6 things to do when you’re stuck at home in self-quarantine

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prison cell bars
Feeling locked up?
Photo: Denny Müller/Unsplash

Has the government in your city or country shut down everything due to COVID-19? Are the bars, gyms and other nonessential places closed? Are you stuck at home, cooped up with nothing but Facebook and Twitter to fan the flames of your outrage and fear?

Don’t worry. There are plenty of things to do at home. Why not take advantage of all that extra time and use it for something you enjoy?

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Appstore
You can request them manually if you need to.
Photo: Apple

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: Eddy Cue takes the stand to defend iBooks pricing

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ibooks_cloud_2x
Eddy Cue defended Apple's e-book pricing in a 2013 antitrust trial targeting the iBooks Store.
Photo: Apple

June 13: Today in Apple history: Eddy Cue takes the stand to defend iBooks pricing June 13, 2013: Eddy Cue takes the stand to defend Apple’s business strategy in an antitrust case against Cupertino regarding e-book pricing.

Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, is the Apple exec in charge of the iBooks Store initiative. His testimony proves vital to a case brought by the Department of Justice, in which potential damages climb well into the nine figures.

Finally! Apple might be planning to break up iTunes

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iTunes on Mac
iTunes has been a pain in the ass for way too long.
Photo: Apple

The death of iTunes might finally be on the horizon. Or, at least, the downsizing of iTunes certainly seems to be.

iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith revealed today that he unearthed evidence about Apple’s plans to make separate apps for Music, Podcasts and Books. iTunes slowly morphed into a bloated beast over the last decade, so paring down the app would be welcomed by Mac users. But Troughton-Smith warns not to get your hopes up too high just yet.

Walmart horns in on the $1.1 billion e-book market

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A Walmart eBooks iOS app just launched, hoping to take on the established leaders in the market.
A Walmart eBooks iOS app just launched, hoping to take on the established leaders in the market, Amazon and Apple Books.
Photo: Walmart

While brick-and-mortar bookstores have almost disappeared, the number of e-book stores grew today with Walmart throwing its hat into the ring.

This is clearly an attempt to take on arch-rival Amazon in yet another market, but Apple Books is caught in the middle too.

dotEPUB is the best way to save and annotate websites in iBooks

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dotEPUB turns web pages into fantastic-looking ebooks.
dotEPUB turns web pages into fantastic-looking ebooks.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In my constant search for a way to save and annotate webpages like I used to do with Instapaper before it cut off access to Europe instead of complying with GDPR laws, I came across a great service called dotEPUB.

This quick-and-easy service lets you save and convert any webpage into an EPUB document. Then you can open the file in Apple’s Books app and mark it up just like any other ebook. Let’s take a look at how dotEPUB works.

Three ways to save web pages as read-later PDFs on iOS

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A metaphorical view of my badly-organized PDFs
A metaphorical view of my badly-organized PDFs
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

With the demise of Instapaper — in Europe at least — you may be looking for a good way to save web pages for offline reading. The obvious built-in tool for this is Safari’s Reading list, but it’s very limited. Instead, consider turning the web page into a PDF. This lets you read the page anywhere, as well as mark it up with highlights, and search its entire content using Spotlight.

The thing is, there are three different way to save a webpage as a PDF, all of them built-in to iOS. Let’s take a look at how to use them, what the differences are, and which one is best for you.

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Apple data privacy
Apple’s Data and Privacy website launched last year
Photo: Apple