Read this before installing the iOS 15.1 beta if you plan to get an iPhone 13 ASAP

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Don’t install the iOS 15.1 beta if you plan to get an iPhone 13 ASAP
Putting the iOS 15.1 beta on your current handset will complicate getting an iPhone 13.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded iOS 15.1 to developers on Tuesday and gave the general public access on Wednesday. But you should stay away from it if you intend to get an iPhone 13 as soon as it’s released. It’s likely the new handset will launch running an earlier version of iOS and that’ll cause you difficulties.

Has your iPhone 13 shipped yet? Here’s how to track it the right way

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How to track iPhone 13 preorders
Don't ask Apple. Ask UPS.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has already begun shipping iPhone 13 and 13 Pro preorders ahead of their official debut on Friday, September 24. However, it takes Cupertino a long time to send out shipping notifications.

If you’re tracking your iPhone 13’s preorder status through the Apple website or Apple Store app, chances are you’re still seeing a “preparing to ship” notice. But in actual fact, it’s likely your new handset has already begun its journey to you. Here’s how to find out if your new handset is on the move.

How to get ready to pre-order iPhone 13 with the iPhone Upgrade Program

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How to get ready to pre-order iPhone 13 with the iPhone Upgrade Program
The iPhone Upgrade Program gets you a new model every year.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

The iPhone Upgrade Program is Apple’s equivalent of a carrier’s monthly contract. You can upgrade your iPhone every year, and pay a monthly fee instead of buying the handset outright. The upgrade path is simple — there’s a new iPhone every year, and you can upgrade every year.

Here’s how to get ready so you can be ready for iPhone 13 preorders this Friday. Don’t wait until the last minute.

How to watch Apple’s big ‘California streaming’ event for iPhone 13

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See iPhone 13, Apple Watch 7 and AirPods 3 as soon as Apple unveils them.
Photo: Apple

Apple will host one of its biggest events of the year on Tuesday. “California streaming” is expected to bring our very first (official) look at iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, brand-new AirPods, and maybe more.

Just like recent Apple keynotes, this one will be streamed online, so you’ll be able to watch it in its entirety as it all unfolds. We’ll show you how.

How to factory-reset your Apple Watch-for-sale

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If you're getting rid of an old Apple Watch for any reason (Series 7!), you should factory reset it.
If you're getting rid of an old Apple Watch for any reason (Series 7!), you should factory reset it.
Photo: Nomad

Unless you just emerged from a cave or a doomsday bunker, you probably know everyone expects Apple to announce new products releases next week — most likely including the Apple Watch 7.

If you’re considering selling, trading, giving away or returning your Apple Watch for that or any reason, we’ll show you how to factory reset it first.

How to see iPhone 14 in amazing augmented reality

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How to see iPhone 14 in augmented reality
Here’s what the iPhone 14 might look like. You can easily see it in more detail with the magic of augmented reality.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPhone 13 is still a week away but a major leak on Wednesday revealed many of the details of the iOS handset that’ll replace it in 2022. That includes renders of the iPhone 14 that you can check out in amazing augmented reality.

With AR, you can bring a virtual 3D version the device into your home or office and see it from every side. This might be the best way to see the coming end of the camera bump. And to wonder if Apple will really replace the screen notch with a “hole punch” camera.

Here’s how to see an AR mockup of iPhone 14.

How to see the AR Easter egg hidden in Apple’s September 14 event invite

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How to see the AR Easter egg in Apple’s September 14 event invite
The Apple September event invite has a beautiful but hidden augmented-reality feature.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Hidden in Tuesday’s invite to the Apple September event is an augmented reality Easter egg. It’s part of the company’s ongoing move to draw more attention to AR — and make its event invites cooler than anyone else’s.

The graphic for the event is the Apple logo floating over a lake in the evening. iPhone users can transfer that design to the real 3D world, and pass through it into a star-lit virtual space.

How to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry

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Know how to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry.
Know how to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Should you find yourself in a situation where a police officer or federal agent — like a TSA person at the airport — requests or demands your iPhone, should you hand it over? Many folks say no, never. But if you do, at least know how to hard-lock it in a hurry before it leaves your hand. That will help protect your data on the device.