David Snow, author at Cult of Mac

Apple vastly expands iCloud data encryption with 3 security updates

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Apple encryption
Apple plans to expand end-to-end encryption for more iCloud services.
Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Apple said Wednesday users are gaining three new security features to protect their data in the cloud, with some available now and some to come. The overall program is called Advanced Data Protection.

The three new functions to help keep data and communications safe are iMessage Contact Key Verification, Security Keys for Apple ID and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, the company said.

Apple TV+ nabs 10 Critics Choice Award nominations

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Severance nabbed nominations for Best Drama Series and for Adam Scott's acting.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Critics Choice Association showered Apple TV+ Tuesday with 10 nominations for the upcoming 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards. They include Best Drama Series nods for workplace psycho-drama Severance and dark comedy-drama Bad Sisters, plus Best Foreign Language Series noms for Pachinko and Tehran.

Nominations honored six series in total. The other two nominations covered acting in prison suspense thriller Black Bird and family drama The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. See more specifics below.

Elderly Mac mini hangs with hot new MacBook Pro in web developer’s rig [Setups]

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The Mac mini keeps on ticking but the web dev relies most heavily on a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro.
The Mac mini keeps on ticking but the web dev relies most heavily on a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro.
Photo: crispyking@Reddit.com

In today’s featured computer setup, owned by a web developer, a 2012 Mac mini shares the spotlight with a new 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro.

Before you think, “Wow, the Mac mini must be amazing, competing with that sleek new laptop,” nah, this is more like take-your-great-grandfather-to-work day for the elderly little desktop machine.

It’s around because it still works for light lifting. And it does indeed show impressive longevity.

Who knew a GaN charger could look this stylish and sophisticated?

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The leather-clad charger is stylish to say the least.
This leather-clad charger is stylish to say the least. And you can get it gift-wrapped in time for Christmas!
Photo: VogDUO

So you think you’ve got style? Well, is your GaN charger decked out in Italian leather? We didn’t think so. But now it can be, if you order the powerful and stylish VogDUO 65-watt Slim GaN Charger.

SPONSORED
This post is brought to you by VogDUO.

In a sea of white, black and gray plastic wall warts, this incredibly unique-looking GaN charger really stands out. And it’s available right now at a 15% discount. Plus, you can order it as a gift with that same discount in time for Christmas. That way, you can give the practical gift of power and style to a friend or family member.

App Store prices now range from 29 cents to … $10,000?!?

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Developers are getting a lot more options for app pricing.
Developers are getting a lot more options for app pricing.
Photo: Apple

Apple said Tuesday the App Store is undergoing “the most comprehensive upgrade to pricing capabilities” since its launch, allowing prices to be set as low as 29 cents and as high as $10,000.

It will start offering developers 700 new price points to apply to the apps they sell, plus new tools to make international selling easier to manage.

This tiny new SSD could be the perfect stocking stuffer

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Now that's portable.
Now that's portable.
Photo: Sabrent

Just ahead the holidays, Sabrent offered a new set of solid state drives (SSD) that could be a perfect little gift for any techie on your list — the updated Sabrent Rocket Nano V2.

The redesigned version, no larger than a “fun-sized” candy bar, supports fast data transfer speeds and can store up to 4TB. And they can fit in someone’s pocket.

Save 20% on compact SwitchEasy USB-C wall chargers

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SwitchEasy PowerBuddy 30W can top off two devices at once.
SwitchEasy PowerBuddy 30W can top off two devices at once.
Photo: SwitchEasy

Need ideas for practical stocking stuffers that friends and family will actually use? The SwitchEasy Flash Sale in the Cult of Mac Store is on through December 13.

You can pick any of three compact wall chargers with USB-C and USB-A ports. There’s a potent 30W version, another 30W with cable storage and a tiny 20W version. Check them out.

Find the iPad case you’ve been searching for with Zugu

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Zugu Case: Need a great iPad case? Look no further.
Need a great iPad case? Look no further.
Image: Zugu Case

It’s not easy to find the perfect iPad case, whether you’re walking around with a little iPad mini 6, a standard 10.2-inch iPad or the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro. But it gets a lot easier if you know about Zugu Case. The company’s practical and attractive cases are among the highest-rated and best-reviewed iPad cases in the world for a reason.

So cease your searching. You just found the Zugu iPad case you didn’t know you were looking for.

Apple names top podcasts of 2022

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Find out what everybody's listening to.
Find out what everybody's listening to.
Photo: Apple Podcasts

If you’re looking for a new podcast to addict yourself to, you’re in luck. Apple Podcasts unveiled the podcasts, episodes and channels its listeners paid the most attention to in 2022 (and in the case of subscriber shows and channels, paid the most money to, apparently).

Check out how Apple Podcasts sliced and diced its most popular content in the lists below. You might find a great new way to spend off-time during the holidays.

New Cascade customizable mechanical keyboard goes big

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You can get the Azio Cascade 98 mechanical keyboard in standard or slim profiles.
You can get the Azio Cascade 98 mechanical keyboard in standard or slim profiles (slim shown).
Photo: Azio

The Los Angeles-based company Azio successfully crowd-funded its Cascade 75 mechanical keyboard on Kickstarter last year. Now it’s back with the Cascade 98, a 98% layout keyboard with a full-sized number pad that comes in slim or regular profiles. It has surpassed its funding goal.

Keychron and others have led the way with low-profile mechanical keyboards that don’t stand as tall as the classics. Azio said their new version is the first one with a full-sized number pad.