Killian Bell, author at Cult of Mac

EasySelfie is a stick and tripod for iPhone that does it all — save 33%

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EasySelfie stick for iPhone
EasySelfie is a must-have for iPhone photographers.
Photo: SwitchEasy

Want a selfie stick that’s good for more than just selfies? EasySelfie from SwitchEasy is a selfie stick and tripod in one that could greatly improve your on-the-go photography game. It works with iPhone as well as other cameras (including GoPro) and its aluminum design is ultra-portable.

Bag yours today from the Cult of Mac Store and save 33% until April 9.

WhatsApp plans big improvements to voice messaging ‘in the coming weeks’

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WhatsApp voice messaging improvements
Faster playback, the ability to pause recordings, and more on the way.
Image: WhatsApp

WhatsApp on Thursday revealed significant improvements to voice messaging across Android and iOS. The update adds the ability to change the speed of audio playback, pause and resume recording, and more.

It also allows voice message playback to continue when users back out of a conversation to catch up with another. Users can look forward to seeing the changes “in the coming weeks,” WhatsApp said.

Apple will make it easier for Dutch dating apps to use alternative payments

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App Store
Will it be enough for the ACM?
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash

Apple this week revealed slightly more relaxed rules for Dutch dating apps that will make it easier for them to offer third-party payment options. It comes after months of fighting with Dutch regulators over new app laws.

One thing Cupertino won’t give up, however, is its 27% commission.

Apple finally lets ‘reader’ apps like Netflix and Spotify link to their own sites

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Apple lets reader apps link to their own sites
It's a start.
Image: Apple

Apple on Wednesday confirmed a significant change to its App Store policy that finally allows “reader” apps like Netflix and Spotify to link to their own websites for things like creating and managing accounts.

Until now, including an external link for this kind of purpose was prohibited, and would have resulted in App Store expulsion. That meant a poor user experience for a whole bunch of popular services on iPhone and iPad.

That’s finally changing, but of course, Apple plans to make it as complicated as possible for developers to enjoy it.

Don’t rely on automatic iOS updates unless you like getting left behind

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iOS 14.4 debuted to the general public on Tuesday.
Automatic updates are designed to drop late.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPhone and iPad users should manually install the latest iOS and iPadOS updates if they want to get their hands on Apple’s newest features and improvements as quickly as possible, according to one Cupertino chief.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, confirmed that automatic software updates don’t drop until one to four weeks after the company makes them available to manual updaters.

Apple makes $50 million commitment to supplier employee development

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Apple supplier development fund
'We put people first in everything that we do.'
Photo: Apple

Apple on Wednesday revealed a new Supplier Employee Development Fund that will offer $50 million to expand access to learning and skills development.

The fund includes new partnerships with leading right advocates, universities, and nonprofits, Apple said. Cupertino will also focus on working alongside supply chain partners to “amplify worker voice” and support rights programs.

$5.5 billion lawsuit accuses Apple of overcharging App Store users

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2021 App Store Awards
Apple just cannot avoid new App Store complaints.
Image: Apple

Apple faces an incredibly pricey lawsuit in the Netherlands, where the company is accused of “market dominance,” “anti-competitive practices,” and overcharging App Store users for apps and in-app subscriptions.

The Consumer Competition Claims Foundation believes Apple has been able to charge “excessively high prices” by excluding all competition and then abusing its “monopoly position.” It says damages could total $5.5 billion.

NFL ‘considers’ its own streaming service for mobile devices

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NFL plans its own streaming service
It could cost just $5 a month.
Photo: Adrian Curiel/Unsplash

There may soon be yet another streaming service to add to your roster. The National Football League is said to be considering a platform of its own, dubbed NFL+, that will stream live games to smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

NFL+ could also provide access to radio, podcasts and team content, according to a new report, which claims teams were briefed on the plans at the annual NFL owners’ meeting that recently took place in Palm Beach, Florida.

Facebook Messenger adds a bunch of handy, Slack-like shortcuts

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Facebook Messenger shortcuts
It's now easier to send silent messages, GIFs, payments, and more.
Image: Meta

Facebook Messenger? Meta Messenger? Just Messenger? We don’t know what it’s supposed to be called these days. But we do know it just added a bunch of useful, Slack-like shortcuts that help you get things done faster.

You can use them to silently deliver messages without notifications, to find the perfect GIF, to send payments and more — all without having to fiddle around inside menus. And Meta says even more are coming later this year.

Charging problems return for Apple Watch Series 7 owners

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Twelve South HiRise Duet iPhone Apple Watch charging dock
Not again.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch Series 7 owners are suffering more charging problems just two months after earlier issues were eliminated. Some owners report that fast charging is broken after installing the latest watchOS 8.5 update.

Faster charging is one of Apple Watch Series 7’s biggest selling points. Top-ups are supposed to be around 33% quicker than on previous models — but only if you’re using the right charging accessories.