10 things you didn’t know about Apple Watch [Cult of Mac Magazine 343]

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Apple Watch trivia: So you think you know Apple Watch, do you?
So you think you know Apple Watch, do you?
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Take your mind off the coronavirus pandemic with our latest installment of Apple trivia. This time we focus on Cupertino’s kick-ass wearable. Yes, it’s 10 things you probably didn’t know about Apple Watch. For more diversions, read our latest reviews of Apple TV+ shows: The Amazing Stories season finale and promising new mystery Home Before Dark.

If you must dwell on COVID-19, how about a timely how-to? Learn how to make your own DIY mask (thanks to clever instructions from a legendary Apple coder). Get the low-down on that project as well as more Apple news, how-tos and reviews in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine.

Download it from the iOS App Store now. Or get the week’s top stories below.

Make yourself more marketable as an Excel expert [Deals]

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The Premium A to Z Microsoft Excel Bundle
Score lifelong access to almost two days' worth of instruction in Excel from beginning up to advanced.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The world’s current chaos and uncertainty make this the perfect time to prepare for the future job market. There’s one thing we can be sure of: The future will continue to run on Microsoft Office suite. That means this massive Microsoft Excel lesson bundle will boost almost anyone’s resume.

Today in Apple history: Apple frenemy Microsoft is born

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Bill Gates
Apple and Microsoft had a long and storied history together.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

April 4: Today in Apple history: Microsoft founded April 4, 1975: Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft Corporation, a software company destined to become a tech behemoth — and a major Apple frenemy.

A few years later, Microsoft will break through to the mainstream with Excel and Word, becoming a key developer of Macintosh software. Then comes the Windows operating system, looking suspiciously Apple-like. After that, Microsoft and Apple embark upon a long-running feud.

Amazing Stories ends with a bang, should have settled for a whimper [Review]

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Kerry Bishé in Amazing Stories
Kerry Bishé closes out the first season of the new Amazing Stories
Photo: Apple TV+

Amazing Stories’ season finale “The Rift” serves as a case study into the rebooted show’s highs and lows. With its five-episode run complete, the ways in which the Apple TV+ anthology series succeeded — and the ways it failed to cohere — become more obvious than ever.

“The Rift” was directed by Mark Mylod and written by Don Handfield and Richard Rayner (co-creators of History Channel’s Knightfall). However, the episode takes more cues from executive producer Steven Spielberg than nearly any of the preceding entries, to both its detriment and its occasional benefit. The real MVP of the piece, however, is the perpetually underrated Kerry Bishé.

How to make your own coronavirus Ragmask

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Make your own protective mask with Ragmask's amazing guide.
Make your own protective mask with Ragmask's amazing guide.
Photo: Ragmask

Do you need a coronavirus mask? The World Health Organization still says no, unless you are caring for someone with COVID-19 or carrying the virus that causes it yourself. But perhaps The WHO isn’t as impartial as we’d like to think. As health experts’ opinions on the subject evolve, a DIY homemade mask looks increasingly enticing.

Perhaps wearing a mask when you take the subway or visit a supermarket is a good idea after all. Whatever, none of this changes the fact that you cannot buy a mask anywhere. But you can make your own. Check out the Ragmask, a homemade mask deign from Loren Brichter. Yes, that Loren Brichter — the former Apple employee who went on to develop Tweetie and was dubbed the “high priest of app design” by The Wall Street Journal.

Home Before Dark gives us a tiny hero for uncertain times [Review]

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Home Before Dark review: Jibrail Nantambu, Brooklynn Prince and Deric McCabe solve crime adorably.
Jibrail Nantambu, Brooklynn Prince and Deric McCabe solve crime adorably in Home Before Dark .
Photo: Apple TV+

Based on the real-life exploits of preteen reporter Hilde Kate Lysiak, who was a published journalist before she had all her teeth, Apple TV+’s new series Home Before Dark is an exciting and endearing new offering.

The streaming service released all 10 episodes of the show’s first season Friday. The first three brisk episodes build a strong case for the show’s quick renewal.  And they also reveal Home Before Dark’s tiny hero, Brooklynn Prince, as a certified star.

Last chance! Buy a magnetic Xvida charger, get 50% off an iPhone case

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Xvida-iPhone
This deal can't last long, so enjoy it while you can!
Photo: Xvida

The Cult of Mac Store is bringing you an exclusive discount on Xvida’s magnificent magnetic accessories for iPhone. Buy any charging pad, charging stand, or portable power bank and bag an Xvida case at half the usual price.

This deal ends tomorrow, April 4, so enjoy it while you can!

This app uses a scientifically tested method to get you sleeping in two minutes [Deals]

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Restly Sleep App
Fall into deep sleep in just 2 minutes with this app's voice guidance with calming background sounds.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re having trouble sleeping these days, you’re not alone. Stress is high, schedules are screwy, and the future is uncertain — but a good night’s sleep is as important as ever. Plenty of us are staring at our phones instead of sacking out, but now your phone can actually help get much-needed Zzs.

Apple eliminates iPhone camera hijack; pays hacker $75,000

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iPhone-11-cameras
Safari flaws allowed camera and microphone access on iPhone.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has eliminated a number of serious flaws that allowed an iPhone’s camera to be hijacked.

Hacker Ryan Pickren discovered the vulnerabilities during a “pretty intense” bug-hunting expedition in Safari. He was paid $75,000 through Apple’s Bug Bounty Program for his efforts.

We talk the return of iPhone SE! This week, on The CultCast

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CultCast 433
New budget iPhone ... incoming???
Photo: @YSR50

This week on The CultCast: iPhone SE… 2! Let’s talk about it. Plus: Apple is “scrambling” to prevent iPhone 12 delays amidst COVID-19 challenges; and we wrap up with an all new What We’re Into, Quarantine Edition! We’ll tell you about the shows, game videos and other stuff we’re doing with our extra “free” time.

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