The MacBook is a disaster. Can Apple fix it?

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Macbook problems
The Mac is in serious trouble. Can Apple fix things before it’s too late?
Photo: Ales Nesetril/Unsplash

Despite the endless disappointments with iPadOS 13, there’s still no way I’d switch to a MacBook right now. MacBooks (and MacBook Pros) were always the gold (or aluminum?) standard for laptops — reliable, well-designed and long-lasting. Reviewers would even recommend that PC users buy a Mac and install Windows on it via Boot Camp. But today, MacBooks problems abound.

Apple’s laptops are a sorry bunch. And it’s not just the troublesome butterfly keyboard. Every week, I read tweets and blog posts about freelancers and employees of big companies alike losing valuable time as their MacBooks go back for repair for the third or fourth time. So what is happening? What are the biggest problems with today’s MacBooks? And can these MacBook problems be fixed?

The new AirPods Pro are fandabbydosey [An appreciation]

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AirPod Pro
Apple's new AirPods Pro earbuds are a super-great update to the original.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Hot dang, Apple’s still got it. The new AirPods Pro are fantastic.

They’re truly great headphones, and every major new feature improves on the old AirPods in big and significant ways.

  • The sound is fantastic — a big upgrade.
  • Their active noise cancellation is as good as Bose and Sony headphones (and maybe even better). Finally, you can use AirPods on airplanes.
  • Transparency mode is weird magic.
  • Best of all are the new Force Sensor touch controls, which take a minute to get used to but are way better than tapping. They’re my favorite new feature, and I burst out laughing with delight when I got the hang of it.

I freakin’ love the new AirPods Pro!

Former Apple designer responds to Trump’s iPhone critique

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Tim Cook and President Trump could tour Apple's Mac Pro factory in Texas
Trump: Not a fan of Apple's decision to ditch the Home button, apparently.
Photo: White House

As an iPhone UI designer, you need to have a thick skin. First, you have to defend your idea internally at Apple. Then members of the public endlessly critique your work upon its release. The one thing you probably don’t expect, though? For the president of the United States to slam your painstaking creation.

That’s exactly what happened to former Apple user interface prototyping team member Linda Dong. In a Sunday tweet, she commented on President Donald Trump’s recent declaration about the iPhone X interface.

iPad is catching up with Mac, but it will never be as easy to use [Opinion]

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It’s not rocket science... oh wait, it is: Opening two files on an iPad.
Opening two files in the same app on an iPad requires rocket science.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Thanks to the recently launched iPadOS, I can finally do simple things on my iPad that I’ve always been able to do on my Mac. Like opening multiple documents in the same app, or installing fonts.

Trouble is, while these things are easy to do on a Mac, they’re fiendishly difficult with an iPad.

In the early days, everyone celebrated the iPad for being easier and more intuitive to use than a Mac. But as Apple crams in more features, that is no longer true. iPad is still easier to use for simple things, but it is much harder and more cumbersome for performing advanced tasks.

Today in Apple history: iPod nano gets colorful aluminum upgrade

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iPod nano
The second-gen iPod nano was totally metal.
Photo: Dongyi Liu/Flickr CC

Sept 25: Today in Apple history: Second-generation iPod nano gets colorful aluminum upgrade September 25, 2006: Apple ships its second-generation iPod nano, offering a fancy redesign of the pocket-size original.

Among the new iPod nano’s improvements is a slimmer, anodized aluminum casing, a brighter screen, longer battery life and a wide range of colors. And, oh yes, it also includes gapless music playback for the first time!

Get those colorful Infograph complications back on your Apple Watch

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Want to restore colorful complications to Apple Watch monochromatic Infograph face? Here's how.
If your Infograph complications went a ghostly white, there's a quick fix.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Did your Apple Watch’s Infograph face go monochromatic for seemingly no reason at all? If upgrading to watchOS 6 sapped your Apple Watch Series 4 of all its multicolored complications, there’s an quick way to bring back the glory … mostly.

It’s easy, but it’s not as obvious as it could be. Plus, some people aren’t happy about the way Apple changed the Infograph face’s customization options.

Today in Apple history: iPhone 6 is bigger and better than ever

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iPhone
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were massive upgrades for Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew

September 19: Today in Apple history: iPhone 6 is bigger and better than ever September 19, 2014: The iPhone undergoes its biggest upgrade — both figuratively and literally — since the original, with the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets.

The iPhone 6 brings a new 4.7-inch form factor, while the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a massive 5.5-inch design. The previous-generation iPhone 5 measured only slightly taller than its 3.5-inch predecessors. But with the iPhone 6, Apple abandons that strategy for the first time to take on big-screen Android “phablets.”