iPhone XR review: Why buy anything else?

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iPhone XR review: With a great screen, cameras, battery life and Face ID, the iPhone XR is a nifty smartphone.
With a great screen, cameras, battery life and Face ID, the iPhone XR is a nifty smartphone.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XR is typical Apple. It’s an entry-level phone with a bunch of premium features. Jony Ive just cannot cut corners, even if he wanted to. This is no plasticky, cut-rate phone built to meet a price point. It’s a primo phone with primo features (and a primo price tag, TBH). It just happens to be the cheapest new iPhone in Apple’s lineup.

The XR delivers everything customers care about: a big, beautiful screen; great cameras; long battery life; and Face ID.

The iPhone XR is arguably Apple’s most interesting smartphone of 2018 because of this slightly odd bundle of budget/premium features. It’s arguably a $1,200 phone in a $750 package.

For a chance to win a brand-new iPhone XR, enter our free giveaway here.

iOS 12 brings trackpad mode to every iPhone and iPad

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trackpad mode
Trackpads -- not just for the Mac any more.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Users of 3-D Touch-capable iPhones, and of iPads in general, have long been able to use the devices’ fantastic trackpad mode. It’s a great way to quickly move the keyboard’s insert point (aka cursor) precisely where you want it — and it just got even better.

In iOS 12, this neat trick comes to all iPhones, even those without 3-D Touch. Bonus tip: The update also makes it even easier to use trackpad mode on your iPad.

Know the differences between iPhone XS and iPhone XR

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iPhone xs xr compared
With all these vibrant options, the iPhone XR wins the color game.
Photo: Apple

Unlike previous iPhone launches, it’s not immediately obvious which iPhone you should buy if you want the best. Or rather, the iPhone XS is clearly the flagship model, but the iPhone XR, launching a month later, has some features which are better than its sibling.

So, what are the important differences to know before you choose which new iPhone X is right for you?

iOS 12 wish list: All the features we absolutely need

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iOS 12 wish list
Here's everything we want from Apple's next major update.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

WWDC is right around the corner, which means we’re about to get our very first look at Apple’s next major update to iOS.

We’re expecting big things from iOS 12, including a whole host of improvements that will make our devices more stable, and plenty of welcome bug fixes. Apple will surely surprise us with some nice new features, too.

Here’s our lengthy wish list for this update, which includes a Home screen overhaul, a more powerful FaceTime, better multitasking, and more!

iPhone X is a huge hit, the death of 3D Touch, and inflatable paddle boards on The CultCast

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quotes on Apple
Measure the money, not number of units sold.
Illustration: Cult of Mac with photo from Apple

This week on a very volatile episode of The CultCast: the analysts were all wrong—iPhone X is a massive hit. Plus: the death of 3D Touch starts with 2018 iPhone; the world’s most famous Apple analyst may no longer be reporting on Apple; Apple’s AirPort router lineup is officially dead; and we pitch you our favorite show, movie, and vodka in an all-new Under Review. It’s a juicy one. Hit play and catch the discussion.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first hosting plan or domain.

Death of 3D Touch starts with 2018 iPhone

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3D Touch
The handy but not vital tricks that come with 3D Touch are reportedly going away.
Photo: Apple

Say goodbye to 3D Touch. A very reliable analyst predicts one of the iPhones coming in autumn won’t have this pressure-sensitive technology, and none of the 2019 devices will.

Ming-Chi Kuo says it’s all because Apple is changing the components of its displays to make them lighter and less likely to break.

Pro Tip: Use Safari’s secret page-reload options

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safari reload
Long press Safari's buttons to access secret extras.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugSafari is a pretty full-featured mobile browser, but if you tap the time to long-press on its buttons and icons, you’ll discover a whole lot of neat extra tricks. These aren’t esoteric power-user tricks either. Pretty much every button on a safari page has an extra function, and it is almost always something you’ll find yourself using every day. Today we’ll see what the plain old reload button can offer us.