Will Trump be good for Apple? [Friday Night Fights]

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How will Apple fare in the Trump era?
How will Apple fare in the Trump era?
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac. Original photo: Michael Vadon/Flickr CC

In case you hadn’t noticed, the United States has a new leader — and President Donald Trump has a bone to pick with Apple. Several, actually.

Will Trump’s “America first” stance and pro-business policies help Apple or give Tim Cook a series of premium headaches? Cult of Mac editors Leander Kahney and Lewis Wallace come out swinging in this week’s edition of “Friday Night Fights.”

These smart wireless earbuds make AirPods look dumb

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Nuheara IQbuds work like regular wireless earbuds, but add
Nuheara IQbuds work like regular wireless earbuds, but add "augmented hearing" to the mix so you can focus on a conversation.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

CES2017 SAN FRANCISCO — Apple packed some amazing tech into its weird-looking AirPods. But to Nuheara co-founder David Cannington, Apple’s white-hot wireless earphones are just “dumb wireless.”

Sure, AirPods let you listen to music, take phone calls and tap into Siri, but they represent a missed opportunity because they don’t solve a crucial problem faced by many people in the modern world: hearing what’s going on around them.

As you might have guessed, Cannington’s company tackled this problem with a new product that launched at CES this week. Nuheara’s IQbuds are smart, truly wireless earbuds that do more than just make calls and deliver high-fidelity audio to your ears. They make it possible to carry on conversations in noisy environments like restaurants, bars and even massive Las Vegas trade shows.

Apple’s smartest moves of 2016

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2016 wasn't all missed deadlines and mysterious battery problems for Apple.
2016 wasn't all missed deadlines and mysterious battery problems for Apple.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac Apple pissed off a lot of people in 2016. In hindsight, some of Cupertino’s moves look clumsy, and others seem truly clueless, but Tim Cook and Co. also made some brilliant moves during this turbulent year.

Let’s go to our happy place and relive the smartest moves made by Apple in 2016.

Consumer Reports slams new MacBook Pros’ terrible battery life

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2016 MacBook Pro
The MacBook Pro's battery life problems drag the laptop down.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Consumer Reports just unloaded a mighty smackdown on the new MacBook Pro lineup, citing “highly inconsistent” battery life as the reason the latest Apple laptops failed to earn a coveted recommendation.

It’s the first time the well-regarded reviews organization flunked an Apple laptop. And the test results should give serious pause to anybody who is considering buying a new MacBook Pro.

Pokémon GO finally gets an Apple Watch app

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News of an Apple partnership with Nintendo and Pokémon Go for the Apple Watch seemed to draw the most excitement from Apple fans on Twitter.
We got a glimpse of Pokémon GO for the Apple Watch during the iPhone 7 event.
Photo: Apple

Pokémon GO is finally ready for Apple Watch. The iOS game, one of 2016’s biggest breakout hits, got an update today that includes the long-awaited Apple Watch app.

According to the game’s maker, Pokémon GO is a perfect match for Apple’s wearable.

This tiny USB-C charger will juice up your MacBook Pro

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FINsix DART-C USB-C laptop charger
The DART-C is a USB-C travel charger that's as thin and light as the new MacBook Pro.
Photo: FINsix

Apple’s “thin and light” approach for its latest laptops totally breaks down when it comes to charging, due to the sizable power adapter that ships with the computers. Luckily, a tiny new USB-C charger will let you leave Apple’s ungainly charging brick at home.

Take your wired headphones wireless with this Bluetooth adapter

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AirMode Bluetooth headphone adapter
The AirMode Bluetooth headphone adapter lets you cut the cord on your wired headphones.
Photo: Audio Nation

If you’ve got high-end wired headphones and want to make them wireless, AirMode might do the trick. The short cable comes with standard audio connectors on either end that replace the detachable cords found on many headphones.

Packed with features and reasonably priced, AirMode could be the perfect Bluetooth dongle for retrofitting your gear for Apple’s wireless future.

LeEco Le Pro3 looks pretty good for a dirt-cheap Android

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The LePro3 comes packs powerhouse features into a brushed-aluminum body.
Get your LeEco Le Pro3 cheap today!
Photo: LeEco

With a sharp screen, a fast processor and 4GB of RAM, the new LeEco Le Pro3 is a bold shot across the bow of Apple and other premium smartphone makers.

While the hardware nudges the phone toward the high end of the spectrum, the rock-bottom pricing should send shivers through Cupertino. At just $399 — or $299 if you get in on LeEco’s generous instant rebate, which starts today — the Le Pro3 is a steal when compared to the iPhone 7 Plus.

Valet Charger power pack lets you leave your Apple Watch cable at home

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The Valet Charger solves a first-world problem: How to keep your Apple Watch charged on the go.
The Valet Charger solves a first-world problem: Keeping your Apple Watch elegantly charged on the go.
Photo: Belkin

If you’re traveling with your Apple Watch and desperately want to eliminate a cable from your bag, Belkin’s new Valet Charger power pack could do the trick.

With its built-in round magnetic charging module, this 6,700mAh battery pack lets you jettison the single-use cable that comes with every Apple Watch.

Everything we wanted from Apple’s MacBook Pro event but got denied

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You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest laptop in the world ... MacBook Pro!
You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest laptop in the world ... MacBook Pro!
Photo: Apple

Anybody watching Apple’s “Hello Again” event probably suspected we’d get “one more thing” in addition to the long-rumored Touch Bar and the recently leaked TV app. Or maybe a couple more things.

Instead we got … a Final Cut Pro update and a new accessibility website?

Underwhelming! And cruelly disappointing to all the Apple faithful hoping against hope for new hardware. Here are all the other things we wanted — but got so viciously denied — during Apple’s MacBook Pro event today.