Run Windows on Mac easier than ever with new Parallels Desktop 12

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Windows 10 on Mac
A performance boost in Parallels Desktop 12 means Windows 10 will run faster than ever on your Mac.
Screenshot: Parallels

Parallels Desktop, a go-to program for anybody wanting to run Windows on a Mac, just got more powerful and convenient to use. The Parallels Desktop 12 update, brings increased speed as well as a suite of handy new tools that simplify everyday tasks.

“This is the best Windows-on-Mac performance in the history of Parallels,” said John Uppendahl, Parallels’ vice president of communications, during a briefing about the new software, which will be available Thursday for subscribers and upgraders. (New users must wait until Aug. 23.)

The quest for the perfect leather iPhone wallet case

Edward Field blue Libby
Small-batch iPhone wallet case maker Edward Field gets colorful with its new Libby line.
Photo: Edward Field

SAN FRANCISCO — Teddy Winthrop is into leather. Like, way into it. In the year since he launched Edward Field, his high-end iPhone wallet case company, he’s been obsessing over ways to make his leather cases sleeker, more functional and more straight-up appealing to the humans who use them.

“It’s weird,” he told Cult of Mac while discussing the mission of his company, which launches a new line of products today. “I never thought I’d be passionate about wallets.”

This wireless keyboard is more magical than Apple’s [Review]

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Kanex's MultiSync wireless aluminum Mac keyboard with one-touch quick switching.
Kanex's MultiSync wireless aluminum Mac keyboard with one-touch quick switching.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of mac

If the Apple Magic Keyboard is like the latest MacBook — sleek, svelte and missing key features due to Cupertino’s maniacal pursuit of those first two attributes — the Kanex MultiSync Aluminum Keyboard is akin to a MacBook Pro.

It looks and feels a lot like Apple’s stock wireless keyboard, but adds functionality that will make the Kanex an ideal solution for some power users.

How to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify or Pandora

The Amazon Echo lights up when it recognizes you are making a request.
It's easier than ever to get the Amazon Echo to play tracks from Spotify Premium.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Barking out a song request at my Amazon Echo smart speaker, then hearing the track magically start playing, makes me feel like I’m living in the future.

Unfortunately, that feeling evaporates when the song isn’t part of the relatively skimpy Amazon Prime Music catalog. If it’s not there, Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa queues up an annoying 30-second sample — and that makes me realize I’m living in the very buggy present.

Luckily, you can fix that. Here’s how to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify so you don’t get stuck with those annoying song and album previews.