iPhone X setup shows Apple’s core brilliance

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automatic setup
In iOS 11, you won't need to remember anything when you get a new iPhone.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

I used to think setting up a new iPhone was easy, but the iPhone X takes it to the next level.

On Friday, I got the new iPhone X and have been using it all weekend. The setup process was the easiest ever, and speaks to Apple’s constant drive to make things better.

iPhone X meta review: Setting Apple up for the next 10 years

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iPhone X first impressions
The iPhone X reviews are here!
Photo: Soldier Knows Best

The first wave of iPhone X impressions and reviews have started to emerge, offering a glimpse of what tech reviewers make of Apple’s next-gen smartphone.

The verdict? The 10th anniversary iPhone is a seriously impressive handset, and quite possibly Apple’s best ever — although one or two reservations remain. Check out our roundup of some of the most interesting observations below.

iPhone X vs. iPhone 8: Which should you buy?

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iPhone X concept
iPhone 8 or iPhone X?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s the tech conundrum of the year: iPhone X versus iPhone 8. Still sitting on the fence about which new iPhone to buy? With iPhone X preorders starting in just a few hours, it’s decision time.

Is it really worth the hassle of trying to snag a phone that’s more expensive (and likely harder to land on launch day, due to limited supply)? In today’s video, I’m here to answer the question, “Which is better? iPhone 8 or iPhone X?”

Apple’s ‘fast’ iPhone 8 charger isn’t as quick as you think

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charger
The MacBook's USB-C charger won't charge your iPhone much faster.
Photo: Maurizio Pesce/Flickr CC

The iPhones 8 and X both support Apple’s “fast-charging” option, which has been available on the iPad Pro since the first 13-inch model. Fast charging lets you use a powerful USB-C charger, along with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable, to charge your iPhone quicker than you can with the standard iPhone or iPad chargers.

But is it worth the $75 that those accessories will cost? Is charging really so much faster? According to tests run by software engineer and startup investor Dan Loewenherz, the answer is no.

How to share your home Wi-Fi without a password in iOS 11

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home Wi-Fi
you no longer need a password to share your Wi-Fi in iOS 11
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr

iOS 11 brings yet another convenient feature — password-free Wi-Fi sharing. It works like this: If a friend or other visitor needs to use your Wi-Fi, then instead of digging in the dust and yanking on the already-taut cables of your router to read the password label on the back, you can just hold your iPhones close to each other, and grant the guest access to your network. It’s super easy, and requires nothing more than that you both be running iOS 11, and have Bluetooth switched on.

iPhone 8 Plus brings solid improvements to an already-great device [Review]

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iPhone
There's no denying the iPhone 8 is a great phone, but can it shine through the iPhone X's shadow?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Compared to the radical redesign of the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 Plus looks quite familiar. With the exception of a glass back and a few superficial changes, it employs the same form factor that Apple’s been using since the iPhone 6 Plus. However, it packs some serious internal upgrades that make a difference in day-to-day use.

I picked up the 8 Plus on launch day and have been using it for just over a week. How does it rate? Get my take in the video and written reviews below. Also, don’t miss our huge iPhone 8 and 8 Plus case giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Why Control Center no longer turns off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in iOS 11

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Bluetooth in iOS 11
In iOS 11, AirPods (and other Apple accessories) remain connected, even when you hit the Bluetooth "off" switch.
Photo: Cult of Mac

It used to be so simple: If you swiped open the iOS Control Center and tapped the Bluetooth icon, then Bluetooth would be toggled on or off. That was it, and the same went for Wi-Fi.

In iOS 11, tapping the same Bluetooth button doesn’t do that. Instead, the Control Center Bluetooth button disconnects your iPhone or iPad from connected Bluetooth accessories, leaving the actual Bluetooth radio on. What’s more, not all accessories get disconnected. Just what in the blazes is going on here?

iOS 11 brings 5 different types of tap, but don’t panic

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five touches
Both of these were caused by tap-and-hold, which sounds confusing but isn't.
Photo: Cult of Mac

When the iPhone launched 10 years ago, there were two kinds of tap. A regular tap for everything, and a special press-and-hold to get the Home screen icons jiggling and ready to rearrange. That was it. Now, with iOS 11, I have counted at least five different types of tap and press, and that’s just on the iPad. If you count the iPhone, then you also have 3D-Touch to deal with.

Partly this comes down to the new systemwide drag-and-drop capability baked into in iOS 11, and partly it has to do with Apple trying to mimic 3D Touch’s pressure sensitivity on the iPad.

The biggest surprise, though, is that Apple managed to pull it off, even in the early iOS 11 beta I’m running now. Not only are these gestures all intuitive, but the overall feel of interaction has gotten way better.

iOS 11 will change the way you use your iPad [Review]

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iOS 11 on iPad
New features in iOS 11 make the iPad a multitasking beast.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

IOS 11 is a huge update to Apple’s mobile operating system, but only if you’re using an iPad. While the iPhone gets its fair share of tweaks and polish, the iPad is transformed into a different machine. When you install iOS 11, your iPad will be transformed from a big iPhone, into a slick mobile computer. It has completely changed how I use my iPad, to the extent that I probably never need to buy another Mac again.

The headline features are drag-and-drop between apps, a new Mac-like Dock, a Finder-like app named Files, and a radically re-thought Control Center that echoes the one found in — you guessed it — the Mac. IOS 11, then, brings many of the Mac’s best features to the iPad, but redesigned to suit the touch screen.

What does this mean for daily use? It means that Mac and PC users can switch to the iPad without having to relearn how to do everything, and existing users will no longer feel like they have their hands tied while trying to do the simplest tasks.