iPhone SE uses software trick to give photos beautiful bokeh

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The iPhone SE bokeh effect is do we entirely with software.
The iPhone SE can take a 2D image and make it into a Portrait Mode picture with the bokeh effect.
Photo: Apple

The 2020 iPhone SE is the first Apple smartphone to offer Portrait Mode photos created entirely with software techniques rather than hardware. That’s not true of any previous iOS device, not even the one you think it is.

Lux Optics, maker of Halide, examined how Apple’s new budget phone adds the bokeh effect to 2D pictures.

How to protect yourself against the iOS Mail attack

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insecure mailbox
Would you put your mail in this mailbox?
Photo: Pineapple L/Unsplash

Right now, you shouldn’t be using the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad. Thanks to a serious exploit, a hacker can take control of your iOS Mail app just by sending you a malicious email.

You don’t need to open that mail for it to do its bad business. In fact, you don’t even have to have the Mail app open for the attack to work. Yesterday, we covered the news of this attack, and you can read all about the consequences. Today we’ll show you how to protect yourself by changing just one setting.

During coronavirus quarantine, Apple Watch is some people’s best fitness friend

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Apple Watch helps people like Sune Holt stay fit during COVID-19 chaos.
Stuck in quarantine? Apple Watch can help you stay active.
Photo: Sune Holt

Even people who never realized Apple Watch’s awesome motivational power are standing up and testifying: The device helps get your butt up off the couch during the coronavirus quarantine.

“It’s fantastic that a gadget was the thing I needed to get myself in shape again,” said Sune Holt, an Apple Watch wearer from Denmark. “In November, I feared I wasted my money. Now it’s the best investment in a lifetime.”

5 ways to look great on a video call

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Lighting? Check. Clothes? Maybe. Teeth? Absolutely! Flattering angle? Nope. Use these videoconferencing tips to look your best on calls.
Lighting? Check. Clothes? Maybe. Teeth? Absolutely! Flattering angle? Nope.
Photo: Austin Distel/Unsplash

Whether you’re working from home, hanging out with friends on group FaceTime, or attending events remotely, you’re probably using video calling a lot more than you ever have before. While you probably make the effort to present yourself well in real-life meatspace, on Skype, Zoom or FaceTime, I bet you look terrible.

Fear not. Today we’ll see five ways to make sure you look great on a video call.

How to make your own coronavirus Ragmask

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Make your own protective mask with Ragmask's amazing guide.
Make your own protective mask with Ragmask's amazing guide.
Photo: Ragmask

Do you need a coronavirus mask? The World Health Organization still says no, unless you are caring for someone with COVID-19 or carrying the virus that causes it yourself. But perhaps The WHO isn’t as impartial as we’d like to think. As health experts’ opinions on the subject evolve, a DIY homemade mask looks increasingly enticing.

Perhaps wearing a mask when you take the subway or visit a supermarket is a good idea after all. Whatever, none of this changes the fact that you cannot buy a mask anywhere. But you can make your own. Check out the Ragmask, a homemade mask deign from Loren Brichter. Yes, that Loren Brichter — the former Apple employee who went on to develop Tweetie and was dubbed the “high priest of app design” by The Wall Street Journal.

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apple
The new COVID-19 app and website provide the latest information and guidance from the CDC for users across the US.
Photo: Apple

Craig Federighi shows off awesome power of iPad trackpad

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Craig-Federighi-iPad-Pro
Craig Federighi and new iPad features? What more could you want?
Photo: Apple

Apple is bringing true trackpad support (and improved mouse support) to the iPad. Get ready to enjoy it by learning all the new gestures from Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

In a new video released by Apple Wednesday, Federighi demonstrates the improvements and shows how simple swipes can help you access Control Center, switch between apps in Slide Over, return to the Home screen, and more.

How to work from home without losing your mind

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Telecommuting tips: Who wants to go to an office when they can work from home like this?
Who wants to go to an office when they can work like this?
Photo: Nathan Riley/Unsplash

Thanks to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus, lots of people are being told to work from home. And that’s good, work-wise, because working from home can be relaxing, highly productive and, of course, very convenient. But depending on your family situation, your home layout and your guilty stress from feeling like you’re not doing enough, it also can be a nightmare.

Most of the Cult of Mac team works from home, so I asked for their top telecommuting tips. Here they are.

How to quickly flip through a stack of apps in Slide Over

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Slide Over
Hopefully this iPad won't "Slide Over" into the pool. Ho ho.
Photo: Maarten van den Heuvel/Unsplash

iPad multitasking, Split Screen and all that stuff, has been getting a bad rap recently, and rightly so. It’s a mess. But amidst this storm of iPad hatred, there’s one great feature that stays great: Slide Over. On the iPad, Slide Over lets you dock a mini, iPhone-size version of an app over on the right side of the screen. You can swipe this away to hide it, and swipe again to bring it back out.

That’s cool, and very handy (as we shall see in a moment). But even better is that you can dock a whole bunch of apps over there, ready to use, and then fan out the stack to help pick the one you want. Let’s take a look. You’re going to love this.

Upcoming Steve Jobs auction a treasure trove for Apple fans

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Steve
Want to own a piece of Steve Jobs memorabilia? Of course you do.
Photo: Stanford University

A treasure trove of Steve Jobs-related goods is going under the hammer in an upcoming March auction titled, well, the Steve Jobs auction.

Organized by RR Auctions, the lot consists of various Apple-related items. These include a PowerBook signed by Jobs, an original Apple-1 computer, and an incredibly rare Apple II document signed by Jobs, previously belonging to Apple’s first industrial designer Jerry Manock.