Harry Potter

Why it’s time to grab your wand and play Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery again

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Why it’s time to play ’Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery’ again
The new Beyond Hogwarts expansion pack to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery lets players grow up and start careers.
Image: Jam City

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery just got its largest-ever game expansion. Dubbed Beyond Hogwarts, it offers 50% more content as players leave the hallowed halls of Hogwarts and visit the magical haunts of London.

With the expansion, those who played the original game when it launched 5 years ago can come back and find plenty more to enjoy.

Harry Potter: Magic Awakened game takes you back to Hogwarts

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‘Harry Potter: Magic Awakened’ game takes you back to Hogwarts
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened mixes role-playing with card collecting.
Image: Warner Bros. Games/Netease

Players become students at Hogwarts and engage in magical duels against dark wizards in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, which launched Tuesday. It’s a collectible card (CCG) and massively multiplayer (MMO) game, and is free to play — with in-app purchases.

There are versions for iPhone and iPad. (Android too.)

Alfonso Cuarón signs multiyear deal with Apple TV+

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Alfonso Cuarón
One of the most creative directors in Hollywood is teaming up with Apple.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Apple reportedly inked a multiyear deal with Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón to develop original content for Apple TV+.

Cuarón’s deal with Apple will see him develop multiple TV series for the streaming service, marking the director and writer’s first foray into television since he created the short-lived NBC show Believe.

Harry Potter actress joins new Apple comedy series

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Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton made our skin crawl as Dolores Umbridge.
Photo: Warner Bros.

Tim Cook’s home state might become the backdrop of one of Apple’s new TV shows for 2020. Or at least, it’s lending its name to it.

In its first comedy co-production with the BBC, Apple has tapped Imelda Staunton to star in a new eight-part series that will also feature Darren Boyd and Phil Davis called Alabama.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite takes off like a Nimbus 2000

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The first AR Harry Potter game promises spell casting in the real world
If you started playing the new Harry Potter augmented-reality game this weekend, you weren’t alone.
Photo: Niantic and WB Games

Harry Potter still has his magic… if by magic you mean the ability to make tons of money in a short amount of time. An augmented-reality game set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World pulled in nearly three million new players its first weekend. And they spent a lot of real muggle money.

Everyone’s a wizard in upcoming Harry Potter AR game

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The first AR Harry Potter game promises spell casting in the real world
The first AR Harry Potter game promises spell casting in the real world
Photo: Niantic and WB Games

In Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,  players must seek out creatures, objects and people that have made their way into the muggle world through the magic of augmented reality. 

The developers have revealed a first look at this upcoming game that has quite a bit in common with Pokémon Go.

Best gifts for iPad fans [Gift Guide 2018]

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iPad gift guide 2018
Buying for an iPad fan? Start here!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The holiday shopping season has rudely crept up on us, which means it’s time to start buying for friends and loved ones who have been good this year. Fortunately for you, Cult of Mac is here to help.

Gift guide 2018 bugOur gift guides are full of great products Apple fans are sure to love. We’ve hand-picked awesome accessories and glorious gadgets that we all use and recommend, so you know your money is being well-spent.

This guide focuses on the iPad lovers in your life, and there’s something to suit every budget.

Rupert Grint will get terrified in M. Night Shyamalan’s Apple TV series

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This is what Rupert Grint does best, and he’s bringing that talent to Apple TV.
This is what Rupert Grint does best, and he’s bringing that talent to Apple TV.
Photo: Warner Bros.

One of Rupert Grint’s jobs playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies was looking terrified whenever appropriate. That might be the reason he’s been hired to be in the TV series M. Night Shyamalan is helping create for Apple.

This, like all the programs being filmed for Apple, will reportedly be free to watch on any Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc.

Next Harry Potter game will be Pokémon Go for wizards

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A teaser trailer reveals the theme of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
A teaser trailer reveals the theme of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Photo: Niantic

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will use augmented reality to let players seemingly cast spells in the real world, while encountering characters and creatures from the Wizarding World.

It had been scheduled to be released before the end of this year. Instead, all we’re getting is a teaser trailer and a promise that this AR game will be out in 2019.

Learn to code like a wizard with this Harry Potter wand kit

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Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit teaches muggles to code
Progammus Swiftus: Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit teaches muggles to code
Photo: Kano

You can’t go to Hogwarts to learn magic, but the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit teaches programming as if you’re in the Wizarding World.

It comes with a wireless wand, and you flick and swish through the basic concepts of real-world programming. Professor Flitwick would be so proud.

Magical Hogwarts Mystery rakes in $40 million and counting

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Harry Potter
Technically, Hogwarts Mystery is free, but in-app purchases have generated millions for its developer.
Photo: Jam City, Inc.

An RPG set in the Harry Potter universe is a huge hit. Hogwarts Mystery only debuted two months ago and has already made its developers $40 million.

There are a couple of reasons for this success. The obvious one is it’s Harry Potter. Duh. But the other is that this game so frequently requests in-app purchases that it’s garnered heavy criticism.

Hogwarts Mystery costs too much, but might become cheaper

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Harry Potter
Considering it's a children's game, many wonder why Hogwarts Mystery cost so much to play.
Photo: Jam City

Reviews of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery don’t agree whether it’s a good iOS game, but all say it’s vastly too  expensive. It’s actually free to download, but playing the game essentially requires buying expensive power-ups.

But now developer Jam City may have changed course because reports are coming in that the cost of power-ups has dropped by up to 80 percent.

Exclusivus iBookus! Apple magics up special edition Harry Potter books

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Should we call him Harr iPotter now?
Photo: Warner Bros.

Apple today announced the launch of special “Enhanced Editions” of all seven Harry Potter books, exclusively on iBooks.

Featuring interactive animations, elaborate artwork, custom covers, exclusive annotations by J.K. Rowling, and, of course, the original text, the books can be downloaded individually for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

8 great movies that would make even better TV shows

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The cautionary tale of two-bit thug Tony Montana’s rise from dishwasher to drug kingpin is a well known one. But think of the added depth that would be possible were the same world explored through a TV show. Not only could we explore more of Montana’s backstory and delve into his fractured family dynamics in more detail, the show could also tell the story of the supporting characters in Tony’s life.Scarface hints at rival groups like the Diaz Brothers, but we never see or hear from them. Plus, how great would it be to find out more about Bolivian gangster Alejandro Sosa, Montana’s beleaguered bank manager, and the city’s police force as they fight corruption to build a case against Montana?All of this alongside a rocking 1980s soundtrack. Seriously, could there be a better show?Photo: Universal Pictures

The cautionary tale of two-bit thug Tony Montana’s rise from dishwasher to drug kingpin is a well known one. But think of the added depth that would be possible were the same world explored through a TV show. Not only could we explore more of Montana’s backstory and delve into his fractured family dynamics in more detail, the show could also tell the story of the supporting characters in Tony’s life.

Scarface hints at rival groups like the Diaz Brothers, but we never see or hear from them. Plus, how great would it be to find out more about Bolivian gangster Alejandro Sosa, Montana’s beleaguered bank manager, and the city’s police force as they fight corruption to build a case against Montana?

All of this alongside a rocking 1980s soundtrack. Seriously, could there be a better show?

Photo: Universal Pictures


A Harry Potter Spell Can Be Used To Hack Your Mac!

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"Apple TV, turn on!" Photo: Warner Bros.

Inside every Mac — the one I’m writing this one, the one you’re reading this on, the one next to you at the cafe — is a little chip called the SMC, or system management controller. If you’ve ever had a problem related to your Mac’s performance or power supply, resetting the SMC is usually the first thing people suggest.

For most of us, worrying about the ‘security’ of our SMC is pretty harmless. While your SMC can be hacked, it’s a Mission Impossible style process that is only really likely to occur if you’re so important that the techno-elite of another country’s government decides they want to know what’s on your laptop.

Here’s where it gets funny, though. Let’s say China did want to hack your Mac’s SMC… how might they start? By entering the name of a Harry Potter spell!

Harry Potter Comes To E-Readers… But Not The iBookstore

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harry_potter_c_0727
Don't expect Harry Potter or Near-Dead Dumbledore to appear on the iBookstore.

J.K. Rowling’s enormously successful Harry Potter series is about an incompetent orphan who lucks his way through a series of magical adventures despite being essentially inept. Tens of millions of people — myself included! — have enjoyed them over the course of the last decade, but only in dead tree form. Bizarrely, Harry Potter has never officially come to e-books up until now.

Of course, no longer. As one last magical trick, Harry Potter has made the jump to a number of e-book stores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google and Sony. The only company left out? Apple’s iBookstore.