iOS 14 leaks hint at new notification triggers, AR mode for Find My

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Find My Friends
Find My could be better than ever in iOS 14.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Fresh iOS 14 leaks that surfaced on Monday reveal Apple’s plans to bring new notification triggers and an augmented reality mode to the Find My app.

The improvements could give users the ability to get an alert when a contact doesn’t arrive at a specific location by a certain time. They could also make it easier to track down lost Macs and iOS devices.

Apple doubles SSD storage capacity for Mac mini

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Mac mini ports
Prices stay the same, but storage goes up. That's a win-win!
Photo: Apple

Apple updated its entire Mac mini line Wednesday, offering double the SSD storage capacity at the regular price.

A $799 Mac mini is available with 256GB of PCIe-based SSD storage. Meanwhile, the $1,099 Mac mini now comes with 512GB of SSD storage as standard.

How to stay informed about coronavirus without terrifying yourself

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COVID-19 coronavirus news got you down? Don't panic!
Don't panic! You can keep up with COVID-19 news without going nuts.
Photo: Simon English/Unsplash

Open up a newspaper, visit a news site or turn on the TV, and you’ll see the end of the world is nigh. And, of course, the COVID-19 coronavirus is serious business, especially if you are in one of the vulnerable categories.

But that doesn’t mean you need to panic. In fact, panicking about anything usually just makes things worse. So, how do you stay informed about the rapidly spreading disease without succumbing to media terror?

How to resurrect your Mac’s startup chime

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startup chime
Chimes and bongs: not just for hippies.
Photo: Arturo Rey/Unsplash

When you start up a Mac, it goes “bong,” and that’s the way the world should be. Unless, that is, you bought a Mac in 2016 or later, when Apple removed the Mac startup chime. These days, a Mac starts up silently, with only a whisper of fan noise (or the din of a whirring, clicking hard drive on an iMac) to let you know something is happening.

But what if you miss the good old Mac startup chime? Or — if you’re new to Macs — you just fancy a bit of retro charm? Today we’ll see how to bring back the bong.

How to use Apple TV app’s new data-saving features

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The Apple TV app gets a raft of new features in iOS 12.3.
The Apple TV app just added new data saving features.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Binge-watching your favorite Apple TV shows on an iPhone is a great way to run through your data plan limits if you’re not careful, so Apple is introducing a way to wrangle in your data slurping habits.

iOS 13.4 beta 2 introduced some new settings to the Apple TV app for iPhone and iPad, giving users the option to control the size of downloads as well as lowering the amount of data used while streaming content. If Apple’s TV app is one of your major entertainment hubs, you’ll want to know how to take advantage of the new features.

CarKey feature buried in iOS beta might let iPhones replace car keys

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A Tesla Watch app concept.
A concept design for an Apple Watch app designed to communicate with a Tesla.
Photo: Eleks Labs

Apple reportedly added code to iPhone and Apple Watch to let these devices function as car keys, giving users one less thing to constantly carry around.

The company began work on such a feature years ago, and supposedly how has finally reached the point where it’s building the feature into iOS and watchOS.

Get all the default Mac wallpapers, in gorgeous Retina 5K

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Mac wallpaper on iPad
Isn't it beautiful?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The best ever Mac default desktop background (aka Mac wallpaper) was the blue Aqua picture that came with OS X 10.4 Tiger. It’s classy, restful and classic without feeling dated. It has enough depth to make it interesting, but is simple enough not to distract. Other Aqua-themed Mac OS X wallpapers followed, but that one remains the best. And if you want it, you can download it in beautiful 5K resolution.

But that’s not all. Over at 512 Pixels, you can download every default macOS wallpaper ever, also in 5K.

How to preview installed fonts on your iPad

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More terrifying than a blank Pages document.
More terrifying than a blank Pages document.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 13 and iPadOS added official support for adding fonts to your iPhone and iPad. You’ve been able to do it for a while, using third-party apps that hack their way around the problem using software configuration profiles to install typefaces on your system.

And you can still use those. In fact, you may have to, as we’ll see in a moment. But now you can also install fonts from the App Store, as well as previewing them in a new built-in panel. Let’s take a look.

How to use Low Data Mode on iPhone and iPad

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Low Data Mode
A lazy metaphor for data.
Photo: Tobias Fischer on Unsplash

You surely know about the iPhone’s Low Power Mode already, but did you know there’s also a Low Data Mode? Just like the battery-saving setting, Low Data Mode cuts back on data usage, only connecting to the internet for essential data or when you explicitly request a connection. In practice, your active usage won’t be affected much. It’s all the background stuff that gets cut off.

Here’s how to set up Low Data Mode on your iPhone or iPad.