Tap into the ancient wisdom of the Apple Watch Breathe app

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Chill out with the Apple Watch Breathe app.
Chill out with the Apple Watch Breathe app.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

In today’s fast-paced, connected world, the demands on our time seem endless. We spend much of our day in a state of constant hyperactivity. Apple Watch and iPhone add to the pressure, with their endless notifications telling us what we should be doing, who we should be speaking to and where we should be going.

Fortunately, Apple also offers an oasis of calm that can help us slow down this frenetic pace. The Apple Watch Breathe app draws on the ancient wisdom of Buddhist monks and yogis who practice a technique called “resonant breathing.”

Luckily, you don’t need to be a master of meditation to use the Breathe app that comes built into your Apple Watch. With clever visuals and smart features, it will guide you through this time-honored method for relaxing your body and clearing your mind. It’s a surprisingly subtle and relaxing experience that you might really enjoy.

In this quick guide, we’ll take a look at the origins of the Breathe app, how it works, what the benefits of resonant breathing are, and how to take advantage of this calming tech. So take a deep breath and let’s get started.

Are Mac users jealous of the iPad Pro? [Opinion]

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Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Anyone who thinks you can’t get “real work” done on an iPad is nuts. Likewise, anyone who claims Apple’s tablet is not a real computer sounds like somebody arguing that the 1984 Mac wasn’t a real computer because it didn’t have a text-based command-line interface.

The iPad vs. Mac debate certainly isn’t new.  Only the devices have changed.

I think that the folks making these arguments are jealous of the iPad Pro, or scared that it will become more important to Apple than their Macs. They want to use it instead of their Mac, but at the same time they’re unwilling to change anything about how they work. Instead, they want the iPad to be a touchscreen Mac with a detachable keyboard.

How to start swimming with Apple Watch

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Apple Watch Series 4 loves getting wet
Apple Watch Series 4 loves getting wet.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

While many of us learn to swim at school, plenty of people never return to the pool as an adult. If that sounds familiar, but your shiny new Apple Watch Series 4 is tempting you to dip your toe in the water again, this guide to swimming with Apple Watch is for you.

We’ll take a look at what equipment you’ll need, how to use your watch for swimming, how to structure your workouts for maximum fitness gains, and how to track your progress in Apple’s Activity app.

Let’s dive in and start swimming with Apple Watch.

One week working on the iPad Pro: Not just for professionals

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IPad Pro one week review
The new iPad Pro is Apple’s best ever portable computer.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

Since I got an new 2018 iPad Pro on launch day last week, I’ve used it exclusively. I haven’t touched my aging, decrepit Mac all week. I’ve used the iPad for work, and for play, so I’ve given it a pretty good workout. The short review is: It’s fantastic, and better in almost every way.

The long review? There are still plenty of annoyances.

The new iPad Pro might be too pro for you [Review]

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The new 2018 iPad Pro is a lust object you probably don’t need.
The new 2018 iPad Pro is a lust object you probably don’t need.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Every 2018 iPad Pro review I’ve read seems to be written by someone who doesn’t use the iPad like a pro. Most of the reviewers focus on using Apple’s new tablet they way most people do: reading the internet, doing some mail and watching lots of video.

Which is a shame, because there’s a lot to like in this iPad for “power” users, aka folks whose everyday carry is an iPad. People like me. The iPad has been my most-used device for years. I do everything on it. (Everything, ironically, except writing articles — but that’s because my ancient 27-inch iMac still works fine, and I like to use a trackpad for editing text.)

Rather than reviewing the iPad Pro from the point of view of a “normal,” I’m going to talk about this gorgeous new device like someone who uses an iPad for work every day.

The biggest takeaways from Apple’s ‘More in the Making’ event

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Tim Cook and Co. bring the hardware heat at The Brooklyn Academy of Music during the
Tim Cook and Co. bring the hardware heat at The Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Photo: Apple

Apple finally gave its Mac and iPad Pro lineups some much-needed love today during its big ‘There’s More in the Making’ event in New York.

Tim Cook and company brought out some new faces to introduce some gorgeous new products for the company’s last event of the year. Even though we already had a solid idea of what to expect, the company still managed to throw in some surprises and blow away our expectations.

These are the biggest takeaways from the More in the Making keynote:

Why I wish I’d bought the iPhone XR instead of the iPhone XS

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iPhone X-R-llent.
iPhone X-R-llent.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone XS might be Apple’s best phone yet, but the iPhone XR will probably be Cupertino’s best-seller ever. It could even beat out the record-breaking iPhone 6, which proved so successful it skewed Apple’s sales numbers for years after its launch.

Why? Because the XR is cooler, cheaper and bigger than the top-of-the line iPhone XS, and nobody who buys it will care about the other differences. I almost wish I’d waited and bought one of these instead of the iPhone XS.

Meet the guy who built an iPhone from scratch

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Scotty Allen
Scotty Allen takes his viewers to Strange Parts for unvarnished stories about technology.
Photo: Scotty Allen

Millions have watched Scotty Allen build an iPhone from parts mined from the electronics markets of Shenzhen, China.

DIYers and hackers write Allen, eager to repeat his geeky feat. So do people from third-world countries looking for an affordable way to get their hands on a pricey device that imparts status.

Allen, 39, loves the wild enthusiasm his YouTube videos have sparked, but the scratch iPhone isn’t the point.

It killed me to return my iPhone XS Max

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iPhone XS box gold
I knew it couldn't last, but we had a great time together.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

For the first time in 11 years, I did not get Apple’s latest iPhone delivered to my door on launch day. I’ve been using an iPhone X since last November and I was still happy with it; I certainly didn’t see the need to drop another $999 on what seemed like a slightly better device.

But then I got the chance to use an iPhone XS Max.

I had the handset for just over a week, and I loved every second I spent with it. I was wrong to not upgrade this year, and it killed me to return the device to its rightful owner.

Here’s why I’m sorely missing the iPhone XS Max.

Cult of Mac’s 50 Essential iOS Apps [The complete list, sorted!]

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50 Essential iOS Apps
The best and most useful apps for iPhone and iPad
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With our 50 Essential iOS Apps series, the goal was to help you find some of the best apps for iPhone and iPad. Picking the finest offerings from the more than 2.2 million iOS apps in Apple’s App Store proved challenging. But we highlighted apps that offer excellent features or make life easier in various ways.

To wrap up the series, we’ve sorted the apps by category to make the list easier to browse. We’re also showcasing Cult of Mac readers’ alternatives to our picks.

(You’ll find reader faves linked at the end of this post. That’s especially helpful since one of our must-have apps is about to die an unceremonious death.)