Consumer Reports changes its verdict on new MacBook Pros

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Custom keys for Photoshop.
Software update sorts out battery issues, says the consumer watchdog.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Consumer Reports has revised its earlier rating for the new MacBook Pro lineup and now recommends the laptops, after a software update fixed battery problems found in testing.

The respected consumer watchdog previously cited the new laptops’ “highly inconsistent” battery life as the reason it couldn’t give out one of its coveted recommendations — the first time an Apple laptop had failed to make the grade.

Apple’s obsessive secrecy may have driven out Swift’s creator

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Apple makes Swift open source at WWDC 2015.
Making Swift open-source wasn't enough to keep its creator at Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s culture of secrecy was responsible for the departure of Chris Lattner, the company’s former head of developer tools and the creator of programming language Swift, claims a new report.

Lattner recently left Apple for Tesla — with friends putting the move down to the ongoing conflict between wanting to create open-source tools and Apple’s tendency to not want to publicly discuss anything.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates quits as Microsoft CEO

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Bill Gates before and after that first dollar.
Gates' rivalry with Steve Jobs was legendary.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

Jan13January 13, 2000: Steve Jobs’ longtime frenemy Bill Gates steps down from his role as Microsoft CEO, one month after his company hit its all-time share price high.

The news coincides with a turning point in the Microsoft vs. Apple wars, as Microsoft starts a decline from its previous dominance, while Apple continues its rise to power.

Apple TV apps can now be up to 20x bigger

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apple tv and siri remote
Apple TV apps can now be 4GB right from the start.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s plan to make the modern TV experience all about apps has just gotten a big boost, with Apple upping the size limit of tvOS apps from 200MB to 4GB.

For those keeping track at home, it’s a whopping 20x the original size limit — and means that Apple TV apps can now be as big as the ones developers can submit for iOS.

App Store’s walled garden could bring antitrust suit

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apple-app-store-apps-vulnerable-freak
Does Apple have a monopoly on apps?
Photo: Apple

Apple may find itself at the center of a new antitrust lawsuit after the U.S. appeals court ruled that the App Store’s “walled garden” could be monopolizing the market for iOS apps.

What the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling takes issue with is the fact that iOS apps can only be downloaded from the App Store, and not from elsewhere — thereby adding up to a potential monopoly.

Netflix gives birth to boy with smartphone brain

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iBoy
As long as it's not a Galaxy Note 7 stuck in his brain, he'll be OK!
Photo: Netflix

If you thought Black Mirror had the market cornered on stories about the dark side of technology, you’d better think again!

Netflix just released the official trailer for a new movie called iBoy and, as its name implies, there’s a certain tech connection. Check it out below:

Apple could offer original scripted TV content by end of 2017

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Could Apple challenge shows like Netflix's Stranger Things
Photo: Netflix

Move over The Crown and Stranger Things! Apple is planning to enter the original TV shows and movies market, according to a new report.

The Wall Street Journal claims Apple has been in talks with “veteran producers” over the past few months about buying the rights to existing shows, and has also told them that it has plans to create its own programming — although those efforts are still in the early stages.

Today in Apple history: iPod drives profits to new heights

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The iPod was kind of a big deal in 2005.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Jan12January 12, 2005: Apple reports record earnings for the preceding three months — with holiday sales of the iPod and demand for the latest iBook giving Apple a four-fold increase in profits.

Apple brags that it has sold a total of 10 million iPods, and that the massive popularity of its portable music player has driven Apple to the highest earnings in its history.

Blood glucose monitoring kit boasts sleek Apple-inspired design

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One Drop could be the solution diabetics have been waiting on!
Photo: One Drop

Apple has started selling a new FDA-approved blood glucose monitoring kit on its online store, created by the health startup One Drop.

Costing $99.95, the device comprises a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, 100 test strips, carry case, and a chrome lancing device — which we’re helpfully told was based on a Marc Jacobs lipstick design.