Apple invites users to donate following U.K.’s Grenfell Tower tragedy

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Donation
Apple is making it easy to donate.
Photo: Apple

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, Apple has updated its U.K. homepage to make it easy for people to contribute toward fundraising, by purchasing the charity single or making a direct donation.

The Grenfell Tower fire started on June 14, with the 24-storey residential tower block being engulfed in flame in the deadliest fire in Great Britain since those caused by the air raids during World War II. Up to 79 people died as a result of the blaze.

The powerful iOS 11 features you haven’t heard of, this week on The CultCast

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iOS 11 WWDC Hero
This week we'll tell you about iOS 11's best lesser-known features.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: More of the powerful new iOS 11 features you’ve never heard of! Plus: The talented app that will harnesses the power of Apple’s new augmented reality features; Scott Forstall is back, and he’s sharing the bizarre story of how the original iPhone really came to be; and everything you need to know about HEIF, the JPEG-killing format Apple is adopting.

Our thanks to Blue Apron for supporting this episode. Blue Apron makes it easy to cook delicious meals at home. Get your first three meals free at BlueApron.com/CultCast.

Former Apple product design engineer reveals how Apple runs its factories

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Instrumental CEO Anna-Katrina Shedletsky
Anna Katrina Shedletsky is a former Apple product design engineer who is using her experience to build AI that helps companies streamline manufacturing.
Photo: Instrumental

On this week’s Apple Chat (the podcast formerly known as Kahney’s Korner): I talk with former Apple product design engineer Anna-Katrina Shedletsky about her take on modern manufacturing and how AI will revolutionize factories. She introduces us to her new company, Instrumental, which is using machine learning to help manufacturers identify and fix problems on their assembly lines.

Using her hard-earned experience at Apple overseeing the production of the first Apple Watch and several generations of the iPod, Shedletsky says machine learning is coming fast to manufacturing. Amazingly, almost all consumer electronics products are still assembled by hand — including hundreds of millions of iPhones.

But that’s changing. Manufacturing is undergoing a huge sea change with the advance of robotics and AI.

How to use iOS 11’s powerful new screenshot markup tool

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screenshot markup
Screenshots have moved from a semi-secret, mostly-hidden feature to a proper tool.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11 has added some great new features to the humble screenshot tool. You can quickly view a new screenshot without a trip to the Photos app first, and you can edit and mark it up before saving it. By adding some powerful pro-level features to screenshot markup, Apple has –somewhat ironically — made them way more useful and accessible for everyone.

Save on luxury Apple Watch bands with Ullu’s summer sale [Watch Store]

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Ullu Summer Sale
Ullu offers a line of luxury Apple Watch bands in premium leathers that include stringray and ostrich.
Photo: Courtesy of Ullu

Ullu offers a taste of the accessibly exotic with its line of handcrafted leather bands for Apple Watch. The Apple-centric accessories brand offers luxurious bands in ostrich and stingray, as well as its signature Italian leather bands.

For the month of June, Ullu is hosting a summer sale — save up to 20 percent on select straps for Apple Watch. Peruse the collection of colorful, artisan-made bands in our Watch Store, and step up your summer style.

New Siri icon in iOS 11 may hint at iPhone 8’s virtual Home button

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The iPhone's home button could be going away.
The iPhone's home button could be going away.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple may have left a big clue in iOS 11 that points to huge design changes coming later this year to the iPhone 8.

While doing some testing with the new Do Not Disturb When Driving feature, eagle-eyed Apple observers have spotted a new icon for Siri in iOS 11 that appears to be a perfect replacement for the Home button Apple is supposedly planning to ditch.

Take a look:

Time tracking is made painless and easy with Timing 2 app [Review]

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Timing 2 time tracking Mac app
Timing 2 makes time tracking on your Mac easy, not a chore.
Photo: Screenshot: Timing / Daniel Alm

I recently switched back to freelancing full-time, and whilst I am lucky enough to have clients who don’t ask for precise hourly breakdowns, I have always been intrigued to know how much time I was spending on work tasks, especially those tasks that I didn’t directly bill for.

Many time trackers rely on you explicitly setting the task you are tracking and remembering to switch to another task when it’s time to track that. This is easy to forget, and for someone like me who switches tasks frequently, it’s hard to always know when one task finishes and another begins.

Timing 2 takes a different perspective. Instead of tracking by task, it tracks by application usage and uses a set of rules to assign activities in those applications to certain projects and tasks. The premise is that after a learning process, you can leave the application running behind the scenes and it’ll track everything for you automatically. You only need audit the results.

iOS 11 brings 5 different types of tap, but don’t panic

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five touches
Both of these were caused by tap-and-hold, which sounds confusing but isn't.
Photo: Cult of Mac

When the iPhone launched 10 years ago, there were two kinds of tap. A regular tap for everything, and a special press-and-hold to get the Home screen icons jiggling and ready to rearrange. That was it. Now, with iOS 11, I have counted at least five different types of tap and press, and that’s just on the iPad. If you count the iPhone, then you also have 3D-Touch to deal with.

Partly this comes down to the new systemwide drag-and-drop capability baked into in iOS 11, and partly it has to do with Apple trying to mimic 3D Touch’s pressure sensitivity on the iPad.

The biggest surprise, though, is that Apple managed to pull it off, even in the early iOS 11 beta I’m running now. Not only are these gestures all intuitive, but the overall feel of interaction has gotten way better.