Has Apple become boring? [Friday Night Fights]

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FNF
Are you still excited by Apple in 2016?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple might be the biggest company in tech, with revenues that make eyes water every quarter, but even some fans think it’s getting a little boring in Cupertino.

Friday Night Fights bug Following last week’s big MacBook Pro event, Apple has delivered everything it had planned for 2016. We’ve had upgrades to iPhone, Apple Watch, and the 12-inch MacBook; brand new AirPods (though those aren’t shipping yet); the diminutive iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

But was all that enough, or could Apple have done more? None of these releases were really that revolutionary, and investors are still waiting for Apple’s next big thing. So, is it true? Is Apple really boring now?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over these questions and more!

Apple is officially done making displays

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The LG UltraFine 5K is the closest thing we'll get to an Apple Thunderbolt 3 display.
The LG UltraFine 5K is the closest thing we'll get to an Apple Thunderbolt 3 display.
Photo: Apple

The days of Apple making its own stand-alone displays for the Mac Mini and Mac Pro are dead.

Apple revealed a new 5K 27-inch Thunderbolt 3 display during its “Hello Again” keynote yesterday, only instead of being made by Apple, the company partnered with LG to create the monitor. And according to people who talked to Apple at the event, there are no plans to ever make an Apple display again.

Everything we wanted from Apple’s MacBook Pro event but got denied

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You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest laptop in the world ... MacBook Pro!
You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest laptop in the world ... MacBook Pro!
Photo: Apple

Anybody watching Apple’s “Hello Again” event probably suspected we’d get “one more thing” in addition to the long-rumored Touch Bar and the recently leaked TV app. Or maybe a couple more things.

Instead we got … a Final Cut Pro update and a new accessibility website?

Underwhelming! And cruelly disappointing to all the Apple faithful hoping against hope for new hardware. Here are all the other things we wanted — but got so viciously denied — during Apple’s MacBook Pro event today.

Should Apple streamline its product lineup? [Friday Night Fights]

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streamlining Apple product lineup
Do you find it difficult to choose Apple products?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s product portfolio has expanded quickly since Tim Cook replaced Steve Jobs as CEO, what with the launch of larger iPhones, Apple Watch and the 12-inch Retina MacBook. But are things getting out of hand?

Friday Night Fights bug Some fans might argue Apple has too much on its plate, and that other products — particularly its software — are suffering as a result. Others might argue that Apple needs everything in its current lineup — and more! — to keep up with the competition.

So, who’s right? Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we exchange insults and virtual blows over whether Apple desperately needs to streamline its product lineup.

The week’s best Apple deals: free classes, free headphones and more

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Update your fancy wrist computer to the latest watchOS.
Update your fancy wrist computer to the latest watchOS.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac
With WWDC 2016 just days away, you’d be right to hesitate at buying new Apple gadgets this week. But with experts expecting more new software than hardware, rest assured that these great deals and freebies will still look good next week. Read on for free headphones, free classes at the Apple Store, and more in this week’s best Apple deals.

Beastly all-in-one proves the iMac could be great for gaming

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The Aura is spectacular inside and out.
Photo: Digital Storm

Apple doesn’t have gamers in mind when choosing components for its latest Macs, but PC maker Digital Storm has proven that it’s possible to build a beastly gaming rig into the iMac’s gorgeous all-in-one form factor.

Check out the company’s stunning new Aura PC, which puts NVIDIA’s latest GTX 1080 graphics card behind a 34-inch curved display.

How to build a gaming Hackintosh on the cheap: hardware

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More power, less money, runs OS X. Winning! Photo: Killian Bell
Want more power for your money? Build a Hackintosh. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I recently decided it was time to get a proper desktop computer. I needed it predominantly for work, but I wanted it to be powerful enough to play the latest games in 1080p without worrying about stuttering or terrible frame rates.

The new Mac lineup didn’t offer a perfect fit — the Retina 5K iMac was too expensive, and the new Mac mini simply wasn’t powerful enough — so I set myself a goal: To build a gaming machine with a dedicated video card, capable of running OS X, for around the price of a Mac mini.

I set a budget of $650 for my build. That’s $150 more than the base model Mac mini, but $50 less than the midrange model. In this piece, I’ll take you through the components I purchased and why I chose them, and how I put them all together. Next week, I’ll show you how I installed OS X to turn my DIY gaming rig into a Hackintosh.