Your 13-inch MacBook Pro might need its battery replaced

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Mac
Anyone who bought a 13-inch MacBook Pro (non Touch Bar) in the last year and a half should check if it needs a new battery.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple admits that some MacBook Pro laptops have a problem that causes their batteries to swell up. The company is replacing these free of charge.

This affects only the non-touchbar version of the macOS laptop, and only models with a 13-inch screen. In addition, the device needs to have been produced in a specific timeframe.

Choose two Casetify Apple Watch bands, save 20% [April Sale]

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casetify
Take your pick of any two Casetify Apple Watch bands and get 20% off! Includes Stainless Steel, Woven Nylon and Saffiano Leather bands.
Photo: Courtesy of Casetify

Spring’s the perfect time to up your Apple Watch style game and swap out that old strap for something fresh.

Enter Casetify’s collection of fun and super stylish Apple Watch bands in Stainless Steel Mesh, Woven Nylon and the artist-inspired line of Saffiano Leather bands.

Browse the full lineup of Casetify bands in our Watch Store, and remember to use code CULTOF20 at checkout for 20 percent off when you purchase two Casestify Apple Watch bands. And, as always, enjoy free shipping with your Casetify purchase. Sale ends April 31st!

Drafts 5, Vulse, Things, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This week has been big on big updates. drafts, the best text-capture app for iOS, got a brand-new version. Cultured Code’s Things also received a big update, but still doesn’t allow drag-and-drop to task lists, and Dropbox finally did add drag-and-drop, just seven months after iOS 11 added the feature.

Well done!

Jumbo wireless charging station juices up 2 devices at once [Deals]

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iPM Wireless Charger
Charge your Apple Watch and iPhone at the same time with no problem.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Charging up a device without wires used to sound like science fiction, but now it’s getting more and more common. With Qi charging technology, it’s a capability that most new devices will have. Wireless charging is growing more popular, so the charging stations are growing too.

Today in Apple history: Apple teams with Volkswagen for VW iBeetle

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The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
Photo: Volkswagen

April 22: Today in Apple history: Apple teams with VW for the iBeetle April 22, 2013: The world gets its first Apple car. Well, kind of.

In reality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German carmaker Volkswagen that offers a car “stylistically linked” to Apple. This means Apple-inspired colors, a built-in docking station for your iPhone, and a special app that lets you control the car’s features.

Score 3 years of bulletproof VPN protection [Deals]

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CargoVPN
CargoVPN keeps your data encrypted both on your Macbook and iPhone
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

At this point, if you don’t know that the internet is risky place, you aren’t paying attention. Every click, every post, every bit of content consumed, is an opportunity to have data collected on you. It’s important to protect your data and identity online, and one of the best ways is with a VPN.

Developers enjoy a huge boost from iOS 11’s App Store redesign

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iPhone App Store
The iPhone App Store is a sort of magazine about iOS software.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The iOS App Store got a new look last fall, and the change has greatly benefited developers of third-party applications, as Apple intended. A new study found that getting named Game of the Day results in an 800 percent increase in downloads.

Inclusion in the other segments of the App Store Today screen brought improved performance as well.

Listen to your favorite tunes without the hassle of wires [Deals]

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AVANCA
Thinking about getting the Apple Airpods? The Minim Wireless Earbuds are a great cheaper option.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Audio accessories have come a long way since those iconic earmuff-like headphones some of you might remember from the 70s. Nowadays, it’s common to see people listening to music with sleek portable earphones at cafes or the gym.

Today in Apple history: Rumors fly that Canon might buy Apple

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money
Apple was up for sale in the 1990s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 21: Today in Apple history: Rumors fly that Canon might buy Apple April 21, 1995: Rumors swirl that Canon (yes, the Japanese camera company!) might take over Apple in either a partial or complete acquisition.

Speculation grows about a possible deal after Apple reveals its latest earnings, which show big improvement but still fall far short of Wall Street’s expectations.

AT&T, Verizon tried to subvert a technology Apple embraces

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Apple watch
An eSIM is far smaller than a standard one, and much more flexible. But not if some carriers get their way.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Department of Justice is investigating whether AT&T and Verizon colluded to subvert the primary goal of electronic SIMs. This new tech makes it easy to switch between service providers, something to two largest wireless carriers apparently wanted to prevent. 

Apple uses an eSIM in the Apple Watch Series 3. And last year this company formally complained to the DoJ that the two carriers were pressuring an international standards body to make an anticompetitive change to this emerging tech. 

Redesigned Apple A12 iPhone processor will be faster, more efficient

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Apple A12 replaces A11 Bionic
The A11 Bionic is a fine processor, but the Apple A12 is expected to be even better.
Photo: iFixit

Official details of the processor for the 2018 iPhone are months away, but we can already be confident the Apple A12 will be at least 20 percent faster than the current chip, while using 40 percent less power.

And this is the minimal performance improvement to be expected. Apple’s next devices will almost certainly be even speedier.