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Goodbye to Cult of Mac Magazine

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Cult of Mac magazine last issue cover
Sadly, it's time to say 'bye' to Cult of Mac magazine.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Unfortunately this is the last issue of Cult of Mac Magazine.

We launched Cult of Mac Magazine back in September 2013 and have published 411 weekly issues since then. Yes, 411 issues!

Highlights include a cover made especially for us by Susan Kare, the designer of the original Mac’s icons, and a string of great-looking magazine covers by Ste Smith, a former staffer.

But declining readership, competition from news apps and difficulty getting advertising has led us to retire the publication. It’s been a great run, but it’s time to shut up shop.

In season 2, Ted Lasso settles into being the world’s most positive sitcom [Apple TV+ review]

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Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed in Ted Lasso
Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed survey the pitch.
Photo: Apple TV+

The big American heart in the body of the United Kingdom is beating again. Ted Lasso is back for another season of relentless positivity, and fans of the hit Apple TV+ comedy can rest easy. They know exactly what they’re getting.

The title character, played by Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis, returns for more unorthodox soccer coaching with his deep bench of homespun aphorisms intact. In short, if you liked the first season — and who didn’t? — you’ll enjoy this one as well.

Apple should go all in on iPhone 12’s reverse wireless charging

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Apple should go all in on iPhone 12’s reverse wireless charging
What if you could charge your AirPods just by putting them on your iPhone?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Turns out the iPhone 12 could do reverse wireless charging all along — Apple just didn’t talk about it until this week. And now that the cat’s out of the bag, Apple should embrace the capability and let iPhones wirelessly charge any other compatible device.

Long and fraught: The path to success for Apple TV+

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Apple TV+ Autumn 2021: Apple TV+ has some big shows coming this year.
Apple TV+ has some big shows coming this year.
Photo: Apple TV+

A year and a half in, Apple TV+ remains something of a black box. Ever since the streaming video service’s launch in November 2019, Cupertino has refused to reveal hard data about just how well Apple TV+ is doing.

In some respects, the future looks promising. Apple TV+ continues to add high-profile projects to its production queue. Apple TV+ shows and movies continue to rack up awards. And upcoming originals like an epic sci-fi adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and the second season of surprise hit Ted Lasso are generating buzz.

Plus, with the original one-year free trials ending — and new free Apple TV+ trials slashed to just three months — the $4.99-a-month streaming service seems increasingly confident about its value proposition for viewers.

Still, the Apple TV+ library continues to be dwarfed by rivals like Netflix and Disney+.

So what does the future hold? And what does “success” look like for Apple TV+ anyway? Cult of Mac asked the Entertainment Strategy Guy, a pseudonymous entertainment executive who writes about the business, how Apple TV+ is faring and what to expect next. His responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Hands on: Safari in iOS 15 takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it

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Hands On: Safari in iOS 15 takes some getting used to
Safari in iOS 15 moves the Address Bar and adds Tab Groups.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The most controversial change in iOS 15 — moving Safari’s Address Bar to the bottom of the screen — doesn’t deserve the deluge of criticism some users are heaping upon it.

I tried out the latest iOS 15 beta to check out that feature, plus the new Tab Groups and other changes coming to Safari. Here’s what I like and what I don’t.

‘Boring’ iOS 15 shows just how far iPhone has come

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‘Boring’ iOS 15 shows just how far iPhone has come
iOS 15 brings the many advantages of boredom to the iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iOS 15 is kind of boring. It brings some welcome new features, but nothing that will change the way you use your iPhone forever.

Some people might find the lack of earth-shaking new features dull. But the bottom line is, when it comes to something as integral to our daily lives as the way you interact with your iPhone, “boring” is shorthand for “good.”

9 things that blew us away at WWDC 2021

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Apple CEO Tim Cook wraps the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021.
Apple CEO Tim Cook wraps the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021.
Photo: Apple

Some new features really stood out when Apple revealed the next versions of all its operating systems during Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. Users of iPhone, Mac and iPad, and Apple Watch, too, can look forward to welcome improvements this fall.

We picked out the best of these to make sure they don’t get overlooked.

iPadOS 15 to MacBooks: Everything we’re looking forward to at WWDC 2021

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What to expect at WWDC 2021: iOS 15, macOS 12, new MacBook models, and more.
Get ready for updates to five operating systems. And maybe a pair of new MacBooks.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

June 7 will be the single most important day of 2021 for Apple. It’s the start of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference where the company will ceremoniously unveil fresh operating system updates for iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and more.

Big changes are anticipated for iPadOS 15, and some nice enhancements are also predicted for iOS 15. The improvements in macOS 12, watchOS 8 and tvOS 15 are likely to be more modest.

But the show won’t stop there. While WWDC is supposed to be about software, there’s a good chance we will see new MacBooks announced Monday as well.

Amazing Mac Pro concept shrinks the casing but keeps the cheese grater

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Amazing Mac Pro concept shrinks the casing but keeps the cheese grater
If the Mac Pro and the Mac mini had a baby, it might look like this concept.
Concept: Róbert Hallon.svetapple.sk

A concept artist took the rumors about an Mac Pro desktop with Apple Silicon and created a design that might really be what’s on the drawing board.

The concept combines the look of the current Mac Pro tower with the Mac mini to create a unique device.

8 reasons to totally love the 2021 iPad Pro [Review]

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7 reasons to totally love the 2021 iPad Pro [Review]
The Liquid Retina XDR display in the 12.9-inch version of the 2021 iPad Pro displays movies better than many TVs.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

There’s so much to love about the 2021 iPad Pro. There’s a better screen, a faster processor and many other enhancements. As a long-term iPad user, I put the Apple’s latest to the test. And there’s a lot here to like.

Previous iPad Pro models were already the best tablets on the market. So Apple had to really stretch to make something that surpassed them by this much.

Putting macOS on iPad is a terrible idea

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Putting macOS on iPad is a terrible idea
No. No, no, no, no. No.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Apple’s smart decision to build an M1 processor into the 2021 iPad Pro renewed calls to port macOS to the tablet. “Put macOS on the iPad, you cowards,” read one particularly misguided headline.

Doing so would be a mistake so severe it would damage sales of both iPad and Mac. It would take years to clean up the mess.

No matter that Macs and iPads run on the same chip. macOS isn’t designed for a touchscreen. Apple would need to redesign the operating system to run on a tablet, and devs would need to alter third-party applications, too. And that would anger people using non-touchscreen laptops and desktops.

Plus, people happy with the iPad now wouldn’t like the change either.

Mixed-reality Apple glasses could add a new dimension to fitness

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How augmented reality could augment your workout
Will augmented reality augment your workouts?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Like Apple Watch before it, Cupertino’s much-anticipated mixed-reality headset looks set to be another leap forward for fitness wearables.

Mixed reality is already commonplace in TV sports. You see it every time the virtual line of scrimmage is superimposed onto a football field. Now imagine that the players on the field can see that virtual line too, just like the viewers at home. That’s exactly what Apple’s latest gadget could deliver, adding a whole new dimension to sports and fitness.

Master Control Center on iOS, Apple Watch and Mac with these handy pro tips

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Control Center Pro Tips Week
With a little bit of tweaking, Control Center can be a lot more useful.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Control Center Pro Tips WeekWe want to help you master Control Center, one of the most powerful and underutilized features on Apple devices. Cult of Mac’s Control Center Pro Tips series will show you how to make the most of this useful toolbox on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

On iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, the Control Center puts vital tools at your fingertips. And while most people probably are familiar with some preset options, like Airplane Mode and Do Not Disturb, a world of customization awaits anyone willing to spend a few minutes digging deeper into this underutilized tool set.

All week long, we’ll show you how to get the most out of Control Center — and thus squeeze even more sweet utility out of your Apple devices. With this series of quick and simple Control Center tips, we’ll show you how to add useful buttons that make common tasks easier than ever.

Are we high?!? 10 ways Apple blew our minds on 4/20

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Apple Spring Loaded event: 10 ways Apple blew our minds on 4/20.
Man, that was one powerful presentation.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

It’s 4/20 and Apple’s big iMac and iPad Pro launch event was a total trip. The new Mac desktop comes in a rainbow of colors, and the M1 processor in the latest tablet will blow you away. And there’s AirTag too, at long last.

Grab some snacks and get ready to find out what the new products mean for Apple users and for the company’s future.

Apple’s ‘Spring Loaded’ event happens April 20: Here’s what to expect

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Apple Spring Loaded event on April 20.
Cue the 4/20 jokes.
Photo: Apple

The next Apple product-release event will happen April 20. Invites went out Tuesday morning for the virtual “Spring Loaded” event, just hours after Siri leaked the date.

Naturally, Apple didn’t announce what’s on the agenda. But rumors point to multiple new iPads, as well as the possibility of next-gen AirPods, a faster Apple TV and the long-awaited debut of AirTags item trackers.

Apple Arcade makes a serious play for your gaming dollar

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Apple Arcade is closing in on 200 games.
Apple Arcade includes 180 titles at a cost lower than what the average American spends on iPhone games.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Hey, iPhone gamer, save yourself some money: Subscribe to Apple Arcade. A recent study showed that the average American spends way more on games every year than the annual cost of Apple’s $4.99-a-month gaming service.

Plus, the deal just got a lot better. Almost a dozen original games debuted on Apple Arcade last Friday, and the service added a bunch of classic ones as well. After launching with just a few dozen games in 2019, Apple Arcade is now closing in on 200 really great titles.

45 ways Apple put a ding in the universe

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Apple-45
Happy birthday, Apple! The company turns 45 today.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Today marks 45 years since a little outfit called the Apple Computer Company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. Apple set out to build and sell personal computers. Since then, it’s risen from a hobbyist startup to a tech giant valued at more than $2 trillion.

In the last four and a half decades, Apple changed the tech world in all kinds of ways — some big, some small. Here, in no particular order, are 45 of the most notable ways Apple put a ding in the universe.

iPhone 13 may boast a stunning matte black color option

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iPhone 13
The new iPhone could ditch the graphite color option for matte black.
Photo: EverythingApplePro

Apple could ditch the gray “graphite” option seen in the iPhone 12 Pro for a new matte black color with the iPhone 13, claims Apple tipster Max Weinbach.

In a video posted to the EverythingApplePro YouTube channel Friday, Weinbach shared mockups of the new premium black finish. This would be similar to the black color option available for the regular iPhone 12, but in a high-end matte finish.

It reportedly also will boast a new anti-fingerprint coating to ensure the handset looks its best at all times.

HomePod failure shows Apple should quit making pricey niche products

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homepod
Watch out, AirPods Max! You might be next.
Photo: Apple

After throwing in the towel on the original HomePod after just three years, Apple should stop releasing pricey, niche products.

They don’t sell well — at least not well enough to keep Apple interested, apparently — and it’s not fair to consumers who shell out big bucks, then get stuck with a product that vanishes after just one generation.

Yes, Apple says it will continue to support the full-size HomePod with software updates, even as it refocuses on the $99 HomePod mini. But the old-school HomePod is a dead-end product.

You can read the HomePod debacle as an admission of failure regarding Apple’s framing of the device as a smart speaker rather than high-end audio gear. But it’s more than that. It’s an illustration of Apple’s faltering strategy of creating premium products for niche corners of the market.

Good riddance to iMac Pro and the era of underwhelming Macs

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The 27-inch iMac Pro.
The iMac Pro never seemed to find an audience.
Photo: Apple

The iMac Pro is seemingly nearing the end of its natural lifespan — and good riddance to it.

In fairness, the iMac Pro was not a bad computer. It was even, technically, a pretty great one. But it epitomized an era of Mac design that may have been the most uninspired and directionless in Apple history.

iPhone 13 could boast the bigger battery you desperately desire

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iPhone 13 might sport a 120Hz display.
A faster refresh rate might be a highlight of 2021’s iPhone 13.
Concept: ConceptsiPhone

As the saying goes, you can never be too rich or have too long a battery life. Apple apparently listened, because a respected analyst says there will be room in all the 2021 iPhone 13 models for larger batteries.

These iOS handsets supposedly will all come with smaller notches, better 5G modems and fancier cameras, too.

Mac to the future: Apple’s new designs embrace the past like never before

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retro
Apple's going back to the past.
Photo: ColorWare

Something weird is brewing in Apple land. The company, which for years wasn’t big on embracing its past, has gone retro.

While the innovations — ranging from the first 5G iPhones to the exciting new Macs powered by Apple’s proprietary processors — keep coming, Cupertino is reportedly revisiting some of its past designs for its next generation of products.

And you know what? I like it.

How to use Mobility Metrics in iOS 14

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New mobility metrics in the iOS Health app provide essential data on how you’re walking.
New mobility metrics in the iOS Health app provide essential data on how you’re walking.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The new Mobility Metrics feature that Apple added in iOS 14 offers important insights into your health and fitness. Using its built-in sensors and some extremely smart software, the iPhone in your hip pocket captures data and analyzes how you walk at all times. Then, the Health app serves up seven key measurements that provide an overall picture of your strength, coordination and cardiovascular health.

Even if you don’t experience any mobility difficulties, you might still be interested to see what these new stats reveal about the way you walk.

It’s time for an iPad Pro Max for professional users

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iPad Pro Max: It’s time to take iPad to the next level
Apple has repeatedly increased the size of the iPad over the years. A 15-inch version is the logical next step.
Graphic Cult of Mac

While the iPad Pro serves as a primary computer for many people, the 12.9-inch version is simply too small. Apple needs to make a 15-inch iPad Pro Max to make the tablet truly useful for power users.

And a bigger screen is only the start. This version should include other top-tier features not found in Apple’s smaller tablets.