D. Griffin Jones, author at Cult of Mac

How to fix software updates on your brand-new MacBook Pro


Install macOS Sonoma on M3 MacBook Pro
Fix software updates on your new MacBook Pro.
Photo: Apple

Some lucky first-day owners of the new M3 MacBook Pro unboxed their machines Tuesday to discover a reversal of fortune: Their new Macs arrived with a broken version of macOS that can’t install software updates.

Some MacBook Pros shipped to customers with an unreleased (well, more like unintentionally released) build of macOS Ventura 13.5. This version can’t be updated to macOS Sonoma through the standard Software Update feature in System Preferences.

Here’s how to fix the admittedly rare problem.

A high-quality, EDC band for your Apple Watch [Reviews] ★★★★☆


All three Mifa nylon Apple Watch bands together.★★★★☆
The same high-quality velcro Apple Watch band comes in these three variants. (A new green model comes with a different NASA logo.)
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you’re looking for a hardy velcro EDC watch band for your Apple Watch, Mifa has you covered. Mifa’s Nylon Sports Leather Apple Watch Band is sturdy, the velcro is strong and the stitched leather is high-quality.

It’s a nice band for daily wear.

It comes in five different styles. The gray-on-black NASA-inspired design is my favorite. Two other designs in brown and black emphasize “EDC-34 Essential Series” with the Mifa name. And two new versions (in green and orange) sport NASA’s classic “meatball” insignia.

This solid metal boom arm mounts your microphone and more [Review] ★★★☆☆


Kuxiu X36 boom arm with a RØDE NT-USB+ microphone positioned in front of a Mac★★★☆☆
The Kuxiu X36 is a good boom arm for your audio-video equipment.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The Kuxiu X36 Boom Mic Arm is a solid metal piece of gear for mounting a microphone to your desk. It has a clean, logo-free design that blends in with any setup.

Unlike other boom arms, the Kuxiu X36 isn’t free-floating and adjustable with a single finger — it’s a firm stand that will hold its position. It’s split into three segments, not just two, so it’s nonetheless highly adjustable.

After some months of testing, I was surprised to find a much better use for it than mounting my microphone. Read on to see what it’s best for.

How to set up repeating Apple Cash payments


Automatic Apple Cash Payments
Schedule payments using the easiest way to pay someone — Apple Cash.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Set up repeating, scheduled Apple Cash payments to send money to your friends or family on a regular basis. You can use this to pay back your housemates for bills, send your kids some money or pay back personal debts.

Whatever the reason may be, Apple Cash is a fast and easy way to send money. I even have a pro tip for scheduling a singular payment in advance. Here’s how to set up recurring payments.

Should you buy the new MacBook Pro or iMac?


Should you upgrade?
Here’s some buying advice for the new Macs.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple introduced the next generation of MacBook Pro and iMac, each powered by the next generation of its in-house silicon: M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max. The Macs run faster than ever before thanks to smaller transistors and additional cores packed into each processor.

The products are already available to order — so is it time for you to upgrade? That all depends on which devices you have, so I’ve put together a buying guide with sharable images and a video to help you decide.

Apple rolls out updated iMac with M3


The new iMac with M3 in all seven colors
The new iMac with M3 gets faster internals but the same seven colors.
Photo: Apple

At Monday’s “Scary Fast” event, Apple rolled out a simple update to the iMac, the perennial all-in-one desktop computer, with the new M3 chip. This comes alongside the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

“The world’s best all-in-one gets even more powerful and even more capable,” said CEO Tim Cook. “We’re giving the iMac a giant leap in performance while keeping the same, impossibly thin design,” said SVP of hardware engineering John Ternus.

iMac starts at the same price of $1,299. You can order it today and it will be available next week.

How to watch Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ Mac event


Scary Fast event logo superimposed on aerial photo of Apple Park
Apple’s “Scary Fast” event is a surprise event coming this Monday.
Photo: Arne Müseler/Wikimedia Commons/Apple

 How can you watch the Apple Mac event today? You can stream the event on YouTube, on the apple.com website or on your smart TV.

This week, Apple is expected to debut the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max, roll it out in the 24-inch iMac and MacBook Pro and potentially update the Magic Keyboard, Mouse and Trackpad to USB-C. It’s less likely we’ll see any new iPads or AirPods at this event.

Here’s how you can watch it all live.

Learn all these gestures and you’ll master your iPad


The Guide to iPad Gestures
No more mad swiping at the screen — learn the details of how your iPad works.
Image: Leander Kahney/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Gestures are a great way to become an iPad power user. Gestures help you easily navigate through apps, switch between pages, access controls, and reduce multiple taps to a single swipe. Gestures are especially useful for Stage Manager, the new multitasking environment on iPad.

Apple designed gestures to mimic natural, real-world movements, making them intuitive to use and learn. Swiping, pinching, tapping, and other gestures feel familiar and are easy to master.

If you use your iPad a lot, they’re well worth learning — even just a few. Your fingers will thank you!

How to turn off Mac webcam video reactions in macOS Sonoma


Fireworks are fun, but occasionally, inappropriate for the situation.
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 has since confused many people who trigger it accidentally in serious situations.

The Off button isn’t where you would expect — it’s not hiding in Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom at all — it’s in the Mac’s menu bar.

Let me show you what’s going on and how you can turn it off.