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Tips for getting the most out of OS X Yosemite

Yosemite's "dark mode." Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

“Dark mode” is just one of OS X Yosemite’s great new features. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

OS X Yosemite packs a lot of new features inside a cleaner, flatter interface on the Mac. It’s a big upgrade, and there’s a lot to take in at first glance.

Whether you’re a Mac novice or a seasoned expert, there’s plenty to explore in the latest version of OS X. Wondering how to get started? Here are some of the best tips and tricks for getting the most out of Yosemite: 

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The best apps for OS X Yosemite

Yosemite apps

Photo: Ste Smith/ Cult of Mac

Like any new Apple software release, OS X Yosemite has great third-party apps that are worth checking out.

Developers can take advantage of iOS 8-like extensions, Handoff, iCloud Drive, Notification Center widgets, and more to create a better experience. Many apps also need to be updated aesthetically to look at home in Yosemite’s cleaner, flatter design. The ones that aren’t updated stick out like sore thumbs.

We’ve collected a running list of the best third-party apps that are already optimized for Yosemite:

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Everything’s better and faster. How could Apple be so boring?

Tim Cook bores the world with even more amazing Apple products. Yawn. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook bores the world with even more amazing Apple products. Yawn. Photo: Apple

Was Apple’s livestreamed iPad event really such a big yawn? Search Twitter for “#AppleEvent yawn” or “Apple boring” and you’ll see tweet after tweet bemoaning the boring nature of Thursday’s press conference. It got so tedious for some, there were dozens of photos of napping dogs.

“Most boring Apple event ever,” tweeted one. “Bring back the Chinese translation.”

Maybe some of those folks are being facetious, but there’s a grain of truth in the tweets: Nothing about Thursday’s event, except for maybe Stephen Colbert’s crackup comedy bit with Craig Federighi, was super-compelling on the surface. Many of the specs had been leaked (some even by Apple itself), and the rumor mill proved pretty accurate in the run-up to the presentation.

Still, this was no Phantom Menace. I mean really, what were people expecting? Jetpacks, aliens and electric cars?

This is Apple’s big dilemma right now: How do you top yourself when you make the best products in the world?

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The 12 biggest takeaways from Apple’s iPad event

Tim Cook gets ready to show off some new Apple products at the iPad Air 2 event. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook gets ready to show off some new Apple products at the iPad Air 2 event. Photo: Apple

It’s been way too long, joked Apple, since any groundbreaking announcements like the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 Plus. While the product refreshes announced at today’s iPad-centric event aren’t as high on “wow” as the revelations during last month’s big show, these are solid updates to product lines that continue to make Apple great.

Here are the top 12 things you need to know from today’s Apple event.

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Everything you need to know about the new Mac mini

macmini-price

After two long years sitting on the bench, Apple finally updated the humble Mac mini with faster processors, faster Wi-Fi and much better graphics. It also gets a modest price drop, now starting at a reasonable $499 — although you could probably buy two low-end Windows PCs for the same price.

However, the mini is a Macintosh, running OS X Yosemite, and not stinky Windows. It makes for a great media center PC or a starter machine. In fact, everyone here at the Cult of Mac offices is talking about buying one to put under their TV.

“People love Mac mini,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing said in a statement. “It’s a great first Mac or addition to your home network, and the new Mac mini is a nice upgrade packed into an incredibly compact design.”

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Apple’s iMac with Retina 5K display is big, beautiful and full of pixels

retinaiMAc2

Apple finally unveiled its iMac with Retina 5K display this morning, and while the screen is bigger, brighter and more hi-deffer than ever, Apple still managed to make an incredible machine that’s gorgeous and affordable.

It’s the most incredible iMac Apple’s ever built, thanks to a Retina 5K display that puts high-end 4K displays to shame and upgraded processors and graphics in a package that’s just 5mm thin.

Think your desktop is ready for a Retina upgrade? Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s new desktop beast:

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9 hard lessons from a top iPad publisher who’s calling it quits

When the best iPad magazine goes under, you know something's wrong. Photo: The Magazine

When the best iPad magazine around closes up shop, you know something’s wrong. Photo: The Magazine

When The Magazine ceases publication this December, owner Glenn Fleishman will be closing shop on an ambitious two-year experiment in digital publishing.

It’s not a total surprise — subscriptions were already on a downward trend when Fleishman transitioned from editor to owner of The Magazine after purchasing the publication from Marco Arment last year — and it’s not a total bummer, either.

In fact, Fleishman says he’s feeling pretty good about stopping here: he’s met his obligation to provide Kickstarter backers with their one-year subscriptions, and he’s ending this fascinating experiment while it’s still profitable.

“I’m even able to pay myself an ever-declining hourly rate for my time,” said Fleishman, who spoke with Cult of Mac about what went right, what went wrong, and his feelings about pulling the plug on a project that was his full-time job for the last year and a half.

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‘It’s been way too long’ since Apple updated these products

Photo: Robert S. Donovan

Will there be a new Apple TV next week? If so, it’s been a long time coming. Photo: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr CC

The tagline for next week’s Apple media event is “It’s been way too long.” While that might be nothing more than a sarcastic nod to the fact that Cupertino announced the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 just last month, it could be a cryptic indication that we’ll see updates to some of the company’s neglected products.

Rumors suggest new iPads and Macs will share the stage at Apple’s October 16 event, and we’ll probably get OS X Yosemite’s release date and more talk about iOS 8 and Apple Pay, but what about the rest of the product lineup?

Here’s a look at Apple products currently languishing in update hell, along with some rumors and speculation about what the future might hold.

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Best warranty options for your new iPhone

iPhone 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

What happens if you accidentally crack the gorgeous screen on your iPhone 6 Plus? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Naturally, you hope your new iPhone will stay in mint condition until you’re ready to upgrade or resell. But the fact is, if you cringe at the possibility of a $200 repair bill for a broken screen, it’s time to think about getting an extended warranty.

You’ve got several options: AppleCare+ is available for purchase with new hardware, and mobile carriers and third-party warranty providers sell plans with different perks. You should also check out your personal insurance provider if you’ve got one. Some homeowner’s and renter’s policies offer protection plans for personal belongings, and you might already be covered. The deductibles tend to be steep, but it’s still worth giving your insurer a call to know your options.

Deciding on a warranty can be tricky, so we’ve done the hard work for you.

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Get bent: The shocking history of bent smartphones

iphone6bendtest

Bend-Gate is slowly taking over the Internet this morning as Apple fans discover the startling fact that when pressure is applied to an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus frame, it bends – just like every other smartphone ever made of metal.

The bending problem has been reported by a number of iPhone 6 owners who pocketed their big iPhone 6 only to retrieve it later with a significant curve in the frame. Some sites are deeming the new iPhones “more fragile than expected,” but the truth is we’ve seen this problem almost every year.

In fact, last year ran we an article titled “iPhone 5s Bending in People’s Pockets.” Any phone made of metal is still subject to the laws of physics, but to reiterate that this isn’t exactly a problem exclusive to the iPhone 6, here’s a look at other Android and Apple phones that have bending problems.

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