Best new (and returning) features in iOS 13.1 beta 1

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iOS 13.1 beta 1 adds Books reading goal, brings back almost every feature dropped in previous betas.
iOS 13.1 beta 1 brings back almost every cool feature dropped from previous betas.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Surprisingly, iOS 13.1 is already in beta. It looks like Apple’s release strategy this year is to freeze the current beta version of iOS 13.0 in order to get it ready for the new iPhones expected on September 10. Meanwhile, Apple continues to test the next version, adding back some features removed during the beta period — Shortcuts automations, for example.

So, what other new (or revived) features will you find in iOS 13.1 beta 1?

Consumer Reports says AirPods ‘just don’t sound great’

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airpods
AirPods aren't good enough to get Consumer Reports' official recommendation.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s AirPods are some of the top-selling earphones of all time. But according to Consumer Reports, they have a problem: “They just don’t sound great.”

In a series of tests, the consumer testing group pits the second-gen AirPods against Samsung’s Galaxy Buds. And, spoiler alert, their conclusions don’t come down in Cupertino’s favor.

Bento Stack keeps your essentials neatly organized on the go

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bento
Bento Stack is a must-have for any traveler.
Photo: Wiplabs

Carrying essential accessories with you wherever you go can be a nightmare. Your wires can get tangled, your AirPods can get lost, and your Apple Pencil can end up in more than one piece. That’s why you need the Bento Stack.

This compact, multi-compartment storage solution keeps more than 10 must-have accessories neatly organized when you’re on the road. It’s a must-have if you’re a frequent traveler.

Cheaper HomePod, improved AirPods could arrive in 2020

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airpods
Apple could finally bring noise cancellation to AirPods.
Photo: Ste Smith/ Cult of Mac

A more affordable version of the struggling HomePod smart speaker will debut next year, according to a generally reliable source. Apple is also reportedly going to introduce AirPods with noise cancellation in 2020.

Both are products that consumers have been asking for.

AirPods won’t escape Trump’s tariffs this time

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Bluetooth in iOS 11
Apple will have to pay import taxes on AirPods starting next month.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Not all Apple devices will escape the taxes being levied next month on goods imported from China. The Trump Administration decided to delay tariffs on iPhone, iPad and Mac, but other popular products will still get slapped with a 10% import tax, including Apple Watch, AirPods and HomePod

AirPods sales could shoot up 40% this year

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airpods
AirPods are tiny, but they’re big business.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s wireless earbuds are selling better than most people realize. The company is on track to sell 50 million pairs by the end of this year, according to an industry analyst.

That’s up from 35 million in 2018. The product only debuted in 2016.

Last chance! Get 25% off this swanky wireless charger

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AluBase-charger
A wireless charger that actually looks good.
Photo: Just Mobile

Cult of Mac is now offering an exclusive deal on the excellent AluBase wireless charger from Just Mobile.

It’s the perfect time to treat yo’ self to the fastest possible wireless charge for iPhone, and great design that you won’t want to hide away.

Order yours from the Watch Store today to get 25% off the usual price, and pick up a fast charging adapter to go with it for just $5. You won’t find this discount anywhere else, and it’s almost over!

Save on iMac, iPhone, iPad and more! [Deals & Steals]

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iMac
Get a whopping $700 off the 5K iMac.
Photo: Apple

B&H Photo’s big discount on the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display is now even bigger. This super-speedy model is now down $700 for a limited time — and it’s just one of the awesome offers in today’s Deals & Steals roundup.

You can also bag an unlocked iPhone for under $205, an Amazon Echo Show for under $60, and the Netgear Orbi whole home Wi-Fi mesh system for under $200. Plus, you can save $17.50 on the stunning Twelve South HiRise stand for MacBook.

AirPods and Apple Watch are now a bigger money-spinner than iPad

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Apple Watch Series 4
Wearables are big business for Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s wearables division, including Apple Watch and AirPods, is now bigger than the company’s iPad business.

That’s a pretty astonishing statistic, and shows just how Apple continues to shift. Just a decade ago, Apple’s wearables division didn’t exist. Meanwhile, the iPad was the fastest-selling new product in Apple’s history.