Apple Watch will continue to dominate for years to come

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Apple Watch Series 4 Solar System Watch Face
Apple Watch won’t have serious rivals in the foreseeable future.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch has the lion’s share of smart watch sales today, and that’ll hold true through at least 2023, according to a market-research firm. This ultra-mobile computer will stay in the lead as the entire market for wrist-worn wearables grows strongly.

Sales of AirPods and other hearables are also expected see healthy growth in the coming years.

Save $500 on MacBook, $130 on iPad [Deals & Steals]

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New MacBook line Spring 2016
Bag yours for under $800.
Photo: Apple

Best Buy just kicked off its latest Flash Sale for 24 hours only — and it includes $500 off Apple’s excellent 12-inch MacBook. You can get the Intel Core m3 model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage for just $799.99.

That’s just one of the awesome offers you won’t want to miss in today’s Deals & Steals roundup. There’s also $50 off the newest iPad Air, $130 off the latest iPad, and up to 42% off Anker’s excellent charging accessories.

Plus, you can pick up an iPhone XR clear case for less than $5 — or an official Apple iPhone Lightning Dock for just $24.99.

How to stop friends from swiping through all your photos

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Old cameras and projectors
Photos were much simpler in the old days.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I hate my friends. I want to show them a photo, or that screenshot I took of those cute otters, and all they can do is take one look, and then swipe off into the rest of my photos. And trust me, you don’t want to know what I have lurking back there. And I also hate myself, because I do the exact same thing without thinking. It’s human nature.

Some apps let you load up a few photos to show to other people, so they can’t pull back the virtual shower curtain and peek at your private photos. But these require that you do extra work to prepare them.

Happily, iOS offers a way to lock down a single image. That way, when you hand your iPhone or iPad over to a friend, or anyone else, they can’t swipe to other photos. In fact, they can’t do anything at all, because you’ve locked the whole touchscreen. Best of all, you can toggle this on and off in a second.

Apple Card beta opens to thousands of retail workers

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Apple Card
By design, Apple Card helps customers understand and track their spending.
Photo: Apple

Apple is rapidly expanding the beta program of its credit card by letting thousands of its retail employees test it out.

With a public launch slated for later this summer, Apple is reportedly working out the final kinks with an internal group so it can launch on time this summer.

Apple’s first apps ported from iOS get more ‘Mac-like’

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Project Catalyst Twitter
Apple uses Twitter to demo porting iPad software to Mac because its own offerings are... not so good.
Photo: Apple

The first four applications Apple ported from iOS to macOS Mojave last year met with a certain amount of criticism for feeling like they were still iPad software. An Apple executive has promised these will become more “Mac-like.”

Learners will love Roli’s colorful, light-up piano keyboard

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musician playing roli lumi
Look at how much fun it is to play. Just look.
Photo: Roli

Roli is best known for its squishy, multitouch, pressure-sensitive music keyboards and controllers. Those are great. But the new Roli Lumi goes in a different direction. It’s a small portable keyboard with light-up keys. And not the kind of light-up keys you might see in a movie set during the 1970s disco scene: These light up keys help you learn to play the piano.

Piano lessons will never be the same.

Apple becomes world’s fourth-largest gaming company

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Fortnite iPhone X
Apple earned more from games last year than Nintendo.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is now the world’s fourth-largest gaming company, according to a new report.

It is ranked higher than gaming giants like Nintendo, EA, and Activision — thanks mostly to the popularity of mobile gaming on iPhone. Apple is estimated to have earned $9.453 billion from games during 2018 alone.

iPhone demand in China is on the rise again

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iPhone XS Max
2019 has seen a real turnaround for iPhone in China.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The drop in iPhone sales among Chinese consumers that hurt Apple so much last year is now a thing of the past, according to market analysts. The company saw five straight months of growth in that important region.