Today in Apple history: iPhone factory deaths spark investigation

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Foxconn
Tim Cook visits one of Apple's factories in China.
Photo: Apple

December 11: Today in Apple history: Deaths at Pegatron iPhone factory spark investigation December 11, 2013: A Chinese labor rights group calls on Apple to investigate the deaths of several workers at a Shanghai factory run by iPhone manufacturer Pegatron.

Most controversially, one of the dead workers is just 15 years old. The underage worker reportedly succumbed to pneumonia after working extremely long hours on the iPhone 5c production line.

2-for-1 bundle: Get the Alpha Z Pro and Flying Fox drones for less than $100

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Go 2-for-1 on these top-selling, 4K camera drones and gift them for only $99.97.
Gift somebody special a pair of great 4K drones, all for one low price.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

This limited-time holiday deal gets you two top-selling drones for the price of one. Ideal for your favorite techie, nephew or other loved one, this bundle features the Alpha Z Pro and Flying Fox drones.

The high-flying twofer is now on sale for only $99.97 (regularly $398).

MagEasy iPhone 14 cases go for glamour and toughness

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MagEasy glams it up a bit with one of its new iPhone 14 cases.
MagEasy glams it up a bit with one of its new iPhone 14 cases.
Photo: MagEasy

If you have an iPhone 14, you may want to protect it with a new case. MagEasy offers an interesting selection of options, from glamorous to rugged (but without the bulk). You’ll also find four screen protectors and a portable stand in the mix.

You can see the whole MagEasy iPhone 14 collection in the Cult of Mac Store. And they’re on sale now!

Today in Apple history: Apple fixes ‘life-threatening’ Maps glitch

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Australia Park
This probably isn't the spot people wanted to reach!
Photo: Papphase/Wikipedia CC

December 10: Today in Apple history: Apple fixes Australian Apple Maps glitch December 10, 2012: Apple fixes an Apple Maps error that caused several motorists in Victoria, Australia, to become stranded in the remote Murray-Sunset National Park.

The glitch showed the town of Mildura nearly 45 miles from its actual location. In the aftermath, Victoria police describe the app as “potentially life-threatening.” That’s pretty much the opposite of “it just works.”

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 5 references you might have missed [Apple TV+ recap]

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'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 5: San Francisco after Godzilla fought two kaiju there.
This is San Francisco after Godzilla fought two kaiju in the heart of the city.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewMonarch: Legacy of Monsters episode five focuses on Cate Randa’s backstory from when she survived the battle between Godzilla and two kaiju that destroyed much of San Franciso. Plus, a betrayal!

Read on for monster-size spoilers about the latest episode, plus some speculation about the show’s future.

2024 will bring major upgrades to iPads and Macs [The CultCast]

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iPad-upgrades-2024-CultCast-episode 624
The best tablets in the world are about to get even better.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The latest Apple rumors point to a jumbo iPad Air and even-better (and pricier) iPad Pros landing in early 2024. Plus, Apple’s powerful M3 chip reportedly will come to more Macs.

We run down what it all means. Brace yourself for performance!

Also on The CultCast:

  • Cool new features coming to next-gen iPhones will make Apple’s world-beating smartphone even better. We’re especially excited about a turbocharged Action button.
  • Government spying on push notifications is definitely a thing.
  • Installment number one of our “best of 2023” picks. These fabulous things made us quiver with joy this year.

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: Apple storms New York’s Grand Central Terminal

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Apple Grand Central is one of the company's most stunning retail outlets.
Apple Grand Central is one of the company's most stunning retail outlets.
Photo: Apple

December 9: Today in Apple history: Apple opens store in New York's Grand Central Terminal December 9, 2011: Apple opens a store in New York’s fabled Grand Central Terminal, the company’s fifth Manhattan retail outlet.

Overlooking the terminal’s Main Concourse, the enormous Apple Store makes a stunning addition to the 140-year-old train station, which is one of New York’s busiest transportation hubs.

Graphene tactical jacket provides next-level comfort and capabilities

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Gift wintertime coziness with this heated jacket and hand warmer combo, now only $180.
This high-tech heated jacket makes the ultimate gift for adventurers.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The Gamma graphene jacket will keep you warm and protect you from the elements. It’s a tough tactical jacket — rugged and resistant to water and wind. Plus, it packs a power bank that heats it to your optimal temperature, with plenty of pockets to stash your essential gear.

This high-tech jacket will take you from mountaintops to city streets in comfort and style. And it’s price-dropped to just $179.97 (regularly $575) through December 17.

Here’s our holiday buying guide for iPhone, iPad and AirPods [Video]

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Holiday Buying Guide
Check out our guide for gifting Apple products this holiday season.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You’re running out of time to buy the Apple gifts your loved ones want for the holidays. If you need to buy an iPhone, iPad or AirPods, you need to make a well-informed decision quickly — but how do you know which model to get?

We have a helpful new video that will explain the differences between various iPhone, iPad and AirPods models. Plus, we published detailed written buying guides for your convenience.

Last chance to win a 3-in-1 MagSafe travel charger from mophie [Cult of Mac Giveaway]

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This mophie 3-in-1 travel charger is perfect for travelers with multiple Apple gadgets.
This charger is perfect for travelers with multiple Apple gadgets.
Photo: mophie

This week’s Cult of Mac giveaway prize is a mophie 3-in-1 MagSafe travel charger that retails for $149.95. The compact charger is perfect for anyone with a busy schedule who’s on the go. You can charge multiple devices simultaneously at maximum speed with this great fold-up Apple accessory.

The 3-in-1 charger can juice up an iPhone, an Apple Watch and AirPods all at once. It comes with a handy travel pouch to keep everything securely together, plus a USB-C cable and a wall adapter. Enter below for your chance to win — we’re giving away three of these excellent travel chargers.

Bring the heat with this stylish, compact space heater

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Keep your loved ones warm with the stylish FARA space heater, now under $74.
Combine style and comfort with the Fara space heater for only $74. Makes a hot gift!
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Feeling the winter chill? Combine tech and comfort with the Fara electric space heater.

This sleek, Pinterest-worthy space heater makes home heating more flexible. And you can get it for only $73.97 (regularly $99). Just be sure to order on or before December 14 if you want to give one as a Christmas gift.

Today in Apple history: The Byte Shop, Apple’s first retailer, opens

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Paul Terrell founded The Byte Shop on his birthday.
Paul Terrell founded The Byte Shop on his birthday.
Photo: NextShark/Paul Terrell

December 8: Today in Apple history: Early computer store The Byte Shop, Apple's first retailer, opens December 8, 1975: San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Paul Terrell opens The Byte Shop, one of the world’s first computer stores — and the first to sell an Apple computer.

Years before Apple would open its own retail outlets, the Byte Shop stocks the first 50 Apple-1 computers built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Tiny translation pen makes understanding almost any text or speech a breeze

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Scan and translate text from anywhere with this multifunctional translator pen, now only $160!
Learn to read or say "Happy holidays!" in more than 100 languages with this translating scanner pen.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The Newyes Scan Reader Pen 4 is a translator pen instantly translates written or spoken words, making it quick and easy to understand foreign languages — anytime, anyplace and in practically any situation. The tiny translating gadget also packs special features for people with dyslexia, as well as for language learners you and old.

It can translate text on pages, digital screens, textiles, boxes and much more. And it can allow you to carry on a conversation using a language you don’t know.

Just in time for the holidays, it’s on sale for only $159.99 (regularly $187). It’s the ideal gift for avid readers, language learners and world travelers. Grab one (or several) today to ensure on-time Christmas delivery!

Apple warns of dire threats to unencrypted cloud data

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Apple security lock logo
Apple offers end-to-end encryption in Advanced Data Protection for iCloud.
Photo: Apple

Data breaches have compromised 2.6 billion personal consumer records in the past two years, with a rapid rise since last year, according to an independent study Apple published Thursday.

Increasing threats to consumer data stored in the cloud underscore a need for end-to-end data encryption like Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, launched in 2022, Apple said.

“Bad actors continue to pour enormous amounts of time and resources into finding more creative and effective ways to steal consumer data, and we won’t rest in our efforts to stop them,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “As threats to consumer data grow, we’ll keep finding ways to fight back on behalf of our users by adding even more powerful protections.”

Today in Apple history: Apple’s massive glass staircase wows Manhattan

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The Apple Store on West 14th Street in New York City becomes the company's trendiest yet.
Apple's trendiest store yet?
Photo: Mathieu Thouvenin/Flickr CC

December 7: Today in Apple history: Apple opens its first three-story retail store, the Apple Store on West 14th Street in New York City December 7, 2007: Apple opens its magisterial store on West 14th Street in New York City. The new Apple Store features a three-story glass staircase deemed the most complex ever made.

The store is Apple’s biggest in Manhattan (and second-largest in the United States, after the one on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue). The first three-story Apple retail outlet, it boasts an entire floor dedicated to services. It’s also the first Apple Store to offer free Pro Labs classes to customers.

The sheer size of this Apple Store — with its 46-foot Genius Bar — proves impressive. However, its astonishing spiral staircase steals the show as its most iconic design feature.

Koda PowerStation will delight any DIYer for just $60

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The KODA PowerStation is the ultimate holiday gift for any handy man or woman, now under $60!
Light up any workspace with the Koda PowerStation. (It also charges iPhones!)
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re shopping for the perfect gift for a DIY enthusiast, crafty carpenter or grease-stained garage guru, take a peek at this versatile power station. Right on time for the holidays, the Koda PowerStation — a powerful work light with multiple outlets (and wireless charging for an iPhone or AirPods) — is on sale for only $59.99 (regularly $85).

It’s more than just a gadget — it’s perfect for anyone who wields power tools, toils on a workbench or tinkers in a garage. Just be sure to order it today if you want it to arrive by December 25!

Apple confirms ‘push notification spying’ by government agencies [Updated]

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A red-tinted image of a hand holding an iPhone, meant to depict push notification spying.
Unidentified countries request push notification records from Apple and Google to gain info about smartphone users.
Photo illustration: Bagus Hernawan/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

Some governments are spying on push notifications sent to iPhone users, Apple confirmed Wednesday. By examining logs of push notifications sent by various apps, authorities can piece together surprisingly detailed information about smartphone users and their activities.

The previously undisclosed data gathering, which also affects Android devices, became public after Sen. Roy Wyden published an open letter to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on Wednesday requesting disclosure of the surveillance method.

How to connect Apple Watch to a Planet Fitness treadmill

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Running in Sync
Available in certain gyms and equipment.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Connect Apple Watch to treadmills at Planet Fitness, and other exercise equipment, for more accurate health data inside the Fitness and Health apps on your iPhone. After all, if you’re working out, you want to make sure your Apple Watch gives you credit for it.

Here’s how.

This 4K dual-camera drone costs less than $80, with guaranteed delivery before Christmas

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Ninja Dragon Blade X 4K Dual Camera Drone product shot
Grab this high-flying gift before the shipping deadline.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Drones make great gifts, and we’ve got a great deal on a drone that’s perfect for beginners. The Ninja Dragon Blade X 4K Dual Camera Drone is sure to delight even first-time drone pilots. And now it’s on sale for just $79.97 (regularly $199) through December 17.

However, you must order by December 7 to ensure on-time holiday delivery!

You won’t see a vertical display more nuts than this one [Setups]

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Mac Pro setup with 55-inch curved Samsung display in portrait mode
Can you imagine working on that screen?
Photo: Born4One@Reddit.com

Curved ultra-wide gaming displays have been making their way into Mac setups for quite some time now. But some people want to experiment, maybe push the envelope a bit, so they mount them on top of other displays or sometimes in portrait mode (vertical). But today’s Mac Pro setup takes the cake in that regard.

The user nixed a Studio Display with a high-quality external webam in favor of a truly massive, 55-inch curved ultra-wide Samsung gaming display — mounted vertically. It towers over everything with a pronounced stoop.

MagSafe Gravity case protects iPhone 14 with zero added bulk

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The MagSafe Gravity case is protective yet minimal.
The MagSafe Gravity case is protective yet minimal.
Photo: SwitchEasy

If your iPhone 14 case is a little bulkier than you’d like — maybe a bit tight in the pocket — perhaps it’s time to try SwitchEasy’s MagSafe Gravity iPhone Case.

The incredibly slim case adds zero bulk, works with MagSafe and is available in the Cult of Mac Store for just $25, but is currently on sale for $19.99.

Today in Apple history: Lousy quarter proves Steve Jobs isn’t invincible

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$1 trillion value
A perfect storm of bad news leads to a massive $195 million quarterly loss for Apple.
Photo: Apfellike

December 6: Today in Apple history: Apple suffers first quarterly loss since Steve Jobs' return December 6, 2000: Apple Computer’s stock price falls after the company posts its first quarterly loss since Steve Jobs’ return to Cupertino in 1997.

Shares tumble $3 to just $14 a share as doom-predicting pundits worry that the big Apple comeback might come screeching to a halt. Little did they know …

This Mac app directly beams files over the internet [Awesome Apps]

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Blip file transfers
Blip, a new app for Mac and Android, is a better way to transfer files.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

Blip is a delightful utilty that lets you transfer files across the internet — directly from your Mac to theirs. There’s no middleman uploading to and downloading from a cloud, no pesky web app to sign into. It’s like beaming your files onto someone else’s computer.

It’s the easiest and most straightforward way to send someone large folders of files or complex projects from your Mac. And best of all, it’s totally free and secure.

Impress the artist on your list with this precision iPad pen for less than $35

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Gift idea: Turn any Apple lover's iPad into an art or design canvas with this $35 digital pen.
Give the artist, designer or student in your life this $35 pen compatible with iPad and other tablets.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Art is all about the free flow of ideas from the brain onto the canvas. When that canvas is digital, the right tools matter — and we’re not just talking about software. Getting the right iPad stylus makes a big difference.

Now, you can score holiday savings on the Digi Pen, a stylus compatible with iPad and other tablets. Through December 17, it’s on sale for only $34.97 (regularly $99).

With a sleek design and pinpoint sensitivity, the Digi Pen makes the ideal gift for the iPad artist in your life. Be sure to order by December 7 for on-time holiday delivery!

Gift alert: This $46 wireless magnetic battery pack can charge all your Apple gear

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Get quick, wireless charging for iPhone, AirPods and more for just $45.99.
An Apple lover's dream: This magnetic wireless power bank can charge Apple devices for only $45.99.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

It’s common for Apple fans to get a ton of new tech around the holidays. And after about a month of heavy use, we find out exactly how far those iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods can go on a full charge. That’s when we all wish we’d gotten the same thing: a reliable battery pack for recharging on the go.

The ZeroLemon MagJuice+ wireless battery pack is that, and then some. And just in time for the holidays, it’s on sale for just $45.99 (regularly $59).

Did we mention that it’s small enough to fit into a pocket — or a stocking?!?