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.)

Set up your new iPhone XS the right way

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iPhone Xs
Get your new iPhone set up the right way.
Photo: Apple

For many people, the iPhone XS will be radically different from previous iPhones. Despite this, the iPhone setup process hasn’t changed much. However, while you might find yourself on familiar ground, there are still plenty of little things you really ought to do before you fire up your new phone for the first time (or pretty soon thereafter). Let’s take a look at how to set up your new iPhone XS the right way.

What you need to know about Apple’s big iPhone XS keynote

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Apple
Apple busted out three new iPhones at its keynote.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s big 2018 iPhone keynote was short on surprises this morning thanks to the bevy of leaks that came out ahead of the show.

About the only truly shocking moment was Tim Cook’s mysterious tweet before the event that turned out to be a bunch of hullabaloo about his missing slideshow clicker. Despite the lack of shocking new products, there was a lot to love at the iPhone XS event, from electrocardiograms to Liquid Retina displays.

These are the biggest takeaways from the Gather Round keynote

What to expect from Apple’s ‘Gather Round’ event next week

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What to expect from Apple Sept. 12
You should be very, very excited.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The annual Apple event we’ve all been waiting for is right around the corner.

On September 12, the company will host a special keynote from the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, where it will reveal all the hardware it has planned for this fall.

We’re expecting a slew of big announcements, including updates for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Here’s our roundup of everything Apple is likely to deliver at its “Gather Round” event.

Everything we think we know about the 2018 iPhone lineup [Updated]

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iPhone X
Behold, the iPhone Xs.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is set to unleash its newest iPhones on the world in just a couple weeks and based on the rumors, these will be the most lust-worthy phones to ever come out of Cupertino.

Not only will the 2018 iPhone lineup include the biggest iPhone display Apple’s ever made, it will also be more colorful and more expensive than ever. We’ve been keeping our pulse on all the rumors leading up to Apple’s big September 12 unveiling and have a pretty solid idea on what’s coming through the pipeline.

This is what the 2018 iPhone lineup will look like:

Photo fakery in smartphone ads shows genius of ‘Shot on iPhone’

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Shot on iPhone
A picture and three words are advertising gold.
Photo courtesy of Jen Pollack Bianco

Within a week’s time, two of the Apple’s biggest rivals got caught using misleading photos in ad campaigns that promoted the quality of their smartphones’ built-in cameras.

The embarrassing screwups of Samsung and Huawei showcase the simple brilliance of Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign.

What’s in store for Apple Watch Series 4? [Wish List]

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What cool new features are hidden inside that slimmer Apple Watch Series 4 frame? [Mockup]
What cool new features will be hidden inside that slimmer Series 4 frame?
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

In just a few weeks, Apple looks set to unveil the biggest upgrade yet to its popular wearable.
While the external appearance of Apple Watch has not changed much since its launch, recent leaks suggest we can expect a new form factor with a larger screen when Apple Watch Series 4 lands.

In the Photoshop mockup above, I’ve shown how Apple’s next watch might look if it slimmed down and added a larger screen (as the rumormongers predict). That would be pretty cool, but there are plenty of other potential upgrades I’m excited about.

Here’s my top 10 wish list for Apple Watch Series 4 new features.

Showdown! iOS 12 vs. Android 9 Pie

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Which wins the features arms race, Android 9 Pie vs. iOS 12? Here's how they compare.
Which wins the features arms race, Android 9 Pie or iOS 12? Here's how they compare.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Android 9 Pie has landed on Google Pixel devices just a month before Apple rolls out iOS 12. Both come with a long list of new features and improvements, but is one better than the other?

Here’s how Android 9 and iOS 12 compare.