10.5-inch iPad Pro feels like the future [Review]

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The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro puts monstrous power at your fingertips.
The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro puts monstrous power at your fingertips.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I could be the poster boy for Apple’s “iPad problem.”

That problem, in a nutshell, is this: Even long-in-the-tooth iPads several generations old continue to work just fine for many everyday tasks. That, in turn, slows the upgrade cycle. iPad sales drop, and pundits pile on to declare that Apple is doomed. Again.

I’m one of those cheapskates who couldn’t be bothered to shell out for a new iPad over the past few years but a freak accident — and the surprisingly convincing unveiling of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at last week’s Worldwide Developers Conference — finally coaxed me out of iPad complacency.

I’m thrilled I finally wised up. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a beast of a machine that’s so fast, smooth and responsive that it makes me feel like I’m in a sci-fi movie interacting with a killer device that hasn’t been invented yet. It feels like the future!

WWDC keynote is proof of Apple’s awesome power and poise

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Tim Cook opening remarks WWDC 2017
Tim Cook presided over one of Apple's busiest presentations in years.
Photo: Apple

Over the last year or so, you could be forgiven for thinking Apple has been dickering about. The company seemed sluggish and slow.

Yeah, there have been a few hardware upgrades, but nothing special, and certainly nothing breakthrough.

And then today! Bam! A jam-packed WWDC keynote with a slew of amazing-looking new hardware and software.

Apple is back, in a big way!

Celebrate Memorial Day with huge Watch Store sale! [Watch Store]

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We've selected many of our best brands for this sale including Burkley, Bucardo, Clessant, JUUK, Just Mobile and many more!
Photo: Ste Smith

Memorial Day weekend is no exception to the epic sales typically found on holiday weekends. In addition to a little R&R, why not spend a minute treating yourself to some great scores for Apple Watch?

Cult of Mac Watch Store’s Memorial Day Weekend Sale will offer 20 percent off the majority of our vendors. You’ll find great discounts on some of our most popular brands for Apple Watch straps, chargers and stands. Some of these vendors include: Bucardo, Burkley, Juuk, Just Mobile, Strapple, Clessant and many more.

Sale ends next, so check out these stellar discounts while they last, and check out some of our featured brands below:

New photos claim to reveal final design of ‘real iPhone 8’

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Is this what the iPhone 8 will look like?
Is this what the iPhone 8 will look like?
Photo: BGR

The internet has become awash with apparent iPhone 8 schematics and fan-made mockups in recent months, but these images claim to reveal the final design of a real device in all its glory.

The design looks familiar, proving previous leaks were right on the money, with glass panels flanking the front and back of the device, a redesigned iSight camera module, and a shiny metal frame that holds everything together.

How to use Music Memos like a cut-down GarageBand

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music memos in action
Music Memos is like having two extra members in your band, only it doesn't run up the bar tab.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Music Memos app is just about about the best way to record musical ideas before they evaporate into the ether. For years, musicians used the built-in Voice Memos app to record snippets, but Music Memos, as you’d expect, is much better suited to the task. It can listen to you and record only when you start playing, it can detect the chords you play, and it can even add drum and bass tracks to your recording automatically.

This last feature is what we’ll look at today. We’re going to record a simple guitar track, add drums and bass, and send the whole lot to GarageBand on iOS for further work. That sounds like a lot, but once you lay down your recorded track, all it takes is a few taps of the screen. And remember, I use a guitar, but you can use any instrument.

Siri speaker might be an Echo for audiophiles

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The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
The Amazon Echo may finally have competition from Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A Siri smart speaker will bring better audio (and a higher price tag) than the Amazon Echo, and we might get our first look next month, according to a prominent analyst.

KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo says it’s increasingly likely Apple will debut its high-end audio device at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, paving the way for Siri to move into a prominent place in your home.

This toy Mac built for dolls now runs Photoshop

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This tiny toy Mac runs Photoshop for work on tiny pictures.
This tiny Mac can run tiny Photoshop for work on tiny pictures.
Photo: Javier Rivera

Javier Rivera has a daughter, but the American Girl doll accessory he found on eBay was for him. It was a miniature Macintosh computer, a non-working toy for an 18-inch doll, and he had to have it.

The nerd in him believed he could make it run Photoshop.

Everything we think we know about the iPhone 8

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iPhone 8 concept
Same size as the iPhone 7, but with a bigger screen.
Photo: Martin Hajek

Thanks to a bevy of leaks that flooded the internet this week, we know more about the iPhone 8 than ever before. Even if only half the rumors turn out to be true, this year’s iPhone is set to be the most innovative device Apple has made in years.

Here’s what we know so far.

Meet Steve Jobs’ alter ego on the opera stage

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Ashton Kutcher and Michael Fassbender played Steve Jobs in movies. Now Edward Parks III brings his rich baritone voice to the Steve Jobs opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.
Ashton Kutcher and Michael Fassbender played Steve Jobs in movies. Now opera's Edward Parks III brings his rich baritone voice to The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.
Photo: Dario Acosta/Santa Fe Opera

Edward Parks III will likely be the first character on an opera stage to perform in running shoes, jeans and a black mock turtleneck shirt.

Yet Parks knows there is nothing casual about playing Steve Jobs. He is soaking up all he can about the late Apple co-founder as he prepares to bring his much-heralded baritone voice to the role this summer in the world premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at the Santa Fe Opera.

“I’m taking in everything that is out there and stuffing it in my head so that I can come away with my own thoughts of who he was and what he means to us,” Parks, 33, told Cult of Mac. “I think at first it was a little daunting. This is going to have a lot of attention, not just from the opera world but in the tech community.”