New Macs! New iPads! New AirPods! We break down this week’s releases, on The CultCast

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CultCast 380 MacBook Pro
Apple spent the whole week releasing new hardware.

This week on The CultCast: Apple just released so much new hardware, they had to do it over 3 full days. We’ll break it all down, and react to all the new gear. Plus, the saga of MoviePass continues with yet another new wild announcement… but is their new unlimited plan too good to be true?

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain..

Why this week’s Apple PR blitz is brilliant [Opinion]

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Updated iMacs, AirPods, and iPads have all debuted this week. What’s next?
Updated iMacs, AirPods, and iPads have all debuted this week. What’s next?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple isn’t following its usual strategy for product launches. Rather than holding a press event during which a collection of devices gets shown off, it spread the news out across multiple days this week.

This bold new approach brought plenty of attention to products that might otherwise have gotten lost in the furor around bigger announcements. And it’s also creating excitement about what’s coming next.

Why the latest iPads don’t support Apple Pencil 2

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The newest iPad mini supports the first-gen Apple Pencil, not the newer version of this stylus.
Big features in a tiny form factor.
Photo: Apple

The number of tablets that can use the Apple Pencil expanded with the debut of the iPad Air 3 and iPad mini 5. Curiously, these support the original version of this pressure-sensitive stylus, not the newer one that launched in the fall.

But it turns out there are several good reasons for this move.

Leather Smart Cover makes a comeback with new iPads

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Here’s the Smart Cover for the latest iPad models in papaya.
Here’s the Smart Cover for the latest iPad models in papaya.
Photo: Apple

Apple just took the wraps off fresh accessories for the tablets it unveiled this morning. There are cases in a variety of colors for both the new iPad Air and iPad mini. 

There’s also a leather cover for the 10.5-inch iPad Air. And this model can use a Smart Keyboard designed for an earlier Apple tablet.

How to watch the Apple event on March 21

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ipad-pro

Monday, March 21, will be a big day for Apple, with possible reveals of a budget 4-inch iPhone SE, a 9.7-inch iPad Pro and maybe even some new Apple Watch bands ahead of the second iteration of Apple’s wrist computer.

Want to watch the Apple event live? Here’s how you do it on any of your Apple devices (and even a PC).

Note: Monday’s Apple event starts at 10 a.m. Pacific. Cult of Mac’s liveblog will start serving up color commentary an hour before that, so don’t be late!

Apple’s big event, iPhone 7 leaks and rumors, malware and more

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What's coming down the pike?
What's coming down the pike?
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s set to bring the noise at an exciting new keynote event March 21, full of iPad Air 3 and iPhone SE news, and we’re sure you’re ready to hear it.

While you wait for Apple’s big event, though, we’ve gathered together all the things we think you need to know about the upcoming Apple-fest and put them into this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine.

Enjoy the noise, and check out this week’s top stories.

Should we be excited for next week’s Apple keynote? [Friday Night Fights]

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Our resident Apple fanboy can't wait!
Our resident Apple fanboy can't wait!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook will take to the stage to host another Apple keynote on Monday, but who cares?

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2It seems only a small percentage of Apple fans are interested in a 4-inch iPhone, and although the rumored iPad upgrade will be a big one, interest in tablets is falling like Jennifer Lawrence at big events. So that leaves… Apple Watch straps? Please!

Without a major unveiling, is Monday’s keynote really worth getting excited for? Or will it be another disappointment, with interest quickly turning to Eddy Cue’s colorful shirts and Craig Federighi’s impeccable hair instead?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac as we battle it out over those very questions!

Alleged iPad Air 3 case shows off quad speakers and Smart Connector

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Alleged-iPad-Air-3-case2
This case may offer some big clues about Apple's next tablet.
Photo: Steve Hemmerstoffer

If you’ve been lusting over the feature set of Apple’s iPad Pro, but would rather stick to the 9.7-inch form factor of the smaller-size iPad Air, today could be your lucky day.

That’s because new photos of an alleged iPad Air 3 case (complete with dummy device) appear to show that Apple’s next tablet will be a scaled-down version of the iPad Pro — complete with the same quad speaker setup as its big brother, along with the triple dot Smart Connector that the iPad Pro uses to connect to its Smart Keyboard attachment.

iPad Air 3 will pack the same powerful processor as iPad Pro

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2017 12.9-inch iPad Pro
The iPad Pro's best features are coming to iPad Air 3.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

Apple isn’t skimping on processing power when it comes to the iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se that are expected to be revealed next month.

Even though the new 4-inch iPhone is being aimed as a mid-range smartphone, Apple reportedly plans to include the same A9 processor found in the iPhone 6s, while the iPad Air 3 will pack the A9X processor found in the iPad Pro.