D. Griffin Jones, author at Cult of Mac

3 ways to emulate old video games and computers on your Mac

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Windows XP, Mac OS 9 and Super Mario Bros. running in emulators on a Mac
Run Windows XP, Mac OS 9, Windows 11, Super Mario Bros. and more on your Mac.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Collecting old video game consoles and vintage computers is a fun hobby, but keeping all that hardware working can quickly become an expensive, never-ending task — not to mention all the space you need just to store the gear. You might instead (wisely) opt to emulate your favorite games and software on the Mac you already own.

In this guide to emulation on the Mac, I’ll walk you through the best apps you can use to accomplish the two most common scenarios: playing old video games, and taking Classic Mac OS for a test drive on a modern Mac. Plus, I’ll wrap up with the easiest way to virtualize modern operating systems like Windows and Linux on your Mac. (This handy virtualization software also works for old and obscure computer operating systems.)

Best of all, each of these Mac emulation methods is free and open source.

Block all YouTube ads with the best Safari extension ever [Awesome Apps]

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Vinegar running on iOS
No ads. Picture-in-picture. Background play. All in one extension. Perfect, no notes.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

If you love YouTube but hate YouTube ads, Vinegar is the best Safari extension you can download. It blocks all ads on YouTube and restores many iOS-native features like playing videos in the background, picture-in-picture, and more on iPhone, iPad and Mac alike.

YouTube ads are freaking insufferable. But if you don’t want to put down the dough for YouTube Premium (currently $13.99 per month), you can pay a one-time fee of just $1.99 to buy Vinegar for all your Apple devices.

If you ever watch YouTube, Vinegar is life-changing. Get it now on the App Store for iOS, iPadOS and macOS.

Find electric car charging stations in Apple Maps

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Where Can I Plug In?
Find charging stations from Apple Maps.
Image: Ank Kumar/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Find electric car charging stations from Apple Maps while you’re on the road to figure out where you can top up your EV. Apple Maps added some powerful new features in iOS 17 to make it easy: you can see charger availability, charging speed and connector types for your vehicle.

Here’s how it works.

Use Live Voicemail and Silence Unknown Callers together for call-free bliss

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Talk After The Beep
Don’t want to miss those important calls about my Lightning cable wholesaling business.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

With Live Voicemail, a new feature in iOS 17, you don’t need to pick up your iPhone midcall to see who’s calling or what they want. You can see a transcription of their voicemail message as it’s being recorded — and pick up at any point, if the call turns out to be important. This feature proves transformative for introverts who only want to answer a phone call if strictly necessary.

Even better, Live Voicemail pairs very well with another iOS feature, Silence Unknown Callers. With both of these turned on, unwanted calls will be far less intrusive, but you will still be able to pick up the important calls as they come in.

Here’s how to use Live Voicemail to avoid phone spam and other annoyances without missing crucial calls.

Even more reasons Humane’s Ai Pin is a total bust

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On-screen text says
Why Humane's introductory video for the Ai Pin begins with co-founder Imran Chaudhri shuffling a series of boxes stacked like a snowman I do not understand. And that is just the first five seconds of the dreadful presentation.
Photo: Humane

In a tedious and awkward 10-minute video released Thursday, buzzy startup Humane gave a more thorough introduction of its Ai Pin. The video all but confirms my feelings that we are seeing the next hilarious Silicon Valley failure play out in real time.

Since co-founder Imran Chaudhri’s TED Talk earlier this year, where we got a vague introduction to the supposed iPhone-killer’s features, there remained a slim chance — one in a hundred — that the then-unnamed device wasn’t a total waste.

Any ounce of doubt has been washed away as this new video doubles down on the Ai Pin’s flaws and walks back its only positives. In fact, the introductory video clearly demonstrates why the device will fail: The AI gave completely wrong answers and provided no way to check their accuracy. It’s absolutely untrustworthy.

6 reasons to set up Apple’s Family Sharing ASAP

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iCloud Family Sharing
Share your services, locations, photos and more over iCloud.
Photo: Denis Lyamuya/Wikimedia Commons/Apple

If you have a family, odds are you share a house, furniture, car and more. But you might not give as much attention to what you share in your digital lives, even if your digital pictures and purchases are equally valuable.

Apple makes it easy to link your digital lives together with just a little bit of setup. Here are the top six benefits of using Family Sharing.

Make stickers from your own photos for fun group chats

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Cut Your Own Stickers
Make your own stickers from your own photos.
Image: Watty62/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can make stickers from your photos and send them in iMessage and Snapchat, right on your iPhone. Stickers that you make from your own pictures are a lot of fun to send in group chats. They’re great for sending highly personal reactions using photos of people or pets that everyone knows. You can even add fun sticker effects.

Last year brought the ability to copy and paste the subject from a picture. Now in iOS 17, it’s easy to collect them in a set of stickers. I’ll show you how it all works.

How to ping an Apple Watch from an iPhone

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Where’d My Watch End Up?
It's not easy to find in a pile of miscellaneous clutter.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Finally, you can ping a lost Apple Watch from your iPhone — thanks to iOS 17 and watchOS 10. The reverse has always been a cool feature of Apple Watch: locating the iPhone you set down somewhere nearby, surely.

If you take your Apple Watch off at the end of the day, forgetting to throw it on the charger, you may not remember where you left it the following morning. Now, you can find a lost Apple Watch from your iPhone. Here’s how it works.

How to fix software updates on your brand-new MacBook Pro

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Install macOS Sonoma on M3 MacBook Pro
Fix software updates on your new MacBook Pro.
Photo: Apple

Some lucky first-day owners of the new M3 MacBook Pro unboxed their machines Tuesday to discover a reversal of fortune: Their new Macs arrived with a broken version of macOS that can’t install software updates.

Some MacBook Pros shipped to customers with an unreleased (well, more like unintentionally released) build of macOS Ventura 13.5. This version can’t be updated to macOS Sonoma through the standard Software Update feature in System Preferences.

Here’s how to fix the admittedly rare problem.

A high-quality, EDC band for your Apple Watch [Reviews] ★★★★☆

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All three Mifa nylon Apple Watch bands together.★★★★☆
The same high-quality velcro Apple Watch band comes in these three variants. (A new green model comes with a different NASA logo.)
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you’re looking for a hardy velcro EDC watch band for your Apple Watch, Mifa has you covered. Mifa’s Nylon Sports Leather Apple Watch Band is sturdy, the velcro is strong and the stitched leather is high-quality.

It’s a nice band for daily wear.

It comes in five different styles. The gray-on-black NASA-inspired design is my favorite. Two other designs in brown and black emphasize “EDC-34 Essential Series” with the Mifa name. And two new versions (in green and orange) sport NASA’s classic “meatball” insignia.