Netflix Smart Downloads manages TV shows for you

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Netflix iPhone
Want to watch the next episode of your favorite show on the subway? Netflix Smart Downloads makes it easy by automatically replacing each watched episode with the next one.
Photo: Netflix

A new feature in the Netflix app will automatically download episodes of your favorite shows. This means they’re waiting on your phone or tablet when you’re ready.

Netflix already allows users to download episodes to watch later. The improvement announced today just makes it easier.

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Microsoft Word is one of thousands of titles available only through app subscription fees.
Microsoft Word is one of thousands of titles available only through app subscription fees.
Photo: Microsoft

Massive explosions predicted during Fortnite event tomorrow

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Fortnite event happening Saturday
Fortnite could pop a big rocket on Saturday.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Something is going to happen in the Fortnite game tomorrow. What that will be is a bit of a mystery, but it’s causing a lot of buzz.

Whatever the deal is, it’s happening at 1:30 pm Eastern Time on Saturday. In-game TV screens are showing a countdown clock, and that’s when it hits the zero hour.

Apple Maps getting revamped to suck less

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Apple Maps
After going from terrible to mediocre, Apple Maps is set to become good.
Photo: Apple

Apple has begun gathering its own data about the U.S. road network, rather than buying this information from other companies. The goal is to significantly improve Apple Maps.

This app was a disaster when it launched 6 years ago, and although there have been significant improvements, it has been the butt of jokes ever since. Apple wants to change that.

Millions of Americans watching World Cup on their iPhone or iPad

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World Cup iPhone watching is a thing.
Extremely heavy downloads of apps like Fox Sports Go show that World Cup iPhone watching is a thing.
Photo: Fox

Living in America, it’s sometimes easy to forget the FIFA World Cup is going on now in Russia. Soccer isn’t one of the Big Four U.S. sports. Heck, most Americans don’t even call it by the right name.

But the fact that new downloads of the Fox Sports Go app grew 950 percent during the first week of the World Cup shows there are vast numbers of people living in this country watching the matches on their phones or tablets.

T-Mobile FamilyMode brings parental control over every device in the house

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T-Mobile FamilyMode Home Base
The T-Mobile FamilyMode app and Home Base promise control over every Internet-connected device in your house.
Photo: T-Mobile

Parental controls are a hot item. Apple is building them into iOS 12, kid-friendly apps have them, and T-Mobile just unveiled its solution: Family Mode.

This includes iOS and Android apps than can limit what children do online. And the Family Mode Home Base connects to the home Wi-Fi router and lets parents put restrictions on every device in the house.

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Amazon FreeTime Unlimited for kids now available on the Apple App Store.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited offers kids age-appropriate videos, books, and apps. It's now on the Apple App Store.
Photo: Amazon

Neural networks make Google Translate app smarter, more accurate while offline

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Google Translate is now better, even offline
On-device learning should make the Google Translate app much better at its job.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Neural machine translation (NMT) has made the online version of Google Translate more accurate for years. Today, this AI feature was added to the iOS and Android apps so it can be used offline.

NTM allows the software to learn over time to create better, more natural translations. And this function is available while traveling without a local data plan.