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The 2018 Cars Technica cars and SUVs of the year | Ars Technica
More Arsians joined the reviewing fun, and the death of the sedan was prematurely announced.
Just as I finally got used to writing the date as 2018, it's time to learn a whole new number. As is now traditional, the end of the year is an opportunity to remember some of the four-wheeled friends we made on this most recent trip around the sun. It was a busy 12 months for the Cars Technica gang—and we are officially a gang now.
Tim Lee has been responsible for some great coverage of Waymo, Uber, Cruise, and that whole autonomous driving thing. When she wasn't busy holding the EPA's feet to the fire or covering the growth of zero-emissions mass transit, Megan Geuss got to ride in Audi's new battery electric vehicle before anyone else. Cyrus Farivar has done the old-school thing with some shoe-leather reporting on Tesla's factory troubles. Sean Gallagher wrote his first (but not last) truck review, and Ars managing editor Eric Bangeman has gamely tested every SUV, crossover, and minivan we could get to Chicago.
As for me? I discovered I'm at peace with the fact that I'm not a professional racing driver, for one thing. My plan to travel by air less often didn't work out so well—people are welcome to buy trees in my name—but I did get to see some interesting new concept cars and, more importantly, drive some good new BEVs.
With all that automotive authority, these are the vehicles that impressed us most in 2018.
cars  review  SUV  ars_technica 
16 days ago by rgl7194
iPhone XS and XS Max review: Big screens, big performance, big lenses, big prices | Ars Technica
The second generation is always better.
With last year's iPhone X, Apple introduced the most significant redesign to the iPhone since the iPhone 4. All three of the phones Apple announced this fall—the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR—are modeled after that blueprint.
That means near-edge-to-edge displays. It also means they have the TrueDepth sensor array, which powers Face ID, the facial recognition feature that replaces the Touch ID fingerprint authentication method used on iPhones since the iPhone 5S in 2013. There's no home button either, which had been part of the iPhone since the very first one back in 2007.
Today, we're reviewing the iPhone XS and XS Max. This might be the smallest year-over-year iteration Apple has ever done for the iPhone. Yet somehow, there's a whole lot to talk about, from wireless bands to performance to ambitious, under-the-hood camera tech.
The iPhone X has been the best-selling smartphone for most of the time since its launch just under a year ago. So how do you follow up the most popular new phone in the world? And how do you convince previous iPhone owners who didn't jump for the iPhone X, and who were happy with the way iPhones were before, to spend more than $1,000 to upgrade?
iphoneXS  review  ars_technica 
october 2018 by rgl7194
macOS 10.14 Mojave: The Ars Technica review | Ars Technica
Dark Mode and iOS apps make this desert-themed release feel surprisingly verdant.
I ended last year’s review of macOS High Sierra by lamenting its invisibility but praising the much-needed work it did on the macOS foundation. There weren’t a lot of ways to tell that a Mac was running High Sierra instead of Low Sierra, but Apple quietly replaced the file system and the system’s window server and added (and later finalized) official support for external graphics, among a bunch of other tweaks. The yearly release cycle just kept Apple from actually building a whole lot of new features on top of that foundation.
Mojave, macOS version 10.14, takes the opposite approach. It still does some foundation-laying, especially around iOS apps, and it finishes up a few things that didn’t quite get finished in High Sierra. But it also includes the biggest and most consequential changes to the Mac’s user interface, the desktop, and Finder that we’ve seen in years; some brand-new apps ported over from iOS; new automation features; an overhauled App Store; and significant improvements to small but frequently-used actions like taking screenshots or using Quick Look.
I recommended against upgrading to High Sierra right away because the operating system’s early bugs weren’t offset by useful new features—Mojave has no such problem. Later betas and the GM build have been solid, and all the new stuff gives the Mac a serious and much-needed makeover. You should probably read the rest of the review before you upgrade, but it’s been quite a while since I liked a new macOS release this much.
macOS  10.14  review  ars_technica 
september 2018 by rgl7194
iOS 12, thoroughly reviewed | Ars Technica
Apple's OS focuses on performance and laying the groundwork for future apps.
Apple's iOS 12 software update is available today for supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, and on the surface, it looks like one of the smallest new iOS releases Apple has pushed out.
This isn't a surprise; Apple said earlier this year that iOS 12 would be more about performance and stability than adding new features. Some major additions that were originally planned—like an overhauled home screen—were reportedly delayed to a later release.
And it's also not a bad thing. Frankly, iOS 11 had some problems. Apple released several small updates in late 2017 and throughout 2018 to fix those problems, all while battling some frustrated customers' perceptions that the company was deliberately making older devices obsolete to encourage new sales as overall smartphone sales slowed their growth industry-wide.
ios12  review  ars_technica 
september 2018 by rgl7194
Apple releases iOS 11.3, the biggest update for iPhones since iOS 11 first launched | Ars Technica
This is a big update, and Apple also released updates to tvOS and watchOS.
Today, Apple released iOS 11.3 to all supported devices, including the iPad Air and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPhone 5S and later, and the sixth-generation iPod touch. The update is available for download now in supported regions.
With several new features, it's arguably the biggest update to iOS since iOS 11 first released. iOS 11.3 addresses battery-based performance throttling on older devices, adds significant new capabilities for augmented reality, adds the ability to chat with customer support reps from companies in Messages, and lets users access their personal health records in the Health app.
Apple also released smaller updates for tvOS (tvOS 11.3) on the Apple TV and watchOS (watchOS 4.3), as well as macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, which adds eGPU support and Business Chat to Macs. Let's dive into what each of these updates adds for users.
ios11  review  ars_technica 
april 2018 by rgl7194
The triumphant return of Ars Technica mugs, T-shirts | Ars Technica
Make the holidays great again with branded Ars gear.
Every geek needs two things to start the morning off right: a quality coffee mug and a fresh T-shirt. Fortunately, Ars Technica now sells both, so you can leap from your bed to confront the forces of file corruption, homeopathy, and state-sponsored malware in style with some sharp Ars Technica merch!
Long ago, when the Ars staff collectively had more hair, fewer graduate degrees, and no children, we first offered merch in the form of shirts, hoodies, and the infamous Ars sumo. Running the merch store then was a thankless job because it meant filling one's garage with boxes of tiny foam wrestlers and XXL hoodies, along with making endless runs to the post office. As we expanded into the interstellar media empire that you know and love today, the leftover boxes of merch were quietly shot into the sun.
But we've always had a soft spot in our hearts for Ars logo shirts—and everyone needs a mug. So when Creative Director Aurich Lawson began batting around a few design ideas, the staff got excited. We hope you will, too.
ars_technica  clothing  coffee  t-shirt  mug 
january 2018 by rgl7194
iPhone X review: Early adopting the future | Ars Technica
The most expensive iPhone ever is Apple's proposal for the future of mobile.
A lot has changed in the decade since Apple shared its first iPhone with the world, but most people's relationships to their smartphones have not changed for a while. After an explosion of innovation, we’ve mostly seen incremental updates to processing power, security features, screen size, cameras, and software in recent years. These have added up over time, but the progress has rarely revolutionized this product area or its users' experience.
Generally, people have understandably been fine with that. Stability is good for consumers. We now see our phones as practical tools, not as anything extraordinary—not anything that opens up exciting and relevant new possibilities in our professional and personal lives like those earliest iPhone and Android phones did.
Some enthusiasts have nevertheless lamented that this is no longer the Apple whose products, once perceived as truly groundbreaking, excited them. But even more so than usual, Apple wants buyers to see this new phone, the most expensive iPhone yet released, as revolutionary. It has positioned iPhone X as a blueprint for all handsets to come.
But is the iPhone X that significant? Is the future actually here—for real this time, after that marketing suggestion has been thrown around so much that we’ve tuned it out? And even if it is, is it worth the potential pains of early adoption for newer technologies like Face ID and OLED?
I’ll give you a hint: this phone does three notable new things, all in one device. As a certain turtlenecked man once said, "Are you getting it?"
iphoneX  review  ars_technica 
november 2017 by rgl7194

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