Why and how to limit iPhone 15 to 80% maximum charge

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40 80 rule on iPhone
To preserve the battery in your iPhone as long as possible, follow the 40-80 rule.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPhone 15 has a charging trick many users might not be aware of: it can automatically stop charging when the battery level hits 80%. This makes it much easier to follow the “40-80 rule,” which helps increase the long-term useful life of the battery.

Here’s more on how it works, whether you should follow the rule, and how to flip on the setting on your iPhone.

How to disable new Facebook ‘Link History’ user tracking system

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Facebook link history in iPhone app
Link History in the Facebook iPhone app can be useful if you don't mind Meta tracking you.
Image: Meta/Cult of Mac

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Meta came up with a new way to track its users. Facebook Link History stores a list of websites and webpages that users have gone to from their Facebook feed. The information is used to target advertising.

Fortunately, you can turn off the tracking feature. Here’s how.

Why a Wi-Fi 7 router should be on your 2024 shopping list

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Wi-Fi 7
You'll be sorry if you buy a wireless router without Wi-Fi 7.
Photo: Wi-Fi Alliance/Cult of Mac

Anyone shopping for a wireless router should get one that supports Wi-Fi 7. This new version will finally go mainstream this year, and you don’t want to miss out. Getting a Wi-Fi 7 router now makes sense if you want to have the fastest and most reliable internet connection possible, now and in the forseeable future.

Unlike most of its predecessors, the primary goal for Wi-Fi 7 isn’t more speed. Instead, it’s more about reliability. That said, a speed improvement is expected.

Here’s what we have to look forward to.

This Apple Watch Ultra case expands your color options

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This Apple Watch Ultra case expands your color options
Elkson Quattro Max shields the Apple Watch Ultra from scratches and tones down the orange color.
Photo: Elkson

Apple Watch Ultra is amazingly powerful, but many people aren’t thrilled that the design uses orange as an accent color. But put the wearable in the Elkson Quattro Max Bumper Case and much of the orange is hidden. And the case now comes in five color options.

Plus, it’s about more than a pretty color. The case adds a layer of extra protection for Apple Watch Ultra and its display.

How to contact emergency services via satellite with iPhone 14 and iPhone 15

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Apple launches free Emergency SOS via satellite on all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models
Your iPhone 14 or iPhone 15 can save your neck by sending out an SOS for help over a satellite connection.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

If you recently got a new iPhone 14 or iPhone 15 as a gift, it’s time to test one of its best abilities: Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite service. This allows users of these iOS handsets to exchange messages with emergency services while outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.

Getting a 2022 or 2023 iPhone in contact with a satellite isn’t complicated. But it’s something users should know before they need it.

Here’s how the process goes.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 8 drops down a giant hole … literally [Apple TV+ recap]

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'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 8 -- Cate Randa
The Randa family needs to learn to stay away from the titan tunnels.
Screenshot: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewMonarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 8 reveals why Lee Shaw is traveling around the world blowing stuff up, and also hits us with a big surprise. Then it drops some central characters down a huge hole.

Read our review/recap for Godzilla-size spoilers about the latest episode, plus some speculation about the show’s future.

What Apple can do to bring a Mac gaming renaissance

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Myst on Mac
Apple, please do what it takes to make "Mac gamer" no longer an oxymoron.
Photo: Apple

The Apple A3 series processors make the latest Macs into powerful gaming machines. And macOS Sonoma includes tools to make porting PC games to Mac much easier. As a gamer myself, these are very welcome moves.

But right now, Apple is taking a “build it and they will come” attitude. History shows there’s an important step needed to turn Mac into a serious competition for PC and gaming consoles: CEO Tim Cook and Co. need to put their money where their mouths are and financially encourage top game developers to bring their products to macOS.

That might even include buying one or more game developers.

How to save money by dumping unwanted App Store subscriptions

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Apple is raising some subscription services costs for the first time.
Start the year off saving cash by canceling any App Store subscriptions you don't want.
Photo: David Švihovec/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

We’re almost to a new year, and it’s a fine time to clear out some of the mistakes of the past. That includes no longer paying for apps or services you don’t use anymore. Luckily, it’s easy — if you know how to cancel subscriptions on iPhone.

Here’s how to find everything you’ve signed up for through the App Store, see what it’s costing you, and cancel it if you’ve lost interest. Or perhaps save a bit of money by changing how often you’re billed.

Use your iPhone to find and change passwords that hackers stole

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Use your iPhone to find and fix website passwords that hackers have stolen
If hackers steal the passwords you use to log into websites, your Apple device can warn you and help you change them.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

We’re coming to the end of the year, and that’s a good opportunity to do something you’ve probably been procrastinating about: Replace your website passwords that hackers stole because of some company’s lax security. Fortunately, your Apple devices make it easy to find out which of your passwords leaked so you can change them.

Odds are you’re either on holiday or it’s a slow work day. Take this as an excuse to fix a potentially serious problem now.

Cost of ad-free experience on Amazon Prime Video goes up in January

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Amazon Prime Video
You'll soon have to shell out more money for Amazon Prime Video unless you want to watch ads.
Image: Amazon

Starting in late January, Amazon Prime Video subscribers will need to pay an additional $3 a month to watch without commercial interruptions.

The change leaves Apple TV+ as one of the few video streaming services that doesn’t charge extra to avoid adverts.

What to expect from iPad in 2024: Pro, Air and mini

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What to expect from iPad in 2024: Pro, Air and mini
2024 will be a big, colorful year for iPad.
Image: Cult of Mac

Get ready for big changes in the iPad 2024 lineup. Apple plans to shake things up next year, offering new versions of every tablet model, from the basic budget offering to the largest iPad Pro.

Details of the upcoming changes leaked out early, so we can tell you now what’s coming to the iPad in 2024.

How to track Santa from your Mac, iPhone or iPad

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How to track Santa from your iPhone or iPad
Tracking Santa as he flies across the world delivering toys is easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac

It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa Claus is on his way. You can find out exactly where he is with the help of NORAD and your Mac or iPhone. You can even track Jolly Old Saint Nick’s progress in real time.

Here’s how to keep an eye on Santa’s progress.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7 lays groundwork for future battles [Apple TV+ recap]

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'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 7 -- Lee Shaw blows stuff up
Colonel Lee Shaw gets to blow stuff up in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewMonarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7 might not be the most exciting entry in the series, but it offers up important backstory for one of the best MonsterVerse films.

Read our review/recap for Godzilla-size spoilers about the latest episode, plus some speculation about the show’s future.

Why Apple can’t replace your broken Apple Watch

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Broken Apple Watch
If you have a broken Apple Watch, you have a bigger problem than usual.
AI image: Cult of Mac

The ban on selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 affects Apple’s ability to replace broken units, too. Starting December 25, the company won’t be able to send customers replacement units for smashed Apple Watch models going back to Series 6.

Apple stands accused of patent infringement due to a health-related sensor in the smartwatches. The years-long dispute between Cupertino and a medical tech company finally reached the point of an Apple Watch sales and import ban.

Why Apple Arcade makes great gift for a child or your family

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Apple Arcade
Put Apple Arcade under your Christmas tree this year.
Photo: Apple

A recent survey shows that what most kids want for Christmas is video games. Let me suggest you give the gift of Apple Arcade this holiday season.

Apple’s game service offers over 200 titles in a wide variety of genres at a single, low price, and it’s especially well suited for kids. But there’s fun for the whole family, too.

And it’s not too late!

Apple Card Savings accounts now pay 4.25% in annual interest

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Apple Card Savings account
An Apple Card Savings account is now an even better deal.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Money stored in Apple Card Savings accounts just started earning more interest. Goldman Sachs, the bank that backs these accounts, raised the interest rate to 4.25%.

This is a far higher rate than most savings accounts available to consumers.

It’s the last day to buy Apple Watch from Apple.com before US sales ban [Updated]

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Apple Watch Series 9
Apple Watch Series 9 is going fast. And not in a good way.
Image: Apple

Sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 from Apple’s website will stop on December 21. So Wednesday is the last day to purchase these wearables from Apple.com.

Apple retail stores will continue to sell them until December 24, but then those also will halt because of a patent dispute over an important feature in the devices. Apple, which previously appealed the U.S. International Trade Commission’s ruling on the matter, asked for a stay on the ban on U.S. imports and sales of the smartwatches. But in a Wednesday filing, the ITC denied Apple’s request (.pdf).

Grab an AirTag at the low price you’ve been looking for

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AirTag Cat
Get an AirTag for your best friend.
Photo: Lesli Whitecotton/Pexels

You can get a stocking stuffer for a loved one or make the whole family a bit more organized thanks to a sale on Apple AirTag. A single one of these useful item trackers is available at a 17% discount, while a four-pack is now 20% off.

AirTag makes a nice gift for an Apple user who has everything. Even if they use a tracker tag already, they can attach another one to something else.

iOS and macOS updates delete mystery bugs

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iOS 17.2.1 fixes mystery iPhone bugs
Take a couple minutes and install iOS 17.2.1. Your iPhone will be free of some bugs.
Image: Cult of Mac

iPhone users can now install iOS 17.2.1. And macOS Sonoma 14.2.1 is out as well. These are minor bug fix updates, though. The changes are so small Apple didn’t bother to describe them.

These are the only updates introduced Tuesday. There’s no iPadOS version, nor one for Apple Watch. And no new betas, either.

TikTok app finally optimized for iPad [Awesome Apps]

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TikTok for iPad in Landscape
At long last, there's actually a reason to put the TikTok app on your iPad.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

The TikTok application just got a major revamp for iPad users. And that includes both portrait and landscape orientations.

It’s a significant change for an app that previously emphasized handsets well ahead of every other device.

These 4 Apple TV+ series prove more popular than almost any other streaming shows

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Apple TV+ hits
These four Apple TV+ series all draw big audiences.
Photo: Apple TV+/Cult of Mac

Four of the top 10 most popular streaming series are all on Apple TV+, according to a market analysis. That’s a new milestone for Apple’s streaming service.

The list includes British spy thriller Slow Horses and Godzilla series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, as well as other shows that both audiences and critics like.

Apple ‘pausing’ Apple Watch sales in US over patent dispute

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Apple Watch Shock
Grab a recent-model Apple Watch while you can still get one.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple will temporarily halt sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 starting December 21. This is the result of a decision made by the International Trade Commission that the wearables infringe on patents held by two medical device-makers.

Apple argues that the companies are “patent trolls,” but it’s not that simple. And the question now is whether Apple will pay to license the patents, or if it will continue to fight in court.

How to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas for free

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How to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for free
Don’t miss A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is free to watch on Apple TV+ this weekend.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Christmas season is in full swing and there’s good news for fans of the Peanuts holiday specials. Apple has made the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas available for everyone to stream for free this weekend, whether they’re an Apple TV+ subscriber or not.

That gives everyone the opportunity to watch Linus teach his friends what Christmas is all about, whether they own an Apple device or not.