Why Apple is optimistic, a one-year Apple Watch appraisal, and killer Instagram tips

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Why is Apple so optimistic?
Why is Apple so optimistic?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s executive team is optimistic about the company’s future, despite a bleak earnings call. And why wouldn’t they be? Apple’s slump brought in more money than most other tech companies out there.

Read all about the positive spin in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, along with a trick to making your iOS folders look round with no jailbreak required, a frank appraisal of the Apple Watch one year in, 8 killer Instagram tips, the world’s biggest Apple Museum and much, much more.

Here are the top stories for this week.

Apple’s support site gets a much-needed makeover

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Get help faster and more easily with the new Apple Support site.
Get help faster and more easily with the new Apple Support site.
Photo: Apple

Apple released a redesigned support site for desktop and mobile Friday afternoon, using its official Twitter account to call it out.

Now you’ll spend lest time trying to figure out the support site itself, Apple hopes, and get to the help you need faster, whether you’re using your iPhone, iPad or your Mac.

7 amazing iPad apps to make your photos pop

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All you need are your photos, an iPad, and these apps.
All you need are your photos, an iPad, and these apps.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

When you’re looking to create special, one-of-a-kind photo on your iPad, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices out there. We’ve taken some time to find the best apps for photo editing on the iPad and create some step-by-step how-tos to ensure you get the best results.

Whether you’re just looking to out-game your Instagram buddies or create a stunning double exposure photo on your iPad, here are the 7 best ways to make your photos pop.

How to use your Apple Watch to control your Apple TV

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Control your Apple TV from your Apple Watch.
Control your Apple TV from your Apple Watch.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

What a magical world we live in. We can lift our Apple Watch up to listen to music, talk to our friends, and (yes) even tell the time.

If you’re an Apple TV user, you can send your Apple Watch tunes to the big screen, and you can even control your Apple TV right from your wrist.

Simply magical. Here’s how to control your Apple TV with your Apple Watch.

When Wi-Fi is out, use Ethernet to get online with your iPad

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When the Wi-fi goes down, you can always use Ethernet.
When the Wi-fi goes down, you can always use Ethernet.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iPads are made to go online with Wi-Fi, but what happens when the wireless goes down and all you have is an Ethernet connection to the internet?

With a couple of Apple dongles and a powered USB hub, you can easily use Ethernet to get online with your iPad, no Wi-Fi required.

Here’s how.

8 optimistic takeaways from Apple’s slumptastic earnings call

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Is it time for Apple to get spiritual?
Is it time for Apple to get spiritual?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac (original image: Wired)

With quarterly revenue declining for the first time in more than a decade, Apple execs Tim Cook and Luca Maestri put on their game faces during today’s Apple earnings call to tell us why things aren’t really all that bad in Cupertino.

The sad truth is that slumping iPhone sales, which joined the iPad and Mac lineups in the down column, will likely take a toll on Apple’s image — and on its stock price.

Still, there were plenty of other intriguing and optimism-inspiring things we heard during Apple’s Q2 2016 earnings call. Here are the most important takeaways from this historic Apple moment.

Tweak this OS X setting to make games run better

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Boost your gaming performance with this simple trick.
Boost your gaming performance with this simple trick.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac (original photo: Alejandro Escamilla/Unsplash CC)

When you’re running a video game on your Retina Mac, the highest resolution can bog things down onscreen, making it tough to play smoothly.

Typically, we suggest trying to use your game’s options panel to reduce the fancy graphics to get smoother performance, like increased frame rate and better draw rates.

If that doesn’t appeal, or your game doesn’t include the option, there’s another way to constrain the resolution and make games run more smoothly on a Retina Mac.

8 killer Instagram tips and tricks

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InstagramCloseiPhone
Become an Insta-master with these killer Instagram tips and tricks.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Make the most of your Instagram feed with these eight killer Instagram tips and tricks that will make you an Insta-master.

Learn how to put together video in the Instagram app itself, keep stalkers off your Instagram feed, find amazing photos near your current location, and much more.

New MacBooks, Prince’s legacy, Apple Watch tips and more

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New MacBooks have us a bit underwhelmed.
New MacBooks have us a bit underwhelmed.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Faster processors, speedier memory, longer battery life and a rose gold finish — what more do we need from a new MacBook? We love Apple gear, but it’s possible we’re getting addicted to the “wow” factor.

Add that to Prince’s untimely death, and the dearth of streaming options for listening to his music, and we’ve got a lot to talk about. It’s all in this week’s free Cult of Mac Magazine, along with reviews of Amazon’s new Echo smart speakers and 12 awesome Apple Watch tricks that prove Cupertino’s wearable doesn’t need a “killer app.”

Here are this week’s top stories.

Floating speaker rises above its gimmick with great sound [Reviews]

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The floating speaker part is fun, but it's the killer sound that makes it worth every penny.
The floating speaker part is fun, but it's the killer sound that makes it worth every penny.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Mars Bluetooth floating speaker by Crazybaby

The Mars Bluetooth speaker has a fairly reliable gimmick: the top part — which looks like a little UFO from an old sci-fi flick — floats above the bottom cylinder. It’s a cool visual trick managed by some fairly strong magnets, but it’s just that: a fun gimmick.

What’s surprising, though, is just how great this speaker sounds. It fills my house with deep bass thanks to the subwoofer abilities of that lower section of the speaker, and the UFO attachment flies proud while reproducing the rest of the sonic spectrum with highs and mids that don’t get lost in the bass response, but are also not too brittle.

Turn this floating speaker up and you’ve got a serious powerhouse Bluetooth speaker that just cries out to be admired by everyone at the party.