| Cult of Mac

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

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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

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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

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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]

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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

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Podcasts
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

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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

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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

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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

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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.