2018 iPad Pro – A week with Apple’s computer for everywhere [Review]

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IPad Pro and Mac Pro
Apple’s on their hardware “A” game with the new iPad Pro
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

The new iPad Pro is arguably the most powerful, most familiar, most versatile, and most fun computer you can get today. Yes, you read that correctly. I said computer.

For the past week, I’ve been testing out Apple’s latest 12.9” iPad Pro. I’ve used it around the house, and at work, in the kitchen, and in bed, at the coffee shop and on the couch – and it’s been great. I actually look forward to using it, and it has replaced both my MacBook and my iPhone for a lot of my most common situations.

This iPad Pro unboxing will give you FOMO

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Boxes for iPad Pro Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard
The new iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard Folio, and 2nd Generation Apple Pencil are finally here!
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

It’s finally here – Apple’s most drastic change to iPad since it was introduced in 2010. The brand new iPad Pro with slimmer bezels, a gesture-based UI, blazing fast processors, and a downright gorgeous design. It’s the first Apple product in a long time that I’m truly excited to get my hands on.

So that’s what I did.

YouTuber takes us inside the Mac-lined hallways of MacStadium

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MacStadium Mac mini server racks
MacStadium supports thousands of Mac mini, Mac Pro, iMac Pro, and xServe servers for applications around the globe.
Photo: Apple

The Mac serves many roles for many people. Whether it’s used for creativity, research, development, content consumption, or as a server, there is a Mac for the job. During Apple’s October “More in the Making,” the company highlighted several of these key roles the Mac plays, and gave a shoutout to MacStadium’s incredible Mac server farm.

But what is MacStadium really doing, and what does it actually look like to be surrounded by hundreds of Mac mini? YouTube technology entertainer Quinn Nelson of Snazzy Labs had a chance to visit their Las Vegas facility to find out more.

Firmware update adds AirPlay 2 support to Libratone ZIPP speakers

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WWDC 2017 AirPlay 2 device makers
Craig Federighi highlights speaker makers adding AirPlay 2 support at WWDC 2017
Photo: Apple

At WWDC 2017, Apple announced speaker support for the Home app, powered by an update to AirPlay. While introducing Airplay 2, they highlighted several speaker makers that would add support for the new protocol. Nearly a year later, iOS 11.4 finally launched with support for the updated wireless audio protocol.

As of today – 4 months after becoming available in iOS – speaker manufacturer Libratone has made good on their AirPlay 2 promise.

Taking the new Apple Watch Series 4 on vacation [Review]

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Mickey Mouse Disney Apple Watch Series 4
The Apple Watch Series 4 made a vacation to Disney World more convenient.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

In 2015, I purchased my wife a stainless steel Apple Watch (series 0) for her birthday. Since then, she’s used it to track hundreds of workouts, reply to thousands of texts, and triage countless notifications. She’s also told me nearly every day for the past year that she hates it and it never works right.

While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, she has a point. The original Apple Watch is slow and unresponsive. Plus, some features have become frustratingly unreliable (looking at you, Siri).

This year, we decided to upgrade her Apple Watch in time for our family vacation to Disney World. It was the perfect opportunity to test Apple’s magical wrist communicator at the most magical place on Earth.

Cult of Mac’s 50 Essential iOS Apps [The complete list, sorted!]

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50 Essential iOS Apps
The best and most useful apps for iPhone and iPad
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With our 50 Essential iOS Apps series, the goal was to help you find some of the best apps for iPhone and iPad. Picking the finest offerings from the more than 2.2 million iOS apps in Apple’s App Store proved challenging. But we highlighted apps that offer excellent features or make life easier in various ways.

To wrap up the series, we’ve sorted the apps by category to make the list easier to browse. We’re also showcasing Cult of Mac readers’ alternatives to our picks.

(You’ll find reader faves linked at the end of this post. That’s especially helpful since one of our must-have apps is about to die an unceremonious death.)

iOS 12 accidentally removes select Apple Watch Activity badges

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Activity badges for Apple Watch challenges
iOS 12's collection of "limited edition" Activity challenge badges is missing a few awards.
Screenshot: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

With the release of iOS 12 earlier this week, Apple made broad sweeping improvements to the OS. Unfortunately, the update also came with a small bug for fitness zealots sporting a cabinet full of limited edition Activity challenge badges. If that just described your Apple Watch badge collection, you can cool your cycling shorts, everything will be ok.

Apple demonstrates how complex it is to own digital content

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iTunes 12.6 makes it easy to watch rented movies on any device.
iTunes 12.6 makes it easy to watch rented movies on any device.
Photo: Apple

Purchased digital content has been around since before the launch of the iTunes Store back in 2003, but things were much different then. Devices weren’t constantly connected, and streaming wasn’t the primary way to access your “purchased” (or subscription) content, and most things came in the form of physical media (VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, or 8-Tracks). Now that things are streamed, stored in the cloud, and available across all our devices, digital content ownership is much more complicated than simply buying a movie, book, or album and having it indefinitely.

Satechi’s new extended keyboards gives you Apple looks on a budget

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Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard
Satechi's Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard is the perfect match for your Apple setup.
Photo: Satechi

Accessory maker Satechi has been around for years, offering a wide range of charging solutions, headphones, dongles, and computer peripherals for both Mac and PC. Their newest Mac accessories, the Aluminum Bluetooth keyboard and Aluminum USB keyboard offer Apple-inspired design at a fraction of Apple’s keyboard prices.

Annoying iOS 12 update notification makes its musical debut

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iOS 12 false update popup
Hoorah!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

For about 18 hours, iOS 12 beta testers were incessantly prompted to update to a new version of Apple’s upcoming software . Unfortunately, most found that no such update existed. The prompts, which appeared at every unlock of a users device sparked frustration, but also became fodder for musician and jingle creator Jonathan Mann.