iOS 11 expected to bring FaceTime group calls

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FaceTime-iPhone-iPad
Is FaceTime getting a big upgrade this fall?
Photo: Apple

iOS 11 will finally give users the ability to hold FaceTime group calls with multiple friends, according to a new report.

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans claim the feature will support up to five participants, and that users will be able to initiate video calling from within iMessage group chats.

Former employee explains how Tim Cook made Apple boring

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Life at Apple is great for Tim Cook.
Tim Cook wants to keep peace at Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook’s kinder, gentler management style is the biggest reason why 2016 was one of the most boring years for Apple in recent memory, according to a former employee of the company.

Steve Jobs was notorious for inciting conflict and competition between top employees, which him a controversial leader but also birthed some of the most iconic tech products ever (iMac, iPod and iPhone). After Cook took over, he worked to eliminate conflict within Cupertino’s walls and made employees less passionate, claims ex-Apple employee Bob Burrough.

Android creator plans new device to challenge iPhone

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galaxy-note-7-main
Samsung and other Android smartphone makers are about to get some new competition.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Former Google VP Andy Rubin is in talks with carriers about selling a new smartphone he has created with his startup, Essential.

Rubin left Google two years ago after creating Android and the leading the team behind it for eight years. Now that he’s had time away from the search giant, Rubin is planning to take on the iPhone and Android handsets with a new type of smartphone that specializes in artificial intelligence.

From tiny innovations to big brawls, this is how Apple rolled in 2016

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Thank Jobs, 2016 is finally over!
Thank Jobs, 2016 is finally over!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac 2016 sent Apple for a wild ride full of fantastic new products, crazy controversies and tons of extra drama with its rivals.

Tim Cook and his colleagues probably can’t wait to jump into 2017. But before we start looking toward Apple’s future, let’s take a quick look back at all the stories that made 2016 a year Apple fans will never forget.

Google’s self-driving minivans are finally here

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Meet Waymo's self-driving minivan.
Meet Waymo's self-driving minivan.
Photo: Waymo

Waymo offered a first look at its fleet of hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivans today, showing off vehicles that pack an array of sensors and software that enable autonomous operation.

The self-driving fleet of 100 minivans from Waymo (which is run by Google’s parent company, Alphabet) will hit the streets in early 2017.

Apple will use drones to make Maps better

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Apple Maps reservation OpenTable
Drones could be key to improving Apple Maps.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple plans to use a combination of drones, indoor mapping and other smart tech to improve its Apple Maps service, claims a new report.

Employing drones could help Apple catch up with industry leader Google. The search giant has routinely outpaced Apple on mapping technology ever since Cupertino entered the space with its (initially disastrous) Apple Maps in 2012.

Google brings stunning Featured Photos screensaver to Mac

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mac screensaver post image
Featured Photos makes your Mac look even prettier while it's idle.
Photo: Google

Want a stellar screensaver for your Mac? Look no further than the stunning Featured Photos from Google.

It’s the same screensaver that ships on Chromecast, Fiber, and Pixel devices, and it displays a bunch of beautiful images sourced from Google+ that make your Mac look even prettier while it’s idle.