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Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on Top stories:

Journey’s LOC8 MagSafe iPhone wallet works great with Find My [Review] ★★★★

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Journey LOC8 MagSafe wallet and stand★★★★
Journey's LOC8 MagSafe iPhone wallet and stand is stylish and Find My-friendly.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Losing a wallet and all its contents can be a major drag. But rather than taking up precious space by inserting a tracking card, why not make the whole wallet a tracker? Enter your replacement wallet, Journey’s stylish LOC8 MagSafe Finder Wallet and Stand. And, oh yeah, did I mention it’s not just a magnetic iPhone wallet, it’s an iPhone stand? Yep. And it works beautifully with Find My, just like an AirTag or an Apple device you’d hate to lose.

And better yet, you can take 20% off the regular price of LOC8 through Father’s Day at Journey or Best Buy. See below.

Hands-on with Smart Script in Notes in iPadOS 18

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Hands-on with Smart Script in Notes in iPadOS 18
Smart Script can make your handwriting easier to read, while staying your handwriting.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Notes app in iPadOS 18 includes a new feature called Smart Script that allows users to handwrite text and then have it smoothed and straightened in real time. It promises to make text scrawled on the tablet with an Apple Pencil more readable and aesthetically pleasing.

I tested Smart Script on my iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. It’s not doing exactly what you might think — let me explain.

How to use grocery lists in Reminders on iPhone

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Faster Shopping
Find your way around the store faster by converting your Reminders list into a grocery list.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In iOS 17, you can use Apple’s Reminders app as a grocery list app on your iPhone. It automatically sorts items you add into common sections, which proves incredibly helpful when you go shopping. Just open the Reminders app, and you can easily see if you’ve got everything you need as you’re making your way through the store.

I’ll show you how to use it, including how to share your Reminders app grocery list with someone else so you can both add items and check them off the same list.

Why you shouldn’t fear Apple Intelligence

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Screenshot of Apple introducing Apple Intelligence during the WWDC24 keynote.
Apple Intelligence: "AI for the rest of us."
Photo: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event: Judging by the reaction to Tim Cook’s post on X about Apple Intelligence, the internet is not ready for Siri integrated with ChatGPT. After Monday’s WWDC24 keynote, the Apple CEO posted a link to X about the new AI capabilities coming to Apple devices.

Immediately, dozens of critics — including Elon Musk — piled on. They slammed Apple for working with ChatGPT, which the vast majority of the commenters don’t trust.

“You’ve just ensured that no member of my family will EVER buy another Apple product,” wrote one. “Enjoy your spyfest!”

However, the hailstorm of surprisingly vitriolic and emotional comments seems based on a basic misunderstanding of how Apple Intelligence will work. As privacy-focused as ever, Apple put tons of work into making sure Apple Intelligence will keep your data secure, even from the prying eyes of AI companies it works with.

Here’s why it looks like Apple is doing AI right.

Watch Apple’s WWDC24 keynote in just 90 seconds

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90 Seconds.
Watch the event in just 1.4% of the time.
Image: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event:During its WWDC24 keynote Monday, Apple laid out dramatic new software updates coming to iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Vision Pro — and the awesome Apple Intelligence features that will power them all.

But if you don’t have time to watch the full hour and 45-minute long affair, here it is in just 90 seconds.

Apple Intelligence is AI, done Apple’s way

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Apple software chief Craig Federighi introduces Apple Intelligence during the WWDC24 keynote.
Apple software chief Craig Federighi introduces Apple Intelligence, the company's approach to adding AI to its devices, during the WWDC24 keynote.
Photo: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event: Apple unveiled its bold plan to weave artificial intelligence into its devices Monday, focusing on how the company plans to make AI personal. The new AI-powered features, which will launch in beta later this year under the umbrella term of “Apple Intelligence,” will follow Apple’s unique approach to computing.

“At Apple, it’s always been our goal to design powerful personal products that enrich people’s lives by enabling them to do the things that matter most as simply and easily as possible,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook as he took the wraps off Apple Intelligence during the WWDC24 keynote. “We’ve been using artificial intelligence and machine learning for years to help us further that goal. Recent developments in generative intelligence and large language models offer powerful capabilities that provide the opportunity to take the experience of using Apple products to new heights.”

macOS Sequoia brings iPhone and Mac closer than ever

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Apple software chief Craig Federighi unveils macOS Sequoia at WWDC24.
And the next Mac operating system is ... macOS Sequoia!
Photo: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event: macOS Sequoia brings the “incredible features” of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to your Mac. This includes improvements to the Messages app, Math Notes and more.

Craig Federighi, the Apple software VP who unveiled macOS Sequoia during Monday’s WWDC24 keynote, said the new Mac operating system “introduces even more features to help you effortlessly get things done.”

Here’s what I hope to see at WWDC24 [Wish list]

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WWDC24 Wish List
Here’s what I want to see from WWDC.
Image: Arne Müseler/Wikimedia Commons/Apple

Apple reportedly will focus heavily on AI when it announces the next major versions of all its operating systems Monday at WWDC24. Everyone expects an upgraded Siri, summaries that’ll catch you up on a flurry of notifications, image editing that can cut out parts of a picture and the like. But none of that is on my WWDC wish list.

Personally, I’m not convinced that Apple needs to go all-in on AI (or “Apple Intelligence,” as it reportedly will be called). I’d rather see fundamental fixes and long-missing features finally added. Plus, I find Apple’s rumored partnership with OpenAI, of all companies, pretty troubling.

Here’s my WWDC24 wish list of everything I hope Cupertino has been cooking up. Read the full list below or sit back and watch the video.

All the AI features headed for iPhone, Mac and iPad [Updated]

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An iPhone with the words
New artificial intelligence features are coming to many of the standard iPhone and Mac applications.
Photo: Andrea De Santis/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

New artificial intelligence features are likely to make iOS 18, macOS 15 and iPadOS 18 the biggest upgrades to Apple’s platforms in many years. Leaks say AI enhancements are coming to most of Apple’s standard apps, helping users write, summarize information, clean up images and more. At their announcement coming at next week’s WWDC24, these will all come under the heading of “Apple Intelligence.”

Plus, Siri reportedly will get a significant intelligence upgrade.

What to expect at WWDC24: ‘Apple Intelligence,’ major iOS revamp and more [Updated]

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WWDC24 Artwork
WWDC24 starts Monday, June 10 with Apple’s Keynote at 10 a.m. PST.
Image: Arne Müseler/Wikimedia Commons/Apple

WWDC24 kicks off on June 10 but you don’t need to wait until then to find out what’s in store for iPhone, Mac and other Apple computers. Leaks already revealed much of what to expect at Apple’s annual developers conference, at least in broad terms. Here’s your WWDC24 spoiler alert: “Apple Intelligence” in the form of AI, AI and more AI.

Here’s what will be on the agenda when Apple unveils iOS 18, macOS 15 and iPadOS 18 next week.

Pitaka MagEZ car mount elevates iPhone charging on the road [Review] ★★★★

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Pitaka MagEZ Car Mount Pro 2 Qi2★★★★
Pitaka's mount has a strong magnetic grip for your iPhone or other handset.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Sometimes people take car chargers for granted as merely functional necessities. But Pitaka challenges that with its new MagEZ Car Mount Pro 2 Qi2, a sleek and innovative device that fast-charges your iPhone or other smartphone and streamlines your in-car experience. It takes up little space as it brings your handset’s screen in sight.

As as a Qi2 device, it gives everyone MagSafe-level charging. And the company also makes a MagSafe edition, of course. It’s a great accessory to keep in the car, especially if the car lacks CarPlay on its infotainment screen.

Don’t miss this major deal on Beats Fit Pro earbuds [45% off]

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Better listening with these $110 Beats Fit Pro Earbuds.
Save 45% on these $110 Beats Fit Pro Earbuds.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Beats Fit Pro earbuds deliver rich, immersive sound and powerful bass. These noise-canceling earbuds are serious AirPods Pro competitors (see our comparison), and they bring your music, podcasts and calls to life. Grab a pair, and you’ll enjoy every note and beat with clarity and depth, whether you’re using an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy.

Wirecutter recently called Beats Fit Pro “a great choice for Apple fans who want the easy pairing and ‘Hey Siri‘ voice-control convenience of AirPods, but with a more-secure fit and better controls.” And now you can get these high-quality earbuds at a massive discount, thanks to our new, open-box sale.

For a limited time, snag a pair of Beats Fit Pro earbuds for just $109.99 (regularly $199.99).

Your bedside table deserves this 3-in-1 charging station [Review] ★★★★

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ESR Qi2 3-in-1 charging station★★★★
ESR's Qi2 3-in-1 charging station can wirelessly fast charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods.
Photo: Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

A multidevice charger like the ESR Qi2 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station is a must-have, especially if you own an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. A 3-in-1 charger removes the hassle of dealing with multiple power bricks and cables, which occupy unwanted desk space and power sockets.

ESR recently launched its Qi2 3-in-1 wireless charging station, which stands out for its Qi2 support and detachable Apple Watch charger. Its small footprint, sturdy design and welcome extras make it a solid contender for a prime spot on your nightstand.

How to block contacts from calling, texting and emailing

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Make Like A Lego And Get Blocked
Here are all the details on how to block a number on iPhone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Spam calls and text messages seem absolutely relentless these days — you’ll want to know how to block a number on your iPhone to keep your sanity. Luckily, it’s easy. There are a variety of ways you can stop unwanted calls. You can block an incoming phone call or text message. And you can send unknown callers directly to Live Voicemail.

If you’re blocking a person in your contacts list, it doesn’t matter which app you block them from — Messages, Phone, Contacts, Mail, Settings — they will be blocked everywhere. Here’s how to block calls from unknown numbers on iPhone and generally keep spammers at bay.

What do the Apple Watch buttons do? Click, double-click and hold.

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What do the buttons do?
The buttons on the Apple Watch switch apps, activate Apple Pay, open Siri and more.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

What do the buttons on the Apple Watch do? The Apple Watch borrows a lot from the iPhone, but the biggest difference between the two devices comes down to the way their buttons work. They do different things whether you click, double-click or hold them down.

In watchOS 10, Apple changed a lot of these features. The software update added a new Widgets view, assigned Control Center to the side button, and changed what double-clicking the Digital Crown does. (For older devices, consult our article about what Apple Watch buttons do in watchOS 9.)

Here’s a guide to the buttons on the Apple Watch.

How to find your lost Apple TV remote with your iPhone

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Screenshot of an iPhone feature that lets you find a lost Apple TV remote. The phrase
A modern solution to an age-old problem.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Whether it’s wedged between the cushions or kicked far under the couch, a handy-dandy feature in iOS 17 and tvOS 17 lets you find your lost Apple TV remote using your iPhone.

Sure, you can take the L and simply use your iPhone or Apple Watch to control your Apple TV. But I like having the physical remote on hand, too.

The mind races when one imagines how many hours of human life might have been saved if everyone had this feature 30 years ago. Let me show you how to find your AWOL Apple TV remote with your iPhone.

Though cool, Apple Pencil Pro could be overkill for many iPad users [Review] ★★★★★

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A photo of the new Apple stylus on an iPad illustrates this Apple Pencil Pro review.★★★★★
Apple Pencil Pro is brilliant for artists, but what about people who simply want to take notes?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple Pencil Pro is the latest and greatest iPad stylus coming out of Cupertino. It adds a new “squeeze” gesture, an internal gyroscope, haptic feedback and Find My support. I’m not a digital artist, so for this iPad Pencil review, I tested the stylus by writing notes, entering text with Scribble and doing moderate editing of photographs.

Plenty of artists have reviewed the new accessory, so my goal was to answer the question, “Does a typical iPad user need Apple Pencil Pro?” Or would a cheaper alternative suffice?

Instantly share photos, videos, links and more with AirDrop

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Drop It My Way
AirDrop is right up there with iMessage as a great Apple-exclusive feature. Learn how to use it.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you want to know the fastest and easiest way to send someone photos, videos, files and so, so much more, you should know how to AirDrop. There’s no need to send an iMessage — Apple’s slick AirDrop feature will immediately send and open the content on someone else’s iPhone (or other Apple device). There’s no middle step.

AirDrop works iPhone-to-iPhone, iPhone-to-Mac, iPhone-to-iPad, Vision Pro-to-Mac — any combination and permutation of two Apple devices. And if you’re both running iOS 17, there’s a convenient AirDrop superpower you should definitely know about. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how to take advantage of AirDrop.

How to create a great iPhone contact poster

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Text: “Make a killer contact card” next to a screenshot of an iOS 17 Contact Poster
When I say “killer,” I mean in the awesome way. I do not endorse committing murder with your contact card. But if you can figure out how that works, I’d be curious.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Contact posters let you customize how your Apple contact card looks to other people. If you call someone — and they have your contact info in their address book — your customized contact poster will appear on their screen. If you’re running iOS 17 and don’t know how to create a Contact Poster, let us show you how. (The process might look familiar if you’ve set up a custom Lock Screen.)

Done right, contact posters look great — way better than the old thumbnail images that preceded them. Plus, it’s really easy to turn an ordinary picture into a gorgeous-looking contact poster. And once you set it up, everyone with your matching phone number and/or Apple ID will see your chosen contact picture and personalized contact poster.

Marvel’s What If…? shows off the promise of spatial gaming ★★★★☆

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A promo image for Marvel Studios' ★★★★☆
The free Vision Pro app plunges you in the the Marvel multiverse.
Image: Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive

Marvel Studios’ new What If…? An Immersive Story is a free app for Apple’s Vision Pro headset that combines interactivity with storytelling in a brand-new way. Is it a game? Is it an episode of the What If…? animated TV series? It’s not entirely either. It’s an hour-long story where you’re the main character, casting spells with your hands and collecting the Infinity Stones.

If you aren’t a Marvel fan, you’ll find the story a bit drab. But if you want to see the bleeding edge of what’s possible in gaming when you can seamlessly switch between VR and AR with natural hand controls, you need to check it out.

It’s like no other game I’ve ever played.

Today in Apple history: Apple II gets its first disk drive

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Disk II pic
The Disk II floppy drive was anything but a flop for Apple.
Photo: Wikipedia CC

June 1: Today in Apple history: Apple II gets a disk drive, the Disk II floppy drive June 1, 1978: Apple launches the Disk II floppy drive, one of the company’s most important peripherals ever.

The best floppy drive available at the time, Disk II solves the Apple II computer’s most glaring weakness — a lack of storage. It also helps establish Apple’s flair for handsome profit margins.

3 secret iPhone gestures you need to know

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iPhone’s Secret Gestures
Top 3 tips to speed up a few things on your iPhone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

There are a few hidden gestures on your iPhone that you absolutely need to know. You’re typing out a long text on your iPhone and you need to go back to fix a typo. Tapping on the screen to move the cursor feels like a shot in the dark — but there’s a secret gesture to move around and select text.

Here are three top iPhone tips. Also in this article: how to select and delete a bunch of emails, text messages, anything in a list at once; and the secret gestures that undo and redo. Like, for example, if you accidentally delete a bunch of emails.

How and why to use an external webcam with your iPad

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External webcam with iPad How To
There are good reasons to use an external webcam with your iPad. Here's why and how.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A trick you might have missed with the release of iPadOS 17 is support for external USB-C webcams. As good as the tablet’s front-facing camera is, it’s now possible to use a webcam with an iPad.

Here’s why you might be interested, and how to connect a webcam to your iPad with a USB-C port.

M2 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Air: Should you upgrade?

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M2 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPAd Air comparison
Should you ditch your Pro for the newest Air?
Image: Apple/Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

Apple’s recently released M2 iPad Air packs modest upgrades over its predecessor and the same processor as 2022’s M2 iPad Pro. How do the two Apple tablets with identical M2 chips compare? Find out in our M2 iPad Pro vs. M2 iPad Air comparison.

While the new midrange tablet seems tempting, an iPad Air is still an Air, not a Pro.

Stop the fireworks! Here’s how to turn off webcam video reactions on Mac.

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Fireworks!!!!
Virtual fireworks are fun. But on some video calls, they prove wildly inappropriate.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How do you turn off the webcam video reactions on your Mac in macOS Sonoma? This feature, which puts full-screen animated effects on your video calls, made a good demo when it was introduced. But after it launched, it confused many people who trigger it accidentally in serious situations.

It works in FaceTime video calls and various other videoconferencing software. However, the Off button isn’t where you might expect. It’s not hiding in Zoom, Skype or Google Meet at all — it’s in the Mac’s menu bar.

Let me show you what’s going on and how you can turn off video reactions on Mac.