iOS 14 pushes custom widget apps to top of the charts

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iOS 14 widgets apps shot to the top of the iPhone App Store charts.
Applications that create custom iOS 14 widgets quickly became very popular.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The top three applications on the App Store right now all focus on iOS 14 widgets. They let users create custom Home screen widgets that aren’t tied to other applications.

Apple’s latest operating system adds these mini-apps, and a small selection of them come built into iOS 14. Plus, many third-party applications like browsers and email apps recently released widgets.

But applications whose entire focus is adding useful widgets to the iPhone Home screen quickly found plenty of users. Here are some of the most popular ones available now.

Teardown shows new features packed into slimmer Apple Watch Series 6

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Apple Watch Series 6 teardown
An Apple Watch Series 6 teardown gets down to the tiniest screw and clip.
Photo: iFixIt

Apple Watch Series 6 adds a sensor for blood-oxygen levels, but that doesn’t make it thicker. A teardown of this new wearable shows how Apple actually managed to make it a bit slimmer than its predecessors.

Plus, it turns out the device is relatively repairable. More so than an iPhone.

iOS 14.2 public beta integrates Shazam music recognition into iPhone [Updated]

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Well, iOS 14.2 beta q didn’t take long
iPadOS 14 and the iPhone equivalent just went out, but Apple is already testing iPadOS 14.2.

Anyone can start testing iOS 14.2, along with the iPad equivalent, thanks to the new public betas released Monday by Apple.

The first developer beta of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 went out Thursday, just a day after the full release of iOS 14. The most notable new feature in the new betas builds the Shazam music-recognition service into the Control Center.

It’s not clear what’s happening with iOS 14.1, but it isn’t part of Apple’s testing program for developers.

How to change the iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 default email application

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How to change iOS default email application
Changing the iPhone or iPad default email application is now possible. And easy.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple just removed one of the biggest remaining restrictions from the iPhone and iPad. It’s finally possible to change the default email application in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to something other than Apple Mail.

Making the change is easy. However, a current limitation will delay many people from taking immediate advantage of it.

How to change the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 default web browser

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How to change the default iOS browser
It’s finally possible to replace safari as the default iOS browser.
Graphic Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

For the first time, iOS 14 and the iPad equivalent allow you to change the default web browser. If you prefer Google’s Chrome, you can ditch Safari when tapping links on your phone or tablet. And that’s not the only option.

Making the switch is easy, though the setting is somewhat hidden. Here’s what you do.

Marble Knights rolls onto Apple Arcade

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‘Marble Knights’ brings rolling fun to Apple Arcade
Marble Knights mixes game genres, and supports multiplayer action.
Photo: WayForward/Apple

The latest addition to Apple’s gaming service is a rare multi-player title. Marble Knights lets up to four people at once roll together through a sword-swinging adventure.

Deciding between iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro could be a real struggle

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iPad Air 4 vs. 2020 iPad Pro vs. iPad 8
Apple’s current lineup of tablets offers a lot of overlap in features.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The newly announced iPad Air 4 is going to make choosing a tablet harder. It borrows so many features from the 2020 iPad Pro models that many who might have gone for one of Apple’s professional tablets should choose this new model instead. But certainly not everyone.

Here’s how these devices compare, with the newly-unveiled iPad 8 thrown in for good measure.

Animated kids’ series Doug Unplugs and Stillwater premiering on Apple TV+ this autumn

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‘Stillwater’ seems to have a very Zen vibe to it.
Stillwater on Apple TV+ will teach kids life skills.
Photo: Apple

Coming soon to Apple’s streaming service are two animated shows for children. Doug Unplugs is from DreamWorks Animation and based on a successful book series about a young robot. And Stillwater, which is also based on a book series, stars a very wise giant panda.

Apple TV+ also revealed on Thursday that the second seasons of its children’s shows Ghostwriter and Helpsters will both premiere in October.

Artists rejoice: Adobe Illustrator for iPad launches in October

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Adobe Illustrator for iPad will debut in late October 2020
Adobe Illustrator for iPad will let artists draw with an Apple Pencil.
Photo: Adobe

An iPad version of the Adobe Illustrator professional drawing tool is scheduled to launch next month. The desktop vector graphic design app has been “reimagined” for iPad, according to Adobe.

The application is available for pre-order starting on Wednesday.