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Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512Ke further enhances the Mac

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The Macintosh 512Ke muddies the Mac waters just a smidge.
The 512Ke muddies the Mac waters just a smidge.
Photo: Vectronicsappleworld

April 14: Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512Ke launches April 14, 1986: The “low-cost” Macintosh 512Ke brings hardware upgrades — and a bit of confusion — to the low end of the Mac lineup.

The Mac 512Ke is an “enhanced” (hence the “e”) model of the Mac 512K. The upgrade addresses complaints that the original Mac lacked enough memory. The 512Ke adds a double-density 800KB floppy drive and a 128KB ROM to the Mac 512K formula.

Apple M4 chips and the rise of AI everything [The CultCast]

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Apple M4 chips will power AI-focused Macs. The CultCast episode 642.
New Apple silicon is incoming, and that means AI-focused Macs.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: A surprise leak about Apple M4 chips says they’ll come sooner than almost anybody suspected. But nobody’s shocked to hear that they will focus on bringing AI capabilities to Macs.

Plus, there’s news of Ferret-UI, a new Apple project designed to help AI understand how humans use iPhones. Apple’s definitely tin a rush to cash in on tech’s biggest buzzword!

Also on The CultCast:

  • With Project Titan abandoned and hopes of an Apple car destroyed, Cupertino goes on a desperate search for its “next big thing” to boost revenue.
  • The new Humane Ai Pin, previously lauded as a potential iPhone killer, is DOA. The first reviews are shockingly bad.
  • And we wrap up with an all-new edition of What We’re Into! Spoiler alert: It’s all sci-fi this time around.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

Colin Farrell’s gritty detective series Sugar becomes an immediate hit

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Colin Farrell stars in Sugar on Apple TV+
Colin Farrell helps make Sugar the latest Apple TV+ success.
Photo: Apple TV+

Colin Farrell’s star power helped quickly propel Sugar to popularity. His Apple TV+ series about a private detective searching for the missing granddaughter of a Hollywood magnate premiered last week and it’s already near the tops of the streaming ratings charts.

And Palm Royale, an Apple TV+ comedy series, also keeps attracting plenty of viewers.

Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing

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iPad Pro 2
According to a 2005 rumor, Apple planned to launch a 15-inch tablet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 13: Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing April 13, 2005: The tech world gets excited when a sketchy rumor suggests Apple is building a tablet computer.

The Chinese-language report claims Quanta will build a 15-inch touchscreen tablet PC with detachable keyboard. Apple will supposedly ship the device in the first quarter of 2006. Things don’t turn out quite like that, but the rumor offers the first hint about Apple’s secret iPad project.

Beautiful magnetic stand turns iPad into iMac

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Make your iPad into an iMac with Elago's beautiful magnetic stand
Your iPad can also be a stylish iMac mini with this stand.
Photo: Elago

The Elago Magnetic Stand for iPads lifts the tablet up and does so beautifully. It closely mimics the design of the iMac, making the iPad into a small desktop.

Most iPad stands offer a very limited selection of colors — perhaps only silver. Elago’s comes in a range of them, including pink.

Argylle spy flick sneaks onto Apple TV+

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'Argylle
After two months in theaters, Argylle will soon reach Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

The action-comedy romance film Argylle finally reached Apple TV+. The spy thriller turns spy-movie tropes upside down.

The star-studded movie — there’s Henry Cavill, Dua Lipais and many more — is not a hit with critics but it does fairly well with audiences.

Build big home-theater sound with affordable new Klipsch gear

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Klipsch Flexus Sound System
You can start with just the smaller soundbar and slowly build up with other components.
Photo: Klipsch

Wish you could find affordable componments to build up mighty home-theater sound? Two trusted names in home audio — Klipsch and Onkyo — just teamed up to give you that with the new Klipsch Flexus Sound System.

The lineup of soundbars, wireless speakers and subwoofers starts at $349.

Franklin docudrama portrays founding father’s perilous mission to save America

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'Franklin' portrays founding father’s perilous mission to save America
Michael Douglas plays a suave, sexy Benjamin Franklin in new Apple TV+ biopic.
Photo: Apple TV+

A Benjamin Franklin docudrama now on Apple TV+ has the founding father taking on the dangerous task of convincing the king of France to financially support the American Revolution.

Legendary actor Michael Douglas has the title role of Franklin, a limited series that runs through mid May.

Today in Apple history: Apple co-founder quits and cashes in his stake for $800

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Ron Wayne: today, and when he co-founded Apple in 1976
Ron Wayne today and when he co-founded Apple in 1976.
Photo: Ron Wayne

April 12: Today in Apple history: Apple co-founder Ron Wayne quits and cashes in his stake for $800 April 12, 1976: Apple’s third co-founder, a former Atari colleague of Steve Wozniak’s named Ron Wayne, cashes in his Apple shares for just $800.

Wayne, who owns a 10% stake in the company, throws in the towel after worrying that he doesn’t have the time or energy to properly invest in Apple. He later receives an extra $1,500 check to seal the deal. When he cashes it, he loses out on an investment that could have been worth billions.

“I was 40 and these kids were in their 20s,” Wayne told Cult of Mac decades later, referring to Wozniak and Steve Jobs. “They were whirlwinds — it was like having a tiger by the tail. If I had stayed with Apple I probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery.”

Anker’s new power bank moonlights as wall charger

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Anker 3-in-1 Power Bank Fusion
The built-in USB-cable can charge the power bank or other devices. Plus you get a USB-C port for charging gadgets.
Photo: Anker

Accessories powerhouse Anker released a new hybrid power bank and wall charger this week that covers a lot of gadget-charging needs. The 30-watt device is called Anker 3-in-1 Power Bank Fusion.

You wish you had this MacBook workstation’s killer keyboard [Setups]

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Keychron Q3 Pro mechanical keyboard setup
This setups has two MacBooks, but the external keyboard is a Keychron Q3 Pro custom mechanical keeb.
Photo: chrisonhismac@Reddit.com

Today’s featured computer setup runs on two powerful MacBooks, which of course have their own keyboards. But the user doesn’t settle for those, except maybe when he’s away. Instead, he chooses to use a mechanical external keyboard with his dual laptops and dual displays. It’s a Keychron Q3 Pro custom keyboard, and it’s a beauty. 

Apple TV+ commits to Monarch: Legacy of Monsters season 2 with Godzilla and Kong

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'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 10 -- Kong
Kong is likely be a star of "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters" season two.
Photo: Apple

The hit series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is officially getting a season two. In addition, Apple TV+ struck a deal with Legendary Entertainment that will result in multiple spinoff series based on the franchise.

“We couldn’t be more excited for viewers to not only have the chance to experience even more thrills in season two, but to embark on epic, new journeys in the franchise as we expand Legendary’s Monsterverse,” said Morgan Wandell, head of international development for Apple TV+.

Humane Ai Pin review roundup: It’s a disaster

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Humane's AI Pin projector in action.
Humane's AI Pin projector in action.
Photo: Humane

I love the idea of Humane’s Ai Pin: It’s an omnipresent smart assistant that you can assign tasks to, and it will perform them for you — like booking the best flight on a certain day, or asking what’s good to eat at a restaurant you just stumbled across. That’s the vision for the $700 magnetic lapel pin released Thursday. But the first Humane Ai Pin reviews paint a disturbing picture.

Many of the third-party testers sound sympathetic to Humane’s vision for the device. In fact, most of the early reviews bend over backward to try to accommodate the Ai Pin’s drawbacks, emphasizing that this is version 1.0 of the product.

But while the vision is beguiling, the implementation makes Humane’s Ai Pin almost unusable. It’s not just slow or unreliable. It flat-out doesn’t work most of the time. The Verge‘s review sums it up well: “Should you buy this thing? That one’s easy. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way.” Ouch.

Macs with AI-focused M4 chip launching this year

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Apple M4 (concept) for Mac and iPad
The AI-enhanced Apple M4 is coming to every type of Mac, and sooner than some might think.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Mac users won’t need to wait until 2025 for the Apple M4 processor, according to a reputable Apple tipster. The replacement for the current M3 will emphasize AI — and will start appearing in Macs this autumn.

A previous report said improvements in the upcoming Apple A18 iPhone processor, also launching this fall, will focus on artificial intelligence, too.

Dark Matter trailer unveils a multiverse mystery

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'Dark Matter' is a multiverse mystery on Apple TV+
Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Connelly star in Dark Matter, a new sci-fi thriller series coming to Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

Dark Matter, one of the best sci-fi novels of the decade, is about to become an Apple TV+ series. It’s a thriller about a man lost in the multiverse trying to find his original universe, and stars Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Connelly.

The trailer released Thursday asks the question “What if the person who abducted me is me?”

Today only: Chop $550 off M2 Pro MacBook Pro [Expired]

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huge discount on M2 MacBook Pro
If you like to upgrade with discounted machines before the next new ones, this is a good opportunity.
Photo: Apple

If you want a great deal on a fantastic laptop — one of the steepest price drops we’ve ever seen — you better act fast. You have until the end of Thursday to bag a huge discount on M2 MacBook Pro. So nab this deal at B&H Photo: $550 off a $2,500 machine.

For anyone who ever suffered buyer’s remorse over paying full price rather than waiting for inevitable discounts, this is an opportunity.

Today in Apple history: Apple-1 starts a revolution

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Apple-1
The Apple-1 in all its glory!
Photo: Auction Team Breker

April 11: Today in Apple history: Apple-1 launches. It's the First Apple computer. April 11, 1976: Apple releases its first computer, the Apple-1.

Designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, the computers are sold wholesale by “Steven” Jobs. To finance their manufacturing, Wozniak sells his HP-65 calculator for $500, while Jobs sells his Volkswagen van. Years later, in 2014, a working Apple-1 will sell at auction for $905,000.

Apple finally allows used parts for independent product repairs

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used parts in apple repairs
This is an iPhone repair in progress.
Photo: Apple

Customers and independent repair services can include used Apple parts in repairs for the first time beginning in fall 2024 with select iPhones, the company said Thursday.

This-coming fall is when a new parts calibration process will launch. And it includes an Activation Lock to prevent use of parts from lost or stolen devices.

iPhone users around the world warned they are specific target of spyware

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Spyware warning
Mercenary spyware is being used against iPhones.
Photo: Antoni Shkraba/Pexels

Mercenary spyware is being used to target specific iPhone users in almost 100 countries. Apple reportedly sent warnings to these people on Wednesday.

This is different from general warnings that all computer users need to be careful about malware. The individuals warned Wednesday are being targeted — probably for political reasons.

Track heart rate and body temp with Sennheiser’s new sport earbuds

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Sennheiser-Momentum-Sport-earbuds-olive
With these you can keep track of your heart rate and temperature while exercising (or anytime).
Photo: Sennheiser

Sennheiser Momentum Sport wireless earbuds that track heart rate and body temperature finally started shipping this week after their big reveal in January at CES 2024.

Heart rate and body temperature sensors were expected in AirPods Pro (2nd generation), launched in September 2022, but didn’t end up in the product (yet).

Apple provides temporary solution for Apple Watch ghost touch issues

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deep discount on Apple Watch 9
Apple Watch ghost touch issues are more widespread than initially believed.
Photo: D. Griffith Jones/Cult of Mac

Experiencing “ghost touch” problems on your Apple Watch, where the device responds to finger taps that never happened? You are not alone. Although the bug was initially limited to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, it appears to affect some older models, too.

Apple informed its service providers not to replace Apple Watch models plagued by the ghost touch bug. Instead, it has provided a temporary solution while the company works on a permanent software fix.

iOS 17.5 brings Apple’s new Quartiles word game

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Quartiles word game
This screenshot shows the new Quartiles word game in iOS 17.5 beta.
Photo: Gadget Hacks/Apple

iOS 17.5, iPadOS 17.5 and macOS 14.5 Sonoma, all currently in beta testing, feature a new word game called Quartiles, according to a new report. The game joins Apple News’ pair of daily crossword puzzles.