Coming-of-age drama about a skateboarding muslim teen debuts on Apple TV+

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Hala stars Geraldine Viswanathan and Jack Kilmer
Hala (Geraldine Viswanathan) has a crush on an American classmate (Jack Kilmer), to her family’s dismay.
Photo: Apple

Hala, a film about the struggle of a Muslim teen fitting in in America, just became the second movie available on the Apple TV+ video service.

The independent feature debuted earlier this year at the Sundance festival, and reviewers have generally liked this drama.

Rotor Riot iPhone game controller lets you kick more ass in Apple Arcade [Review]

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Rotor Riot Wired Game Controller plays well with Apple Arcade.
Rotor Riot Wired Game Controller is like plugging an Xbox controller into your iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

While the 100+ games on Apple Arcade are designed for touchscreens, many of them are more fun with a physical controller. That can be one from an Xbox or Playstation, but the Rotor Riot Wired Game Controller is a better option for iPhones because of its built-on phone stand and Lightning connector.

I tested this surprisingly-affordable MFi controller with some of the best titles on Apple’s gaming service. Read on to see why I’m so impressed by it.

Apple explains why iPhone 11 keeps checking your location

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GeoZilla Find Family & Friends app
Apple clarified that the occasional location checks made by the iPhone 11 aren’t surreptitious tracking.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

simpEarlier this week, a security researcher made waves after discovering that the iPhone 11 uses Location Services even after owners block access to the feature. Apple then released a short, vague explanation that actually explained nothing.

Today, Apple finally released a statement clarifying what’s going on. It goes into much greater detail. And it explains why the checks can’t be used to track users.

Apple might bail on Russia over authoritarian app demands

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Putin adds power to your iPhone case.
Putin signed a law that Apple reportedly thinks will let the Russian government use iPhones and Macs to spy on Russian citizens.
Photo: Caviar

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved legislation that requires all phones and computers come bundled with third-party software localized for Russia. This is giving Apple such privacy concerns it might withdraw from the country.

Steve Jobs’ signature made this one of the most expensive floppy disks ever

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This 3.5-inch Macintosh floppy disk signed by Steve Jobs is up for auction.
Steve Jobs signatures are rare, and this one is on a nice price of memorabilia.
Photo: RR Auctions

A Macintosh floppy disk signed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs sold at auction for many thousands of dollars more than expected.

This is terribly ironic considering Jobs helped kill the floppy disk by pulling disk readers out of Apple laptops and desktops. Now his signature resulted in one of the most expensive disks ever.

Mujjo makes one of the best iPhone 11 leather wallet cases [Review]

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Mujjo Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 11 can be all you need to carry around.
Mujjo Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 11 comes in these colors, and more too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Everyone should use a iPhone case, and everyone needs to carry a wallet. Consider combining those two necessities into the Mujjo Leather Wallet Case. This has been updated for the new iPhone 11 series, and it’s just as beautifully slim-but-practical as its predecessors.

I’ve used this wallet case for weeks. Learn how well it survived daily use in my full review.

Apple Activation Lock: Security feature or recycling roadblock?

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Activation Lock on iPad and iPhone
Activation Lock is apparently a surprisingly controversial security feature.
Photo: Apple

An editorial by an iFixit employee condemns Activation Lock, a security feature of iPhones and recent Macs because it makes these computers hard to recycle.

But Walt Mossberg, well-known journalist formerly of the Wall Street Journal, calls the editorial “outrageous.”