| Cult of Mac

The specs check out on new MacBook Pro and Mac mini [The CultCast]

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We're talking the many pros and a couple of cons about the brand-new MacBook Pro Mac mini and HomePod models Apple just released.
We're talking the many pros and a couple of cons about the brand-new MacBook Pro Mac mini and HomePod models Apple just released.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The first reviews and early benchmarks reveal impressive performance boosts from the new MacBook Pro and Mac mini. We’re talking the pros and cons of upgrading — including one very important “buyer beware” scenario.

Also on The CultCast:

  • What’s new in iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2? We walk through the updates.
  • A great giveaway from Goldenerre, maker of fine Apple Watch bands.
  • Our beloved old-school HomePods just got some upgrades — including one Erfon’s been dreaming of for years.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 arrive

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iOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 launches are only a week away
iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, watchOS 9.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 are here.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

After a relatively short beta period, Apple on Monday released iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 to the public. Compatible Apple Watch and Apple TV models also received watchOS 9.3 and tvOS 16.3 updates.

Usually, point releases of iOS and macOS bring several new features and changes. But that’s not the case with iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2. Relatively light on new features, the updates focus more on bug fixes and security patches. Below is a look at all the new features in iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, macOS Ventura 13.2 and watchOS 9.3.

iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 launches are only a week away

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iOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 launches are only a week away
The iOS 16.3 Release Candidate reveals which new features Apple considers the most important.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The next iPhone software update is closer than anyone might have realized. Apple seeded the release candidate for iOS 16.3 to developers on Wednesday.

The same is also true for the release candidates for macOS 13.2, iPadOS 16.3, watchOS 9.3 and tvOS 16.3.

Apple prepares for return of Home app architecture upgrade

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iOS 16.2 bring in a new Home architecture upgrade option.
New HomeKit Architecture
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple apparently plans to re-release its update to the underlying architecture of its HomeKit home-automation system in the near future. The upgraded platform for the Home app is included in the latest iOS and iPadOS betas.

The company briefly made this update available to all users in December before withdrawing it due to unspecified problems.

How to get started using Stage Manager on iPad

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Hands on: Stage Manager in iPadOS 16 brings the floating app windows we asked for
iPad can now show applications in resizable floating windows. Here's how to use the new multitasking system.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Stage Manager in iPadOS 16 makes Apple’s tablets act much more like a Mac. The optional multitasking system puts applications into floating, resizable, overlapping windows.

Even better, the system can also be used on external displays, greatly increasing the available space to work in.

Here’s how to get started using Stage Manager.

Apple dives into testing iOS 16.3, macOS 13.2 and more

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iOS 16.3
The march toward the release of iOS 16.3 has just begun.
Graphic: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple already began beta tests for the next versions of iOS, macOS, iPadOS and watchOS. These were seeded to developers on Wednesday, just a day after the public release of their predecessors.

Even with the holidays coming up, Apple continues working on its operating systems.

Get way more done with full external display support in iPadOS 16.2

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iPad finally gets floating windows in Stage Manager on iPadOS 16
More than double your iPad's useful screen area with iPadOS 16.2.
Screenshot: Apple

iPadOS 16.2 just launched, and for many users of top-tier iPads, the standout feature is full external display support. This makes Apple tablets far better at multitasking than ever before.

There are other improvements in iPadOS 16.2 as well, including the Freeform collaboration app.

iOS 16.2 with Freeform, Apple Music Sing and more is just days away

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WWDC22: Freeform, coming in iPadOS 16, works like a collaborative white board.
Freeform will soon be available in iOS 16.2, macOS Ventura 13.1 and iPadOS 16.2.
Photo: Apple

Apple seeded the iOS 16.2 release candidate to developers Wednesday, taking a huge step toward giving iPhone users access to the Freeform collaboration app, the recently announced Apple Music Sing and other exciting new features.

The iPadOS 16.2 release candidate also went out with nearly the same feature set. Plus, Apple seeded the macOS Ventura 13.1 RC, watchOS 9.2 RC and tvOS 16.2 RC to devs, too.

New bug fix patches are out for iOS, macOS and iPadOS

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iOS 16.1
An update to iOS 16.1 is out. The same is true for iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple on Wednesday released iOS 16.1.1, iPadOS 16.1.1 and macOS 13.0.1 to fix bugs and close a couple of security holes. These updates don’t add any new features, but are nevertheless recommended for all users.

There are no such patches for watchOS or tvOS.

iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 beta 2: All the new features and changes

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iOS 16.2 beta 1 receded developers on Tuesday.
iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 beta 2 are here with some new features.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the second iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 beta two weeks after the first beta dropped. The first beta packed plenty of new features and enhancements, and the second beta is no different.

Below is a look at all the changes and everything new in iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 beta 2, followed by an archive of the new features of beta 1.