General-purpose computers are terrible for creativity [Opinion]

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Computers are great for lots of things, but not everything.
Computers are great for lots of things, but not everything.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Computers — the iPad, the Mac and anything else where a screen is the main form of interaction — are creativity killers. They distract, frustrate and get in the way of the flow that is essential to any creative work.

That’s not to say they don’t play an important part in art, music, photography or writing. It’s just that a lot of the time, there are much better tools for the job — and they’re getting more popular all the time.

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The inevitable visual ‘sub’ pun.
The inevitable visual ‘sub’ pun.
Photo: Marion Doss/Flickr CC

How Apple could fix the iPad home screen in iOS 13 [Opinion]

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Ipad home screen
It this really an appropriate home screen for the powerful 2018 iPad Pro?
Photo: Apple

According to rumors, iOS 13 will bring a redesigned home screen to the iPad. It’s about time. The grid of apps might have worked fine on the iPhone before the App Store, but after nine years of using the expanded version on the iPad, the joke is starting to get old.

So, if Apple is finally ready to make a home screen worthy of the iPad, we have a few suggestions.

Quit or canned? Why is Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple? [Opinion]

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Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts with poster Will.i.am  at the Apple Watch unveiling in 2014.
Did Angela Ahrendts jump or was she pushed?
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

When Apple fires an executive, the company is rarely straightforward about the situation. Apple never puts out a press release stating plainly that the executive was canned. So Tuesday’s unexpected announcement that Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, is leaving in April led many to suspect she was fired.

That’s because the announcement came as a surprise and seems rushed. She’s certainly not retiring or quitting to join another company. The press release phrase “new personal and professional pursuits” sounds like code for “canned.”

I work on my iPad every day, and here’s what drives me nuts [Opinion]

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The new 2018 iPad Pro is a lust object you probably don’t need.
The iPad Pro is amazing, but it can drive you crazy.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few of us here at Cult of Mac work on iPads pretty much exclusively. Apple’s tablet proves more than capable of “real” work, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Far from it, in fact. The iPad Pro 2018 is a fantastic machine that invites you to use it for everything. But that only makes the frustration worse.

Today I’d like to talk about what really drives me nuts about the iPad.

Amazon’s Drop In basically turns Apple FaceTime bug into a feature [Opinion]

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facebook eavesdropping microphone
Smart speakers are microphones that other people can listen to.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know the Apple FaceTime bug that everyone’s going crazy about? It’s a huge screwup, for sure, but at least we know it’s just a bug. Being able to call someone and eavesdrop on their conversations without them knowing is clearly a privacy nightmare, which is why Apple disabled Group FaceTime until it can issue a proper fix.

Amazon, on the other hand, offers silent eavesdropping as a feature for its Echo speakers. It’s called Drop In, and if you’ve enabled it, you should probably turn it off.

5 improvements iPad users expect from iOS 13 [Opinion]

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So powerful, and yet it can’t even copy a file off a USB stick.
Better support for external monitors is one of features iPad users want in iOS 13.
Photo: Apple

Those of us with an iPad have big expectations for the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system. These tablets pack performance comparable to laptops, but the software continues to lag.

Here’s what Tim Cook and Co. can do to remedy that.

3 reasons Apple definitely shouldn’t buy a movie studio

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Some analysts think Apple should snap up a movie studio. Bad idea!
Analysts want Apple to snap up a movie studio. We disagree.
Photo: Naoya Fujii/Flickr CC

How can Apple’s streaming video service battle established competitors like Netflix? Simple: Buy a movie studio.

That’s the battle cry from certain Wall Street analysts, who suggest that Apple use its Scrooge McDuck-style cash pile to buy everything from Sony Pictures to Disney.

As sexy as that idea might sound on paper, however, in reality it would be a terrible idea. Here are three reasons why.

Two months with iPad Pro and USB-C [Opinion]

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This is a great-looking hub, but it still has problems.
This is a great-looking hub, but it still has problems.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In the nearly two months I’ve been using the new iPad Pro with USB-C hubs, I’ve found these accessories to be alternately miraculous and frustrating.

This isn’t a review, or a how-to. It’s just a look at what’s right — and what’s still very wrong — with USB-C and the 2018 iPad Pro.

Are Mac users jealous of the iPad Pro? [Opinion]

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Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Anyone who thinks you can’t get “real work” done on an iPad is nuts. Likewise, anyone who claims Apple’s tablet is not a real computer sounds like somebody arguing that the 1984 Mac wasn’t a real computer because it didn’t have a text-based command-line interface.

The iPad vs. Mac debate certainly isn’t new.  Only the devices have changed.

I think that the folks making these arguments are jealous of the iPad Pro, or scared that it will become more important to Apple than their Macs. They want to use it instead of their Mac, but at the same time they’re unwilling to change anything about how they work. Instead, they want the iPad to be a touchscreen Mac with a detachable keyboard.