macOS

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on macOS:

All the AI features headed for iPhone, Mac and iPad

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An iPhone with the words
New artificial intelligence features are coming to many of the standard iPhone and Mac applications.
Photo: Andrea De Santis/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

New artificial intelligence features are likely to make iOS 18, macOS 15 and iPadOS 18 the biggest upgrades in many years. Leaks say there’ll be new AI features in most of the standard apps helping users write, summarize information, and clean up images.

Plus, Siri will reportedly get a significant intelligence upgrade.

How to download and convert YouTube videos to MP4

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4K Video Downloader+
Finally, there's an easy way to convert videos and audio from all the popular platforms.
Image: Open Media

The easiest way to convert a YouTube video to an MP4 for free is with an app called 4K Video Downloader for Mac and PC. This tool gives you all kinds of options for converting video and audio from YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitch and more.

If you want to save videos or podcasts to your computer to include in a video of your own, this app is the easiest way to download the highest-quality original.

It has other uses, too. If you’re going on a flight, or if you simply have a slow internet connection, you can use it to download what you want to watch in advance. If you’re privacy-conscious but you still want to watch a TikTok sent to you by a friend, you can download the clip without visiting the website.

Here’s how it works.

5 essential Mac settings you should change

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Change these settings on your Mac now
Change these settings on your Mac now
Photo/Graphics: Apple/Rajesh

Setting up a new Mac is an experience in itself. But once you finish your initial setup, you should change these Mac system settings for a better experience. These five easy tweaks to default Mac system preferences will speed up your workflow and save you time.

Irrespective of whether you are a new or long-time Mac user, below are five settings to change on your Mac. Keep reading or watch our latest video.

iOS 17.5 brings Apple’s new Quartiles word game

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Quartiles word game
This screenshot shows the new Quartiles word game in iOS 17.5 beta.
Photo: Gadget Hacks/Apple

iOS 17.5, iPadOS 17.5 and macOS 14.5 Sonoma, all currently in beta testing, feature a new word game called Quartiles, according to a new report. The game joins Apple News’ pair of daily crossword puzzles.

Today in Apple history: Mac OS 7 gets its final update

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Today in Apple history: Mac OS 7 gets its final update: Mac OS 7.6.1 was the beginning of the end for Mac OS System 7.
This was the beginning of the end for System 7.
Photo: Apple

April 7: Today in Apple history: System 7 gets its final update with Mac OS 7.6.1 April 7, 1997: Apple’s System 7 operating system receives its last update with the shipping of Mac OS 7.6.1.

The update brings a few bug fixes and support for Apple’s new PCI Power Macs and the PowerBook 3400. Most importantly, it marks the end of the System 7 era, which dawned way back in 1991.

Apple finally begins beta testing iOS 17.5, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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Apple Devices Spring 2024
There are fresh operating system betas for all types of Apple computers.
Photo: Apple

After a wait that stretched out weeks longer than usual, Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 17.5 to developers Tuesday, along with the initial beta of macOS Sonoma 14.5.

And it’s going to be a very busy day for developers because iPadOS 17.5 beta 1, watchOS 10.5 beta 1, tvOS 17.5 beta 1 and visionOS 1.2 beta 1 also all went out.

macOS patch fixes vexing bugs with USB hubs and more

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macOS bug fixed
Install macOS Sonoma 14.4.1 to make your Mac less buggy.
Photo: Apple/Pixabay/Pexels

Mac users should install macOS Sonoma 14.4.1, a patch to remove a bug that affected USB hubs (and made headlines). The update, released Monday, also takes care of a couple of other problems.

Currently, it’s the only OS update coming out of Cupertino on Monday, meaning Apple Watch and tvOS users are still waiting.

Google beefs up Chrome browser security for Mac and iOS devices

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Google Safe Browsing update in Chrome for macOS and iOS
These security updates come to macOS and iOS users first and to Android users later in the month.
Photo: Google

Privacy-preserving URL protection and beefed-up password protection are coming to Google Safe Browsing for the popular Chrome browser for macOS and iOS, Google said Thursday. The Chrome security update comes to Macs, iPhones and iPads first. Android devices will see them later in March.

Here are the new features to try in macOS Sonoma 14.4

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macOS 14 Sonoma
macOS Sonoma 14.4 brings in a couple of nice tweaks.
Photo: Apple

The wait is over for macOS Sonoma 14.4, with the new version going out a bit sooner than expected. It brings in new emoji plus auto-generated transcripts in the Apple Podcasts app.

watchOS 10.4 also went to all users on Thursday, as did tvOS 17.4 and visionOS 1.1.

Apple updates iOS, iPadOS, macOS and watchOS with single bug fix

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iPad software update
The update across Apple device OS software fixes a problem with overlapping text.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

Apple made an unexpected software update available Thursday with a bug fix across devices, releasing macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, iOS 17.3.1, iPadOS 17.3.1 and watchOS 10.3.1 for users to install.

The fix relates to text that automatically duplicates or overlaps in various apps, like Safari, Mail and Messages.

Evolution of the Mac: 40 years of innovation

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From left to right: Mac Plus, Mac Classic, iMac G4, iMac G5, Intel iMac.
How has the Mac changed in the last 40 years?
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The 40-year history of Macintosh computers is a roller coaster of ages golden and dark.

Anything that lasts so long in the forefront of technology has to change to stay relevant. This once-plucky computer that began as an antithesis to the IBM PC, which dominated the world in 1984, is now itself a dominating force, ever pushing the needle in the world of technology.

How did this all happen? Let’s walk through 40 years of Macintosh.

How to set up your new Mac like a pro

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Set Up Your New Mac: Moving to a new Mac is fast — we’ll get your Mac on track in no time.
Let's get that nice new Mac set up, shall we?
Image: Apple

It’s a great season to get a new Mac. Every Mac today is a great buy. If you’re one of the lucky people to get one this year, here’s how to set it up like a pro.

So rip open that box, tear off that plastic and get to the good stuff.

If this is your first Mac with Apple’s powerful new chips inside, you’re in for a real treat. It’s pretty easy to set up whether you have an old Mac to transfer data from or you’re starting from scratch. There are a few choices to make along the way, though, and some essential tricks and apps you’ll want to consider, so we’re here to take you through the process.

Here is Cult of Mac’s guide to setting up your new Mac the right way.

A Time Machine widget for your Mac desktop [Awesome Apps]

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Backup Status
Get simple desktop widgets for monitoring Time Machine.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

Backup Status is a simple app that puts a Time Machine widget on your Mac desktop (or stows it away in your Notification Center). If you don’t want the Time Machine icon cluttering up your menu bar, this is a straightforward alternative.

Time Machine, of course, is Apple’s software that makes continuous backups of your files to a separate part of your disk, an external hard drive or network-attached storage. Everyone should use Time Machine.

And, after you set it up, you should try Backup Status, the fun little app that lets you easily monitor your Time Machine backups.

Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch get new features in OS upgrades

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MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod
All these have new operating system updates ... and most of them include new features.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

If you own an Apple computer of any shape or size, odds are it just got an operating system upgrade. Monday brought the public launch of macOS Sonoma 14.2, iPadOS 17.2, iOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2 and tvOS 17.2.

And these aren’t simple bug fixes. There’s new features.

Fresh iOS, watchOS and macOS patches launch to squash bugs

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iOS 17.1.1
iOS 17.1.1 is one of four bug fix patches Apple released on Tuesday.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple just introduced iOS 17.1.1 to patch a nasty glitch with BMW cars. And there’s watchOS 10.1.1, a promised fix for a battery bug affecting many Apple Watch users.

Plus Mac users can now install macOS Sonoma 14.1.1 with its own bug patches. And don’t overlook iPadOS 17.1.1.

Today in Apple history: OS X Panther claws its way onto Macs

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Mac OS X Panther brings Exposé and other new features.
OS X Panther brought cool new features to Macs.
Screenshot: Gudebookgallery/Apple

October 25 Today in Apple history: Mac OS X Panther arrives on Macs October 25, 2003: Mac OS X Panther arrives on Macintosh computers, bringing several useful new features and making Safari Apple’s default web browser for the first time.

The new Exposé feature in OS X Panther lets Mac users instantly view all open windows at once. And the new iChat AV allows people to talk with audio and video as well as text.

New ‘Meet with Apple Experts’ opens labs and more to developers

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Devs can easily find programming tailored to their time zone and language.
Devs can easily find programming tailored to their time zone and language.
Photo: Apple

The new Meet with Apple Experts program helps Apple developers easily find and join workshops, labs and one-on-one consultations to help them build great apps, Apple said Tuesday.

The new dedicated resource builds on other programs for developers, incorporating their programming.

The 36 best macOS Sonoma features you should try after you update

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While almost nothing about macOS Sonoma leaked ahead of WWDC23, Apple showcased plenty of upgrades during the keynote.
This is a big year for the Mac.
Photo: Apple

macOS Sonoma may not have the same buzz as iOS, but there are loads of new features this year to try out on your Mac. You can get beautiful Apple TV-style aerial screensavers, widgets on your desktop, powerful enhancements to Safari and more.

macOS Sonoma will be released at about 10 AM Pacific on Tuesday, September 26. Here are the 36 best features you can look for after you update.

Install these updates ASAP to protect your iPhone and Mac from hackers

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iOS update blocks Pegasus spyware from iPhones
Install iOS 16.6.1 on your iPhone to protect it from the Pegasus spyware.
Photo: Андрей Сидоренко/Pixabay/Cult of Mac

Apple released iOS 16.6.1, macOS 13.5.2, iPadOS 16.6.1 and watchOS 9.6.2 on Thursday to address a potentially serious security vulnerability. All the updates fix security flaws, including one that may already have been exploited by hackers to deliver the infamous Pegasus spyware.

So don’t delay — update your devices with these patches soon.

Long iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 beta-testing process nears end

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iPhone with iOS 17 logo
The months-long wait for iOS 17 is almost over.
Image: Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

The launch of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 is drawing close, as the many steps of beta testing for these operating systems are almost finished. The same holds true for tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 is nearly as close. Apple likely will release them all in September.

macOS Sonoma, however, isn’t expected to debut until later.

ChatGPT digs up major threat to Macs on dark web

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An attacker could take full control of your Mac to steal your personal and financial information.
An attacker could take full control of your Mac to steal your personal and financial information.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A security company recently asked OpenAI’s ChatGPT about Mac threats online and used the results to uncover some scary malware for sale from Russia on the dark web.

At a price of $60,000, it can give an attacker total control of someone’s Mac. A more damaging version is available for $80,000.

In any case, if the malware gets on your Mac, you won’t know it’s there, it’s very hard to get rid of, and it can steal a lot of your information. Luckily, you can probably avoid it.