Apple news, analysis and opinion, plus general tech news | Cult of Mac

Apple-backed home-automation standard Matter finally launches

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Matter is a new interoperable homer automation standard back by Apple, Amazon, Google and m ore.
Matter is going to… matter to fans of home automation.
Photo: Connectivity Standards Alliance

The wait is over for Matter 1.0. The Connectivity Standards Alliance, which includes Apple, Amazon and many more, has introduced the cross-platform home-automation standard after lengthy delays.

It is intended to break through the walled silos of Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home, allowing accessories from a wide range of companies to communicate. It might finally make smart homes more common … potentially even mainstream.

Apple wants to make AirPods and Beats headphones in India

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How to use your iPhone and AirPods to spy on people
AirPods could be the next Apple product to be 'Made in India.'
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is asking its suppliers to move production of AirPods and Beats from China to India. This is the first time the company is looking to manufacture its wireless earbuds in the South Asian country.

The Cupertino giant has been heavily diversifying its supply chain recently and reducing its reliance on China. The company had already moved a portion of AirPods production from China to Vietnam in 2019.

Protect M1 MacBook Pro on the go with stylish SuitCase

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Protect M1 MacBook Pro on the go with stylish SuitCase
The Twelve South SuitCase for MacBook is both stylish and protective.
Photo: Twelve South

Twelve South expanded its SuitCase line to the latest 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The case offers three layers of protection, with the outer being quilted twill for a smart look.

“When all you need is your MacBook for an off-site meeting, SuitCase is the ultimate shuttle,” says Twelve South.

The Problem with Jon Stewart season 2 trailer yuks it up over tough topics

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Apple TV+ unveiled the season 2 trailer Tuesday for the Emmy-nominated series The Problem With Jon Stewart. The show premieres Friday, October 7.
The new season lands Friday.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ unveiled the season 2 trailer Tuesday for the Emmy-nominated series The Problem With Jon Stewart. The show premieres Friday, October 7.

“Welcome back, it is season 2 of the The Problem — this is the new variant,” Stewart says at the trailer’s opening, offering a bit of self-effacing pandemic humor.

Elon Musk throws in towel, agrees to buy Twitter at original price

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The world's richest person will soon have total control of Twitter.
Looks like Musk will buy Twitter after all.
Photo: Elon Musk/Twitter/Cult of Mac

Elon Musk reportedly has stopped his efforts to get out of buying Twitter. He’s going to purchase the social media platform at his original price from April.

He spent the intervening months trying back out of the deal, which forces him to pay much more for the company than its current value.

Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s

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Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Apple envisioned an AI helper like Siri way back in the late 1980s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 4: Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s October 4, 2011: With the unveiling of the iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri.

A groundbreaking example of artificial intelligence in action, Siri’s debut fulfills a long-term dream at Apple. The company first predicted such a feature in the 1980s — with the Siri launch coming at almost the exact month Apple envisioned.

Spark for Mac redesign focuses on boosting your productivity

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Spark for Mac gets a redesign
Spark for Mac gets a big redesign.
Photo: Readdle

Popular email client Spark is getting a significant redesign for Mac. It completely overhauls how you approach your inbox, with features like priority email, Smart Inbox, and a Command Center.

Spark is also moving towards a premium model with a new subscription tier. You can continue using the app for free if you don’t need the premium features.

EU passes law forcing Apple to switch to USB-C by 2024

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iPhone X with USB-C port
R.I.P. Lightning ...
Photo: Ken Pillonel

The European Parliament voted in an overwhelming majority Tuesday to enforce USB-C as the standard charging port across a wide range of consumer electronics. The law will come into effect by the end of 2024.

With the legislation passed, Apple has a couple of years to complete the transition of its product lineup to USB-C. The company continues to use the Lightning port on iPhone and some accessories for charging purposes.

Sorry, looks like original AirPods Pro won’t get Adaptive Transparency mode

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AirPods Pro 2 internal view
The original AirPods Pro don't have the hardware for Adaptive Transparency.
Photo: Apple

The hopes of AirPods Pro users were raised recently when evidence pointed to the original version of these wireless earbuds getting Adaptive Transparency, one of best features of the second-generation model. Turns out it’s probably just a mistake.

If you’re really missing the feature, perhaps the best option is to sell your old AirPods for cash to upgrade.

Will Smith’s Emancipation comes in December

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Will Smith's 'Emancipation' comes in December
Will Smith stars in Emancipation, coming to theaters and Apple TV+ in December.
Screenshot: Apple TV+

Still remember why you’re mad at Will Smith? Apple TV+ hopes you’ve forgotten about the “The Slap” by December because that’s when Emancipation staring Smith will reach theaters and the streaming service.

The historical drama is based on the real-life story of a man named Peter, whose saga of escaping slavery made headlines around the world in 1863. A just-released teaser trailer gives a first look.