Apple seeds first iOS 12.1.3 beta to developers

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The official iOS 12 release date is next week, but you can download it now.
There's a new beta out for iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has busted out one more beta update for developers to play with before the end of 2018 with the first build of iOS 12.1.3.

The new iOS 12.1.3 beta 1 update comes just days after Apple released iOS 12.1.2 to the public as a way to fix patent claims by Qualcomm in China. Along with the new iOS beta, there are also new beta updates for macOS Mojave and tvOS.

Instagram just slid a walkie-talkie feature into your DMs

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Instagram lawsuit
Instagram Direct is becoming one of the biggest communication platforms out there.
Photo: Pixabay

The biggest photo and video sharing social network in the world is doubling down on voice messaging.

Instagram launched a new feature today that gives all users the ability to share short voice messages with other people through the Instagram Direct section of the app.

iPhone XS Max dominates Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro in speed test

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speedtest
The Mate 20 Pro looks impressive, but it's kind of slow.
Photo: PhoneBuff

The iPhone XS Max is still the fastest new smartphone on the market, based on the latest speed test that pits Huawei’s flagship Mate 20 Pro against Apple’s most expensive iPhone.

PhoneBuff pitted the Mate 20 Pro against the iPhone XS Max in its speed test which measures which phone can open a select number of apps the fastest and then open them again a second time. So far the iPhone XS Max has stomped its Android competitors in every test. While the Mate 20 Pro puts up a good fight, it ultimately lost, making the iPhone XS Max the undisputed speed king of smartphones in 2018.

Watch the two phones battle it out:

How (and when) to use Apple Watch ECG feature

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Apple health care
The ECG feature on Apple Watch Series 4.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

watchOS 5.1.2 launched to the public this morning and finally activated the ECG feature on Apple Watch Series 4.

For now, the ECG app can only be used in the US and US territories, but it gives wearers the ability to take an electrocardiogram to see whether your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation. Using the ECG only takes about 30 seconds and it could save your life.

Here’s how to master the ECG:

Apple adds beefy Radeon Pro Vega graphics to MacBook Pro

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MacBook Pro
The new graphics will be great for video producers.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro got a big performance boost this morning with the new option to add Radeon Pro Vega graphics to the top-of-the-line model.

Apple quietly mentioned the update after its October 30 event, at which it revealed the new MacBook Air and iPad Pro. The option to add the Radeon Pro Vega graphics just went live on Apple’s site this morning — and the powerful upgrades do not come cheap.

Spotify’s Apple Watch app arrives with minimal features

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Apple Watch
This is the new Spotify app for Apple Watch.
Photo: Spotify

The world’s largest paid music streaming service is finally landing on Apple Watch.

Spotify finally revealed its first app for the Apple Watch today that will give wearers the ability to play, pause and skip songs from their wrist. The first version is a bit limited in features, but Spotify is teasing some cool new options that will be coming down the pipeline real soon.

Apple promises to donate to California fire relief efforts

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forest fire
Winds are making California's wildfires impossible to contain.
Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr CC

Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed this morning that his company will donate to help relief efforts related to fires ravaging Northern and Southern California.

The town of Paradise, California, in NorCal was pretty much burned to the ground yesterday after the Camp Fire roared across Butte County, about 90 miles north of Sacramento. Fires are continuing to gain momentum, which could make the damage even more colossal than officials previously thought.