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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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Snappgrip iPhone camera grip fails to deliver on great idea

The wrist strap is the best part of the Snappgrip. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The wrist strap is the best part of the Snappgrip. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Snappgrip is a fantastic idea, with not-too-bad hardware to back it up. It’s an accessory grip for your iPhone that adds a Bluetooth shutter release, zoom buttons and control dial to the phone’s camera, as well as a wrist strap and a handy handgrip.

But in practice, you’ll be better off with the iPhone’s own volume switches if you want a hardware shutter release. Which is a shame, as I was super-excited to try the Snappgrip out.

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This 80-year-old coffee pot still makes an amazing cup of espresso

The moka pot was designed over 80 years ago, but still beats most modern methods. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Designed more than 80 years ago, the moka pot still beats most modern methods. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Before the AeroPress, there was the moka pot, or cafetera as it’s called in Spain. There is at least one cafetera in every Spanish kitchen, and if you want a quick fix of something strong and good, it’s your go-to coffee gadget. Not bad for something invented way back in 1933.

I’ve had a moka since I first saw one in action a couple decades ago. Up until I bought an AeroPress, I used a moka every day, never tiring of its old-school charm and serious wake-me-up taste. But what is a moka exactly, and why is it so good?

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Gadget Watch: Keyboards, skateboards, duck heads and drones

Logitech’s updated Ultraslim Keyboard Cover is worse in almost every way

ultraslim-2

Old versus new: Logitech takes several steps backward with its next-gen Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Logitech’s updated Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air replaced its predecessor mere months after the original’s launch. The most obvious difference between the two is the flip-out hinge that joins the keyboard to the iPad like a cover to a book, but in reality the two devices are completely different.

Is the new one better? In one way yes. In others? Nope.

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Adobe Creative Cloud just got truly awesome (with 1 tiny problem)

Adobe Creative Cloud just got truly awesome (with 1 tiny problem)

New hardware and software make Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan almost irresistible. Photo: Adobe

I was all set to pull the trigger on Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan, which gives subscribers access to Lightroom and Photoshop as well as Lightroom Mobile for the iPad and iPhone.

After all, it’s just $10 per month, right? (or €12.29/$16.71 in the EU). That’s about what I spend on Rdio, or Dropbox, and I get Lightroom on my frickin’ camera.

But I decided to hold off and see if one huge doozy of a design problem is fixed before my 30-day trial of the service finishes up. This will also give me time to check out the amazing new Adobe Photoshop Mix, which is what Photoshop for iPad should have been all along.

And the little problem that could be a deal-breaker? You’re gonna love it…

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Hand-stitched leather case is as classy as the MacBook it protects

Sharp looks. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Castello Davarg’s leather York case offers sharp looks. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I’ve tried a lot of cases for my Mac notebooks over the years, from a dorky aluminum briefcase for my white “icebook” iBook through cheap, zip-up neoprene sleeves and on to bulky, custom-fitted, shock-absorbing monsters. But the elegant, simple and beautiful Castello Davarg York, cut from a single piece of leather, is the only one that makes any sense for my MacBook Air.

Like the MacBook Air inside, you can’t help but finger and fiddle with the York case. It’s cut from 5-ounce, full-grain leather that’s folded and then hand-stitched along two sides before finishing the edges and … well, that’s almost it. The case has no fastening or closure, and lacks a lining or padded interior, but it is shaped perfectly to fit the MacBook Air. (I tested the 13-inch size, but it also comes for the 11-incher.) It even has a little cutout on the top edge that mimics the one found on the lid of the MacBook itself.

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Apple just obsoleted the Mac and nobody noticed

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, unveils OS X Yosemite to the world at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple is finally showing us its idea of how we’ll compute in the future. Perhaps not surprisingly, this pristine vision of our computing destiny — unveiled after years of secret, patient and painstaking development — aligns perfectly with how we currently use our computers and mobile devices.

The keynote at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month not only showed off a new way to think about computing, based on data not devices, but also silenced pretty much every criticism leveled at the company over the past few years.

Let’s take a look at Apple’s new way of doing things, which fulfills Steve Jobs’ post-PC plan by minimizing the importance of the Mac.

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Shoulderpod’s chunky S1 grip makes iPhone camera far easier to use

One handed-selfies are now even easier. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One handed-selfies are now even easier. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you like to wander the streets, camera in hand, ready to catch an amazing shot? Have you ever missed that shot thanks to the time taken to fumble your iPhone from your pocket and fire up the camera? Even if the answer to these questions is “No,” you should probably take a look at Shoulderpod’s S1 anyway – it’s not only a great camera grip, but also the best value you’ll get spending $30 on an iPhone accessory.

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How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 3)

How to set up a foolproof note-taking system for writers and other nerds (Part 3)

Welcome to the final part of our series about note-taking for writers (or anyone else). Today we’re going to look at getting clippings and bookmarks into Evernote, to be stored and accessible alongside your scanned, paper-based notes (Part 1) and your text notes grabbed on your iPhone or Mac (Part 2).

We’ll use a few apps and services to get this done – EverClip, Mr Reader, IFTTT and Pinboard are the main ones.

As ever, you could just do much of this using Evernote and its web clipper, but this only works in Safari and Chrome on the desktop. In 2014! Clearly that’s no good. Let’s see how we can do it better.

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Gadget Watch: Real newspapers, waterproof e-readers and giant buttons