How to fix weak taptic feedback on Apple Watch

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Apple Watch how-to taptic feedback
Here's how to put the tap back into "taptic."
Photo: Apple

Taptic feedback on the Apple Watch felt a little weird at first, but we’ve come to love its gentle nudges to let us know something is going on. But some Cult of Mac staffers have noticed that after time, the taptic feedback has started to feel not so … tappy anymore.

If you’re having this problem, here are a couple quick and easy ways you can try to put the pep back on your wrist.

Pixeljam snubs Kickstarter, rolls out own crowdfunding platform

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Dino Run is part of Pixeljam's crowdfunding experiment.
Game developer Pixeljam is changing crowdfunding for the better.
Photo: Pixeljam

Pixeljam is no stranger to making iPhone and Mac games, but now the studio is taking on another challenge: transforming the way crowdfunding works to make it better for game developers and other creative types.

Company co-founder Miles Tillman describes the crowdfunding project as an “experiment” that’s an alternative to popular services like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Pixeljam’s new platform lets backers donate money just like the others, but prioritizes transparent communication, instant gratification and actually making the game ahead of crowdfunding staples like producing slick videos and stressing out over fundraising goals and deadlines.

SmartPlug turns your home into a modern-day Clapper

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iHome SmartPlug HomeKit
You may not get a whole lot of use out of a single SmartPlug.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Home automation, specifically Apple’s HomeKit framework and its compatible accessories, is the latest Thing We’re Supposed to Get Excited About™. And it has a lot of promise for convenience, time-saving, and just generally feeling like you live in the future.

The first HomeKit-compatible smartplug is upon us, courtesy of iHome. The ISP5 SmartPlug is a $40 device that plugs into your wall outlet and lets you run whatever you plug into it from your iPhone, using either Siri or the companion app.

It does everything it says it will: You can set up rooms and zones, and control individual appliances or whole groups of them with a tap or quick voice command. It also lets you build “rules” to make your stuff turn on and off without your input. All of this is cool, but when you actually have one, you might struggle to think of useful ways to use it.

Apple Watch charger concept ditches the cord for portability

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Apple Watch charger concept by InnovationBox
This Apple Watch charger idea cuts the (excessively long) cord.
Photo: InnovationBox

We don’t have any major problems with the Apple Watch charger that comes in the box with the device — although nobody has been able to give me a solid answer as to why the cord has to be so damned long. But one design company thinks it isn’t quite portable enough.

InnovationBox has its own idea to get power to an Apple Watch, and it will fit in your pocket without you having to whip out a twist tie.

Marc Newson designs the Apple Watch of fountain pens

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Marc Newson's Montblanc M pen is sleek as can be.
Meaning it's really expensive and does one thing really well.
Photo: Montblanc

Apple’s Marc Newson is one of the best designers in the industry. His plane-inspired Lockheed Lounge chair was reflective, smooth and looked incredibly uncomfortable. And we’re still enjoying the look and feel of our Apple Watches, even if the other night a drunk girl at a bar made fun of me for wearing mine in public. And that was hurtful.

But Newson isn’t just about shiny devices and even shinier chairs. He’s recently teamed up with luxury accessory designer Montblanc to create the Montblanc M, a classic fountain pen that looks like it came from the future.