Apple TV Plus review: Big-budget originals for a low price, but not essential yet

Almost a year after the launch of Apple TV Plus, the tech giant’s entry into the streaming wars remains a bit of an anomaly. At $5 a month, Apple TV Plus is the lowest-priced premium, ad-free streaming service around but still packs high-end features like 4K resolution, HDR and mobile downloads. After a slow start it now has more than 30 exclusive, big-budget shows and movies with stars like Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks. That number is tiny compared to Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO Max, however, in part because Apple TV Plus has almost no back catalog of shows and movies to scroll through.

Like

  • Low cost
  • Ad-free
  • Mobile downloads
  • 4K HDR and Dolby Vision and Atmos
  • Big-budget, star-studded originals

Don’t Like

  • Very small catalog
  • No older content
  • No breakout hit show
  • Confusing app experience

Whether the service is worth $5 a month for you — or less, depending on whether you get it for free after buying an Apple device or a discount as part of Apple’s new Apple One bundle — depends on how excited you are to watch those originals. Shows like The Morning Show, Dickinson and Little America have garnered

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Stimulus check eligibility status: What you need to know so far about your qualification status

It’s expected that millions more people will be included the second time around.


Angela Lang/CNET

If you didn’t qualify for the first stimulus payment, you still may have a chance in a potential new round, if both sides of the aisle can strike an agreement on a new stimulus bill with a second direct payment that broadens eligibility requirements.

Both the Republican and Democratic proposals outline a second stimulus payment for as much as $1,200 and an expansion of who qualifies as a dependent. As negotiations to finalize legislation tentatively sputter back to life, let’s examine all we know about what the eligibility requirements could look like in a second round of payments. 

For more information, keep reading this story (and what you need to know about stimulus checks), and check back for regular updates. CNET’s stimulus check calculator can also help you estimate your potential payment.

Stimulus check: How to know if you could be eligible

We won’t know for certain who will qualify for a new stimulus payment until Congress passes the legislation. We can, however, draw from the first stimulus check’s eligibility requirements and the Heroes Act and 

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Stone Pro dock v. StayGo Twelve South hub: Flexibility vs. portability for Mac users

Although Apple doesn’t build its own Mac docking stations or hubs, others fill the gaps. Here’s how to decide which of two popular options—a Henge Docks or Twelve South product—is best for you.

Image: Illustration by Lisa Hornung

Whether you’re working remotely from a home office or at corporate headquarters, if you’re using a Mac, chances are you must connect additional peripherals. The need is particularly true if your Mac is one of the newer laptop models possessing only a pair of USB-C ports, one of which is typically dedicated to the power adapter. A docking station is necessary, but which dock is right for you? The answer, as is so often the case, depends on the accessories you plan to use and how you plan to use the dock.

SEE: New iPad Air: The best features for business users (TechRepublic)

Henge Docks Stone Pro

The $239.99 Henge Docks Stone Pro (Figure A) is a true docking station. Now owned and distributed by Brydge, the dock includes its own 87-watt power supply, a fact and value that should not be underestimated. Apple’s own 61-watt and 96-watt power adapters cost $69 and $79 by themselves, and that doesn’t

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Apple’s Swift programming language: Cheat sheet

Apple’s Swift has far-reaching effects on all platforms, not just iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS. Learn why Swift matters, how to use the programming language, and how it differs from Objective-C.

Objective-C has won the hearts of many
developers

. It started as a programming language that bundled object-oriented programming (OOP) with the likeness of the C programming language. Objective-C called NeXT and Apple home where it was the default programming language for NeXTSTEP, OS X, and iOS.

In 2010, Apple started developing Swift, a new programming language that would rival Objective-C in a few areas–specifically, type safety, security, and better on-hardware performance. Swift is more than 2.6x faster than Objective-C and more than 8.4x faster than Python. Swift 1.0 was released in September 2014.

This article is also available as a download, Cheat sheet: Apple’s Swift programming language (free PDF).

SEE: 10 ways to prevent developer burnout (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Executive summary

  • What is Apple’s Swift? Swift is the newest programming language from Apple; it offers better type safety, security, and performance. Swift is available for developing iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS apps.
  • Why does Apple’s Swift matter? It’s an easy programming language to learn,
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