, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel dirty if you use it. Despite a seemingly never-ending stream of privacy violations, security holes and utter disregard for its customers, Zoom is still being used as the de facto standard video conferencing and broadcasting tool during the COVID-19 crisis.

We’ve already seen the problems with Zoom. And we’ve also shown you how to protect yourself if you choose to use Zoom despite the company’s many privacy missteps. (Zoom pledged to do better this week.) But what about other services you could rely on during the coronavirus shutdown? Read on. We have five great Zoom alternatives you can use.

Apple wants to make iPhone easier to use underwater

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iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XS size: Sometimes bigger really is better.
iPhone could soon get some new underwater tricks.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has been working tirelessly to make the iPhone more and more waterproof over the last four years. Now it appears that the company wants to make it possible to actually use the display underwater too.

Recent patent filings revealed that Apple is putting some serious thought into how to make the iPhone easier to use underwater by creating a simplified UI that lets the user focus less on taps and more on swimming or whatever else you’d be doing underwater.

Genius tweak for security cams is just the start of Wyze’s COVID-19 response

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Wyze Cam
This Wyze Cam can be converted to a webcam.
Photo: Wyze

A company that makes low-cost home security cameras doesn’t sound like an organization you’d call for help in the fight against COVID-19 as it sweeps across the United States.

Wyze didn’t wait for a call.

Located in Kirkland, Washington, close to where the first U.S. cases surfaced, the company used its worldwide connections and ingenuity to help the local medical community fight the coronavirus pandemic. But it also helped consumers stuck at home better use Wyze’s iOS-compatible security cameras as webcams.