iPhone 8 may pack frickin’ lasers for facial recognition

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Lasers could be the iPhone's next big feature.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next iPhone may come with new facial recognition technology and actual friggin’ laser beams, according to an analyst.

By adding lasers near the front-facing camera, Apple will be able to depth-map objects, according to analysts at Cowen and Company. The camera could also be used for image recognition, enhancing security and fueling augmented reality.

Apple fan uses two first-gen iPhones: One for calls, one for trippy pics

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Joe Cunningham
We don't remember the original iPhone camera taking photos like this!
Photo: Joe Cunningham

Joe Cunningham loves the original iPhone so much that he carries two of them — one for calls and texts, and one for taking trippy photos enhanced by a mysterious glitch in the decade-old device.

Like the kind of haunted handset you’d find in a Stephen King novel, the second iPhone exhibits a strange quality: It takes pictures that look like they’re the result of a bad acid trip.

“The psychedelic iPhone only gets used as a camera because I want to extend its life as long as possible,” Cunningham told Cult of Mac.

At 80, Polaroid’s new gear embraces the past while eyeing the future

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The Polaroid booth at CES 2017 in Las Vegas shows the company's embrace of the past as it moves forward.
The Polaroid booth at CES 2017 in Las Vegas shows the company's embrace of the past as it moves forward.
Photo: Polaroid

CES2017 The iPhone and Instagram get credit for being the first shoot-and-share social network, but even Steve Jobs would say that’s wrong. The Polaroid camera introduced a social component to taking pictures in the late 1940s, the first instant photography with three steps — shoot, shake and share.

Polaroid brought disruptive innovation to the market and also became a casualty of it when it failed to change course in time to be part of the digital photography revolution.

But a new version of Polaroid is thriving and even stirring up some buzz this week at CES in Las Vegas with new products covering iPhone photography, consumer 3D printing, camera drones and fun cameras that produce an on-the-spot print.

The weirdest Apple stories of 2016

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Wierdest Stories 2016
It's been a weird year. And Apple's no exception.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac Covering Cupertino is more than just statistics and rumors about upcoming products. There’s plenty of weird Apple news, whether it be a Chinese billionaire buying iPhones for his pet dog or the revelation that, in some alternate universe, Tim Cook could become vice president of the United States.

With that in mind, here are the weirdest Apple news stories of 2016.

Apple drops fresh batch of betas for iOS, macOS and tvOS

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A new iOS beta is here!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a fresh new batch of beta software from Apple today, just two days after the company launched iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1 to the public.

The new first betas for macOS 10.12.3, iOS 10.2.1 and tvOS 10.1.1 all come with a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements, but they likely don’t contain any major new features.

How to set up single sign-on for Apple TV and iOS devices

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Apple TV Dark Mode
Apple just added four new TV providers to its single sign-on feature. Here's how to get set up.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new single sign-on feature can be a serious timesaver. Just sign in to your cable, satellite or internet TV accounts — like Dish, DirecTV, Sling TV, etc. — via your iPhone or Apple TV. Then you’ll be automatically logged in to any app that’s compatible with your service.

No more fumbling around trying to remember your user name and password when you just want to watch some video!

How to watch Netflix offline

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The new Netflix app reveals your internet speeds.
Finally, watching Stranger Things on the subway is a reality.
Photo: Photo: Shardayyy/Flickr CC

If you’ve been dying to watch Netflix offline, your life just got better. An update to the official Netflix app lets you download TV shows and movies so you can view them without munching through your data allowance.

Anyone who’s dreamed about watching Stranger Things or The Crown on the subway to work, or at 35,000 feet, this is your lucky day! Here’s how to get in on the action.

Best iPhone 7 Plus cases under $25 [Reviews]

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7 Plus Cases
We've found seven awesome iPhone 7 Plus cases under $25 each!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Dropped some hard-earned coin on a fresh iPhone 7 Plus? Congrats. Now I’m going to help you protect it for less than $25.

In my latest video, I’ll show you my favorite iPhone 7 Plus cases that you can pick up right now at a bargain. Leather, protective. wallet — check out my picks below.

How to find and change Apple’s default wallpaper on macOS Sierra

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macOS Sierra comes with some stunning wallpapers.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Sure, macOS Sierra has some great new features that will fundamentally change the way you work but — particularly if you’ve got one of Apple’s gorgeous 5K iMacs — it’s hard to undersell the value of some beautiful photography.

With that in mind, Apple’s latest operating system comes with some truly stunning new desktop wallpaper that users can choose to add some eye candy to their Macs. Here’s how you access the default wallpapers macOS Sierra comes with.

This iPhone film festival wants you to submit your masterpiece

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The Disposable Film Festival showcases video shot on iPhones and similar gadgets.
The Disposable Film Festival showcases video shot on iPhones and similar gadgets.
Photo: Disposable Film Festival

Calling all iPhone filmmakers! The Disposable Film Festival is now accepting submissions for its 10th annual program in March 2017.

Heralded as the “Oscars of online video,” the Disposable Film Festival showcases the finest films made on everyday devices and “disposable media,” including cellphones, point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs, webcams, screen-capture software, Flip cams, and newer technology like Google Glass, 3-D printed stop animation, and more.