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How to access a USB drive with iPhone or iPad


How to access a USB drive with iPhone or iPad
Using a USB drive with iPhone or iPad is much easier than it used to be.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The world is full of USB drives, from portable thumbdrives to full external SSDs. Happily, you’re not closed off from these just because you use an iPhone or iPad. Connecting to external drives has gotten much easier than it used to be.

And you’ll have full read/write access to everything on the drive. You won’t even need to install any software, as the app you need comes preinstalled on your device.

iPhone 13 could be Apple’s first with an ‘always on’ display


A signature feature of the iPhone 13 might be an always-on display.
One of many hot features that could make the iPhone 13 a big winner?
Artist’s concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could bring an “always-on” screen, which it debuted in the Apple Watch Series 5 in 2019, to the iPhone for the first time this year. The latest rumor says the display on at least some 2021 iPhones might show information on the screen at all times.

Already a prevalent in Android devices, such a display lets users see time, date, notifications, missed calls and more when their phone is locked. Bringing the feature to iPhone could be one factor driving Apple’s high expectations for sales of its next-gen handsets.

iPad mini will see ‘biggest redesign’ and larger display this fall


iPad mini concept is cool but not happening.
Like the newest iPad Air, only smaller.
Concept: Parker Ortolani

Apple’s new iPad mini is on track to launch this fall with its “biggest redesign” to date, according to one reliable reporter.

The sixth-generation device, which could look like a more compact version of the iPad Air, is expected to feature a larger edge-to-edge screen. It could be powered by the lightning-fast A14 Bionic chip.

Apple TV+ documentary will take viewers into President’s War Room on 9/11


Should Apple take over the White House?
Documentary will debut this September.
Photo: MattCC716/Flickr CC

Apple has teamed up with the BBC for a documentary that will provide a timeline of the President of the United States in the hours after the 9/11 attacks. 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room will debut on Apple TV+ this September, marking the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Narrated by actor Jeff Daniels, the documentary will include never-before-seen testimony from former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, chief of staff Andy Card, director of communications Dan Bartlett, and many, many others. It will also include filmed archive and close to 200 previously unpublished photographs.

M1 Mac mini usurps Mac Pro and tops MBP in super-widescreen rig [Setups]


A Mac mini usurped a 16-inch MacBook Pro in this super-widescreen setup.
A Mac mini usurped a 16-inch MacBook Pro in this super-widescreen setup.
Photo: OSJdesigns@Reddit

A lot of folks eagerly await new MacBook Pro models, preferably with updated M1 chips. You know, the ones not introduced at WWDC as predicted? In the meantime, plenty of people are snapping up the affordable and reportedly fabulous M1 Mac mini. We’ve seen it over and over again in our far-flung travels among Setups online.

Apple VP hints at ‘potential’ of health-tracking AirPods


AirPods Pro with black background discounts
Future AirPods might capture vital health data.
Photo: Apple

Smart sensors in future AirPods possess “all kinds of potential” for health tracking, according to Apple VP of Technology Kevin Lynch.

While he surely knows the company’s goals in this area, Lynch doesn’t spill the beans in a new interview with TechCrunch. However, the Apple exec hints (or, rather, doesn’t exactly deny) that the health-tracking technology already found in iPhones and Apple Watch could arrive in next-gen AirPods.

Some Apple fans are upset they sold their MacBook Pros ahead of WWDC


Antonio takes rumors and makes them into renders. Not pie-in-sky dreams
Sadly not destined for WWDC.
Concept: Antonio De Rosa

Selling your old Apple device to buy a new one can be a high-stakes game. Do it before Apple announces the replacement and you can bank a few extra bucks because a) you’re selling the latest-gen product and b) the market’s not yet saturated with other sellers doing the same thing.

The catch? You’d better be confident that Apple’s going to announce the product you think it will. Because if it doesn’t, you’ll be stuck with no device at all. That appears to have happened to a handful of Apple users who were confident that Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote would include the launch of next-gen MacBook Pros powered by M2 chips.

Apple didn’t unveil new laptops — and now people who sold their computers to gear up for new ones are not too happy about the situation.

Apple Car loses ‘multiple top managers’ this year


Apple Car: Hyundai Ioniq Electric x Apple Mouse
Unlikely to roll off the lot until later this decade.
Concept: LeaseFetcher

The bumpy, pothole-filled road to Apple Car continues, with Bloomberg claiming Wednesday that Apple has “lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team” in recent months.

The company reportedly has hundreds of engineers working on self-driving software, along with multiple groups of employees working on a physical vehicle. However, multiple managers on the project have thrown in the towel this year alone. That’s never a great look.

You won’t be repairing the Apple TV 4K Siri Remote in a hurry


The new Siri Remote comes with exciting new input options, like a jog wheel.
It's a big improvement from its predecessor. But not easy to open up.
Photo: Apple

Most people haven’t gotten their hands on the 2021 Apple TV 4K yet. The good folks at iFixit have not only picked one up, but they’ve also stripped it down to peer inside.

A new teardown video suggests that the next-gen set-top box could be fairly straightforward to fix. However, don’t expect that same repair ease to apply to the upgraded Siri Remote.

iPadOS 15 concepts showcase features fans crave


iPadOS 15 concepts showcase features fans crave
iPad users would be pleased if all these proposed features make it into iPadOS 15.
Photo: The Hacker 34

A pair of concept artists want Apple to bring dramatic improvements in iPadOS 15. They separately created videos with specific suggestions on how iPad could become a more useful computer with the operating system update expected this autumn.

Both agree that the iPad should gain better support for external screens — though they came up with different ways to implement the feature.

iFixit shows how to add a hole to AirTag


Drill an AirTag hole at your own risk.
If you’re willing to risk ruining an AirTag, you can drill a hole in it.
Photo: iFixit

There’s no direct way to attach Apple’s just-released AirTag to a set of keys because the item tracker doesn’t include a hole. But iFixit x-rayed the device and found three places a brave user could drill a hole.

Apple AirTag is a disappointment [Review]


Apple AirTag review. So small, so meh. And where’s the $%&# hole, Tim?
Apple AirTag. So small, so meh.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s AirTag sales pitch is that you can attach the item tracker to your keys and you can find it with your iPhone, whether it’s in the couch or Canberra. That’s true, but the wireless range of these gizmos is so limited that finding a nearby AirTag in the next room isn’t easy as it should be. And the hardware is missing an obvious feature.

I’m a long-time user of rival Tile trackers. I was expecting Apple’s offering to be significantly better. In reality, both have their strengths. And Tile comes out ahead in some critical ways.

Apple Podcasts app will get a major redesign with iOS 14.5


Apple Podcast has some changes coming.
Photo: Apple

Apple announced some changes to its Apple Podcasts app at Tuesday’s Spring Loaded event. While not quite the dedicated Podcasts+ subscription service some were expecting, the update will allow individual creators to easily disseminate paid podcasts. From the sound of things, it’s a bit like an App Store for podcasts.

Apple describes Apple Podcasts Subscriptions as a “global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators,” alongside offering millions of free shows.

Leaked image suggests this year’s iPhone will shrink the notch


This concept image shows how the iPhone 13 notch might shrink.
The notch was introduced in 2017 with the iPhone X.
Artists concept: Cult of Mac

This year’s iPhone notch looks set to get a bit smaller, with the latest evidence for this being an image posted to Twitter by user DuanRui, who frequently posts material shared on Chinese social media.

While not guaranteed to be genuine, the image does depict an iPhone display with slimmer — in width, not height — notch. Apple introduced the distinctive iPhone notch in 2017 with the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge display. It contains the Face ID sensing tech, front camera, and speaker.

Crazy concepts merge Apple products with popular car models


Apple Car: Hyundai Ioniq Electric x Apple Mouse
It’s a car. It’s a mouse. It’s a mashup of a car and a mouse. But it’s probably not the Apple Car.
Concept: LeaseFetcher

It’s an open secret that an Apple Car is on the drawing board, but no one has a clue what it’ll look like. A new collection of concept designs doesn’t make serious suggestions but takes the idea for a fun spin. The designs combine popular car models with Apple products

Take a look at what they dreamed up.

How to change Siri’s accent on iPhone, iPad and more


australian siri
Changing Siri's accent is easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Most folks refer to Siri as “she,” but that’s not always true. The original British English Siri, for example, was male-only up until iOS 7.1 added a female version. And in the latest iOS 14.5 beta, a female Siri is not the default option.

No matter what, you don’t have to stick with your local version of Apple’s comically bad voice assistant. U.S. English speakers, for example, can currently choose from American, Australian, British, Indian, Irish and South African accents for Siri, and also pick male or female versions — with more voices coming soon.

So, if you’re a U.S. native who views the U.K. Standard English accent as quaint, cute, respectful, sexy or reproachful, it’s easy to set your iPhone or iPad to sound like a Brit or whatever you want. And your choice of Siri accent will follow you on all Apple devices logged into with your Apple ID. (In addition to iPhone and iPad, Siri works with just about everything now: Mac, AirPods, iPod, Apple Watch, CarPlay, HomePod and Apple TV.)

Let’s see how to change Siri’s accent.

Next-gen AirPods unlikely to arrive until much later this year


AirPods 2021
A glimpse at the new AirPods?
Photo: 52audio

A new report claims that Apple’s next-gen AirPods won’t arrive until the third quarter of 2021. This backs up a recent report from renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently said that the AirPods 3 are unlikely to launch until Q3 2021.

Prior to this, AirPods 3 had been heavily rumored as being part of Apple’s next product event — originally rumored for March, but then pushed back to April.

Forget swiping, Apple’s AR headset will react to what users are looking at


Microsoft's HoloLens are currently the mixed reality glasses to beat.
Photo: Microsoft

Apple’s upcoming augmented reality head-mounted display will be controlled by eye-tracking technology, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says in a note sent to clients Friday.

Instead of using hand controls, the technology will be able to detect wearers’ eye movements and blinking, then instantly compute the required information so it can be seen on the device’s micro-OLED display.

iPhone could get a periscope lens in 2023, improved telephoto lens this year


iPhone 12 Pro series include cameras tat support ProRAW
The iPhone camera setup is set to get even better.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone will get a periscopic telephoto lens in 2023, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims in a new research note seen by Cult of Mac.

Although Kuo doesn’t provide much in the way of details, this would greatly improve the zoom capabilities of the iPhone. Currently the best iPhone for camera zoom is the iPhone 12 Pro Max. That handset features a 2.5x optical zoom in, and 2x optical zoom out. Digital zoom goes up to 12x.

A periscope zoom could increase this significantly. For example, the 2019-era Huawei P30 Pro and Oppo Reno offer 10x zoom capabilities using a periscope lens.

Score! Ted Lasso‘s Jason Sudeikis takes home first Apple TV+ Golden Globes win


Jason Sudeikis is the titular Ted Lasso
A big win for the hit Apple TV+ series.
Photo: Apple TV

Apple TV+ has picked up its first Golden Globes win, rewarding Jason Sudeikis for his lead role in the excellent comedy series Ted Lasso.

Sudeikis won the award in a ceremony Sunday night. He received the award virtually from London. This is the first time Apple TV+ has won at the Golden Globes, although last year it received its first nominations for the series The Morning Show.

Evidence mounts that next iPad Pro will boast mini-LED display


2020 iPad Pro with official wallpaper
Are you excited about the next iPad Pro?
Photo: Apple

Another report published Tuesday adds more volume to the number of stories claiming that the next-gen iPad Pro will boast a mini-LED display.

The report, from Digitimes, notes that Taiwanese company Ennostar is gearing up to begin production of mini-LED backlight units. This will reportedly start at the end of the first quarter or second quarter of 2021.

Apple’s already recruiting engineers to lay the groundwork for 6G iPhones


And you thought 5G was impressive!
Photo: Qualcomm

The iPhone 12 was Apple’s first 5G iPhone, ushering in the start of a new era of high-speed connectivity. But Apple’s already gearing up for 6G technology, even if it knows that it’s many, many years away.

As noted in a new report from Bloomberg, Apple has started posting jobs ads for wireless system research engineers who could help Apple develop and prepare for the next, next generation of cellular connectivity.

These roles are based in Silicon Valley and San Diego. Early suggestions regarding 6G speculate that it could be 100x faster than 5G.

Who needs aluminum? These insane Macs are made of ice, coal and beeswax.


This concept Mac is made of sandstone.
Is metal or plastic really the best material to make computers out of. How about sandstone?
Photo: Hank Beyer/Alex Sizemore

Concept designers are supposed to think outside of the box. Hank Beyer and Alex Sizemore created some Mac designs that are so far outside of the box you sometimes can’t tell there ever was a box. Their computers are encased in stone, ice, beeswax and other exotic materials.