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About Rob LeFebvre

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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Angela Ahrendts rallies the troops as Apple Watch launch looms

Apple's retail chief sends out a video message to help prep employees for this Friday. Photo: Apple

Apple’s retail chief sends out a video message to help prep employees for this Friday. Photo: Apple

In a video sent out to Apple retail employees, Apple’s senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts clarified that the Apple Watch will be arriving for many customers this Friday, but that online ordering was still the only way the Apple Watch can be purchased right now.

Ahrendts talks directly to retail employees, reminding them that the Apple Watch isn’t the only great new product aut right now, but that it is an entirely new type of product and way of selling things for Apple.

“This is not just a new product for us, this is an entirely new category,” she says in the video, “and it is the first time we’ve ever previewed a product two weeks before the availability.”

Even with the horrible audio echoes and Ahrendts’ vocal-pause-laden and seemingly unrehearsed speech, the video is a fascinating look at the messaging all Apple retail staff will be hearing this week as they prepare for the hordes of new customers looking to buy an Apple Watch or new Macbook.

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Never miss an iPhone call or alert again

Keep your ringtone volume and media volume separate. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Keep your ringtone volume and media volume separate. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

There are two different channels for audio on your iOS device: there are ringers and alert sounds and there are media sounds, like from the Music app or various games on your iPhone.

The hardware volume buttons on the side of your iPhone are set to control both by default, but you can separate it out, making the hardware buttons only turn down the media sounds instead of both media and ringer sound.

Here’s our recipe on how to make sure you never miss a call because someone “accidentally” turned your volume all the way down.

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New Tomorrowland trailer surprises us with loads of sci-fi action

Not your standard kid-fare, then. Photo: Disney

Not your standard kid-fare, then, Disney? Photo: Disney

Disney’s has been showing us glimpses of its Brad Bird-helmed live action film for some time now, with the slow burn first trailer last October focusing on the young woman who gets a mysterious pin that transports her to an unseen, futuristic world, complete with jetpacks and glittering skylines.

That and present-day George Clooney, who convincingly portrays the curmudgeon next door with secrets of his own.

This new trailer, however, ratchets up the sci-fi action, giving us several more shots of the eponymous future city, even more jetpacks, and a team of future SWAT cops with ray guns coming after our heroine and Clooney as they climb into a bathtub and launch themselves into an uncertain, well, future.

Maybe Tomorrowland won’t be the sappy kid flick we all thought it would turn out to be, after all.

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Take better selfies with your iPhone’s timer mode

Gather all your friends for a groupie with the timer on your iPhone. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Gather all your friends for a groupie with the timer on your iPhone. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

It can be tricky to get the best shot when taking a selfie or group shot with your iPhone. If you want a better angle than the length of your arm can provide (or your ridiculous selfie stick will telescope to), you might consider setting your iPhone on a ledge or tripod and using the built-in timer mode to get yourself and everyone else into position before the shutter goes off.

It’s not super-tricky, but you do need to know where to look. Here’s our recipe to enable timer mode on your iPhone.

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10 essential Finder tricks every Mac user should know

Photo: Yeray Hdez Guerra/FlickrCC

Master your Mac with these 10 Finder tips. Photo: Yeray Hdez Guerra/Flickr CC

In Mac OS X, you’ll spend much of your time in the Finder, the part of your operating system that manages files and such. While you might think you know all there is to know about it, the Finder is a complex and wonderful app — with its own special tricks to master.

Here are 10 essential Finder tips that will help you get the most out of your time working or playing on your Mac.

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New stoner ad from Ben & Jerry’s parodies an Apple classic

This one's coming out on 4.20. Yes, that's intentional. Photo: Ben & Jerry's

This one’s coming out on 4.20. Yes, that’s intentional. Photo: Ben & Jerry’s

Is this a new era of marketing directly to stoners?

In Ben & Jerry’s new ad for its in-shop confection, the Brrr-ito, a young woman wearing an ice cream server’s uniform runs into a room of slack-jawed young men staring at a screen showing a boring old ice cream bar.

What happens next should be no surprise to those of you who remember Ridley Scott’s famous ad for Apple in 1984 introducing the Mac.

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ICYMI: Hands-on with the Apple Watch

Get your hands on our impressions of the Apple Watch in this week's Cult of Mac Magazine. Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Get your hands on our impressions of the Apple Watch in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine. Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

This week, Leander takes some time to try on the Apple Watch in-store, finding out whether the hottest smartwatch out there is worth your time or money, David heads into an Apple Store on Magnificent Mile in Chicago for a fitting and to get some customer reactions, plus a ton of news about this latest wearable tech that you’ll want to read from cover to cover. We’ve also got Stephen with some travel tips for you and your trusty MacBook, as well as Luke’s take on why you want to upgrade your iOS to 8.3 right away (hint, it’s not emojis). Rob also walks you through a couple of how-tos, including one way to make sure your iOS gaming sessions aren’t interrupted with a simple tweak to Do Not Disturb.

Make sure to head on out and download Cult of Mac Magazine to get your own “hands” on the great content we dose you with every week.

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How to create entirely separate photo libraries in Photos

Maybe you just want to have a library full of food pictures, you know? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Maybe you just want to have a library full of food pictures, you know? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

One of the cooler hidden features of Photos (and iPhoto before it) is the ability to create more than one photo library. You can make one for your home photos, work photos, photos from a different camera, or those racy photos you don’t want the kids tripping over.

It’s pretty simple, but not totally intuitive – there’s no menu item to select to create a new library.

Follow our recipe to create as many different libraries as you like for separate but equal Photos access.

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New Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser brings fans back ‘home’

This is how a Star Wars flick should look. Photo: Lucasfilm

This is how a Star Wars flick should look. Photo: Lucasfilm

“The Force is strong in my family,” says Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker voices over this second teaser trailer for the hotly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie that will hit the big screen this coming December. “My father has it, I have it, my sister has it. You have that power, too.”

That’s how the nerdgasmic second trailer begins, and then slams into some seriously amazing scenes from the upcoming film, including a massive, crashed Star Destroyer, close ups of new stars Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley, and a brilliant moment of fan service with everyone’s favorite smuggler and his humongous furry sidekick.

“Chewie,” says Han Solo, “We’re home.”

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Tim Cook named one of Time’s 100 most influential people

Tim Cook tops Time's list of influential people. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook tops Time’s list of influential people. Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook is the fourth person on Time‘s list of “The 100 Most Influential People,” a self-referential grouping of important figures from technology, music, politics, and our global culture.

Cook’s short essay focuses on his business acumen as well as his socially responsible world-view.

“It could not have been easy for Tim Cook to step into the immense shadow cast by the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs,” writes Congressman John Lewis for Time. “But with grace and courage and an unabashed willingness to be his own man, Tim has pushed Apple to unimaginable profitability—and greater social responsibility.”

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