PSA: For COVID-19 Disaster Loan applications, use Chrome not Safari

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The SBA's new online COVID-19 loan form doesn't work properly in Safari.
The SBA's new online COVID-19 loan form doesn't work properly in Safari.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Here’s a tip for small-business owners trying to fill out the Small Business Administration’s new online COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program application: Use Google’s Chrome browser, not Safari.

Unfortunately, the online form for the SBA’s COVID-19 loans doesn’t function correctly using Apple’s browser.

This Apple Watch bumper case solves a very specific problem [Review]

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The Elkson Apple Watch bumper case solved a problem that drove me crazy, and it looks good too!
Elkson's Apple Watch Case solves a problem that drove me crazy, and it looks good too!
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

For the longest time, I had a particular problem with my Apple Watch. When I rode my bicycle, the watch’s Digital Crown would rub against my wrist, playing havoc with the sound coming through my AirPods. Suddenly it would get very loud, or very low. It drove me crazy.

I tried everything I could think of, including wearing my watch backward so the Digital Crown was reversed, or on the inside of my wrist. Nothing worked, so I disabled Now Playing on my Watch, which I missed because it’s great for controlling music when doing something like riding a bike.

Then I came across Elkson’s Quattro Series Bumper Case for Apple Watch. This inexpensive cover surrounds the Digital Crown and prevents it from spinning when I ride my bike. Problem solved.

Turn your iPad into a mini iMac with this elegant stand [Review]

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Wiplabs Slope iPAd stand
Slope is a stunner!
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Now that iPadOS supports mice and trackpads, it’s a better time than ever to turn your iPad into a mini iMac. To do that, you need the Slope: a nice-looking stand that props up your iPad at the perfect angle for working. Just slide a keyboard and trackpad underneath, and you have something that resembles Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, but at a fraction of the price.

Made from anodized aluminum, the Slope looks good in the kitchen, on your desk or at bedside. It keeps your iPad out of the muck when cooking, or at the perfect angle for watching videos.

Yes, you can wash your iPhone with soap and water

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washing iPhone with soap and water
It's fine to wash newer iPhones with soap and water.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

Thanks to abject terror of the COVID-19 virus, I’ve started washing my iPhone along with my hands with ordinary soap and water.

It may prove to be a big mistake, but so far it’s fine. My iPhone 11 Pro Max is highly water-resistant and seems quite happy being soaped down a couple of times a day.

Nail your New Year’s fitness resolutions with Apple Watch

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Cult of Mac magazine cover, issue 330
Your Apple Watch can help you nail your New Year's fitness resolutions.
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

New year, new you! With the Twenty-twenties just getting started, it’s time to get rolling on your New Year’s resolutions.

If you want to make amends for pigging out and get in shape for the new decade, we have an essential guide to nailing your New Year’s resolutions with Apple Watch.

Plus we have a guide to getting started with HomeKit automation, some juicy new iPhone 12 rumors, and advice on how to control a remote Mac using iMessage screen sharing. It’s all in this week’s free Cult of Mac Magazine.

Setting the best Move Goal in Apple Watch [Cult of Mac Magazine 329]

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Cult of Mac Magazine cover number 329
Get moving with the perfect Move Goal.

The Move Goal on your Apple Watch is a tricky beast. Set it too low, and it’s just not challenging enough. Set too high and it’ll be demotivating. So how do you pick the perfect Move Goal on Apple Watch?

Add that to a new dummy iPhone 12 that may be a sneak peek at next year’s device, and timely advice on setting up a new iPhone or erasing Apple devices before returning them to a store. It’s all in this week’s free Cult of Mac Magazine, along with reviews of a retro keyboard-speaker-combo and the week’s best new apps.

Download your free issue now to enjoy it on your iPad, or read the stories in any browser below.

The Cult of Mac, 2nd Edition finally hits stores, so let’s party tonight [Book signing]

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Innovative design: The Cult of Mac, 2nd Edition looks like a MacBook.
If you're in San Francisco, come out tonight for a book signing and sale.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Our new book about the Apple community, The Cult of Mac, 2nd Edition, is finally available in book stores and on Amazon.

To celebrate, we’re throwing a book-signing party tonight at the publisher’s HQ in San Francisco — and all Cult of Mac readers are invited. Please join me and the book’s award-winning designer, Derek Yee, at the No Starch Press offices. There will be a big sale (and free Chinese food, too)!

The new AirPods Pro are fandabbydosey [An appreciation]

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AirPod Pro
Apple's new AirPods Pro earbuds are a super-great update to the original.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Hot dang, Apple’s still got it. The new AirPods Pro are fantastic.

They’re truly great headphones, and every major new feature improves on the old AirPods in big and significant ways.

  • The sound is fantastic — a big upgrade.
  • Their active noise cancellation is as good as Bose and Sony headphones (and maybe even better). Finally, you can use AirPods on airplanes.
  • Transparency mode is weird magic.
  • Best of all are the new Force Sensor touch controls, which take a minute to get used to but are way better than tapping. They’re my favorite new feature, and I burst out laughing with delight when I got the hang of it.

I freakin’ love the new AirPods Pro!

iPhone 11 Pro Max: The best gets even better [Review]

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How gorgeous is the iPhone 11 Max Pro?
How gorgeous is the iPhone 11 Max Pro?
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

This thing is a beauty. The first thing you notice is the glass back. The frosted matte finish makes it semi-translucent, giving it a weirdly illusory depth. It looks great. Not even the controversial, compound-eye camera bump can spoil its good looks. The iPhone 11 Pro Max is the best-looking iPhone to date, and I love it.

But don’t be fooled by the familiar design. This year’s refresh makes almost everything about Apple’s most expensive handset better than ever.

It’s faster, stronger and more water-resistant. It packs the best display you’ll find in a phone, and the best camera you’ve ever used. The battery lasts forever. Is it worth its hefty price tag? Absolutely.

Find out more in our full iPhone 11 Pro Max review.

Rumor mill fail: Apple delivers legit surprises at iPhone 11 event

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Tim Cook delivers the goods at Apple's iPhone 11 event.
Tim Cook has been outspoken about user privacy.
Photo: Apple

In an age when almost every detail of an Apple keynote leaks ahead of time, Tim Cook managed to pull some genuine surprises from the hat Tuesday. Taking the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple HQ, Cook and Co. announced at least three big things we weren’t expecting at all.

This in itself is a surprise. Even though Cook pledged that Apple is “doubling down” on secrecy, most of the big details about new Apple products typically trickle out ahead of time. Most of the main features of the 2019 iPhones already leaked. Every Apple blog and YouTube channel under the sun has been playing with detailed iPhone mockups and models for weeks.

Still, Cook’s surprise trifecta did not consist of insignificant things. All three were fairly big and meaty announcements — and there wasn’t a peep about them ahead of time. Here’s what took us by surprise during the “By Innovation Only” event.