Enhance your video calls with special lenses, lighting and more

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Pictar Home-Office Kit
Make your videos look better with a bundle of 18mm wide angle lens, 3-in-1 tripod, LED light, and more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Nowadays much of our human contact happens through a screen. From Zoom meetings to vlogs, podcasts and livestreams, the cameras on our phones and computers are the world’s window into our lives. The lenses, lighting and other gear in this kit can help improve the view.

What do you add to the smartwatch that has everything? An Apple Watch Series 6 wish list.

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Will Apple Watch Series 6 get a svelte new look?
Will Apple Watch Series 6 get a svelte new look?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is almost due for its annual hardware update, which comes like clockwork every September. First came the addition of GPS, then cellular, a thinner case with a bigger screen, a compass, and even an ECG heart monitor.

With each new model, Cupertino’s wearable creeps closer to perfection, which presents a bit of a problem. What do you add to the smartwatch that has everything?

Here’s my top 10 wish list of features I’m hoping Apple has up its sleeve.

Laugh along as Apple takes on ‘the whole working-from-home thing’ in new video

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Working from home can be a challenge, but not for the Underdogs.
Laugh along with Apple in ‘The whole working-from-home thing’ video.
Photo: Apple

Working from home is the new normal, and an Apple video released Monday shows a team using Mac, iPad and iPhone to collaborate on a rushed project.

But this is less an instructional “how to” video and more something we can all commiserate with as the team struggles with kids, cats and crazy coworkers to make a looming deadline.

Enjoy it now:

The best hidden features in iOS and iPadOS 14

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Best hidden features in iOS 14
There's a lot more to discover in iOS 14.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2020Apple showcased some major changes and improvements for iOS 14 during its big WWDC 2020 keynote on Monday — and it was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more that we didn’t get to see.

We’re now discovering what some of those things are, thanks to the first beta release, which is already available to registered developers. Here are our picks for the best hidden features in iOS 14.

Today in Apple history: iOS 4 brings multitasking and FaceTime

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Next year's iPhone could resemble the classic iPhone 4.
iOS 4 brought important new features to iPhones and the recently released iPad.
Photo: Yutaka Tsutano/Ste Smith

June 21: Today in Apple history: Apple releases iOS 4, which brings multitasking and FaceTime June 21, 2010: Apple releases iOS 4, which introduces a range of productivity features as well as the FaceTime videotelephony service.

iOS 4 represents a big step forward for Apple’s flourishing mobile devices. Due to the arrival of the first-gen iPad earlier in the year, iOS 4 also brings a transition from the mobile operating system’s original name, “iPhone OS.”

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 preorders set an impressive record

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Steve obs
The iPhone 4 wound up selling 1.7 million units in its first weekend.
Photo: Matthew Yohe/Wikipedia CC

June 16: Today in Apple history: Apple receives record preorders for iPhone 4 June 16, 2010: Apple reports a massive surge of interest in its upcoming iPhone 4, with 600,000 sales on the first day of preorders.

The company calls the number “far higher” than expected. At the time, it’s the largest number of iPhone preorders Apple has ever taken in a single day. AT&T suffers server problems thanks to the demand — with 10 times the usual traffic on its website. It’s proof positive that Apple is onto a winner!

Facebook Messenger Rooms can handle calls with up to 50 people in US

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facebook.messenger.rooms
Facebook Messenger Rooms allows users to host video calls of up to 50 people free of charge.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook took on Zoom and FaceTime Thursday by enabling its new video-calling service, Messenger Rooms, to make free calls between as many as 50 people.

The feature was announced last month, and is available now is the US and Canada. It’ll be rolled out globally next week, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Group FaceTime gets a lot less chaotic in latest iOS beta

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group-facetime-grid.1
Sick of those taking on Group FaceTime growing in size? iOS 13.5 beta let's you disable it.
Photo: Apple

A Group FaceTime feature some people find irritating can be disabled in the upcoming iOS version. Currently, the tile showing the face of the person speaking gets larger, pushing everyone else aside. The iOS 13.5 beta introduced Wednesday gives users the option to turn this off.

Apple pays $18 million to settle lawsuit saying it broke FaceTime on older devices

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FaceTime
Lawsuit argued Apple broke FaceTime on older devices.
Photo: Apple

Apple agreed to pay $18 million to claimants in a California class-action lawsuit that argued Cupertino broke FaceTime on older iPhone devices to save money.

The court filing, made Monday, means that members of the class action each will receive a whopping $3 for their troubles. However, that amount could increase if some members fail to cash their checks. The remainder of the money will cover lawyer fees and other costs.