iPhone 11 vs. Pro vs. Pro Max: Which one should you buy?


There's still hope for two-way wireless charging.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s newest iPhone lineup features its first ever “Pro” smartphones, plus a more affordable entry-level model that’s a big upgrade over iPhone XR. iPhone 8 is also sticking around for now.

That’s four different handsets to choose from when you visit the Apple Store. So, which one is right for you? Our comprehensive comparison will help you decide.

Apple’s self-driving car sports sleek new sensor array


Apple car
Apple's self-driving car looks really good.
Photo: The Last Driver License Holder.

Apple made a big update to the design of the sensor array that powers the autonomous functions on its self-driving fleet of cars.

Some eagle-eyed observers in the Cupertino area spotted the new array a couple of times over the last month or so. Instead of having LiDAR and camera sensors mounted on a rack around the car, Apple’s gearheads created a system that’s entirely enclosed. And it looks like they’ve ditched LiDAR in the process.

Watch Apple’s whip drive down the streets of Cupertino.

All your private data is being sold. Here’s how to opt out.


simple opt out
If you don't worry about your data being sold, here's a nice spot of sand where you can bury your head.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you know that Home Depot shares your “name, address and transactional information … with third party companies”? Or that Marriott Hotels discloses “Personal Data and Other Data with select Strategic Business Partners”?

What about this snippet from The New York Times’ privacy policy: “If you are a U.S. print subscriber, we may exchange or rent your name and postal mailing address.”

The bad news is, pretty much anytime you share your data with a U.S. company, it will sell that data to somebody else. The good news is that you can opt out. And the even better news is that there’s one place to get all the information you need to do it.

Latest macOS Catalina beta lets you dump iTunes (if you dare)


macOS Catalina
macOS left the desert of Mojave for the island of Catalina.
Photo: Apple

Anyone who’s fed up with iTunes can put the latest pre-release version of macOS Catalina on their Mac now and start using the new Apple Music, Apple Podcast and Apple TV apps instead. Of course, today’s public beta, the fourth in the series, comes with a long list of known problems so it might not be worth the hassle.

Apple’s big spend on Intel modems is pocket change in Silicon Valley [Opinion]


Apple just snapped up Intel's modem business for $1 billion.
Apple just snapped up Intel's modem business for $1 billion.
Photo: Mathieu Turle/Unsplash CC

The $1 billion Apple spent on Intel’s modem business is the second-largest acquisition in the company’s 42-year history.

Still, while a huge amount of money by most normal standards, rival tech giants regularly dwarf Apple’s big spend on Intel. For a variety of reasons, Apple just doesn’t roll that way.

How to ditch Google and switch to DuckDuckGo


The door mat at DuckDuckGo HQ.
The door mat at DuckDuckGo HQ.
Photo: DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a private search engine. Unlike Google, it doesn’t track your internet use, save your searches, or track your location. DuckDuckGo’s reason for existing is to protect your privacy on the internet, but it’s also a great search engine. And when it doesn’t find the results you want, it’s easy to run that search in Google.

Today we’ll see how to switch all your searches to DuckDuckGo, and how to add a one-tap Google backup search.

Big Mac updates! This week on The CultCast


CultCast 396
It's a great time to buy a MacBook.

This week on The CultCast: Big Mac updates! Apple just refreshed the MacBook Air (and dropped the price), and supercharged the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Plus: A new report says Apple will finally update the butterfly keyboard with a design we were all hoping for. And we wrap with a true story that could save you thousands: How neglecting the batteries in your tech could cost you big-time

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain..

Every USB device I’ve plugged into an iOS 13 iPad so far


Pile of usb junk
I plugged in everything, including the kitchen sink
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The USB port on your iPad will get a massive update in iOS 13/iPadOS. You will be able to plug in pretty much everything except a printer, and have it Just Work™. We already know this. But what exactly does work when you plug it in? I decided to try it. I took my old test iPad (a 1st-generation iPad Pro) on a tour around various friends’ homes, and plugged stuff in. Here’s what happened.