Why Apple Watch Series 5 is a welcome surprise

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Apple Watch Series 5 adds an always-on display. Just what I always wanted.
Always-on display. Just what I always wanted
Photo: Apple

I wasn’t expecting much from the Apple Watch Series 5 refresh. The rumor mill only predicted new ceramic and titanium finishes, plus maybe sleep tracking. That was all for this year.

But it turns out Apple had three big surprises hidden up its sleeves — new features that look set to make Apple Watch Series 5 the best smartwatch money can buy.

How to get the money you deserve for your old Apple Watch

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watchOS 5
It might be getting old, but your Apple Watch could still be worth a small fortune.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With big discounts to be had on Apple Watch Series 4, it’s an ideal time to upgrade — and sell off your old model.

It might seem like a relic now, but it’s probably still worth a small fortune — if you sell it properly. Here’s how to get the best price for your old Apple Watch and ensure you get paid fast.

How to remove the background from your Portrait photos

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Geese with transparent background
Honk honk! Goodbye pesky background.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone’s incredible Portrait mode does a great job of blurring the backgrounds of photos, making the subject stand out from busy backdrops. (Apple also uses this depth information for its truly awful Portrait Lighting effects — has anyone ever gotten a good result from the Stage Light filter? — but that’s another story.)

What if you could use the depth information inside Portrait photos to get rid of the background entirely? Wouldn’t that be something? Well, yes it would. And if you have the right app, it’s really easy to remove photo backgrounds.

6 classic Mac games you can enjoy on iOS

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Flashback
This was a game-changer for computer games back in the day.
Image: MobyGames

With a constant stream of new, console-quality games in the iOS App Store, and subscription gaming service Apple Arcade on the way, there’s arguably never been a better time to be an Apple gamer. Yet despite all the great new iOS games, sometimes you just want to relive your misspent youth.

This week, Paul Cuisset’s classic Mac platformer Flashback blasted its way into the App Store. To mark the occasion, we dug up some of the best classic games that graced vintage Macs but now can be played on your iOS device. Check them out.

Apple should sue Xiaomi for its blatant copying — but it won’t

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Xiaomi Mimoji look very familiar.
Mimoji is one of many products Xiaomi has ripped from Apple.
Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi has a history of shamelessly ripping off bigger brands, and nine times out of ten, its chosen target is Apple.

The Chinese company has previously cloned the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and more — without a single shred of fear that it might one day feel the wrath of Apple’s legal department.

Xiaomi’s latest ripoff is its own version of Memoji, and it brazenly stole Apple’s own commercials to promote it on a number of retail channels this week.

Here’s how Xiaomi gets away with it.

How to use the OP-Z’s new sampler with your iPhone

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This is all you need to make a hit record. Well, maybe a few dongles, too…
This is all you need to make a hit record. Well, maybe a few dongles, too…
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Teenage Engineering’s awesome, pocket-size OP-Z synth can now record and use samples. Thanks to a massive software update, it can now sample live audio in through its mic, or via its USB-C port. And yes, if you hook it up to an iPhone or iPad via USB, it shows up as a standard audio interface: You can record from, and send audio to, the OP-Z in lossless digital quality.

Today we’re going to check out these new features. A few limitations prove annoying, but Apple users should feel accustomed to that by now.

Secrets to multitasking like a pro in iPadOS 13 [Video]

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Multitasking gives you the power to use up to three apps at once on iPad.
Multitasking gives you the power to use up to three apps at once on iPad.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

iPad multitasking gets a boost in iPadOS, with tweaks and enhancements that make it easier to do more on Apple tablets.

If you use an iPad for anything beyond watching videos, you should be thrilled by these changes, which boost inter-app productivity. Here’s how to take advantage of the different flavors of multitasking in iPadOS.

iPadOS Files’ search is now almost as good as the Mac’s

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Files app iPadOS
Files can be stored in drawers.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Files app is waaaaay better in iOS 13 and iPadOS. It adds external USB storage support, so you can plug in anything from a hard drive or USB-C stick to a synthesizer that can mount as a USB drive to load samples and presets.

Apple’s built-in file-management app adds column view (with a handy preview) and all the metadata you want to know about a given file. And it also benefits from a massively upgraded search feature.

How to use Safari’s download manager in iOS 13

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Safari's new download manager in iOS 13.
Safari's new download manager in iOS 13.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 13 and iPadOS, Safari gets a download manager. If you tap (or click, with the new iOS mouse support) on a link to a file, that file will now get downloaded to a folder. What’s more, you can change the location of that download folder.

This is one of the small but essential new features in iPadOS that really turns the iPad into a viable MacBook replacement, even for those who aren’t yet used to the arcane ways of iOS. Let’s check it out.