Apple drops first new beta updates of 2017

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iOS 10 is awesome — but is it enough?
A new iOS 10 beta is here.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The first big batch of beta updates of 2017 have finally arrived from Apple, bringing developers a slew of bug fixes and performance improvements on the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

Apple’s betas come nearly three weeks after the last batch of updates. The new software updates includes the third betas for iOS 10.2.1, macOS 10.12.3, tvOS 10.1.1 and watchOS 3.1.3.

How to force quit apps on watchOS 3

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apple watch workout app
Force quitting apps is different in watchOS 3.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch apps are faster than ever thanks to watchOS 3, but if you ever run into the rotating dial of death, sometimes quickly force quitting the app can help.

With watchOS 3, Apple has made the force quitting process a bit different. Wearers used to be able to double click the side button to force quit an app. Now the process also involves the Digital Crown.

Seven days with iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2, this week on The CultCast

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apple watch series 2
Trade-in that old Apple Watch for money off at the Apple Store.
Photo: Ste Smith/CultofMac

This week on The CultCast: After seven days with iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2, we’ll tell you what we love (and don’t) about Apple’s newest gadgets. Plus: Hissgate explained; how to auto-unlock your Mac with an Apple Watch; and, if you’re wondering how to use picture-in-picture mode on YouTube videos in macOS Sierra, we’ll reveal just how to make that happen.

This episode is supported TunnelBear, the simple privacy app that makes it easy to browse privately and enjoy a more open internet. Visit GetTunnelBear.com to get your free TunnelBear today.

Apple Watch Series 2 review roundup: One for the fitness fanatics

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Apple Watch
The reviews are out — and they're (largely) positive.
Photo: Apple

The first Apple Watch Series 2 reviews are out and, like the iPhone 7, they’re largely positive — while also noting that this isn’t an entirely essential device. If you held out on buying an Apple Watch last year, though, or you’re a certified fitness nut, this could be the wearable for you.

Check out our review roundup below.

Tim Cook to talk iPhone 7 tomorrow on Good Morning America

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"Yes, we got you by the balls."
Photo: Good Morning America

Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to reassure Americans that the death of the headphone is a good thing for everyone, during an appearance on Good Morning America tomorrow.

Cook’s exclusive interview with Robin Roberts at a school in Harlem promises to be “wide-ranging,” covering everything from the iPhone 7 that will launch on Friday, as well as how Apple’s new AirPods fit in your ear.

“I have never personally had one fall out since I’ve been using it,” Tim said, revealing he runs on a treadmill with them. “They’re absolutely magical.”

Watch Tim gush about AirPods in the first teaser:

How to use watchOS 3: Tips, tricks and hidden tweaks

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Breathe app in watchOS 3
The new Breathe app in watchOS 3 turns Apple Watch into a meditation machine.
Photo: Apple

Your Apple Watch Series 1 or Series 2 has arrived! Introduced at Apple’s keynote last week, the third version of the Apple Watch does a heck of a lot more than tell time and Cult of Mac has some tips to help you make the most of its myriad new features.

Mastering the various features is a bit of a learning curve on this highly advanced wearable operating system, but we’ve rounded up a cheat-sheet of tips and tricks to try out with the fitness, graphics, games and media features.

What’s your favorite new watchOS 3 feature?

watchOS 3 is ready for your wrist

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With watchOS 3, Apple is promising pretty new features -- and an end to that depressing lag.
Apple Watch feels all-new thanks to watchOS 3.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch owners just got a big update today in the form of watchOS 3 that completely changes the way you use Apple’s wearable.

The huge new update comes after months of beta testing by developers and public testers, adding new features like a Breathe app, the ability to unlock your Mac, a new Dock for apps, faster performance and more.

How to scribble text replies in watchOS 3

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watchOS 3 lets you scribble notes to friends.
watchOS 3 lets you scribble notes to friends.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Responding to text messages on Apple Watch gets a lot easier with watchOS 3, thanks to a new feature that lets you scribble letters instead of just using canned replies.

The new handwriting option has quickly become one of my favorite features on the big update that just landed on Apple Watch by giving wearers the ability to say whatever they want without depending on Siri.

Here’s how to reply with scribbles when you get a text: