Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on n14:

How to use a long, alphanumeric iPhone passcode so cops can’t hack it [Update]


iPhone passcode
A strong passcode is the next-best thing to keeping your iPhone in a safe.
Photo: Rob Pongsajapan/FlickrCC

It’s time to stop using that useless six-digit passcode on your iPhone. Now that cops around the United States are going crazy for the GrayKey, a little box that can crack your iPhone’s passcode in hours, it has become clear that the iPhone’s regular six-digit numerical code is no longer secure.

Plus, now that GrayKey is available, it won’t be long before they’re in the hands of the bad guys, too, if they’re not already. In fact, instructions on how GrayKey works surfaced online last month.

The good news is, it’s super-easy to change your iPhone passcode to something a lot better. The bad news? There actually isn’t any, unless you already have the cops trying to break into your iPhone — in which case you’ve got plenty of bad news already.

When the only way to go is up [Setups]


When you can't built out, built up.
When you can't built out, built up.
Photo: xelferz@Reddit

Some computer setups are a little like Manhattan. When you have nowhere else to build horizontally, the only way to go is vertical. Hence the monitor tower seen in Redditor xelferz’s MacBook Pro-and iPad Air-based workstation.

Pressed into the corner of a narrow room with a vaulted ceiling, xelferz’s setup stacks a 34-inch LG ultrawide display on top of a 49-inch, curved ultrawide LG display. A webcam sits on top of the lower screen. The whole thing looks a bit like a tree.

How to easily share tweets to Instagram Stories in iOS


Now it's easy to share tweets in Instagram Stories.
Now it's easy to share tweets in Instagram Stories.
Photo: Instagram

Twitter rolled out an update to its iOS app earlier this week that lets users quickly and easily share tweets to their Instagram Stories. It’s now nearly a one-click operation, but not quite.

Naturally, users have always been able to take a screenshot of a tweets and manually upload it to an Instagram Story. But the new interface takes some of the manual labor out of the process, making it simple and fast. And the results look good!

How to use MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar on an external display


How to use Touch Bar on any Mac
Don't lose your Touch Bar when your MacBook Pro is closed.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If you’ve grown to love your MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar and all the tools and shortcuts it provides, you likely miss it when you have your machine hooked up to an external display. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s how to bring the Touch Bar to any screen so that you can continue to use it even when your MacBook Pro is closed.

AirPods, HomePod lose out on Apple Music lossless audio streaming [Updated]


AirPods Max connected to iPhone
AirPods Max have a lot to offer, but not the upcoming Apple Music lossless option.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple Music fans who are super-excited about the just-announced lossless audio option should be aware that it won’t work with AirPods or HomePod. Not even the $549 AirPods Max.

But Apple’s headphones and smart speaker do support Spatial Audio for songs mixed in Dolby Atmos, another new feature of Apple Music.

Quickly view available keyboard shortcuts in any iPad app [Pro tip]


See iPad keyboard shortcuts
Speed up common tasks inside your favorite apps.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Pro-tip-4iPad has gotten better and better at working with external keyboards in recent years. You’ll now find great support for keyboard shortcuts in most of the apps you use regularly. But how do you quickly find out which keyboard shortcuts are available to you?

There’s an easy way in iPadOS — and it works inside any app.

Enough key rings, we need an AirTag pet collar


An AirTag pet collar is a product that’ll sell
Attaching an AirTag to a beloved pet makes at least as mucgh sense as putting an item tracker on your keys.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Bad news AirTag shoppers: there’s no hole in Apple’s item-tracker. You have to buy an add-on to attach it to anything. Accessory makers have rushed to put out key rings and luggage tags. But no one makes the item I want: an AirTag pet collar.

Tiny World is the nature doc you should be binging [Apple TV+ review]


Tiny World is back and as cute as ever
The astonishing docuseries about Earth's tiniest inhabitants is back and as cute as ever.
Photo: Apple TV+

Two of Apple TV’s big nature shows just returned back for their second seasons mere months after they debuted. Tiny World is the cuter of the two. Its micro look at a macro world remains charming, cute and sometimes despairing and gross, but never so much you couldn’t show it to kids.

For All Mankind fires off a damp squib of a cliffhanger [Apple TV+ review]


For All Mankind review: Things are not going well, either on Earth or in space.
Things are not going well, either on Earth or in space.
Photo: Apple TV+

In this week’s episode, Apple TV+’s alternate-history space show For All Mankind finally gets to the big, violent “what if?” it’s been building to all season. Is it too late to make any of the fireworks they’ve seen saving go off in spectacular enough fashion to save a dreary second season?

The answer … will not shock you.

Cloud architect builds man shed to beat all man sheds [Setups]


This man shed sports multiple screens.
This man shed sports multiple screens.
Photo: CourseEcstatic6202@Reddit

Sometimes a setup promoted on social media stops you dead in your tracks, and it’s not because you’re excited about the hardware. Sometimes it’s the amazing, hand-built “man shed” where the setup lives that stuns you.

Such is the case with CourseEcstatic6202’s offering on Reddit. The cloud architect — let’s just call him “CE” — works in Amazon Web Services on California’s central coast. He designed and built a beautiful little house for his MacBook Pro-based setup in his back yard.

HomePod mini features ‘secret’ sensor that’s waiting to be activated


First HomePod mini reviews: Better late than never
Apple recently pulled the plug on the full-size HomePod to focus on its smaller sibling.
Photo: Apple

The HomePod mini has a hidden capability that Apple has yet to put into action: a sensor that measures both temperature and humidity.

According to Bloomberg, the sensor could be used to trigger smart home actions, such as turning a fan on or off depending on the temperature. It’s not clear why Apple has not yet activated the sensor so customers can utilize the feature — or when it might do so.

StudioDock brilliantly transforms iPad into iMac mini [Review]


Kensington StudioDock iPad Docking Station review
With the Kensington StudioDock, an iPad tablet becomes an outstanding desktop with multiple ports and wireless chargers.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Imagine an iMac with an iPad for its screen and you’ve got the Kensington StudioDock. Slip your tablet into the docking station and it’s elevated to eye level, plus you have access to an extensive collection of built-in ports. The stand can even wirelessly charge your other Apple devices.

Read on to explore all the reasons why this is the best iPad desktop stand ever made.

How to mix up activities for a more effective Apple Watch workout


Why choose one activity type when you can do loads?
Why choose one activity type when you can do loads?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Which workout type do you fancy today? Running, swimming, cycling, yoga…? There are so many different Apple Watch workouts, it can be hard to choose. The good news is, you don’t have to.

Thanks to a hidden feature in the Workout app, you can log multiple activity types in a single session. Want to log a triathlon? No problem. Like to do a cooldown at the end of an intense HIIT session? It supports that too.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to use this little-known Apple Watch feature — and why you definitely should.

Business and tech guru gears up for podcasting [Setups]


Ben Thompson's setup is wired for great sound.
Ben Thompson's setup is wired for great sound.
Photo: Ben Thompson

We noticed business and technology author and noted Mac guy Ben Thompson volunteered a pic of his setup on Twitter when tech and politics writer Casey Newton posted a shot of an immaculate setup, wondering if he has “remotely what it takes to put something like this together.”

Well, Taiwan-based Thompson certainly has what it takes to put together a great setup — even if it’s more lived in and not quite as photo-ready as the one Newton posted.

A superstar opens up in Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry [Apple TV+ review]


Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry
She's young, she's human, get used to it.
Photo: Apple TV+

With Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, the young pop star gets a showcase and a bio-doc, which means she’s gotten so hugely popular that people demanded to know more about her.

The good news is, Eilish is a humble and interesting subject. The bad news: Being a depressed teenager with high-tension demands placed upon you isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

Prop up your MacBook for easier typing with the ParcSlope [Review]


Twelve South ParcSlope review
Twelve South ParcSlope securely supports an Apple laptop or tablet.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Tilting up the base of your MacBook makes it easier to type. And it elevates the screen to be nearer eye level. The Twelve South ParcSlope is a simple, sturdy laptop stand that offers both benefits. And you can use it with your iPad, too.

I used the ParcSlope for several days to see how well it performed in real-world use. Read on to see what I found out.

Losing Alice crawls toward a predictable conclusion [Apple TV+ review]


Ayelet Zurer in Losing Alice
Ayelet Zurer plays Alice, and the audience is losing its patience.
Photo: Apple TV+

On this week’s episode of Losing Alice, the Apple TV+ limited series about a director matching wits with a hot young screenwriter, the titular filmmaker has a potential murderer on her hands. With her movie due to shoot any second, can Alice do the right thing and keep her job?

The bodies are piling up, and Alice is losing control of her star, her marriage, her movie and her life, just as the title implies. If only it were more exciting to watch.

EasyPencil Plus is like Apple Pencil lite [Review]


SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus review: Inexpensive iPad stylus
This isn’t an Apple Pencil, though the SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus looks much like Apple’s iPad stylus.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus is an iPad stylus that does most of what Apple Pencil does for a lot less money. It even magnetically clings to the iPad Pro, and works with a broad variety of Apple tablets.

I used the stylus for taking notes, sketching and photo editing. Here’s how it stood up to my everyday life.

Losing Alice starts with a bang, then goes quiet [Apple TV+ review]


Lihi Kornowski (left) plays an upstart screenwriter who tangles with a veteran filmmaker (Ayelet Zurer) in Losing Alice.
Lihi Kornowski (left) plays an upstart screenwriter who tangles with a veteran filmmaker (played by Ayelet Zurer) in Losing Alice.
Photo: Apple TV+

New Apple TV+ miniseries Losing Alice takes a deep dive into the psychology of two sexually charged rivals. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into with this eight-episode psychological thriller, which premieres Friday on the streaming service.

Losing Alice offers a cautionary tale about the perils of collaboration — and about riding the wave of TV production to series length.