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The 12 biggest moments for Apple in 2014

iPhone 6 Plus. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Looking back on the hits from Apple’s blockbuster year. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

2014 was an absolutely monumental year for Apple. Haters will hate, but one thing can’t be denied: This is a company that refuses to rest on its laurels.

Under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple debuted a new product category with the Apple Watch, sold a record number of new iPhones, made the biggest acquisition in its history, and successfully sent its suffering stock price back into the stratosphere.

The company wasn’t without its missteps, but all in all, it’s hard to call 2014 anything short of a blow-away year for Apple.

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Why you should watch The Interview (even if it might suck)

Bust terrorists in the balls by seeing The Interview. Photo © 2014 CTMG

Bust terrorists in the balls by seeing The Interview. Photo: Sony Pictures

Whether you head to a theater or stream it in the comfort of your home, you really ought to watch The Interview this weekend.

The action-comedy, about two journalists on a mission to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, has become the unlikely must-see movie of the Christmas break — and it’s your patriotic duty to see it, like it or not.

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Why I love Microsoft’s fitness band, and what it means for the Apple Watch

The Microsoft Band. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Microsoft Band is an awesome gadget. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

I’m really digging the Microsoft Band. I’ve worn various fitness trackers for a couple of years now, starting with the original Jawbone UP and most recently the new Fitbit Charge.

I’ve had mixed results with them, and none have became indispensable. The Microsoft Band, on the other hand, is rapidly becoming a fixture on my wrist. It’s a great omen for the Apple Watch, which is due in early 2015. The Apple Watch will be like the Microsoft Band on steroids, and if it works as well, it’s going to be awesome.

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Backpack business: How two globetrotting designers do it

UX designers Holly Kennedy and James Turner run their business from the road as they travel the world. Here, the couple stand in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah during an American leg of their travels. Photo courtesy of Kennedy and Turner

Designers Holly Kennedy and James Turner run their business from the road, visiting places like Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Photo courtesy Kennedy and Turner

The lengthy list of logistics involved in starting any business eventually lands on what to do about equipment and office space.

James Turner and Holly Kennedy run their user experience design consultancy out of a single backpack each as they trek from country to country like nomadic college students with a free summer.

Kennedy says you won’t find the couple “wearing bandannas or growing dreadlocks” but they are happy living life on their own terms — with an unconventional commute and ever-changing scenery. Cult of Mac caught up with the ex-Londoners, both 26, in northern Thailand, where they were working around spotty Wi-Fi and a client 13 time zones away.

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Duet Display, Djay Pro and other awesome apps of the week

Caution: Don’t miss out on the best iOS apps of 2014

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users on iOS 8.0.1 could not get a cellular connection. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Download now, thank us later. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The word “app” has always described Apple’s executable programs, but it wasn’t until the App Store appeared in 2008 that the term really took hold as a way to describe the little programs that help make our smartphones not just smart, but also useful and totally fun.

At this point, “There’s an app for that” has become a phrase you’ll hear pretty much everywhere.

We’ve taken a look at our favorite new apps, some of which have been featured on Cult of Mac previously, and chosen the year’s best. Now get downloading!

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Top 10 movies of 2014 you absolutely must watch

Top 10 movies of 2014 you absolutely must watch

2014 has been an intriguing 12 months for movies. With no obvious breakout Oscar winners (a la 12 Years a Slave) or billion-dollar box office smashes (like The Avengers), it’s easy to think it’s been a forgettable year.

But that’s not really true. Peer beneath the surface and it has, in fact, been a very strong year for movie fans — from emotional masterpieces like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and returns-to-form like Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street to action-packed blockbusters such as Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s truly been something for everyone.

So what are our picks for the 10 “must see” movies of 2014? Keep reading to find out.

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Tasty gifts for the cooks on your list

Get the chef in your life something special for the holidays. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Get the chef in your life something special for the holidays. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Surely you know one of these people: They’re not intimidated by a complicated recipe, and they can turn a handful of random ingredients into something delectable.

They stare dreamily at the windows when they walk by Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma, and they’d rather whip up a meal on their own than go out for a dinner and drinks.

They’re serious about food and drink, and they’re not afraid to try new things. Well, serious cooks need serious tools. If you’ve got one of these masters of the culinary arts on your list, these gifts will tickle their tastebuds.

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How to reformat your Mac without a recovery drive or disk

How to reformat your Mac without a recovery drive or disk

There are tons of reasons why you might need to reformat your Mac: It’s slowing down, filling up with too many unneeded files to delete manually or suffering from major technical issues that can’t be fixed otherwise.

Or maybe you’re just selling it as you move on to a better, faster Mac and need to remove everything.

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Everything Apple Watch apps can’t do

The Rumor: Apple Watch won't launch until Spring. The Verdict: Probably. Angela Ahrendts told employees that Apple Watch won't hit stores until after Chinese New Year (February 19th). We weren't expecting a January or February launch, but hopefully our wrists will be rocking the Apple Watch before April.

Devs are generally pleased with what they can do on the Watch, but you might be surprised at how much is off limits. Photo: Apple

Third-party developers are already making apps for the Apple Watch, but they’re doing so with one hand tied behind their backs.

Coders that Cult of Mac spoke with are pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to bring apps to the Watch so early, but many note they must abide by severe limitations to get their apps ready for the Apple wearable’s launch next spring.

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