10.5-inch iPad Pro feels like the future [Review]

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The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro puts monstrous power at your fingertips.
Don't pay full price for a 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I could be the poster boy for Apple’s “iPad problem.”

That problem, in a nutshell, is this: Even long-in-the-tooth iPads several generations old continue to work just fine for many everyday tasks. That, in turn, slows the upgrade cycle. iPad sales drop, and pundits pile on to declare that Apple is doomed. Again.

I’m one of those cheapskates who couldn’t be bothered to shell out for a new iPad over the past few years but a freak accident — and the surprisingly convincing unveiling of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at last week’s Worldwide Developers Conference — finally coaxed me out of iPad complacency.

I’m thrilled I finally wised up. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a beast of a machine that’s so fast, smooth and responsive that it makes me feel like I’m in a sci-fi movie interacting with a killer device that hasn’t been invented yet. It feels like the future!

Apple gives devs new betas for iOS, watchOS and tvOS

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iPhone 7
iOS 10.1 brings some tweaks to the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a batch of new beta software updates today bringing a bunch of bug fixes to the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

iOS 10.1 beta 2 is the most notable of the new beta builds. The last version added the new Portrait Mode to the iPhone 7 Plus, which has earned rave reviews so far, though some early images have shown it still needs some tweaking.

YouTube adds iPad multitasking so you can get less done

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YouTube Split View Slide Over
Oh, this can't be good for our productivity.
Screenshot: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

This is either bad news for your workload or great news for your procrastination, but as of today, YouTube’s iOS app has full support for two of the iPad’s multitasking features.

Now, you can run the video app alongside other, probably more useful things. You can even control YouTube while you’re working on other stuff without having to close either program. It’s a brilliant way to not get anything done, ever.

Here’s how it works.

Why the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is Apple’s most important iPad since the original

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The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the best tablet Apple's ever made.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the best tablet Apple's ever made.

Small was the new big at Apple’s “Let us loop you in” keynote today. And while some felt the 64-minute unveiling was the most snooze-worthy event ever, Apple used it to unleash the most important iPad its made since the original tablet launched in 2010.

The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro is much more than just a smaller variant of the 12.9-inch super slate Apple came out with last year. It’s a machine built to target Apple’s next big customer pool: the 600 million people still using 5-year-old PCs.

“That’s just sad,” Apple VP Phil Schiller said onstage, describing the unfortunate souls toiling with aging Windows machines. And the new, right-sized iPad Pro is exactly what those people need.

HBO Go just got even more distracting

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HBO Go Band of Brothers
You'll hit Play on Normandy in Band of Brothers, and the next thing you know, they'll be in Berlin.
Photo: HBO

An update to HBO Go is a direct assault on your productivity.

The streaming service just added two new features that are sure to send you spiraling into a “just one more” death spin. The new features are Picture-in-Picture (for compatible devices running iOS 9) and autoplay, which is how you sit down to watch a single episode and then look up later to discover the sun has come up, and now you have to go to work.

Fantastical 2.5 brings goodies for iOS 9 and iPhone 6s users

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fantastical-ipad-slide-over
Okay, don't spend too much time multitasking. You have Cult of Mac reading to catch up on.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Flexibits updated its popular Fantastical apps for iPhone and iPad this morning to take advantage of a number of new features in iOS 9 and on the iPhone 6s. Arguably the biggest improvement to productivity comes in the form of multitasking support for the iPad. Fantastical also threw in a dash of the new iPhone’s 3D Touch as well.

13 awesome tricks your Mac just learned with El Capitan

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El Capitan beta is here to change your Mac.
El Capitan beta is here to change your Mac.
Photo: Apple

OS X El Capitan promises to redefine the Mac experience with a host of new improvements that make working (and playing) smoother than ever.

There’s a lot to learn about all the new goodies in El Capitan, which finally became available to the public for free today. Everything from Notes to Safari, from AirPlay to Spotlight, has seen gains both big and little.

After spending a lot of time with the new OS, which has been in beta for months, we’ve found 13 killer features every Mac owner needs to know to get the most out of El Capitan. Here they are!

iOS 9 review: It’s all about speed

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Here's what time iOS 9 is landing in your area.
iOS 9 is going to shift your mobile life into the fast lane.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iOS 9 won’t shock you with a bunch of whiz-bang new features or a drastic new look, but in many ways, Apple’s latest mobile operating system is more important than its two immediate predecessors. While iOS 7 and iOS 8 laid a foundation that embraced the future of mobile design, iOS 9 is making all those changes worth a damn.

Apple drops iOS 9 today, bringing a more intelligent UI, better built-in apps, a smarter Siri and much more. Our iOS 9 review shows how the new software makes everything you do on your iPhone or iPad easier — and far faster — than ever before.