| Cult of Mac

How to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for free [Updated]


Peanuts holidays specials are already starting to debut on Apple TV+.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is already streaming on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple

Families with a tradition of watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown can already enjoy the classic Peanuts special on Apple TV+. That’s the only option this year – it will not be broadcast on a regular TV network.

Don’t feel left out. The holiday classic is free for anyone to watch for several days just before Halloween. And it can be streamed on a very wide variety of devices, not just Mac or iPhone.

How to enable background blur for FaceTime video calls in iOS 15


How to enable background blur for FaceTime video calls in iOS 15
Use Portrait mode to bring background blur to FaceTime on iPhone and iPad.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS and iPadOS 15 bring a number of big improvements to FaceTime — including voice isolation and the ability to blur your background during video calls like you can on Zoom and other video calling platforms.

We’ll show you how to enable the background blur feature using Portrait mode on iPhone and iPad.

C:\>BANNED! Apple gives DOS game emulator for iOS the heave-ho [Updated]


iDOS 2
Go back to the future with DOS emulation. Well, until Apple pulls the app that is.
Photo: iDOS

Of all the apps Apple might get upset about, one that lets you emulate classic DOS games on your iPhone doesn’t seem like it would make the top of the list.

Someone at Apple clearly disagrees, however. iDOS 2 developer Chaoji Li recently revealed that Apple rejected an update to his DOS-emulation app — on the grounds that it launches executable code. That’s despite the fact that some version of Li’s iDOS app has been in the App Store since 2010.

In July, Li posted Apple’s message warning him about pending removal from the App Store in a blog post titled “iDOS 2 will be gone soon.”

Tim Cook called Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats worried about antitrust legislation


Tim Cook congressional antitrust hearing: Should Tim Cook be worried about Congress breaking up Apple?
"Or how about we don't?"
Photo: C-SPAN

Tim Cook reportedly got in touch with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in addition to other members of Congress, to voice his worries about possible antitrust legislation, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Democrats are currently circulating drafts of antitrust bills that could affect the likes of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. If passed, these bills could impact Apple’s ability to own and operate its own App Store marketplace in the way it currently does.

Stopping Apple from preinstalling apps might sound fair, but it’s a bad idea


choice apples
It's all about the paradox of choice.
Photo: Raquel Martínez/Unsplash CC

As governments around the world scrutinize Apple’s App Store policies, the U.S. Congress is pondering legislation that could stop the company from preinstalling default apps on iPhones.

Apple critics suggest that such a move would level the playing field and give smaller developers a chance to compete. But would it actually benefit consumers, the purported goal of such antitrust legislation?

I’m not sure it would. In fact, it might simply make owning an iPhone a lot less enjoyable.

iPadOS 15 brings Home screen revamp, more powerful multitasking


iPadOS 15
iPadOS gets widgets you can place anywhere — just like iPhone.
Photo: Apple

Apple today gave iPad owners their first peek at iPadOS 15 with a revamped Home screen and more powerful multitasking. The update also introduces bolstered privacy controls and some welcome changes to notifications.

iPadOS 15 makes its public debut this fall alongside iOS 15 and other software updates for Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Developers can get their hands on the very first betas later today.

Keyboard app’s meteoric rise shows the power of TikTok


All hail Techin Park, developer of Paste Keyboard and new king of the App Store.
All hail Techin Park, developer of Paste Keyboard and new king of the App Store.
Photo: Techin Park

A simple copy-and-paste app called Paste Keyboard shot to the top of the App Store charts this week after languishing in obscurity for years.

Made by 28-year-old South Korean developer Techin Park, the keyboard app hitched a ride on TikTok’s massive success — and then dethroned it as the most popular app in the United States.

“Everyone is curious how such [a] simple idea, copy and paste, has trumped the almighty TikTok in app rank,” Park told Cult of Mac. “Copy and paste is a feature we all use at least once daily. Not many think it’s special. But in reality, increasing efficiency [when it comes to] how we copy and paste can save a lot more of our time than we possibly think.”

And, apparently, score you crazy numbers of downloads, too.

Incredible close-ups show off iPad Pro’s surprisingly great camera


2021 iPad Pro is better than any iPhone at closeup pictures.
Some astounding closeup images should make you stop laughing at iPad photography.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Professional photog/developer Sebastiaan de With accidentally discovered that the rear-facing camera in the 2021 iPad Pro can focus on objects very close to the lens. This allows the tablet to capture close-up images not possible with an iPhone.

Cult of Mac did a bit of experimenting and confirmed the results.