Apple Watch wins our wrists and we party with Patrick Stewart on The CultCast

I got a pic with Patrick Stewart. He was thrilled.

I got a pic with Patrick Stewart. He was thrilled.

This week: Why Apple Watch will win the wrist war, we snap a pic with Patrick Stewart but he’s not amused, the good and bad of a George Lucas-free Star Wars 7, Microsoft’s new HoloLens looks incredible, and we reveal some of our favorite apps and gear on an all-new Under Review.

Our thanks to Automatic for supporting this episode. Plug Automatic into your car’s data port, and their beautiful app will show you where you parked, learn how to save fuel with tips based on your actual driving, and even diagnose and turn off your car’s check engine light.

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Apple Watch wins our wrists and we party with Patrick Stewart on The CultCast

Full show notes after the click.

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Hot deals ending soon: Last chance to get the SKEYE Nano Drone & NetSpot Pro [Deals]

Hot deals ending soon: Last chance to get the SKEYE Nano Drone & NetSpot Pro [Deals]

Don’t miss out on the many exciting deals on gadgets, software, and more that are expiring very soon at Cult of Mac Deals.

Of particular note, this is your final opportunity to get the world’s smallest quadcopter, the popular SKEYE Nano Drone.  Don’t wait any longer to get this bad boy.  Order today before it’s gone.

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You can now play Minesweeper in Notification Center!

Screenshot: Cult of Mac

If you want Minesweeper in your Notification Center, better grab it fast. Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Although it’s a Windows game, I’ve never met anyone without a sweet spot for Minesweeper, the addictive little puzzle game that Microsoft debuted in Windows 3.1. Sadly, though, it never came to the Mac.

But if you love a good game of Minesweeper, we’ve got some great news. You can now play it right within Notification Center. Better act on it soon, though: Apple has a tendency to pull interesting iOS 8 widgets like this one.

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Sexy new renders show the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air side-by-side

Photo: Martin Hajek

Photo: Martin Hajek

The Apple Watch might be Cupertino’s most hotly anticipated product, but for my money, the two releases I’m most excited about this year are the 12-inch MacBook Air and the 12-inch iPad Pro. Outside of a few leaked images, though, we still have not seen either of these rumored devices in the flash.

Conceptual designer Martin Hajek is no stranger to turning rumors of upcoming Apple products into blisteringly sexy 3-D renders, and now he’s done it again with a series of renders showing the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air going head to head. Call it the battle of the 12-inchers, if you will!

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Khan Academy, LastPass and other awesome apps of the week

This crazy calendar bug in iOS 8 is driving people nuts

After four months, Apple has yet to fix a bad calendar bug in iOS 8.

After four months, Apple has yet to fix a bad calendar bug in iOS 8.

A weird bug in iOS 8’s Calendar app has been making people pull their hair out for months. When adding events using either a Google or Microsoft Exchange server, the time zone is randomly synced to GMT.

Complaints started surfacing around iOS 8’s initial release last September, and the issue is still persisting.

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50% of U.S. smartphones activated last quarter were iPhones

The iPhone 6 dominated 2014. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 6 dominated 2014. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple enjoyed historic sales this holiday season, and while the company won’t reveal its official earnings until January 27th, based on the latest smartphone activation report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Apple dominated the holiday shopping season and accounted for 50% of all smartphone activations in Q4 2014.

Tim Cook is likely to announce another record breaking quarter as Apple nearly doubled the number of activations of its closest competitor Samsung, which accounted for a modest 26% of the market.

Check out the surprising graph below:

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Psychedelic new Sonos logo will put you on a music trip

Sonos' new logo is trippy (Pro Tip: scroll up and down while looking at it).

Sonos’ new logo is trippy (Pro Tip: scroll up and down while looking at it).

We love Sonos speakers here at Cult of Mac. In fact, we can barely make it through our Faves and Raves segment on the CultCast without Leander waxing poetic for the sleek wireless speakers.

The company just teamed up with Bruce Mau Design to create a new psychedelic logo that’s nearly as entertaining their HiFi systems that let you beam sound to any room in your house. If you scroll up and down the page you’ll notice a pulsing effect on the logo, similar to a bass thumping speaker.

There’s no mention on Bruce Mau Design’s website as to whether the optical illusion is intentional. If not it’s an awesome accident. Go ahead and wiggle the page up and down to experience the the visual effect yourself.

Crystal Baller: iPad Pro gets a stylus and other insane Apple rumors

SimCity: Complete Edition is a glorious, city-building time suck

Lose yourself in a city of your own making. Photo: Electronic Arts

Lose yourself in a city of your own making. Photo: Electronic Arts

I launched SimCity: Complete Edition last night at around 8 p.m. I played around with my new city, getting a feel for the controls, zoning for residences, commercial ventures and industrial centers.

I zoomed in and out to get up-close and bird’s-eye views of my own private Idaho (well, Squifton, if we’re being literal). I checked out the various data views, gave my city police buildings and power, water and fire departments. I added parks, more residential areas, roads and even created a neighboring city — a sleepy little hamlet that purchases power and water from the main city. Just a quick little foray into a game that I’ve been itching to play.

When I glanced up at the clock, it was three hours later.

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