Can facial recognition replace Touch ID? [Friday Night Fights]

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iPhone facial recognition
Unlocking your iPhone could be as easy as looking at it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Recent iPhone 8 rumors have left the future of Touch ID unclear. Some indicate it will remain, but in a new position, while others warn that Apple plans to replace it with iris scanning and facial recognition.

Friday Night Fights bugThese aren’t entirely new technologies; other manufacturers have been offering them for years with mixed results. But can Apple deliver a solution that’s simple, fast, and secure enough to replace the fingerprint scanner?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over whether the iPhone can bid farewell to Touch ID.

Apple onboard with India for high-speed trains

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Apple train tech India
India's government hopes Apple can help make the country's trains run faster.
Photo: Ankur Yadav/Flickr CC

Apple is eager to get business in India on a fast track – plans that include partnering with the government on high-speed rail.

Apple reportedly is among a group of technology firms that will help India’s railways increase train speeds up to as much as 600 kilometers per hour.

iOS 11 automatically ignores flaky Wi-Fi connections

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Flaky Wi-fi
You should already have this switched off.
Photo: Cult of Mac

With iOS 11, your iPhone gets smart enough to realize when a Wi-Fi connection is flaky, and gives up trying to join it. This might be most useful if you’re one of those people who keeps your Ask Join Networks setting activated, but it should help anyone who uses their iPhone in multiple places — i.e. everyone ever.

Customization is key with OleksynPrannyk’s tailor-made bands for Apple Watch [Review]

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double tour
Customize your Double Tour with over 10 different thread-color choices for one-of-a-kind style. Shown here in Cream with light brown stitching.
Photo: OleksynPrannyk

A wristwatch is so much more than a means to tell time these days. It’s also the opportunity to accessorize and bump up one’s style with a unique, wonderfully constructed strap.

Heeding the call to individual style is OleksynPrannyk’s made-to-order and ultra-sharp Double Tour Apple Watch Band — the reasonably priced alternative to the ridiculously priced Hermès band. The Double Tour and all of OleksynPrannyk’s bands are completely customizable with more than five adapter colors and 14 thread colors from which to choose.

Best yet, the entire collection is available now in Cult of Mac’s Watch Store. Trust me, you will love this band.

iPhone 4s sparked house fire, lawsuit claims

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iPhone 4s
A lawsuit claims the battery of an iPhone 4s is responsible for a house fire.
Photo: Apple

The insurance company for a Wisconsin man is suing Apple claiming his iPhone 4s caused a house fire last year that left significant property damage.

The lawsuit, filed recently by Xai Thao and State Farm insurance company, blamed a faulty lithium ion battery in the handset for causing the fire. Thao says the iPhone 4s contained the original factory battery.

This app will clean up your writing, on the phone and computer [Deals]

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GingerPage
GingerPage makes the suite of text editing tools you'd use into part of the writing process itself,
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Whether through email, text, of social media posts, we communicate by text more than ever. And one surefire way to make the wrong impression is to send a message full of misspellings and bad grammar. Or maybe more accurate, the way to set yourself apart is to write without any goof-ups.

Tips to help you relive your great vacation [Tech Travel Tips]

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Vacation photo
You vacation photos are useless if you forget about them.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

tech travel tips It used to be that when you got back from vacation, you’d drop your film off at the lab and cross your fingers. You hoped you’d get some half-decent photos back a week later, while memories of that cool restaurant you liked faded with your tan.

Now we share our photos with friends and family while we’re still on the beach, then forget about them. But we can, and probably should, make a little effort to preserve our vacation memories. And — you guessed it — there are apps for that.

How ARKit will deliver the future of maps

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Augmented
This is one way not to get lost.
Photo: Andrew Hart

From crowdsourced traffic data on Waze to Apple’s innovative “Flyover” feature for Apple Maps, our smartphones have introduced a number of clever map-related technologies that make it easier to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible.

A new demo of Apple’s ARKit augmented reality reality by independent iOS developer Andrew Hart showcases how augmented reality could help take our navigation to the next level. Check it out below.

A faulty first-gen Apple Watch could get you a free upgrade

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Apple Watch
Your new Apple Watch Series 1 could be free.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you have a first-generation Apple Watch that’s faulty, you could bag a free upgrade when you take it to the Apple store.

Employees and Authorized Service Providers in some countries have been given authorization to replace original models with Apple Watch Series 1 units, but only certain variants are eligible.

Why Apple’s making an iPhone Pro, this week on The CultCast

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It's time to make the iPhone exciting again.
It's time to make the iPhone exciting again.
Photo: @YSR50

This week on The CultCast: Why Apple’s making an iPhone Pro, a tech-packed cutting-edge phone that will showcase what Cupertino is capable of. Plus: Genius Bar jackpot! (Or, why Apple sometimes replaces your old, broken gear for a brand new model.) And stick around for a super-powerful electric long board, a HomeKit-enabled ceiling fan, and a pro-level keyboard case for your iPad Pro in an all-new Under Review.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code “CultCast” at checkout to get 10 percent off any hosting plan.