iOS 9.3

macOS 10.12.4 brings Night Shift to the Mac

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x
It's time to update your Mac.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

One of the best iOS 9 features has finally landed on the the Mac.

After months of beta testing, Apple released macOS 10.12.4 to the public this morning, bringing a host of performance improvements and new features, including Night Shift.

Night Shift arrives on Mac in first macOS 10.12.4 beta

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15 inch MacBook Pro Silver
There's a new beta out for Macs.
Photo: Apple

A new macOS beta finally brings the popular Night Shift feature from iOS to the Mac.

Apple seeded macOS 10.12.4 beta 1 to all registered developers today, bringing Night Shift plus a host of bug fixes and performance improvements for Apple’s computers. The new macOS beta comes alongside the first betas for iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2.

Make your home screen pop with round iOS folders

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iOS round folders
Man, that looks weird.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Usually, if you want to change the shape of your iOS folders, you need to jailbreak your device or squint really hard or something. But one person has found a way to make your app holders cool-looking and round, and all you have to do is change your device’s wallpaper.

You can see the cool circles in action in the video below.

9.7-inch iPad Pro is no laptop replacement, but it’s a terrific tablet [Reviews]

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iPad Pro 3
iPad Pro is even better at 9.7 inches.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple really, really wants you to replace your laptop with an iPad — especially if that laptop is powered by Windows. But before that switch can even be considered, the iPad needs to do everything your laptop can and more. That’s where iPad Pro comes in.

With its new A9X chip, it’s the most powerful iPad to date. It does everything your old iPad did, but it does it better. It’s compatible with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, and now it’s available in a smaller form factor with a 9.7-inch display.

This new model is easier to carry around all day, but it packs almost exactly the same punch as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro — and the same stellar speakers. It has also adopted the incredible 12-megapixel iSight camera from iPhone 6s, with the dual-tone LED flash.

It’s everything you want in a tablet — and more.

iOS 9.3.1 brings fix for iPhone-crashing web links

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Get your iOS device up to date fast and easy.
Get your iOS device up to date fast and easy.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iPhone users suffering from crashing woes on iOS 9.3 are finally getting some relief. Apple has released iOS 9.3.1 to the public, bringing new bug fixes and performance improvements for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

The update comes more than a week after the release of iOS 9.3, which turned hyperlinks into crash bombs for some users.

Apple fixes Activation Lock bug with iOS 9.3 update

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Get your iOS device up to date fast and easy.
Get your iOS device up to date fast and easy.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

A fix for the Activation Lock bug that plagued older devices that upgraded to iOS 9.3 has been released by Apple this morning, after the company pulled iOS 9.3 availability on select iPhones and iPads last week.

Apple pushed out iOS 9.3 build 13E237 to iPad Air and earlier models, as well as the iPhone 5s and earlier models. The previous build bricked those models during Activation Mode due to failed password authorization.

iOS 9.3 bug turns links into iPhone crash bombs

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Safari is constantly crashing for some iOS 9.3 users.
Safari is constantly crashing for some iOS 9.3 users.
Photo: Apple

Update: Apple has released iOS 9.3.1 to fix the iPhone web links problem.

If you have an iPhone running iOS 9.3, whatever you do, do not install the Booking.com app.

iPhone users are reporting that an iOS 9.3 bug, possibly related to the Booking.com app, causes some apps to freeze and crash when tapping on links — and it’s not entirely clear what’s causing it.

iPhone and iPad Pro go small, Apple Watch pivots and iOS 9.3 is a must-try

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Size does matter, in fact.
Size does matter, in fact.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Once again, Apple has refreshed its iPhone and iPad line with some better (albeit smaller) iOS devices, the iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

If you’re looking for all the details on these two new gadgets, or just want to know which is the right iPad or iPhone for you, be sure to grab this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, which also includes all the cool things you can do with iOS 9.3, a look at Cupertino’s new Apple Watch pivot, and a deeper dive on the keynote itself.

Here are this week’s top stories.

Apple pushes out update to fix bricked iPads

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iOS 9 is upping security.
iOS 9.3 is bricking some iPads.
Photo: Apple

iOS 9.3 has caused headaches for some iPad owners, who updated to the new operating system only to find their devices bricked. But Apple already has a fix out to help bring those older devices back to life.

Apple temporarily pulled the iOS 9.3 update from some devices yesterday. The company has since released a new build of the update specifically for iPad 2 users whose devices failed to install the update.

Your guide to all the latest iOS, tvOS and watchOS features

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Apple tv, iPhone and Apple Watch
See all of Apple's latest software in action
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Along with the iPhone SE and new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple unleashed a slew of new software updates this week, bringing all-new features to your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

Find out what’s awaiting you in the new Apple updates, as well as how to update all your Apple devices, in a series of Cult of Mac videos you can watch below.

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 9.3

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Get your iOS device up to date fast and easy.
Get your iOS device up to date fast and easy.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iOS 9.3 is perhaps the biggest “dot” upgrade Apple has created for its mobile platform. Apple usually doesn’t show off incremental iOS upgrades at its carefully staged keynotes, but iOS 9.3 clocked some time at Monday’s iPhone SE event, and you should update right now.

If nothing else, you’ll get some great new features like Night Shift to make your mobile digital life just a bit better. Here’s how to get iOS 9.3 on your iPhone or iPad.

Cool new things you can do after your iOS 9.3 update

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iOS 9.3 Beta 4

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iOS 9.3 is out now for everyone, and the upgrade delivers some great new features that make Apple’s mobile platform better than ever.

With sweet additions like password-protected Notes, sleep-saving Night Shift and data-friendly Wi-Fi Assist, iOS 9.3 might be Apple’s biggest “dot” release yet.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the coolest things you can do once you’ve downloaded the iOS 9.3 update, which Apple released Monday.

How to clock in for the Night Shift in iOS 9.3

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iOS 9.3 Night Shift
Here's how to turn the lights down and settle in for the Night Shift.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Yesterday, the launch of iOS 9.3 added Night Shift to Apple’s mobile devices. It’s a really cool feature that might help make you healthier. Jailbreakers have enjoyed an app with the same functionality for years, but now it’s legitimate and poses less of a risk of completely jacking up your iPhone or iPad.

Night Shift gives you the option of warming up the light your display emits so that you get less harsh, blue rays before bed. The idea is that your screen’s usual output tricks your body into thinking that it’s still daytime, and that can make it harder to fall and stay asleep. So if you’re used to checking some e-mails or reading some news before you conk out, it might help you rest easier.

Here’s how to activate Night Shift’s soothing beams.

U.S. government cancels iPhone hearing with Apple

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Tim Cook
Apple's hearing vs the FBI just got cancelled.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Department of Justice is putting its battle against Apple on hold.

In a new court filing published today, the U.S. government has asked a federal court to vacate the hearing set for Tuesday between Apple and the FBI on whether the company can be legally compelled to write software that would assist the FBI in hacking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

So did the feds finally see the error of their ways when it comes to weakenening iOS security? Not quite. But the government says it may have found a way to hack terrorist Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c without Apple’s assistance.

Apple’s Classroom app for iPad lands on App Store

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iOS 9.3 embraces education.
iOS 9.3 embraces education.
Photo: Apple

Apple is putting more tools in the hands of educators today with the official launch of the new Classroom app for iPad that promises to opens up new, more engaging ways of teaching and learning on the iPad.

The new app is part of the new iOS 9.3 education features Apple has added that allow teachers to manage student devices, share work and assignments, as well as track students’ progress to help them stay on track.

iOS 9.3 is out now for everyone

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ios-9-3-notes
iOS 9.3 is here!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The biggest iOS update yet of 2016 is finally here, bringing new features to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users.

iOS 9.3 doesn’t contain many design changes, but there are a host of new features like NightShift mode, Touch ID secured Notes, iPad education features, and lots of little changes in Apple Music and Apple News.

iPhone and iPad owners can grab the new update over the air by going to the Software Update section in the iOS Settings app, or you can download it directly via iTunes.

Here’s a look at everything that’s new:

Liveblog: Apple loops us in with the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro

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Apple event let us loop you in
Get ready for a new iPhone and iPad.
Photo: Apple

The first big Apple media event of 2016 is finally here.

Months of rumors, speculation and anticipation have been leading up to Apple’s “Let us loop you in” event this morning, at which the company is expected to unveil a new 4-inch iPhone, a new iPad Pro model, and some Apple Watch hardware.

Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple crew are set to take the stage at 10 a.m. Pacific and Cult of Mac will be here to liveblog the festivities. Will there be a “one more thing” at the end to make this a truly unforgettable event? Come follow along with us below:

Researchers find gaping hole in Apple’s iMessage encryption

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Federal judge shoots down down group iMessage lawsuit.
iMessage contains a critical encryption flaw.
Photo: Apple

Encryption researchers at John Hopkins University have found a serious flaw in the encryption of Apple’s iMessage platform that shatters the FBI’s stance that encryption on devices like the iPhone is unhackable.

The group of researchers discovered a bug that would allow attackers to decrypt pictures and video sent over iMessage. The flaw wouldn’t help the FBI in its investigation of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, but it shows just how hard it is to get air-tight encryption right, even for a company with as much talent and resources as Apple.

Everything Apple will announce at its March 21 keynote

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iPhone SE will be the star of Apple's March 21 keynote.
iPhone SE will be the star of Apple's March 21 keynote.
Photo: Martin Hajek

The invites are out and the rumors are in. Apple’s first event of 2016 is going down March 21, when the company will loop fans in on some shiny new products coming soon to Apple Stores.

Apple is expected to introduce a new 4-inch iPhone aimed at budget customers and people who want to be able to hold their smartphone with one hand, but a new 9.7-inch iPad that’s every bit as impressive as the iPad Pro could steal the show (along with some other new goodies).

Here’s what to expect from Apple’s big event.

Apple seeds yet another iOS 9.3 beta

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ios-9-3-notes
IOS 9.3.2 beta 2 is here.
Photo: Apple

It seems like iOS 9.3 has been in beta for years now, but Apple isn’t quite done fine-tuning its biggest software update of the year.

Apple released iOS 9.3 beta 7 to developers this afternoon, exactly a week after the last version was seeded to devs and public testers. iOS 9.3 adds new features such as Night Shift mode, multiple Apple Watch pairings on one iPhone, improved Apple News and Apple Music apps, and some great education features for iPad.

Developers can grab the new beta directly from the Apple Developer Center portal or via an over-the-air update if you have the previous beta installed.

Here’s a roundup of the new features to expect:

Apple drops new betas for iOS, watchOS and tvOS

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There are tons of great iOS 9 benefits that your older iPhone or iPad will use just fine.
There are tons of great iOS 9 benefits that your older iPhone or iPad will use just fine.
Photo: Apple

Apple is serving up a buffet of new software updates with new beta releases of iOS 9.3, watchOS 2.2, and tvOS 9.2 that are being made available to developers and public testers today.

The new betas come more than a week after Apple seeded the last updates for the new software that could be made available to the public sometime later this month, bringing a host of new features to the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

Take a tour of the latest Apple Watch beta [Video]

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Easily find businesses near you thanks to the updated glances on WatchOS 2.2
Easily find businesses near you thanks to the updated glances on WatchOS 2.2
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The fourth beta for watchOS 2.2 adds cool new features that work with the latest version of iOS 9.3 as Apple continues its push to make Apple Watch even more powerful. In today’s video, we’re going to take a tour of all the new changes and improvements the latest beta has in store.

Apple’s not crippling the Apple Pencil after all

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Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil is the best iPad accessory.
Photo: Apple

Don’t worry iPad Pro lovers, Apple isn’t nerfing it’s fancy Pencil.

The company removed the ability to navigate in iOS 9.3 with the Apple Pencil in the last four beta updates, but Apple reassured users today that it will bring the functional it back by the time iOS 9.3 is available to the public, it’s just fixing a few things in the meantime. 

Public testers can now download latest iOS and OS X betas

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ios-9-3-notes
iOS 9.3 beta 4 is out now for testers.
Photo: Apple

The latest batch of betas from Apple have just been made available to public testers one day after their initial release to developers.

Members of Apple’s Beta Tester Program can install iOS 9.3 beta 4 on their devices. The update adds a bunch of new feature like Night Shift mode, Touch ID-secured Notes, as well as a ton of bug fixes. Users can download the beta directly from Apple’s website, or install it over-the-air if the previous beta is already installed.

OS X 10.11.4 beta 4 has also been released to public testers. For a round up of new features to expect in iOS 9.3, check out our two-minute video below: