House committee approves antitrust legislation that could hit Apple hard

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App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
Apple's antitrust woes look set to continue.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

A House committee approved antitrust legislation Thursday that threatens many big tech companies — Apple included. In a 24 to 20 vote early this morning, the committee approved the American Choice and Innovation Online Act.

The bill, which still needs to pass the full House, seeks to stop big platforms from advantaging their own products or services over those made by others. That could affect Apple, which not only owns and operates the App Store distribution platform, but also makes products that compete with some of the apps distributed through said store.

Overcast adds fantastic new podcast recommendations feature

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News, iPhone apps, iPad apps, podcasts
News, iPhone apps, iPad apps, podcasts
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Overcast, the podcast app of choice for lovers of good design, powerful-yet-straightforward features, and the color orange, just added a brand-new recommendations feature.

Previously, Overcast used a Twitter-based recommendation engine. But developer Marco Arment says almost nobody used it. Now, he’s replaced it with recommendations based on users’ personal listening habits, and the result is amazing. I already added a few new podcast subscriptions based on its suggestions.

Apple will close Texture in May after arrival of News+

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Goodbye Texture
'Texture is ending.'
Photo: Apple

Apple will close down Texture in May following the recent launch of Apple News+.

Texture, another magazine subscription service, was acquired by Apple for an undisclosed sum last spring. Cupertino encourages existing subscribers to migrate to its new platform. But those who don’t use Mac or iOS will have to find their magazines elsewhere.

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Apple News+ trial
Some aren't happy with Apple's tactics.
Photo: Apple

It’s show time! Apple confirms March 25 event at Steve Jobs Theater

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Apple Show time event
Apple is expected to launch a number of new services this spring.
Photo: Apple

Apple will hold its next special event on Monday, March 25, in the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.

The “It’s show time” event is expected to bring a number of new services, including new TV content and a paid Apple News service. Fans have been eagerly anticipating confirmation of Apple’s next keynote, with rumors surrounding new subscription services circulating. The tagline for this one suggests it will focus on Apple’s upcoming video service, with hardware taking a backseat.

OP-Z pocket synthesizer uses the iPhone as its screen

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It’s tiny, yet more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
It’s tiny, yet more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
Photo: Teenage Engineering

This is Teenage Engineering’s amazing OP-Z, a tiny, TV-remote-size synthesizer and sequencer that has no screen, and yet manages to pack in a range of features that make users of “real” music hardware and software jealous. And if you do prefer working on a screen, you can hook it up to your iPhone via Bluetooth and use that.

The best Mac apps of 2018 [Year in Review]

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Year in Review Best Mac Apps 2018: Make Mac great again with one (or all!) of these top apps.
Make Mac great again with one (or all!) of these top apps.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac Year in Review 2018 The Mac may be way older than the iPhone and iPad, but it still has some tricks. 2018 saw some fine updates to some of our favorite Mac apps, as well as some amazing new apps that migrated across from iOS.

Also, Apple injected so much new life into a tired old macOS staple in Mojave that it’s made our top 5 list this year. Can you guess which one it is?

How to fix your parents’ messed-up computers when home for the holidays [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 276]

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Cult of Mac Magazine No. 276 cover
Get ready to fix your parents' computer.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Christmas time means packing up your daily troubles, forgetting work for a week, and heading home to … troubleshoot your parents’ broken computers and gadgets? Oh man, is it that time of year again already? That’s the problem with being the family’s only geek — you get handed all the geek jobs. However, you can turn this to your advantage, and make it a lot easier, by going in prepared.

Find out how to be the family tech support in the latest free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Get it now on iTunes, or keep reading for the week’s best Apple news, reviews and how-tos.