D. Griffin Jones, author at Cult of Mac

How to plan multi-stop routes in Apple Maps

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Apple finally got there.
Get directions to three or four places at once — and get directions to dinner along the way in iOS 16.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple Maps had a rough start upon launch in 2012, but ten years of incremental improvements have changed the tides. Apple Maps is now a feature-rich service that is praised for its detail and accuracy. Not only is it a highly detailed portrayal of the world, its advanced navigation features make it easy to get around. Its public transit integration was a life saver when I was in California for WWDC just months ago.

Apple Maps gets an often-requested feature fulfilled this fall: true multi-stop routing and navigation features. You can plan three, four, fifteen stops of a journey if you want. Here’s how it works.

New AirPods Pro support personalized Spatial Audio and precision finding

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They might look the same. but AirPods Pro bring powerful new features.
They might look the same. but AirPods Pro bring powerful new features.
Photo: Apple

At Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event, music lovers got a treat in the form of new AirPods Pro, Apple’s top wireless, noise-canceling earbuds — the first revision since their 2019 launch. The top-shelf buds keep the same design but gain support for personalized spatial audio, touch controls and precise location finding.

AirPods products are typically announced alongside new iPhones and Apple Watch models. Today was no exception, with their debut tying in with the new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro models, the new Apple Watch Series 8, SE and Ultra.

AirPods Pro 2 will be available for preorder on September 9 for a September 23 release date at $249.

Have fun with photos: How to copy and paste subjects in iOS 16

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Using iOS 16's Visual Look Up feature, you can instantly copy the subject out of your pictures.
In iOS 16, you can instantly copy the subject out of your pictures.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

One of the more surprising features in iOS 16 is the ability to cut out people from a picture (or a dog, a car, whatever’s in focus) and copy it into another app. You can send it in iMessage, paste it in a photo editing app, or use Universal Clipboard to paste it on a nearby iPad or Mac.

What’s it for? Well, it’s great for making stickers for WhatsApp and Snapchat, plus it’s a hell of a lot of fun. If you’re putting together a YouTube thumbnail or making memes, it can significantly cut down the time you spend precisely cutting out edges, but it’s by no means precise enough to use professionally.

iOS 16’s handy Developer Mode lets you run your own code

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Screenshot showing how to turn on Developer Mode to put your own apps on your iPhone.
You'll need to turn on Developer Mode to put your own apps on your iPhone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Developer Mode is a security feature new to iOS 16. It will prevent unsigned code from running on your device — apps that are not on the App Store nor TestFlight. Most people can enjoy the added layer of security for free. But, this also means that if you’re writing your own apps in Xcode, you will need to enable Developer Mode before running your app on your iPhone or iPad.

Another reason you might turn on Developer Mode is to install AltStore, a popular open-source App Store alternative. With AltStore, you can easily run emulators for Nintendo games, a clipboard manager, Windows virtual machines and more.

Read on to see how to turn it on.

How to stop Siri from activating all the damn time

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An Apple Watch with Siri Activated and the caption:
Siri always interrupts at the wrong time.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Ever since it was introduced in 2011, Apple’s Siri voice assistant can often drive you mad. As if Siri’s unhelpful answers were not irritating enough when you actually want them, Siri often interrupts a conversation, meeting or TV show when you haven’t asked for anything at all. How do you stop Siri from randomly activating?

How to keep your data private after Roe v. Wade reversal

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This detailed guide will help you keep your data on your device and your device only.
This detailed guide will help you keep your data on your device and your device only.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In the aftermath of Roe v. Wade being overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Facebook turning over a teenager’s private chats about her abortion to police, protecting your data is more urgent than ever.

Your iPhone and Apple Watch, and third-party apps you use on them, efficiently capture data that could be used against you at a later date by law enforcement. We’re talking things like location data, ovulation records, text messages and your web-browsing history.

Keeping all your data private after Roe v. Wade to avoid prosecution could prove highly important. Luckily, Apple gives you powerful controls over how and where your data is stored. You just might need to adjust certain settings for maximum privacy.

Read on to dive deep into data security recommendations for iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac.

Every new email trick in iOS 16 that you need to know

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Undo sending emails and schedule emails in advance.
Undo sending emails and schedule emails in advance.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Email doesn’t often get new features. Sending an email still works basically the same as it has since the ’90s. But these days, people want modern features — like scheduling emails or undo send. In iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, Apple brings a bunch of new features to the stock Mail app for the first time.

You can quickly take back an email if you forget to include an attachment, or schedule an important email way in advance. You also can get smart reminders to read email later, or alerts to send a follow-up. If you catch a typo right after sending an email, or if you want to send an invoice on a specific day and time, both features will soon be available.

Read on to see how it all works.

The best keyboard Apple ever made, but smaller? [Review] ★★★★☆

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The Matias keyboard on my desk. The Mac sits on the mStand next to an Apple Cinema Display and Magic Trackpad.★★★★☆
The Matias keyboard is the spiritual successor to the greatest keyboard of all time, the Apple Extended Keyboard II.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In its entire 46-year history, Apple has made only one truly great keyboard: the Apple Extended Keyboard II. Dating from 1987, the Apple Extended Keyboard II has been dubbed “the greatest computer keyboard of all time.

For me, the Extended Keyboard is the ultimate Goldilocks keyboard: it offers the perfect amount of travel, feel and sound. Alas, it was discontinued in 1994 and Apple hasn’t made a mechanical keyboard — with switches and springs beneath each key — since.

But fear not. The Matias Mini Tactile Pro keyboard is the Extended Keyboard’s spiritual successor: a modern mechanical keyboard in a mini package that plays nice with modern Macs.

But is it any good?

How to use advanced Apple Watch sleep stage tracking

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Sleep tracking on Apple Watch got much more advanced in watchOS 9.
Sleep tracking on Apple Watch got much more advanced in watchOS 9.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you have trouble sleeping, the Apple Watch might help you get to the bottom of what’s going on. New to watchOS 9, it can track what sleep stage you’re in. That means you can see if you’re not getting enough deep sleep or REM sleep, or if you’re waking up too often in the middle of the night. If you have insomnia or sleep apnea, this information could be very useful.

Read on to see how to use the advanced sleep stage tracking in watchOS 9.

9 ways to make your iPhone less addictive

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Here are my tips for spending less time on your phone.
Here are my tips for spending less time on your phone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

I would not say I have an addiction to my iPhone. I’m a computer nerd; I have an addiction to my Mac. It’s mostly the same, except I can pretend it’s productive.

Many clearly suffer from smartphone addiction, though. If you feel the impulse to unlock your iPhone at every empty moment, or scroll through an app when you feel like you should be getting to bed, here are my tips for making your phone a bit more boring.