The latest AirTag and Apple Watch rumors make us giddy [The CultCast]

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An Apple AirTag and an Apple Watch Ultra: We're talking the latest Apple rumors on The CultCast, episode 606.
AirTags with new functionality and Apple Watches in new colors sound good to us.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Which gets you more excited, an AirTag with new AR capabilities, a pink Apple Watch or a black titanium Apple Watch Ultra? This week’s top Apple rumors fuel our imaginations …

Also on The CultCast:

  • Apple touts 1 billion paid subscribers, a gigantic number that pushed the company to record-high revenue for its services division last quarter.
  • Leander cooks up a cheap-and-dirty way to add CarPlay to any car, even an old beater. (Still can’t get him to come on the podcast, though, because … 👀.
  • Tim Cook finally plays the AI card as Apple tries to cash in on the latest tech buzzword.
  • Griffin proves he’s a total nerd the consummate tech collector by revealing what he uses an ancient Apple Newton for these days.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

Today in Apple history: Beginning of the end for clone Macs

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Power Computing clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
Clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
Photo: Antnik

August 5: Today in Apple history: Beginning of the end for Power Computing Mac clones August 5, 1997: Apple gets into a standoff with Power Computing, a maker of Macintosh clones. It marks the beginning of the end for Apple’s mid-’90s strategy of licensing the Mac operating system.

“If the [Mac] platform goes closed, it is over,” predicts Power Computing CEO Joel J. Kocher of Apple’s strategy. “[It’s] total destruction. The kiss of death.” Of course, things don’t turn out exactly like that for Apple…

Get lifetime access to guided meditations for less than $70

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Get lifetime access to guided meditations and more for under $70.
Ease anxiety, sleep better and generally find your bliss with a lifetime subscription to this top-rated meditation app.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Daily meditation can work wonders by restoring your focus and improving your mood. And we’ve got a deal on an excellent app that can help. Our Back-to-School Sale now gives new users more than 50% off a lifetime subscription to Mindfulness.com, plus access to its entire mental health toolkit.

All 25 iPhone Action and side button accessibility shortcuts, ranked

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All 25 Side Button Features
The side button does much more than you think. Who needs an action button?
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 15 Pro replaces the mute/silent switch with a customizable Action button that can do a number of actions you pick. If you set it to an Accessibility feature, you have 25 different options that you can toggle on or off.

And on any older iPhone, you can simply triple-click the side button to access the same 25 accessibility features. You can’t do things like launch a Shortcut or turn on your iPhone’s flashlight, but a lot of people can benefit from these features.

Here are all 25 of the features you can assign to a button on your iPhone — and what they do.

Foundation takes a moment for humanity [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Dimitri Leonidas and Isabella Laughland in ★★★★☆
Hober (played by Dimitri Leonidas, left) and Constant (Isabella Laughland) grow closer this week on Foundation.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s magnificent space opera Foundation is lost in space this week. A small party heads inside the Vault on Terminus to speak to the prophet — and comes away bewildered by what they find.

Plus, Bel Riose is back in action and finds himself a different creature than when last he stormed the battlefield. And Brother Day’s marriage is about to get complicated by his bride’s secret, all on a very l0vely episode of the series, entitled “Where the Stars Are Scattered Thinly.”

Invest like a pro with this expert stocks bundle

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Invest like a pro with back to school pricing on this expert stocks bundle.
Get this top stocks app plus expert investment training for less than $120.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

It’s never too early to start investing, but that first step into the stock market can be a doozy. It can also be a costly one if you go in without doing your research. But now there’s an easy way for first-time investors to get the know-how they need.

You can can get five hours of expert tips on how to start your portfolio, plus lifetime access to the Tykr stock screening service, for just $119.99. Now that’s a smart investment!

Secrets and hard decisions bring Swagger to a boil [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★★

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Isaiah Hill in ★★★★★
Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) and Team Swagger need to bring the heat.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewSwagger finds Ike and Naim at odds this week, even as CJ and Camden share a road trip and some secrets. And while Emory and Ike pursue a common goal, the team faces more scrutiny than ever.

With so little left of the sports drama’s extremely strong second season, how will the building pressure come between the players and their goals? Entitled “Homecoming,” this week’s stirring and strong episode hits hard as we prepare to wrap up season two of this outstanding Apple TV+ show.

MacBook Air pairs with Studio Display in creator rig [Setups]

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Wade said his setup is usually a total mess, but he cleaned it up for once.
Wade said his setup is usually a total mess, but he cleaned it up for once.
Photo: Wade B. TechDaily

It’s only natural that a user would clean up his computer setup to show it off to the world, and that’s exactly what TechDaily’s Wade B. did with his MacBook Air and Studio Display setup before sending it to us with a video.

“It’s really the first time I’ve ever had a desk that wasn’t a total disaster area,” he told Cult of Mac.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs acknowledges MobileMe failure

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MobileMepic
MobileMe was the failed precursor to iCloud.
Photo: Apple

August 4: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs acknowledges MobileMe failure August 4, 2008: Steve Jobs owns up to mistakes in launching MobileMe, spinning Apple’s bungled cloud service rollout as a learning opportunity.

“It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store,” Jobs writes in an email to Apple employees. “We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.”

Slash $50 off power bank perfect for blackouts and camping

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Anker's portable power bank has a light and 60,000mAh battery capacity to charge your devices.
Anker's portable power bank has a light and 60,000mAh battery capacity to charge your devices.
Photo: Anker

You may not want to lug around a full-on generator for the occasional camping trip or brief power outage, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a powerful little one to provide light and keep your gadgets going?

That’s the Anker 548 Power Bank PowerCore Reserve Portable Charger. And you can get $50 off the regular price right now on Amazon.

Tim Cook calls AI ‘absolutely critical’ to Apple products

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Apple's got AI inside.
Why doesn't Apple go on and on about the "AI revolution"? Because it's already baked-in to Apple products.
Image: Michael DziedzicUnsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

Apple has been conspicuously quiet about its plans for artificial intelligence, even as rivals like Google and Microsoft made headlines touting the latest tech buzzword. But CEO Tim Cook leaped to his company’s defense Thursday, pointing out that AI is already used by many Apple products.

And he also listed upcoming software and services that wouldn’t be possible without machine learning and AI.

Get 3 charging spots in 1 with back-to-school pricing on this compact power hub

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Get 3 charging spots in 1 with back-to-school pricing on this compact power hub.
This 3-in-1 charging hub is under $40 during our Back-to-School Sale.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re heading back to school next month, chances are you’re taking a lot more than schoolbooks. Bright students use their iPhones and iPads to take notes and keep their class schedules organized, but it’s a lot harder to keep your desk organized when those devices and their charging cables start piling up.

Now, there’s an ingenious, space-saving charging solution for every student’s (or working professional’s) tech needs. Whether you’re juggling countless cables to keep your iPad charged for taking lecture notes or juice up your iPhone for important work conferences, you need to upgrade your charging experience to the MagStack Foldable 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station. During our Back-to-School Sale, you can get it for only $39.97, the best price online, but only until August 13 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

1 billion subscribers push Apple’s services revenue to all-time high [Updated]

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Apple logo with
Apple says more than a billion paid subscriptions pushed services revenues to an all-time high last quarter.
Photo: Goran Bogicevic/Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

The number of people subscribing to Apple services passed the 1 billion mark during the company’s most recent financial quarter, allowing that segment of the company to bring in record revenue.

But total revenue decreased slightly during the June quarter, the third time that’s happened in a row. And the money coming in from all Apple’s hardware groups is down.

Would you buy Apple Watch 9 or Ultra 2 in these new colors?

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Apple Watch Ultra 2 may come with both plain and black titanium cases.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 may come with both plain and black titanium cases.
Photo: @ShrimpApplePro

You can expect a new color for Apple Watch Series 9 — pink — and a new black titanium case for the second-gen Apple Watch Ultra, according to a reliable leaker.

If Apple remains true to its usual scheduling, we should see both new items in September at an event unveiling the iPhone 15 lineup.

This is the power bank professional digital nomads are looking for [Review] ★★★★

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HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack review★★★★
The latest HyperJuice power bank is big but is packed with features professionals will love.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack has four USB-C ports, stores a whopping 27,000mAh and can output 100W through a single port for high-speed recharges. Plus, its built-in display gives more info about the battery status than any rival I’ve tested.

I used Hyper’s power bank on vacation and when working out of the office. Here’s why I love it.

This pixel-precise stylus for iPad (and other tablets) costs less than $36

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This pixel-precise digital pen for iPad and other tablets is now under $36.
Head back to school with this affordable stylus, now only $35.97.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Going back to school means taking notes, marking up projects and assignments and perhaps a little doodling on your iPad as well. But, you can’t do any of that without a reliable and precise stylus for your tablet. While the Apple Pencil works great, it costs a lot. Fortunately, we’re offering a much more affordable iPad stylus just in time for the new school year.

The Digi Pen for iPad is designed to make it feel like you’re using pen and paper, without any of the drawbacks of those old-school school supplies. And you can save $64 on Digi Pen during our Back-to-School Sale. Through August 13 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, you can get it for only $35.97 (regularly $99).

Get these award-winning earbud translators for less than $100

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Get these award-winning earbud translators for under $100 during our Back-to-School Sale.
Stop struggling to understand foreign languages. These translation earbuds can do it in real time.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Imagine being able to communicate with people of other cultures in 37 different languages, all with the same earbuds that you use to listen to music and answer calls. That’s precisely what you can get with Mymanu’s Clik S Translation Earbuds.

And now you can take advantage of this amazing tech for less. Thanks to our Back-to-School Sale, you can get a set of these translating Bluetooth earbuds for only $99.97 (regularly $157).

Wall Street feels meh about Apple earnings, looks to future

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meh.
Yawn.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple is about to reveal the financial results of its most recent quarter, and Wall Street analysts are preparing for a whole lot of ho-hum. They’re predicting a very slight drop in revenue and earnings, during a traditionally slow time of the year for Apple sales.

That said, Apple has a habit of beating analysts’ predictions. So Thursday’s earnings call could be more upbeat than expected.

Pumped for Physical season 3? Here’s why we’re really not. [Apple TV+ reviews] ★★☆☆☆

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Episode 10. Rose Byrne in ★★☆☆☆
It's basically more of the same for Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) in season three of Physical.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s enormously frustrating ’80s fitness comedy Physical bounces back for its third and final season this week. Aerobics queen Sheila faces a new adversary, both physically and mentally, as well as a new business model — and all the same old problems.

In the first two seasons, the show never expanded or focused enough to make its surface-level treatment of a tormented self-help icon the impressively acidic comedy or drama it so clearly strove to be. Season three of Physical opens with a few promising developments before becoming bogged down in the same distraction and confusion that marred its first two outings.

Apple TV+ courts college football with possible Pac-12 deal

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The deal is far from done, but Apple TV+ may pick up Pac-12 football games at some point.
The deal is far from done, but Apple TV+ may pick up Pac-12 football games at some point.
Photo: Pac-12

NCAA Pac-12 conference leaders saw an offer Tuesday from Apple TV+ for a streaming deal to replace the conference’s expiring TV contact for football games, a report noted.

After Apple’s deals to air Major League Soccer (MLS) and Major League Baseball (MLB) games, its potential entry into college football is intriguing — but it’s not a done deal yet.

ChatGPT digs up major threat to Macs on dark web

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An attacker could take full control of your Mac to steal your personal and financial information.
An attacker could take full control of your Mac to steal your personal and financial information.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A security company recently asked OpenAI’s ChatGPT about Mac threats online and used the results to uncover some scary malware for sale from Russia on the dark web.

At a price of $60,000, it can give an attacker total control of someone’s Mac. A more damaging version is available for $80,000.

In any case, if the malware gets on your Mac, you won’t know it’s there, it’s very hard to get rid of, and it can steal a lot of your information. Luckily, you can probably avoid it.

Fab office remodel suits MacBook Pro and massive display [Setups]

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The accent wall and solid-wood DIY standing desk steal the show from the M2 MacBook Pro and 49-inch curved display.
The accent wall and solid-wood DIY standing desk steal the show from the M2 MacBook Pro and 49-inch curved display.
Photo: JZAGA053@Reddit.com

When you remodel your home office, isn’t that a great excuse to revamp the ol’ computer setup? That’s what happened with today’s featured rig, which relies on a new MacBook Pro and a Samsung super-ultra-wide display.

But all commenters wanted to talk about was the accent wall and the solid-wood DIY standing desk. And the killer Klipsch audio got some love, too.