Best gifts for Apple Watch fans [Gift Guide 2018]

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Don’t leave your holiday shopping until the last minute. With Cult of Mac’s handy gift guides, you can find the perfect presents and get them all early for a stress-free December.

Gift guide 2018 bugOur guides are filled with fantastic gadgets and accessories that Apple fans will love. We’ve handpicked only the best — things we’ve used, reviewed, and would recommend — so that you can be sure your money is being well spent.

This guide focuses on the Apple Watch owners in your life, and it features something to suit every budget.

Google Maps now suggests where to go, not just how to get there

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Google Maps’ new For You tab tries to help you have fun.
Google Maps’ new For You tab tries to help you have fun.
Photo: Google

Google Maps is going beyond just giving driving directions. It’s new “For You” tab provides updates on restaurants, stores, or entire neighborhoods.

This free feature launched for Android over the summer, and begins rolling out to iOS today in dozens of countries.

How to lock your iPad into a single app

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Guided access ipad
Guided Access can avoid embarrassing mistakes.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPad’s main trick is that it disappears when you launch an app. Fire up a piano app, and your iPad becomes a piano. Launch YouTube and it turns into a TV for pacifying children. This is part of the magic of the iPad, but it’s not quite perfect. Kids can easily leave YouTube and start reading your sexts instead. And a musician might accidentally trigger a gesture while playing on those virtual piano keys, finding themselves back at the home screen in the middle of a performance.

What you need is kiosk mode, aka Guided Access. This locks the iPad into a single app, and disables the hardware buttons. And it’s equally good for keeping you in one app, or keeping people out of all the others.

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CloudBerry cloud backup
Sometimes, iCloud isn't enough.
Image: CloudBerry

Apple seeds first iOS 12.1.2 beta to developers

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iOS 12 and Siri make finding photos a breeze.
There's a new iOS 12 beta out for iPhone.
Photo: Apple

Developers received a fresh batch of new beta updates this morning, just in time for the holidays.

iOS 12.1.2 beta 1 was made available today, bringing a host of new fixes and improvements to the iPhone and iPad. Apple also came out with the first betas of macOS Mojave 10.14.3, watchOS 5.1.3 and tvOS 12.1.2.

iPad Pro bug makes music apps stutter and crackle

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IPad Pro one week review
Musicians should stick to their old iPads for now.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

If you bought the new iPad Pro for making music, then you probably already discovered that it’s almost useless for the purpose. I just hope you didn’t sell your old iPad yet. The problem, which is so widespread that it probably affects all of the new 2018 iPad Pro models, causes the CPU to spike, and sound to crackle whenever you use more than a couple of music apps together.

Fortunately, a fix is apparently on the way.

iPhone XS Max dominates Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro in speed test

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speedtest
The Mate 20 Pro looks impressive, but it's kind of slow.
Photo: PhoneBuff

The iPhone XS Max is still the fastest new smartphone on the market, based on the latest speed test that pits Huawei’s flagship Mate 20 Pro against Apple’s most expensive iPhone.

PhoneBuff pitted the Mate 20 Pro against the iPhone XS Max in its speed test which measures which phone can open a select number of apps the fastest and then open them again a second time. So far the iPhone XS Max has stomped its Android competitors in every test. While the Mate 20 Pro puts up a good fight, it ultimately lost, making the iPhone XS Max the undisputed speed king of smartphones in 2018.

Watch the two phones battle it out:

Save $100 on HomePod, $150 on iPad mini [Deals & Steals]

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HomePod market share
HomePod is better than ever with $100 off.
Photos: Apple

Target’s big Black Friday discount on the HomePod is back for a second run. Both the white and space gray models are available for $249.99 — $100 off the usual price! That’s just one of the awesome offers in today’s Deals & Steals roundup.

We also have $150 off the latest iPad mini at Best Buy, refurbished iPhone 6s units for under $170, big savings on the new MacBook Pro, and plenty more for Apple fans.

Apple Pay on its way to Germany this week

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Apple Pay Germany
Guten tag, Apple Pay!
Photo: Apple

Apple Pay will finally make its debut in Germany this week, according to a new report.

Tim Cook previously promised that the mobile payments service would be available in Germany by the end of the year, while local webpages were recently updated to confirm it is “coming soon.”