How Apple tricks our brains into accepting high prices

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This genius psychological tactic makes Apple's high prices seem totally reasonable.
This genius psychological tactic makes Apple's high prices seem totally reasonable.
Photo: meo/Pexels CC

During the WWDC 2019 keynote, most of Apple’s latest creations drew enthusiastic applause, with one notable exception. The price of Apple’s new Pro Display XDR elicited a somewhat cooler response. But considering just how expensive the monitor is, the fact that it got any applause at all was pretty remarkable.

This is not the first time Apple has had to convince us to pony up for an eye-watering sticker price. Cupertino pulls from a well-established playbook for its keynotes, often employing behavioral science techniques to help soften the blow. (To our brains at least, if not to our wallets).

Adonit Note is the affordable stylus your iPad needs [Review]

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Adonit Note review
Adonit Note costs half and much, looks twice as good as Apple Pencil.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

More than artists want to draw on their iPad, and Adonit has just introduced a stylus for the rest of us. This lightweight accessory offers most of the features of the Apple Pencil, while costing far, far less.

We fully tested the Adonit Note iPad stylus, so be sure to read our review.

Everything you need to know about external hard drives and iPadOS

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Hook up any and all USB storage devices to your iPad.
Hook up any and all USB storage devices to your iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

External storage support is one of the best new features in iPadOS. Even if you opted for the maximum iPad Pro storage capacity, you may often want to grab some movies from a hard drive, or save some songs and photos to a thumb drive to hand to a friend.

But how exactly does external storage work in iOS? Can you drag files between connected volumes? Can you even mount more than one drive at once? What about FAT32? Or HFS Plus? And do you have to eject them? Let’s find out.

Apple Pencil and QuickPath floating keyboard revolutionize iPad typing

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What can't the iPad do in iPadOS?
What can't the iPad do in iPadOS?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Were you ever drawing a diagram in the Notes app, and then realized you needed to type a note? Did you then find yourself frustrated at having to drop the Apple Pencil and type on the huge, half-screen QWERTY keyboard?

In iPadOS, Apple removed that frustration. You still can’t do Newton-style handwriting and have it turn into text. But you can shrink the keyboard to a tiny floating panel, and use the Apple Pencil to swipe-type on it.

Mystery MacBooks pop up in Eurasian database

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The days when you could get a 17-inch MacBook Pro like this one could be returning.
A rumored replacement for 2012’s 17-inch MacBook Pro might have just appeared in a regulatory body’s database.
Photo: Apple

Much-anticipated additional 2019 MacBooks have apparently just shown up in a Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database.

There are seven variations listed, one of which could be the super-size model a trusted analyst says is on the way.

iPadOS Files’ search is now almost as good as the Mac’s

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Files app iPadOS
Files can be stored in drawers.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Files app is waaaaay better in iOS 13 and iPadOS. It adds external USB storage support, so you can plug in anything from a hard drive or USB-C stick to a synthesizer that can mount as a USB drive to load samples and presets.

Apple’s built-in file-management app adds column view (with a handy preview) and all the metadata you want to know about a given file. And it also benefits from a massively upgraded search feature.

Dual wireless charger takes the fuss out of juicing up [Review]

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Choetech Dual Wireless Fast Charger
Is a five-coil wireless charger bananas?
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

You wanted an AirPower, but Apple failed you. While the Choetech Dual Wireless Fast Charger does not pack all the advanced features of Apple’s infamous vaporware, this five-coil wireless charger does deliver several welcome advantages over standard Qi chargers.

And these come at a fraction of the price Cupertino probably planned to extract from your overburdened wallet. If you want to charge two devices at once, this could be the charger for you.

UAG Scout brings serious drop protection to iPad Pro with Apple keyboard [Review]

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UAG Scout for iPad Pro
The UAG Scout shields both a 2018 iPad Pro and an Apple Smart Keyboard Folio.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Some third-party case makers have begun treating the iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard Folio attached as a single device. Urban Armor Gear is the latest to introduce a lightweight protective case that goes around both, adding drop protection and an Apple Pencil holder.

Don’t miss our hands-on review of the UAG Scout Series, which is available for the most recent 12.9- and 11-inch iPad Pro.

Check out the next-level photo editing tools in iOS 13

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In iOS 13, Photos is now an image-editing powerhouse
In iOS 13, Photos is now an image-editing powerhouse
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Photos app in iOS 13 is now good enough that you may never need another app to edit your photos, for regular edits at least. Somehow Apple made the app even easier to use, and added some new features, while making existing features far easier to find.

For instance, Portrait Mode now gets its own tab; the automatic magic wand tool can now be fine-tuned (as can the built-in filters); and the crop tool now fixes perspective, and mirror-flips your photos.