Big changes coming to iPhone battery and camera [The CultCast]


The CultCast Episode 604: An iPhone battery rumor gets us excited.
Longer battery life must be near the top of every iPhone owner's wish list.
Photo: Tyler Lastovich/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The latest rumors point to impressive iPhone upgrades on the horizon. Stacked batteries might deliver the holy grail of longer battery life as early as this year. And in 2024, the iPhone Pro Max camera might graduate to a mind-blowing 12x zoom. Excuse if we’re a little excited!

Also on The CultCast:

  • A secret project dubbed “Apple GPT” might make Apple’s products better — even Siri!
  • If you’re not taking advantage of Continuity features, you’re doing Apple wrong.
  • Sounds like we’ll be waiting quite a while for a truly pro Mac Pro.
  • How in the world did Goldman Sachs lose so much money on Apple Card?!?

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

6 mind-blowing Continuity features every Apple user should know


It all works together
Your Apple devices can work together in more ways than you may expect.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Nothing illustrates the power of Apple’s ecosystem like the Continuity features that help your Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch work seamlessly together. Thanks to Continuity, your iPhone can serve as your Mac’s webcam. You can start an email on one device and instantly pick it up on another. You can use the same keyboard and mouse with a Mac and iPad, copy and paste across devices and more.

These features flex the power of Apple’s hardware and software — and they would never be possible on a PC. Unfortunately, that means a lot of people don’t learn about these features because they don’t expect so much from their computers.

In this post (and the accompanying video), I will show you some of the time-saving, annoyance-busting Continuity features you can enjoy when you go all-in on the Apple ecosystem.

Nifty Universal Control still AWOL from macOS beta


Universal Control is part of macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15.
Universal Control could be massive... if it ever gets added to macOS Monterey.
Screenshot: Apple

One of the highlights of macOS Monterey is Universal Control, which will let users easily jump between Mac and iPad. But there’s cause to question when the feature will become available because it isn’t in any pre-release version of the next Mac operating system, including the new beta 5.

Apple announced the feature two months ago and there’s no sign of it yet. There’s some irritation growing among Mac users about the delay.

How to unlock your Mac with Apple Watch


Apple Watch Unlock in action.
Apple Watch Unlock in action.
Photo: Apple

Maybe my favorite Continuity feature is Apple Watch Unlock for the Mac. Once you set it up, you’ll never need to enter your password to unlock your Mac ever again — not until you restart it, anyway. It’s one of the best examples of Apple’s It Just Works™ philosophy, and it will change the way you use your Mac.

Continuity Sketch turns the iPad into a graphics tablet for your Mac


Continuity Sketch is like having an Apple Pencil for your Mac.
Continuity Sketch is like having an Apple Pencil for your Mac.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You can sign a PDF on your Mac using the giant MacBook trackpad, and you can mark up PDFs and screenshots, too. But all that stuff is much easier on the iPad, especially if you have an Apple Pencil. The problem is getting it there. But in macOS Catalina, you don’t have to “get it” anywhere. Screenshots and PDFs magically show up on nearby iPads, where you can sign them or mark them up. Then you can return them to your Mac. These features are called Continuity Sketch and Continuity Markup, and they’re killer.

You know how the UPS guy holds up his brown scanner box for you to sign? PDF markup is like that, only on your iPad — and you never feel guilty about ordering too many parcels.

How to run iOS shortcuts from your Mac


Shortcuts on Mac.
Shortcuts on Mac — kinda.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

While it is possible to get the Shortcuts app running in macOS Catalina via Catalyst, you can’t do much with it. But what about the next best thing? How about selecting something on your Mac, then tapping a shortcut on your iPhone, and then having the result show up back on your Mac?

I’ve been doing this for the past few weeks, and it’s not only a workaround, but a genuinely useful — and reliable — way to “run” iOS shortcuts on the Mac. Let’s get right into it.

How to send a green-bubble SMS from your iPad


Old mobile phone toy: This is how
This is how "texts" were sent before the flux capacitor made Skynet possible.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you know you can send regular old green-bubble SMS (and MMS) messages from your iPad? And even from your Mac? Well, you can, and it is dead easy. It’s called Text Message Forwarding, and it works by using your iPhone as a conduit to the cellular phone network.

Let’s set it up and see how it works.

Mac app lets you enjoy Continuity with Android devices


KDE Connect is free to download and incredibly useful.
Image: Cult of Mac

Not every Mac owner uses an iPhone, and that means they often miss out on first-party features like Messages and iCloud. But there’s one feature Android users can now enjoy.

KDE Connect is a new macOS app that allows for Continuity between Mac and Android devices. You can enjoy desktop notifications, file sharing, and more — and it’s free.

All the ways Apple locks us into iPhone [Opinion]


iPhone survey
I wanted a Galaxy S10, but I'm stuck with iPhone.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

It’s not easy to give up your iPhone. Even if you’ve already decided you want to switch to another handset, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to let go. Apple has you locked in. And for some iPhone owners, there is no way out.

That’s because it’s not just your iPhone that you’d be saying goodbye to. Many other apps and services you use every day — some without even thinking about it — make switching to another platform nearly impossible.

Here are all the ways Apple makes it hard to jump ship and switch to Android.

How to place and receive phone calls on iPad


Remember these?
Remember these?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Ever looked at your iPad and thought, “I’d love to hold that huge thing up to my ear and make a phone call. I’d look to-ta-lee badass. Now, where’s my cellphone holster?”? Bonus points if you had this thought while looking at a huge 13-inch iPad Pro.

Of course, it might actually be handy to make calls on your iPad, especially as you probably would use AirPods or EarPods to do so. Your iPhone may be charging, or in another room, or maybe you’re there with a number ready to call on your Mac or iPad. Now, the iPad still can’t use its cellular connection to send or receive SMS messages, or make phone calls, but if you have an iPhone nearby you can use it as a bridge to do both. Bonus: This even works with the Wi-Fi-only iPad.

Everything you can do with MacBook Pro’s new Touch Bar


macbook pro touch bar
Want to try the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar without dropping a few grand?
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new Touch Bar looks like the most exciting new feature we’ve seen on the MacBook Pro in years.

Instead of fumbling to remember shortcuts, Touch Bar puts a handful of commands at your fingertips and dynamically adjusts to whatever app you’re in.

That sounds pretty magical, but what will that actually be good for? Developers will need to add support for their apps, so it might take a few months before Touch Bar really takes off. But if you’re doubting the usefulness of having a touch screen bar at the top of your keyboard, here are the cool things you can do on the Touch Bar.

Apple drops third macOS Sierra public beta


Picture in Picture macOS Sierra
A new macOS Sierra beta is here.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Public beta testers can download the third public beta of macOS Sierra starting today, one day after Apple seeded the 4th developer beta.

The new macOS Sierra update includes a number of new additions, including the new set of over 100 emoji that promote gender diversity and disarm the pistol emoji by changing it into a squirt gun.

Pro Tip: How to disable calls on other Apple devices


Keep your Amazon details safe with two-step verification.
Keep your Amazon details safe with two-step verification.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug

We received a message today on our Cult of Mac Facebook page asking about calls showing up on an iPad when the call originated on an iPhone.

There are a couple of different places to turn this feature off so you’re not juggling all your iPads and MacBooks when you make or receive phone calls.

Everything that’s new in iOS 9 beta 2


iOS 9 beta 2 goodies are here

Apple seeded iOS 9 beta 2 to developers today and while there aren’t any groundbreaking new features or drastic improvements, the company did manage to add a bunch of little changes and tweaks across the OS.

Most of the improvements are small design changes, but there are a couple really useful additions too, like adding Handoff to the app switcher, search improvements are more.

Take a look at everything that’s new in iOS 9 beta 2:

Messages master class: How to set up Continuity in iOS 8 and Yosemite


Messages 1

The new messaging capabilities built into OS X Yosemite make your Mac even more useful for day-to-day communication. With this new set of features (part of Continuity), you can send SMS text messages and make phone calls from your Mac. Than can be super-helpful if you’re forgetful and leave your iPhone in another room.

It doesn’t take too long to set it all up; in fact, we’re going to show you how to set up Continuity in less than two and a half minutes! Check it all out in our video below.

How to add Continuity to any Mac using just a cheap Bluetooth dongle


Continuity promo image
This simple hack will add Continuity onto your Mac. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

A couple months ago, we wrote about the Continuity Activation Tool, an app that hacks Continuity into older Macs that can’t support Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and AirDrop by default.

The only problem? It was rough: you needed to physically break open your Mac and replace it’s wireless and Bluetooth card. Dongles just wouldn’t work. But guess what? Two months later, and things are very, very different.

This app will hack Continuity to work on your older Mac


OS X Yosmite 10.10.1 is comes with Exchange support for Mail. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Continuity is one of the best features of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, allowing your iPhone, iPad, and Mac to all operate more seamlessly together than ever before. But there’s a problem: Continuity requires Bluetooth 4.0 LE to work, and many older Macs don’t have it.

But don’t despair. A new tool has been released makes it possible to easily hacktivate Continuity, even if Apple doesn’t want you to.

Get iOS 8.1 now for Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and more


Photo: Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple just released iOS 8.1, bringing Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and other new features to the mobile operating system.

Available now via Software Update, iOS 8.1 will let you quickly set up Apple Pay on compatible devices. Upgraders running OS X Yosemite will also notice additional Continuity features that let iOS 8 work with the latest version of the Mac operating system.

How to use Continuity and Handoff with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite


Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Continuity and Handoff are great — at least the parts that work. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Continuity and Handoff sound great on paper. They let you transfer certain documents and data between your Mac and your iPhone or iPad, provided both are running the latest Apple system software — iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, which is currently in public beta.

When Continuity and Handoff work, it’s a brilliant display of Apple’s vision for truly interconnected devices. When they don’t, it’s frustrating. Some of the features work flawlessly for me, while others don’t function as advertised (at least on my gear — here’s a compatibility chart that will tell you if your gear is new enough to work with Handoff and Continuity). It’s probably because Yosemite’s in beta — it makes sense that not all features work right now. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

Ready to take the plunge? Here’s how to get set started, plus a brief look at the Handoff and Continuity features I was able to get working (and a few more that I was not).

Apple just obsoleted the Mac and nobody noticed


Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, unveils OS X Yosemite to the world at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple is finally showing us its idea of how we’ll compute in the future. Perhaps not surprisingly, this pristine vision of our computing destiny — unveiled after years of secret, patient and painstaking development — aligns perfectly with how we currently use our computers and mobile devices.

The keynote at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month not only showed off a new way to think about computing, based on data not devices, but also silenced pretty much every criticism leveled at the company over the past few years.

Let’s take a look at Apple’s new way of doing things, which fulfills Steve Jobs’ post-PC plan by minimizing the importance of the Mac.