Apple sponsored last nights’ U.K.-based Brit Awards

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BRIT
Apple has been involved in the U.K. music scene for years.
Photo: BRIT Awards

Apple was the official digital partner of the 2018 BRIT Awards, the musical awards ceremony which took place in London last night.

As part of its sponsorship of the event — which included performances from artists including Sam Smith, the Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Stormzy and others — Apple set up dedicated sections in iTunes and its Apple Music app to highlight the winners and nominees. It also added an exclusive live performance from Rag’n’Bone Man in Apple Music.

Apple named world’s most innovative company for 2018

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AirPower
2017 was a terrific year for Apple fans.
Photo: Apple

Who said innovation was dead at Apple? Certainly not Fast Company, which just named the iPhone-maker the world’s most innovative company for 2018.

Apple secured the top spot “for delivering the future today.” AirPods, Apple Watch Series 3, ARKit, and iPhone X were recognized as its best products from the past year.

Rivals like Google and Samsung didn’t make the list.

Everything you need to know about HomePod

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HomePod news, HomePod reviews and HomePod how-tos
The HomePod may be the best speaker you can buy for under $85,000.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s HomePod arrives in homes today. It’s already sold out online, but if you’re lucky you might still snap one up in an Apple store. And you probably should, because the HomePod looks to be just about the best small speaker you can buy — in terms of musical performance, anyway.

If you want to find out how to set up and get the best of your new HomePod, or if you want to read a bit more before deciding whether to get one, you’re in the right place. Below you’ll find all our HomePod coverage: how-tos, reviews, tips and opinions.

Apple renews Carpool Karaoke for second season

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Carpool Karaoke is just one of many original series Apple has planned.
Carpool Karaoke is just one of many original series Apple has planned.
Photo: Apple Music

Apple’s most successful original TV show is coming back for a second act.

Carpool Karaoke has reportedly been greenlit for a second season, bringing even more odd celebrity pairings and silly singing shenanigans to Apple’s growing arsenal of original content.

Use this playlist to remove unwanted Apple Music downloads

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music piano
Who wants to hear music like this?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Shuffle and skipping are two great tools for listening to new music on your iPhone, using Apple Music. You can download lots of new music to your iPhone, then set it to shuffle while you take a walk. If you’re also wearing a pair of AirPods, a double tap on one of them will skip any tracks you don’t like. It’s a great way to listen to new music, with one big, annoying side-effect: You end up with lots of unwanted downloads cluttering up your iPhone.

But with one simple smart playlist, you can fix that right now.

Stop other HomePod users from polluting your music recommendations

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Apple HomePod smart speaker Listening History
Don't let everybody else's bad taste ruin your music recommendations.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Instead of recognizing the voices of various users and serving up their personal tunes, HomePod is tied to one person’s Apple Music library. That leads to an unfortunate side effect: Whenever anyone in your home tells your HomePod to play a track, that song is added to your listening history.

That means your teenagers’ ironic Ramones session, or your spouse’s un-ironic David Hasselhoff listen-a-thon, will pollute your listening history — and affect your future recommendations. Here’s how to stop that from happening.

Apple Music opens up to students in 82 new markets

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apple-music
Apple Music is continuing its meteoric rise.
Photo: Apple

Apple has added an extra 79 regions to its list of locations offering Apple Music student membership — with three more being added on February 26. New markets offered include Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, and Taiwan.

HomePod meta review: Superb sound, stupid Siri

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The HomePod was a no-show in 2017.
HomePod is finally here.
Photo: Apple

In the first reviews for Apple’s new HomePod speaker, everyone totally raves about the smart speaker’s pristine sound quality. Siri, on the other hand, doesn’t sound so brilliant.

Apple seeded a few review units to major outlets ahead of this Friday’s HomePod launch. The embargo lifted this morning, and the early reviews reveal a few surprising tidbits about the HomePod.

Here’s what people are saying: