Cult of Mac Magazine: It killed me to return my iPhone XS Max!


Cult of Mac Magazine Issue 266: It killed me to return my iPhone XS Max!
The sadness ... it's unbearable!
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

After a week of being spoiled rotten by the iPhone XS Max’s big, beautiful screen, Cult of Mac writer Killian Bell did the unthinkable. He returned his iPhone XS Max to its rightful owner.

You’ll find that heartbreaking story and much more in this week’s issue of our magazine. It’s free and it’s fun to read on an iPad or iPhone. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes now. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

Today in Apple history: Tim Cook becomes Apple’s chief operating officer


Tim Cook was on his way to the top spot at Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

October 14: Today in Apple history October 14, 2005: Tim Cook takes the reins as Apple’s chief operating officer, continuing an upward climb through the company’s ranks that will make him CEO less than six years later.

“Tim and I have worked together for over seven years now, and I am looking forward to working even more closely with him to help Apple reach some exciting goals during the coming years,” Steve Jobs says in a statement.

Cops warned to not even look at suspects’ iPhones


Getting access to a suspect's phone requires police officers not look at it too many times themselves.

Face ID brings a special challenge for law enforcement. Police need to be careful to not do anything that an iPhone might use as an attempt at facial recognition. They risk the phone locking itself in a way they can’t easily circumvent.

It all comes down to contradictory laws on passwords and biometric security systems.

Replaceable batteries make Tile the tracker you’ve been waiting for [Review]


Tile has helped people find their car keys for years, and the newest version lets your Tile battery be easily replaced.
A 2018 Tile Pro can be used for years now that the battery can be swapped out.
Photo: Tile

For much too long, the best key finder had a significant flaw. A Tile Pro or Tile Mate helps you keep track of your keys, the remote, or other items, but each only lasts a year. Then you have to buy another one because the battery can’t be replaced. That finally changes in the new 2018 version. Plus they have a greater range.

We tested the latest versions of the regular and Pro versions of the Tile tracker to see if they live up to their promises. 

Today in Apple history: Bono’s (Product)Red iPod nano fights HIV/AIDS


The limited-edition (Product) Red iPod nano raised cash for a worthy cause.
Did you own this special edition iPod?
Photo: Wikipedia/Re-ality CC

October 13: Today in Apple history: Bono's (Product)Red iPod nano fights HIV/AIDS October 13, 2006: Apple launches its limited-edition iPod nano (Product)Red Special Edition music player, with 10 percent of profits going to fight AIDS in Africa.

Created in association with U2 lead singer Bono and activist/attorney Bobby Shriver, it’s the first of many Apple philanthropic products. “We’re ecstatic that Apple is giving their customers the choice to buy a red iPod nano and help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa,” Bono says in a statement.

Score 4 premium Mac apps for less than $20 each [Deals]


We've rounded up four top-shelf productivity apps for Mac, each discounted by more than half.
We've rounded up four top-shelf productivity apps for Mac, each discounted by more than half.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

To make the most of your Mac, you’ve got to have the right apps. So we’ve rounded up four top-shelf apps at super-low prices. There’s a pair of powerful iTunes alternatives, a superpowered calendar app, and an enhanced contacts app.

Best of all, each is going for less than half the usual price!

Apple employee spotted walking streets wearing giant backpack with sensors


Apple Maps
Google has been doing this for years.
Photo: Dante Cesa

Apple’s mapping fleet is moving on two feet to get a closer look at your local streets.

We’ve seen Apple’s mapping vans roaming the U.S. for years now, but this week an Apple employee was spotted walking around San Francisco with a huge backpack that packed a bunch of sensors to gather data for the Apple Maps revamp.

Check out the setup:

Face off! Developers cook up custom Apple Watch faces


watchOS 5 Face
Apple's new watch faces are great, but we want more!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The pressure is building on Apple to finally add third-party watch faces to the Apple Watch after a couple of developers have shown how easily they can be made.

Custom watch faces have been the most-requested feature for the Apple Watch since the original version came out in 2015. Nike and Hermes have been the only sources for third-party watch faces, but iOS developer Steve Steve Troughton-Smith has found a hack around that.

Use Shortcuts to share a beautiful grid of your photos


Shortcuts created this photo grid with just a few taps.
Shortcuts created this grid with just a few taps.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Today we’re going to make a Siri Shortcut that takes a bunch of photos you took — today, or any day — and combines them into a great-looking photo grid. It then shares that grid with friends. All you have to do it tap a button or speak a Siri command.

This is a really great way to share photos of an event, a trip to a fancy restaurant, or just an overview of your day. It also shows how easy it is to build a powerful shortcut to perform a task that would take forever to do manually in Photoshop. Let’s check it out.