Google takes on Apple with Pixel 3, Pixel Slate and Home Hub

By

The new Made by Google products.
The new Made by Google products.
Photo: Google

Google unleashed its latest wave of hardware designed to take on Apple and Amazon by combining its powerful software with custom-designed hardware. And it actually looks pretty good.

Three new products were unveiled at Google’s event in New York City this morning: the Pixel 3, Pixel Slate and Google Home Hub. All three pack some interesting new features that some of Apple’s own products can’t match. But there are also glaring weaknesses in the new Google products. Like the horrifically huge notch on the Pixel 3 to start with.

Take a closer look at all the new products:

Use Shortcuts to download YouTube Videos

By

download youtube videos
Shortcuts has no problem ripping and downloading YouTube videos.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Using Apple’s amazing new Shortcuts app, you can rip a video from YouTube, download it, and store it in a folder on your iPhone — all without using a computer.

Maybe you want to watch some clips on your commute without burning through your cellular data. Or perhaps you’re a language or music teacher, and you want to keep teaching materials offline instead of relying on your pupil’s Wi-Fi?

This shortcut can be triggered in Safari, and will save the YouTube video to your Camera Roll, iCloud Drive, Dropbox or other location of your choice. Let’s get started.

iOS 12.1 beta appears to confirm USB-C on new iPads

By

Both the 2018 iPad Pro tablets have undergone the most significant redesign yet.
Both the 2018 iPad Pro tablets have apparently undergone the most radical redesign yet.
Photo: MySmartPrice

Apple’s first beta for iOS 12.1 is starting to be a fountain of leaks regarding the new iPad Pros set to come out this fall.

After revealing yesterday that new iPads are on the way, it appears that iOS 12.1 beta 1 has also confirmed the long-cited rumor that the new iPads will come with a USB-C port.

Series 4 vs. Series 3: Which Apple Watch is right for you?

By

Apple Watch Series 4
Our comparison will help you decide.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch Series 4 is now available to preorder ahead of its official launch on September 21. It’s packed with new features, but considerably more expensive than its predecessors, with prices starting at $399.

Last year’s Apple Watch Series 3 is also still available. It’s not quite as impressive as the latest model, but it’s now more affordable at $279.

Which one should you buy? Find out right here in our 2018 Apple Watch comparison.

The Apple design process of demos, decisions and feedback with Ken Kocienda [Apple Chat podcast]

By

Former Apple programmer Ken Kocienda has written a great insiders account of how the company makes its products.
Former Apple programmer Ken Kocienda has written a great insiders account of how the company makes its products.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

“It’s this long process of demos and decisions and feedback that creates this long, iterative progression … that leads you from not-very-promising ideas to products you can ship.”

Curious what it was like to work at Apple during its Golden Age of design? What exactly did the creative process look like? On this episode of the Apple Chat podcast, I sit down with Ken Kocienda, a programmer who spent 15 years at Apple during the Steve Jobs era. He worked on the first versions of the Safari web browser, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. His new book, Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs, chronicles his experiences working at the company and offers an inside look at the creative process that made the team successful.

On the podcast, Kocienda discusses his role in the development of the iOS keyboard, explaining how text entry evolved and offering insight into the autocorrect algorithm. He walks us through the Darwinian process of creative selection, describing how the demo pyramid functioned to provide feedback and move an idea from prototype to product. Listen in for his experience presenting a demo to Jobs himself and learn how the original spirit of the Macintosh lives on at Apple today!

Hands-on with Survival Straps’ paracord Apple Watch bands [Unboxing]

By

survival straps

Photo: Benjamin McKay/Cult of Mac

Survival Straps’ paracord Apple Watch bands are a big hit with Watch Store customers. These custom-made bands are the real deal, made with military-grade materials and great craftsmanship — yet the unboxing experience isn’t what we expected.

I know what you’re thinking. Did I just pay $49.99 for my watch band to come in a plastic baggie? We thought the same thing, and you how Cult of Mac loves a good unboxing. While Survival Straps’ packaging is barebones, the contents speaks for itself and doesn’t disappoint. Let’s check it out.

How to control Grouped Notifications in iOS 12

By

One day I'll run out of street-sign photos to illustrate notification how-tos, but not today.
One day I'll run out of street-sign photos to illustrate notification how-tos, but not today.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of iOS 12’s big changes is Notifications Center. It gets the seriously great Do Not Disturb at Bedtime feature, and it also now groups notifications, stacking them per-app in order to reduce clutter and increase clarity on the lock screen and elsewhere.

Notification grouping is totally automatic, but there are new settings that let you customize it if the auto options don’t suit you. Let’s take a look.

How to rip and save audio from YouTube videos with your iPhone

By

rip youtube audio
This screen represents YouTube, and the telephone represents audio. Or something.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

YouTube isn’t just for video. Lots of folks use it to post audio files, only they gum up the songs with slideshows so they can upload them to the video-publishing service. There are all kinds of apps that let you convert a YouTube video back into an MP3, but today we’re going to see how to convert a video to an MP3 right in Safari, using Apple’a own Workflow/Shortcuts app.

EU may force iPhone to switch from Lightning to USB

By

These MFi-certified Lightning cables are sheathed in steel and designed to last forever.
What if your iPhone and iPad had a standard USB port instead of a Lightning one?
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Apple has its Lightning connector and everyone else has USB. But EU regulators are considering whether they need to force a common standard for phone chargers.

The idea is to cut down on the 51,000 tons of old chargers and cables thrown away each year.