Apple news, analysis and opinion, plus general tech news | Cult of Mac

AirPods 2 drop back to their lowest price ever


AirPods 2 with box on desk
Now is a great time to get those AirPods you’ve been thinking about.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

You can get one of Apple’s best products ever for under $100. That’s how how low AirPods 2 have just dropped — $60 below their usual price for these wildly popular in-ear headphones.

Or you can also save a nice chunk of change on AirPods Pro.

Apple TV+ pulls out of bidding war for Will Smith biopic after Oscars slap


Apple TV+ drops its bid.
Apple TV+ drops its bid.
Photo: Apple TV+

Both Apple TV+ and Netflix pulled out of a bidding war over a movie about Will Smith’s life amid controversy following the actor slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars.

In addition, Apple TV+ owns a $120 million film starring Smith entitled Emancipation. Already shot and being readied for release in time for next Oscars season, the movie could become a problem for Apple TV+.

Trailer for Apple TV+ Prehistoric Planet dinosaur documentary looks stunning


Trailer for Apple TV+ ‘Prehistoric Planet’ dinosaur documentary looks stunning
The five-episode Prehistoric Planet dinosaur documentary will premiere on Apple TV+ in late May.
Graphic: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ on Monday gave the first glimpse at Prehistoric Planet, its highly anticipated series of documentaries focusing on dinosaurs and other ancient animals. It’ll be narrated by Sir David Attenborough, and produced by Jon Favreau and Mike Gunton.

The eye-popping trailer shows off the series’ photorealistic visual effects from MPC (The Lion King, The Jungle Book).

Hefty iPhone 14 Pro Max camera hump could nearly double its thickness


Hefty iPhone 14 Pro Max camera hump could nearly double its thickness
The iPhone 14 Pro Max could end up much thicker than its predecessor.
CAD drawing: ShrimpApplePro

A previous leak had already indicated that the iPhone 14 Pro Max will have a sizable hump, but new specs show the entire device is going to be… well, huge. But it’s all supposedly part of a significant improvement in camera specs.

These leaked specs also reveal other iPhone 14 Pro Max details, like the size and positioning of the new “hole and pill” design allegedly replacing the notch.

New Vivid app doubles brightness of mini-LED screens for Mac


The new app Vivid can just about double screen brightness on mini-LEDs for Mac (but not iPad).
The new app Vivid can just about double screen brightness on mini-LEDs for Mac (but not iPad).
Photo: Jordi Bruin

When you watch HDR videos on the mini-LED screens of a Pro Display XDR or a 2021 MacBook Pro, the displays can crank out up to 1,600 nits of brightness. But under most conditions, they’ll emit about 500. So a new app called Vivid, by developer Jordi Bruin, now offers to double usable screen brightness under all conditions.

“Full Brightness, System-Wide,” reads the app’s tagline.

Stylish MagWallet keeps cards attached to iPhone, costs a lot less than Apple’s


SwitchEasy MagWallet for iPhone
Slim, attractive, and just $34.99.
Photo: SwitchEasy

SwitchEasy’s new MagWallet carries up to two credit cards and snaps onto the bag of your iPhone so that it’s always with you. It’s a lot like Apple’s MagSafe Wallet, only considerably more affordable.

The MagWallet’s stylish design is available in three attractive color options, all made from genuine leather. Bag one from the Cult of Mac Store today for just $34.99.

Today in Apple history: Apple frenemy Microsoft is born


Bill Gates
Apple and Microsoft had a long and storied history together.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

April 4: Today in Apple history: Microsoft founded April 4, 1975: Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft Corporation, a software company destined to become a tech behemoth — and a major Apple frenemy.

A few years later, Microsoft will break through to the mainstream with Excel and Word, becoming a key developer of Macintosh software. Then comes the Windows operating system, looking suspiciously Apple-like. After that, Microsoft and Apple will embark upon a long-running feud.

iPhone saves snowboarder after plunge into icy crevasse at 10,000 feet


Tim Blakey takes a selfie high in the Alps.
Tim Blakey takes a selfie high in the Alps.
Photo: Tim Blakey

Here’s a word to the wise: Always carry your charged iPhone, and don’t ski or snowboard “off-piste” in the Alps at 10,000 feet by yourself. Tim Blakey got the first part right, just barely, and that’s why he’s alive today.

The British personal trainer was snowboarding solo off of marked trails near Zermatt, Switzerland — on a glacier — when he plunged about 15 feet down into a crevasse and got stuck. He couldn’t scale its icy walls. He was alive for the moment down there, but he was alone.

Alone, that is, except for an iPhone clinging to 3% battery life and a weak 3G signal.

New iPad Air dresses up festive ‘pink’ MacBook Air workstation [Setups]


The iPad Air on the left is the new addition to this computer setup.
The iPad Air on the left is the new addition to this computer setup.
Photo: FoxyFreckles1989

Apple’s newest iPad Air has received some stellar reviews, though murmuring from some quarters claims it’s a bit on the flimsy side. But the owner of today’s featured setup seems over the moon about the new addition to her workstation, centered by an M1 MacBook Air and an LG display.

And she’s eager to get going with the new, much-ballyhooed Universal Control functionality using the new tablet, despite challenges.