Hurry! Save on the AirPods Wireless Charging Case [Deals & Steals]

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AirPods 2 with box on desk
This limited-time discount won’t last long.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Bring super-convenient wireless charging to your AirPods with Apple’s new Wireless Charging Case. Amazon is now offering its first ever discount, saving you $9.01. That means you can get yours for just $69.99 for a limited time.

And that’s just one of the awesome offers in today’s Deals & Steals roundup. You will also find 50% off everything in ThinkGeek’s closing down sale, half off Logitech mice and Powerbeats3 wireless headphones, and $17 off the Apple Magic Keyboard.

Plus, there are even bigger price cuts on Amazon’s latest Echo devices.

Apple stores will now teach you how to remix Madonna

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Madonna
Madonna is back with a new album and a Today at Apple session.
Photo: Apple

Apple is joining forces with Madonna to help teach people how to make music.

The partnership is for a new Today at Apple Music Lab available at local Apple stores. Attendees will get a hands-on look at how Madonna’s newest track Crave was made and then be taught how to remix it.

Hot Wheels’ smartest, fastest toys are an Apple exclusive

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Hot-Wheels-Smart-Track
Get yours from Apple today.
Photo: Mattel

Hot Wheels cars are smarter than ever with the launch of Mattel’s new Smart Track Kit, Race Portal, and “id” vehicles. And you can buy them all exclusively from the Apple Store starting today.

The awesome new toys work alongside an iPhone or iPad to track speed, count laps, and more. And they’re Mattel’s fastest Hot Wheels cars to date.

Analysts think this year’s iPhones are going to be boring

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The iPhone XS Max is 25 percent larger than any previous iOS handset. So how is it as an iPad mini replacement?
Don't get your hopes up. Apparently.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Are you excited about the 2019 iPhones? Fun-squashing analysts at Mizuho Securities think you’re getting your hopes up a bit too much.

According to the firm, this year’s iPhone refresh will “lack novelty.” Apart from more sophisticated cameras, they’re not expecting much in the way of improvements. And even the cameras are something we’ve already seen from Apple rivals.

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Dead Cells
Excited yet?
Photo: Motion Twin

iPhone shipments suffer shocking decline in Europe

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The iPhone XS Max is 25 percent larger than any previous iOS handset. So how is it as an iPad mini replacement?
There were problems in the Middle East and Africa, too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

China might be the focus of Apple’s iPhone sales woes, but it’s not the only market where Apple’s smartphones are running into problems.

According to new IDC figures, during the first quarter of 2019 Apple shipped 2.4 million fewer iPhones to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa than it did during the same three-month span in 2018. That’s a decrease of 22.7%.

2019 iPhone could finally take on Google Pixel’s amazing Night Sight

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Pixel 3 Night Sight
The Pixel 3 destroys iPhone in low-light performance.
Photo: Google

Apple is developing its very own Night Sight feature for the next-generation iPhone lineup, according to a new report.

Google’s Pixel handsets have been well and truly beating rivals on low-light camera performance for years now. But it is claimed Apple has a similar feature up its sleeve called “Night Mode” — and we should see it this year.

Today in Apple history: Walt Mossberg shows off his prerelease iPhone

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walt-mossberg-steve-jobs
Walt Mossberg was one of Steve Jobs' favorite journalists.
Photo: Joi Ito/Flickr CC

June 12: Today in Apple history: Walt Mossberg shows off his prerelease iPhone June 12, 2007: With iPhone frenzy hitting a fever pitch in the buildup to the device’s launch, journalist Walt Mossberg sends the Apple world into a tizzy by whipping out a review unit during a speech. The Wall Street Journal columnist is one of a very small number of tech writers given an opportunity to put Apple’s revolutionary phone through its paces.

Speaking at The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Presidents Forum, Mossberg says he isn’t sure whether he’ll give the iPhone a thumbs up. Worried doubters immediately fear Apple is about to drop a dud.

iMovie for iOS adds sweet green screen effect

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iMovie on iPhone X
iMovie just got some major updates.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is out with a huge update for the iMovie app on iOS that makes it easy to use your own green and blue screen effects.

Using the new green screen tool, iPhone and iPad users can now swap out a background for something new. This allows you to insert logos, photos or background videos into your videos.

iOS 13’s NFC triggers bring Shortcuts to the real world

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With NFC shortcuts in iOS 13, this speaker could become a trigger to play your favorite podcast.
This speaker could become a trigger to play your favorite podcast.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iOS 13 Shortcuts app brings plenty of radical changes — automatic scheduled and location-based shortcuts, for example — but one super-neat new feature will make a world of difference. Now, if you have a compatible iPhone, you can combine NFC tags with Shortcuts. That is, you can run any shortcut just by tapping your iPhone onto an NFC sticker.

Seriously. Pretty wild, right? You could tap your iPhone onto a sticker atop a speaker in your kitchen, and it would start playing the radio, for instance. Let’s check out how NFC shortcuts will work.