Apple ditched plans for secure iCloud backups after FBI concern

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Apple ditched plans for secure iCloud backups after FBI concern
Apple planned new feature two years ago.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple ditched plans to let users fully encrypt backups of their devices using iCloud, a new report by Reuters claims. Apple reportedly made the decision after the FBI complained that this would make it harder to carry out future investigations.

The report mentions no names. But the news outlet reportedly spoke with “six sources familiar with the matter.”

Apple now sells official iPhone XS, XS Max refurbs from $699

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iPhone XS box gold
Bag yours before they're all gone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is finally selling refurbished iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max units more than a year after the devices made their official debut.

You can pick yours up from the Apple Online Store, where prices start at $699 and rise all the way to $1,099. All handsets look and work as good as new and are backed by a one-year Apple warranty.

Today in Apple history: Letterpad gives us a preview of Apple Watch gaming

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Letterpad was one of the first games we got to see on Apple Watch.
Letterpad was one of the first games we got to see on Apple Watch.
Photo: NimbleBit

January 21: Today in Apple history: Letterpad gives us a preview of Apple Watch gaming January 21, 2015: Months before the first Apple Watch goes on sale, users get a glimpse at what playing games might look like on the wearable.

Thanks to Apple making the WatchKit API available to third parties, game developer NimbleBit releases a mockup of its simple work-in-progess word game, Letterpad. Suddenly, we get a desire to play games on our wrist that we haven’t had since the days of the Nintendo Game & Watch three decades earlier.

Thinner 2020 iPhone may look disappointingly familiar

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2020 iPhone may not get a major design change after all
Will 2020 be the year of the big iPhone design change? Maybe not.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The iPhone is due for a design change in 2020, having last received an overhaul with the iPhone X in 2017. However, you may be waiting a bit longer, if a new report from Mac Otakara is to be believed.

The online publication claims that the iPhone 12 could boast the same housing design as the iPhone 11. The only big changes would be the camera technology and overall size and thickness of the devices.

Here’s how iPhones might do interchangeable lenses

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patent illustration for iPhone lens mount
Now that's a camera bump.
Illustration: Apple/USPTO

The camera bump on future iPhones could include an “interlock arrangement” for mounting additional third-party lenses, according to a patent awarded to Apple.

The idea sounds potentially compromising to the svelte design we’ve come to expect from our iPhones. Sure, “the best camera is the one in your pocket” — but in the future, you just might need a bag.

Why it’s a great time to upgrade your aging MacBook

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Apple devices
Don’t let your old Mac drag you down. Cult of Mac can help you upgrade on the cheap.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Whether you need ample power or exceptional portability, it’s a great time to bag a new MacBook, with discounts of up to $300 on the latest Apple notebooks. And Cult of Mac can help make yours even more affordable.

Sell your old machine to us and we’ll give you a great price. We will also cough up real cash, so you can spend it wherever you like.