How to use Apple TV app’s new data-saving features

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The Apple TV app gets a raft of new features in iOS 12.3.
The Apple TV app just added new data saving features.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Binge-watching your favorite Apple TV shows on an iPhone is a great way to run through your data plan limits if you’re not careful, so Apple is introducing a way to wrangle in your data slurping habits.

iOS 13.4 beta 2 introduced some new settings to the Apple TV app for iPhone and iPad, giving users the option to control the size of downloads as well as lowering the amount of data used while streaming content. If Apple’s TV app is one of your major entertainment hubs, you’ll want to know how to take advantage of the new features.

Share your music with other AirPods, wirelessly

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AirPods sharing
Things are about to get romantic.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you and a friend both have AirPods or Beats headphones, you can share audio coming from a single iPhone or iPad. This is great for listening to the same music track or podcast, or — most useful I reckon — watching a movie together. Apple makes it really easy for you to share your audio stream with someone else. In fact, you could say it’s easier than doing it the old way, because A) there are no wires to get tangled and B) there’s no splitter adapter to lose.

Here’s how to set up audio sharing on AirPods.

Today in Apple history: iTunes bags its first exclusive movie

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The producers of Purple Violets took a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
The producers of Purple Violets take a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
Photo: Wild Ocean Films

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes movie distribution, Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on Apple’s platform.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With limited offers from distributors, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.

Apple TV+ picks up second movie from A24 studios

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Apple spent more than $20 million advertising Apple TV+ last month
Apple TV+ is stocking up on movies now.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ is starting to stock up on new movies.

Apple has inked its second film deal with indie studio A24, which is already working with the iPhone-maker on Sofia Coppola’s next movie. The two companies are set to produce an adaptation of the critically acclaimed young adult novel The Sky Is Everywhere written by Jandy Nelson.

Apple snaps up Christmas Carol movie with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds

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Will Ferrell
But will it be Anchorman Will Ferrell or Holmes and Watson Will Ferrell?
Photo: Eva Rinaldi/Wikipedia CC

Apple has picked up the rights to a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds.

The movie, which will be shown on Apple TV+, will be written and directed by Sean Anders and John Morris, the creators of the hit Daddy’s Home movies.

How to use iOS 13’s Audio Sharing

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Audio sharing in iOS 13
Look how friendly these people are. Just look.
Photo: Apple

In iOS 13, you can share songs and watch movies with a friend, with each of you using your own AirPods. The new feature is called Audio Sharing, and it lets you instantly — and temporarily — pair a second set of AirPods to your iPhone or iPad. It’s like the olde schoole method of using a headphone splitter to plug two sets of headphones into one jack socket, only way more expensive and fancy.

Here’s how to use it.

Pour some popcorn out: MoviePass is dead

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moviepass
MoviePass was one of the best deals ever.
Photo: MoviePass

Struggling movie subscription service MoviePass revealed today that it will completely shut down on Saturday, September 14.

The service gained viral popularity in 2017 when it changed its business model allowing subscribers to watch an unlimited number of movies a month for just $10. After exploring a bunch of different pricing models since, the company hasn’t been able to turn a profit.

macOS Catalina public beta doesn’t support multiple iTunes libraries

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Goodbye iTunes.
Just avoid Catalina for now.
Photo: Apple

We’ve explained why it’s really not a great idea to update to the iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas right now — and the same goes for macOS Catalina. Not only is it unstable in its current form, but some things don’t work properly.

One of those is multiple iTunes libraries. As things stand, you will have access to only one. And if it’s not the right one when you first install Catalina, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Apple chases Oscars with slate of original movies

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Hollywood sign
Apple has big plans for Hollywood.
Photo: Tom Benson/Flickr CC

Apple’s followed Netflix into developing its own original TV shows. Now it wants to follow it by making its own movies, too.

According to a new report, Apple plans to finance six original small-budget movies per year. Each project would be made for $5 million to $30 million, which is pretty much a micro-budget by Hollywood standards. However, Apple wants to appeal to prestige talent with the goal of making Oscar-winning movies.