Improved iPad screen protector and Apple Pencil tip make drawing easier


Astropad Rock Paper Pencil v2 textured iPad screen protector and Apple Pencil tip
Rock Paper Pencil v2 is for artists struggling with drawing on a slick iPad screen.
Photo: Astropad

The second-generation version of Astropad’s Rock Paper Pencil includes an improved version of the textured iPad screen protector. Theres also a more durable Apple Pencil tip.

The combo is designed for digital artists who want drawing on an iPad to feel more like using a pen on paper.

Apple fortifies iMessage to foil hackers of the future


Apple Security Encryption
iMessage is about to achieve a higher level of security than any of its widely used rivals.
Image: Apple

An iMessage upgrade with post-quantum cryptography will make Apple’s instant messaging platform ready to fend off future hackers. Today’s encryption methods likely won’t be able to stand up, which is why Apple is bringing in the cutting-edge protocol.

The new tech will launch in March, making iMessage the most secure, widely used messaging service in the world, according to Apple.

New Apple Sports app gives fans scores and stats for free


New Apple Sports app
Apple has a new iPhone application for sports fans of all types.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

The new Apple Sports app for iPhone gives fans access to real-time scores, stats and more for their favorite teams across a wide range of sports leagues. The free app launched Wednesday on the App Store.

“We created Apple Sports to give sports fans what they want — an app that delivers incredibly fast access to scores and stats,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, in a statement.

iPhone 15 battery doesn’t wear out as fast as Apple thought


iPhone 15 Battery Health and charge cycles
iOS 17.4 will bring in a new Battery Health screen for iPhone showing the number of charge cycles.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The batteries in the iPhone 15 series are even better than Apple realized. It takes twice as many charge cycles to wear one out than previously thought, greatly expanding the time before the battery needs to be replaced.

We already knew Apple’s latest goes a long time without needing a recharge. And now we know the battery itself is good for years of heavy use while remaining healthy.

Apple chipmaker moving ahead toward 2nm processors in 2025


TSMC looks ahead to super-speedy 2nm processors
2nm processors made by TSMC will be faster while using less power than today's 5nm iPhone and Mac chips.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Getting 2nm processors into Mac and iPhone is reportedly proceeding as scheduled, and TSMC will begin making these in 2025.

The on-schedule progress report comes as very good news. Especially considering that the Taiwanese chipmaker ran into significant delays developing the 3nm processors currently in use.

Foundation season 3 is ready to restart production in March


'Foundation' Season 2
'Foundation' stars Jared Harris and Lee Pace, and is based on groundbreaking sci-fi novels by Isaac Asimov.
Image: Apple TV+

Foundation season three production reportedly will resume in early March, after problems with the Apple TV+ sci-fi epic were ironed out.

Production for the popular series was put on hold in February due to cost-cutting efforts.

This pocket-size charger juices up Apple Watch anywhere [Review] ★★★★


qCharge 2.0 review★★★★
qCharge 2.0 is a combination Apple Watch charger and battery ready to go where you go.
Photo: Adel Neal/Cult of Mac

qCharge 2.0 from Citius Systems is a power bank with built-in charger especially for Apple Watch. With one of these, you can replenish the device almost anywhere, no wall socket needed.

I tested it out with my own Watch. Here’s why I like it.

Vision Pro gives a first look at computers of 2034


Apple Vision Pro Enterprise apps
Stop thinking of Vision Pro as a clunky thing you strap to your face. Instead, consider visionOS as a window into the future of computers.
Screenshot: Apple

Vision Pro is years ahead of its time. Apple’s AR headset lets us see today what using an average computer a decade in the future will be like.

In 2034, being surrounded by physical screens will seem charmingly obsolete. Virtual displays of any size generated by an AR headset from Apple (or its rivals) will take the place of displays connected to our computers, phones, watches, etc. And that’s only the start.

You can experience the coming revolution now because Vision Pro is another example of Apple giving us a glimpse of the future.

Way more Android users switch to iPhone than vice versa


Android switch to iPhone in 2023
Android users are more likely to switch to iPhone than fans of Apple's OS are to go over to Google's.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The percentage of iPhone buyers in the U.S. whose last device was an Android was at 13% in 2023. The figure of Android users who previously used iPhone is much lower.

Apple already leads the smartphone race in the United States, and the poll data shows that’s not going to change.

Why you shouldn’t care that Apple began phasing out web apps


iPhone web apps: Xbox Cloud Gaming and Amazon Luna
The few available iPhone web apps are about to break in the EU.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Are you familiar with iPhone web apps? No? Turns out you are’t alone. Apple admitted that the method for turning websites into applications never caught on.

It must have been a tough admission, given that Steve Jobs’ original plan for iPhone was that it would only support web apps, with no native third-party applications allowed.

Ridley Scott’s historical epic Napoleon invades Apple TV+ on March 1


Napoleon streaming on Apple TV+
The historical action film Napoleon will be available to stream globally on Apple TV+ in March.
Photo: Apple TV+

Napoleon, a historical epic from director Ridley Scott, will begin streaming on Apple TV+ at the beginning of March, after having its global premier in theaters in November.

The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor who conquered much of Europe. It details the tyrant’s ruthless rise to power and his obsessive love for his wife, Empress Josephine.

Kiss productivity goodbye: TikTok just launched a Vision Pro app


TikTok Vision Pro app
You haven't really seen TikTok videos until you've been immersed in them with Vision Pro.
Screenshot: TikTok/ByteDance

TikTok just outraced some of its biggest rivals by releasing a native Vision Pro application. The short video service that’s become a global phenomenon can now be enjoyed on Apple’s AR headset thanks to the TikTok Vision Pro app.

The head of development for the new app says the company “redesigned the entire TikTok experience.”

Conspiracy thriller Prime Target ready to sneak onto Apple TV+. Or is it?


Quintessa Swindell and Leo Woodall star in Prime Target on Apple TV+.
Quintessa Swindell and Leo Woodall star in upcoming series Prime Target, coming soon to Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

Prime Target is an incoming Apple TV+ thriller that combines conspiracy theories with math theorems. Seriously. It’s about a mathematician whose research is being suppressed as part of a mysterious conspiracy.

The upcoming series will star Leo Woodall and Quintessa Swindell.

Apple tests AI software to transform images into video


Apple tests Keyframer, AI software to transform images into video
Keyframer is only a research project, but it confirms that Apple is hard at work on LLM-based AI software.
Screenshot: Apple

The latest demonstration of Apple’s AI expertise is Keyframer, software that turns an image into a video based on natural language instructions.

It offers an early glimpse at the type of AI tools that might come bundled into future versions of macOS or iOS.

Mechanical Mac keyboard packs useful features into small package [Review] ★★★★


Satechi SM1 Slim Mechanical Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard review★★★★
Satechi SM1 offers mac users a compact mechanical keyboard with multiple connectivity options.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Satechi SM1 Slim Mechanical Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard offers a 75% layout with low-profile brown switches so it’s easy to type on while not taking up much room on your desk. This mechanical keyboard for Mac can connect with up to four computers, including your iPad and iPhone, plus Windows machines. And it uses a variety of connectivity methods: Bluetooth, wired and more.

I’ve used it for several weeks now in my home office. I found a lot to like.

EU won’t force iMessage to work with WhatsApp, rival messaging apps


iMessage messaging
The EU won't require Apple to make dramatic changes to iMessage, the iPhone's messaging app.
Photo: Cee Ayes/Unsplash

The European Commission decided not to require Apple to further break down its barriers between iMessage and rival messaging services.

It would seem Apple’s decision to add RCS support helped persuade the European regulator that no additional changes are necessary.

visionOS update eliminates a major headache


Clicking top button on Vision Pro
visionOS 1.0.3 is ready to squash Vision Pro bugs.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple released visionOS 1.0.3 to users of the Vision Pro on Monday. It’s the first to go out since the launch, and is primarily a bug-fix patch.

That said, the new version deals with a problem that previously sent some users to an Apple retail store looking for technical assistance.

Shopping online with Apple Cash is about to get a whole lot easier


Shopping online with Apple Cash is about to get a whole lot easier
Apple Wallet will soon be able to turn Apple Cash into a virtual debit card.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple Cash will soon give shoppers everything they need to make purchases online. Starting with iOS 17.4, a debit card number can be created for the financial service, along with the usual associated details.

This will be a boon for those who depend on the digital payment system, especially teenagers.

Best ways to watch 2024 Super Bowl on Apple TV, iPhone or Mac


Best ways to watch 2024 Super Bowl on Apple TV, iPhone or Mac
The App Store also recommends Paramount+ for watching the 2024 Super Bowl.
Image: Apple/Paramount

The 2024 Super Bowl is Sunday, and football fans can watch via their favorite Apple device. Maybe it’s on an Apple TV connected to the big screen in your living room, or you might need to watch on your iPhone because you have to be at work tonight.

Whatever your setup is, here are the best ways to stream the big game.

Former employee hit with hefty fine for stealing Apple car secrets


This one is definitely not just a driving simulator.
Criminals can't yet steal an Apple car, but they can steal secrets of its technology.
Photo: Basic Apple Guy

An Apple employee who tried to head for China with stolen secrets about Apple’s self-driving car was sentenced to four months in prison and a $147,000 fine.

He’s one of two people caught attempting industrial espionage on technical details of the upcoming autonomous vehicle.

Foundation season 3 filming paused as producers try to lower costs


An outer space shot from “Foundation,” now streaming on Apple TV+.
"Foundation" is known for epic visuals but not a huge budget.
Photo: Apple TV+

Despite the sci-fi epic Foundation being a huge hit for Apple TV+, the restart of filming for season three has reportedly been postponed as producers look for ways to trim the budget.

The news is somewhat surprising, as leaks indicated that the series was costing less than many might expect.

Get AirTags for less than $20 each with this 4-pack deal


Grab AirTag at its lowest price yet
Don't lose your chance to get an AirTag back at the best price we've seen it.
Photo: Kehn Hermano/Pexels

A deal on a four-pack of AirTags brings the Apple tracker back down to its lowest price ever. Each AirTag costs less than $20 after a 20% discount from Amazon or Best Buy. If you’d prefer a single tracker, that’s up to 17% off the usual price.

AirTags are a great way to keep you from leaving important items behind, or to help you find them if you misplace them.