Apple logo goes into redesign overload ahead of October event

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Apple logo
Just a sampling of some of the different Apple logos.
Photo: Apple

Apple finally made its October keynote official this morning with one of the most unique event invites we’ve ever seen. Instead of just using one standard design, Apple sent nearly every journalist an invite with an Apple logo that was unlike the one sent to others.

We’ve tracked down over 20 variations of the Apple logo on the invites and compiled them below. You can also go to Apple’s updated event website and every time you refresh the page a different Apple logo will show up.

How to use Depth Control on iPhone XS and XS Max

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Depth Control on iPhone XS
Depth Control can add subtle or wild background blur to your images.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS has an incredible new camera, and the best part of that camera is the new Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the background blur after you take the photo.

This is a powerful feature, but to get the most out of it, you might want to check out these tips and tricks on using Depth Control on iPhone XS.

GPS workout maps prove far more accurate on Apple Watch Series 4

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We took Apple Watch Series 4 to the running track for the ultimate test of GPS accuracy
We took Apple Watch Series 4 to the running track for the ultimate test of GPS accuracy
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is pretty awesome at doing a lot of things. But mapping workouts isn’t one of them. At least, not until now. Back in 2016, I was pretty disappointed with the maps I got from my Apple Watch Series 2 (the first model that came with built-in GPS). When I tested it at my local running track, the maps it generated looked like random scribbles.

Fast-forward to today, and things look a whole lot better. Last week, I repeated that test with a shiny new Apple Watch Series 4 and got some very interesting results.

How to create your first Siri Shortcut

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Using shortcuts is easy, once you know how it works.
Using Shortcuts is easy, once you know how it works.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Shortcuts is the hot new feature of iOS 12. The Shortcuts app lets you automate some crazy stuff, for instance this shortcut that activates the iPhone’s camera and sends an SMS if the cops pull you over. Thanks to Apple’s terminology, Shortcuts is a little confusing. Is it an automation tool? Does it have something to do with Siri? Why would you use it?

We’ll answer these questions, and then build an awesome shortcut so you can see how the app works.

iPhone XS reveals its secrets in first teardown video

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The first iPhone XS teardown video shows the unusual L-shaped battery.
The first iPhone XS teardown video shows the unusual L-shaped battery.
Photo: FixjeiPhone

The iPhone XS debuts tomorrow, but a video showing this device being disassembled is already available. This not only gives the first look at the internal components but reveals some of the details about this smartphone.

Perhaps the most unusual feature of Apple’s new high-end model is the L-shaped battery.

How to use iOS 12’s Live Listen feature with AirPods

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Bluetooth in iOS 11
AirPods plus iOS 12 equals Live Listen.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Back in 1979, the original Sony Walkman had an odd feature. If you pressed an orange button on the end, a built-in mic would connect to the user’s headphones, letting the person hear what was going on in the outside world. This may be the first case of technology being used to mitigate the bad manners surrounding personal audio.

Now, in iOS 12, this type of feature is back — and way more useful than it was in music’s greatest-ever decade. Live Listen is a new iOS 12 feature that pipes live audio from the iPhone’s mic directly to your AirPods. Why? Well, it’s an accessibility feature, but it can be used for much more.

Tame your notifications with iOS 12’s Instant Tuning

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Instant Tuning lets you tweak alert settings as you get them.
Instant Tuning lets you tweak alert settings as you get them.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

“Instant Tuning” is the rather odd name that Apple gave an excellent new iOS 12 feature. You know how some apps on your iPhone keep popping up notifications you never want or need? And you keep telling yourself that you will dig into the Settings app and switch them off? Only you never, ever get around to this annoying busywork? Instant Tuning is for you.

Now, when a notification comes in, you can access the notifications settings for that app right there in the notification itself. This is huge, and makes culling your notifications way easier. Which in turn makes your most important notifications, like text messages or that sweet eBay auction you’re following, stand out more.

How to use Apple’s new Shortcuts app

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A shortcut.
A shortcut.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Shortcuts is Apple’s new automation app for iOS 12. It integrates with Siri and lets you build all kinds of amazing automated workflows, from shutting your house down when you go to sleep, to downloading videos from YouTube and saving the them to iCloud.

Shortcuts is really just the new name for Workflow, an iOS automation app that Apple bought a year or so back. Let’s take a look at what Apple has put in Shortcuts.

Why it’s a big deal that Lisa Jackson spoke at Apple’s iPhone XS event

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Apple VP Lisa Jackson showcases Apple's environmental efforts during the Gather Round event.
Lisa Jackson showcases Apple's green innovation during the Gather Round event.
Photo: Apple

It’s an incredibly big deal that Wednesday’s Gather Round keynote featured Lisa Jackson, Apple’s head of environmental initiatives.

The annual iPhone unveiling is Apple’s biggest product event of the year. Every single word and image is carefully calibrated to do one thing, and one thing only: sell as many of the new products as possible.

So why did Tim Cook turn over several precious minutes to Jackson to talk about renewable energy and recycling?

How Steve Jobs poached a Microsoft employee with a restaurant menu

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A successful Steve Jobs recruitment pitch came from an Il Fornaio menu. (It's an Italian restaurant in Palo Alto, California.)
"Do you want to eat pasta all your life, or join me and change the world?"
Photo: Lou Stejskal/Flickr CC

It’s not exactly breaking news that Steve Jobs was a great salesman. But a hilarious anecdote from Adam Fisher’s recent oral history of Silicon Valley, Valley of Genius, gives a great example of Jobs’ next-level skills.

Want to know how Jobs persuaded a product marketing expert from Microsoft to join his company NeXT? It turns out it involved little more than a bit of patented Steve Jobs charm — and a helping hand from a local Italian restaurant menu.