How to play Apple Music on your Amazon Echo

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Amazon Alexa
The Echo finally plays nice with Apple Music.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon’s Alexa speakers can finally connect to your Apple Music account.

Support for Apple Music on the Amazon Echo was rolled out today, giving iPhone and iPad owners the option to pump out their favorite jams without signing up for an Apple Music competitor like Spotify Premium.

Getting the new Apple Music integration up and running is ridiculously easy, but we’ll walk you through the entire process.

Use Shortcuts to download YouTube Videos on iPhone

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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.

Updated AirPods will supposedly land in early 2019

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Apple AirPods
And, you guessed it, they're going to be even more expensive.
Photo: Apple

Upgraded AirPods are on the way in early 2019, with a total redesign scheduled for 2020. At least, that’s according to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a new note to clients.

Kuo claims that the big improvement for next year’s AirPods will be the addition of wireless charging support. This is most likely the wireless charging case that Apple first announced back in September 2017, alongside its still MIA AirPower charging mat.

‘Distracted Jim’ Morrison has the iPhone blues

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Jim Morrison with iPhone
The late Jim Morrison has a way of making us think about our addictions.
Illustration: Jason Kinsella

The late Jim Morrison had a lot to say during his short life. He poured his ideas into salient psychedelic rock music and imparted prophetic wisdom during interviews with the press.

Oslo-based adman Jason Kinsella set out to prove that some of Morrison’s thoughts on the power of media are truer now than some 50 years ago.

Roli Songmaker Kit GarageBand Edition adds touch control to Mac

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Any Songmaker Kit can be turned into the GarageBand Edition.
Any Songmaker Kit can be turned into the GarageBand Edition.
Photo: Roli

Roli makes touch-sensitive controllers for music apps, and they come in Blocks, little modular units that can be snapped together via magnets to form bigger, better controllers. They’re kind of like Transformers for music. Now, Roli will now sell you a GarageBand-friendly version of its amazing Songmaker Kit, optimized for use with the Mac version of GarageBand.

But what if you already bought a Songmaker Kit? Should you return it and buy the new one? Nope. The hardware is exactly the same, all you need is a software update.

Today we’ll see what the Songmaker Kit GarageBand Edition can do, and find out how to update your own Blocks to use it.

Why creative pros can’t rely on iPad Pro [Opinion]

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Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Futurists claim the iPad has already eliminated the need for a Mac. Realists say nah.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Since the new iPad Pro’s launch, debate about the powerful devices has become increasingly polarized into two opposing camps: futurists and realists.

The futurists argue that the iPad is the future computing. Apple’s tablet has eliminated the need for laptops, they say, and anyone who claims they can’t manage their workflows on iOS is living in the past (and should just get with the program).

The realists, on the other hand, retort that while the iPad may be cool, it remains limited by iOS in a lot of very important ways. Those limitations mean it is currently impossible to use the iPad as a primary workstation for pros.

So, who is right?

2018 iPad Pro review roundup: The best tablet money can buy

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2018 iPad Pro
Have you ordered yours yet?
Photo: Apple

According to early reviews, you should absolutely rush out to get a new iPad Pro when the tablets go on sale Wednesday.

The iPad Pro was already the best tablet money could buy. And yet, Apple somehow made it even better with an improved design, an edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display, and an A12X Bionic chip that delivers unbeatable performance.

Don’t just take our word for it. See what the reviewers are saying below.

What’s new in iOS 12.1

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iOS 12.1 brings live depth control preview to the camera app.
iOS 12.1 brings live depth control preview to the camera app.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12.1 is now available to download, and it brings a surprising number of neat new features to iPhones and iPads.

We get to enjoy Group FaceTime, live Depth Control when we’re taking photos — and the essential bagel emoji.

What to expect from Apple’s big ‘More in the Making’ event

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Apple's got a few more surprises up its sleeve.
Apple's got a few more surprises up its sleeve.
Photo: Apple

The second-biggest Apple keynote of 2018 is nearly here, and for some Mac fans, the wait can’t end soon enough.

Unlike last month’s iPhone XS keynote, all the details haven’t leaked ahead of the “There’s More in the Making” event. Still, we have a pretty good idea what Apple’s magic pipeline will pump out next Tuesday.

You can still snag almost any iPhone XR on launch day

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Nearly every configuration of the Apple's latest handset is still available hours into launch day. What does this say about iPhone XR sales?
Nearly every configuration of the Apple's latest handset is still available hours into launch day. What does this say about iPhone XR sales?
Photo: Apple

Apple began taking pre-orders for the iPhone XR early this morning, and there are still plenty of them left hours later. Contrast this with the iPhone XS launch which saw some configurations sell out in minutes.

While this doesn’t automatically indicate that demand for the iPhone XR is slow, it’s not a very good sign either.