Get the macOS 10.13.4 update that fixes security flaws

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macOS high sierra
A security update for macOS 10.13.4 patches some potential problems.
Photo: Apple

Several weeks after the release of macOS 10.13.4, today came a security update that patches some holes in this High Sierra version. This isn’t so critical that it has to be installed right now, but Apple says “This update is recommended for all macOS High Sierra users.”

There’re also security fixes for Safari 11.1, which was introduced recently too.

Tim Cook won’t compromise Mac and iPad by combining them

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Clamshell iPad
This concept for a combined Mac and iPad will stay just that: a concept.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Tim Cook generally stays quiet about Apple’s plans, but there’s one thing he’s open about: his company’s laptops and tablets aren’t going to merge together.

It’s a question that comes up every couple of years. Which is understandable, given the recent rumors that macOS is migrating to the same type of processors as iOS, allegedly to enable apps to run on both Mac and iPad.

Mac shipments grew in Q1 as PCs declined

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iMac Pro
The new iMac Pro almost certainly helped give Apple a larger share of the PC market in Q1.
Photo: Brian King/Twitter

Apple was a bright spot in the global PC market last quarter. Market analysis firm Gartner says Mac shipments grew 1.5 percent, even as the total market for laptops and desktops dropped 1.4 percent.

The U.S. helped drag down the global totals, with a 2.9 percent decline. Still, that helped push up Apple’s share of the American market to 12.6%.

FTC: Third-party repairs don’t invalidate your iPhone warranty

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Illegal warranty seal
The FTC said warranty seals like this are illegal. Companies can't forbid third-party repair work.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Federal Trade Commission warned companies today not to tell customers that using independent repair facilities invalidates the warranties on their phones, video game consoles, or cars. Doing so is a violation of U.S. law.

It’s not clear if Apple was singled out by the watchdog agency. But it could have been.

Developers create a touchscreen MacBook for just $1

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Touchscreen MacBook prototype
A proof-of-concept device uses a camera to simulate a touchscreen MacBook.
Photo: Amish Athatye

There’s good news for everyone who wants a MacBook with a touchscreen. A group of developers came up with a way that cost them just $1 in hardware.

The process involves the laptop’s webcam, a mirror, and some programming. It’s just a proof of concept, but it shows potential.

Apple proposes hybrid keyboard that’s also a trackpad

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Proposed hybrid keyboard
A proposed hybrid keyboard would have regular keys that can also sense light touches.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A future MacBook might have a hybrid keyboard that can sense when the. keys are lightly touched as well as when they’re pressed. This would allow the entire keyboard to function as a trackpad.

Apple wants to redesign the keyboard. It’s proposed various ways to make this classic input device more functional. Last month, it floated the idea of a replacing the keyboard with a flexible touch panel.

What to expect from WWDC 2018

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Mockup WWDC
What might Tim Cook announce at this years WWDC keynote?
Photo: Apple

What’s next for Apple? We’ll find out in June, when the company hosts devs from around the world at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2018.

Every year, the event gives Cupertino execs a chance to show off Apple’s new software and hardware. It’s a chance for outsiders to get a direct look at what’s in the Apple product pipeline. In the video below, we round up all the latest WWDC 2018 rumors to give you a heads-up about what’s on the horizon.

What to expect from Apple’s big ‘field trip’ event

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What to expect from Apple education event 2018.
Get ready to get schooled!
Image: Apple

Apple will take a field trip out of Silicon Valley to host its first major event of 2018 tomorrow. Instead of focusing on iPhones and Apple Watches, this Apple keynote will be all about education and creativity.

Rumors have been swirling for months that new MacBook Airs and an updated, inexpensive iPad could arrive this spring. We might see those, but Apple probably has a couple other surprises in store that you haven’t heard of.

Apple will not provide a livestream of the event, but Cult of Mac will be in attendance. Joins us Tuesday morning for our liveblog of everything that’s going down at the event. In the meantime, here’s our handy guide to what to expect.

Add MagSafe protection to any USB-C charger [Deals]

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This magnetic breakaway USB-C cable adds a critical layer of protection against accidental trips over the power cord.
This magnetic breakaway USB-C cable adds a critical layer of protection against accidental trips over the power cord.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

One of the most valuable additions to the MacBook was the MagSafe connector. Held to the computer by a small magnetic ring, it prevented an inevitable step on the power cable from bringing the computer to the floor. But with USB-C taking over as a charging option, the old risks of flying devices is back.

MacBook sales might blow up in 2018

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MacBook sales rising
An analyst predicts increasing demand for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
Photo: Apple

The number of MacBooks shipping in 2018 will grow by double digits, if a reliable analyst’s prediction proves correct. That would give Apple’s laptops stronger annual growth than iPhone or iPad.