Never leave your iPhone behind again with this handy keychain gadget [Review] ★★★★☆

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Prox PRD review -- Phone Reminder Device★★★★☆
You won't forget your iPhone again with the Prox PRD.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Put a Prox PRD on your keychain or in your purse and you’ll always be alerted when start to leave without your iPhone.

It’s not an AirTag or a tracker, and doesn’t collect any info about you. The device simply makes sure you don’t walk off without your handset.

I’ve tested the Prox PRD for weeks. Here’s why I’m satisfied with it.

OLED iPad Pro might launch later than expected

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OLED iPad mockup
OLED screens are on the way to the 2024 iPad Pro line. But when?
Photo: Cult of Mac

The first iPad Pro with a OLED display is reportedly on track to launch in April. While that’s generally good news, previous leaks predicted a release in March.

The next generation of iPad Pro is also expected to have other enhancements, like an Apple M3 processor.

Apple ready to delete Apple Watch blood oximeter app to skirt sales ban [Updated]

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Apple Watch Shock
Apple's quick fix to evade the Apple Watch sales ban is a surprising one.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s solution to evading a sales and import ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 is apparently a simple one: It is reportedly prepared to delete the application at the heart of the patent dispute that caused the ban.

But this will only be necessary if Apple loses its next legal appeal, which will be made soon.

Pro Max variant dominates iPhone 15 shipments

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iPhone 15 Pro Max
You're not the only one who rocking an iPhone 15 Pro Max. Not by a long shot.
Photo: Apple

The top-of-the line iPhone 15 Pro Max makes up close to half of shipments of the iPhone 15 series, according to a trusted market analyst.

This continues a trend from last year in which Apple’s most expensive model was also its most popular.

Save a welcome 24% on new Samsung T9 external SSD

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Samsung T9 portable SSD
The Samsung T9 SSD is small but holds terabytes of data. And it's on sale!
Photo: Samsung

The Samsung T9 external SSD just hit store shelves in October and it’s already available at a hefty discount. Amazon knocked up to 24% off the regular cost of the speedy solid state drive.

It comes in capacities up to 4TB, and plugs easily into Mac, iPad and even the most recent iPhone models.

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Apple CEO meets with EU competition chief to talk sideloading iPhone apps

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European Union's commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager and APple CEO Tim Cook.
Margrethe Vestager and Tim Cook had an in-person meeting with some weighty issues on the table.
Photo: Margrethe Vestager

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday to discuss the upcoming EU requirement that iPhone users be able to install applications from outside the App Store, aka sideloading.

Vestager also says the two discussed the EU’s investigation into whether Apple Music is anticompetitive.

OtterBox ‘Cactus Leather’ iPhone cases look good and make you feel good [Review]

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OtterBox Cactus Leather iPhone case
OtterBox's new iPhone cases look like leather but haven't been anywhere near a cow.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The just-announced OtterBox cactus leather iPhone cases will give buyers the option to wrap their handset in a plant-based material rather than traditional leather. I got my hands on a pre-release case and found the cactus-based material to be somewhat similar to cow leather but not identical.

Here’s why I’m optimistic about OtterBox Symmetry Series Cactus Leather iPhone cases that are scheduled to launch in spring 2024. Update: And now we have pricing info!

Terrible Mac sales in 2023 help explain why Apple rushed out M3 processor

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New super-size MacBook Air is 'world's thinnest 15-inch laptop'
Even the launch of the first 15-inch MacBook Air wasn't enough to spur 2023 Mac shipments.
Screenshot: Apple

Shipments of Macs plunged 22.4% in 2023, according to a market research firm. While every PC maker also had a weak year, Apple did a bit worse than its rivals.

The drop in macOS demand probably explains why Apple launched the M3 family of processors in the fall, less than a year after the release of their predecessors.

Kensington hub uses Thunderbolt 5 to transfer files at an amazing 120Gbps

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Kensington SD5000T5 Thunderbolt 5 Dock
Thunderbolt 5 means this upcoming Kensington multiport dock offers transfers at up to 120Gbps.
Photo: Kensington

Kensington on Monday unveiled one of the first docks using Thunderbolt 5, a new version of the networking standard that’s up to three times the speed of its predecessor. The SD5000T5 will sport an array of ports, and support dual 8K displays.

Also at CES 2024, the accessory-maker took the wraps off a trio of USB-C docks.

How to use long-overdue improvements to the Files app in iPadOS 17

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How to use long-overdue improvements to the Files app in iPadOS 17
There are new features in the iPad/iPhone Files app when accessing thumbdrives and SSDs.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Managing files on iPad has finally got a lot easier with new tools added to the Files app in iPadOS 17. It’s especially good for working with external drives, including basic capabilities like seeing see how much space remains on a thumb drive. And iPhone users can access them, too.

Here’s how to access all the new features in Apple’s Files app.

The Dynasty documentary tackles the many victories and controversies of New England Patriots

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'The Dynasty: New England Patriots' sports documentary hits Apple TV+ February 16.
The Dynasty: New England Patriots sports documentary hits Apple TV+ February 16.
Photo: Apple TV+

Football fans can look forward to the February premiere of The Dynasty: New England Patriots, an Apple TV+ sports documentary that interviews Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and many others about the team’s six Super Bowl wins between 2001 and 2019 — and the team’s many scandals.

The trailer for the upcoming documentary dropped Tuesday. Watch it now.

First Vision Pro ad harks back to classic iPhone Hello advert

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Get Ready | Apple Vision Pro video ad
Put on your goggles ... here comes Vision Pro.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s fun new Get Ready video for the upcoming Vision Pro headset is clearly intended to ratchet up the hype for the spatial computing device scheduled for release in early February.

The new advert shows a wide range of celebrities putting on visors in iconic film roles. That makes it strongly reminiscent of a 2007 ad released before the launch of the original iPhone.

This slim, wireless mechanical keyboard connects to four devices

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Satechi SM1 Slim Mechanical Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard
Satechi's first mechanical keyboard won't take up much room on your desk.
Photo: Satechi

The Satechi SM1 Slim Mechanical Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard offers a 75% layout with low-profile brown switches. It can connect with up to four computers, whether Mac, iPad, iPhone, Windows, etc.

The wired/wireless keyboard debuted at CES 2024, and is available now.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs unveils the iPhone

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jobs
Steve Jobs introduces the smartphone that changed smartphones.
Photo: Apple

January 9 Today in Apple history January 9, 2007: Apple CEO Steve Jobs gives the world its first look at the iPhone onstage during the Macworld conference in San Francisco. The initial reaction to that first iPhone demo is mixed. But Jobs is confident that Apple has created a product that people want — even if they don’t know it yet.

The palm-size device combines an iPod, a phone and a PDA. The iPhone unveiling excites many Apple fans but critics remain skeptical.

Chipolo Card Spot wallet finder goes ‘Perfectly Imperfect’

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Chipolo Card Spot Perfectly Imperfect wallet tracker
The special edition of Chipolo's Find My-compatible wallet tracker is Perfectly Imperfect.
Photo: Chipolo

Chipolo introduced the “Perfectly Imperfect” limited edition collection of its Card Spot wallet tracker. Although slightly flawed in appearance, each unit is fully functional — like so many of us.

The tracker uses Apple’s Find My network, which means iPhone, Mac and iPad users can locate it without having to install any software from Chipolo.

iPhone survives 16,000-foot fall from Alaska Airlines jet

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An Alaska Airlines flight lost a door plug in mid-air.
The iPhone went out this hole in the fuselage.
Photo: National Transportation Safety Board

An iPhone found beside a road in Portland reportedly dropped from an Alaska Airlines jet after part of the fuselage detached in flight, immediately depressurizing the cabin. The iPhone is undamaged despite a 16,000-foot plunge.

Is that tough enough for you?

Brilliant Belkin iPhone stand uses Apple DockKit to keep camera pointed at user

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Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro in use
The Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro can be your virtual cameraman, whether you're making a TikTok video or simply on a video call.
Photo: Belkin

The Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro is the first-ever accessory to work with Apple DockKit. Using this tech, it can hold up an iPhone, rotate and tilt to keep the camera focused on the user during video calls.

The unveiling came at CES 2024, where Belkin also announced Qi2 wireless chargers and standard chargers with GaN that will soon start reaching customers.

Clip terabytes of video storage to iPhone 15 Pro with MagSafe SSD enclosure

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HyperDrive Next Snap-On USB-C SSD Enclosure
With this accessory, an iPhone 15 can store terabytes of data while staying ready to be a video camera.
Photo: Hyper

The HyperDrive Next Snap-On USB-C SSD Enclosure lets iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max users easily record terabytes of high-resolution video.

It’s one of many accessories Hyper just unveiled at CES 2024, including some with the new Qi2 wireless charging standard.

Keep Apple devices ready to go with mophie’s convenient 3-in-1 travel charger [Updated review] ★★★★

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Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe version 2★★★★
The new version of the mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe is even more capable.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Roll out the mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe and it’s ready to juice up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. Just drop the devices on their appropriate wireless charging mat. And, to make it easier to take on the road, the accessory comes with a carrying case.

I used the original 2022 model, and mophie introduced a new version in late 2023. I retested the multidevice travel charger to see how quickly it wirelessly powers up a variety of Apple products and how easy it is to carry around. Here are my updated results.

Mac Studio upgraded with M3 Ultra predicted for mid-2024

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Mac Studio with M2 Max or M2 Ultra
Expect a faster Mac Studio in mid-year -- possibly at WWDC2024.
Photo: Apple

A third-generation, speed improved version of the Mac Studio is reportedly on Apple’s agenda for around the middle of 2024. An Apple M3 Ultra processor will supposedly be the highlight of the next iteration of the professional-grade macOS desktop.

The last upgrade reached customers in June 2023.

Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom and Cornsweeper join the fun on Apple Arcade

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Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom is one of three games added to Apple Arcade on Thursday.
Photo: Apple Arcade/Bandai Namco

Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom promises an epic and nostalgic adventure, while Cornsweeper is a reimagined version of a classic. These are two of the latest additions to Apple Arcade’s extensive catalogue, and are now playable on iPhone, Mac and more.

More are on the way, as are content updates to other popular games in the service.

Killers of the Flower Moon hits Apple TV+ on January 12

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Killers of the Flower Moon on Apple TV+
Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone star in "Killers of the Flower Moon," coming soon to Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

The wait to stream Killers of the Flower Moon on Apple TV+ is almost over. Martin Scorsese’s historical crime drama debuts on Apple’s streaming service on Friday, January 12.

The epic proved is popular with both critics and audiences when it premiered in theaters around the world in October.