iOS 12.4 beta 1 arrives with Apple Card support

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Apple Card
By design, Apple Card helps customers understand and track their spending.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s work on iOS 12 isn’t quite done just yet.

Even though WWDC 2019 and the debut of iOS 13 is less than a month away, Apple is out with its first beta of iOS 12.4 today. The new beta comes less than a week after Apple released iOS 12.3 to the public, bringing the new Apple TV app to the masses along with tons of bug fixes and performance improvements for iPhone and iPad.

Breakout! Inside an Apple escape room [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 296]

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An unusual Apple-themed escape room is set to inject some fun into this year's AltConf during WWDC.
An unusual Apple-themed escape room is set to inject some fun into this year's AltConf during WWDC.
Cover: Martin Cortinas/Cult of Mac

Imagine yourself in a nightmare scenario. You’re tasked with making an Apple keynote run smoothly, but Murphy’s law is in full effect. Everything that can go wrong does. Tim Cook is not pleased. And you must wield your Apple knowledge to make things right.

That’s what you’ll experience if you dare to go “Backstage at the Keynote” during WWDC 2019. Find out all about this unusual Apple-themed escape room, which should spice things up at AltConf next month, in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine for iOS.

Or read on to get the rest of the week’s best Apple news, reviews and how-tos in your browser, including our scoop on what’s up with that mysterious rainbow stage spotted inside Apple Park.

WWDC 2019, revealed! This week on The CultCast

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CultCast 387
WWDC is right around the corner....

This week on The CultCast: WWDC 2019 is right around the corner, and a new report sheds light on everything Apple’s prepping to reveal. We discuss! Plus: The magic of Corning glass, and how making your iPhone just slightly thicker would make it indestructible. And we reveal how (and why) Jony Ive created the massive mystery rainbow stage now present at the heart of Apple Park.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain..

Unusual escape room traps you backstage at an Apple keynote

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Apple escape room
This Apple Watch with dongle band was part of an Apple-themed escape room created by Chadwick Severn
Photo: Ben McCarthy

Tim Cook is 15 minutes from the start of his Apple keynote and you’ve been invited backstage because he trusts you and your friends can help the big event run without a hitch.

But then comes a crisis. Cook’s clicker is broken — and the new products Apple is set to debut are missing. It’s up to your group to quickly solve the mystery and find the devices on time.

This is not a bad dream, but an actual experience you can have during the Worldwide Developers Conference next month in San Jose, California. The nightmare scenario fuels a pop-up Apple escape room coming to AltConf 2019.

Tim Cook talks coding with WWDC 2019 scholarship winner

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Tim Cook and Ivanka Trump
Cook took time out of his busy day to meet with a possible future coding superstar.
Photo: Apple

Considering that a cup of coffee with Tim Cook goes for hundreds of thousands of dollars, you’ve got to be pretty lucky as an up-and-coming coder to get some quality time with Apple’s CEO.

That’s exactly the situation that 16-year-old Liam Rosenfeld found himself in this week, however. One of the 350 U.S. student recipients of a WWDC 2019 scholarship, Ronsenfeld had the rare opportunity to meet and talk with Apple’s honcho.

New Apple Music app might steal the show with macOS 10.15

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Podcasts and Apple TV are among the applications expected to make the jump from iOS to macOS 10.15.
Podcasts and Apple TV are among the applications expected to make the jump from iOS to macOS 10.15.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple’s ongoing project to make it relatively simple for developers to port iPad software to macOS is apparently on schedule. This will reportedly be a highlight of next month’s developers conference.

In addition, Apple executives will unveil several of their own iOS apps ported to macOS 10.15, as well as a Mac version of the Music app.

Overcast comes to Mac in impressive Marzipan concept

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Overcast running on macOS
Marzipan is going to bring some great apps to the Mac when it launches.
Screenshot: Steven Troughton-Smith

At WWDC last year, Apple shared a glimpse at the future of macOS. With their “Sneak Peek” of a framework, codenamed Marzipan, they previewed how macOS could support iOS apps in the future.

In macOS Mojave, Apple included a small set of “marzipan” apps – News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home – but the thing most people want to see is their favorite iOS apps on the Mac. Thanks to iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith, we’ve started to get a pretty interesting idea.

Is Apple’s modular Mac Pro doomed to flop?

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Mac pro
The new Mac Pro will bring in the bags for Apple.
Photo: Erfon Elijah

Two whole years ago, Apple promised pro users that it would completely revamp the Mac Pro. Apple teased that it’s making a modular system that will have the flexibility professionals need.

With Worldwide Developers Conference 2019 on the horizon, our first glimpse of the modular Mac Pro could be less than two months away, but The CultCast host Erfon Elijah is ready to douse your hopes of getting a new dream machine this year.

In his latest video, Erfon goes over all the reasons why the modular Mac Pro sounds amazing in theory but could be a giant dud. From a design that looks like some IHOP flapjacks to pricing concerns, there’s some good evidence to be skeptical about the new computer, especially when you consider Apple’s recent track record with its “Pro” machines.

Watch Erfon count down the reasons why the next Mac Pro might flop.

Apple reveals WWDC 2019 set for June 3 – 7 [Update: Register now!]

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WWDC 2019
Get ready for a ton of new software.
Photo: Apple

Update: Heads up developers! Today is the last day to register for WWDC 2019.

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference officially has a date.

This morning, Apple revealed that it will host WWDC 2019 in San Jose, California, from June 3 to 7. The event brings together thousands of developers from across the world, giving them access to Apple’s engineers for hands-on training. It’s also the place where Apple unveils its biggest software updates of the year. Based on early rumors, it could be one of the most exciting WWDC’s in years.

Don’t miss our ‘show time’ keynote predictions, this week on The CultCast

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CultCast 379 MacBook Pro
Apple's streaming service may have an ace up its sleeve.

This week on The CultCast: Apple’s “it’s show time” event is just around the corner, and this is the first event ever that focuses purely on services. Is Apple’s streaming TV service going to suck? Don’t miss our “show time” keynote predications. Plus: Leander unveils the details on his new Tim Cook book, out April 16th!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain..