M1 MacBook Air falls to its lifetime low price after $249 off

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MacBook Air M1 2020
Get the M1 MacBook Air at its all-time low price.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Macs are expensive, but their performance and build quality help justify their steep price tag. But what if you are on a tight budget? Amazon has a deal just for you, knocking a whopping $249.01 off the M1 MacBook Air.

With the discount, the 2020 MacBook Air is available for an all-time low price of $749. If you want to buy a new Mac for cheap, do not miss this deal.

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Save big on 15-inch MacBook Air with AppleCare+

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15-inch MacBook Air
Get up to $200 off on the 15-inch MacBook Air.
Photo: Apple

A fantastic deal on the 15-inch MacBook Air knocks its price down by $200. That drops the price of the world’s slimmest laptop to as low as $1,099.

If you are looking for a sleek new laptop, the 15-inch MacBook Air is probably your best option. And that’s why you should not miss this deal.

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Why iPhone 15 Pro Max is better than Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

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iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S24 Ultra
The iPhone 15 Pro Max beats the Galaxy S24 Ultra in several key aspects.
Image: Apple/Samsung

Samsung’s 2024 flagship, the Galaxy S24 Ultra, is here to take on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. On paper, Samsung’s newest Galaxy packs superior hardware to the iPhone. But in a true smartphone smackdown — iPhone 15 Pro Max versus Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra — which one would win?

It turns out that a phone is more than just its specs sheet. Below are five reasons why the iPhone 15 Pro Max is better than the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

What to try first in iOS 17.3

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iOS 17.3
iOS 17.3 introduces a major new security feature for iPhones.
Image: Cult of Mac

iOS 17.3, the third major release of iOS 17, arrived Monday. It packs several new features, one of which is Stolen Device Protection. It also brings the much-delayed Apple Music playlist collaboration.

Once you install iOS 17.3 on your iPhone, check out the new features you must try below.

Leak reveals alleged 12.9-inch iPad Air design

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iPad Air 6
An iPad Air with a bigger display could arrive in Q1 2024.
Photo: Apple

Rumors indicate Apple is working on a 12.9-inch iPad Air due to launch later this year. A new leak shows off alleged design renders of the upcoming tablet.

The CAD renders show that the 12.9-inch iPad Air will resemble its 10.9-inch sibling. However, it apparently will feature a redesigned rear camera module.

Too late: Apple Vision Pro preorders sell out fast [Updated]

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Apple Vision Pro preorders sold out
Well, that was fast.
Image: Cult of Mac

Seven months after its announcement at WWDC23, Apple started accepting preorders for its Vision Pro headset Friday morning — and quickly sold out. Shipping dates for the company’s first AR headset slipped within minutes of preorders opening.

The preorder also answered some questions about the Vision Pro. Plus, if you want one, you still have a chance to get one. The $3,499 mixed-reality headset — which Apple hails as the dawn of “spatial computing” — goes on sale February 2 in Apple retail stores in the United States.

How to tweak your iPhone’s Home Screen

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Edit Your Home Screen
It's easy to customize your iPhone's look by adding widgets and removing app icons you don’t want to see.
Image: Kristin Hardwick/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone doesn’t need to look like it came from 2012. You can easily swap out wallpapers and/or customize iPhone Home Screen layouts by adding widgets and folders (and by hiding unwanted apps from your view).

This guide will help set up your iPhone screen so it looks exactly how you want it to.

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 without blood oxygen feature go on sale in US

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Apple Watch Ultra with the Modular Ultra face
Buy a new Apple Watch and it will do so many functions. Just not Blood Oxygen monitoring.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

With the Apple Watch sales ban back, Apple has decided to sell its latest smartwatches without blood oxygen monitoring in the U.S. The tweaked Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models went go on sale starting January 18 across the company’s online and retail stores.

The Cupertino giant is not making any hardware tweaks to the wearables. Instead, it will turn off the blood oxygen sensor feature through software.

iPhone apps can offer non-Apple payment methods … but will they? [Updated]

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App Store
Expect a change in many iPhone applications thanks to a court order.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Following the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear appeals in the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit, Apple is making significant changes to its U.S. App Store guidelines.

Developers can now link to an external in-app payment method. However, they still will need to pay Apple a commission of 12% to 27% on these transactions. And the mechanism for allowing such external payments might prove so onerous that developers take a pass.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney called it a “bad-faith ‘compliance’ plan” Tuesday — and vowed that his company will contest Apple’s plan in District Court.

M3 Max MacBook Pros get hefty discounts

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Space black M3 MacBook Pro
Save big on Apple's most powerful MacBook Pros.
Photo: Apple

Since its launch in late October 2023, retailers have frequently discounted Apple’s M3 MacBooks. Continuing that trend, Amazon is offering hefty discounts of up to $250 on the M3 Max-powered MacBook Pros.

Thanks to the deal, you can get the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Max chip and 1TB storage for as low as $2,999, saving $200 from its $3,199 MSRP.

iPhones gets big discounts in China ahead of Lunar New Year

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Apple's Lunar New Year promo in China
iPhones and other Apple products are getting discounted in China for Lunar New Year.
Photo: Apple

Apple will run a promotion in China offering up to RMB 800 ($70 off) on iPhones. The sale will run from January 18-21 and is available through Apple’s online and retail stores in the country.

The Cupertino company is providing discounts on the most popular products in its portfolio, including iPhone 15 Pro, MacBook Air, and AirPods.

iPhone 16 could get 8GB RAM and Wi-Fi 6E support

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iPhone 15 and 15 Plus review: Pro features for less
iPhone 16 could get a much-needed system memory boost.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could equip its entire 2024 iPhone lineup with 8GB of RAM and Wi-Fi 6E support. Currently, only the iPhone 15 Pro models enjoy these features.

Additionally, the company might exclusively use Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon X75 5G modem on the iPhone 16 Pro. The non-Pro variants would stick to the X70 modem used by current-gen iPhones.

Apple’s reorganization efforts within Siri team leading to layoffs

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Apple's reorganization efforts could cost 121 people their jobs.
Image: Apple

Apple is shutting down its Data Operations Annotations office in San Diego and merging employees who are willing to relocate with their teammates in Texas.

The move reportedly comes as a big surprise to the California workers. Until very recently, Apple told them they would simply be moving to another location in San Diego.

Apple Vision Pro launches February 2, preorders start January 19 [Updated]

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Apple Vision Pro price tag: $3,499.
Pre-orders for Apple Vision Pro go live in a couple of weeks.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Vision Pro headset finally has a release date. Apple will accept preorders for Vision Pro in the United States starting Friday, January 19, at 5 a.m. Pacific, the company said Monday.

The headset’s retail availability will begin February 2 at all U.S. Apple Stores, with in-store demos also beginning that day. You also can place your Vision Pro order through Apple’s online store.

Apple begins shipping Vision Pro to US warehouses

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Apple Vision Pro AR headset Side View
The Vision Pro headset is almost here.
Photo: Apple

Apple reportedly already started shipping the Vision Pro headset in small quantities to its U.S. warehouses. From there, the AR headset will reach the company’s retail stores.

All these preparations suggest a February launch, ensuring Apple will stick to its promised “early next year” timeframe for releasing its next major product.

iPhone 17’s front camera could get a big upgrade

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iPhone 15 and 15 Plus review: Pro features for less
A higher-resolution front camera might finally come to the iPhone in 2025.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could give the iPhone’s front camera a significant upgrade in 2025. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the iPhone 17 will ship with a 24MP TrueDepth camera and a 6P lens.

The higher-resolution sensor “will significantly improve the image quality” and capture more detailed and sharper selfies.

What to expect from iPhone in 2024

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What to expect from iPhone in 2024
2024 iPhones could be all about the little improvements.
Image: Rajesh Pandey/Cult Of Mac

Apple plans some big upgrades for the iPhone 16 lineup in 2024. The phones could get even bigger displays, with AI integration helping make Siri smarter (and, hopefully, a lot more useful).

These changes should arrive on top of the usual yearly upgrades like faster A-series chips and brighter displays. So, what should you expect from iPhones in 2024? Read below to find out.

How to set up your new AirTag the right way

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AirTag
Here's everything you need to know about setting up your new AirTag.
Photo: Mark Chan/Unsplash

The Apple AirTag is arguably among the company’s most useful product releases in recent years. Once you set up an AirTag, it gives you powerful options for locating it (and whatever you attach it to). Put one of Apple’s tracking tags on an item like a keychain or luggage, and you can easily track its location from your iPhone, Mac or iPad.

Since AirTag’s launch, numerous reports have detailed how the tracking tag helped owners find lost items. If you recently acquired an AirTag, here’s how you can set it up the right way and use it properly.

Beeper Mini now requires a Mac to bring iMessage to Android

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Beeper Mini app
No Mac? No iMessage on Android for you then
Photo: Beeper Mini

Beeper Mini will soon require you to have access to a Mac for using iMessage on Android. Or you will have to use your friend’s Mac to set up Beeper Cloud.

Beeper’s latest workaround comes after Apple’s crackdown. The service has experienced multiple outages this week, with the company claiming its latest fix will address them and deliver a reliable experience.

Apple scrambles to find software fix to prevent Apple Watch import ban

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Lift your arm to look at your Apple Watch, and you'll see a face like this turn into an animation. And there are tons of them.
The fix is unlikely to be ready by the time the import ban goes into effect, though.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Apple engineers reportedly are racing to create a software workaround ahead of a potential Apple Watch import ban in the United States over a patent claim. Apple reportedly hopes to make changes to the algorithm that measures a user’s blood oxygen saturation.

The move comes amid an ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Masimo, a medical devices company that says the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen feature breaches its patents. The International Trade Commission ruled earlier this year that Apple infringed on patents held by Masimo Corp., which could result in a ban on the import and sales of certain Apple Watches next week.

As a preemptive measure, Apple says it will pause Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 sales starting December 21. The company also began sending new marketing materials to its retail stores, promoting the Apple Watch without mentioning the Series 9 or Ultra 2. Apple’s decision to pause smartwatch sales does not affect the Apple Watch SE model, as it lacks a blood oxygen sensor.

2024 Apple Watch could pack two major new health features

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Apple Watch Series 9 with Mulberry Sport Band on desk
2024 Apple Watch might pack some big upgrades.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly plans to launch a redesigned Apple Watch next year capable of detecting hypertension and sleep apnea.

Like the temperature sensor on recent Apple Watches, the next-gen model won’t provide exact blood pressure readings. Instead, it will only show if the blood pressure is elevated compared to the baseline reading. If the watch detects hypertension (or sleep apnea), it might recommend a doctor’s visit.

iOS 17.3 beta 1: All the features and changes

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Stolen Device Protection in iOS 17.3 beta
Your iPhone can better protect itself from data thieves with a new iOS 17.3 feature.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The first beta of iOS 17.3 is now available. It comes a couple of days after Apple released the stable iOS 17.2 update with plenty of new features to the public.

iOS 17.3 beta 1 does not pack many changes but brings an important new security feature to iPhones. Below are all the changes we have spotted in iOS 17.3 beta 1.

Apple Self Service Repair program expands to iPhone 15 and M2 Macs

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Self repair components and tools for iPhone with the necessary tools from Apple.
Fixing your iPhone 15 or M2 Mac just got easier.
Photo: Apple

Apple Self Service Repair program is expanding to include the iPhone 15 and additional M2 Macs. The company is also making its repair program available in 24 new European countries.

With the latest additions, Apple’s Service Service Repair now supports 35 products and is available in 33 countries.

M3 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro gets a big $200 off in pre-Christmas deal

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Late-2023 MacBook Pro with M3
Whether you can get your hands on the latest MacBook Pro with M3 chip on launch day depends on which configuration you want.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s late 2023 MacBook Pro lineup has been frequently on discount since its debut. And while Black Friday is over, the deals continue.

Amazon is knocking $200 off the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro chip, dropping its price to an attractive $1,800.

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iOS 17.2 brings these amazing new features to your iPhone

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Apple Journal on iPhone 15
Apple's Journal application arrives in iOS 17.2.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Nearly two months after iOS 17‘s release, Apple released the iPhone operating system’s second major point build Monday. iOS 17.2 introduces several new features and changes, with many that Apple first demoed at WWDC23 in June.

iOS 17.2’s marquee feature is Apple’s new Journal app, though it enhances several other aspects of the OS. Find out everything new in iOS 17.2 and iPadOS 17.2 below.