iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro: 5x telephoto shootout

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iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro: 5x zoom comparison
Just how good is the iPhone's new 5x zoom?
Graphics: Rajesh

The iPhone 15 Pro Max utilizes Apple’s most impressive photographic tech yet, but it’s not the first smartphone with a 5x telephoto camera. In the Android world, you will find several phones with 5x to 10x optical zoom.

Only Samsung’s and Google’s devices deliver image quality capable of competing with Apple’s best. Only Google’s Pixel lineup directly competes with the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 5x optical shooter. (Samsung is ahead of the competition with its 10x periscope lens.)

So which 5x zoom is the best? See our side-by-side comparison shots to see how the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 5x tetraprism zoom stacks up against the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

Apple’s new M3 iMac and MacBook Pros hit store shelves

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The top two new MacBook Pro models now come in a space black aluminum finish.
You can now get your hands on the M3 MacBook Pro or iMac.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new M3 iMac and MacBook Pros are now officially on sale in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and select other countries. If you live in one of those locations, you can pick up the latest iMac or M3-powered MacBook Pro from your nearest Apple Store.

The new M3 Max MacBook Pro will go on sale later in November.

AirTag 4-pack nears all-time low in pre-Black Friday deal

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AirTag
Save big on AirTag 4-pack.
Photo: Mark Chan/Unsplash

If you keep misplacing important items in your daily life, AirTags should be an indispensable item in your kit. One AirTag might not be enough, so you should consider buying Apple’s discounted AirTag four-pack. And if you take advantage of Amazon’s latest deal, you can score a decent 12% discount off the regular price of $99.

Right now, you can get an AirTag four-pack for $86.88. That’s just $21.72 apiece.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.

Apple extends its product return window for the holidays

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Apple's Online Store in the US
Apple Store's extended return period for the holidays is now live.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s extended return window is now live in the US, Japan, Turkey, and several other countries. Under this policy, customers get a longer duration to return Apple products.

Typically, Apple provides a 14-day return period for its devices in most markets worldwide.

Amazing pre-Black Friday deal knocks 15-inch MacBook Air down by $250

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15-inch MacBook Air
15-inch MacBook Air gets a big $250 discount.
Photo: Apple

If you’re in the market for a 15-inch laptop, the MacBook Air should sit at the top of that list. With a sleek and svelte design, the laptop gives other Windows machines a run for their money.

At $1,299, the 15-inch MacBook Air is not cheap. And that’s why you should take advantage of Amazon’s latest deal, which knocks the laptop’s price by $250.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.

Apple quietly nixes the cheapest Apple Music plan

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Apple Music noted its most popular song and artists of 2022.
RIP, Apple Music Voice Plan!
Photo: Apple Music

Apple has quietly discontinued the Apple Music Voice Plan nearly two years after its release. The $5 plan was the cheapest way to subscribe to the company’s music streaming service.

Going forward, you cannot subscribe to the Apple Music Voice Plan. If you are an existing subscriber, your membership will expire at the end of your current billing cycle.

How Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ event was shot on iPhone [Updated]

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Scary Fast Shot on iPhone video
Apple had a surprise for viewers of its "Scary Fast" event: the camera.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple’s “Scary Fast” Mac event focused on the new M3 family of chips, refreshed MacBook Pros and an updated iMac. But Apple uncorked a big surprise at the end by revealing the entire presentation was recorded using an iPhone.

This marks the first time Apple used only one of its handsets to film an entire product-launch event. And the company released a behind-the-scenes video showing exactly how the magic was made.

M1 vs. M3 24-inch iMac comparison: What’s changed?

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M1 vs M3 iMac Comparison
How is the 2023 iMac better than its 2021 predecessor?
Photo: Rajesh

Apple unveiled the 24-inch iMac with M1 chip way back in April 2021, and while the rest of the company’s Mac lineup got an M2 upgrade since then, the all-on-one desktop missed the boat. To make up for it, Apple announced the M3-powered iMac at its ‘Scary Fast’ event.

How does the 2023 iMac compare to its predecessor? Does it pack any other improvement besides the faster chip? Read this comparison to find out.

Good riddance: 13-inch MacBook Pro discontinued

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Apple has finally discontinued the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
You can no longer buy a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar.
Photo/Graphics: Apple/Rajesh

Following Monday’s launch of the M3-powered MacBook Pros, Apple discontinued the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It was the last MacBook in the company’s lineup with a Touch Bar, a thin, customizable OLED strip at the top of the keyboard that replaced the usual row of function keys.

A cheaper 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M3 chip replaces the older Touch Bar model.

Apple’s online store goes down ahead of ‘Scary Fast’ event

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Apple store is down just before the start of the Scary Fast event.
The online Apple store is down just before the start of the Scary Fast event.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple’s online store has gone down ahead of its ‘Scary Fast’ event this evening. It is typical of Apple to take down its online store before major product launches, but this usually happens hours before. This time it was mere minutes.

This will likely be the company’s last product launch event for 2023.

BMW’s wireless charging will screw up your iPhone 15

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iPhone credit card payments
NFC is required for ApplePay.
Mockup: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Own a BMW or Toyota vehicle? Don’t charge your iPhone 15 using the car’s built-in wireless charger as it could break the phone’s NFC chip.

Apple acknowledged the problem in an internal memo and confirmed a software fix will roll out later this year.

iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 are here with useful new features

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iOS 17.1 release notes
iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1 are here with several big and small changes.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iOS 17.1, the first major point release of iOS 17, is here. It drops just over a month after iOS 17 arrived.

Alongside iOS 17.1, Apple is also releasing iPadOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 to the public today. Below is a look at some of the top new features in the OSes.

Apple announces nationwide support for ‘right to repair’ bill

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Self repair components and tools for iPhone with the necessary tools from Apple.
Apple wants to make it easier to repair your broken iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
Photo: Apple

During Tuesday’s right-to-repair event in the White House, Apple announced the expansion of its Self-Service Repair and Independent Repair Provider programs nationwide.

This move will help independent repair shops by providing them with the necessary tools and documentation for repairing Apple devices.

iPhone 15 gets big discounts in China to boost sales

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iPhone 15 and 15 Plus review: Pro features for less
iPhone 15 is available with up to $200 off in China.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s latest iPhones are available with deep discounts of up to $200 in China. Many analysts believe Apple’s iPhone 15 series has been doing poorly in China.

The slowdown in sales has caused online Chinese e-commerce companies to offer hefty discounts on the new iPhones.

Alleged next-gen HomePod with LCD panel pops up in photos

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The big HomePod could be back soon. But how pricey and how functional will it be?
Apple's next HomePod could pack a LCD screen on top.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Alleged photos of a HomePod prototype with an LCD screen on top have surfaced online. They showcase the smart speaker with a big touch-based LCD panel on top.

Apple’s current-gen HomePod has a small touch surface on top for controlling music playback and volume.

Apple opens second Vision Pro developer lab in the US

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Developer gives ‘audible gasp’ using Vision Pro the first time
Vision Pro developer lab is a great way to test your visionOS app.
Photo: Apple

Apple is expanding the Vision Pro developer labs to additional regions. This will allow more developers to try out the mixed-reality headset ahead of its launch in early 2024.

The Cupertino giant is opening new Vision Pro developer labs in New York, US, and Sydney, Australia.

iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Should you upgrade?

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iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro Comparison
Apple has made some big upgrades in the two years since iPhone 13 Pro's release.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 15 Pro packs significant upgrades over its immediate predecessor, like a titanium body, a brighter display, a faster processor and better cameras. But are these changes enough to warrant an upgrade from your 2-year-old iPhone 13 Pro? Find out in this comparison.

Apple Stores will soon wirelessly update unsold iPhones without opening the boxes

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iPhone 15 and 15 Plus review: Pro features for less
The next iPhone you buy from Apple's store could be running the latest iOS release.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has developed a new way to wirelessly update iPhones in its retail stores without opening their boxes. This will ensure all iPhones sold are running the latest iOS release.

Apple could roll out the technology to its retail stores before the end of the year.

Apple could announce new iPads on October 17 [Updated]

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iPad Pro with Apple Pencil
New iPads with faster chips could arrive soon.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could announce new iPads as soon as Tuesday, according to a new report. The company could unveil a new entry-level iPad, an updated iPad Air and the iPad mini 7.

All refreshed iPads purportedly will sport a minor spec bump but few other changes.