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Betas for new iOS and OS X versions go public

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Now the public can try out the new betas, too.
Now the public can try out the new betas, too.
Photo: Apple

Now you can try out the latest and greatest operating systems for Apple products, thanks to public betas for iOS 9.3 and OS X El Capitan 10.11.4. Both are now available for testing — even if you don’t have a developer account.

You can grab both updates from Apple’s beta program website for free. Take note, however, that this is trial software — and updating could cause some apps and features on your iOS or Mac devices to go funky or stop working altogether. Use these at your own risk.

Trendy design awards proclaim Apple Watch Hermès ‘life enhancer of the year’

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Hermes Apple Watch bands are now available on their own.
This will enhance your life. Or so hipsters say.
Photo: Apple

Trendy lifestyle magazine Wallpaper* has named the Apple Watch Hermès as 2015’s “Life Enhancer of the Year” in its annual design awards.

The awards were judged by a panel including the architect David Adjaye, jewellery designer Delfina Delettrez, legendary ad man George Lois, Academy Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, and designers Patricia Urquiola and Konstantin Grcic. They appear in the magazine’s February 2016 issue.

iOS 9 adoption rate continues to pick up steam

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iOS 9 is on a huge number of Apple's mobile devices.
iOS 9 is on a huge number of Apple's mobile devices.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Apple’s iOS 9 has been adopted by users at a pretty rapid rate, one that’s faster than even iOS 8 enjoyed.

Apple just updated its developer information page, claiming that iOS 9 is now on 75 percent of all iOS devices out there. This is four percent more than it was just a month ago, showing steady, if slower, growth than the first few weeks after the iOS 9 release.

Mobile developers: Here’s your chance to learn Swift, and fast

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These four lessons are a surefire and affordable way to learn Swift, one of the most relevant iOS languages.
These four lessons are a surefire and affordable way to learn Swift, one of the most relevant iOS languages.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

For any mobile developer, learning Swift is a must. It’s an intuitive and fast language that’s key to iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watchOS. This bundle of four lessons — in the form of 3 apps and an E-book — will get you up to speed in practicing coding, testing scripts, and more. And the best part: the whole shebang is just $9.99.

Apple Watch’s dominance isn’t slowing down any time soon

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As smartwatches grow in popularity, the Apple Watch will continue to be the hands-on - or wrist-on - favorite.
As smartwatches grow in popularity, the Apple Watch will continue to be the hands-on - or wrist-on - favorite.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Watch is the hottest smartwatch on the market. And it looks like it is going to stay that way for a while.

A report by International Data Corporation says the Apple Watch will lead a rapidly growing wearables market through at least 2019 as a skeptical public gets won over by more sophisticated second- and third-generation devices.

IDC projects Apple to sell 13 million watches this year for a little more than 61 percent of the market share. The number of Apple Watches sold will reach 45.2 million by 2019, according to IDC’s report.

Apple TV’s first big update adds Siri search for Apple Music

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tvOS just got another new update.
tvOS just got another new update.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The latest iteration of Apple TV’s operating system, tvOS 9.1, is out of beta and ready for the big screen.

The new update includes support for searching Apple Music with your voice, via the fantastic Siri Remote, so you no longer have to type in long artist names with the weird keyboard line that Apple offers you.

Pro Tip: The secret meaning of Apple Watch notifications shapes

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Apple Watch notifications siri
When it comes to Apple Watch notifications, round is better.
Photo: Apple

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugIf you’ve not paying really close attention to your Apple Watch notifications, you might have missed out on a really subtle and clever design decision the company built into them.

It turns out that Apple uses two different shapes for its watch Apple Watch notification badges. And here’s why.

Should Apple merge iOS with OS X for iPad Pro?

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It's that time of the week again!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Is merging iOS with OS X a good idea? For the longest time, the answer to that question has been a resounding no from anyone who appreciates good software — but with iPad Pro on the horizon, there may well be a growing case for it.

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2The iPad Pro has the potential to be the ultimate 2-in-1 — a laptop that could really replace a notebook when you need to get stuff done. But in many ways, it’s being held back by iOS, which is still very much a mobile platform without many of the basics we have on our desktops — like a file manager.

So, is there now room for a new platform that delivers the best of iOS and OS X, perfectly suited to a tablet that doubles as a notebook?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac as we battle it out over that very question!

Ultra-chic Apple Watch Hermès goes on sale for $1,100+

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Hermes Apple Watch bands are now available on their own.
The Hermès "double tour" wraps twice around your wrist.
Photo: Apple

Apple today launched its ultra-chic Apple Watch Hermès product line, as announced at the company’s media event last month.

Combining the existing Apple Watch hardware (only with the addition of a Hermès logo) with luxury leather straps from the Parisian fashion brand, the result is quite possibly the most stunning range of Apple Watches yet. They even come with unique Hermès watch faces.

Prices range from $1,100-$1,500.

Jony Ive denies that Apple is turning into a luxury company

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Hermes Apple Watch bands are now available on their own.
Apple couldn't wait to hop into bed with French luxury house Hermès.
Photo: Apple

Jony Ive sure loves his designer goods, but don’t suggest to him that products like the new high-end Apple Watch Hermès are turning Apple into a luxury company.

“We don’t think in those terms,” Ive says in a new interview. “I’m not comfortable with words like exclusive.”

This from the guy who made a $17,000 smartwatch!