2018 iPhone really needs a feature you’ve never heard of

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6.5- and 6.1-inch 2018 iPhone models
The 2018 iPhone offerings supposedly will include these 6.5- and 6.1-inch models. Hopefully, a behind-the-screens feature will make them faster.
Photo: OnLeaks

The 2018 iPhone models are rumored to have larger screens, better processors, and other enhancements. But there’s one feature that, even though we’ve heard nothing about it, we should strongly hope is in Apple’s next smartphones: 4×4 MIMO.

This is a cellular wireless data technology that gives the Samsung Galaxy S9 a substantial speed advantage over the iPhone X.

At WWDC, Apple atones for Silicon Valley’s sins

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WWDC
With its upcoming software, Apple addresses some Silicon Valley's most egregious abuses.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of Mac After a particularly rough patch for the tech industry, Apple used yesterday’s WWDC keynote to atone for some of Silicon Valley’s biggest sins. The company showcased key features in its upcoming operating systems that reinforce the fact that it thinks different about how technology should work.

Undoubtedly eager to position itself as one of the good guys, Apple directly responded to some of the biggest tech scandals of the past year.

iOS 11.4 finally brings HomePod stereo pairs and AirPlay 2

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iOS 11.4
The sound at home is about to get sweeter with iOS 11.4.
Photo: Apple

iOS 11.4 is finally here, bringing AirPlay 2’s multi-room audio capabilities as well as the long-awaited ability to use two HomePods in stereo.

The free update uses AirPlay 2 to move music from room to room or play the same music throughout the home on compatible speaker systems. You can control music using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV or making requests through Siri.

5 ways HomePod could catch up with its rivals

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HomePod Close Up
We like the HomePod. We just think there's a lot more Apple could do with it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone dominates smartphone sales charts. The iPad is so ubiquitous that, for many, its name is a catch-all term for any tablet. The Mac is the most desirable computer out there. But the HomePod? Not so much.

According to figures released this week, Apple’s smart speaker made up just a tiny 6 percent share of all smart speaker shipments for the first quarter of 2018. What is Apple doing wrong? And what could it do to turn things around? Here are five suggestions for HomePod improvements we’d like to see.

Apple is missing out on billions in subscription fees

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apple money
Apple should be squeezing more money out of customers. Or so one analyst thinks!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Services division is growing rapidly, but according to analyst Gene Munster it is still leaving billions of dollars on the table by failing to monetize its software in the way that it could.

Munster says that Apple should be following other high tech companies by charging monthly subscription fees for Pro Apps, aimed at audio and visual professionals. These apps include Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X, Motion, Compressor and MainStage 3, each of which Apple currently sells for a one-off fee.

iPhone SE 2 could pack iPhone X features into compact form factor

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iPhone SE CAD
A miniature iPhone X? Yes please!
Photo: Olixar

If you love the design of the iPhone X, but yearn for the smaller form factor of the 2012-era iPhone 5s, you could well find yourself in luck this year.

According to a new report, Apple’s next-gen iPhone SE is set to be the same size as its predecessor, but boast the same edge-to-edge display and “notch” of the iPhone X. This would mean that it would have more screen real estate than the original iPhone SE, although the body would stay the same size.

Supersized iPhone X display will be whole inch bigger than iPhone 8 Plus

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iphone x
iPhone X Plus will boast an impressive 6.5-inch OLED display.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The larger iPhone X Plus will be roughly the same size as the current 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus, a new report claims. Despite that, its greatly reduced bezel will give it a screen size of 6.5 inches, making it by far Apple’s largest-ever iPhone display.

By comparison, the current iPhone X measures 5.8 inches on the diagonal. The first iPhone, released back in 2007, had a display of just 3.5 inches.

iOS 11.3 breaks some iPhone 7 microphones

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iPhone-7
How’s your iPhone 7 mic after updating to iOS 11.3?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s recent software updates have broken some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus microphones.

Users report that they cannot be heard during calls since updating to iOS 11.3 or later. Apple has advised Authortized Service Providers that they can initiate repairs if necessary — even on devices that are no longer covered by a warranty.

Possible iPhone SE 2 photos show off a couple of big surprises

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Letemsvetemapplem
Two of the iPhone SE 2 images shared online.
Photo: Letemsvetemapplem

If you’re on the lookout for a new iPhone with 3.5mm headphone jack, your dream may be answered with the upcoming iPhone SE 2.

Despite a previous report stating that Apple would ditch the popular port for the new handset, photos circulating on Chinese social media suggest this may not be the case after all. Whether that’s a good thing or not will largely depend on whether you’re still mourning the arrival of earbuds with a Lightning connection!

And that’s not the only surprise…

Inside Oddmar, the Viking follow-up to the lovable Leo’s Fortune

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Oddmar
The game's gorgeous visuals started out on paper.
Photo: Senri & Mobge

Creating a spiritual successor to 2014’s lovable platformer Leo’s Fortune was a labor of love for its developers. Now, four years later the Norse-themed platformer Oddmar finally debuts on iOS. (Check out our review here.)

“The story is set in a Viking universe and is our take on Norse mythology,” designer and director Ozgur Taskin told Cult of Mac. “Developing this game gave us a great opportunity to imagine the environments of the North through art and animation.”

Cult of Mac got a look behind the scenes of a future gaming classic.