How to download all the data Apple has on you

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Apple continues to put privacy front and center.
Apple continues to put privacy front and center.
Image: Apple

Apple’s refreshed Privacy website is live, giving U.S. users the ability to download all of their data from Apple. The website explains how and why Apple products are “designed to protect your privacy.”

Apple stresses that “your data belongs to you” and insists that it never sells users’ info to advertisers or other organizations.

The website even gives users the ability to delete an Apple account — and all associated data — if desired.

How to shoot stunning black-and-white photos on iPhone

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This wasn't taken on an iPhone, but it could have been.
This wasn't taken on an iPhone, but it could have been.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Black-and-white photos aren’t just regular photos with the color taken out. Or rather, they are exactly that, but they are also more than that. A B&W portrait can seem to say more about the subject than a colorful version, for instance. B&W is also ideal for showing more graphic images. Take a color photo of scaffolding and it looks super-dull. Take the same photo in B&W, jack up the contrast, and it becomes a stark grid — way more interesting to look at.

There’s much more to taking a B&W photo than just removing the color. For instance, did you know that a color filter will have a startling effect on a B&W photo? Let’s take a look at some of the tricks to capturing and editing stunning black-and-white images.

5 great apps that bust out the bokeh on iPhone XS

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The iPhone XS' new bokeh tool is just the beginning.
The iPhone XS' new bokeh tool is just the beginning.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS camera is pretty incredible. The device uses its two rear cameras, plus the A12 chip’s Neural Engine, to record such an accurate 3D map of the scene that you can adjust the background blur with a slider. But that depth map is useful for more than just blurring backgrounds. It can be used by other apps to:

  • Add realistic lights to a scene.
  • Choose any subject to be in focus, not just the one you picked when shooting.
  • Add custom background blurs.
  • Remove and replace backgrounds, like movie green-screen effects.

Today we’ll look at the best depth apps for the new iPhone XS and XS Max.

Move over, iPhone XS Max! These are the worst Apple product names of all time.

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Gather Round
Great phones, terrible names.
Photo: Apple

Let’s not beat around the bush — the new iPhone names are a mess. “iPhone XS Max” sounds like a body spray for teenagers and the “XR” in iPhone XR means … well, not very much at all.

Today’s iPhones are an explosion of confused branding.

But the 2018 iPhones definitely aren’t the first time Apple products bore baffling, awkward or just plain rubbish names. Brace yourself for a repulsive refresher as we recount the worst Apple product names of all time.

How to work when it’s really, really noisy

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Construction noise can drive you crazy.
Construction noise can drive you crazy.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

As I write this, there’s a truck outside my window using its crane to shovel molten blacktop onto the street. Its diesel engine is revving hard, and has been for the last half hour. For the past two years, there’s been an apartment building under construction across the street from my office. Starting at (and often before) 7 a.m., six days a week, I’ve enjoyed a symphony of pumped cement, circular saws screeching through thin metal sheets, over-revved forklifts, and drilling into reinforced concrete.

I mention this to tell you that I know a thing or two about writing in a noisy spot. I also know how to stop it driving you nuts.

How to use iOS 12’s new Measure app to measure virtually anything

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Apple's Measure app rules
Apple's Measure app totally rules.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 adds a brand-new Apple app to your iPhone and iPad. It’s called Measure, and that’s exactly what it does. With it, you can use your iPhone’s camera to measure distances instead of breaking out a tape measure or ruler. Also, the level tool has moved from its old home in the Compass app, and now lives in Measure. Let’s see how the new app works.

Everything you need to know about white balance for your iPhone camera

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This is an almost impossible lighting situation for most automatic cameras.
This is an almost impossible lighting situation for most automatic cameras.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

White balance is one of the most important settings on any camera. It can make the difference between vibrant, accurate colors, and a muddy, flat mess. It is also the setting least likely to be tweaked manually by casual photographers. There’s not even a good way to adjust white balance in the iPhone’s own Photos app.

But don’t despair. Today we’ll learn everything you need to now about how white balance works, and what to do with it.

How to block any website on iPhone and iPad

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Block websites on iPhone and iPad
Stay OUT!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There are probably good reasons to block a website on your own iPhone or iPad, but really, why not just avoid typing its URL? It’s far more likely that you’ll want to block a website on somebody else’s device, probably a child’s. Or perhaps you don’t want your kids to accidentally hit all your bookmarks to porn and gambling sites when they use your iPhone.

Whatever your reasons, here’s how to block any website on your iPhone or iPad.