See iOS 13’s best unannounced features [Video]

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iOS 13 on an iPhone X
Some of the best iOS 13 features are ones Apple never mentioned.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

After spending time playing with the iPadOS 13 developer beta and iOS 13 beta , it’s clear there are tons of nice changes coming to Apple’s mobile platforms this fall.

Cupertino highlighted the biggest ones at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. However, there’s a bunch of smaller stuff they didn’t tell us about. While there are hundreds of “under the hood” changes, these are the best iOS 13 features Apple didn’t announce.

Best unannounced iOS 13 features

7 new Samsung features Apple should steal

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Note10
The Note 10 packs a ton of new features. Not all of them are great.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s new lineup of smartphones, tablets and notebooks were on full display today during the company’s Unpacked event for the Galaxy Note 10 in Brooklyn. Instead of waiting for Apple to introduce new iPhones and MacBooks in September, Samsung decided to get a head start on the competition.

Like pretty much all Samsung keynotes, the event included a shotgun blast of new features. Some of them are absolutely ridiculous and will be dead in the water at launch. However, Samsung’s team also uncorked a couple of great ideas that have us green with envy.

Hopefully, Apple execs are taking note of the good and bad things Samsung just revealed.

8 key details from Apple’s upbeat earnings report

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Big pile of cash underneath an Apple logo.
Apple's giant pile of cash continues to grow.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple unleashed its best-ever Q3 earnings report today, and traders subsequently sent the company’s stock soaring in after-hours trading.

Thanks to record-breaking revenue from its services business and strong growth from wearables, Apple is heading into its most important period of the year ready to cash in. Investors had plenty of questions for CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri during today’s call. And the duo revealed some key tidbits we actually weren’t expecting.

How a broken Apple Lisa was transformed into a powerful computer

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restored Apple Lisa with clear plastic housing
Saying John McLearan restored this Apple Lisa 2/10 is an understatement.
Photo: John McLearan

The Apple Lisa computer was a colossal failure. It was also the most important machine in personal computing history.

You can try to argue that last claim with John McLearan. He believes it. And he offers his restored Lisa 2/10 — loaded with modifications to make it a 21st-century workhorse — as proof that the computer’s reputation needs a considerable upgrade.

Your iPhone could handle 120 million moon missions at once

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Apollo 11 lunar module
It was no iPhone, but the Apollo guidance computer got the job done.
Photo: NASA/Wikimedia CC

My father worked on an engineering team that designed the housing that held the components for the guidance computer onboard Apollo 11.

Just this morning, I read an article looking back on the 50 years since man first landed on the moon. I read the story on my iPhone, which delivers 100,000 times the processing power of the computer that got Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the lunar surface.

2019 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Which is right for you?

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MacBook on desk
Look at all those ports!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s current laptop lineup is the simplest it’s been in a while. It consists of the 13-inch MacBook Air, and two sizes of MacBook Pro, which are almost identical apart from size.

If you want a 15-inch Apple notebook, then the choice is easy. But if you want a 13-incher, which should you pick? That’s what we’ll look at today, pitching the 13-inch MacBook Air against the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

CarPlay is better than ever in iOS 13 — here’s what’s new

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CarPlay-dashboard-iOS-13
My cheap Kia came with CarPlay as standard.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iOS 13 doesn’t just mean big improvements for your iPhone. Apple is making some pretty significant enhancements to CarPlay, too, including a brand-new dashboard and better apps.

Some of these great new CarPlay features are long overdue. Here’s everything you can expect from Apple’s in-car platform in iOS 13.

Why Apple will miss Jony Ive’s fabulous ‘fiddle factor’

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Apple will miss Jony Ive's tactile approach to technology.
Apple will miss Jony Ive's tactile approach to technology.
Photo: Mariah Dietzler/Flickr CC

As a design student back in the 1980s, a teenage Jony Ive spent a semester with a design agency in London, the Roberts Weaver Group. One of his first projects was designing a new pen for Japan’s Zebra Co. Ltd., a pen-maker based in Tokyo.

Ive’s TX2 pen was made of white plastic — the beginning of a life-long obsession with the color — and had a pair of rubbery side panels for a better grip. But what set the pen apart from every other was a nonessential feature — a ball-and-clip mechanism on the top that served no purpose other than to give the owner something to fiddle with.

Ive noticed that people fiddled with their pens all the time. So he decided to give his pen something he called the “fiddle factor.” This crucial insight ultimately became an essential element of Apple design as Ive rose to become Cupertino’s chief design officer.

What’s new in iOS 13 beta 2

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iOS 13 has almost too many features to cover -- but that won't stop us trying.
iOS 13 has almost too many features to cover -- but that won't stop us trying.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The second iOS 13 and iPadOS betas bring both good news and bad. Unless you’re a total “thrill-seeker,” it’s still not a good idea to install these betas on your main iOS device. In fact, there will be far more spills than thrills: The code remains raw and buggy as hell.

I have iPadOS running on an old iPad. While this latest version seems much less ragged around the edges, many apps still crash. And I still can’t make the Slide Over apps hide themselves at the side of the screen. Nor do all my favorites appear in the Files app.

The good news is that, despite this, the latest betas offer several new features — and lots of stuff has been fixed. Let’s take a look at the highlights of what’s new in iOS 13 beta 2.

How Apple tricks our brains into accepting high prices

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This genius psychological tactic makes Apple's high prices seem totally reasonable.
This genius psychological tactic makes Apple's high prices seem totally reasonable.
Photo: meo/Pexels CC

During the WWDC 2019 keynote, most of Apple’s latest creations drew enthusiastic applause, with one notable exception. The price of Apple’s new Pro Display XDR elicited a somewhat cooler response. But considering just how expensive the monitor is, the fact that it got any applause at all was pretty remarkable.

This is not the first time Apple has had to convince us to pony up for an eye-watering sticker price. Cupertino pulls from a well-established playbook for its keynotes, often employing behavioral science techniques to help soften the blow. (To our brains at least, if not to our wallets).