Cult of Mac housekeeping: External links will now open in new tabs

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Cult of Mac logo
Heads up: We're changing the way external links open on the site.
Photo: Cult of Mac

A note to Cult of Mac readers: We’re changing the way external links open on the site. Instead of opening in the same tab, external links will now open in a new tab.

In the last few years, opening external links in new tabs has become a widespread practice in digital publishing. Many of the web’s most influential sites, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Reddit and Quora, open external links in a new tab.

We’re making the change to keep up.

Soaked! Take a peek at how Apple tests iPhone water resistance.

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iPhone water testing
Watch as a water cannon blasts an iPhone.
Photo: Marques Brownlee

Popular tech influencer Marques Brownlee shared a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter) Wednesday from his visit to Apple labs that do durability testing like iPhone water testing. You’ve probably never seen iPhones this wet. And you’ve probably never subjected yours to such punishment.

Along the way, he fit in an interesting video chat with Apple hardware honcho John Ternus about product reliability versus repairability, below.

Teen’s dislodged AirPod tracks alleged hit-and-run driver

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AirPods tracks alleged hit-and-run driver
Here's the car the sheriff's department tracked with the help of an errant AirPod earbud.
Photo: Martin County Sheriff's Office

AirPods are great earphones, but did you know they can also be crime fighters? In Florida, a dislodged AirPod tracked an alleged hit-and-run driver after a bike-riding teen’s head went through his passenger window and the earbud popped out and got stuck under a floormat.

Location tracking on that little earbud led straight to an arrest on felony charges.

Pitt and Clooney reluctantly team up in madcap Wolfs trailer for Apple TV+

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Clooney and Pitt in Wolf trailer
The superstar actors pair up in a movie for the first time since 2008.
Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Annoyingly handsome superstar actors George Clooney and Brad Pitt pair up in the amusing new trailer for action-comedy movie Wolfs. Sony Pictures Entertainment dropped it Wednesday on YouTube the day after Apple TV+ released a 30-second teaser trailer.

The two stars play underworld “fixers” who accidentally come together over a job that turns out to be more than the simple disposal of a body it first appears. The movie comes out in theaters September 20 and should stream on Apple TV+ after that.

A setup so clean it looks AI-generated [Setups]

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Dough gaming display setup
A user joked that this setup is so clean it looks like artificial intelligence generated the image.
Photo: Appropriate_Fee2531@Reddit.com

When one commenter saw today’s Mac Studio workstation, they said “Setup so clean it looks AI generated. I like it.” Well, we also like the Mac Studio and custom PC setup, especially for its innovative use of a portable display alongside its main external display, which is a killer gaming monitor we’ve never seen before.

Today in Apple history: Apple shows off the Newton for the first time

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Newton MessagePad prototype with stylus.
The Newton MessagePad was truly a device ahead of its time.
Photo: Grant Hutchinson/Flickr CC

May 29: Today in Apple history May 29, 1992: Apple demonstrates its Newton MessagePad for the first time, showing how the upcoming PDA can be used to order a pizza and pull off other time-saving tricks.

Hailed by Apple CEO John Sculley as “nothing less than a revolution,” the Newton is Apple’s first major new product since the Macintosh eight years earlier. During the first Newton demo at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, Apple shows how people can customize a pizza by moving topping icons on a symbolic pie. Then they can fax the order straight from the device.

First Apple Store in Malaysia sports wild, tiered-pyramid roof

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First Apple Store in Malaysia
This rendering shows the unusual tiered-pyramid roof design of the new store.
Photo: Apple

Apple continues its retail expansion in Southeast Asia with its first store in Malaysia — Apple The Exchange TRX. It’s set to open June 22 in Kuala Lumpur at The Exchange TRX mall. And you should check out the roof on this thing. It looks like a tiered pyramid.

Apple The Exchange TRX will be Apple’s sixth store in Southeast Asia. And it already has wallpapers for your device screens.

Take movie night anywhere with fun portable projector

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Bring movie night anywhere with this portable projector, now under $250.
All you need is a screen when you get this portable projector on sale for $249.97.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Want to watch movies anywhere, anytime? The Kodak Flik HD10 is a portable projector that’s small but mighty. It weighs just a little over 4 pounds and measures just 7.4 inches tall, but it can project a screen up to 10 feet wide. It even comes with built-in speakers.

The Kodak Flik HD10 runs on Android TV, so you can use apps to play content from your favorite streaming services, like YouTube and Netflix. Plus, it supports screen mirroring from iPhone and iPad, so you can watch whatever you want on the big screen. But first, you need to snatch up a Flik HD10 while it’s discounted to $249.97.

From the didn’t-know-we-needed-it department: Lego Apple Store

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Lego Apple Store
The roof and parts of the wall come off this thing so you can access the detailed interior.
Photo: Legotruman

Just when it seemed like Lego had finally represented all cool things with its complex sets, along comes a fascinating new Apple Store design. But it’s not officially Lego yet. It’s a fan submission to the Lego Ideas website that could go into production if enough people support it.

The details in this thing are incredible. Seems like it’d be a lot of fun to build. But first Lego and Apple will have to sign off on it.

M2 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Air: Should you upgrade?

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M2 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPAd Air comparison
Should you ditch your Pro for the newest Air?
Image: Apple/Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

Apple’s recently released M2 iPad Air packs modest upgrades over its predecessor and the same processor as 2022’s M2 iPad Pro. How do the two Apple tablets with identical M2 chips compare? Find out in our M2 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Air comparison.

While the new midrange tablet seems tempting, an iPad Air is still an Air, not a Pro.

How to get the latest AirPods Pro firmware update

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How to get the latest AirPods Pro 2 firmware update
AirPods Pro 2 have new firmware. Get it now.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

First off: There’s no direct way to update AirPods firmware. When Apple updates AirPods software — as it just did for AirPods Pro 2 — the update happens automatically, in the background. However, there is a way to speed up the update process. Plus, it’s a good idea to manually check you’re running the latest version, which brings bug fixes and sometimes great new features.

As noted, Apple most recently released fresh firmware for AirPods Pro 2, taking the truly wireless earbuds to 6F7. (You can find other current AirPods firmware versions below.)

Here’s how to check if your AirPods are running the latest firmware on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Plus what to do if they aren’t, and how to force AirPods’ firmware to update.

Stop the fireworks! Here’s how to turn off webcam video reactions on Mac.

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Fireworks!!!!
Virtual fireworks are fun. But on some video calls, they prove wildly inappropriate.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac


How do you turn off the webcam video reactions on your Mac in macOS Sonoma? This feature, which puts full-screen animated effects on your video calls, made a good demo when it was introduced. But after it launched, it confused many people who trigger it accidentally in serious situations.

It works in FaceTime video calls and various other videoconferencing software. However, the Off button isn’t where you might expect. It’s not hiding in Zoom, Skype or Google Meet at all — it’s in the Mac’s menu bar.

Let me show you what’s going on and how you can turn off video reactions on Mac.

Save $155 on a Magic Keyboard Folio for iPad 10

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Gift an Apple lover this Magic Keyboard Folio for only $99.
Accessorize your iPad 10 with this hot open-box deal on Apple's Magic Keyboard Folio.
Photo: Apple


iPads are great for many things, but there’s one obvious drawback to using a tablet — the lack of a keyboard for typing out notes and performing similar tasks. Fortunately, if you need an iPad 10 accessory to maximize productivity, we’ve get one in this Apple Magic Keyboard Folio sale.

Apple’s outstanding iPad keyboard is perfect as a treat for yourself, but it’s not cheap. It retails for $249. But Cult of Mac Deals customers don’t need to pay full price to get the ultimate iPad 10 accessory. This open-box Magic Keyboard Folio for the 10th-gen iPad is on sale for only $94.97 with free shipping.

Apple shares WWDC24 schedule highlights, Design Awards finalists

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WWDC24 schedule
Apple confirmed the WWDC24 Keynote for June 10 at 10 a.m. Pacific, among other details.
Photo: Apple


Apple’s much-anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC24) will kick off with a 10 a.m. Pacific keynote address on June 10, followed by the Platforms State of the Union address at 1 p.m. Pacific, Apple confirmed Tuesday. Along with the WWDC24 schedule information, it also presented the finalists for the Apple Design Awards it will bestow at the show.

As usual, the conference will highlight what’s new and upcoming with the company’s software ecosystem.

Slim new Find My tracking card recharges via MagSafe

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Nomad Tracking Card with iPhone
You can use Find My on your iPhone or another device to track the card.
Photo: Nomad


The slim new Nomad Tracking Card works with Apple’s Find My app on your devices and recharges via MagSafe to help you keep tabs on your wallet, purse or other valuables, Nomad said Tuesday.

The credit card-sized tracker goes for $40 individually or $120 for a four-pack.

Score the best deal so far on 10th-gen iPad

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10th gen iPad deals
iPad (10th generation) for under $300? That's a deal.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac


Thinking about getting an iPad? Maybe it’s your first one, or maybe it replaces an aging tablet. In any case, now’s the time to strike on Amazon. The retail behemoth offers multiple 10th-gen iPad deals, including the entry-level model with 64GB storage at the lowest price ever — $299.99.

And you can also get what looks like the lowest price so far on a 10th-gen model with more storage — 256GB — for $449.99. Just remember to click the coupon box to see the lowest price at checkout.

And if you’re got your heart set on an iPad Air or iPad Pro, Amazon’s got you covered. See below.

Today in Apple history: First-gen iPad rolls out around the world

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iPad
Were you a first-gen iPad customer?
Photo: Apple


May 28: Today in Apple history May 28, 2010: Customers across Europe and Asia queue up to buy the iPad when the international launch date for Apple’s original tablet finally arrives.

The reason for the gap between the iPad’s U.S. launch in early April and its international debut more than a month later? Unexpectedly large demand for the groundbreaking device.

Apple Magic Keyboard expands M4 iPad Pro to its full potential [Review] ★★★★

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Apple Magic Keyboard for M4 iPad Pro★★★★
Every M4 iPad Pro buyer should at least consider getting the Apple Magic Keyboard.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac


With its cool cantilever design, Apple Magic Keyboard was a standout iPad Pro accessory even before its recent upgrade. Now that Apple fixed some of the original’s problems by adding a glass trackpad, a row of function keys and an aluminum palm rest, it’s even better. Especially with an improved USB-C port.

But does the functionality (and sheer coolness) justify the epic price of the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro? Read on to find out.

Apple Hearing Study sounds alarm on high rates of tinnitus

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Apple Hearing Study's tinnitus update
The Apple Hearing Study's tinnitus update sounded off about the condition's prevalence and characteristics.
Photo: Apple


In one of the largest surveys on tinnitus so far, University of Michigan researchers participating in the Apple Hearing Study released data and insights Tuesday that could help lead to future treatment.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound, often ringing, that others do not hear.

“The Apple Hearing Study gives us an opportunity that was not possible before to improve our understanding of tinnitus across demographics, aiding current scientific knowledge that can ultimately improve management of tinnitus,” said Rick Neitzel, a University of Michigan School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences.

Beats Studio Buds+ offer impressive noise cancellation for less than $100

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Enjoy immersive noise-canceling audio with these $100 Beats Studio Buds+ earbuds.
You can score Beats Studio earbuds with noise-canceling for less than $100.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals


Noise-canceling earbuds can take your entertainment to the max, offering excellent audio whether you’re commuting, flying or cocooning at home. But they’re not all fun and games. They also can help you focus on work calls or sleep in a noisy environment. And these deals on open-box Beats earbuds and headphones mean you can enjoy excellent noise cancellation for less.

For a limited time, you can score a pair of Beats Studio Buds+ for just $99.99 in our sale. That’s a 41% discount off the regular price of $169.99. And we’ve got an even bigger discount on Beats Studio Pro noise-canceling headphones!

OLED MacBook might be 2 years away

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OLED MacBook is possible… and probably inevitable
Your next MacBook might have an OLED display.
Photo: Cult of Mac


A MacBook with an OLED display in place of the LCD could be on the market in 2026, according to an industry analyst.

This should noticeably improve on the already excellent displays used in macOS notebooks.

iPhone sales in China rebound thanks to discounts

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The iPhone 15 Pro Max camera array, pictured in front of a green plant.
iPhone sales in China reportedly spiked by 52%.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac


iPhone shipments apparently bounced back sharply in China in recent months. Apple reportedly saw a 52% increase in shipments following heavy discounts by third-party retailers.

Since the beginning of 2024, Apple has seen a double-digit decline in iPhone demand in China. A resurgent Huawei also made things difficult for Apple, as the Chinese company registered a sales growth of 69.9% in the first quarter.

Price drop: Find the right color every time with this tiny sensor for iPhone

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Get the right color every time with this color-matching tool for iPhone. Works with a free paint-matching app.
Upgrade your art or remodeling game with the Nix Mini 2 color sensor.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals


The Nix Mini 2 color-matching tool gives artists, designers, contractors and remodelers a quick and easy way to match any hue exactly. The tiny color sensor connects to an iPhone and reveals the precise shade of real-world objects. It even works with a special paint-matching app that can hook you up with products from major vendors.

It’s a powerful tool for matching paint or discovering the exact digital representation of a color. And a new price drop means you can snag one for less than $50 if you act quickly.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs blasts Apple as ‘caretakers’ in full-page ad

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A still from the classic Apple
Steve Jobs thought ditching ad agency Chiat/Day proved Apple had lost its creative mojo.
Photo: Apple and Chiat/Day


May 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is being run by caretakers May 27, 1986: An exiled Steve Jobs takes a shot at Apple after the company ditches Chiat/Day, the ad agency that created the iconic “1984” Macintosh ad. In a full-page ad published in The Wall Street Journal, Jobs says the move to competing ad agency BBDO shows that “caretakers” rather than “builders” now run Apple.

From his perspective, it confirms that the company he co-founded has lost its revolutionary spirit.