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Review: Wicked Audio Shred In-Ear Headphones

We recently reviewed the Endo, a Bluetooth on-ear headphone aimed at the young and sporty. Next up from the prolific Wicked Audio is one of their Bluetooth Sport IEMs: the Shred Wireless for Men. The Shred Wireless comes in two versions — "Shred Wireless For Men", and "Shred Wireless for Women." From Wicked's website, it appears that the only difference between these two models is the color — the Men's version comes in a black/red colorway, and the Women's version comes in a white/teal colorway (this strikes us as a little strange, but we'll let you decide). Both models come with a reflective cable, metal housing, and convenient magnetic feature that keeps them secure when they're not in your ears — all nice for a sport headphone.

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Apple releases iOS 11 with improvements to HomeKit, new App Store, updates to Camera, Siri and more

After months of betas, Apple has released iOS 11 to the general public. Coming mostly as it was advertised at WWDC, the new operating system features a long list of updates, including new HomeKit compatibility thanks to AirPlay 2 capabilities and improved controls for timers, location triggers, speakers and sunrise/sunset times. For devices with cameras that support it, Portrait mode has been expanded to include image stabilization, HDR and True Tone flash, and all photos and videos will take up half as much space thanks to Apple’s new photo and video formats. Maps gain support for indoor details of some larger buildings — like airports and malls — and Apple Music will gain new social features, adding a new “Friends are Listening to” section in the Music app. The Control Center has been completely reimagined and Siri has gained new natural male and female voices built using deep learning along with a new visual interface.

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Apple releases tvOS 11 and watchOS 4 to the public

Alongside today’s iOS 11 release, Apple has made tvOS 11 and watchOS 4 available to all users. The tvOS update isn’t quite as flashy as its iOS counterpart, but it does add some cool new features like automatic Dark Mode, iCloud home screen syncing, support for the new AirPlay 2 protocol and tweaks to the interfaces of the Computers, HomeKit and Music apps to streamline the experience. Music also gets an update in watchOS 4, adding support for storing multiple playlists on the Watch itself, as well as automatically saving music from the paired iPhone to the Apple Watch based on a user’s listening habits.

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Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.7

Last week Apple quietly released iTunes 12.7 to accompany its announcement of new iPhone, Apple TV, and Apple Watch hardware and to correspond with the upcoming release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Although this latest version is still a relatively minor update in a series of small “point” updates going back to the initial debut of iTunes 12 almost three years ago, it actually represents a major shift in the approach of iTunes, removing all support for the App Store and taking the venerable desktop app back to focusing on media management.

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August updates Smart Lock, unveils Smart Lock Pro, Doorbell Cam Pro

August has updated its Smart Lock and created the new Smart Lock Pro, adding an integrated DoorSense sensor that can let users know remotely whether their door is open or closed. The new Smart Lock ditches the large cylindrical look of the original for a more traditional thumb turn, and also shaves the price from $229 to $149. The more upscale Smart Lock Pro ($279) maintains the original look and includes a Connect Wi-Fi Bridge to allow for control through HomeKit, Bluetooth and Z-Wave Plus. The company’s Doorbell Cam Pro has added a flood light to its original design, and the light can be motion triggered to monitor outside the home at night. As soon as we get our hands on the new models we’ll post full reviews, so check back soon.

TV app lands on Apple TV in new countries ahead of tvOS 11; Apple Pay Cash won’t launch with iOS 11

Apple’s TV app has started popping up on Apple TVs outside the US ahead of today’s tvOS 11 release, with users in Canada and Australia reporting they gained access overnight, although some said the app was present but not yet functioning in tvOS 10. Apple also claims that the TV app will arrive in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK by the end of the year, but another feature put on display during last week’s Keynote won’t be making it out today. The Apple Pay Cash feature in iOS 11 and watchOS 4 won’t be coming until “this fall” according to Apple’s latest update. Once functional, the feature will allow users to send cash payments through Messages or command Siri to issue a payment from a credit or debit card stored in Wallet.

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Review: Wicked Audio Endo Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones

Wicked Audio has a surprisingly wide range of headphones on offer — over 30 by our count — all marketed squarely at young people who enjoy extreme sports. The Endo, which we'll review here today, is a Bluetooth on-ear headphone that could be a good choice for the budget-conscious, but its execution holds it back just short of the mark.

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Geekbench tests show Apple’s A11 chip is way ahead of the competition

The official Geekbench benchmark tests are out for the A11 Bionic chip powering the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, and the results show Apple’s latest offering standing head and shoulders above the competition. The A11 Bionic turned out to be 25 percent faster than the previous 10 Fusion in single core tests and a whopping 80 percent faster in multicore tests. The multicore scores astoundingly even top out above the 13” MacBook Pro, although AppleInsider is quick to note that a laptop’s CPU is tasked with driving a much larger display. That also likely accounts for why the iPhone 8 tests better than the iPhone 8 Plus, and why the 8 Plus tests better than the X; namely, the higher the screen resolution, the more the processor has to work to run it and the less it will be able to dedicate to other tasks.

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Apple defends new stricter Safari ad-tracking blockers

While Apple has taken heat from marketing groups for blocking cross-site tracking in Safari, the company doubled down on its commitment to user privacy and explained the move in comments to 9to5Mac. Safari has historically been tougher on third-party tracking than other browsers — it was the first to block third-party cookies by default — and the company said its Intelligent Tracking Prevention is the next step to keep user data from being misused. “Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history,” Apple said in its statement. “This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet.”

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