2018 MacBook Air review roundup: A beautifully big improvement

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MacBook Air 2018
The original ultraportable is back with a bang.
Photo: Apple

The long-awaited MacBook Air update sports an all-new design and more powerful internals, but early reviews indicate there’s still room for improvement.

It’s also the most expensive MacBook Air to date. So, should you spend $1,199 on it when it lands in stores this week? Here’s what the first 2018 MacBook Air reviews have to say.

MacBook smackdown: Which laptop is right for you?

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MacBook Air 2018
Apple's new MacBook Air delivers everything we wanted.
Photo: Apple

Apple finally dusted off the MacBook Air. The 2018 model sports a brand new design, a gorgeous Retina display, and powerful upgraded internals. All of sudden, Apple’s most affordable notebook is up there with its best.

In fact, the new ultraportable is so good, you would be crazy to buy a 12-inch MacBook right now. So, how does the new MacBook Air stack up against the rest of Apple’s laptop lineup? Which model best suits your needs, and which delivers the best bang for the buck?

Find out right here in our comprehensive MacBook comparison.

New MacBook Air’s T2 chip protects your mic from hackers

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T2 chip
Apple's most secure laptop yet.
Photo: Apple

Tapping into a Mac’s microphone is about to get a lot harder for hackers thanks to Apple’s new T2 chip.

Apple didn’t dedicate much time to its new T2 chip during today’s ‘More in the Making’ keynote, but the company’s newest security guide gives an in-depth look at the chip. Not only is it designed to prevent MacBook Air users from getting malware but it also makes it physically impossible for hackers to access your microphone when you’re most vulnerable.

Retina MacBook Air may be Apple’s most beautiful laptop ever

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MacBook Air
Apple's new Retina MacBook Air is a stunner.
Photo: Apple

Ten years after launching the game-changing MacBook Air, Apple took the wraps off the latest iteration of its ultra-thin, affordable laptop. And, boy, does it look great!

Boasting a considerably smaller bezel, a Retina display, a Touch ID sensor and an overall slimmer design, this is the MacBook many will have been waiting for.

How to download all the data Apple has on you

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Apple continues to put privacy front and center.
Apple continues to put privacy front and center.
Image: Apple

Apple’s refreshed Privacy website is live, giving U.S. users the ability to download all of their data from Apple. The website explains how and why Apple products are “designed to protect your privacy.”

Apple stresses that “your data belongs to you” and insists that it never sells users’ info to advertisers or other organizations.

The website even gives users the ability to delete an Apple account — and all associated data — if desired.

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A big change in iOS 12 makes password managers like Dashlane even easier to use.
A big change in iOS 12 makes password managers even easier to use.
Photo: Bruno Cervera/Pexels CC

How Apple Watch Series 4 will raise the bar for wearables [UPDATED]

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Apple Watch Series 4
Somehow, this official photo of Apple Watch Series 4 leaked out early.
Photo: 9to5Mac

Apple’s biggest keynote of the year is just days away and while the iPhone XS will be the main attraction of the event, Apple Watch Series 4 could steal the show with a bevy of new features.

Rumors about the Apple Watch Series 4 have been heating up leading up to next week’s event. Leaked images of the new wearable have already surfaced online, but there’s still a bit of mystery surrounding the new gadget.

Here’s everything we know about Apple Watch Series 4:

Everything we think we know about the 2018 iPhone lineup [Updated]

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iPhone X
Behold, the iPhone Xs.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is set to unleash its newest iPhones on the world in just a couple weeks and based on the rumors, these will be the most lust-worthy phones to ever come out of Cupertino.

Not only will the 2018 iPhone lineup include the biggest iPhone display Apple’s ever made, it will also be more colorful and more expensive than ever. We’ve been keeping our pulse on all the rumors leading up to Apple’s big September 12 unveiling and have a pretty solid idea on what’s coming through the pipeline.

This is what the 2018 iPhone lineup will look like:

Apple won’t add fingerprint readers to 2019 iPhone displays

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Touch ID
Fingerprint readers will probably never be embedded in iPhone displays.
Photo: Apple

iPhone fans hoping that Apple will bring back its beloved Touch ID features are in for some disappointment.

There were rumors for years that Apple was trying to embed a fingerprint reader into iPhone displays. One of the most reliable Apple analysts in the game is predicting that the technology will not make it to iPhones. Or if it does, it won’t come out this decade.

Today in Apple history: Apple acquires the company behind Touch ID

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Touch ID
Touch ID was a massive step forward for Apple.
Photo: Apple

July 28: Today in Apple history: Apple acquires AuthenTec, the company behind Touch ID July 28, 2012: Apple buys biometrics company AuthenTec, acquiring the technology that will power future authentication and secure payments initiatives.

With a price tag of $356 million, the deal gives Apple the right to use AuthenTec hardware, software and patents. In the short term, Apple engineers start working to build Touch ID sensors into the iPhone 5s. Longer-term, AuthenTec’s mobile wallet tech paves the way for Apple Pay.