Mac to the future! [Cult of Mac Magazine 390]

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The past possesses a certain appeal.
The past possesses a certain appeal.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

If the latest Apple leaks and rumors prove correct, this year’s new Macs might seem strangely familiar. From colorful iMacs to the reintroduction of long-lost MacBook ports, it looks like Apple might go retro in a big way.

Cult of Mac writer Luke Dormehl dives into the phenomenon and makes the case for why going “Mac to the future” might be just fine.

And speaking of bad things … our Apple TV+ reviewer Scout Tafoya got an early look at Cherry, the new movie from longtime Marvel directors the Russo brothers. Let’s just say things went a little sour. (Scout’s blistering review of Cherry is pretty epic.)

On the other hand, he liked the new documentary Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry. That movie arrived on Apple’s streaming service this week, in case you’re looking for a little weekend viewing.

Read these stories and more in this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. It’s free and built for easy reading on your favorite iOS device. (If you don’t want to download the free app, you can get the links in any web browser below.)

Today in Apple history: Apple bids farewell to the Newton

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The Newton MessagePad 2100 was the last hurrah for Apple's Newton line.
The MessagePad was a product ahead of its time.
Photo: Moparx

February 27: Today in Apple history: Apple discontinues Newton MessagePad February 27, 1998: Apple discontinues work on the Newton MessagePad product line, the series of personal digital assistants the company launched five years earlier.

“This decision is consistent with our strategy to focus all our software development resources on extending the Macintosh operating system,” Steve Jobs says at the time. “To realize our ambitious plans we must focus all of our efforts in one direction.”

Treat your AirPods Pro like gold with this $17 accessories kit

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AirPods
Keep your pricey earbuds handy and protected with this kit.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

First there were AirPods — then there were AirPods Pro. The two may look similar, but they’re actually very different. Apple spent a full year on development and refinement, giving the AirPods Pro true noise cancellation (versus simply passive noise cancellation in the eartips), a water-resistance level of IPX4, custom eartips for a better fit and a pressure valve to help reduce the pressure inside your ear.

There’s fire inside and out in Dickinson’s season 2 finale [Apple TV+ review]

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Will Pullen as the ghost of Emily's future on this week's Dickinson
Will Pullen plays the ghost of Emily's future in the season 2 finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

Bad dreams, dead rebels, crumbling marriages, and new babies all collide in Dickinson’s season 2 finale.

The Apple TV+ show about the famous feminist legend of poetry needs to tie up a lot of loose ends. But it’s got to also leave enough left unanswered to entice viewers for next season. Can it accomplish all this on its own terms?

This week on The CultCast: All-new MacBook Pros, iMacs, Mac Pro minis, incoming!

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CultCast 442: AirPods with health sensors
Looks like the Mac lineup is about to get even more magical.
Image: The CultCast

This week on The CultCast: We’ve got new details and leaks on the upcoming MacBook Pros, iMacs and Mac Pro mini … or will it be the Mac mini Pro? Plus: Lossless music is coming to Spotify, which means the mythical Apple Music lossless is likely right around the corner!

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Bouncing light looks unbelievably beautiful in new puzzle game Lyxo

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Lyxo
Halfway between a physics puzzler and a psychedelic light show.
Photo: Emoak

Lyxo is an ultra-realistic game about bounced light. It’s also one of the most aesthetically beautiful games to arrive in the App Store for quite a while. And, yes, it’s possible to be both at once.

“I first had the idea while lying in bed one morning,” Tobias Sturn, the one-person development studio known as Emoak, told Cult of Mac. “I saw a beam of light falling beautifully into the room, and cutting through the shadows. Immediately, I thought of a game where the player uses mirrors to guide a beam of light through a completely dark room.”

Jump forward a little over a year, and this week Lyxo launched on iOS. Sturn took us through the game’s creation, including opening up his sketchbooks, and explained his crash course in physics to build the game engine.

First 14-inch MacBook Pro with mini LED moves closer to release

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First 14-inch MacBook Pro with mini LED moves closer to release
There’s a to of hope that the 14-inch MacBook Pro will have slim screen bezels.
Photo: Apple

Apple reportedly plans to shake up the design of the MacBook Pro later in 2021. Sources in the company’s Asian supply chain assert that a 14-inch model is on the way, a first for Apple.

Just as importantly, it and an improved 16-inch MacBook Pro supposedly will be the first macOS notebooks with a mini-LED display, improving the look of the screen.

Designer’s sublime space feeds his creative process [Setups]

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Arun Venkatesan's setup is a light and airy marriage of form and function.
Arun Venkatesan's setup is a light and airy marriage of form and function.
Photo: Arun Venkatesan

San Francisco-based designer Arun Venkatesan is about to take delivery on a 2020 MacBook Air with an M1 chip to replace the 2013 MacBook Air he uses in tandem with his 2018 MacBook Pro. But the new Mac isn’t really what he’s excited about.

He thinks less about having the latest technology and more about how his tools fit into his design philosophy, which he wrote about at length here. Form and function meet in his elegant and minimal setup.