How Apple could smartify iOS’ Do Not Disturb feature

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Patent
"Do Not Disturb" could get a lot more intelligent.
Photo: Apple/USPTO

With iOS 11, Apple introduced a “Do Not Disturb” feature that texts callers to let them know you’re driving or otherwise engaged if they try and phone when you’re busy. But a future version of the technology could perform a more useful feat by texting context-specific responses to the person calling.

In a patent application published today, Apple describes how your iPhone could analyze available information — ranging from fitness tracking apps to your calendar and location information — to figure out the most useful response to a message.

iPod shuffle and Spotify merge in this portable player [Deals]

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This little music player combines a classic form factor with modern music streaming.
This little music player combines a classic form factor with modern music streaming.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Media formats and devices have a way of circling back into relevance. Vinyl, cassette tapes, heck, even VHS are making comebacks. So it should be no surprise to see the handy iPod shuffle style of music player back on the scene. This time, it’s with an eye to streaming music, courtesy of Spotify.

OS X has now outlasted Apple’s classic Mac OS

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os x
OS X passed a major milestone this week.
Photo: Olarila

Call it macOS or OS X if you want, but today Apple’s Mac operating system passed a major milestone: overtaking Apple’s classic Mac OS by a single day.

Pointed out by Jason Snell of Six Colors, the original Mac operating system lasted 6,269 days from January 24, 1984 to March 24, 2001. The current operating system, meanwhile, has lasted from March 24, 2001 to the present day — a total of 6,270 days! Time sure flies, right?

Facebook two-factor authentication no longer needs a phone number

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Facebook two-factor authentication
You can now make Facebook more secure without handing over your number.
Photo: Facebook

You can now secure your Facebook account with two-factor authentication without handing over your phone number.

The social network now works alongside apps like Google Authenticator, Duo Security, and more. Its setup process has also been refined to make bolstering security a simpler experience.

Latest Apple Pay promotion gives you free food delivery from Postmates

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Apple Pay
This is just the latest in a long-running series of Apple Pay promotions.
Photo: Apple

Apple wants you to use Apple Pay and it’s willing to reward you if you’ll give it a shot. The company’s latest Apple Pay promotion offers free delivery on food ordered from food delivery service Postmates through its app.

Unlike many of the one-week promotions Apple runs for Apple Pay, this offer runs through the end of June.

Write better with the help of technology [Deals]

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From text messages to research papers, Ginger Page will improve your writing on every device.
From text messages to research papers, Ginger Page will improve your writing on every device.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

These days everyone is a writer, whether in emails, texts, status updates, or any of a thousand kinds of digital communications. Technology means clear writing is a more important skill than ever. Luckily, technology can also help make your writing better.

Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads

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Apple's iTunes movie trailers go dark as streaming supplants downloads.
iTunes movie trailers go dark.
Photo: Tookapic/Pexels CC

May 24: Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads May 24, 2013: Apple begins phasing out the option for users to download movie trailers from its once enormously popular trailers.apple.com website.

The move signifies a major change taking place in the way customers consume digital content. Downloads will continue to decline as streaming services like YouTube and Netflix pick up steam.

Apple is missing out on billions in subscription fees

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apple money
Apple should be squeezing more money out of customers. Or so one analyst thinks!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Services division is growing rapidly, but according to analyst Gene Munster it is still leaving billions of dollars on the table by failing to monetize its software in the way that it could.

Munster says that Apple should be following other high tech companies by charging monthly subscription fees for Pro Apps, aimed at audio and visual professionals. These apps include Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X, Motion, Compressor and MainStage 3, each of which Apple currently sells for a one-off fee.

iPhone SE 2 stars in beautiful concept TV ad

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Watch a iPhone SE 2 TV ad
A new TV ad for the iPhone SE 2 isn't real, but it looks as if it could be.
Screencap: Creative Concepts

The look of iPhone ads is familiar. A cool song blares while the device sleekly moves before the camera. An artist has used that formula to create an ad for the iPhone SE 2, a smartphone not yet released.

The look of the phone matches the latest rumors of this upcoming budget model. It seems almost real.

Pres. Trump can’t use his iPhone to block protesters from his Twitter feed

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This is the Trump iPhone, but not Trump's iPhone.
This isn't really Trump's phone. But he does use an iPhone to tweet, and to violate the Constitution.
Photo: Caviar

All Pres. Trump’s many tweets come from his trusty iPhone, and he’s not shy about blocking people who use this social network platform to respond to his comments. 

Today, however, a Federal judge ruled that blocking anyone from accessing the president’s Twitter feed is a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.