Apple Maps suffers widespread search and directions outage [UPDATED]

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Apple Maps outage
Save us, Google Maps!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Gmail for iOS just got a big notifications upgrade

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Gmail iOS
Suck it, spam messages!
Photo: Google

Some of us need to have email notifications enabled, but we don’t want our iPhone to ping every time a spam message hits out inbox. Gmail just got a big notifications upgrade that solves this problem.

Its official iOS app now uses artificial intelligence to provide notifications for your most important emails only.

Apple could be about to enter movie business with animated feature

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Cartoon Saloon
A shot from Cartoon Saloon's "The Breadwinner."
Photo: Cartoon Saloon

Apple is reportedly negotiating with Cartoon Saloon, an Irish Oscar-nominated animation studio, for the distribution rights for what would be Apple’s first animated feature film.

A deal is supposedly close to being reached, although there are scant details beyond this. Cartoon Saloon has previously produced three Academy Award-nominated animations including Secret of Kells, The Breadwinner and Song of the Sea. Its preschool series, Puffin Rock can be found on Netflix, and is also popular in China.

Intel cranks out speedy new modems for 2018 iPhones

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intel
Intel will take the majority of orders from Apple.
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Intel has reportedly started production of the new faster XMM 7560 modem chips for Apple’s 2018 iPhones, marking the first time Intel has manufactured modem chips in-house for Apple.

While Intel has supplied Apple with modem chips for the past couple of years, previously it has outsourced production to TSMC.

iPhone’s transition to OLED displays won’t be complete until 2020

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iPhone X home screen
LCD displays are sticking around for now.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s more affordable iPhone models with LCD displays will remain its best-selling devices with the transition to OLED technology slower than expected.

A new report claims Apple will continue to offer an iPhone with an LCD in 2019 and beyond. One analyst warns that the iPhone lineup won’t switch to OLED displays entirely until 2020 at the earliest.

Today in Apple history: iPad 2 leak lands insiders in prison

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The iPad Pro.
Leaking pre-release images could land you behind bars.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

June 15: Today in Apple history: iPad 2 leak lands insiders in prison June 15, 2011: Three people get sentenced to prison in China for leaking information about the iPad 2 prior to its release.

The Foxconn R&D employees receive sentences ranging from one year to 18 months. They also must pay fines ranging from $4,500 to $23,000. If you ever wonder why more Apple products don’t leak prior to release, this might help explain why!

Spike Jonze’s brilliant HomePod ad wins major advertising award

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HomePod ad
Spike Jonze created one of Apple's all-time great ads.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s brilliantly creative HomePod ad, directed by Being John Malkovich helmer Spike Jonze, has won a top prize at the Association of Independent Commercial Producers Show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The awards were handed out on Thursday night. Apple shared the “Advertising Excellence/Single Commercial category” top spot with the absolutely hilarious “It’s a Tide Ad” Super Bowl series of ads for Tide. If you haven’t seen Apple’s excellent HomePod ad before, you can check it out below.

‘Behind the Mac’ ads tell the stories of real Apple users

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Apple ad campaign
Legally blind photographer Bruce Hall is one of the many people who use Macs.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s latest ad campaign focuses on how the Mac can be used by regular people to create music, make art, develop apps and more.

Like classic Apple campaigns such as the “Switch” ads of the early 2000s, or the long-running “Shot on iPhone” ads, the “Behind the Mac” ads focus on real Apple users — thereby making them feel more authentic. They also embrace Apple’s accessibility push, demonstrated through stories like legally blind photographer Bruce Hall, who uses Apple devices.

Check them out below.

Rapha teams with Apple for exclusive line of bags and sleeves

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Apple Rapha Mini Messenger Bag
Apple's Rapha Mini Messenger Bag can attach to your bicycle, or be worn around the waist or over the shoulder.
Photo: Apple

There’s a new line of bags, totes, and sleeves on the Apple Store today. Rapha produced these just for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users.

Rapha is a sportswear brand focused on clothing and accessories related to road bicycle racing. Its new Apple offerings are aimed at commuters, though.

Turns out iOS 12 isn’t safe from ‘brute force’ iPhone unlockers

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iphone-unlock-640x426
Apple and a company that sells an iPhone unlocking tool are in a back-and-forth battle over your privacy.

Apple put a feature in the first iOS 12 beta designed specifically to thwart iPhone unlocking tools that use the Lightning port to get access to the device. But Grayshift, maker of a prominent unlocking tool, says it already has a workaround.

This is good news for the many law enforcement agencies around the U.S.  who’ve invested in Grayshift’s GrayKey unlocker. It’s not so good for anyone who wants to be sure their iPhone can’t be hacked.