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

By

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.

Apple’s ‘sexy’ plan for Apple Music is all about cash, creativity

apple music app
Fixing the Apple Music UI is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cupertino's efforts to win the streaming war.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Cold hard cash, and a surprising amount of creative input from top Apple executives, are key to Cupertino’s plan for making Apple Music a hit, according to a new behind-the-scenes report about the streaming service.

Pricey Lightning headphones will make you care less about headphone jacks [Reviews]

By

Audeze EL-8 headphones
With a Lightning connector and an $800 price tag, the EL-8 headphones from Audeze are very Apple.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

They don’t call them “headphones” for nothing.

Slipping on a pair of quality closed-back headphones puts you in a rarefied headspace where sound envelopes you completely and nothing matters but the music. Just close your eyes, cue up the perfect tracks to suit your mood, and drift away.

The Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones, which use a Lightning connector to plug into your Apple device, will take you to that special place. But you’ll pay a steep price for your trip to aural bliss.