New Tom Holland thriller hits Apple TV+ in June

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'The Crowded Room' stars Tom Holland in a thriller with a surprise ending.
The Crowded Room stars Tom Holland in a thriller with a surprise ending.
Photo: Apple TV+

Tom Holland is coming back to Apple TV+ with The Crowded Room, a 10-part limited series about a very unusual murder investigation.

It was created and written by Akiva Goldsman, best known as the screenwriter of A Beautiful Mind.

Tim Cook sees augmented reality as tool for collaboration, not isolation

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Tim Cook sees augmented reality as tool for collaboration
Tim Cook is very optimistic about the potential for augmented reality once practical AR glasses become possible.
Illustration: Open AI/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook sounds very upbeat about the potential for augmented reality in a new interview. He says the technology “could greatly enhance people’s communication, people’s connection.”

Cook stayed mum about a related tech, virtual reality, though.

Non-Pro iPhones get always-on, 120Hz screens in 2025

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iPhone 14 Pro includes an always-on display.
The always-on display will apparently stay a Pro feature for years.
Photo: Apple

Some of the best features of iPhone 14 Pro screens won’t trickle down to future non-Pro versions until the iPhone 17 series, according to a reliable source for Apple information.

If correct, the prediction means we shouldn’t expect the iPhone 14 Plus or basic iPhone 14 to come with a 120Hz ProMotion display or an always-on screen. Apple will reserve these features for iPhone Pro models until 2025.

Today in Apple history: ‘Magical’ first iPad debuts in stores

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The long wait was finally over. iPad 1 had arrived.
On launch day, people were very excited about the first iPad.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

April 3, 2010: Today in Apple history: ‘Magical’ first iPad debuts in stores April 3, 2010: The first iPad hits store shelves after months of anticipation. The tablet Apple CEO Steve Jobs had called “magical and revolutionary” at its unveiling earlier in the year quickly becomes a major success.

Jobs initially showed off Apple’s first tablet on January 27. And there had been rumors long before then. But the wait for the iPad is finally over … at least for people in the United States. The iPad’s international debut won’t happen until May.

How to make text larger on iPhone or iPad

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How to make text larger on iPhone or iPad
It's easy to make text on iPad or iPhone larger or smaller.
Photo: Apple

Maybe your eyes aren’t as good as they used be. You can increase the text size on your iPhone or iPad so don’t have to put on reading glasses.

The process is easy. And a new video from Apple walks users through the process of enabling even larger text size on these devices.

How to turn your iPad into an iMac

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Make your iPad into an iMac with Elago's beautiful magnetic stand
Your iPad can also be a stylish iMac mini with this stand.
Photo: Elago

If you love your iPad, there’s no reason to buy a second computer. Add a few accessories and the tablet transforms into an iMac mini — a small desktop computer easily up to personal use.

I use an iPad as my primary computer, so I have some recommendations for items to take your tablet to the next level.

Don’t miss these bargains on SSDs and memory cards on World Backup Day

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Rugged new Samsung T7 Shield SSD survives rain, drops and dust
The Samsung T7 Shield is one of several SSD on sale for World Backup Day.
Photo: Samsung

Several companies, including Samsung and Western Digital, have cut prices on SSDs and memory cards for World Backup Day. Save up to $80 on the rugged Samsung T7 Shield, while the SSD that’s WD’s closest rival is also on sale.

A 1TB SanDisk microSD card is surprisingly affordable. And the JetDriveLite specially made for MacBooks card readers is available at a discount, too.

Some of the deals are only available on March 31, so don’t procrastinate.

Apple Arcade’s collection of classic games just keeps growing [Updated]

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'Human: Fall Flat+' on Apple Arcade
The very odd platforming game Human: Fall Flat+ is now on Apple Arcade.
Photo: 505 Games/Apple Arcade

Apple just added Human: Fall Flat+ to the hundreds of games already in Apple Arcade. And Clue: The Classic Mystery Game+ and Osmos+ joined the service earlier in March.

These “App Store Greats” are available to Arcade subscribers without the usual up-front fee or in-app purchases.

Save big on Apple Watch Series 8 and SE 2 refurbished units

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Save big on Apple Watch refurbished units
Apple Watch refurbished units comes with considerable cost savings.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple just began offering refurbished units of the Apple Watch Series 8 and SE 2. Both wearables launched in autumn 2022, and shoppers can save as much as $80 by choosing a refurb unit.

These are primarily devices that consumers bought then returned so supplies are limited.

Apple begins beta testing iOS 16.5 and macOS 13.4 [Updated]

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iOS 16.5 and macOS 13.4 betas
Apple is already looking ahead to iOS 16.5 and macOS Ventura 13.4.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the initial betas of iOS 16.5 and macOS Ventura 13.4 to the general public on Thursday. Developers were given access on Tuesday.  Beta testing began almost immediately after the public release of the previous versions.

iPadOS 16.5 beta 1, watchOS 9.5 beta 1 and tvOS 16.5 beta 1 are also available to the public and to devs.

Big Beasts prowls onto Apple TV+ for Earth Day

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'Big Beasts' prowls onto Apple TV+ for Earth Day
Whales and hippos and ostriches, oh my!
Image: Apple TV+

After the success of Tiny World, Apple TV+ is going to the opposite extreme with Big Beasts. The documentary series puts whales, bears, gorillas and many more in center stage.

Tom Hiddleston is narrator, and the multi-part docuseries premiers on Earth Day. A new trailer gives a sneak peek.

How to enable Voice Isolation for iPhone calls in iOS 16.4

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How to enable Voice Isolation for iPhone calls in iOS 16.4
iOS 16.4 makes it easy to block embarrassing background noise from your phone calls.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Voice Isolation feature that’s been making FaceTime and Zoom video chats better for over a year is finally available for regular iPhone voice calls. With it, the people you’re on a phone call with can’t hear noises going on around you.

Here’s how to activate one of the best new features of iOS 16.4.

New mophie powerstation battery can charge almost anything [Review] ★★★★★

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mophie powerstation pro AC review★★★★★
The mophie powerstation pro AC can keep your devices going long after smaller batteries have given out.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The mophie powerstation pro AC includes a three-prong power socket, making this external battery right for anyone who has a range of devices they need to charge on the go, not just phones and tablets. The 27,000mAh power bank also includes a mix of three of USB ports.

I put this hefty battery to the test. Here are its strengths and drawbacks.

WWDC23 invite might hint at Apple VR headset

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WWDC23 invite might hint at Apple VR/AR headset
Maybe? Possibly.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Ian Zelbo
WWDC23

The colorful image Apple used Wednesday to invite developers to WWDC23 set off speculation that it’s a hint that the company’s long-awaited VR/AR headset will be unveiled at the June event.

It’s not impossible — Apple dropped a major hint into the invitation to the iPhone 14 launch event.

WWDC23 kicks off June 5 with online event

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Apple WWDC23 announcement
WWDC23 will happen June 5 through June 9, with loads of big announcements expected.
Image: Apple
WWDC23

The official invitation to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2023 went out Wednesday, confirming we’ll get our first look at what’s on the company’s near-term agenda on June 5. Apple promises WWDC23 will bring an opportunity “to learn the latest about Apple platforms, technologies, and tools.”

In other words, expect new versions of iOS, macOS and more — including a possible first look at the company’s long-rumored AR/VR headset (along with the software that will power the device).

WWDC23 will kick off with a keynote on June 5 and run the rest of that week. Even in this post-pandemic world, the event will be mostly online. However, a fortunate few developers and students will be able to watch the video keynote from Apple Park.

Apple Pay Later gives you 6 weeks to pay off interest-free loans

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Apple Pay Later lets shoppers buy now then pay in installments
Apple launched a new way to pay off expensive items on Tuesday.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

A new Apple Pay Later service allows consumers to pay off purchases of under $1,000 in installments. No interest or fees are charged. And it’s not only for Apple products — the service can be used for any expensive item.

It begins rolling out on Tuesday with broad availability “in the coming months,” according to Apple.

Apple Music Classical app steps onto the conductor’s podium

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Apple Music Classical
You can start listening to the Apple Music Classical app today.
Photo: Apple/Samuel Sianipar/Unsplash/Cult of Mac

The long-awaited Apple Music Classical application is now live in the App Store. It gives subscribers access to the world’s largest classical music catalog, and is designed to help users find specific recordings of great works almost instantly.

“Apple Music Classical is a dedicated app that is great for classical experts as well as anyone who is new to classical, with the largest classical music selection in the world, the very best search and browse capabilities, the most premium sound experience with Spatial Audio, and thousands of exclusive recordings,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple VP of Apple Music and Beats. “We believe this is the very best classical music streaming experience available anywhere, and for us, this is just the beginning.”

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates fix serious security problems in older handsets and tablets

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Updates is here for your iPhone bugs
iOS 15.7.4 takes care of a long list of security bugs.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Egor Kamelev/Pexels

Apple introduced iOS 15.7.4 and iPadOS 15.7.4 for older devices on Monday, closing significant security holes in a range of frequently used applications. Anyone still running iOS 15.x should install the new version.

Cupertino also released iOS 16.4 and the iPad equivalent on Monday. The updates for its older operating systems are further proof that Apple doesn’t abandon them.

macOS Ventura 13.3 and iPadOS 16.4 usher in new emoji and other improvements

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First public betas for iOS 16, macOS Ventura arrive
Apple released OS updates for its various computers today, including Mac and iPad.
Photo: Apple

The wait is over for macOS Ventura 13.3 and iPadOS 16.4, which Apple released Monday. While not major upgrades, they do bring new emoji, a better way for devs to work with betas, and other changes (including security updates).

Apple also released iOS 16.4, as well as watchOS 9.4 and tvOS 16.4, today.

Tim Cook touts ‘symbiotic’ relationship between Apple and China

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Tim Cook speaks with university students in Naples, Italy, after accepting an honorary Master's degree.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was a prominent attendee at the China Development Forum.
Photo: Federico II online canale 1

Apple CEO Tim Cook was one of the few executives from U.S. companies to attend the China Development Forum in Beijing over the weekend as tensions between the two countries continue.

In a speech, Cook spoke about the “symbiotic kind of relationship” that Apple and China have.

6 reasons you should play Sneaky Sasquatch

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'Sneaky Sasquatch' on Apple Arcade
Sneaky Sasquatch is a standout hit for Apple's gaming service. You really should try it.
Image: Rac7 Games/Apple Arcade

Sneaky Sasquatch is a delightful game on Apple Arcade. It lets players live the life of a Sasquatch doing regular, everyday things this mysterious forest dweller does: sneak around campgrounds stealing picnic baskets, play golf, ski, learn to drive. That sort of thing.

If you haven’t discovered it yet, here are six reason why it’s worth playing.

Ted Lasso season 3 brings surge of viewers to Apple TV+

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Ted Lasso
Ted Lasso is back, and viewership is as strong as his optimism.
Photo: Apple TV+

Fans weren’t bothered by an extra-long wait for Ted Lasso‘s third season. The season premiere brought a tidal wave of viewers, pushing Apple TV+ back to near the top of the ratings charts.

And Shrinking, another Apple TV+ comedy, is finishing its freshman season with strong viewership.

AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C case could launch as early as this spring

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Ken Pillonel modded an AirPods Pro charging case and now offers a 3D-printed replacement case.
AirPods Pro 2 will supposedly get on the USB-C bandwagon soon.
Photo: Ken Pillonel

The mystery AirPods referenced in iOS 16.4 are a new version of AirPods Pro 2 with a USB-C case, according to a reliable Apple tipster. And the product could be out in the next few months.

If true, these will be a significant step in transitioning the iPhone ecosystem away from Lightning and to USB-C.