New video shows iPhone prototypes going head-to-head

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Apple's earliest iOS prototypes.
Photo: Sonny Dickson

Apple calls iOS “the world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” but it was almost the world’s worst.

Before deciding on the icon-based user interface we know and love today, Apple designed an awful prototype UI that was based on the iPod’s software and controlled with a virtual click-wheel. Check it out in the video below.

What to expect from Apple earnings call Q4 2016

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money
Apple will reveal Q4 2016 earnings on October 25.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

During tomorrow’s Apple earnings call, Tim Cook is likely to unload some bad news. Wall Street expects Apple to report its first annual revenue decline since 2001, snapping one of the most impressive streaks ever witnessed.

Slumping iPhone sales mean Apple’s annual revenue could drop to $215.67 billion for 2016. That would be a significant decline from the $233.72 billion in revenue Apple posted in 2015 — but there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

Budding startup uses iPhone to keep cannabis biz legit

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iPhone scanners are helping legal cannabis growers track product and stay compliant with state regulations.
iPhone scanners are helping legal cannabis growers track product and stay compliant with state regulations.
Photo: Flowhub

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugBefore corporate shine and the smell of success, there was a counterculture aura and a whiff of weed. Pot and the dreams of some industrious guys shared a garage where the personal computing revolution incubated under the Apple brand.

So what would the late Steve Jobs think if he could see Apple’s iPhone used to keep the growing and selling of cannabis legal? Jobs, who said he smoked it early on because it made him feel more creative, might smile and say, cool!

iOS 10 public beta 3 is now available

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photos in ios 10
The Photos apps gets a big revamp in iOS 10.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has made the third public beta of iOS 10 available to members of its testing program this morning, just one day after the company seeded iOS 10 beta 4 to developers.

While the new beta build doesn’t contain any huge changes like in the previous releases, Apple did make a couple of tweaks, including the addition of over 100 new emoji characters that promote gender diversity, new keyboard sounds, a Control Center splash page and much more.

How to update the software on your Apple TV

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appletv
Apple TV's new app could give us the interface we've dreamed of.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The fourth-generation Apple TV is ready for a new update to tvOS (9.2), bringing Siri dictation to the whole system, including search, user names and passwords. It’s also got a new Folder system like iOS does, which will let you organize your Home screen to your heart’s content, and it will support Apple wireless keyboards and your iCloud Photo Library on the big screen.

If you want to update your Apple TV right now and get all these great new features, just follow the directions below.

Thinner iPhones, Mac malware and 10 mobile Safari tips you need to know

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Thin is in, baby.
Thin is in, baby.
Cover Design: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

With Bendgate not that far behind us, is it really wise for Apple to contemplate an even thinner iPhone?

Sure, it’s an easy selling point for new iPhones, but thinner can also mean more bendable. Take a look at this age-old Apple theme in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, along with 10 fantastically useful mobile Safari tips, a way to find out if you’ve been infected by sneaky adware, five amazingly great new iOS games, and some awesome product reviews to help inform your purchasing plans.

All this, and much much more, in Cult of Mac Magazine, free for your perusal right now.

Here are the top stories of the week:

Your old Apple TV is ready for its update

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Third-gen owners deserve some love too.
Photo: Apple

Apple released a very small update for third-generation Apple TV owners today. The update still shows up as iOS 8.4.1 but has a new build number, so it’s probably just a bug fix update. If you plan to stick by your third-gen Apple TV for a while, it’s probably worth downloading.

New browser brings picture-in-picture to Mac [Reviews]

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Fluid Browser comes in handy for graphic design. And workplace distraction.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

With iOS 9, Apple introduced a whole slew of multitasking features including picture-in-picture, so I can watch a video while using another app. Even though this was technically already possible on the Mac, there hasn’t been an easy way to get a video to overlay another window so I can focus on both at the same time. Well the new Fluid Browser solves that problem, quite magnificently I might add.

Fluid is its own web browser, but it’s not meant to replace Safari or Chrome for my main usage. Instead, I open up Fluid and go to a website where I want to play video, like YouTube or Netflix. The video itself will enlarge to fit the width of the browser window. Then magically, if I click somewhere else on my desktop, Fluid will float above the other windows and even has adjustable opacity so I can make the video as prominent on screen as I want.

Betas for new iOS and OS X versions go public

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Now the public can try out the new betas, too.
Now the public can try out the new betas, too.
Photo: Apple

Now you can try out the latest and greatest operating systems for Apple products, thanks to public betas for iOS 9.3 and OS X El Capitan 10.11.4. Both are now available for testing — even if you don’t have a developer account.

You can grab both updates from Apple’s beta program website for free. Take note, however, that this is trial software — and updating could cause some apps and features on your iOS or Mac devices to go funky or stop working altogether. Use these at your own risk.