Christmas

How to track Santa from your Mac, iPhone or iPad

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How to track Santa from your iPhone or iPad
Tracking Santa as he flies across the world delivering toys is easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac

It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa Claus is on his way. You can find out exactly where he is with the help of NORAD and your Mac or iPhone. You can even track Jolly Old Saint Nick’s progress in real time.

Here’s how to keep an eye on Santa’s progress.

Last call for Apple gifts shipped in time for Christmas

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Ted Lasso animation
Sure, this is mustache-less Ted Lasso from a 2022 holiday animated short, but the coach looks pretty worried his gifts won't get to Kansas by Christmas.
Photo: Apple

Thursday is the last day you can order a gift from Apple and expect it to arrive before December 25 in the United States, according to the company’s holiday shipping guidelines.

But don’t despair. You can still order Apple products for pick-up or delivery from a local Apple Store.

How to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas for free

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How to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for free
Don’t miss A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is free to watch on Apple TV+ this weekend.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Christmas season is in full swing and there’s good news for fans of the Peanuts holiday specials. Apple has made the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas available for everyone to stream for free this weekend, whether they’re an Apple TV+ subscriber or not.

That gives everyone the opportunity to watch Linus teach his friends what Christmas is all about, whether they own an Apple device or not.

Ted Lasso star belts out classics in Home for Christmas trailer

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It really looks like a song-and-dance extravaganza, if that's your thing.
It really looks like a song-and-dance extravaganza, if that's your thing.
Photo: Apple TV+

Any fan of old-school song-and-dance numbers has a lot to look forward to this Yuletide season, judging by the trailer Apple TV+ dropped Wednesday for its upcoming special, Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas.

The big, star-studded show debuts November 22, along with a companion album on all music streaming platforms, Apple said.

Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham glams it up for Apple TV+ holiday special

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"Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas" debuts November 22.
Photo: Apple TV+

English actress Hannah Waddingham won an Emmy Award playing AFC Richmond soccer club owner Rebecca Welton on Apple TV+ hit comedy Ted Lasso. But now she’s changing into a glittery gold dress and leading a holiday music special, the streamer said Tuesday, dropping a fabulous photo.

Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas debuts November 22 on Apple TV+.

Warm up the sleigh: Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues debuts on Apple TV+ Dec. 3

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‘Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues’ debuts on Apple TV+ Dec. 3
The singer plans another star-studded musical Christmas special.
Photo: Apple TV+

Mariah Carey’s second Christmas special for Apple TV+ will sing and dance its way onto screens around the world on Friday, December 3. Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues will include the only performance of her new single, “Fall in Love at Christmas.”

The entertainer gave a sneak peek at the fun on Thursday. Watch the trailer now:

iPhone utterly dominates Christmas phone activations

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iPhone 12 packaging
Lots of iPhone activations show that Apple handsets were the most popular to gave and receive this Christmas.
Photo: Apple

Nine of the top ten handsets activated on Christmas Day in the U.S. were iPhones, according to a market-analysis firm. Only a single Android slipped onto the list… and in last place.

But it’s not Apple’s newest that dominated holiday sales. Older, more affordable models were the top sellers.

Christmas Day app spending tops $250 million dollars for first time ever

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App Store icon
Business is booming for the App Store.
Photo: PhotoAtelier/Flickr

Christmas Day turned out to be one of the biggest moneymaking days ever for Apple and Google as far as app sales go.

SensorTower published its latest report of holiday app sales revealing that overall spending on the App Store and Google Play topped $277 million on Christmas Day. Thanks to consumers who had just been gifted new devices and gift cards, spending rose 11% compared to last year, and games were the biggest winner.

How to fix your parents’ messed-up computers this holiday season

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abandoned parents computers
Don't let this be your Christmas.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Christmas time means packing up your daily troubles, forgetting work for a week, and heading home to… troubleshoot your parents’ broken computers and gadgets? Oh man, is it that time of year again already? That’s the problem with being the family’s only geek – you get handed all the geek jobs. However, you can turn this to your advantage, and make it a lot easier, by going in prepared. Check out our Holiday Troubleshooting Guide right here.

The best Christmas apps for iOS

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The Best Christmas Apps for iOS
Our 5 favorite apps for making the most of the holiday season.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

The holidays are officially upon us. That means family time, festive celebrations, joyous music and an overabundance of delicious food. To help get you through the holidays, we compiled a list of the best iOS apps to make the most of the season.

Whether you’re looking for a way to provide some entertainment for the kids, hosting friends or family, or just want a way to spread some festive cheer, we’ve got your tree trimmed, so to speak.

How to fix your parents’ messed-up computers when home for the holidays

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Good luck fix parents mac
Good luck!
Photo: Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac Year in Review 2018 Christmas time means packing up your daily troubles, forgetting work for a week, and heading home to … troubleshoot your parents’ broken computers and gadgets? Oh man, is it that time of year again already?

That’s the problem with being the family’s only geek — you get handed all the geek jobs. However, you can turn this to your advantage, and make it a lot easier, by going in prepared. Check out our Holiday Troubleshooting Guide right here.

Here are all the challenges for 14 Days of Fortnite event

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14 Days of Fortnite iPhone
14 Days of Fortnite kicks off today.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Fortnite’s festive event for 2018 has kicked off, giving players the opportunity to unlock exclusive holiday rewards and play fresh limited-time game modes every day.

The challenges you’ll need to complete to earn those rewards will be revealed at 9 a.m. ET each day, but thanks to a new leak, we already know what to expect from 14 Days of Fortnite.

Christmas comes early with new Fortnite skins

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Fortnite Christmas skins
Get your hands on them before they’re gone!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If you wish it could be Christmas every day, treat yourself to one of the new festive skins in Fortnite Battle Royale.

Both the Nog Ops and Yuletide Ranger outfits are available now, alongside a Cozy Coaster glider. They will be on sale for a limited time only — and you’ll be pleased to know they’re reasonably priced.

Microsoft’s new Surface Go ad blasts iPad as a child’s toy

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Surface Go ad 2018
Don’t give an iPad, apparently.
Photo: Microsoft

Think twice about buying your little ones an iPad for Christmas. Once they reach a certain age, Apple’s tablet just isn’t good enough, according to a new Microsoft holiday ad.

The hilarious 30-second clip features a young girl singing about all the reasons why the Surface Go is a better option. It suggests the iPad is a toy — not a “real computer” that’s fit for work.

Adventure-worthy gift ideas for the outdoorsy folks in your life

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A tent is in our Gift Guide 2017 roundup of best outdoor gear.
They're probably going to want a tent.
Photo: Chad McDonald/Flickr CC

2017 Gift Guide outdoor gear Gear-shopping for your favorite outdoors-loving friends and family members can be as daunting as trekking up Mount St. Helens as she’s about to blow. There are so many options — and so much crap! Nobody wants to waste money on a gift that’s not going to get used.

To help you out with your holiday shopping, we waded through the endless lists of camping and hiking gear and gadgets that came out in 2017. The goal? To find the perfect stuff your special someone will love.

Tim Cook calls AirPods a ‘runaway success’

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airpods
Getting your hands on AirPods is almost impossible.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook was all smiles during a brief appearance at the New York Stock Exchange this morning. While taking a quick tour of the floor with his nephew, Cook revealed that AirPods are so popular Apple can’t make them fast enough.

Apple Watch Series 2 is sold out ahead of Christmas

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Apple Watch Nike Plus
Giving "the gift of go" might not be possible.
Photo: Apple

Getting your hands on an Apple Watch Series 2 in time for Christmas has become nearly impossible for holiday shoppers.

Demand for the new watch has ticked up to a new level in the last month, according to Apple employees, who told Cult of Mac that stores are selling out of the Apple Watch Series 2 so fast that production can’t keep up.

Must-have holiday gifts for hardcore Apple fans [Friday Night Fights]

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fnf
Holidays are coming!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Christmas is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start shopping for your loved ones. If one of them is a hardcore Apple fan, that might be easier than you think.

Friday Night Fights bugApple products aren’t cheap, but there’s something sweet at every price point, from maxed-out Macs that cost an arm and a leg, to the latest iOS devices for someone really special, and awesome accessories that fit into any budget.

In this week’s Friday Night Fight, we’re putting away our pitchforks for one week only and focusing on great gifts for every Apple fan.

Steam holiday sale kicks off December 22

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Steam-holiday
It's that time of the year again!
Photo: Cult of Mac

Christmas is a great time to pick up cheap games for Mac and PC on Steam, with big discounts on the latest titles and timeless classics. According to a new leak, this year’s sale will kick off on Thursday, December 22.

iTunes Connect will shut down for Christmas

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iPhone 7
Get your apps ready for Christmas.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

App developers hoping to cash in on the Christmas downloading season better get their new builds and updates submitted to Apple soon.

Apple warned today that it will shutter iTunes Connect during the holidays so employees can have some time off.

Apple’s monstrous Christmas ad will melt your frosty heart

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An unexpected holiday visitor finally receives the warm welcome he’s always yearned for.
An unexpected holiday visitor finally receives the warm welcome he’s always yearned for.
Photo: Apple

Apple is sending a message of unity this Christmas season with a new ad that features an unexpected guest: Frankenstein’s monster.

The heartwarming ad starts with Frankie in his little cabin in the mountains, recording music on his iPhone. Then the misunderstood monster makes his way down to a little village to unleash a surprise none of the locals were expecting.

Check it out:

Will EU hammer Apple for Irish tax arrangements? We’ll know soon

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Apple may owe billions of euros in back taxes.
Apple may owe billions of euros in back taxes.
Photo: Milo Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s tax drama in Europe will finally come to a close later this fall.

The iPhone-maker has come under scrutiny from the European Union due to its tax deal with Ireland that safe guards Apple from paying taxes on billions of dollars in profits. Ireland’s finance minister revealed that he has no idea which way the decision will go, but he was told it’s coming soon.

Could Fitbit have had a better Christmas than Apple Watch?

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Fitbit may have had a better Christmas than Apple Watch.
Fitbit may have had a better Christmas than Apple Watch.
Photo: Fitbit

Although Fitbit may consider the Apple Watch a technical threat, Apple’s smartwatch didn’t seem to hamper Christmas sales any for the company: the market-leading activity tracker seems to have had a huge sales surge thanks to Christmas. Could Fitbit have outsold the Apple Watch this Holiday season?

Robo-dog Santa sleigh will haunt your Christmas

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Ho, ho, horrifying?
Ho, ho, horrifying?
Photo: Boston Dynamics/YouTube

Robots are cool, but there are some things visionary engineers in the robotics field should not mess with – like eight tiny reindeer.

Boston Dynamics put their famous robotic dogs through another test – harnessing three Spot bots to a sleigh, pulling a waving Santa-like figure (not the real Santa, but a real person dressed as Mrs. Claus). The Google-owned company posted a video on YouTube of the prancing robo dogs, apparently showing the world once again that even the job of Rudolph can be replaced by a robot.