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About Charlie Sorrel

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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This cheap plastic bag will waterproof any gadget

Waterproof. Do try this at home. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do try this at home — if you’ve got a LokSak. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Today I’m going to review a plastic bag. A new low, even for me? Maybe, but this is no ordinary plastic bag. It’s a bag that has beaten out pretty much every waterproof gadget case i’ve ever tested, because:

  1. It fits almost every gadget I have
  2. It weighs almost nothing. I can keep one in every bag I carry.

The bag is the LokSak, and it’s designed to keep your gadgets safe.

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7 amazing extensions we want to see in iOS 8

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

We can’t wait for iOS 8 to supercharge our trusty iPhones with Extensions. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iOS 8 will bring Extensions to your iPhone and iPad. Extensions are essentially miniature versions of apps that can be run inside other apps. For instance, if you have Evernote installed on your iPhone, you could pop up the Evernote Extension when you’re running the Mail app, and save a snippet of that email to your Evernote account.

Clearly this is huge. It’s something that Android and Windows Phone users have enjoyed for a while, but Apple has – typically – taken its time to get it right. In fact, you have probably used Apple’s own “test” Extensions already: Whenever you see the Mail sheet roll down inside another app, or you access the built-in Twitter sharing box, you’re using an Extension.

But what kind of things can Extensions do for us? I’ve been thinking about that, and here’s a wish list of Extensions I’d love to see.

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App Watch: iOS apps that are minimal, slo-mo, vintage and bespoke

Gadget Watch: Cameras, colanders, clackety keyboards and cufflinks

Filco MiniLa Air Bluetooth: Clackety keyboard on the go

The Filco MiniLa Air Bluetooth, alongside my own tenkeyless Filco Majestouch.

The Filco MiniLa Air Bluetooth, alongside my own tenkeyless Filco Majestouch. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I took the Filco MiniLa Air Bluetooth keyboard with me on vacation this year to use with a MacBook Air propped up on the fantastic Roost stand. I use the tenkeyless Filco Majestouch at home, and I was hoping for the same super-accurate, clicky-key action in this battery-powered, portable wireless version.

And I almost got it. But for one major flaw, the MiniLa is almost as good as the desktop version. The good news is, that flaw might just be a personal quibble.

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App Watch Aug 12 2014 — Lists, learning, coffee and spaaaaace

Gadget Watch Aug 02 2014 — From Super 8 to super fake

Banish bad posture forever with the unique Roost MacBook stand

Up, up up! The Roost elevates your MacBook experience. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Up, up up! The Roost elevates your MacBook experience. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I was supposed to get a Roost to review last year after the successful Kickstarter went into production. I didn’t, but we fixed that at the beginning of this summer, and think God we did – this stand will change the way you use your MacBook.

The Roost is a crazy collapsible scaffold that unfolds from nothing to become a sturdy stand the holds the MacBook at eye-level. Assuming you combine it with regular breaks, and set your keyboard at the right height, you will never have to experience neck, arm or back pain ever again.

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The Cult of Mac Guide to Traveling Light

Everything for a couple weeks away, including transport.

Everything for a couple weeks away, including transport. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Travel can be a chance to practice minimalism, or an opportunity to drive yourself nuts. What am I talking about? Luggage. You can pare down your essentials to fit in a carry-on – even if you’re away for a month – or you can throw in every item of clothing and every charger you have. The second approach will result in a broken back, and you’ll still find that you left something essential at home.

Over the years, I’ve perfected my packing technique so that I only take the bare minimum. And when I say “perfected,” I mean “struggled with.” But it works for me, and the principles can be applied even if you’re the kind of person who hires a boy to carry your trunks for you when you take a cruise on the Titanic.

So here’s the Cult of Mac Guide to Traveling Light, a roundup of strategies, product recommendations and other tips to make your next trip a breeze.

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App Watch: iPad messaging, speedy news reading and reinvented music albums