Facebook’s scary plan to record your conversations while you watch TV

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the Facebook logo on an iPhone 6 Plus
Facebook’s new patent is as worrying as it sounds.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Some believe Facebook is already using our smartphones to hear our private conversations. That’s not true, but the social network is certainly considering it.

Facebook has applied for a new patent that describes a method of tapping into our microphones to listen to our reactions to TV ads. It’s just as invasive as it sounds.

iOS 11.3 breaks some iPhone 7 microphones

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iPhone-7
How’s your iPhone 7 mic after updating to iOS 11.3?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s recent software updates have broken some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus microphones.

Users report that they cannot be heard during calls since updating to iOS 11.3 or later. Apple has advised Authortized Service Providers that they can initiate repairs if necessary — even on devices that are no longer covered by a warranty.

How to stop Facebook eavesdropping on your conversations

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facebook eavesdropping microphone
Learn how to stop apps from accessing your iPhone's microphone.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few months back, we started hearing a lot of creepy stories about folks having real-life, in-person conversations with friends, and then getting Facebook ads on the same subject soon after. Was Facebook using their iPhone/iPad’s microphone to eavesdrop on them, then serving ads based on what it heard? Technically, it’s not much different to Google scanning your email and serving ads based on their content. In reality, it’s a whole ‘nother level of creepy.

This mic boom doesn’t care if you shake the room

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Blue Designs compass mic boom
Imagine how professional you'll look with this on your desk.
Photo: Blue Designs

Podcasters, musicians, and haters of annoying noises rejoice. Blue Designs has come up with the Compass, a microphone boom that keeps your mic fixed right over your desk, your computer, your countertop, or even your ghetto ironing-board podcasting desk. Paired with Blue’s Radius shock mount, you need never worry about mic noise ever again.

Best iPhone X and iPhone 8 camera accessories

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8_Roundup_Camera
The new iPhone 8 and X cameras are incredible. These accessories make them even better.
Photo: Moment

The iPhone’s camera is good enough that it can be most people’s only camera — including professional photographers. The iPhone is a multi-purpose computer, though, not just a camera, so it can sometimes do with a little help when it comes to ergonomics, or to adding a little extra reach with a telephoto lens. These are the iPhone 8 camera gizmos you should buy:

Yes, you can use old iPad Air parts to repair the 2017 iPad

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iPad
The new iPad is thicker than the old iPad.
Photo: Apple

Owners of the new 2017 iPad may be able to cannibalize their old iPads to fix busted components, depending on what breaks on the new tablet.

After discovering that the new iPad is mostly just an updated original iPad Air, the repair gurus at iFixit decided to test whether old iPad parts are compatible with refreshed iPad. Surprisingly, a number of crucial parts from the iPad Air 1 and Air 2 like the digitizer, battery, rear camera and microphone all work perfectly fine.

Best List: Shure MV51 is a tough, versatile microphone for iPhone field recordings [Review]

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Shure MV51 microphone
Shure's MV51 microphone is MFi-certified and great for recording with an iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Best List: MV51 microphone by Shure

Looking like something Elvis Presley would rock, the Shure MV51 is a handsome, retro-styled microphone well-suited to podcasting with an iPad or iPhone. Sturdy and portable, I find it great for recording on the go. It’s small enough to throw into a jacket pocket and, because it’s made of all metal, it’s nigh indestructible.

Paired with an iPhone and Shure’s well-designed recording app, it’s a lot more compact than most podcasting rigs, and versatile enough for most recording situations. Best of all, the audio it captures sounds great.

AirPods won’t be ready for October launch

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AirPods-case
You'll have to wait a little longer to get AirPods.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s wireless future has been delayed.

The iPhone-maker revealed today that it is still not ready to start shipping AirPods, even though customers were told they would launch by the end of October.

Want USB on your iPhone? There’s an adapter for that

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You can now use this to connect USB peripherals to your iPhone.
You can now use this to connect USB peripherals to your iPhone.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Lightning to USB connector has ostensibly been about connecting your iPad to a camera to import images directly to your tablet.

Now, with iOS 9.2, it looks like the same adapter can be used on your iPhone to get photos onto your smaller-screened device.

There’s even some evidence that the Lightning to USB adapter works to connect other USB peripherals, like MIDI keyboards or USB-powered microphones. If you’re a musician on the road without access to your iPad, this might be your new best solution.

Tuesday Deals: Add space to your MacBook with Nifty and get 20% off the Blue Yeti [Deals]

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Cult of Mac Deals has some stellar promotions lined up right now, whether you’re looking to up your storage or improve your audio recordingsby adding an external quality microphone to your workflow.

For a limited time you can get the Nifty MiniDrive, which lets you add up to 128GB of storage space to your MacBook Pro Retina for only $35.99 and a top-notch microphone in the form of the Blue Yeti can be yours for 20% off the regular price – just $117!