Writing assistants, unlimited phone plans, and more [Week’s best deals]

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collage-2017-07-21
Writing assistants, meditation apps, lifetime phone plans and more are all part of this week's best deals.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Here at the Cult of Mac Store, we delight in finding great new deals on tools and tech every week. This go around, we’ve got a gravity-operated mobile car mount, and a super useful writing assistant. Additionally, we’ve got an app to guide you in meditating (really), and a phone plan year of unlimited talk and text. Discounts run from a third to as much as 90 percent off, red on for more details:

Can facial recognition replace Touch ID? [Friday Night Fights]

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iPhone facial recognition
Unlocking your iPhone could be as easy as looking at it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Recent iPhone 8 rumors have left the future of Touch ID unclear. Some indicate it will remain, but in a new position, while others warn that Apple plans to replace it with iris scanning and facial recognition.

Friday Night Fights bugThese aren’t entirely new technologies; other manufacturers have been offering them for years with mixed results. But can Apple deliver a solution that’s simple, fast, and secure enough to replace the fingerprint scanner?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over whether the iPhone can bid farewell to Touch ID.

Today in Apple history: Apple unseats Nokia as top smartphone vendor

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Nokia
Remember when Nokia was on top of the world?
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

July 21 Today in Apple history July 21, 2011: Apple officially passes Nokia to become the world’s top smartphone vendor.

It’s a major milestone for Apple, which launched its first iPhone just four years earlier. For Nokia, which dominated the cellphone market during the 1990s and early 2000s, it’s the end of an era.

Apple’s biggest rivals back fight against Qualcomm

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Red iPhone in hand
Other tech companies aren't happy that Qualcomm's trying to ban the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has some serious backup in its battle against Qualcomm, as a lobbying group representing some of tech’s heaviest hitters (including a handful of Apple’s biggest historic enemies) have called on regulators to reject Qualcomm’s bid to ban the importing of iPhones.

Some of the names in said group? Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung — all of whom have filed official comments in support of Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Today in Apple history: World’s first third-party iPhone app arrives

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Hello World
An intrepid hacker gets the iPhone to say "hello." While the message is simple, the meaning is profound.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 20 Today in Apple history July 20, 2007: Just a month after the original iPhone goes on sale, the first app gets compiled and launched for the new platform.

Called “Hello World,” the software serves more as a proof of concept than a serious tool. But it demonstrates that third-party apps will become a cornerstone of the new iPhone economy. It’s a shame Apple doesn’t get the memo.

Maybe Apple hasn’t given up on iPhone SE just yet

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iPhone SE camera
A new iPhone SE could land in August.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple hasn’t given up on its smallest, most affordable iPhone just yet.

A new report claims the 4-inch iPhone SE is due for a refresh soon, and that it will get its very own event this August. What’s more, the new model will be even cheaper than the one Apple sells today.