iOS 11 Drag and Drop is great, but not for everything

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drag drop iOS 11 dock
Drag-and-drop is a great. way to get things done, but not the only way.
Photo: Cult of Mac

iOS 11’s biggest new feature, for iPad users at least, is drag-and-drop support, which goes way beyond just letting you drag a file or snippet of text between apps. I’ve been using iOS 11 since the first beta last summer, and while drag-and-drop was neat, it didn’t really come into its own until third-party apps started supporting it.

Two things have surprised me. One: How useful drag-and-drop is inside a single app (which works on iPhone, too). And two: How bad drag-and-drop is for certain tasks.

The iPhone X camera is like a photo studio in your pocket

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iPhone x camera
iPhone still dominates Flickr uploads.
Photo: Apple

Just calling the cameras in the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 plus “cameras” is like mistaking the iPhone itself for a phone. The combination of hardware and software in these new machines could better be likened to a movie FX or photography studio in the extent of their capabilities. The standout feature on these new iPhone X camera is Portrait Lighting, and today I want to take a look at why it’s so amazing.

iOS 11 turns the iPad into a legit Mac replacement

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iPad iOS 11
iOS 11 for iPad might be Apple's biggest new product this year.
Photo: Apple

Updated 27 June, 2017: This post now includes details about the iOS 11 public beta.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this June was so packed that even two-and-a-half hours didn’t seem like enough time. And yet the biggest announcement wasn’t new hardware, or a new app. It was an update.

Specifically, the iOS 11 update for the iPad, which turns Apple’s tablet from little more than a big iPhone into a full-featured touchscreen PC. In one go, Apple showed that it is still full-steam behind the iPad, and that a desktop-class touchscreen computer doesn’t have to actually run a desktop OS, like Microsoft’s Surface.

Frank Ocean pulls off heist of the year with Endless and Blonde

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Frank Ocean Blonde on Apple Music
Frank Ocean pulls a fast one with his Apple Music exclusives, Endless and Blonde.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

By Brandon Shaw

I know, you’re tired of hearing, “Frank Ocean’s new album is amazing!!!” Me too. I’m interested less in the album itself, and more in what it means for the future of music.

With a pair of Apple Music exclusives, Frank Ocean pulled a fast one on his old record label — and shook up the the entire record industry. It’s the latest indicator that Apple sits at the center of a rapidly evolving music industry, where rules and strategies are changing by the minute. Now everyone from Spotify to Universal Music Group is frantically trying to figure out what to do.

Why leave? Apple Music is great right now

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Find new music; listen to your favorites. It's that simple.
Find new music; listen to your favorites. It's that simple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

What the hell, internet? Apple Music, for all its growing pains and glitches, is a fantastic music streaming service.

It’s free unlimited music now, cheaper unlimited music later, and Apple Music is undoubtedly going to get better, especially if you’re already tied into Apple’s ecosystem.

If you take off before the trial period ends, you’re gonna miss out.

9 practical uses for your obsolete Apple TV

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AppleTV_TV-Movies-PRINT
Check out nine seriously cool ways to make the most out of your old Apple TV.
Photo: Apple

OK, play time is over. Last week’s article on five things to do with your obsolete Apple TV was meant to bring some light humor to your day, but we heard your comments loud and clear. Many of you looking for legitimate tips on what to do with an old Apple TV felt misled by the headline when you wound up scrolling through a sarcastic list. For that, we apologize. I apologize.

But we’re not all talk and no action at Cult of Mac. Without further ado, here is an actual list of nine things – four extras because we like you a lot – that you can do with your old or soon-to-be-obsolete Apple TV. For real this time. Seriously.

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ wasn’t worth all that Spotify drama

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Photographers assigned to Taylor Swift concerts will be greeted by a friendlier photo contract.
Taylor Swift's '1989' album is finally available for streaming, so I was all ears.
Photo: GabboT/Flickr CC

No one has shut up about this album since it came out in October 2014. Taylor Swift’s “1989” sold over a million copies in the first week alone and continues to sell well even today, largely due to the fact that it was previously nowhere to be found on streaming services. That is until Apple Music launched and Swift suddenly had a change of heart.

Still, since everyone I know buzzed about this album and the media certainly buzzed about it given the Spotify melodrama, I had to give it a listen. I didn’t want to buy it because I truly didn’t care that much, but I cared enough to listen if I was already paying for a streaming subscription. Now that I’m officially an Apple Music member, I got to stream “1989” in its entirety while I was cooking my lunch.

A day with Beats 1: Eclectic, star-studded, but slightly meh

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One of the best features of Apple Music in Beats 1.
Beats 1 Radio is live on Apple Music, but is it worth your time?
Photo: Apple

Open your iOS 8.4 Music app and start listening. Beats 1 radio went live today at 9 a.m. Pacific time or 12 p.m. Eastern time, one hour after the launch of Apple Music itself. But is it any good? I’m your fellow music lover here to answer that question in as much depth as possible based on some first impressions.

First, a little background: Apple’s own radio station billed as “programs from people who love music” will stay live 24/7, broadcasting in over 100 countries. The station promises interviews with A-list celebrities and even radio shows hosted by the celebrities themselves every so often. They’ll create their own playlists and mixes and broadcast some of their favorite tunes. Jaden Smith will have his own show, so prepare to have an existential crisis.

Apple Watch review: Futuristic, fun and fan-flipping-tastic

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Apple Watch is a great early adopter device. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple Watch is a great early adopter device. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo:

Apple Watch is the most confounding device to come out of Cupertino since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. Is is it a watch? Is it a tiny computer on your wrist? It’s both — and it’s so much more.

After four days playing with the Apple Watch, we’ve found it to be far more futuristic — and far more fun — than we could have imagined. (It’s even more impressive if you’ve tried any of the other smartwatches on the market.)

Apple Watch isn’t without its disappointments, though. If you’re still unsure whether to shackle yourself to Jony Ive’s fabulous timepiece, here’s our take on what works — and what doesn’t.