No more downgrades from iOS 12.3 allowed

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Don’t install iOS 12.2 unless you plan to stick with it. The only way through is forward.
You should install iOS 12.3, but be aware that if you do so you can’t go back to the previous version.
Photo: Pexels

All who’ve upgraded their phone or tablet to iOS 12.3 can no longer backtrack to the previous version. This is because Apple has stopped signing iOS 12.2.

It’s not a reflection on that older version, but a standard action for the company to take. It always ends the installation of obsolescent versions shortly after a new one is introduced.

Apple’s new TV app arrives with iOS 12.3

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The Apple TV app gets a raft of new features in iOS 12.3.
The Apple TV app gets a raft of new features in iOS 12.3.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s updated TV app is finally ready for the public to dive into.

iOS 12.3 was released to the public today, adding the new Apple TV app to iPhones and iPads as Apple prepares to launch its streaming TV service this fall. The update also adds AirPlay 2.0 and Apple TV support to compatible Samsung smart TVs.

What is your Apple Watch trying to tell you about your health?

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These days Apple Watch detects far more than just your heart rate
Understanding these Apple Watch stats is key to unlocking its healthy potential.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you’ve been wearing an Apple Watch for a while now, chances are you have built up a huge amount of data related to your health. But do you know what it all means? What exactly is that wrist-mounted technological marvel trying to tell you?

All those different stats Apple Watch saves to the Health app can be a little overwhelming. But if you know how to interpret them, they provide a surprisingly wide variety of insights into your health. Like how fit you are, how much stress you are under and whether you are at risk of heart disease.

It’s worth taking the time to understand what your Apple Watch is telling you. It can help you improve your wellbeing — and it might even save your life.

Master the mysteries of ‘Other’ workouts on Apple Watch

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Apple Watch’s Other Workouts are a whole other ballgame
Apple Watch’s Other Workouts are a whole other ballgame
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Everyone knows you can do running, cycling and swimming workouts with your Apple Watch. But did you know you also can log sports like football, golf and boxing? There’s even support for pastimes as diverse as fishing, horse riding and fencing.

These workout types are not easy to find, however. Apple hides them in the “Other” workouts menu. With a bit of hunting around you’ll discover 60 additional options there to choose from.

So, if you’re bored with your regular workout and fancy trying something more exotic, why not give these Other workouts a try? Here’s how to find and use them.

Apple sets 24-hour turnaround time for MacBook keyboard repairs

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Taking it out on your problematic MacBook butterfly keyboard will only make things worse.
Don’t get mad if your MacBook keyboard develops problems, get it fixed. It’s free and now it’s quick.
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple has ordered that sticky MacBook keys be repaired fast enough that, whenever possible, the owner can get their computer back the next day.

The company says only a small number of its laptops develop keyboard problems, but clearly it’s feeling the heat from irate customers.

Apple and Foxconn, a history [Cook book outtakes]

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Foxconn workers spell company's name
Workers spell out the company's name at one of Foxconn's giant plants.
Photo: Foxconn

Tim Cook book outtakes: How Apple's Operations department works This post was going to be part of my new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, but was cut for length or continuity. Over the next week or so, we will be publishing several more sections that were cut, focusing mostly on geeky details of Apple’s manufacturing operations.

Foxconn was founded around the same time as Apple, although 6,000 miles away on the other side of the world. In 1974, when 19-year-old Steve Jobs was working at Atari, 24-year-old Terry Gou borrowed $7,500 ($37,000 in today’s money) from his mother to start up a business.

How to draw a portrait with Apple Pencil

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Are you drawn to draw with your new Apple Pencil 2?
Are you drawn to draw with your new Apple Pencil 2?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Got a new Apple Pencil? Once the initial novelty wears off, you might find that it spends most of its time magnetically clipped to the side of your iPad Pro or, worse, stuck in the back of a drawer. After all, there are only so many PDFs to annotate and screenshots to mark up.

Which is a great shame, because what your Apple Pencil really wants to do is create art. You only appreciate the true joy of owning one when you draw with it. So, why not follow this handy how-to guide and start sketching lifelike portraits of friends and family? It’s a really fun hobby.

As Kate Winslet once said in Titantic, “Draw me like one of your French girls.”

With Apple TV+, Tim Cook peddles an antidote to toxic TV [Opinion]

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Tim Cook talks up the potential of Apple TV+ to change the world.
Apple TV+ is on on the way.
Photo: Apple

At a time when critically acclaimed TV shows serve up a steady stream of sex and violence, the upcoming Apple TV+ service proffers an unusual prescription for success: optimism, inclusion, creativity and inspiration.

Touting its upcoming streaming video service as “the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers,” Apple is carefully framing its upcoming Apple TV+ day as a healthy antidote to Hollywood’s toxic hellstew of nudity and mindless gore. The company even suggested its original shows could act as a tonic to heal a nation divided by the bitter partisan politics of the Trump era.

Faster iMac delivers Intel’s latest chips and Vega graphics

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Apple iMac 2019
There’s only so much Apple can do without Intel’s help.
Photo: Apple

The standard iMac is faster than ever thanks to a surprise refresh that delivers Intel’s ninth-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics.

Apple says its refreshed all-in-one offers a “dramatic increase” in both compute and graphics performance, making this “the world’s best desktop.” You can order yours today from the Apple Online Store.