| Cult of Mac

Apple rushes out iOS 13.5.1, macOS supplemental update with important security fixes


The iOS 13.5.1 update brings important security fixes.
iPadOS and iOS 13.5.1 are out and “recommended for all users“ by Apple.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple released iOS 13.5.1 on Monday, along with an iPad equivalent, bringing “important security updates” to its mobile operating systems. The speed of their introduction suggests anyone running the latest version on their iPhone or iPad should upgrade ASAP.

Also Monday, Apple dropped Small updates for Mac, Apple Watch and HomePod. Plus the latest beta versions of iOS and iPadOS for developers.

Demystifying Apple’s COVID-19 efforts [Cult of Mac Magazine 350]


Here's how Apple's COVID-19 contact-tracing system works.
Here's how Apple's COVID-19 contact-tracing system works.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

When Apple released iOS 13.5 this week, it paved the way for privacy-focused contact-tracing apps to fight COVID-19. However, these apps don’t yet exist. And, despite some panicked reports online, your iPhone isn’t going to start snooping on you as soon as you upgrade your operating system.

We set out to clear up some misconceptions about how this whole contact-tracing thing is going to work. You can read all about it in this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine.

Elsewhere in the free iOS mag, you’ll get the scoop on our podcast interview with Jon Prosser, the Apple leaker who’s making headlines. Plus, the usual Apple news, reviews and how-tos. Download it now and get to reading, or get the stories in the links below.

How to customize your CarPlay setup and ditch apps you don’t need


BMW could ditch its pricey annual subscription cost for CarPlay
Don't settle for the default CarPlay layout.
Photo: Sony

CarPlay makes it safe to use some of your favorite iPhone apps on the road, and by default, anything with CarPlay support will automatically appear in your car. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Simplify your experience and make CarPlay even easier to use by customizing your layout and ditching apps you don’t need.

Why it’s taking so long for apps to add Dark Mode


Has your favorite app embraced the dark side yet?
Has your favorite app embraced the dark side yet?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

This week, I finally got around to adding Dark Mode support to Reps & Sets, the iPhone bodybuilding app I develop as a side hustle. That’s almost a year after Apple first announced the feature at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

What took me so long? Supporting Dark Mode is not as simple as it seems. It’s not just indie devs like me who have struggled with it, either. WhatsApp only recently added Dark Mode support, and Facebook is still beta-testing it.

So if you’re waiting for your favorite app to switch to the dark side, here’s why it might be taking so long.

Apple drops first public iPadOS and iOS 13.4.5 bug-fix betas


Even the best iPads have bugs
iPadOS and iOS 13.4.5 are all about killing bugs. The public can now beta test this upcoming version.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Pexels CC

More than developers can test iOS 13.4.5 and the iPad equivalent. Starting Thursday, the general public can download a beta version if they’re brave enough to run pre-release software.

Just be aware, these updates are almost entirely about fixing bugs in the iOS and iPadOS versions released March 24, not new features.

This $10 iOS simulator makes your laptop work like an iPad [Deals]


Experience iOS right on your non-Apple tablets, and run your apps like you would on your iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re comfortable with the Apple ecosystem, using a Windows machine can feel a little alien. But with iPadian iOS 13 Simulator, you can get the sleek, familiar iOS experience even on a PC.

The app re-creates the mobile Apple experience on Windows desktops or laptops. (It works on Macs, too.) And right now, you can download it for less than $10.

iOS 13.4.1 could come this week with fix for big VPN bug


Save 88% on comprehensive and essential VPN protection.
It will be essential for those who rely on a VPN.
Photo: VPN Unlimited

Apple will roll out an iOS 13.4.1 update this week to fix a VPN bug on iPhone and iPad, according to a new report out Tuesday.

An earlier investigation revealed a security flaw in Apple’s most recent iOS releases that prevents virtual private networks from encrypting all traffic. The issue can cause data and IP addresses to be exposed.